The Fall of Channel Awesome…

I wasn’t sure I wanted to say anything about this… Honestly I don’t like getting involved in online controversies and drama. #ChangeTheChannel tends to fall in that category. So I may or may not leave this piece up, I haven’t decided yet. Enjoy it while it’s there.

So full disclosure, my post about this is strictly my own opinions based on what I’ve heard from creators who left the platform, as well as the official releases from the company themselves… and my own take on events. Much of this is hearsay and unconfirmed. I’ll do my best to point it out where I can, so remember that this is an OPINION piece based on what information is out there. If you discover something that’s incorrect, feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to change it.

One thing I want to get out of the way really quickly is the controversy surrounding the late Justin Carmical aka JewWario. There’s been a lot of back and forth regarding him and who knew what. Apparently there is a lot of talk surrounding him potentially being a sexual predator. Though none of this has ever been confirmed due to no charges being filed during his life. I’m not going to speak ill of the dead, especially given the fact that most of this is… well not necessarily confirmed, but I’m also not going to link to any of his stuff either. I will say that a few people I know did meet him at various social events and commented that, while nice, he could be a little sketchy towards women… so take that as you will.

Now, that having been said, there’s recently been some heat thrown at creators who worked with him over whether they should keep their videos with him in them up… former long-time content producer for Channel Awesome Kaylyn Saucedo, aka MarzGurl addressed this:

Okay… so should she take down her videos? IMO… No. We shouldn’t. Just like period pieces with things that are no longer politically correct should remain available in their original presentation, just like we don’t edit… most other movies when an actor goes awry. If we had to do that for every movie/book where a bad seed or something with a dark chapter in their life, we’d have nothing left, quite literally. To me, that would be a disservice to everyone else who worked hard and gave up their time to bring something to life. That is, however, my take on it. I’m honestly on the side of the creators who have left their collaborations with him intact. They shouldn’t be punished if they didn’t know.

All right… with that out of the way, let’s talk about Channel Awesome. There’s been a lot of reporting online that the Channel itself is dead. While the website is still up… I was able to confirm that most of the producers, are gone. Literally all that’s left is Guru Larry and Brad Jones…

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Rumor has it, even Brad Jones removed the Channel Awesome logo from his site. Though I can’t confirm this at the moment. This is a pretty serious hit. Literally all the people I used to watch save the Nostalgia Critic, are gone; Linkara, Nash, Todd In The Shadows, Phelous, Bennet the Sage, Film Brain… heck even Angry Joe, a guy I literally saw last week at Pax and was saying nothing but nice things about the people at Channel Awesome, appears to have jumped ship.

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So where do they go from here? Well if that wasn’t enough…  Rob Walker appears to have deleted his Facebook page and Doug’s primary FB account now lists him as having been previously employed by Channel Awesome…

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So what does all of this mean for people who loved the personalities that are or were on the site? Well… for the most part, nothing. A lot of the personalities that have jumped ship still have their own YouTube accounts or their own websites you can visit.

Please see this spreadsheet to find the ones you want to watch.

The problem rests with the fans of the Nostalgia Critic. Again, this is an unsubstantiated rumor, but apparently the Walkers are considering legal action against Channel Awesome, specifically their CEO Michael Michaud. If the rumors are true and the evidence I posted above means what many people believe it does… the Nostalgia Critic may be done for good. The current CEO owns more than 50% of the company, and that includes the Nostalgia Critic personality. Which means that Doug likely wouldn’t be able to continue as the character on his own.

We will have to see how that plays it.

So, how did all of this happen? Well for that… I’m going to refer you to the video put out by Allison Pregler, AKA Obscurus Lupa:

She details a lot of the problems that have been going on there.

I’m also going to provide a link to the ‘Not so Awesome’ document, here.

So, what’s my take on all of this? Well… I’m someone who usually defended Channel Awesome. Every company has it’s bad side, but as long as the good outweighs the bad, I’m not going to start boycotting. That being said, my patronage of the site has been close to nil since the producers have made their way back to YouTube. If the site goes down, it really doesn’t affect me as much as it may have in the past.

A lot of what’s being posted in the document, as well as some other claims online, is extremely troubling and something that I think the leaders at Channel Awesome need to start answering questions on. However, some of it is complaining from many years ago that, even back then, came off as vindictive.

