Stop Signs & Deadlines.

Welcome to 2017.

So, here’s a fun factoid: at this point in time I am beholden to no-one and, honestly, that’s how its been for the longest while. It’s also the reason why I’ve been so infrequent with my blog posts, writing, and overall progress. The only thing I’ve managed to really dedicate myself to is my geek critique podcast, ‘Sweet Story, Bro.’

The cruel irony is this: the podcast I created to help me embrace stories on a deeper level – to help me become a better writer – has, for the longest part of 2016, overtaken any sort of actual writing.

The podcast still serves its ultimate purpose. I have definitely grown self aware as a reader since its inception, and I have undoubtely learned from how these writers have chosen to tell their stories. I love engaging with narratives beyond ‘I liked it’/’It was good’ and the opportunity its given me to engage with like minded geeks – shoutout to #PodernFamily on Twitter! – and, perhaps most importantly, it’s fun!

Granted, as much growth as the show has seen since its debut (and format tweakage/evolution) last year on January 4th, I’m still naturally pushing for further growth. For more people to treat their ears to its aural sensations, if you will. It would be a dream if ‘Sweet Story, Bro’ could continue to evolve, to create a dialogue amongst writers and fans, perhaps even rake in a little cash to help with server and equipment costs via Donations and fans using the Amazon links for their online purchases (what a validating feeling it was to see people had been doing exactly this over Christmas!)

The podcast has, undoubtedly, been my greatest success this year. And as stoked as that makes me, it’s a double edged blade as its stolen from me the focus and drive I should have been investing into¬†Temporary.

You know, the book I’ve been working on. One of the primary reasons this blog exists.

And so, like most, in the interest of using this time of year for some key self reflection and introspective dissection, its become clear to me that my habitual self sabotage, coupled with enviable levels of procrastination (emphasis on the pro), wrapped up with a pretty ribbon crafted out of a lack of personal accountability has led me to seeing the end of 2016, like most people, as a bit of a disappointing damp squib.

So, what the fuck do I intend to do about it?

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In Russia, Pop Culture Owns You.

I recently finished reading Rob Salkowitz’ book, ‘Comic Con and The Business of Pop Culture‘, and it got me thinking a lot on some of the finer aspects that comprise what truly constitutes fandom and pop culture.

The book, incidentally, is an enjoyable read, broken up into accessible sections that end up making the novel feeling more like an amalgamation of different blogs, which negatively¬†affects the overall flow and feel of the narrative that is attempted to be told. I picked it up as a souvenir from my recent trip out to Indianpolis’ Gen Con, and enjoyed reading about pop culture and comics culture in such an intelligent, respectful way. If you’re interested in comic culture, or the business elements of what comprises pop culture and its equivalent to Mecca (the San Diego Comic Con), then this is a book worth picking up.

I found it pertinent that yesterday I ended up not only finishing Season 2 of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but also finally making my way through Volume 1’s entire 62 issue run of the original Mirage comic book; the, mostly wonderful, source material that started it all.

The two coupled together led me into contemplating how far a fandom can stretch, and at what point people within a fandom start to tear at each other over legitimacy claims at who can, or cannot, like whatever specific fandom you may be into.

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