I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey to give you an update on my Wakizashi’s Teahouse YouTube Channel. On Christmas Eve last year, I reached the fabled 1K subscribers after working on my channel for 18 months. I’d already passed the second requirement of “4000 public watch hours” that you need in order to be considered for the “YouTube Partner Program.” My channel was “checked” by (possibly) a human being and I got monetized a few days later. Great! I could sit back, relax and watch the money pour in. That’s how it works, right?
Sandman #1 introduces us to self-styled “magus” Roderick Burgess and his attempt to summon and imprison DEATH in a magical ritual held in England in 1916.
If you have been reading this blog for a while you will probably know I’m a big fan of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN comic. It ran for 75 issues plus one Special from 1989 to 1996. I still have the original comics. I brought them over to Japan with me. I have read the comics many times and will no doubt read them again in the future. I’m particularly fond of the first half of the series and count The Doll’s House and A Season in Hell among my favourite story arcs.
With the release of the Netflix Sandman Series, I wanted to go back to the source and reread the first issue. I recorded a kind of audio-comic of Sandman issue #1“Sleep of the Just.” The first half of the video below is my summary of the first issue showing some of the gorgeous art from the comic. The second half of the video is me reading parts of Neil Gaiman’s essay on how he got the idea for the comic. It was originally published in the back of Sandman issue #4. I wanted to share it with you and anyone else who might stumble upon this page in the future. This was a labour of love.
As always, thanks for reading!
-Wakizashi, *listening to an approaching thunderstorm. Man it’s been humid today. I feel like the air is about to explode.*
Have you watched any of the YouTube Channel Red Letter Media‘s film or TV reviews? They became famous for their 2009 70-minute video review of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. It was released in seven 10-minute parts and Part 1 is still their most-viewed video with over 10 million views. The video review is presented by the character Mr. Plinkett and the criticism is satirical and humorous. It upset a lot of Star Wars Prequel fans because of its tone and approach.
Last weekend I did a Livestream talking about Red Letter Media’s Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Show Review. Their mostly positive reaction and comments about the show were quite surprising, as I’d expected them to rip it apart. Mike and Rich were mainly positive about it with Jay being the most critical. I wasn’t sure if they were being serious or not. They offered comments like “I feel guilty for enjoying it,” “It’s super okay,” and “It looks cheap and the writing isn’t great yet I’m having fun watching it.” Maybe they were going for the “so bad it’s good” approach? Or perhaps they just wanted to get a quick review recorded and uploaded? It’s possible their recent experiences watching the PICARD show have broken them, as they are much more into Star Trek than Star Wars. Their Picard reviews are very funny, by the way. I recommend them if you need a good laugh.
I don’t know if you’ve heard but Amazon has just launched its ComiXology Update 4.0 with emphasis on the ZERO! This has made a lot of readers and customers very unhappy, including me. I was so annoyed that I did a livestream on this topic last night. It’s a topic which is very close to my heart, as you will probably know if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while.
To cut a long story short, Amazon have made the digital comic book reading experience much much worse. They’ve also managed to make it very user-unfriendly. What the @*?<> is going on? Now you can only read comics on the Kindle Reader, which was not designed with comic books in mind. It’s for prose books, of course. Imagine taking all the pleasure out of reading a particular format. You’d think Amazon would be looking to attract more users and sales. I don’t see that happening now.
Two of my favourite parts of the ComiXology desktop app have been removed: the “Guided View” feature and the “Browse Pages” feature. The Guided View was one of the best things about the original app. It took you through the comic panel by panel, zooming in where appropriate and delivering a very satisfying comic book reading experience. The Browse Pages feature let you easily jump ahead (or back) to a specific page. Not anymore.
I go into more detail in the video and show examples of the old reader and the new one. I’d love to know what you think.
Thanks for reading!
-Wakizashi, *realizing I sound like a middle-aged man moaning about comics. What was the name of that character from The Simpsons? Comic book guy?*
I try to keep this blog focused on book reviews but I wanted to share some of my thoughts on YouTubing. This is coming from a “newbie’s” perspective and is not meant to be read as advice. Because after all, what do I know? I’m making this up as I go!
I’ve recently started doing more“livestreams” on my channel. This has been a real challenge for me because I’ve always considered myself a listener more than a talker. I take after my mum in that regard. When you do a livestream or a podcast, you have to be able to waffle well. Some of the people I watch on the platform can talk and talk like there’s no tomorrow. I’m hoping this is something I can learn or at least get better at doing with practice. Is talking a skill? I guess so. Just ask any actor or public speaker.
Anyway, I think I’m improving, but the main thing is I’m really enjoying it. In the last few livestreams I managed to get a (very) small audience. I’m talking around five or six viewers, but they’ve been coming back for more. This is much more satisfying than talking away to nobody! But I will happily do that if I have a topic to waffle about. The best thing about the audience is they usually drop comments in the “Live chat” which gives me more to talk about. It also provides me with some great info or recommendations regarding the topic(s) I’m blabbing on about. And there’s a rewarding social side to it, too. It can feel a bit like being out in a bar or cafe chatting with friends or strangers who may become friends. Remember those halcyon days?! But I’m waffling.