Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reaching The Finish Line

No no, not with this blog. As you can see, the blog is still kicking against all odds. In fact, I think I've finally decided what to do here. But that will be a topic for another day. Spoiler though - I'm not closing it permanently.

This post is here because I am celebrating. You see, in September, I decided to embark on the Captain Satellite Tumblr Project. I wanted to create a place for the Owariverse, and I wanted to use it to make a fresh start. The evolution of my fictional world has been filled with starts and stops, and as a result, there were plenty of things about it that I found wanting. It has long been my desire to try to set things up in a way I found artistically satisfying.

The problem was that making such fixes as you go is terribly awkward. Please see the fact that I have established things on this blog that blatantly contradict the book I published of those characters in 2011. So I've been putting a lot of bandages on a continuity I was making up as I went. And to be honest, much of what had been written was pretty sparse in the detail department.

The Tumblr account was exactly the remedy for what ailed the Owariverse. Taking this new start as an opportunity, I declared that I was blowing up everything and putting the pieces back together again. Of course, to do that, I had re-examine every single profile for my world. And that was, uh, a lot. Seventy-eight (78), to be precise.

The first order of business was sitting down and examining what I had and consider how I wanted to go forward with each character. Because, in truth, I had fallen victim to the idea of throwing together profiles for any supporting character who popped into my head semi-formed. A lot of them only merited two or three sentences. If I wanted readers to care about these people, I needed to care enough about them to tell their story in a little more depth.

If you mosey over to the new Profile Page, you will see 60 entries there (though most are not actually live). Six of those do not exist in the Owariverse Encyclopedia I compiled here. Another merges what had been two separate entries. So yeah, I scrapped over 20 profiles in this new revamp. Most of those characters still exist in some form or another, but I decided I didn't have enough to say about them to warrant an individual entry. I can't say this is the way it should have always been, because it's taken me years of trial and error to get my material and my ability to the point I am today.

ANYWAY, I decided prior to launch I needed to work out all the individual profiles for these characters. I needed a clear idea of how they related to one another and the bigger universe they inhabit. But...60 profiles? Some could be rewritten, but in other cases, I was almost starting over. A few times, I was building a character from the ground up. It seemed daunting. And I'll be honest, my track record in recent times hasn't been great. Two abandoned short stories, a shelved novella, a blog fallen on hard times -- it even took three additional years after wrapping Return of Jetman to stagger to the conclusion by completing the notes.

Today, I did it. Sixty profiles are in the can and ready to go. Nine have already been posted. The remaining fifty-one await their accompanying art. That part will happen at its own pace. But in approximately three months time, I managed to achieve a personal creative goal I had set for myself. The results are some of the most satisfying works I have ever created. I am pleased.

Allow me a moment to take a victory lap for finding success amidst much failure this year. Meanwhile, Captain Satellite boosters are advised to bookmark and/or follow the Captain Satellite Tumblr. If you don't, you are missing out on such stuff as Muttnik the Satellite Dog. And that would be a pity.

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Not sold in NYC"

I scanned this for Kirk Demarais on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and it seemed like the sort of thing that needed to go here, too. It's an ad from the June 1974 issue of the men's magazine BACHELOR that demonstrates that Honor House Products also sold guns through the mail. Pellet guns maybe, but still, yeah. And do note the disclaimer that gives this entry its title.

For the record, I was reading this magazine for the, uh, articles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Story of Comics

Hello again!

Still not sure what the long-term plan for this blog is going to be, but I've been keeping myself occupied with social media and Captain Satellite stuff since things geared down here in September. I am really enjoying getting back in touch with my own work, and I still have outlets for my random observations, too. So I don't expect the current state of affairs for "OWARI" to change anytime soon.

I'm here tonight for a couple of reasons:

1) I finally completed the task of reviewing all of the blog's tags. I honestly can't even remember when I started this, but it's done. Well, as done as it's going to be. I was strongly considering abandoning it altogether, but made a surge and finished. I will not be doing THAT again, so make the best of the tags as they currently exist!

2) I was talking to my friend Thom not very long ago, and the subject of "My Story of Comics" came up. This was a series I wrote on my LiveJournal, and it may be the most memorable non-personal sequence I ever did on Ye Olde LJ. I was forever thinking about re-doing it and posting it here, but it seemed so very "of its moment" that I couldn't find a way.

That moment was almost exactly ten years ago (!!!!!) now. Here then is a handy index of of those posts - "My Story of Comics"

A few things occurred to me in re-reading this today. One, I was really angry about this at the time. I suspect writing that was my way of letting go of that anger - though it took awhile. Two, I'm not sure if superhero fans didn't save the comic book industry. I look at the way magazines are dying off and wonder if comic books would have survived without a fandom. I mean, we live in a world where U.S. News & World Report is no longer a print publication, but there are several Avengers titles. Three, did manga's popularity cool off or is it just me? It's still viable, but not on the level it was then. And four, I didn't see digital comics coming at all. That's probably the wave of the future.

That's all for tonight. Back one of these days, when we least expect it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Captain Satellite Flies Again!

You might want to click to make this bigger. Seriously, it's huge.

