So the day has finally come! Better late than never….
When I first announced early last year, around the time of DC’s own “Rebirth” event, that I would be ceasing further updates to Amazon Archives because the time had come to build a new site from the ground up, I was convinced that I could achieve such a task by the end of that year. But boy did I underestimate the scale of the task at hand!
As I explained at the time, not only did I want a new site so that I could improve both the content and navigation experience for visitors, but that it was also a necessary evil. The old site had grown to a colossal size, with over a thousand pages, and every time I needed to amend or add content it had become a laborious task. And with each update the site would literally “creak at the seams” as it became more and more unwieldy! Continuing with Amazon Archives in that form was simply no longer tenable. So something had to give.
It took several months to reach a design and structure that I was happy with for the new version. But once I’d got the new framework into a state I was happy with, I turned to the task of migrating – and at the same time enriching – the content from the old site. That included adding more information and many more better quality images. I should add that during this task some supplemental information has been sourced from the excellent Grand Comics Database.
So as I started the migration and curation task, it soon became apparent that this was going to be a truly monumental task. I have a day job after all and I don’t do this full time for a living. So I was literally having to work on the site every spare moment I had – evenings and weekends. But even so, my good intentions of having the site live for January 1st 2017 soon withered on the vine, as it became ever clearer that I had greatly underestimated how long it was going to take me to complete the job. So my “Plan B” was to instead have the new site up and running in time for the release of the new Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot. But as the months past I once again had to admit defeat and recognise that even that deadline was not going to be achievable, regardless of how many hours I spent of my spare time beavering away on the site.
So, does that mean that as the site has finally launched it’s actually finished? Well…no. Sadly not. There is still more content to migrate across from the old site. However, I believe that I now have enough content to justify going live and to remove the dust sheets to reveal to the world the shiny new version of Amazon Archives! Rest assured I still intend to migrate the remaining content across and of course will now be keeping the site regularly updated with the latest key releases too.
To be clear, I have never wanted or intended for Amazon Archives to be a Wonder Woman history website. There are already a number of excellent websites and publications out there that are great resources for those interested in learning about the character’s origins and history – and which are highly recommended. The purpose of this site has always been to simply document Diana’s appearances in comics, in a user friendly format that anyone can use – whether fan boy or just an individual who happens to have a casual interest in Wonder Woman comics.
When I started collecting Wonder Woman comics myself many many years ago, I was surprised at just how many other titles she had appeared in, I soon realised it was not simply a case of collecting the main Wonder Woman title. That’s what inspired me to create a website that would help others to navigate the vast number of titles she has appeared in over the years – either as a main character or simply as a guest star.
Originally called “The Online Wonder Woman Comic Book Reference Site” (yes I know, punchy title, right?), the site slowly grew and developed over the years, morphing into the first iteration of Amazon Archives. And while the layout and design has changed over the years, its aim has always remained to help people who wish to read Wonder Woman and enjoy her adventures past and present, to better identify the comics and their chronology and decide which ones they want to check out.
Yet while the mission hasn’t changed, time nevertheless marches on and in particular technology and websites have evolved. The advent of mobile has meant that people want to access their digital content whenever and wherever. So aside from enriched content and improved layout and navigation, the new site is now also fully responsive too. This means that whether you are viewing Amazon Archives on a mobile phone, tablet or even a huge 85″ TV screen (lucky you!), the site will function exactly the same way and all site content will be readable – with no compromises on your experience.
Wonder Woman’s stock has never been higher right now. What with the recent celebrations of her 75th Anniversary, together with the incredible success of the movie at the box office and a sequel already scheduled, it seems that Diana is finally front and centre in the wider general public’s conscience – where she deserves to be. Suddenly people want to know more about this incredible character and learn more about her adventures.
She is no longer just a comic book heroine that appeals to a small group of devoted fans. She is now a world wide icon and phenomena. She has shown that a woman can be beautiful and strong…smart and courageous…fierce and compassionate…. And that Diana loves us back. She is here for us and we feel comforted and inspired by her presence in our lives. Yes, she may be simply pen and ink on a page. But she lives and breathes in our imaginations, hopes and dreams. And the world would be a poorer place without her.
That’s why she has transcended the printed page and even the celluloid screen and has become a powerful ambassador for female empowerment an aspiration to be something better and the proof that love always triumphs over hatred in the end. And in these times of instability, fear, xenophobia and paranoia, the world has never needed Wonder Woman more than now.
So Amazon Archives is a passion project. A work of love dedicated to a character who I have grown up with and who has been such a presence and significant influence in my life. And if this website helps others discover just a small amount of the same joy I felt when first exploring the world of Wonder Woman and her amazing comic book adventures – as well as better understand what a truly complex character she is and what an incredible force for good she can be as a role model – then, as the saying goes, “My work here is done.”