Blog

  • Strange World is Going to Bomb. Disney Will Let It.
    The movie Strange World has just come out and I only knew it because I write a lot of movie release dates in my planner. There’s been practically no marketing I’ve seen here in Japan, just an unceremonious release. And as far as I’ve seen of North American marketing, it’s just as bad over there. Is this some sort of Good Dinosaur level audience-unappealing stinker? I don’t know. Well, it has a 66 on Metacritic as of this writing. That’s exactly the same score Good Dinosaur got, so make of that what you will. But even if it’s bad, even
  • Arita Mitsuhiro – Pokemon Card Art Spotlight
    Today, I’ll be spotlighting another Pokemon card artist, Artia Mitsuhiro (view his work here). After my last spotlight on Morii Yuka, I got lots of appeals for more Pokemon artists to cover, and I had to go with another total classic. Arita Mitsuhiro is one of the main Pokemon card artists who’s been in the game since the beginning. Since Base Set. After Sugimori, he’s probably the most iconic creator to visually depict the franchise. So let’s look at his 25+ years of wonderful art and see how his style has evolved. First off, this was my very first Pokemon
  • Mourning the Spider in My Bathroom
    There was a spider in my bathroom. Not anymore. Now I’m weirdly sad about it. When I first moved into my house in Shizuoka, giant huntsman spiders infested my house. By that I mean there were 3 or 4 of them. But I couldn’t get them to leave! They kept hiding in or around all the junk I brought but hadn’t unpacked yet, and it made unpacking 1000% more scary. I know huntsman spiders can’t hurt me, and they’re much more scared of me… But I can’t help it! They’re huge and way too fast! Eventually, I chased each and
  • More Striking Romance Comic Covers!
    Y’all liked the original post so much that I’m making a follow-up to feature more striking romance comic covers. Plus, it seems like my posts about cool artists and promo art are really popular in general. This one will definitely get much worse SEO because I’m not sure how I can stretch this article all the way out to 300 words and also feature the keyword “more striking romance comic covers” enough times, but just bear with me and enjoy these covers. Some of them are actually way cooler to me than the original post, actually. You can find a
  • 200 Blog Posts! Feel Free to Binge ’em.
    Gosh, I have 200 blog posts now! When I started this blog in 2018, it was mostly just to have a place to make story announcements and to host my bibliography page. In fact, I didn’t even make my first real post until January 2019! Since then, the blog’s always just been for rambles. Not enough people subscribe to it for it to be that useful for story updates, although I do still post them, of course. I think Twitter and other social networks are where most people follow me for the actual news stuff. Instead, this place is just
  • Why, Exactly, Have I Never Read Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
    Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D is almost certainly an amazing series. I wouldn’t know, though, because I’ve never read it. I probably should! It’s classic late 60s/early 70s comic book goodness. Kirby, Lee, Dikto, Buscema, Romita, and all them were at the height of their powers, and other comic people were bursting onto the scene too. And then with Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., you got Jim Steranko, one of the best of the best, doing art for the first several issues. Even after he left, the covers are still extremely enticing… Makes me wonder why I still haven’t dove
  • 5 Great Posts on Joi Massat’s Blog You Should Read Right This Instant
    Joi Massat’s blog is way worth your time! The reflections are always insightful, the content’s way up my alley almost every post, and it’s definitely very well-written. Each of Joi Massat’s blog posts tend to be much more carefully created and researched than stuff on here. Not to bash my own work, of course, but my ramblings tend to be freeform quick cuts. If you enjoy my longer work, but you’re looking for posts with more meat on your bones, then you know exactly where you gotta go. In celebration of Joi Massat’s blog being awesome, I’m going to list
  • 70s Men’s Fashion is Now 20s Butch Girl Fashion
    Everyone hates 70s men’s fashion, and I used to. Until I realized the terrifying truth. A truth that changed my life forever. If you put 70s men’s fashion on a butch woman… It goes from goofy, outdated excessiveness, to suddenly being extremely cool. Extremely fashionable. (Tangentially related: Here’s a cool photo gallery of lesbian life in the 70s. Some fashion lies within) From the plaid to the vests to the tight jeans to the hair, 70s men’s fashion becomes shockingly cool once applied to butch women. But also, maybe 70s men’s fashion is kinda cool on men, too? It’s certainly
  • Time Loops: Do We Need To Show The First Loop?
    I love, love, love time loops in fiction. They’re formulaic, they’re often super hokey, and I don’t care. Whether it’s Groundhog Day or Blessed Time, I’m a huge fan. Cool web novels like Reroll, Argatha Loop, and Mark of Time make great use of time loops, and movies like Edge of Tomorrow, Boss Level, and Source Code are just wonderful. Not all time loops are the same. In fact, the changes excite me a ton! I’m super impressed by RE: Monarch’s combination of video-game-y “progressive” looping, and the movie Palm Springs does wonders simply by having multiple loopers meet and
  • Bonnie Taylor: Unluckiest Woman in Romance Comics
    Poor Bonnie Taylor! When I was searching out romance comic covers for my previous post, I stumbled on a little meta-series. I didn’t see this in any other covers I found, but it appears that DC’s Young Romance series had an ongoing feature for this character. Bonnie Taylor, airline stewardess, very unlucky in love and always zipping around the world. It’s a good setup for an ongoing series! I guess she wasn’t popular enough to get one, but she did get featured on the cover of several issues. I’m sure the stories are mostly just schlocky 60s comic stuff. Without
  • Really Striking Romance Comic Covers
    Warning, incoming, romance comic covers are here. A deluge is coming onto your screen. Romance comics are a long-dead genre from 50+ years ago. But for some reason, on a random Saturday morning tangent recently, I got completely wrapped up in them. I had been looking for lesbian comics online, but accidentally stumbled on some awesome-ass old comics. Heterosexual, sadly, but still awesome stuff. Less the comics themselves, I guess, than the covers. Romance comic covers are COOL. This romance comic cover here gets hailed in the hallmarks of pop art, but so, so many others are deserving as well.
  • The New Gundam Series Is Friggin’ Great!