They’ve certainly done themselves no favors in the response they’ve given. Ironically, it comes off as extremely vindictive and mean spirited. This is definitely a lack of professionalism that no company wants in their senior leadership. Now granted, I haven’t looked through the entire document, but the central problems seem to have around their CEO, as well as other officials including Ellis.

Doug Walker, based on the general consensus of the reports… (and this is from what I read of the summary, I haven’t had time to go through the entire document), is kind of the figurehead who’s been kind of oblivious to what’s been going on… until now. I hope this is true, given my fandom. If not… that’s going to hurt. Though, given what a lot of Allison said, at the very least, he may have just ignored the problems as they’ve been coming up.

So it seems like this will be the end for Channel Awesome. For whatever they are, and whatever they’ve become… they had a lot of influence, not only on YouTube, but also on the internet in general. It is sad to see them go, but this appears to be a long time coming, if it does happen.

So… readers, what do you think? Do you have any experiences with cast members or officials from Channel Awesome? Do you follow any of their videos? Let me know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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DC Teen Titans… I have a bad feeling about this…

All right, full disclosure here. We haven’t seen much yet. Admittedly we haven’t seen much, so this may all be over nothing. I’m usually one to reserve judgement until I see the show… but I guess Marvel’s Inhumans has made me a little bitter.

Unfortunately… so far, I’m getting the same vibe from Teen Titans that I got from The Inhumans. Take a look at the cast photos that have been released so far…

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Okay now… maybe they’re not in full makeup yet, but even here… from what we can see of the hair and costumes, I think that there is cause to be concerned. For starters, the hair color looks cheap. I did a better job with my kids at Halloween with a $3 can of hairspray.

Secondly, let’s consider Starfire’s hair and outfit. On the surface, one could say that… maybe they’re going a little bit more for the DC Kid’s version, which if this is going to be on public television or something like that (from what I understand, it won’t be) then I could get that decision.
I know a lot of people have an issue with the skimpy and/or form fitting costumes that Starfire wears. On the other side, there is the credible argument that Starfire is an alien from a culture with little to no concept of modesty and thus the skimpy outfit makes sense for her character. I don’t take a side on this one, frankly both sides have a point. That said, the outfit looks cheap and the hair is making me very worried. Especially when you compare it to a fan Photoshop job of the actress:

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This is pretty perfect. If this were one of the initial peaks we got of the Titans, I’d be very excited right now. Sadly… I’m not. It’s still very early, so this may be over nothing. However based SOLELY on what we’ve seen so far… this has Inhumans level of disaster written all over it.

More recently… they’ve released an image of Robin.

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Admittedly this does look a lot better than the above images. However it still looks a little too much like Joel Schumacher’s Robin. On the other side… I get it, it’s Robin, there’s only so much you can do with the sidekick who was basically written to give Batman someone to save… and is basically a human target, but still.

On a side note, to the people complaining on both sides regarding the race of the actress chosen… She’s an orange-skinned alien. Unless orange is now part of the Caucasian people thanks to Trump, she was never Euro-centric in anyway. On the other side, not everyone criticizing her casting is doing so because of her race. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for not liking a casting outside of race. Everyone needs to grow up a little on this argument.

Okay… so what does everyone think? Is there cause to worry or are people getting all up in arms over nothing? Let me know down in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

A Part of our Childhood Dies

I know, I know…. #FirstWorldProblems! I don’t care.

Being a toy collector, and a huge proponent of geek culture, I felt I had to address this. For people around the world who may not know, in at least the United States and Canada Toys R Us was a place most of us looked at fondly ever since we were children and we’re really sad to see it go.

When I was little, I got my first Gameboy at the one in Dedham, Massachusetts. I remember getting Nintendo, Gameboy, all the way up to Sony Playstation games there before I went to college. You always went in and grabbed a slip of paper that you brought up to the front to check out. There were literally three isles of games to look through. Back then, they had everything.

This wasn’t just with video games though, back then, Toys R Us was a one-stop-shop for all things a kid or geek could ever want. They had model kits and paints, arts and crafts supplies, bikes, an endless supply of action figures… going in there as a kid and being let loose to find the one treasure that I’d been hoping to find (within reason of course), and the joy if finding it still in stock.

