Happy New Year! At the start of 2013 I wrote a post about how my, still relatively new, little blog had plans to grow a bit in 2013. Happily, that’s exactly what happened!
2013 was a year of experimentation, there was some very questionable experiments, such as weekly columns about Star Wars news, with some downright bad choices too, like shutting down all posts for a month for the 30 day blog challenge (yeah sorry about that one). But there was also some great highlights, such as my attempt to produce a new piece of original content every day in June. That lead to some fun opinion pieces and I’m proud I was able to stick to my goal. X-Files Week was an example of another shorter experiment that produced some entertaining stuff. The blog also saw quite a dramatic visual overhaul, something I still consider a work in progress.
However my favourite highlight of 2013 was The Lying Cat Cast, our three-person podcast all about the Saga comic book from Image Comics. We started it on a whim, from my long sleeping desire to have a podcast, and after some pretty rocky first episodes (but with encouraging feedback) we started to get into the swing of things. Once again experimentation was the name of the game, we tried out different lengths and alternative release schedules before settling on a happy result we’re all comfortable with. For those not in the know, we record every time there’s a new issue and talk for at least an hour. Special events warrant bonus episodes, like our upcoming one year celebration episode. We even have a fancy new Facebook page.
If you’ve listened to the podcast, then thank you! We still only have a small audience but the fact we’re in triple figures still blows my mind. Starting it we expected to maybe have five or so listeners, so having all your support is fantastic. We plan to keep trucking away with the podcast throughout 2014 and we’ve got a few little ideas on helping it continue to grow. We might even get a second separate podcast off the ground, stay tuned!
In terms of blog posts the end of 2013 was unfortunately a bit light. That’s down to the fact I started my new fulltime Masters course. For those who don’t know, I started out in academia going down the game development path, before veering enthusiastically into a more analytical direction about new media as well as games and comic books. This meant although my new course was a wonderful breath of fresh air, I also had to really buckle down and research a lot of new concepts and ideas. I made the difficult call to ease off of the blog for a little, which is why these last two months have only seen minimal activity alongside the podcast.
But enough of that, going into 2014 I’ve got some set goals for Panels And Pixels. In no particular order, they are:
More Indie Reviews
The indie comic scene is a fantastic den of creativity and I’m eternally grateful to all the creators who’ve got in touch (for those still waiting on a review, I’ve not forgotten you!). In 2014 I’m looking forward to hitting up more indie books and highlighting what I think is worth seeing.
I’ve already rambled on about it plenty in this post, but the podcast will see continued support and possible expansion.
Some of my favourite content I’ve written has been about has been about gender roles or new content that’s breaking from stereotypes. For instance my article praising Shezow or my Amethyst related content. I’d love to push some more writing highlighting the importance of equality in nerdy media. Let’s be miserable for a second: there’s a lot of hate on the internet. Whether it’s towards woman, transgender people or any other group that’s basically not straight white dudes, there are some awful things said from the community. To be polite and understate, this grinds my gears. I want to produce more content that counters this BS by highlighting how this culture is for everyone. Regardless of gender, sexuality, race or pretty much anything.
As simple as it sounds, 2014 is the year I’d like to start producing some video content. Hopefully as the PlayStation 4 video features evolve that will also open some doors for video game content too.
Panels And Pixels is for comic books, video games and other nerdy crap. That was my motto when starting the blog. But any visitor can tell you that things are slanted very much in the comic book domain. That mainly comes from the relative ease of creating comic bok content. Indie comic book creators have gotten in touch a lot and it takes a very short amount of time to read a comic book. By comparison I’ve only covered a very small amount of games and I’d love to review some indie video games in 2014. Also look out for some coverage of tabletop games and maybe a bit more TV content. The focus will always be on “nerd culture” and comics will always be key, but I think throwing a bit more variety in there will be fun for everyone.
Anywho, if you lasted long enough to read through this little reflection, then high-five! As always I’m easily reachable on Twitter or via e-mail, so if you’ve got anything you want me to review, or you just want to say hello, then feel free to get in touch.