Thursday, November 12, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Our 20th Anniversary

Admittedly, I probably missed the real one. And I haven't been posting as much here over the last couple of years anyway. Still, I did list "October/November 1995" as the date for OWARI #1. So I guess we can say this still counts as the 20th anniversary of OWARI?

It doesn't seem possible that it has been two decades since I finally bit the bullet and started producing my own thing for public consumption. Heck, it's been 10 years since I bid a fond farewell to doing fanzines. Yet here we are. There is plenty of good and bad as I reflect on that body of work. But the thing that makes me happiest is that I can use the phrase "body of work" and not feel like I'm kidding myself.

I've been publishing my own work since 1995. I've been blogging since 2003. I'm kinda proud of what I've accomplished during that time, modest though it may be. It's a lot more than I ever realistically anticipated for myself.

I don't know what else to say here. Thank you to all the people along the way who have encouraged me, befriended me, or just read what I had to say. Having people actually care what I have to say means a lot to me.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Rene Bond - 65

Rene Bond - born October 11, 1950. She would have been 65 years old today.

I started Rene Bond Tribute in October 2013 because I thought Rene deserved to be remembered and honored on Facebook. That's why I mostly let her do the talking via photos and video clips. That page isn't about me. It's her page.

We learned a bit more about Rene's life this year via her friend Joan, including some of the circumstances of her untimely passing. It's still incredibly sad that we lost her so young, but I am glad to at least know she was happy until the end. That's a small comfort in the tragedy of her death.

Happy birthday, Rene Bond. You are not forgotten. And you are loved.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

When Gods Get It On

Uranus and Gaea making bedroom eyes at each other. From D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. This is a highly-recommended (and highly-influential!) book on the subject.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Yvonne Craig

I have not written many of these in the last couple of years, even though a number of notable and influential people in my fannish development have passed away. I dunno, it just seemed enough to post on Facebook and Twitter. Yvonne Craig is the exception that brought me back to write a remembrance.

Yvonne Craig passed away Monday at the age of 78. I am pretty sure I first saw her on BATMAN, and to me, she will always be "the" Batgirl. From what I've read, she was a wonderful person in real life as well. That's always good to hear about someone who brought you so much joy from afar.

RIP Yvonne Craig. You were one of a kind and I'll always treasure memories watching you fight crime as the titian-haired Batgirl.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

OWARI, Elsewhere: Return of Jetman

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Return of Jetman, we look at the history of the project on the internet. Sadly, all older versions are currently defunct.

Part II: Return of Jetman


The very first Return of Jetman page was actually done on a lark. I made a gallery page for the initial four pictures of the revival (before it was a "revival") and uploaded it to my GeoCities site. Those four pictures were: Jet Phoenix, Green Wyvern, Toranza, and Red Kestrel. The page itself was about as basic as it could be - a title, red background, and the "thumbnails" were not even thumbnails but the main images displayed at thumbnail dimensions. I am not sure I ever showed this page to anyone beyond co-creator/artist Lewis Smith, and I don't remember if it was ever linked on the index page.

I have no memory of how long this page lasted or even the url. It was surely deleted by November 2002. I may still have a copy of it hiding in a folder somewhere, but if there is a cache of it, I have not found it.

1) (cache)

Launched August 20, 2002, this was the site of the entirety of the first 14 episodes of Return of Jetman. It was a sub-section of my ISP webspace, and the only thing of any value I did there. Somewhat surprisingly, it was not the primary home of ROJ for very long. The last known update was November 29, 2004, but the whole project was moved to its own site earlier than this.

The original ROJ homepage lasted for many years in static form, directing visitors to check out the new site. Alas, sometime late last year or early this year, my old ISP webspace finally disappeared.

2) (cache)

Often forgotten even by me, the original ROJ DX Gallery appears to have launched on March 23, 2003 as a supplement to the main site. You see, my ISP webspace was only 5 MB and wow that is crazy to think about now. I created this extras page on GeoCities since that account had more room. The last cached update is June 2, 2007, though I am sure the page had been largely dismantled prior to that date. With the GeoCities shutdown, it's all academic.

