2013 was a big year for me. I did some scary new things, like driving myself over the Tappan Zee Bridge for the first time to get to ConnectiCon or officially committing to train travel over the more direct bus route because I would get really sick on the commercial buses. I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a person and actually found the confidence to include a more personal touch on Sketchy Details again.
Directly related to this site, I did some things I didn’t think were going to happen. I launched a YouTube channel featuring my art, my haunting, and my thoughts on pulp culture. That will be coming back in a couple weeks with a new schedule and better formatting. I even entered the Geek & Sundry Vlog Search with Slipstream and was surprised not just by the response to the series pitch but the opportunities that opened up by entering.
I briefly launched The Preston Files and came to the conclusion that the series doesn’t work without the premise of Food Don’t Go Stale In Space. I have no desire to continue that series without the help of my two friends, so I’m leaving those characters behind. I am actively developing a new comic inspired by convention life this spring. It’s going to be insane and unlike anything you’ve seen from me before.
In 2011, I changed the way I approached online media criticism in an effort to join a pretty big film critics organization. I saw a large amount of new release films in genres I was rarely drawn to just to balance out my enthusiasm for horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. Despite my best efforts and a very quick approval through the first round of the application process (believe me, it was more than just logistics and tech requirements to get that far), I received an official rejection from the group a few months ago. I hesitated on requesting the ballots with comments from the voting members who evaluated Sketchy Details. Eventually, I buckled and asked for them.
Guess what? The votes were split evenly on whether or not to let me in. The negative voters unanimously said that I focus too much on horror to be a serious member of the organization. The next biggest complaint was that Sketchy Details is not JUST a film site. Quelle suprise.
If you’re wondering why film reviews suddenly got sparse over the summer, you have your answer. I love film criticism, but I had to come to terms with changing the way I approached new releases for so long just to be slapped with the usual “horror is bad so you’re a bad writier” commentary. I will be reviewing more films in 2014 than I did this year, but it will be on my terms. It will be the films I want to see, not the films I feel obligated to seek out just to please a group that demonstrated how I will never meet their standards.
This is a really good thing. Continue reading
I explained what the CentUp button is when I first uploaded it to Sketchy Details over the summer. Basically, it’s a way for you, the reader, to support content you like directly. You upload money to your CentUp account and can drop in a few pennies here and there wherever you see participating sites you want to support. Simple as that.
The CentUp team has really been working hard to improve and grow the service. They’re running a promotion right now where you get 100 free credits to use however you want just for signing up. It’s that simple. Just sign up and you have a free dollar you can break up however you want on sites participating in CentUp.
You might not think a couple pennies makes a difference, but it really does. Banner ads, video ads, sales on debut ebooks (ahem), and all the other monetization options available to a website rarely pay more than that on any given day. The difference here is you. Crowdsourcing is here to stay thanks to sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. Musicians like Amanda Palmer and Radiohead are continually demonstrating the commercial viability of pay what you want releases of their content. All the CentUp participants are asking for is some spare change if you really enjoy what you’re reading.
The show went fine over the past week. However, I realized that I just need a couple days to get my life back in order. I’ve been away from home more than not since the end of September and everything is kind of a mess. I have a lot of things to clean, organize, and attend to. I might get to a couple smaller posts like the beginning of last week but videos and comic content will come back at the beginning of December.
The tipping point was losing my Horror Thursday column last week. I scheduled it after midnight and it just disappeared by morning. I tried to keep everything up and it was just too much. I’ve been in schools everyday since Wednesday, including the weekend. It’s my first day off in a long time and I just need to get everything centered again.
I’m reopening my Netflix disc service so I can catch up on all the 2013 releases (I’m not even close to the amount of reviews I did last year because I’ve been so busy) leading into the Sketchys in 2013. Categories will cover film, TV, music, and gaming. Here’s a front runner that I’m afraid to write about because of the negative explosion that surrounded the video’s release. NSFW.
I just need a little time to be me again. Ever since I took a risk and started including more of myself in my work again and bringing in some actual comparative analysis/critical theory into the site, it’s turned into a much harder gig. I love the work. It just takes a lot more from me to do it. I’m working up for a big push including an incredibly scary step I’ll be taking in December for the first time. I’m confident in the choice but it makes it no less terrifying. You don’t spend a lifetime being told an industry works a certain way and then break all those rules because the tools finally developed to make the less-conventional route the total control freak route.
I think I’m being put out of a job. The Film School Thesis Statement Generator is a cheeky look at academic film criticism. It pulls very broad critical concepts pulled from title keywords and randomly pairs them with basic film elements. Add in academic doublespeak and you wind up with profound looking statements that boil down to really simple things.
Through the fluid identification of the viewer, Otto; Or, Up with Dead People conforms to pre-Oedipal guilt.
Since someone watching the film can connect to some changing aspect of the story, Otto; Or, Up with Dead People falls in line with an ambiguous sense of guilt created by general society.
Test it out for yourself. It’s fun.
With all of the questionable pop songs that have been released since I’ve started writing about media, I don’t know why “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. gets me so frustrated. It’s probably a combination of cultural and political zeitgeist driven by the news media, entertainment criticism, and conventions I attend. This song came out when my rage level about this kind of arguably predatory behavior really boiled over.
But I’ve had no desire to discuss it myself. I have a million thoughts but haven’t really found an angle I want to discuss. The people who like the song dismiss the complaints and the people who hate the song already know why.
Then someone linked me to What Rhymes With Hug Me? and it said everything I wanted to about the song.
Sometimes, you just need to take a stand against bad customer service. I know Sketchy Details is a media criticism site and Amazon Prime is a media provider, but this story needs to be heard.
This is the story of how, in less than a day, Amazon proved they have absolutely no control over their customer support when it comes to Amazon Prime.
Last night, I signed up for Amazon Prime. I used the one month trial last summer so I could get free shipping on huge rolls of trim, velcro, and fabric for costuming a production of The Music Man. I grew to like their streaming media service. They had a lot of free content I was interested in and the default quality was higher than Netflix. When I finally got paid a few days ago for theater work, I knew I wanted to sign up for Amazon Prime again.
Now that my hand has been de-splinted, I can actually type and write in my own style again.
First, I am sad to announce I did not move on in the Geek & Sundry vlog search competition. However, I am happy to announce that means Slipstream: The Pulp Culture Vlog can and will continue without the PG-13 only rating. My language will remain clean (as it does here), but I can freely cover more controversial content like exploitation films, how fantasy features influenced the field of psychology, and “x”ist critiques of science fiction. It’ll be a hoot. No holds barred. Anything goes! The new episode is filming tomorrow and hopefully going up Tuesday. The thumb injury stopped me from doing a one night turnaround this week.
Second, I have all my supplies together to launch my haunting and art series this month. I’m super excited about those. The home haunt vlog will be half tutorial, half document of my 2013 build. I don’t have a title for the haunt yet, but the theme is a haunted night club. The art series is tutorial mixed in with time-lapse art creation.