Why Upload Outdated Reviews?

This week I did something for this blog that might be considered strange: I republished two reviews from my old website.  I cleaned them up as best I could and changed a line here and there, however, for the most part, they are presented 'as is' when they were first unveiled to the public years ago on The Comic Book  The fact that the writing is so much more crusty than what I currently do does beg the question of why I am doing this at all?  Wouldn't it be better to let sleeping dogs lie?  I know it seems strange to dust off old writings that are weaker in every way then what I write now.  Many of my old reviews have spelling mistakes (which are easily fixed, thankfully), could use with some trimming, and the flow of the sentences can hardly be considered 'good.'  And yet...there is an occasional well-written review in there.  One that - with a little bit of additional editing - could at the very least be considered good.  After all, 201 reviews were written for my old site and they can't all be bad, right?!

So I started pouring over them.  Many of them were embarrassing to read.  It certainly dawned on me that most of my readers at the time must have been teens and kids, because I can't imagine an adult reading such drivel in many cases.  Yet there were a few bright spots.  One of them was my review of "Hikaru no Go," which was apparently written well enough that someone decided to link to it on Wikipedia.  So that was the first review to be republished.  I next uploaded my review for "Instant Teen" yesterday.  It wasn't written as well, but it was 'savable' at least (and the title has fallen into obscurity, so if nothing else it makes for an interesting reminder that it existed).  Other reviews are going to be tricky and may not be worth putting the time in to fix them.  My "Ranma ½" review spends a lot of time focused on the fact that Viz LLC (at the time of the writing) decided to 'flip' the artwork, and that made it a difficult recommendation.

The company has since made new editions with unflipped artwork and much greater value for your buck, so I doubt this review has much of a place in today's world now.  This also applies to my review for "Sailor Moon."  Sure, as far as most reviews go, this one is one of the better written ones.  But what am I discussing in it?  I'm discussing the Mixx graphic novels, with Americanized names, flipped artwork, and crusty spines that easily broke.  They are a far cry from the vastly superior books that Kodansha is releasing these days!  Also, my video review of the new 'Eternal Editions' are much more relevant than the old print review, so maybe we should just replace the print review with the video instead?

That's better!  So, yes, the first reason for going through these reviews is to see how far I've come in my writing and to preserve the few pieces that seemed worth preserving.  The other reason is fairly obvious: This blog is starving for content and it's going to be a good while before I get it buffed up with worthwhile stuff to read.  Granted, if you go back more than a week you'll start seeing articles from ten years ago, but even though I'm not ashamed of my (or my former writing partner Jaya's) older work, it is from a different era, so I'd like to get that stuff buried as soon as possible.  Focus on the new, not the old.  Of course...reprinting old reviews seems to be counter-productive to that statement doesn't it?  I suppose that's where the saying 'you can't win for trying' comes from...never mind.  I suppose the third reason is that it feels like there should be some actual reviews on this blog, however I currently don't plan to write them.

I'm not even sure what I'm going to do with this blog in the long run at this point.  Is it just a way to getting writing done during a pandemic?  Is it a way to reconnect with the comics scene?  Am I going to focus on editorials and commentaries?  Is it going to be a supplement to one of my YouTube channels (The Failed Journalist makes the most sense right now)?  Is it going to be a public portfolio for when I apply to write for real publications?  I certainly don't have the staff to run a site like Comic Book Resources and Anime News Network, so is this just a fancy personal blog then?  Will I even update it when we're allowed to go outside again?  So many questions, so little answers.  For now, cleaning up select old reviews does the following three things for me:

  1. It gives the blog new content.
  2. It allows me to preserve work I'm largely proud of.
  3. It buys me time while I figure out the future of the blog.
For those three reasons alone, I think uploading one of these every other day will add a lot of value to the blog.  A day will come when old reviews won't be coming any more.  While I can't say for certain, I wouldn't be surprised if only 25% of the reviews I wrote are savable and able to be uploaded here without destroying my reputation.  Most of my old reviews will be stuck on my hard drive, likely to never be read by anyone ever again.  I won't delete them though.  Even if they aren't usable here they are a reminder that I can improve in my writing (and that I may still have something to say even if I didn't become a famous writer in the last ten years).  For now, enjoy the mix of the old and the new!  At some point it will all be new, but that's just how life is.  Also, to quite NBC when they use to air commercials on reruns of their old shows: "If you haven't seen it before, it's new to you!"

Your Comic Book Guy - Kevin

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