This is the beginning of the #TheJCS

I’m failing at The JCS.

For the uninitiated, that is Jon’s Creator Showcase. The monthly collection of everyone’s favorite posts into one compilation post.

It’s meant to be a celebration of everyone’s posts, and a way to find new things and make connections.

And I’m failing at it.

Sorry I don’t know the credit on this, but it’s a pretty picture.

OK. Maybe failing is a strong word. I’m roughly halfway through all of the posts at this point and I’m finding that I’m writing less about the posts and more about my reaction to them. Sure, I try to mention the blog and the subject, but a lot of it is me prattling on in a way that I hope is entertaining.

So I’m concerned that I’m failing at really showcasing people’s work. Here’s what I really want. I want you to click on their links and come back to tell me why I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I’m failing in another way too. If you’re reading this, you’ll notice that this is hardly the complete list for The JCS. That is coming later.

I am dividing this up by days. I’m hoping this creates a manageable list of posts that you can scan and hopefully find something.

So not only am I likely in failing at showcasing, I’m failing at maintaining the structure.

Don’t worry though. There will be one large compilation post at the end of the month that puts all of this together.

I will probably fail at that too.

You never know.

Day 1

I’m starting work on this on Aug. 16. It’s a Sunday. I’m doing that for two reasons. The first is that it’s the beginning of my weekend. The second is that I really want to give myself enough time to get through the roughly 50 or so posts and videos and at least one YouTube channel.

It’s really hot today, and I’m just grateful that I get to have my air conditioner and I don’t have to deal with that ridiculousness.

Talking about being uncomfortable. The first post on my list is a game.

Now I love games. I play more than I watch anime. I’m making a deep run in Skyrim and playing Yakuza Kiwami.

But game creation is kind of a mystery to me.

I realize that that was all apropos of nothing other than to say, I’m not really sure what to say about Jon Spencer’s Ducks in a Row game.

It has ducks. You need to get them in a row. I kind of understand the idea of a worker placement game, but that is about it.

What Jon’s game does remind me of it a quote from Mark Rosewater, the chief game designer for Magic: the Gathering. He talks a lot about how having restrictions breeds creativity because once you have parameters it’s easier to find a way work within them.

That’s what this contest entry is an example of. How to use limits to come up with a creative solution. Personally, I like the idea of limiting game pieces to 18 cards. I’m always a bit overwhelmed when I open up a game box and see hundreds of pieces and cards and a few tracks and a game board.

Anyways. I haven’t decided whether we’ll have banners here, but you should check out Jon Spencer Reviews Ducks in a Row.

While you’re at it…

Is that a good segue? Probably not. It’s definitely not a good Segway because that’s a motorized scooter.

All right, enough of the transitions. Let’s talk about Aria and budget manga deals.

I always appreciate Aria’s thoroughness in putting together posts like these. I’m not much of a manga reader, but I do have some thoughts about deals. I never buy stuff at full price. Well except for groceries.

Entertainment has a shelf life, and, if you can wait, you can usually get anything for a deal. (Though you don’t want to wait for too long or else it will become rare, and stupid expensive.)

What I find interesting is that digital products are changing the length of that shelf life. It used to be that it would take a matter of weeks before something started to be less expensive. Now, because everything is essentially print-on-demand, it sometimes can take months before a piece of entertainment starts to lose value.

If it ever does.

Well except for bad stuff. That always becomes cheap really quickly.

I do suggest checking out the list. It’s very useful.

And speaking of words that I don’t understand.

How was that? Was that a better Segway? Where’s the motor, you say? Where’s the smug 30-something yuppie throwback, you might ask?

OK. You aren’t asking any of that. You probably aren’t even reading this.

Let’s move on to Nabe-chan, who has taught me two things in the first two paragraphs of her post. The first is that there is a genre called yuusha, I think, and that it’s basically the plot of every late 90s early 2000s JRPG plot ever.

I was going to bloviate about Joseph Campbell and the monomyth and how all stories start with the call to action, and blah, blah, blah, blah.

Instead, I will talk about just how freaking charming some of these stories seem. I’m not really a manga person, but I really like some of the descriptions of these stories. In particular, I want to read the one about the farmer turned dead hero. I also appreciate the demon who is going to fall in love with the main hero story.

Yes. I know it’s been done. I know it’s tired ground. But sometimes I just want a story where the heroes win, the guy gets the girl and they go live up on house on the hill happily ever after.

Did you notice that I managed to work bloviate into a everyday conversation. Look at the big brain on Brad.


And talking about galaxy brain, mind warping stuff, let’s talk about Hideaki Anno.

I’m not sure where to start. The fact that I respect Anno’s works, or that there was a lot of research put into this by Scott. I am impressed by how much effort he put into his biography of Hideaki Anno.

I’m going to ramble here. You’ve been warned.

My own relationship with Anno is that I really like Kare Kano. I know it’s an adaptation, but Anno is the master of visual storytelling. I saw this even in my own experience rewatching Evangelion. He is able to make the camera tell a story even larger than just the script.

It’s hard for me to see Anno as anything less than a visionary. I don’t love everything he’s done, but when he’s firing on all cylinders, there are few other anime directors that really compare.

It’s always fascinating to me that Gainax started being relevant with Royal Space force, and kind of stopped being relevant with Gurren Lagann. It kind of started with genius and had genius leave it.

What is interesting to me is that he had such a rebellious youth. I wonder how much of that was from frustration at the education system, and how much was just the desire to do his own thing.

I often wonder how possible it is to “make it” when you work from outside of the system. Sure, we can all point to examples of people who did it, but the reason we know these stories is because they’re so rare.

It’s a fascinating conundrum.

Any who are you calling an oldtaku?

Oh man… This post by ShoujoRambings is unexpected.

Among my deficiencies is a real technical understanding of poetry. See, I understand fiction on a structural level. You have the presentation of the problem, rising action, climax, resolution and denouement. There are tropes within all of that.

But poetry is all out the window. Yes. I know that ShoujoRamblings put together a song, and it’s not exactly the same thing as poetry. But isn’t all poetry just songs without the music?

The other problem is that I haven’t seen Given either. I hope someone else can help me understand the significance of this. Please read it.

Help me overcome my ignorance.

Help…

But it looks good. I’m sorry I’m not better at this.

5 thoughts on “This is the beginning of the #TheJCS

  1. Now that you’ve brought up the question of which format is best to highlight the posts, I think you might be on to something breaking this up.

    You’re right. It’s nearly impossible to highlight a post that’s the tenth topic in a list. The question, then, is how best to divide the list.

    I like this innovation you’ve introduced!

    1. If I was more ambitious, I would have broken it up by subject. But all of my flagellation aside, I always found trying to peruse the JCS a bit daunting. My only concern is breaking it up too much. You tend to get diminishing returns that way.

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