I do realize that the place has changed, pricing there has gotten a little crazy, and it’s not anywhere near what it was when I was a child, but being a parent now myself… watching my kids experience the same thing when we go in there… that magic never left. I’m just really sorry that my kids will no longer be able to experience that. Yes, we still have targets, walmarts, etc. that have their toy sections, but it’s not really the same thing.

So if you found this post to be tripe and focused on something that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, well I’m sorry you feel that way, but it’s always tough to watch a piece of nostalgia disappear forever and I will miss it.

However I’d like to hear from some of my readers. Do you have fond memories of this company or another that no longer exists? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Action Figure Review: The Good, The Bad…

So I recently got my hands on a pair of action figures that I was really excited to get.

The first one was the Toys R Us limited Edition Black Series Rey. I wasn’t planning on purchasing this one as I got the standard version of this figure… but when Toys R Us going out of business, I got it for $8. and honestly, I would have paid the full $25-$40 for it.

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The other was the DC Multiverse Bernside Batgirl.

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All right. So let’s start with Rey:

I bought the original with plastic robes and honestly… it was okay, the painting and detail was fine. However the face… one looks a little too chubby, two looks like she hasn’t slept in days.

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Like I said, it’s a decent figure. The detailing is great, the accessories are great, and the articulation is pretty good… the plastic makes it hard to do certain poses, but for what it is, it’s okay.

The Toys R Us limited edition on the other hand… They went with cloth for both the robes and the skirt. Not only does this look better, but it helps a lot with the articulation. So what about the face?

It has a more enhanced paint job that is more detailed and has more flushed colors to the face. Let’s take a look side by side:

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The paint detailing on the face really makes a huge difference. You can really tell that they put a lot of work into this one. You can also see that they enhanced the paint on her arm straps, and belt. Even the cut on her arm is enhanced with small dot matrix print.  Honestly, I was very happy with it, especially given the price I paid.

I highly recommend her, even if you have to pay full price.

So what about the S.H. Figuarts version?

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It’s all right… I mean some of the face sculpts are better than others, but I can’t stomach the $60 price tag I keep seeing for it. There is also a Sixth Scale Figure… but… um… it’s expensive, and honestly it is impressive, but I don’t see spending that much money for it.

So in case it’s not abundantly clear, the Toys R Us exclusive Rey is the good, I would pick it up because with Toys R Us out of business, they’re going to become scarce.

So what about the bad?

Well let’s move over to the Batgirl…

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I admit that I’d been waiting for a figure to come out of her. I love the new costume and couldn’t wait.

The figure… well… My heart sank when I got it. I should have been more prepared. DC and Marvel figures, by in large, have been very cheaply made. Either the heads were too big, the joints didn’t work, or the paint was wonky.

This figure… it just looked cheap. The plastic feels cheap, the joints aren’t very tight, and the two accessories are… well unimpressive. She comes with a bat boomerang and a cell phone, to perform the mirror selfie scene from her first appearance.

The only thing I like about this figure is the face. The face looks like the comics. The head sculpt was dead on. It seems to be that either I get a good head sculpt or good body. So while the head and face get high marks… the rest of her, however… not so much.

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For starters, her arms do not bend very far. They don’t even make 90*. The waste can twist, but not without breaking the mold. The legs are not ball jointed… so you know that selfie pose she does in the comic? Can’t post her that way.

The paint around the belt is cheap and actually flows onto the outfit… and worst of all… absolutely the worst part… is that abdomen joint. That almost completely ruins the figure for me. Unlike the others, you can’t make this separation go away. It was molded in a way that makes it stand out. Honestly, it just looks terrible.

I’m not against the idea of having a joint there. The Jaina Solo figure, one of my all time favorites, has a very similar one. However it’s far more well hidden:

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Take a very close look at her. It’s very hard to see. This is how you do it right.

So in the end, I recommend the Rey figure, but would urge everyone to pass on the Batgirl one.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Problem with Anime Live Action Portrayals

 

(Okay full disclosure before we get going, I know a lot of people don’t consider Avatar to be Anime, however in many aspects, I think it is close enough in many aspects. Stylistically, it is very similar to things like Studio Ghibli and other mediums.)

If it wasn’t plainly obvious, I love anime! Cowboy Beebop, Battleship Yamato, Trigun, Naruto, Ruroni Kenshin, Fairy Tail, the list goes on. However there seems to be a major problem when transitioning these stories from animation to live action. For some reason, everyone assumes that the entire cast should be Asian. Any time a character that is perceived to be Asian or any other race  is portrayed by someone who is white, is often referred to as being ‘white washed’.