Just to prove this blog isn't quite dead, here's an announcement I've already made elsewhere. I've launched a Tumblr account specifically devoted to Captain Satellite and the Owariverse! You will see plenty of my flights of imagination and kooky art there! Plus, guest art from a wide array of talented people!

If this interests you, please follow, like, reblog, share, promote, etc. Thank you!

The link: --> Captain Satellite Tumblr

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Temporarily(?) Closed For Business

In what is probably not a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention the last few months, I decided today to suspend posting on this blog indefinitely.

The funny thing is, it's actually a surprise to me. I had two unfinished drafts sitting on my panel, and one of them was only started on Monday. It was a potentially good post - the first part of a series, in fact - on a topic that interests me. I had already been researching it last week.

...And I realized today that I didn't care. No, I still care about the topic, and the research I was doing. I just didn't care if I ever finished the post, or any of the subsequent posts that would need to be written.

Do you remember the tribute post I did about Casey Kasem in June? The link to the story on the Xenorama Facebook page got picked up by Facebook's Trending Topics. Its reach is 38,368 people, it has been liked by 102 people, and it has been shared 20 times. Impressive! But the actual blog entry - the thing I wrote - only has 310 views. That's less than 1% of the people who saw the Facebook link.

I keep deleting things I've written because it sounds like I'm whining. I never expected much of a readership when I started this blog, and I'm surprised I ever found one at all. It's just that I've been doing this for awhile, and my enthusiasm for writing most of the content here has been wavering. If there's not an audience for it, and I'm not feeling it, it seems kind of silly to keep going.

I don't know, five and a half years sounds like a good run for a blog to me. I've had a lot of fun here. But there comes a time when you have to know when to move on, and I have the sneaking suspicion this is that time for this blog. It was difficult to end the fanzine and the message board that were the previous incarnations of OWARI. It was difficult to abandon the LiveJournal that had been my blogging headquarters since 2003. Heck, it was hard to close the books on Return of Jetman in December and Pictures of Naomi Morinaga in March (I don't think I ever mentioned the closing of the latter, but yeah, it's done). I just think maybe I should be looking in different directions.

To be clear, I'm not disappearing. Ohhhhhh no, far from it. You can still find me on:



I'm also still fighting the good fight of remembering Rene Bond at Rene Bond Tribute (220 Likes strong!) and still posting images related to movie serials (sometimes only tangentially) at Continued Next Week! (currently at 145 followers!).

There are also preliminary plans for something "major" to come down the line at some point. When? I have no idea right now. Keep your eyes open on Twitter and Tumblr, and all should be revealed... one day.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's to never rule out anything. With that in mind, I'm not ruling out this blog making a thrilling comeback someday. I'm not even ruling out a random post or two straggling into publication when it's least expected. But if this really is "the end" for OWARI, I want to at least acknowledge it, and say thank you to all of you who have been reading and commenting over the years.

Remember, it's not "Goodbye," just "See you around!"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wringing Out Writing

It's not exactly news that my work has been suffering. I'm not going to go into what I perceive as the reasons why; I only want to talk about the work unfinished, and my thoughts on that. Forgive me if I'm forgetting something. I'm prone to do these things.

There was supposed to be a novella called CAPTAIN SATELLITE: LIFE & TIMES in 2012. Well, I think I've discussed the fact that I put that project on the shelf due to some flaws in my outline. Unfortunately, though I still would very much like to complete this story, it just hasn't happened. Part of that is due to the fact that CAPTAIN SATELLITE: NUMBER ZERO didn't even live up to my modest hopes for it, but really, it's just that I have not given the task of fixing the story's problems the attention it deserves.

Interestingly, I have considered extracting the first chapter of the novella (which IS finished) and publishing it on the blog. It can more or less function as a standalone piece, so this isn't as outrageous as it sounds. It would at least be something, and maybe it would drive me to finish the story. That would be nice.

There is/was another Owariverse tale that was promised - gosh, I am not even sure when now. It is an Ultimate American story, and I literally just found the file for it. I last modified it in March. Gads. Finding where that was going again may take some work. It's a clever idea, with some fun bad accent work, so I'd like to add it to the mythos.

Finally, we come to the untitled story that appeared here for two consecutive days back in April. It was a more down-to-Earth thing, and it felt like it had some immediacy. That reaaaaally ground to a halt, as an incomplete draft for "Chapter 3" has been sitting in my queue for months. Given the apparent lack of interest in this story continuing, maybe it will stay there. I don't regret trying to do a change-of-pace, but there is the question as to whether it succeeded or failed.

At some point, things are bound to get better. But I have to recapture the magic, and it's not as easy as just saying it's going to happen.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sailor Erato

Our friend Wandering Kotka recently completed a commission special dedicated to Sailor Moon, in honor of the new series currently airing. I was literally the last person to participate, and I presented an odd challenge - Rene Bond as a Sailor Scout! Well, you can see the result above, especially if you right click to make bigger. Say hello to Sailor Erato!

If you would like to comment on Kotka's upload of this, and read her wonderful description, you can do that right here!

NEXT: something not about Rene Bond. Honest.