November 16th, 2008. As I was recovering from my first set of hospital stays that introduced me to Crohn’s Disease I was surfing the net finding something to do until I could get back to work (I’m guessing I didn’t have the horrible YouTube backlog I do today) and came across sites like Comic Coverage, Slay Monstrobot Of The Deep, and the still active Siskoid’s Blog Of Geekery. This was my introduction to blogging and it so drew me in that I would make comments so long that I decided I should just make a blog of my own. On the aforementioned date BW Media Spotlight went live with the first post saying positive things about a show I hate, showing that quality of work is not equal to one’s enjoyment of it, my guiding principle as a reviewer and commentator. I can complain about what’s in the work, especially when it comes to quality of adaptation, even when it’s good if I feel it’s doing something wrong and I can admit it isn’t within my tastes but I can still attempt to judge the work. You just need more salt to take it with.
While I don’t always have the time to read the various active blogs that got me into blogging (these were just my first introduction to the blogging world) due to all the various projects I attempt to work on today plus life issues I do try to make this site something worth reading. In the eleventh year of BW’s existence that hasn’t been easy. First I’ve had to push back against a rising tide of fear and hatred on the internet that have induced rages of suffering your average Sith Lord or Adams Family member can only dream of (and even Gomez would want to hit the breaks on this year), then lost time to get my computer replaced and set up, and then try to find the energy to keep up with everything. 2020 has sucked eggs and few would disagree. Of course a BW year starts on November 2019 so somewhere in this chaos there had to still be a group of articles I still think are some of my best work and may end up being referred to time and again in what remains of this site’s life. (That’s not cryptic. Nothing on this Earth lasts forever.) So I went through the list, picking out the ones that still stand out in my mind, re-read them to confirm that, and plopped it into the list below. Here’s what I consider the best of the previous year as we head into Year 12.
- The Many MANY Intros Of Transformers: Technically the article series started before the start period but it’s currently my longest franchise intro review set and there’s more to learn about each series than simply the theme and intro animation (even if in some cases it’s just episode clips). I’m proud of the effort I put into this and I got to look at some of my favorite and not-so-favorite intros of my number one fiction franchise. (IDW’s comics and the Bay films aside of course.)
- YouTube Versus COPPA and the follow-up An Update On COPPA Versus YouTube(rs): YouTube’s reaction to COPPA has been a detriment to anyone on YouTube who makes kid-friendly content if not outright kid-targeted content, and it doesn’t even solve the problem of what YouTube got in trouble for violating…data mining videos watched by kids to better target ads. I actually don’t mind targeted ads and given some of the ads I do get I wish it targeted better. I don’t have shingles and I don’t speak Spanish, and if I have to listen to to some stranger tell me about shaving and powdering my privates too much longer I’m going to get a restraining order, but targeting kids is not good. The solution Google came up with not only doesn’t solve that problem but it makes more hassles for the content creators.
- Transformers: The Mis-Aligned Continuity: While doing my research in The Many MANY Intros Of Transformers I came across the full history of the so-called Aligned Continuity, a better attempt to create a cohesive Transformers universe without Hasbro’s current G1 obsession. It would have allowed new characters while giving familiar ones a definite history in this continuity. Thanks to certain factors (namely the Transformers Prime creative team) that did not happen.
- Actors And The False Superhero Stigma: Superhero movies were doing well at the box office but of course the uptights who hate anything that is just meant to be fun and cathartic instead of artsy and thoughtful had a fit. When this included actors playing superheroes I had to comment.
- My Problem With Star Trek “Return Of The Serpent”: One of the reasons I love doing this site is to vent on stories that have a major problem I really want to get into the discussion, even if it only gets found by a small group of people. The “Return Of The Serpent” storyline from DC’s first Star Trek run, finds the crew returning to the planet Gamma Trianguli VI, from the episode “The Apple”, where the planet was controlled by Vaal. Writer Mike Carlin didn’t seem to like the ending of the episode and opted to “fix” it, but while I recommend the story itself there is one fundamental flaw I felt needed to be addressed, and it’s a mistake the episode makes in the last half.
- My Wish List For Mini-Comic Scans: Free Comic Inside allows me to introduce people to the underrated pack-in mini-comics that comes with toys and other products. Waving them off a cheap promotion ignores some potentially good (and admittedly some potentially bad) stories. However, I can’t find the complete list of what I know about and there’s more out there I never knew existed. This is where I ask for help.
- BW Vs. NBC: Defending Clark Kent: When someone at NBC News wrote an article for their site trashing Superman’s secret identity I had to step in and tell him how wrong he is. Superman needs his secret identity, as I’ve explained more than once over the years.
- Art Of Storytelling (Overview): I did manage to create a new article series, and with one of the best logos I’ve ever designed if you don’t mind me saying. Art Of Storytelling goes over every form of telling a story I feel I can comment on. From books, to video games, to TV, to any other form I plan to look at the strengths and weaknesses of all of them, because while comics is my preferred method to tell a story at current there is no one best way in my opinion.
