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.