Nov 27, 2007

Good-Bye (For Now)

I'm leaving Thoughtnami, The X Bridge, and the forums for a while.

I'll be back, but I need to take some time out for a while. Probably next year or so. It doesn't matter. I don't think I'll be missed around these parts. And if I am, they'll get over it.

I've undergoing many emotions now. I'm having problems at home. My grandfather's health has taken a turn for the worse. His already small frame continues to deteriorate from his cancer, almost turning him skeletal. Now, he's at the point that he can't really eat much and just lays down all day long. I'm seeing my grandfather die right before my eyes, and the sad thing is waiting for the end. I've been his primary caregiver ever since I graduated from college. I know my family said I could do but so much, but I feel I could have done more for him. It's almost like I'm failing my grandfather every day.

I'm depressed and lacking focus on just about everything. At times, it feels like I'm only being negative. The last couple of posts I've made around here have either been complaining about the state of the world or wishing what I wanted to see but will never be, thus depressing me all over again. Must be a masochist or something. But seriously, the only thing that comes from complaining is more complaining. When change does come, it only occurs when there's a universal consensus that it must come, and that's rarer than a green cardinal.

There's a time when you have to look back and see what you've done, see how people see you, see who your real friends are, see what kind of impact and legacy you'll leave behind. I've done that. Some things I'm very proud of. I'm proud of Thoughtnami and The X Bridge and some of the things I've brought to the forefront. Some things I'm not very proud of. I know I could have handled the Revolution Board situation better, even though part of that was completely out of my hand, and the fact that I've ruined a couple of friendships and alliances still bugs me to this day (and if I haven't said it enough, I'm still sorry about what went down, SC and Patrick).

Some people see me as a good guy, but I'm no saint. Some people see me as the devil incarnate, but I'm not that bad. People tend to think I'm blind to whenever people use my name in a pejorative state. There's an ass who even posed as me on the Adult Swim boards making it seem like I'm posting moronic things there. People see me as a joke, and I'm sick of it.

I have a few people I try to contact online, but I don't have any real friends. Acquaintances, yes, but no friends. Not in the real world either. I'm supposed to be a part of a team at Toon Zone. I love them all, but sometimes, I feel like I'm still by myself. Maybe it's my own doing, being so cold and distant, but sometimes, I feel like my input isn't necessary to the overall scheme. I doubt that I left a significant impact there or my own sites, and my legacy is basically me whining and complaining about stuff I have no control over, and those that do have control over them don't want any part of me at all. Not really nothing I'd like to be remembered for.

I need to do something with my life. I want to create something that lasts longer than I do. This website is nice, but I don't want my obituary to just say "he was a webmaster of a once-popular fansite." I want to find a real place in this world, not a virtual place which I have done. I want to find myself doing something that means something. Some people find what I've done here has impacted a few, but I don't want The X Bridge or Thoughtnami to define me, my legacy, and who I am.

That's why I have to take some time off for a while. I'll return one day. Don't know when that day will be, but it'll be sooner rather than later. I need to find myself, clear my head of doubt, frustration, and uncertainty. I need to spend more time with my grandfather while I still can. The world changes, and I feel I need to change with it. I need to see if I could find a creative side that isn't limited to rantings on a webpage. I need to grow up. I want to find love, start a family, become a dad, teach my kids everything I know and every lesson I learned in life the hard way. That could be my legacy.

I'll be back. This isn't the end by any shot. This is only good-bye for now. Thank you so much for letting me be a small part of your travels on this web.

Nov 6, 2007

Support ALL Creators

I guess you've heard about the Writers' Strike that is just beginning to affect the entire entertainment industry (don't worry, otaku, you'll still be getting translated dubs on the air; you won't like them, but you'll get them). No, friends, NBC isn't recycling episodes of Leno, Conan, nor Carson as part of their companywide Green is Universal campaign. They're the first of many to be impacted immediately from the strike. No writers mean no new shows.

But let me present the Comic Creators' Bill of Rights. It's almost two decades old familiar to about .5% of the readership of Thoughtnami and completely relevant to the second half of the article. If you've never read them, well, here's your first time:

For the survival and health of comics, we recognize that no single system of commerce and no single type of agreement between creator and publisher can or should be instituted. However, the rights and dignity of creators everywhere are equally vital. Our rights, as we perceive them to be and intend to preserve them, are:

1. The right to full ownership of what we fully create.
2. The right to full control over the creative execution of that which we fully own.
3. The right of approval over the reproduction and format of our creative property.
4. The right of approval over the methods by which our creative property is distributed.
5. The right to free movement of ourselves and our creative property to and from publishers.
6. The right to employ legal counsel in any and all business transactions.
7. The right to offer a proposal to more than one publisher at a time.
8. The right to prompt payment of a fair and equitable share of profits derived from all of our creative work.
9. The right to full and accurate accounting of any and all income and disbursements relative to our work.
10. The right to prompt and complete return of our artwork in its original condition.
11. The right to full control over the licensing of our creative property.
12. The right to promote and the right of approval over any and all promotion of ourselves and our creative property.

I don't know what it is about new media that makes entertainment companies squirm. New media provides new opportunities for business endeavors. DVDs pretty much saved the anime industry in North America, not to mention created a cheap, yet convenient format to collect older shows, movie series, and classic shorts without taking up massive bookshelves. The internet virtually eliminated the need for shelf space, but you'll probably need a bigger hard drive. With access to the interweb available on the go, you could take shows and movies with you.

You'd think that the creators and writers who help create the films and shows we watch would be the ones benefiting the most from the advent of new media in the public arena, but they're not. In fact, unless you have direct ownership in the show (or have a preexisting deal when they sold the concept to a studio), writers will only get a residual of $.04 per disc (not per episode they worked on, but per DISC) sold and NO residuals per download. This means that for every 100,000 discs sold for a an average retail price of $30 per disc, a writer can get a residual of only $4,000. Where the rest of the $3 million goes is anybody's guess. Now, these creators/writers feel that they should get a little more than that, about $.08 per disc and per download.

Media companies feel otherwise. That shouldn't be surprising to anyone. After all, if there's anybody who can emphasize with the screenwriters of America, it's comic creators. They've been denied their dues (literally and figuratively) many, many, many times over. Not surprisingly, the comics and entertainment industry is intertwined (comic adaptations are all over the television and big screens while film and television creators are also creating many of today's popular comics). Creators of comics tend to have a brotherhood when it comes to defending the medium as well as each other. That spirit of brotherhood (and sisterhood) was the inspiration behind the Creator's Bill of Rights, ideals and things they believe each comic creator is entitled.

Articles Two, Three, Eight, and Nine of the Comic Creators' Bill of Rights are almost echoes what the Writers' Guild want and the fact that they're not getting those rights is exactly what the strike is all about. I know my brothers and sisters at Toon Zone aren't taking an official stand on the strike, but as a creator and a writer, I'm supporting the Writers' Guild and I hope they're successful in their stance.