Frankly, given that the same standard does not apply in the other direction (Nick Fury, Dark Tower, etc.) I will not use that term as I consider it racist. Personally, I’ve always been of the mindset that if someone is a good fit for a role, can accurately portray the character’s personality, and respect the original source, then I really don’t care what race the actor is.

If someone came to me saying that they wanted to do a live-action Drakin, and portray Raiya as Japanese, I be excited to see what they come up with.

Anyway, onto the topic at hand…

So why do people, ironically mostly western audiences, expect live action movies based on anime to be portrayed by all Asians? Well often times it’s because Anime is such a huge part of Japanese culture, other times because people believe that Asian actors are under represented, and so on.

The argument on the other side is that a lot of anime characters actually look very Eurocentric and… that’s arguable. Put into context, part of the reason anime characters look fair-skinned with large eyes can be traced back to Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy. The original series helped bring anime into global recognition. Tezuka was a fan of, and highly inspired by the style and designs of Walt Disney. He liked the large eyes and incorporated them into his character designs. Because so many series draw their style from this original work, large eyes became predominant over many series to come. However, where western audiences see western characters, those same characters are seen as Japanese by their audiences from Japan. To me, this isn’t a failure of the design, it’s actually a plus. That these characters are designed in such a way where their race is left ambiguous, people can see them however they want.

Now, does that mean that many of these roles should be portrayed by more Asian people? In some cases… yes I agree if you’re going for visual accuracy, but I think in these need to be taken on a case by case basis and analyzed instead of just painting with a broad brush. Let’s take a look at two examples…

Example 1 M. Night Shyamalan’s (Sigh) The Last Airbender…

Here we see an absolute mess of characters that are arguably miscast. Let’s go down the list one by one of the various portrayals.

The Waterbenders (Katara and Sokka)…

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This is arguably one of the worst portrayals in the movie, if we’re going by the rules that people should be portrayed by a perceived race… I would say that Katara and Sokka should be portrayed by someone who could pass as an Inuit if not by an actual Inuit, respectively:

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Next let’s look at the Earth Benders…

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vs.

(Hehe, sorry… the Devil made me do it!)

So I think most people argue that in this case, the portrayal is accurate. Though… I don’t know, you could make the case for Siberian Russian here as well, if not strictly going by their clothing and buildings. However, this one was fine for more people, so we’ll leave it at that.

The Fire Benders…

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vs.

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Okay, obviously these characters are poorly portrayed all around, but I would argue that doesn’t have… as much to do with their races as it does the actual people chosen. I’m sorry, but he looks NOTHING like Uncle Iroh and didn’t even come close to getting his personality right…

As for the racial issue… yes the architecture of the Fire Kingdom does look… arguably Chinese, you could make the case that, given the climate of India and the Middle East, they would be closer to what a ‘Fire Nation’ would look like. So while the portrayal is terrible, I think using people of Middle Eastern descent for the Fire Nation is a… fairly interesting take. I could see it working… just not like this.

Finally… Aang…

(See the Title Image)

Arguably this is the best portrayal in the movie. I have no issue with Aang being a white kid and I really think, visually, Noah Ringer was actually a really good choice for the role. Feel free to disagree, but you can’t deny that he looks the part.


Example 2:

The Controversial Casting from Ghost in the Shell:

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I know a lot of people took issue with this, saying that she clearly was supposed to be portrayed by an Asian woman… however… I don’t think so. Scarlett Johansson looks the part and I think did an amazing job in the role.

I also have to note that most of the criticism above comes from… ironically enough, western audiences. Yeah, odd though it may sound… Asian audiences, as well as the creators, actually liked Johansson’s portrayal.

So when it comes to mediums where one character appears as… or is implied by some, to be a certain race, do you need to find an actor to portray them properly?

Well… the answer is, it depends. If we’re talking about an Anime that actually takes place in an Asian country like Ruroni Kenshin, then every effort should be made to find a suitable Japanese actor… or at least an Asian who looks convincingly Japanese. Kenshin is a Japanese Samurai, thus it really wouldn’t make sense to have anyone else portray them.