- The Emancipation Of The Birds Of Prey: When you’ve screwed up your adaptation so badly you don’t have to see it to find the adaptation flaws, that’s a major screw up, daughter! Margot Robbie loved playing her version of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad so much that she talked to the right people to give her a movie, which is fine I guess. I have no interest in seeing it but I heard the movie wasn’t very good. It’s when she decided to Robbie up the other cast, especially how she failed at Cassandra Cain, that we had a problem. Cain had far more potential for a good story and this was her first appearance outside of comics, which is a crying shame.
- The Many Failures Of DiDio’s DC: A postmortem of Dan DiDio’s controversial run as editor-in-chief of DC Comics and the darker direction he took it. As noted in yesterday’s Jake & Leon we have yet to see if his replacement does any better.
- I Finally Heard About Star Wars The High Republic: A week removed from the controversy I tried to take a more tempered look at the multimedia event and how it might work but it’s no Shadows Of The Empire.
- Finally Watched Ghost In The Shell, the 2017 live-action movie and the 1995 animated original: Both loosely based on the manga, the 2017 movie seemed more based on the trailers for the original anime and its sequel, Innocence. (Sadly there’s no free posting I’m aware of like the original and the live-action movie came from SyFy.) I had never seen either film before so I took the opportunity to watch the remake first and then the original…and I still thought the original was superior. I also watched the 2.0 re-edit of the anime and it seems rather pointless.
- Why Canon Is So Important To The Way We Discuss Media: In this BW Vs. a writer tries to make the case that discussing continuity when it comes to remakes and re-imaginings gets in the way of a proper discussion of the story itself. My point is that canon and even multiversal continuity is rather important TO the discussion of the story as it does qualify as a technical issue in the story.
- The Entitlement Of Creators: I don’t think I made the connection to the post’s title well enough, but these are creators who think they can do anything they want and accuse the fans of the franchise that get upset at the re-imagining “entitled”. It’s actually the creators who think they’re entitled to their vision when they clearly couldn’t care less about the source material.
- The Adaptation Errors Of ThunderCats 2011: During another post about ThunderCats Roar someone on Twitter who says he’s a fan of both the original and the parody wasn’t happy that the 2011 re-imagining was referred to as a better remake of the show, and admittedly I do think it wasn’t a good adaptation, it’s just they got the tone and some other details right. However, so many changes were made that it isn’t a proper remake when put under proper scrutiny. So I put it under proper scrutiny and it gets so very much wrong.
- Carl Macek Discusses Robotech II And The Movie: Posting an interview with Carl Macek in various Academy Comics Robotech titles gives some insight as to what Macek actually planned to continue the odyssey of Robotech.
- Who’s To Blame For Reboots? Not Me: In which a video discussing the problem with constant reboots and those who constantly complain about the re-imaginings got a longer response from me than I think I planned. I followed up with a Versus article about how lazy reboots really are these days, since we get so many of them.
- The Weird War On Manga: Apparently it’s okay to tell Japan how to make media for their own culture because someone outside Japan may enjoy it and the critics can’t take five seconds to know what they’re talking about. It’s more surface level hatred on the part of the self-believing do-gooders.
- BW Vs CinemaBlend’s Weird Praise Of Snyder’s Black Supersuit: So I found this article where the writer has some strange ideas of the occasions Superman has worn black and decided this was iconic for some reason. I don’t thin she did her homework. I however know enough about Superman that I felt at least qualified enough to challenge her assessment.
- Ultraman’s US History: When the announcement was made that Marvel was doing an Ultraman comic for some reason, the “smarter than you” section of the fans of the Japanese superhero were convinced the uninformed wouldn’t know who he was, as if the M78 heroes didn’t already show up on US TV and comic shelves before.
- Should Spider-Man Be A Mutant: This is one BW Vs article that still confuses me. The writer for a superhero website wanted to toss out what little the MCU gets right about Spider-Man as a way to get the X-Men into the MCU and I didn’t see a need for it at all. Plus he was way too obsessed with bringing back Sam Rami’s organic webbing.
- Is Geek Culture Left Wing (part 1) (part 2): Yep, it took two articles to go over this collection of supposed proof (that was running around Facebook) that the shows and characters have been pulled so far left that even traditional liberals are calling fowl was always that way, even if the original was apolitical for decades. It shows how little attention was paid.
- A Spambot Tries To Teach Me Poker: Because I want to end with a fun article on this list, here a spambot spreading over numerous posts (or tried but got collected in my spam filter instead) that wants to teach poker. It’s the worst attempt at teaching poker ever.
These are articles I’m most proud of when it comes to year 11, and it’s too bad year 12 is starting out with a slow week but that’s what time did to me. I’m glad to be able to vent on this stuff but I still want to ramp up on more art-based articles like Re-Covered and Reconstruction Zone while coming up with a new one that I think will be fun. However it’s the reviews and commentaries (and the not occasional enough lately videos by others) that this site best plays with and I plan to be doing more of those this year. I just hope all of you enjoy what’s coming, especially the subscribers through WordPress, RSS feed, or email who come back every day or week or whenever an article grabs your interest. I want to make the best site I can, though I wish I had more feedback. I like to know what other people think about these topics, so give the comments something to read too. That’s what led me to become a blogger.