Friday, October 29, 2010

Screw You Knight Errant

I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to Star Wars in its various forms. Cartoons for kids? Comic books? Made-up characters just to sell exclusive toys? All fine by me, especially then they tie in to the era of the movies. While I'm not crazy about the pre-history, it has its place-- I really did love the original Tales of the Jedi series and its many sequels. The Knights of the Old Republic comic was hugely entertaining with characters that felt ripped out of an RPG-- take that as praise or a slur as you will.

In particular, I like the comics. Generally speaking, good or bad, you can get something out of them. I've read most-- I hesitate to say all-- because I'm missing some issues of Ewoks, one issue of General Grievous, and a few promotional odds and ends due to poor promotion and not knowing they even existed. Even the various prequel Jedi comics, where all the characters have the same motivation and values, generally you'd have taken something away from it.

I know this comes off as whiny, but there are very few series I actively disliked. Vader's Quest was a dull story where one of the antagonists was a pilot who got wasted, so Luke borrowed his X-wing on the fateful day the Death Star was done blowed up. Jedi Academy: Leviathan was, to my knowledge, the only time I've ever fallen asleep reading a comic series. Jedi vs. Sith, which brought us Darth Bane, had pretty ugly art and was really dull. And today? Well, today it's Knight Errant.

I don't keep up on fan reaction to comics much, basically I just read it all and whatever I like, I like. I liked Legacy, I thought Tales was a wonderful series of diversions, and even though I never really got into the New Jedi Order books, the new Invasion comics are fun. Knight Errant is not. It's another "let's tell a story about Jedi thousands of years before the movies" thing except this time there's not much in it to make me care up front.

Tales of the Jedi benefited from a strong group of characters, plus the fact that the backstory for the entire series was given away in the back pages of Dark Empire. You knew where it was going, but it was a great ride. Knights of the Old Republic had a good sensibility which helped drive it along-- it felt like a video game script, but the designs and personalities of the characters made up for any shortcomings. Knight Errant has people fighting with lightsabers, I guess, sort of.

One complaint I don't make enough is that Dark Horse's many reboots tend to squeeze the Star Wars out of Star Wars. There were many times recently where the stories included essentially no movie characters, which, while not a deal-breaker, really does suck out the fun. As a kid, I was reading these for more tales of Luke, Han, C-3PO, and R2-D2. Now I've got some other "new" Jedi fighting some other Sith empire and blah blah blah. It's the same damn struggle with new characters, and it's just no fun after a while.

Granted, it's my fault for buying every issue. I'm buying those The Old Republic comics based on the MMO but they're slightly more engaging as of late. It's rare that I immediately don't give a crap about a series-- even if I hate it, I want to know where it'll go-- but I'm considering giving Knight Errant he heave-ho.

Panel after panel of fighting close-ups and clumsy exposition with several characters and I don't know who's who or why. Comics aren't cheap-- you get about 10 minutes of entertainment for $3-- so shouldn't I be having some fun? Can I get something with Young Yoda or old Lando or some other post-prequel story about the survivors of the Jedi Purge? Please? And don't say Dark Times, that's going nowhere and it's taking years to get there.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Something That Will Interest No One

OK, like one of you reading this MIGHT care. My current Top 25 iTunes list, which doesn't seem to have changed all that much since ever. I'm more or less surprised that the Mummies aren't up there yet, nor more Devo. I guess that's what happens when the same song exists on a dozen albums on live or demo forms.

It's all largely good stuff-- you'd all do well to check out most of this stuff. Although I don't think Oingo Boingo's Forbidden Zone soundtrack is really what any of you are looking for, I think most people should listen to more Blast Off Country Style.

FOTD2 Going OK, I think

So in the past week and change, the column was launched and I even figured out how to rig up a comments section of questionable value. (Does it count if it's only two or three dudes posting?) I'm not even sure what to expect-- my Galactic Hunter Q&A columns get nearly 2,000 reads a week and nobody ever writes ANYTHING.

Also, Google seems to like it, or I know the exact words to type in to make Google like it. This is, of course, a big part of the point. If I review enough weirdness that nobody else touches, the two guys who want to know about it will eventually find my page. It'd be nice if more people clicked the banners and bought stuff... because, well, I don't get paid per article on any of these sites I write for.

I've got about 50 16bit FOTDs in the can (with lots more in various stages of completion) which sounded pretty good until I remembered that the Star Wars one I write is closer to 1,400. 1,424 actually.

I figure that soon-- and by "soon" I mean "after I get a house"-- I'll shift away from new figures and go back into the archives, writing about the weird stuff that I bought in college and high school nobody should ever see let alone own. You know, back when toys were still meant to be played with by kids. It's probably mostly going to be an excuse to tack on stories at the end of the reviews about how I found those figures which, for at least a chunk of them, will be more interesting than the toys.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

FOTD 2 Launched's Figure of the Day is live, right now. It's going to be 5 days a week and you should read it and click on all the banners.

A reminder, this is not going to feature Star Wars, nor is the Star Wars one going to stop because of the new one.

Somehow, it looks like you'll be reading a lot about Marvel and Transformers.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Meet the New Column

Nobody reads this blog, so that's why I post announcements here.

On October 14, I'm doing something stupid. Since 2006 I've written "Figure of the Day" for Galactic Hunter, which has gone from 7 reviews per week to 5 because, well, who cares.

Starting October 14, I'll be adding a second daily Figure of the Day column. This one will be on and have no Star Wars content. It's a lot of extra work, but there are some differences which will make this one interesting.
1. I've already written 31 entries
2. If push comes to shove, I'm going to let myself skip a day (or three)
3. I'll review pretty much anything

The basic focus is "what can I get cheap?" or "what's on my desk right now?" rather than a unified focus. If I had to do "FOTD" as a concept over again, I'd have done it 7 days a week with literally any line rather than just Star Wars. Because, crap, I've written over 1,400 of the damn things. If you saw what I got paid for ad clickthroughs, you probably wouldn't do it. But hey, I've got toys, and I need more pageviews, so let's make some more pages.

What are we covering in the first 31? Marvel, Transformers, Masters of the Universe Classics, Funko Pop Heroes, LEGO Minifigures, and G.I. Joe amongst other goodies.

Eventually I might do a "guest week" or see if an open call for toy donations for coverage works out, but my guess is probably not. Although Mattel and Hasbro have already sent me stuff, so who the hell knows. They don't know it's for the column though. (Also: thank you very much, Hasbro and Mattel.)