As an aside, GeoCities also seems to be the original home of the ROJ Japanese page. The address was, but there is no cached version of it.

3) (cache)

I had purchased the domain early in 2004, but Freewebs was the actual original home of the site. In fact, the domain usually redirected visitors to the above rather than being locked, for reasons which I am sure were terribly important at the time. The "official launch" announcement was August 24, 2004, but there is a cached version of the index from earlier. I could probably find my Freewebs registration e-mail, but I doubt anyone cares.

Freewebs was the home of ROJ until June 2007 when a culmination of things led me to abandon it. A recent check of the url indicates it is "frozen" and what content I had left there is gone. I wonder if this is due to inactivity or if it got hacked one last time? Regardless, I don't remember my Freewebs password and am not sure where to find it. Again, no one cares - least of all me.

4) (cache)

Circa June 2007, I transferred ROJ to Dreamhost and finally became a "proper" domain. Dreamhost treated me well and I had no complaints with their service. However, times were gradually changing and my ability to maintain a website was becoming more tentative with all sorts of advances I hadn't studied. Plus, financing the operation was getting to be a drag. In April 2010, the ROJ blog was launched with an eye toward it eventually becoming the main site. "Eventually" turned out to be the next month, and the blog and the site officially "merged" on May 21, 2010.

The biggest change since that time is the domain was allowed to expire in January 2014. This was simply a cost-cutting measure. It had served its purpose well, but with the site mostly in archive mode now, there was no reason to continue paying for it. It was picked up by someone briefly, but currently appears to be unregistered again.


The current home of ROJ, where we continue the good fight. It was briefly active in April and May 2010 when the blog was created and still a work in progress. It became the (hopefully) permanent home of ROJ in January 2014.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tim Mee Toy Reviews!

Our friends over at VictoryBuy recently sent along some of their latest offerings from Tim Mee Toys for review. This was both a privilege and a pleasure. Here's what I wrote about them on Amazon!

TimMee Toy Tanks for Plastic Army Men: Tan WW2 3pc - Made in USA

It's great to see the ORIGINAL Tim Mee tanks available again, rather than the inferior knock-offs that have been clogging the shelves. You can tell by the high quality of the sculpt and plastic used that this is a product that will last through countless war games, Plus, it's made in the good old USA - all too rare in this day and age!

This set also comes with stickers to better identify your vehicles. The wheels are molded into place, but you won't mind. It just means they can't break off and leave your men stranded on the battle field.

TimMee COMBAT PATROL Willys & Artillery: Green 4pc Playset - Made in USA

This set comes with two jeeps and two cannons, all of which are very well-made. Rolling action on the wheels are good, and the cannons hitch to the jeeps without a hitch (sorry). Scale is close enough to the standard Army Man that they will look right at home on your backyard battlefield. Plus, stickers are included to dress up armaments and vehicles and make them look "official." This is another high quality addition to the Tim Mee/J. Lloyd plastic army and worth the money if you choose to pick them up.

Tim Mee People Play Figures: Green and Putty Color 24pc Playset - Made in USA

Oh, this lot is not something I ever saw back in the day. But still, they have the quaint charm of being the quintessential 1950s atomic family as shown on the header card. Speaking of that header card, it has some pretty awesome artwork. Definitely worth a portion of your purchase price.

These toys are a great addition to your plastic people dioramas and can be very useful as supplement to other sets. There might not be much play value for most in suburban life, but they can be rescued by soldiers, captured by aliens, or just get caught in assorted time paradoxes. The possibilities are endless if you use your imagination.

These are good quality, durable figures with attention paid to both molding and manufacturing. Unlike a lot of off-brand figures, you can see a lot of fine detail and can rest assured the figures will hold up and not snap easily. Buy with confidence!