However, when we’re talking about fantasy worlds, I think as long as the creator and the culture being portrayed largely doesn’t have an issue with it, then it’s not up to the audience at all.  As long as neither of those parties are offended, I really don’t see an issue. What’s more, they don’t need people to be offended on their behalf. They can speak up and object if they have a problem with it.

So… what does everyone think? Am I correct in saying that, excepting in specific examples, race shouldn’t be a determining factor in any role as long as the character can be accurately portrayed, or should it be taken more into consideration? Let me know in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Comic Collecting…

 

So for the longest time now, my comic book collecting has been fairly minimal. Since I cancelled all of my Marvel pulls and have restricted myself to Teen Titans, Lady Mechanika and a few indie titles, my monthly box at The Hall of Comics has been kind of bare.

That being said, every now and then, I do get a diamond or two…

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Lady Mechanika The Clockwork Assassin #1 SDCC 1/250, Autographed by Joe Benitez and M. M. Chen. I picked it up for a steal on eBay and had it tableted. This is why I love low-ball mercy bids, you never know what you might win. So an extremely rare, autographed copy of one of the first Lady Mech appearances was pretty awesome.

The other comic was likely not every worth the price of getting it tableted. So why did I bother? Well… honestly, because the person who did the cover happens to be my favorite artist on the planet, Chrissie Zullo.  This comic was her first professional work in the comic industry and, despite it costing me a measly $5, I was thrilled to get it and have it autographed. Plus, Chrissie seemed pretty grateful that someone went out and found her first cover to sign. I’ve met her a few times and she is pretty nice to her fans. A lot nicer than some others I could name… *cough* Neal Adams! *cough!* (But that’s a story for another time).

So monetary-wise, it’s not worth much. To me though, it was worth every penny.  Zullo’s art has always been incredible… though I do like her old stuff from like 2014-2015 better than what she’s currently doing…

An old Commission she did for me (Check out her site above and compare):

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I don’t know what happened, but these days it seems like she’s trying to do a more family-friendly version of Chris Uminga’s work and as a result, almost everything comes out looking like Disney princesses with the same face. I get that an artist’s style changes over time… but I really think she took a step backwards compared to what she used to do in things like ‘The Wolf Among Us.’

That said, I’m still a fan and still will be. I can’t wait to see where her art goes next. Who knows? Maybe it’ll go back to the way it was.

Anyway, so this was a bit of a ramble, but I wanted to showcase a couple of recent acquisitions. Also, don’t let anyone tell you that a comic that may not be worth a ton, isn’t worth getting or preserving. The thing about collecting is that it isn’t always about what’s rare or monetarily value, but whatever catches someone’s eye. A personalized signature on From Fabletown With Love will definitely do that.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Star Wars Figure Review: Jaina Solo, Black Series

 

She finally came! That’s two of the three figures I’ve been waiting for and after delay upon delay, she finally arrived:

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Da da da daaaaaa!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, from the Legends series, the daughter of General Han Solo and Princess/Jedi Master Leia… Skywalker Organa Solo (jeez lady)…

Character Story:

Jaina is one of the three Solo kids from the Legends series. Her brother Anakin was killed fairly early on in the stories of the New Republic and eventually became an only child when she was forced to kill her twin brother, Jacen Solo AKA Darth Caedus. She is extremely powerful in the force, a member of the Jedi council and a crack pilot. In other words, she’s the Legends’ equivalent of Rey.

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Eh… kinda? Anyway…

Figure Back Story: 

Believe it or not, this figure has a storied history. Up until now, the Jaina had only a couple of outlets in terms of figure creation. She had a 3.75″ figure that came out during the early 2000s that was widely unpopular and didn’t survive on the market. As such they are rare and go for the not-so-cheap costs of between $45-$179, depending on if you want it loose or in its package. I honestly have one of these which I bought way back when they were in stores and… it’s good, but it’s not that great. The other choice is a Kotobukiya statue… which is basically an immovable anime girl in a Star Wars pilot suit. It goes for close to $300. Those aren’t really my cup of tea. I love anime characters, but this one really never struck me as accurate or well done.

Well a few years back, Hasbro came up with great idea of allowing the public to select and vote on who they would like to see made into a figure.

To their surprise… the majority of fans, myself included, selected Jaina Solo out of the legends series. An unnamed source told me that Hasbro was actually pretty surprised that the public wanted a legends character made, but thankfully decided not to pull a Boaty Mcboatface and pledged to begin work crafting a figure. Last year at Star Wars Celebration Orlando, fans were treated to the initial sneak peek of the figure in question… and all jaws hit the ground.