    It’s not often that I serially watch TV shows, but the new Gundam Series has blown me away. I’m definitely going to be following this one! Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury is the newest installment in everyone’s favorite realistic mecha war franchise. And it forges a new path in a whole bunch of ways. I love me some Universal Century, the main shared universe Gundam timeline. It’s been running for almost 45 years and 15+ TV series, movies, and OVAs, so it’s almost as fleshed-out as friggin’ Star Trek. However, it’s so dense that only the initiated are
  • Central Park Chattanooga, and My Strange Nostalgia
    Yo, you ever been to Central Park Chattanooga? The actual name of the restaurant is just Central Park, but I’m calling it Central Park Chattanooga in order to gain extra internet search points. Forgive me for that. This is indeed not the park in New York City, thank you very much. No, it’s one of those restaurants that’s in a super tiny building and serves exclusively drive-thru or walk-up service. No indoor seating at all! It’s either drive-thru, or drive-in. You get some real big, real cheap, real decent burgers and fries, and it delivers exactly what you want without
  • The Song “Ariel” Friggin’ Rocks
    Here’s a short blog about my newest favorite song, “Ariel” by Dean Friedman. Spotify definitely isn’t the best at recommending me music I want to hear. Part of that’s because my taste was forged in the fires of OCRemix tunes on my Samsung Juke and anime character songs ripped off Galbadia Hotel. Even today, I’m always willing to kick it to Battle of the Bits or Yamashita Tatsuro. This is, to say, I sadly listen to a lot of stuff that’s just way too obscure to actually be on music streaming services. But I’m trying to get better! Especially with
  • Maybe a Stupid Idea
    I don’t know, tell me if this is a stupid idea. I just had the random thought and I can’t let it go without at least musing about it publicly. So I was just cleaning up my blog’s front page a little when I went and looked over at my boy Joi’s for comparison. For some reason, the little icons in the sidebar area intrigued me… It’s a stupid idea, I’m telling you. But I’m nostalgic for that Project Wonderful era, where indie dudes would bid with other indie dudes. Where the web comic and web fiction communities could create
  • Star Wars Clone Wars Conquest Mode… The Proto-MOBA?
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the Gamecube was one of my all-time favorite games as a kid. Probably a weird one, but I gotta say it. And Clone Wars Conquest Mode was the crowning jewel. I’m gonna tell you all about it. Obviously, being the very first big continuation of Attack of the Clones made it feel Important and Grand (even if its story was mostly ignored), so playing it felt like it satiated my great eight-year-old hunger for the next movie, still years away. Even if the game was kind of crap, I’d have still loved it. But
  • Progression Monk [Fantasy Scraps #1]
    Progression Monk… A fantasy scrap worth visiting… I have a lot of story ideas. A lot, a lot. I won’t ever write most of them, so I might as well tell you about the small sparks of imagination I had with these strange fantasy ideas that will probably never come to be. This is the “Fantasy Scraps” blog series. In July 2021, I visited the magical alien landscape of Hotokegaura. A fantastic little spot anyone should visit if they come to Japan, especially if you can go by ferry like I did! But, along the way back from Hotokegaura, I
  • Web Fiction Directory Update
    So, it’s about time to give a Web Fiction Directory update. The original directory is by far my most-viewed page on the entire website, even more than the homepage itself, so I try to keep it as current and up-to-date as I can. However, I’m only one person, and refreshing the list takes a lot of work just in checking in to make sure the websites I’m listing even still exist–in my latest update, I had to remove several entries that went under, as well as an entry that was caught using spam and predatory contracts to lure in creators.
  • Morii Yuka – Pokemon Card Art Spotlight
    Morii Yuka is the clay model one. Get ready for good art. My last blog about Pokemon card art did real big numbers (relative for my blog), so I’m gonna do more blogs that feature individual Pokemon card artists I’m a huge fan of! A lot of the artists have very distinct, very awesome styles that carry over from set to set, and you can see how they bring dozens, if not hundreds of cards to life over many years. This time it’s Morii Yuka‘s turn, and she’s gonna floor us with her signature clay model style. Morii Yuka Has
  • I Have to Throw Away This Cool Star Wars Shirt 🙁
    Sometimes, you have to throw away Star Wars shirts. There isn’t anything else you can do with Star Wars shirts sometimes. I’ve had this thing for over 3 years now, ever since I found it used at a Book-Off. Sometimes you see a T-shirt and instantly purchase it, because that’s just what you do. This Star Wars shirt was an instant classic. I mean, look at it. Bizarre colors, weird Engrish vibes but without anything egregious. “Join Us” which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Jango Fett’s whole deal, which was explicitly anti-“Join Us” and rather “Clone Myself
  • Newsroom Rant: Did Aaron Sorkin Ruin America? [2012]
    The Newsroom rant is one of the all-time famous moments from TV in the 2010s. And that’s saying something, because the 2010s were absolutely packed to the brim with hit series and memorable scenes. But it’s also not exactly a “well-liked” scene, if that makes any difference. The very start of the series has our protagonist, whatever his character’s name is but Jeff Daniels, going on a sudden unhinged rant about how America as a nation is filled with delusions of self-grandeur about its place in the world, about how it’s totally lost its way and is now lying in
  • The Weird New Trend Where People Buy The Gay Gatsby For Social Clout
    I found a weird new trend on the internet lately where people are literally buying Gay Gatsby. Just to be cool and beloved by their friends online. Isn’t that crazy? I hear on Bumble they’re calling it the Gay Gatsby Challenge. Yik Yak is getting a few dozen posts a day on the NYU campus talking about the Carraway Clout they’ve won by buying a copy of Gay Gatsby for four of their friends. Like a new Music.ly dance trend kicking up a storm in the nation, this weird new trend is obliterating every news cycle, becoming the talk of
  • I Wanna Play Un-Commander
    Un-Commander is like, totally aspirational for me. Silver-Bordered and stupid cards are some of my favorite parts of Magic: The Gathering, and yet it’s such a rare thing for them to actually, you know, actually get used in any point. (This article once implied I’d write a ton of blogs about MTG and never really did. You probably expected that. Hopefully I prove y’all wrong in the near future though.) Here’s a good video, although it’s feature-length. It mentions Un-Commander pretty briefly! There’s been 4 un-sets, soon to be 5, as well as other fun stuff like Mystery Booster Test
  • Dating Apps Make Me Go Hmmm
    Why do I keep coming back to dating apps? Clearly, it’s not a world I’m going to have much success in. Even in America, online dating never worked out for me, and Japan is significantly worse for that. And yet, I still find myself trying at them, over and over and over and over and over. I’ve probably uninstalled Tinder 6 times in the last 6 years. Deleted my account at least twice. But still, that lingering hope brings me back to swipe a bunch and invariably end up frustrated and angry. Being queer and trans as a foreigner in
  • Close Talker by nelward – Review
    Close Talker by nelward is a wonderful song, one of the best singles of his extremely diverse 2021. Definitely my favorite. While nelward didn’t have any new albums or EPs in 2021 or most of 2022, what he did have was a slate of music that pushed hard against the boundaries of his typical style, and against the boundaries of pop music as a whole. And Close Talker by nelward is a prime example of that 2021 greatness. After the gangbusters release of Eat Your Dreams in late 2020 (my favorite album of that year!), the whole music world sat
  • I Moved!
    Finally, I moved! It took one of the busiest months of my entire life, but I successfully moved from my teacher house in the tip of Aomori, all the way to a small apartment in Shizuoka. A month ago today, I still didn’t even have a job, let alone a specific location to move to; there were a couple positions I was still interviewing for and getting offers for, but it was extremely late in the game; in fact it was late enough that I had to move all my stuff first to a friend’s house and stay there for
  • Old Pokemon Card Art
    Sometimes the world needs to look at old Pokemon card art. I’m talking that real old stuff, the kind of old Pokemon card art where half the art was primitive 3D renders and a good chunk were outright clay models (which of course I love). New art’s good too, for sure. I don’t love the giant border-busting garish GX cards and whatnot, but the normal cards are filled with goodness even still. But that’s for another time maybe. Today is for old Pokemon card art only! If you wanna browse old sets for cool art, look at PkmnCards, which is
  • Oh Yeah, Follow Me on Goodreads
    I forgot about Goodreads until recently when I realized I could sync my blog here with the posts on there. Now, just like my hidden Tumblr account and sadly my less hidden Twitter account, Goodreads will sync my blog posts and hopefully get more people to read stuff on here. My author page though only has four followers as of this writing, and that’s sad because I think even this blog has more e-mail subscribers than that. So, I implore all y’all book friends to follow my author page and stay fresh on all the latest updates! Of course, you’ll
  • Bridget From Guilty Gear is Trans
    It came out of nowhere, the reveal that Bridget from Guilty Gear is transgender. One of the most famous “femboy” characters in video games suddenly has gone through an actual gender transition, and y’know what? That’s kind of swell. Obviously, I always want games to strive for LGBT representation, so this makes me pretty happy. Nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering. It’s a little disappointing that the only characters who actually gender transition in video games seem to be the ones who were already androgynous or had other gender issues around them for years. It’s honestly probably guilt on the part of
  • A Moody Gay Spotify Playlist For You
    OK google, play me like she did… The title of a Spotify playlist I made a couple months ago and continually add to. Whoever knew making moody angsty music mixes would be so much fun? This is probably an utterly milquetoast blog post to discuss a random playlist I made once. But I guess it’s different for me, because I’m a weirdo who barely ever engages with popular music. We’ve been over this before. So it’s even less of a surprise that I have hardly any Spotify playlists that were “built” in the same way as “OK google, play me
  • I Admit It… I Love Cinnamoroll
    Cinnamoroll is adorable and great. I refuse to be ashamed about this from now on, so I will announce it loud to the world around me. I love Cinnamoroll! In some circles, I would be called a heathen. Or, as Sanrio Characters fans call us, a cinner. But I don’t care. I am a basic bitch, and I am proud to be one. Especially because I fell in love with this stupid dog rabbit thing purely by accident. See, I had a nice Catbug wallet I got on clearance from We Love Fine (now By Fans For Fans), and that
  • Nintendo Power Metroid Covers
    Now it’s time for a very short post on Nintendo Power Metroid covers. My last post was all about Nintendo Power as a whole, but now I want to get more specific, and feature all the Nintendo Power Metroid covers. No commentary, really. I just thought it would be a nice way to show how the magazine’s style changed over 25 years. How American pop culture changed, really. So let’s look at all the Nintendo Power Metroid covers. As always, check out Retromags for all the covers and full magazine downloads. Did you enjoy seeing all these Nintendo Power Metroid
  • Nintendo Power Ends [2012]
    I really miss Nintendo Power. It’s almost entirely just nostalgia for the magazine era, but I don’t care. I can have nostalgia when I want, and nobody can tell me otherwise! Sure, Nintendo Power got replaced by Nintendo Directs, just as newspapers got replaced by sanity-destroying-algorithm-based social media feeds. Instant, easy access to information is generally just better than waiting a month for a rumor mill update that already passed by anyway. But just… I don’t know. Getting monthly installments and articles to pour over is part of my ultimate lifeblood. The fun columns, the curated features, the reviews, the
  • Adobe Acrobat is Evil
    I probably don’t need to tell people that Adobe Acrobat is evil, but I’ll tell you anyway. Adobe Acrobat is evil! So I needed to sign a very important document, just needed to edit a single document. PDFs already are a bad format that I dislike a lot, but they’re so ubiquitous that I can’t do anything about that. Editing them should be as simple as anything else, and yet… that’s not how the world works, so you have to get specialized software. I didn’t happen to have anything installed, so I went and tried to get the most common
  • My New 2022 Blog Posting Schedule
    I’m going to revamp my 2022 blog posting schedule. There’s nothing any of us can do about it, least of all me. Although, first, I have to openly admit that I’ve got to stretch this thing. SEO really prefers if posts are 300+ words long, and I’ll get nowhere near that without a lot of finessing, finessing of the highest caliber I might add. So, as I prepare to tell you my 2022 blog posting schedule, I’ll leave you to wonder: What might my post’s focus keyphrase be? The SEO will be very strong with my 2022 blog posting schedule,
  • Decluttering: How Do I Actually Do It?
    I have always been bad at decluttering. I am, in fact, a bit of a pack rat. It’s a family trait passed down through the generations, and one I find impressively difficult to manage in myself sometimes. But now, as I’m preparing to move to new housing within the next month, I am forced to face the truth: If I don’t do decluttering very soon, I’m screwed. As of yesterday, I had to move out of my home I’ve lived in for two years, and the city where I’ve lived for four. Add in the stuff I inherited from predecessors,
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi Review
    Obi-Wan Kenobi review time, here we go. (I also wrote this on Letterboxd. Please follow me on Letterboxd! I have cool lists!) I have very mixed feelings about Obi-Wan, and there’s so much about it that doesn’t work, that irks me, that I’m not sure I can give a full thesis behind why I didn’t love it. I didn’t love it; I barely even liked it, as a whole. That’s crazy! This is me we’re talking about, the person who loved Book of Boba Fett, and nobody in hell loved that show besides me.  There were points in Obi-Wan when I
  • Karaage Pepsi… Hmmmm
    Karaage Pepsi is the newest thing in Japan. I love gimmicky limited time drinks. A combination made in heaven, and of course great fodder for clicks on my blog thanks to powerful SEO from people who desperately need to know: What the heck is karaage pepsi? Pepsi has had many limited time flavors in Japan over the years. But what about this one? Indeed, I am still unsure about what exactly is karaage Pepsi even now. Well, anyway, I drank several bottles in order to taste test all this… FOR YOU, dear reader. Yep, it’s perfectly clear all right. How
  • I Am So Utterly Busy
    I am so utterly busy indeed. It’s been crazy these last couple months. I’ve had probably 3 days with no errands, no meetings, and nothing scheduled… since early May! What with moving preparations, with my last weeks at all my schools, with job search and interviews and financial struggles, with meeting up with friends and going to my last social events in Aomori… It’s just too much for my little brain to handle. Normally, I cook at least one big meal a week, usually curry, and save it to eat the rest of the week whenever I don’t want to
  • Tanabata School Lunch
    Today was a good old holiday, and at work we ate Tanabata school lunch. It’s the same thing as every year, but this is the first year where I’m imminently leaving my job while eating it. So it’s a lot more memorable than usual. I haven’t posted a lot about my job on my blog. Until now, it’s mostly just been when I travel to weird places in Japan. Part of that is for privacy reasons, both for myself and of course for my workplaces. I’ll post a little bit more after I’m well and moved, but for now, we
  • Just to Let You Know I Have an Akari Figurine Hidden in My House
    Followup to my previous post about Akari & Me, this time about my Akari figurine. An omake blog post, if that makes any sense. I’ll do bonuses sometimes! Back when I studied in Nagoya for a year, I bought a few cheap anime figurines from Off House, the local secondhand store. One of those was an Akari figurine! Nothing special, just one of those ten dollar little plastic things you win at the arcade. However, there was something special about the dorm I lived in–I was not alone. There were a few other YuruYuri fans here too! Unlike my university
  • Akaza Akari & Me
    It took me a long time to realize why I always felt a great connection to Akaza Akari. But I think I’ve finally accepted the truth: I don’t have very much presence most of the time. WTF is YuruYuri? Before my self-reflective rambles, I guess you’re wondering who Akaza Akari is, because you aren’t a weeaboo dork like me. Well, she’s ostensibly the protagonist of the anime and manga YuruYuri, an ostensibly lesbian anime about middle schoolers who ostensibly run a club together. Basically a cute and wacky comedy story about dumb kids. But in the show’s cruelest joke, the
  • Clay Models in Video Game Promo Art
    Clay models in video game promo art. I love this stuff. Isn’t it great? It’s honestly pretty silly looking back that you have these simplistic 8-bit or 16-bit graphics, and the way you think you can accurately represent that in marketing is by making some clay models of the characters. It’s surely expensive enough that 2D art, or even live-action actors, surely would have been a more sensible option. But all these years later, and I look at the clay promo art for video games as some of the coolest stuff ever. Just look at all of this:
  • Let’s Celebrate Pride Month 2022…?
    Pride Month 2022 is supposed to be a great time all throughout June. But how well can we celebrate it this year? Has the cynicism and corporatism finally caught up to the biggest celebration of LGBTQ+ rights in the world? I don’t know. Probably? I sure don’t feel in the mood like 2 years ago, when I premiered that whole crossover comic strip. (You should read it.) I feel more in the mood that Pride Month is just another shopping holiday for companies to market themselves without making real statements. Like, remember Disney? The company that did jack about the
  • I Didn’t Post in April…
    For the first time in my blog’s entire history, I didn’t post for the entire month of April 2022. Gosh, that sucks. Lately, it’s been a single post every month, though, so it’s not like it’s been active anyway. But now thanks to strange creative burnout and a busy schedule, I finally missed my first month. I’d say sorry but I don’t think there are exactly avid readers of every blog post I make, so the only person I am sorry to is myself for not getting to post new reflections and rambles. Anyway, how are you? I’m good. My
  • Riposte [GL Reviews #3]
    [GL Reviews #2, for Riposte. Check out all my other GL Reviews here!] [There’s a Spoiler Discussion section at the bottom of the review; other than that, the review will be spoiler-free.] Believe it or not, this is my first Etzoli fiction. I’ve been on Royal Road for something like three years now, and it took me all the way until 2022 to finish any of her stories! Obviously I’m going to read a whole lot more, though, because Riposte seriously made me happy every time I read it. An underrated gem you need to try out immediately! I’ve said
  • Rainbow Destructor, Now on Amazon
    Hey y’all, my old web serial from 2017’s been edited and released on Amazon all of a sudden! Buy Rainbow Destructor or read it on Kindle Unlimited! If you didn’t get a chance to read this one before, now’s a better time than ever. If you enjoyed Thedude445 books like Her Golemancer Girlfriend, Systemless, or The Gay Gatsby, then Rainbow Destructor will absolutely be for you as well. If you did get a chance to read this before, please leave a review on Amazon! It helps tremendously. Seriously, reviews have massive impact, which also makes me realize I probably should have put this up for preorder for a couple
  • Gay Gatsby Audiobook!
    Now there is a Gay Gatsby audiobook for you to devour immediately! Go buy it and share it with your friends! I really hope this reaches a lot more readers now that it’s in a brand-new medium. With the Gay Gatsby audiobook, there’s a whole new swath of people that can experience Nick Carraway’s story, and I’m really excited about it. The audiobook is narrated by Keith Yeager, who is already world-famous for such works as Experimental Wuxia Novel. Please buy, please enjoy, and please spread the word. And while you’re at it…
  • On Creative Burnout
    I’d felt creative burnout before, but never like this. Never the feeling of mental exhaustion and absolute doneness that I’ve had since around October. It’s definitely Golemancer that I’ve burned out on; turns out posting chapters daily for almost 3 months and the story falling way short of expectations can hurt. But it’s not just Golemancer; it’s practically anything creative at all that my brain’s just been annoyed to think about the past few months. I haven’t written any decent blog posts since mid-October except the Katalepsis review, which admittedly was pretty awesome actually. I haven’t written any Systemless even
  • Katalepsis [GL Reviews #2]
    [GL Reviews #2. Check out all my other GL Reviews here!] [This review contains spoilers below the “SPOILERS AHOY” section—all chapters up to 15.2. If you want to stay completely safe from spoilers, read the unspoilered version of the review here.] Overview Katalepsis is the best web serial going on today. End of review. Wait, don’t actually go! You don’t even get to see the Best Girl tier list! Okay, anyway. Yes. Katalepsis is a fantastic, astounding, stupendous, wonderful, sublime, eye-popping, wowzers-level good story. It’s recommended to almost any audience, almost any web fiction reader—ESPECIALLY if you’re into the whole
  • Deleting My Tweets
    Today I’m copying Ryan North and deleting my tweets. As a sentimental crotchety hoarder, I always hate the prospect of scrubbing stuff online. I like being able to search parts of my life at any given moment, and giving future generations a chance to stalk me and develop an amazing parasocial relationship with me. But with Twitter? Nah. I’m deleting my tweets because unfortunately that stuff matters. People get fired over tweets they made many years ago. Public images are formed over this kind of stuff. And I tweeted just enough not to know what stuff was in that account.
  • Ambitious Farmhand: Secret Non-Binary MTG Card
    I don’t know much about Magic: The Gathering Lore, but I know one thing for certain: Ambitious Farmhand is totally non-binary. Just look at this card! Ambitious Farmhand! And on its other side, it transforms into… It’s.. This random decent uncommon from the newest Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is something nobody is talking about. It’s good for draft, and maybe for budget human tribal decks, but it’s extremely unflashy. A small, mildly useful effect, then a transformation into a mildly useful creature. It’ll probably get used in like, 500 EDHRec decks and get reprinted in Triple Masters XXL 2025. But I
  • ATL is Finished (Temporarily)
    ATL is over, and I won’t write it again for a while. (Please fill out the reader survey.) A tougher decision than I’ve ever had to make as an author. I love this series, and I love Morgan Harding, and I know there are some dedicated readers out there for the series. It was barely 1/4 of the way done, too. But.. ATL can’t continue in its current state. As much as I love it, there’s just some really big problems that need to be fixed. Number one, readership plummeted to near-zero. Thanks to long hiatuses and inconsistent posting, most
  • The Saintess and the Villainess [GL Reviews #1]
    Like I said in my previous post, I’m doing GL reviews now whenever I finish stuff and want to write about it. Please check out every story I feature here if they catch your interest! The first book is, of course, The Saintess and the Villainess by Teddy Asplund. — [GL Reviews #1] The Saintess and the Villainess Review We get a familiar setup: A lonely young adult, Anne, meets Truck-kun and enters a brand-new world… Or, rather, the world of the book she was in the middle of reading. Only this time, our lead is a butch lesbian who’s
  • I’m Non-Binary
    I’m non-binary. Today is October 11th, National Coming Out Day, and I wanted to celebrate it by talking about my gender identity openly for the first time. Until now, I’ve never come out publicly. It’s a very private thing for me and I’ve been uncomfortable talking about it, but recently I’ve come to realize that I absolutely need to. The world deserves more people discussing their experiences, so I’ll add to the list.
  • GL Will Be More Popular. Someday.
    A short ramble about the fact that GL will be more popular. Someday. Definitely. I was just looking at Tapas and found that, currently, if you list their free novels by popularity… Well, 41 of the Top 50 are BL or M/M. Dudes who kiss other dudes is ridiculously popular on the internet as a whole, because more women read web novels than men. Heterosexual romance is popular too, especially on Wattpad. That, then, leaves GL as the smallest and least popular type of romance.* (*Romance with nonbinary characters, or polyamorous relationships, that kind of thing are even more niche,
  • Bowsette Reader Survey
    Hey, it’s long time no see for an update on this fiction. The Glory of Bowsette reader survey I hope you’re still in the Bowsette world, three years since the meme took the internet by storm. The way this story exploded was so intense it still feels like a blur to me, and this wasn’t even a fraction of the popularity that other Bowsette fan material got. It was just THAT big a deal in September and October 2018. Over the years, a lot of people have asked for a Glory of Bowsette sequel, and I can neither confirm nor
  • Just Love Me
    I remember the first time you disappeared. The sun crept through the blinds—you know, those blinds I said I’d replace for two years—and speckles of light beamed against the bed, across your back. I pulled up the sheets to get myself in a comfier position and wrapped my arms around you. You let out a purr-like sigh. Whether or not you were awake, I didn’t know. As long as I had you in my grasp, that was all that mattered to me. The fluff of the pillow against my ear. The blue light of the TV we forgot to turn
  • 2010s Retrospective Update
    It’s been almost a whole damn year since my last time dong a 2010s Retrospectives Update. Guess what? I’m still not done with these silly blogs. The previous blog post said that I’d try to finish things up by December 31st, 2020. Clearly, that didn’t happen because I still have a ton of blog posts left to write and release. This isn’t an apology, of course; I just like writing these for fun, and more content is better for readers anyway. But it’s still kinda quintessentially Thedudeian that I started making these blog posts as a short project, and it
  • Cultivine Retrospective
    Man, Cultivine was a story, wasn’t it? It really was a story, that’s all I’ll say. It transcended its badness to become something that was stupidly enjoyable to most readers, and gained way more success than anything of its caliber deserved. Even though it finished way back in March, I still wanted to give a little bit of insight and honesty into its extremely stupid existence. Let’s reminisce about that time when the vine invasion of Royal Road had just begun…
  • Her Golemancer Girlfriend – Now Posting!
    My newest web serial, Her Golemancer Girlfriend, is now available for you to read on several different websites. Here’s the synopsis: Visit Fleettwixt! Enjoy its state-of-the-art mana trains, its sky-high towers, its diverse cultures, and of course its countless golems waiting to do your every bidding. Life in the capital city is a paradise… …But that paradise comes at a great cost. Enter Amelia Bluewood. Half-human, half-golem. All fury. A hometown in ruins, a girlfriend missing without a trace, a system malfunctioning. She’s lost everything, but now, in Fleettwixt, she has a chance for revenge, a chance for answers, a
  • Skaianet Systems Incorporated – Humor Changes [2019]
    In Janaury 2019, Skaianet Systems Incorporated launched. Homestuck’s tenth anniversary was coming up, and so was its infamous epilogue, which meant some viral marketing was in order. Enter the Skaianet website. Things went awry, as they always do when it comes to What Pumpkin. The website is still accessible, as of this writing, but now it It’s a cheeky callback to the original comic and its early days, before the dream bubbles and God Tiers and teen relationship dramas. It’s nice but small. Secretly, though, the site was filled with easter eggs, including some extensive, insane backstory kept secret from
  • Martin Shkreli, America’s Villain [2015-2018]
    There were a couple nice years where the entire United States had a public enemy number one: Martin Shkreli. His company jacked up the price of HIV drugs by thousands of percent, and when questioned about it he basically laughed it off. Instead, he went on social media and became a shitpost memelord king. There’s nobody in the world more universally hated, who also got so wide a platform to project his views. I mean, this dude got summoned to Congress for a publicity stunt for politicians trying to get reelected in 2016. Then it backfired spectacularly when Martin Shkreli
  • Web Content Creators & The Sound of Silence
    There’s that wall web content creators know all too well: The engagement void. You’ve posted your first song, your first chapter, your first art, and it gets a resounding nothing. You keep posting, and start wondering if there’s anyone out there enjoying your work. Maybe you’ve got friends or family, but is anyone, ANYONE discovering it, discovering you?
  • Who Is My Blog Audience?
    Huh, I wonder who my blog audience is with all these posts. I’m approaching 150 posts written for my Thedude3445 website. Some of those are story updates, but most are blog posts. Random topics covered in my usual rambling style and then given an obligatory SEO-friendly gloss of paint to make sure they show up on Google and Bing and whatever. (On that note, let me say “blog audience” again since that’s the keyword here.) Why do I write them?
  • Learning About Buses
    It took until 2017 for me to actually understand buses. I don’t know; there just weren’t buses anywhere I lived, not in any relevant capacity. I rode the school bus for 10 years and then took the university bus one year at college, but that was basically it. Even when I studied abroad in Nagoya, I only used one specific bus route; I got on at the first stop and got off at the last. So until I moved to Seattle in 2017, there wasn’t really a chance for me to get to know the dang things.
  • Web Fiction Woes
    I’ve certainly been feeling the web fiction woes lately, I must admit. Writing itself hasn’t become the issue, definitely not. I wrote over 30,000 words of fiction in June, and I feel great about it. I’ve got two ongoing web serials, plus a new one coming extremely soon. I’ve published over 1,000,000 words in the past three years, and that’s something I try to never forget. It’s really cool! But even so, I’m stuck in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction. Part of it I can’t control, and the other part I maybe can, but at a cost.
  • Dredd 2 Never Got Made [2012]
    Dredd 2 is dead. It was never even a real possibility, as much as we campaigned for it. But the first Dredd movie released in 2012 was such a phenomenal smash that it’s almost criminal that we never got one. What everyone thought would be some low-scale, low-budget, low-effort sci-fi B-Movie turned out so much better! Dredd was a pretty standard buddy cop-esque affair, with Judge Dredd and his new rookie partner getting trapped in an apartment complex and forced to fight their way out. It was a mix of Die Hard and The Raid, so you generally knew what
  • The Curtains Were Blue For a Reason
    I’ve always hated that “curtains are blue” meme. You know the one, or else you can see it in the featured image above. It was a really popular little quote a few years ago. It reached the point where, when people learned of my Writing major, they’d reference the meme to my face! And it still happens occasionally. And the worst part about it is that the meme is complete garbage. The Curtains Were Blue Indeed It’s sort of annoying on its own, just as something reposted endlessly as a sort of sage knowledge. But the fact that it’s blatantly
  • Nintendo Direct: A Sinister Formula
    I watched the 2021 Nintendo Direct from E3 today. Despite rock-bottom expectations and a waning interest in the gaming hype machine, I still woke up early to see what Nintendo would announce. My expectations were still not met. Why did I wake up early and bother to watch this? I knew it was going to suck, and it really did. It’s not as bad as the disastrous E3 2008, but it’s worse than the infamous 2015 Nintendo Direct (at least that showed new games!). In a way, it’s probably nostalgia for those years of my life where E3 was like
  • My Smartphones [2011-2018]
    I’ve had a lot of smartphones and mobile devices over the past decade. For some reason, I’m going to list them to you so you can kind of see a sort of snapshot of how my life progressed as technology changed (and as I ran into some quite odd situations). Surprisingly, I didn’t break most of these! I mean, I didn’t break most of these.
  • Moviepass: A Temporary Bliss [2017-2018]
    Remember when Moviepass existed? How awesome was that! If you don’t remember or are reading from the future, Moviepass was a movie subscription model. Only, it worked, like, incorrectly. The model worked like this: You pay a monthly fee to get a special credit card. You apply on the app to see a movie at a certain theater, then buy the ticket with that card. Then bam, it’s free. One movie a day, so up to 30 movies a month if you’re tenacious. At first the price was steep, over $40 a month. But something happened in 2017—the price dropped.
  • I Pronounce Prose Incorrectly
    Prose. Today I learned something very important about this very important word: The S is voiced. Pronounced like a Z. It’s [pɹoʊz,] not [pɹoʊs] like I’ve said it basically my entire life. I feel like a major, massive idiot, especially when I’m a writer. When I have a degree in Writing & Linguistics. When I’ve gone to writing conferences, and when I teach English. Somehow, throughout literal decades of using and discussing this word, I have completely overlooked the fact that the word rhymes with hose, not morose. And I’ve got to say, I’m feeling pretty morose right now, myself.
  • To All the Friends I Never Talk To
    A short letter to the people I never talk to anymore: It’s a real bummer. I’m not very good at keeping friends for a long time, and I know it’s my fault. Sometimes I just spend all the mental energy I could be putting into long-term friendships and instead put it into, I don’t know, memorizing Star Wars planet names. One second, I’m talking to someone all the time, and then the next second I realize I haven’t heard from them in months. I’m really bad at this… In the age of instant messaging, it should be easier than ever
  • Angel Beats… Why Was This Crap Popular? [2010]
    Angel Beats sucks. Like, it’s really awful. A 3/10 trainwreck and that’s if I’m being generous with my scores. Nothing makes sense in this stupid show, all the characters are one-note stereotypes, and the attempts at tragedy are so over-the-top they make me literally laugh out loud. Anyone watching the show in 2021 would surely say the same. Just recently I watched Angel Beats with friends, one episode a week for a couple months, and we had a riot just riffing on every groan-worthy attempt at emotion and every idiotic plot twist. I recommend it for all those who seek
  • Thedude3445’s New Posting Schedule
    Thanks to The Gay Gatsby, a few unreleased/unannounced projects in the works, and real life issues, my posting schedule has been erratic so far in 2021. Sorry about that! That’s all about to change. I’ve finally crafted a whole new posting schedule, and hopefully it will last the rest of 2021. I’m taking my work slow, and I think that might annoy some people, but it’s the best way, I think:
  • Zack Synder Trilogy Marathon Reviews
    I watched the Zack Snyder Trilogy of DC movies back at the end of March, and I thought I’d share my reviews for all three here. Normally, I post my reviews to my Letterboxd diary instead of my blog, but these ended up super long. So I’m posting them here too:
  • The April 27th, 2011 Tornadoes [2011]
    On April 27th, 2011, my town of Ringgold, Georgia was destroyed by tornadoes. Ten years ago this week. I was sixteen. Close friends had houses destroyed, and several classmates lost their lives. It’s hard to understand the kinds of tragedies that befall communities until they happen to yours, and even now I’m not sure I’ve fully processed it. My high school was heavily damaged. My old middle school was mostly destroyed. The very places where I spent most of my teenage years no longer existed at all. Even the local diner named Chow Time got wiped out. Nobody was prepared
  • Tower of Arnold: New Fan Fiction
    I’ve written a new short fan fiction called “Tower of Arnold.” It’s a satire story about everyone’s most despised character from the hit Royal Road serial Tower of Somnus by CoCoP. Arnold Jacques is a young, pretty rich young man with a really big heart and an even bigger libido, and he’s not afraid to show it. The original story is a cyberpunk action story about an intergalactic VRMMO. This story is a drama about one really nice guy who just can’t get all the girls to see him. I must warn you, though; this story does have some elements
  • RSS Feeds: Let’s Defeat the Algorithm [2010s]
    Automated curation sucks; let’s replace it with RSS feeds. Yeah, I’m saying we should bring back a protocol so outdated and underused that Google shut down its own service for it back in 2013. I’m saying that we desperately need to switch to a less elegant, less convenient system, because social media is poisoning our lives. (Yeah, that’s an over-simplification of a big degree, but it’s not like people are really disagreeing here…)
  • Earthbound Goods: A Collector’s Dilemma
    These Earthbound goods are torturing me… For the 30th anniversary of the Mother series, Itoi Shigesato and his notebook company Hobonichi have been releasing tons and tons of merchandise! I use Hobonichi Planners every year already, so when it was time to order a new one for the new (Japanese) year on April 1st, I couldn’t help myself… I bought a bunch of merchandise! There’s just so much of it. Some of it’s stationery-related, like calendars and paper presses and stuff:
  • Cultivine is Now Out
    I have a brand-new web serial that’s sure to be blowing your universe the heck up: Cultivine. I wrote the entire thing as part of a Vine Challenge among authors on Royal Road: Write as many words as possible in 24 hours, and center the story around vines. I wrote Cultivine in two sessions, and got about 16,000 words each time. It’s really bad. Phenomenally terrible in every way. And if you enjoy my more, um, performatively lazy fiction, you will LOVE this one. Cultivine is a xianxia cultivation progression fantasy based on Chinese web novels, with one twist: I’ve
  • Last Chance to Read Gay Gatsby on Kindle Unlimited
    Heya, just a quick news update about The Gay Gatsby and Kindle Unlimited. It’s been out for a little over two months now; while it still gets a few purchases every week, attention has mostly trailed off by now. One experiment I ran, though, is now coming to an end–I won’t renew The Gay Gatsby’s enrollment in Kindle Select, which means the book will no longer be available for free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It ends March 31st! If you don’t know, Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service for Amazon users that gives access to countless thousands of ebooks to
  • If I Made A Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy
    Sometimes I like to wonder, what if I made a Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy? If I were given full creative control over my favorite popular franchise, what would I do? This is all purely hypothetical since it would never, ever happen, but I like to imagine it anyway. Let me take you on the journey of a hypothetical Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy I proposed in 2019, and hopefully win you over a bit: The Gist of the Thedude3445 Star Wars Trilogy So the main concept for me is the idea of a generational saga.
  • Web Fiction Sites: The Mega List Directory
    Hey, want to find some web fiction sites? Back during the early days of the pandemic, I made a list of as many web fiction sites as I could find to help readers find new stories to read (and to help writers find new places to post). The list kept expanding bigger and bigger, and now here’s the full directory for yyou. I’ll be defining “web fiction” broadly. It includes prose stories, webcomics, and interactive browser-based fiction. As long as it’s available via a web browser or app, it’s not solely 18+, and it’s got lots of free content, I’ll
  • The Gay Gatsby Round-Up: The First Month
    The Gay Gatsby is now one month old; let’s do a Gay Gatsby Round-Up. Yay! Thanks to all of y’all at the #GatsbyArmy, the book has sold over 65 copies in its first month. That’s an astounding success for an indie book with no real marketing and that was kept a secret all the way up until days before release. It even got mentioned in the friggin’ New York Times! Holy crap! It’s also got a couple really amazing reviews already that warm my heart to read. Look at some of the compliments the book’s received so far:
  • What Happened to Midnight Releases? [2010-2013]
    Midnight releases were a hallmark of nerd culture. Besides Black Friday sales, what parts of the non-nerd world cared about midnight releases? Pretty much nobody. As I covered vaguely in my post about camping out for the Wii U, I used to love this stuff. The shared sense of excitement and fandom for stuff that everyone loves. The staying up late pointlessly and getting kinda sleepy. The chance to be one of the first people in the world to experience something.
  • Goodbye, Tumblr [2018]
    Tumblr died in the stupidest way possible: Porn. I really just don’t get it. I didn’t use the site much, but it was doing fine. Then they banned adult content and just like that, the entire community vanished in an instant. I know about the app’s imminent de-listing from Apple and Google’s app stores due to restrictive policies. I also think that that’s a huge, major issue with mobile devices that we’ll need to seriously discuss in the 20s. But it still had a website; it was idiotic to fundamentally change the “free speech heavy” aspect of the site just
  • Death Waltz (UN Owen Was Her) [2010-2011]
    The Death Waltz… was NOT the Death Waltz. This debacle was one of the dumbest things to ever come into internet lore. One of my favorite examples of the stupid viral memetics of our fast-paced culture over the past ten years. Have you heard of the Tragedy of Flandre Scarlet the Wise? It’s a story the mainstream media wouldn’t tell you… mostly because it’s really stupid. But your decadal guide Thedude3445 shall tell it to you. First, it started with weird Japanese shit.
  • Greg Orman Dashing My Faint Hopes of Independent Candidates [2014]
    It’s probably that I was just a naive child, but I was really rooting for Greg Orman in 2014. Here he was, an independent candidate with a real fighting chance against Pat Roberts, an emblem of the swampy D.C. establishment, primed to become our third independent Senator after Bernie Sanders and Angus King. The polls were favorable for him, and the Democrat dropped out of the race altogether. Greg Orman was a pretty interesting candidate at the time, not beholden to either major party and campaigning on platforms that people would actually support, rather than on whatever the national party
  • The MSPA IRC [2011-2013]
    One of the weirdest things in my entire life is that, for something like two years of my life, I was active on IRC message boards—the MSPA IRC. In the 2010s! (For the youngsters: IRC is “Internet Relay Chat” which means, basically, Discord/Slack chats except way clunkier and low-tech.)
  • Marvel’s Heroic Age [2010]
    Right as the decade began, Marvel Comics’s most ambitious storyline to date (and possibly ever) came to its epic conclusion. The Heroic Age was upon us. And I truly mean epic in the literary sense. This story has no specific name but I’ll call it the Marvel Dark Age. It spanned six years, with a dozen or more crossover events and hundreds upon hundreds of comics. It took the Avengers from a dying brand, soon to be replaced by the Ultimates, into a modern superhero team. And just in time, too! Because Disney had literally just purchased Marvel Comics months
  • Waiting for the Wii U [2012]
    Sometimes I did some pretty crazy stuff as a kid… such as camping out for the Wii U. Yes, I was That Person who camped out for video game consoles—two of them, in fact. The Nintendo Wii in 2006, and the Nintendo Wii U in 2012. The latter one’s what we’ll be focusing on here; honestly, the experience was one of my main transitions into adulthood.
  • Bowsette: The Wholesome, Adult Internet Phenomenon [2018]
    I may be biased, but I love Bowsette. (Featured image taken from here) The character, the meme, the stories made… Bowsette was and is one of the best pieces of internet culture created in the entire 2010s. It combines a weird self-parodying sense of irony with nostalgic silliness with queer positivity with fetishizing suggestivity… So many factors all swirled up into someone who is likely the #1 most famous fan character ever created. Despite the massive deluge of porn and the innate sex appeal of the character, I’d honestly call Bowsette one of the most wholesome and friendly internet phenomenons
  • Home Clipart Animal Deer [2015-2016]
    Sometimes I forget that, before the Quinlan Circle, I ran a web fiction website for almost an entire year: Home Clipart Animal Deer: Where Literature Goes to Die. And, certainly one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had.
  • Happy 2021! The Gay Gatsby is now released.
    Howdy to you, and happy 2021 (in most time zones at least), the Year of Our Lord In Which The Gay Gatsby Finally Comes Out. This is going to be a brand new great year that will almost 100% be way better than the quite awful last twelve months. I’m pretty optimistic about it! And even if the year ends up being less than stellar, at least we’ve got a spiffy new book coming out right on January 1st, which is to say right this instant: The Gay Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s seminal classic goes public domain at this exact
  • My Favorite Music of 2020
    Here’s a list of my favorite music of 2020! 2020’s been a rough year for a lot of pop culture, but the music has been pretty great. I’ve found a few key albums that have really blown me away this year, so I’d like to talk about seven of my favorite albums of the year. Like my Best of the 2010s article, I will keep this limited to some select criteria: 1. Full albums/EPs only, no singles (sorry Michael) 2. No soundtracks (sorry Eirik) 3. Only one album per artist/group. (sorry PROTODOME) With that out of the way, let’s dive
  • One Year With Beatrice & Emi
    It’s been one year since Hands Held in the Snow began serializing on the internet. One year since Emi and Beatrice first laid eyes on one another and our beloved narrator asked us, was it love at first sight? It feels like an eternity ago. That’s kind of what 2020 was generally like, though. I started writing the book over three years ago, and now it’s finally out for everyone to see, for the world to read and hopefully fall in love with just like I did writing it.
  • The Obamacare Pajama Boy Poster [2013]
    The Pajama Boy is back. Look how far the world has come in seven years… I bet you completely forgot about the “Pajama Boy” hubbub and I’m very sorry for reminding you about it. But some things must be drudged up for us to lament on our far-too-recent past. All that happened was an Obamacare-affiliated organization tweeted out this picture saying it was cool and acceptable to talk about and sign up for health care this Christmas season, back in 2013. Just some jolly, vaguely-hisptery dude enjoying himself. And people were PISSED OFF.
  • Scary Games for Kids (Creepy!) [2010s]
    Before Tiktok, before Fortnite, before anything else that our our Generation Z siblings got super into that is hard for me to understand, came the rise of scary games. It’s not that I don’t understand horror video games or creepypastas for anything like that. It’s just that the culture surrounding them, the fandom and shipping and overall obsession, baffles me completely. Scary games for kids, which absolutely exploded throughout the 2010s, are really the first true evidence of a generational gap between Millennial and Generation Z, and I don’t think it has been explored nearly enough so far.
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