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!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

OWARI, Elsewhere: The Blogs

I've been fiddling with the blog sidebar again, and I think I have it the way I want it (for now). As I audited my links, it occurred to me that I have a number of sites in the old repertoire that I don't link anymore. Many of them are defunct but still online. In this series, I'll give you links to other places you could once find me on the internet.

Part I: The Blogs

Still Active

* Continued Next Week! (2012-    )


* Captain Satellite's Fun Fun Central (2003-2010)
* Earth B (2006)
* Not Christopher Elam's OWARI (2012)1
* Pictures of Naomi Morinaga (2012-2014)2


* OWARI Tumblr Annex (christopherelam.tumblr.com) was my original personal Tumblr founded in January 2012, but it fell early victim to my issues with that site. It was finally deleted later that year. I re-registered the url as a placeholder but deleted it for good a couple of months ago.

* At various points, I have had blogs on the following services before deleting them: Journalfen, Myspace, GreatestJournal (site closed), Yahoo 360 (site closed), and possibly others. Additionally, I had an RP account on GreatestJournal, an alternate parody account on LiveJournal and a couple of "secret" blogs on LJ. All of that is scattered to the four winds now. Except for El Beardo.

* There was at one time a "returnofjetman" community on LiveJournal, too. I am fuzzy on both when it was founded (2004?) and when it was deleted (no idea anymore).


* Begun in 2009 and then largely forgotten, there is a syndicated LiveJournal feed for this blog. It is still dutifully picking up posts even though I don't think anyone follows it except my old account.


1(Placeholder blog to prevent spammers from claiming the celamowari.blogspot.com url again.)

2An earlier version of this blog existed at the same url from 2011-2012 but was deleted.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Blogs Will Live! Blogs Will Die!

...And nothing will ever be the same!

One of my favorite phrases when I'm working on a project of some kind is "going down rabbit holes." That's when you get distracted from the task at hand by something or other and it consumes you enough that it starts to take on its own importance. Occasionally, going down rabbit holes has led to unexpected rewards. More often than not, it's just a waste of time.

I first signed up for Tumblr in 2011. I have had as many as seven different individual Tumblr blogs at a time. There's a lot to like about Tumblr. So it may be a surprise that I have come to the conclusion that maintaining a "personal" Tumblr blog presence has been one of the single biggest rabbit holes of my life.

I have written in the past (probably too much) about my problems with Tumblr. I thought it might be an ample, low-maintenance replacement for this blog when I went into semi-retirement here in September. I tried, I really tried to make it work this time. But I have decided that I am just not happy with what I have been doing there and that my energies can be directed in more constructive pursuits.

Basically, I have burned OWARI 2.0 down to the ground. There are still some posts there, to prove that it existed. However, I am officially closing that place. There is a slight chance I might post there every so often, but it's really not in my plans. I'm done with the notion of keeping a personal Tumblr. It just doesn't suit my ideas of blogging at all.

This does not mean I am leaving Tumblr. I will still be following other people on there (though not nearly as many as I once was), and people are still welcome to follow me. I'll still be liking posts. Frankly, there is too much I would miss to give Tumblr the old heave-ho.

There's also the little matter of Captain Satellite. Ironically, given my many misgivings about Tumblr, it has been the perfect home for the Owariverse. I have no better options for hosting that material, and I am queasy about starting all over right now. So I stay with Tumblr and nothing really changes for Cap and company.

As far as my other Tumblrs? Some of those have already been deleted or cleaned out. Others will continue in some form, whether they are active or not. I haven't decided on everything just yet, but the beauty of it is, I don't really need to make a big splashy announcement with the way Tumblr works. I can just quietly stop posting if that's what I'm feeling.

What does this mean for this blog? Well, nothing much. Ironically, I had just been contemplating how OWARI has sort of become its own island in my works and is now disconnected from everything else. I see this as a GOOD thing. Sometimes, I need a forum that only this blog can provide. Besides, there is way too much good stuff here to just delete it all. For all my mixed feelings about this blog, it has been pretty successful in getting the word out as far as non-fiction goes.

And now, back to work!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Larry Yakata

Hoo boy, this has been a looooong time in coming. Forget recent blogging delays - this subject came up on Twitter back in FEBRUARY. I promised myself I would write about it in more depth one day. Well, it's now June, so maybe I ought to get around to it.

It all began with a discussion with Igadevil about those Ultraman comic books that came out from Nemesis Comics (Harvey) in the 1990s. They were pretty crazy - especially the "regular" series (it, uh, included a -1 issue) which I didn't follow. I seem to recall that I asked Iga if Dwayne McDuffie wrote that series as he had the earlier mini-series (Ernie Colón being the artist on all of it). No, it turns out the regular series was instead written by Larry Yakata.

Who in the world is Larry Yakata? It's a question no one has cared to ask, apparently. But I did, especially since he got a gig writing for a long-established company on a licensed property. There had to be more to this "Larry Yakata" than just a handful of Ultraman comic books.

Well, the GCD doesn't have his Ultraman stories logged, but it does have an overview of credits for the mysterious Mr. Yakata. Most of it is Conan for mid-80s Marvel. That was...unexpected. There's also a story (fill-in? miscredit?) for a YOUNG MASTER comic primarily written by Larry Hama. That indicates my original line of thinking. I suspected Larry YAKATA was really Larry HAMA working under a thinly-veiled pseudonym.

That didn't really explain the Ultraman thing. Though Hama is identified heavily with G.I. Joe, Ultraman doesn't seem up his alley. Besides, the stories just felt so out there for Hama. I let my mind wander a bit about it, especially the idea that Yakata might have gotten the assignment because of a connection to the prior writer. That was when it clicked for me.

There is a known writer out there with a connection to both Dwayne McDuffie and Larry Hama. He has written about the influence Hama had on him at Marvel, and I could believe he adopted the "Larry Yakata" nom de plume in tribute to him. He was friends with McDuffie and was even an early part of Milestone Media. I could absolutely see McDuffie recommending him as his replacement.

I'm talking about Christopher Priest, though I believe he was still going by "Jim Owsley" professionally at the time. Now, Priest is definitely the sort of guy I could see writing those wacky Ultraman comic books and Conan stories, too. Does that mean he is, in fact, Larry Yakata? I don't know, but he seems the likeliest candidate at this point.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Captain Satellite Fights On!

I owe you guys a proper post for the month, but tonight doesn't look like it's going to be the night. So in the meantime and in-between time, here's a reminder - Captain Satellite is still going strong on Tumblr. In fact, it has gotten busier of late as I've gotten around to reblogging some posts and adding "classic" artwork of mine. So check it out and take a trip to the Owariverse!