Given how many of the black series figures had looked, I was cautiously optimistic for a reveal. When I saw the initial reveal, I remained cautiously optimistic as the prototype is usually a lot better looking than the actual mass-produced figure. You have to expect these things as a collector. The Hasbro Black Series has a history of making insanely detailed figures… but the head and face sculpts have always been hit or miss.

So… did Hasbro do good this time? Let’s dive in…

Introduction: 

So Jaina comes in the black and red box, typical of the series. She’s number 56 in the collection for anyone counting. I love these boxes. They are easy to open, easy to re-seal so they can retain their collectability.

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Articulation: Her head is on a ball joint and her hair is a soft rubber, giving her head limited articulation. Her shoulders are on ball joints, as are her wrists. Her elbows have a standard joint and a second rotatable joint. Her knees have a double-joint which is a fairly new thing. Her feet are double jointed, and she has ball joints on her hips and waste. Her upper thighs also have a rotatable standard joint, but it’s not very good.

All in all, her articulation is absolutely outstanding. Her obtrusive equipment can be removed if desired (I don’t), thus giving her even more articulation. The only problem is that some of her joints are fairly stiff. When trying to loosen them, I highly recommend caution. HIGHLY recommend it. These joints can be easily broken and this will NOT be an easy figure to replace.

Rating: 4/5 


Appearance: This is where the figure gets high marks. She is insanely well done. Her outfit is a Legends New Republic Pilot’s outfit. Black on gold lining. Her boots have quite a bit of luster, and her holster is black on gold. Unlike most of the figures coming out, this one doesn’t feel like a woman’s head slapped on a generic… I want to say androgynous body. She’s slightly petite, but this looks far more like how she looks on the covers of most books and comics.

So what about the face? This is where I’m typically critical of the Black Series, nay mid-high end figures in general. The face is where they typically screw up. It happened on Luke, who looked more like the Dude. It happened to Rey who looked kind of butch and really either bored or exhausted. Did it happen here?

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Actually no. Granted, Jaina never appears in physical form, just in still artwork and… some really well-made fan films:

Hasbro clearly wanted to do their own creative take on this. Her face looks like Leia’s, but that smirk on the right side of her lip definitely reminds me of Han. So you can see both of her parents in this figure and I can easily say, yes… this is what a Han and Leia’s kid should look like. Others have said that the eyes look slightly ‘derpy’ and I can see a small articulation issue there, but really… it’s only noticeable if you look very closely and… if that’s the only issue, I can live with that. I can’t see docking the figure for something so minor.

Rating: 5+/5


Accessories: Jaina comes with three pieces; a blaster, a lightsaber and a helmet. I want to talk about the helmet separately, so let’s look at the lightsaber and blaster first.

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The blaster looks like an enhanced version of the broomhandle gun that her father carries. It is slightly more streamlined, but you can see the similarities. The muzzle has some gloss, while the handle is a very nice matte black.

The lightsaber is pretty cool. The unique purple blade is a nice modification from the pink blade of the previous figure. It is a fairly glossy black and gray paint scheme. I also love the purple on the hilt itself as well. The blade is removable and the hilt can be attached to her belt. The blade is slightly loose, but a quick twist does keep it in place.

Now let’s move on to the helmet. I LOVE THIS THING! It looks like the pilots helmets from the movies, except that it’s black. The symbols are highly detailed and it has even been distressed in some places to make it look like Jaina has seem some serious action in combat. The eyepiece is transparent and it slides on the figure’s head without much push.

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I love that her hair falls out under the helmet on both sides and the back, and will probably display her with the helmet on. I haven’t decided yet.

Score: 5/5


Overall: I love this figure. As someone who originally voted for Jaina, wanted to see a better figure made of this popular character, and didn’t want to see the Legends characters disappear into… well Legend, I anxiously awaited the release of this one with cautious optimism. Not only was I not disappointed, I was thrilled. This figure will have a front and center place on my figure shelf… and I don’t think she’ll be moved back for a very long time, if ever.

Score 5/5


So what does everyone think? Has anyone else grabbed this figure? What was your assessment of it? If not and you’re a figure collector, this one will not last long. It retails for about $25 at the moment. Later it will likely be a lot more expensive.



Readers,

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Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim