Is there room for me?

By one estimate, a new book is published on Amazon every 5 minutes (though this might include apps as well). Almost every one of these books is a self-published indie book. At current count Amazon has over 3.4 million books and counting. This doesn’t seem like a very encouraging statistic for those of us who want to make a life at writing, but here are some words of encouragement that might help you be found amongst the throng.

Remember the web is much bigger – On WordPress alone, where I host this blog, 41.7 million new posts are created each month. About 15-16 of those are mine. And yet I’ve got over 3000 subscribers, and a comfortable number of daily visitors to the site. Chances are if you’re an indie writer, you’re blogging too. It can take a while to form a base, but it is definitely possible, particularly if you have a clear vision for your writing.

Find your niche – I’m not too good at the marketing thing yet (hopefully when Surreality is released I can get a little better), but failings in marketing can be balanced with good SEO (search engine optimization). In other words, write about a specific topic and appeal to a specific segment of the market. You don’t have to be the only one standing in that market, but sometimes it’s better to shoot for the small market that might see you than trying to appeal to the broadest common denominator.

Remember what books are being published – Even with a flooded market, a bad book is a bad book. A lot of how people evaluate books on Amazon are by using reviews, and reading the product description. Chances are if someone can’t write a very good book, they can’t write a good product description either. And even if they can, the first person who buys that book and doesn’t like it will probably go online and say so. I might not be right about this, but I think people have more of a tendency to post a review if they didn’t like something than if they did, so a few positive reviews on your book go a long way.

Some books are written by robots – About 10o,000 of the books on Amazon have been written by an AI, specifically an expert system designed to write extremely technical narrow market reports designed to sell at a premium to 10 people. That’s impressive from a technological perspective, but not something you’re really competing with. Though it might not be the best time to enter the market as a romance author (as that’s the next genre this AI wants to take on).

Define success – Your first book, or even your fifth, probably isn’t going to be the one that lets you quit your day job and live in the writer’s paradise of writing full time. But it might do better than your last book. I wanted to sell between 200-300 fractal books in my first year. Frankly, this seemed like a bit of a stretch goal, but I met it, and sales for next year are looking healthy so far. I make enough money each month for a mid-priced dinner, but hey it’s better than nothing. I have roughly equivalent modest goals for Surreality, and will be excited if I meet or exceed them. The goal is to do a little better with each book, and to just keep writing.

You’re probably doing better than Joe Biden – Remember our Vice President? He had a book out last year and earned about $201 dollars in royalties (according to a May report in Gawker). I earned more than twice that last year for a book about fractals, and I don’t quite have the same name recognition (or number of appearances on Parks and Recreation).

Amazon is not the only game in town – There are magazines, this little thing called Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Indie Bundle sites, the list goes on. You can have a book be exclusive on Amazon for a while, then try other markets. Or you can eschew Amazon altogether and strike out to sell your book directly off your blog. The writing community and the blog community is a pretty friendly one. If they like you’re writing, they’ll probably buy your book, especially if you show the love as well.

Just keep writing, and keep smiling. Remember, I’m pullin’ for ya. We’re all in this together.

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Here We Go Again

Last night the little red-haired girl and I attended a showing of the 8th series premiere of Doctor Who, featuring the true debut of Peter Capaldi as the 12th incarnation of the Doctor. Though I’m the long time sci-fi nerd of the family, my wife actually loves Doctor Who more than I do, and we’d spent the summer trying to get our Who fix by re-watching Matt Smith episodes, and watching Torchwood for the first time (which really is good, the Angel to Doctor Who’s Buffy).


I came into this premiere with as little information as possible (basically just the series 8 trailer) and tried to set my expectations low. Doctor Who transitions can be a bit tricky. When David Tennant left if seemed like no one could replace him. And then Matt Smith and particularly Karen Gillan did more to inject fun and a sense of adventure into the series than anyone before. We caught this series mostly on Netflix and Hulu and it took us more than a year to watch the first four series. We gobbled up all of Matt Smith in maybe a month.

Here’s the bit where I warn you I’m going to get all spoiler-y. Not too much probably, but for the fussier among you, maybe wait to read this until you’ve had a chance to watch the new special. But if you’re really a Who fan, what are you waiting for?

Overall, I liked the 12th Doctor okay, but I found myself in much the same place as Clara Oswald in not really knowing if this was “my” Doctor. (As a side-note, while from a narrative perspective I understand why Clara would be shocked at the transition, in her case she knows more about the Doctor’s incarnations than anyone as the “impossible girl” who has been present at all points in his time-line). I like that Capaldi’s playing the Doctor Scottish, and I don’t mind the older Doctor in principle (though I’m not one of the purists who thinks this is necessarily how the Doctor should be, he’s been doing fine in the care of younger men).

The main problem was the writing, as evidenced by my title line for this post. Fan-favorite characters of Strax, Madame Vastra and her wife make another appearance, and the story is told in their 19th century London. I like these characters, particularly Strax, but they don’t seem to fit the tone they’re trying to create with this Doctor. I know that plenty of characters have had crossover between Doctors, but these three in particular just seemed to fit most with Matt Smith. Most Doctors have a pretty clean break with the previous personality, even if they sometimes retain companions, but a lot of this special still seemed to be pandering to the Matt Smith fans among us (including a cameo appearance, and Capaldi’s use of the line “Geronimo”). There were several other “fan-service” lines throughout which I’ll leave you to discover.

This episode, featuring a callback to a series 2 episode, might have made for a better mid-season entry. It doesn’t do enough to establish the series’ new direction. We get hints at the differences in the Doctor’s personality, including some frankly distasteful traits where he steals a tramp’s coat (or at least threatens to and apparently gives away his watch instead, which isn’t that his Time Lord soul containing watch?). We watch him shove dead man’s skin onto Clara’s face. We’re left to wonder whether he killed the main antagonist (which is a fairly un-Doctor thing to do), and we watch as he leaves Clara to her fate amongst a bunch of cyborgs, even being snarky about keeping the sonic which could have helped her (“I might need it”). Yes, he does save her in the end, but I don’t get the impression it’s because he had faith that she could take care of herself.

But actually, that’s okay. Establishing a different direction for the Doctor is fine. It’s when it feels like a mish-mash or a half-step that this episode doesn’t quite work. And if this is the avenging Doctor, the one who will go “into darkness” to right some of his wrongs, wouldn’t he be a bit of a better person while trying to do that? I did like the bits about the meaning of his face, the dinosaur (which while gratuitous was funny, including spitting up the Tardis). And we do get a teaser at the end that there will be a season long or possibly even character long arc, which worked to great affect with Smith’s run.

The new opening theme was terrible. I know it’s more in keeping with the theramin opening of the very first episodes, but frankly I think the opening’s been going downhill since the beginning of the modern series. Series 1-3 (best), Series 5-6 (good), Series 4 (okay), Series 7 (okay), Series 8 (terrible).

So I’ll need more to decide if I like this 12th Doctor. And I have a feeling we’ll be buying the episodes on Amazon shortly (especially since I saw Daleks in the preview).

What did you think of the new Doctor?

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Batmen and Bastards*

*Bastards is used here in the literal sense as you’ll see from my review of The Illegitimates. Actually, for that matter, Damian was born out of wedlock too unless you think Bruce Wayne’s marriage to Talia Al Gul is actually binding.


Running a bit late on getting a manga NetGalley post together so maybe next week. Probably one of the only ways I’m going to read Jane Austen though. More on that next week. In the meantime I’m pleased to share my review of a couple of hero titles, all featuring the sons and daughters of well known heroes.

First up…

Damian: Son of Batman (Deluxe Edition) by Andy Kubert & Grant Morrison

91lK2HiBbeL._SL1500_Despite growing up with Batman via the animated series and some of the movies, it’s really only been recently that I’ve taken the trouble to read the comics in any serious way. I’ve quickly learned that not only are some titles better than others, but some require you to do a little homework before even being able to read them. Hence, I’ve developed a set of criteria for a good Batman tale that I’ll use to evaluate this book.

Stands Alone: To me, a good Batman tale doesn’t require an extensive knowledge of the current Bat continuity (which has gone through several iterations as a result of the crisis and The New 52). This book gets about a medium grade on that score. I was vaguely familiar with Damian from Batman: Son of the Demon (which apparently is only half in the continuity since it is an Elseworlds tale) and the first volume of Batman and Robin (new 52 variety). This book stands outside current established continuity (since Damian died sometime last year in the comic though you know how these things go, since there seems to be an event to bring him back this year). It didn’t do a great job of clearing up for me that Dick Grayson (the original Robin and later Nightwing) was Batman at the beginning of this tale. So when Batman is killed and Damian is avenging his death, for a long time I thought we were talking about good old Bruce (who shows up later). My understanding of this tale was greatly helped by reading Grant Morrison’s Batman and Son (though issue #666 seems apart from the rest of the material and only makes sense if you know the Batman and Son context).

Keeps the DC Universe out of it: I’m a bit of a purist. I know Batman lives in the same world as the likes of Superman and Green Arrow, but I don’t think it helps a good Batman tale when they show up (an exception being The Dark Knight Returns). The Long Halloween is a great example of a Batman only tale. Damian stays entirely in Gotham, where he should be.

Violence has a cost: Batman does not kill, but Damian as Robin sure does. It makes a little sense since he was raised by the league of assassins, but his violent tendencies force Bruce to come out of wherever he was hiding (seriously thought he was a ghost for a second) and challenge Damian’s right to wear the Robin or the Batman costume. It takes understanding Batman’s creed to really make Damian a worthy successor, though truthfully in Morrison and Kubert’s portrayal he still seems willing to kill. He just gets a little more upset about it and feels guilty when he has to.

Except no substitutes: Just as Damian is taking on the mantle of the Batman, someone is taking up the purple coat of the Joker. Bet the real Joker’s not gonna be too happy about that.

Summary: Like Morrison’s work, Kubert’s telling seems to leave out some crucial information, and makes some jarring plot leaps at times. But some of the humor, particularly in giving an origin story to Alfred the cat, does help to lighten the tale. Kubert’s work is the better part of this collection. Not a very good collection for people who aren’t more familiar with Damian or Grant Morrison’s Batman work. (3 out of 5).

DC provided me with a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Illegitimates by Taran Killam and Marc Andreyko

81kn9lt0gAL._SL1500_You might recognize Taran Killam from SNL (or from being married to Cobie Smulders), but apparently he is also quite the James Bond aficionado. So much so that he’s written his own “tribute” comic.

With a title like The Illegitimates I wasn’t expecting very much, but Killam displays a surprisingly good knowledge of Bond pastiches, even in his choice of mothers for his five … er …  successors to the Bond franchise. Well, okay not Bond, but Jack Steele, but you get the point. Agent Steele is killed by his arch enemy Viktor Dannikor in what I have to say is  unfortunately gruesome fashion given the tone of the rest of the book (think fighting on top of a train with a sudden stop from a tunnel and actually seeing the results). Now Olympus (Steele’s MI-5) must replace Steele with his five children out of wedlock, because his skills are genetic apparently.

Given Steele’s jet-setting lifestyle we’ve got a good ethnic variety of progeny, and most fall into particular stereotypes. We have the country hick\marksman, the Mexican Mama’s boy, a Japanese car enthusiast, an African espionage agent, and a computer expert because y’know, the story needs at least one techie. Can this team of misfits live up to their father’s legacy and defeat Dannikor? And who is the mysterious traitor inside their ranks?

Actually, quite enjoyable except for the bits of uncharacteristic violence, and a few unfortunate incest attractiveness jokes, but these are more than made up for with smart nods to the whole scope of Bond films including dams, space stations, and gadgets. (4 out of 5).

Have a good weekend!

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Digital Reminders

Are you one of those people who does Google Calendar? Or keeps a to-do list on your phone? Or sets an alarm to get you to do a regular task, like exercising or writing?

If so, then we have nothing in common. We just don’t know each other like I thought we did :)

I do not work well with electronic reminders of my life. I have an outlook calendar at work, which does me very little good since I only turn my e-mail on about four times a day (so I can have longer uninterrupted blocks of time to work on programming or technical writing, y’know working). Often Outlook will claim I’m two hours late to something I just came back from.

And digital reminders for Bible study don’t work that well for me either.

My old netbook was set up to open Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotions every time I booted the machine up. After a week or two this just became the way I knew the computer was ready to do some work, and would happily click the red X without a second thought.

My writing has always been very goals oriented, and maybe even regular, but not timed to a calendar. Even blocked off time like Monday’s writing session is in flux, and I need a more opportunistic approach to writing time (making the most of it when I have it).

I tried this one program called Stickies when I bought my new netbook. It lets me keep virtual sticky notes on my desktop with a list of things for me to do. My wife swears by this program, but I used it for about two weeks and now I have the same sticky note sitting in my bottom left corner unchanged and ignored (and eating a little of my RAM).

The only times I’ve been good with details are when I kept a little physical pad and paper of random notes. But this could get messy and a note kept in there too long would lose its meaning. I dropped this habit pretty much after college.

I think I’m a decently ordered person. I write regularly, keep most of my obligations, and what I miss, well… that’s why I got married :)

I just resist external attempts to order my world. This has always been true. I didn’t write down homework assignments, keep date books or even have big wall calendars. I just remember what I need to, and what I don’t well… someone will remind me if it was really important.

How do you keep order in your life?

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Writing Tired

Unless you are one of those mythical full time writers, chances are you’re doing a lot of your writing tired. Whether it’s after a long day’s work, or after a short night’s sleep, fitting writing into the workaday life can be tricky. Especially when you find yourself with one of those rare multi-hour blocks of time, but too tired to do work on the project you blocked out the time for.

This is the situation I find myself in at the moment. I’m sitting here in the empty sanctuary of my church with some time blocked out to work on Dust, snippets of which you may remember from a while ago on the blog. But I find myself with enough energy to work on a blog post, but not enough for new fictional composition, at least not without a little warm up.

This got me to thinking about some of the pragmatic choices authors have to make with their time, and how much energy it takes to do all the forms of writing I do in a given week. Here’s my hierarchy from “requires most energy” to “I could do this in my sleep, and have on occassion.”

(Most Energy) – 1st Draft Revision – Whether it’s picking apart sentences word by word, or re-crafting and rearranging entire scenes, revision is harder than creation. You have to keep all of the threads of the book in your head, and think about what a change made to the beginning will do the end of the book. It’s detail oriented, and can’t be done in the short bursts of regular writing, at least mostly. And 1st draft revision is when the book is most in need of retooling (in theory).

(More Energy) – Clean Rough Drafts – I’ve taken both approaches to the first draft of a story. Clean rough drafts are written with the editor in mind. You try to create less mistakes for later on by keeping an eye on bad grammar habits, and re-reading past work to make corrections as you go, and to keep consistent. This is probably more where I’m at right now with fiction composition, which is probably why I feel too tired to do it most of the time. The flurry requires less energy, but requires more clean up which is in itself a high energy task.

(Moderate Energy) – Flurry Rough Drafts – Writing 1000 words in an hour can be taxing, especially if you haven’t built up to it, but momentum tends to carry you forward till you reach your goal. And it’s the kind of writing that makes you feel really good about getting a lot done, until you go back and read it.

(Less Energy) – Blog Posts – I don’t know if it’s repetition, or the fact that I’m often just writing about what’s happened during my day, or what I’ve been thinking about but a good 400 – 600 word blog post is pretty much second nature to me at this point. If I did it every day it might be tiring, but my “Daily Show” schedule works for me, keeping me always in writing practice and in contact with all of you, while not taking too much away from other projects.

(Low Energy) – Technical Writing – Technical writing has very nearly put me to sleep on a few occasions, but since it’s done during the day, no matter what my baseline level of energy, I can always chemically enhance it with a little coffee. At night when I’m working I don’t like to drink coffee, because it’ll affect my sleep and negatively affect my energy for the next day.

(No Energy) – Repetitive Computer Tasks + Programming – I could write code any time of day, and have. The logical part of my brain must be my default setting, because I can write a fractal program till 2 in the morning, but whenever I do creative work that late, it can get really weird (which sometimes is a good thing since being tired can lower inhibitions, but that’s a whole other discussion).

I guess the point of this is that you have to take good care of yourself so you have the energy you want to write. But you also need to know where your energies are best spent. Maybe you only have blog posts in you tonight, but that will free up more energetic time for creative work later.

What’s hard to write when you are tired?

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Robots, Rocket Girls, Meteors and Glow-y Eyes

As you might have guessed, it’s time for another NetGalley installment or “all Ben really does any more is read comic books”. Hey, I’ll have you know I also wrote 1000 words toward a new story this week, and 1000s more in a technical manual. So, hah! I honestly think there are some of you out there who will like these books better than I did, so don’t let my picky-ness deter you if something sounds interesting.


Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

coverThis is miles better than Luna’s other work Girls (which I dropped hard after the first issue). That said, there are some pacing problems, and Luna’s artwork still has a tendency toward sullen, bored looking characters.

Alex is still moping after the loss of his girlfriend. His sexually precocious and apparently loaded Grandma suggests he buy an android to take care of his “needs.” Actually, she’s such a nice Grandma that she buys him one for his birthday.

Don’t leave yet. Alex isn’t as much of a creep as some of Luna’s other characters. He doesn’t know what to do with this gift he doesn’t quite want and yet is intrigued by. The problem is Ada is too agreeable. She does whatever he tells her, doesn’t have an opinion of her own, and can’t really form much of a connection with him. Alex, intrigued by robots with more full intelligence and looking to mod or hack Ada, goes online and easily finds a community willing to make her into a real girl. Will Alex + Ada form a real bond, or will she run away screaming?

Well, you’ll have to wait till the next volume, cause Luna + Vaughn take an entire book to tell maybe two issues of story. There are some laughs with a robot asking for cheesesteaks as fuel, and, well, the sexually precocious grandmother, but it’s a long walk to get there. Luna’s depiction of on-line communities is interesting, if you really like hexagons. In short good, but you’ll need more to know if this is really going anywhere. (3 out of 5)

City: The Mind in the Machine by Eric Garcia

downloadWhat if you built a system that scoured every camera, every piece of data it could find, and tried to detect and prevent crime, re-routing resources where they could best keep your city safe? And what if this system was as dumb as a bag of hammers and couldn’t tell a group of kids playing cops and robbers from the real thing? Answer, the most common of sci-fi tropes, you need the human element.

Ben Fischer helped develop this system, Golden Shield, and conveniently (for the plot) lost his eyes in a train gas incident and now has been fitted with cybernetic eyes that also connect to his brain and to Golden Shield. Pretty soon he’s using expensive tram cars to stop car jackers and getting more play with the ladies, as all those who are cybernetically confident tend to do. But when he actually tries to track down the terrorists who bombed his train, his handlers in Homeland want him shut down, with extreme prejudice.

Look, it’s not bad, and it has a few laughs, but it’s basically any action movie with a few sci-fi trappings. Except for Golden Shield, and a few flying drones, everything is decidedly of this period. The story takes place in San Francisco but very little of the actual city bleeds into the plot. It misses some opportunities to really comment on our loss of privacy beyond being able to tell if your buddy’s popcorn is burning, or creepy amounts of detail for a first date. Good bubblegum read, but nothing to suggest this will be a thoughtful continuing epic. (3 out of 5)

Rocket Girl by Brandon Montclare

coverThis book has no pretensions of being profound, as evidenced by the reproduction of the conversation between the creators on its creation. That said, it is enormous fun. 15 year old New York Teen Police Office DaYoung is sent back to the past to stop the technologically advanced world brought about by Quantum Mechanics. She rockets (heh, get it) back to the year 1986 from an alternate future 2013 in which teens are cops because adults can’t be trusted, and DaYoung suspects Quantum Mechanics of sending its own tech to the past to invent it sooner.

Amy Reeder’s reproductions of 1980s New York and its alternate future are a visual delight, as are the antics of the Rocket Girl. Of course within a few pages she saves someone dangling off the statue of Liberty, and breaks up a robbery by sending fruit flying, all while eluding the cops in increasingly acrobatic, or clever camoflage ways. And I’m a sucker for the commissioner in 2013, a kid (well maybe he’s 20) in an over-sized trenchcoat with a big cigar. He looks hilarious and acts accordingly.

While there are some logical questions to be asked, like why the Quantum Mechanics scientists of the past would help the rocket girl thwart their own future success, or why DaYoung would want to take away a future where she gets to fly around and fight crime (except maybe for an over-developed sense of justice). That said there are twists and turns to surprise you, and a sense that even with the first arc closed, there’s a lot more to come in the past. The comic also does some great side-by-side panels of both timelines, unfolding the stories in parallel as if they are happening at the same time. All-in-all, great fun that’s bound to get even better. (4 out of 5)

Meteor Men by Jeff Parker

coverYou and a bunch of your teenage friends, and really everyone in the town, are sitting on your farmland looking at the meteor shower when something falls out of the sky. Suddenly you are the proud owner of a meteorite, well one that has split apart and has a suspiciously uniform hollow part to it. Between trying to assert your ownership of the rock from your over eager scientist friend, and finding a strange alien being in the woods who speaks to you telepathically and likes barbecue sandwiches, your life has suddenly become pretty hectic.

Turns out there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of these meteors that fell all over the world, and yet somehow this teenager out on the farm is the only one who can really communicate with them. And what happened to your boss at the gas station anyway?

This book is kind of E.T. meets Spider-Man 3 (trust me, you’ll get it when you read it). Of course you’ve got a government that over-reacts to the alien beings and tries to kill them all, only to discover they are basically invulnerable and can fling things really far. Oh and they seem to be really protective of this kid and misinterpret almost any action as a threat.

There are a few surprises, particularly the choices and attitudes and the end, but the ending also seems kind of abrupt given the setup. The artwork for the night sky is pretty good, and they do a pretty good job with the teenage moppet, but the alien design is pretty standard and most of the other characters fall into established roles. You’ve read this story, seen this movie, or watched this TV show before, but this is another competent execution of it. (3 out of 5)

Next week I might change things up and review some NetGalley manga. Till then, what are you reading?

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Things we come back to

My consumption and frankly obsession with media tends to be cyclical. I’m really into something for a couple of weeks, then it dies down for a little while, then often it comes back. I think some of this is encouraged by streaming services like Netflix, where you can simulate the cable TV model by watching a season of a show obsessively for a week or two, then catch it next year. Some interests are more sustained (like Star Trek), but even these wax and wane.

My current cycle seems to be watching things I watched years ago, in part again because of Netflix. And I realized that there’s a taxonomy of how we evaluate things we go back to. On the left hand side are things that on a second viewing we don’t like, and on the right are things we do like. I would further sub-divide likes and don’t likes into two categories:


  • Pleasant Surprise – It’s as good as I remember it.
  • Nostalgic – I like this, but probably wouldn’t if I was seeing it for the first time now.

Don’t Likes

  • Tastes Change – I may be able to understand why I liked this in the past, but I don’t now.
  • Holy Crap – What the hell was I thinking?

Some examples from my recent viewing (with the exception of Chapelle which was a few years ago):

Red vs Blue – Watched this pretty obsessively through college, one 3 minute episode at a time. The first five “seasons” are on Netflix, and even though I cringe at the distinction of this being the longest running sci-fi series (at 11 seasons and counting), these first seasons are as good as I remember. Sure the language is crude (sometimes imaginatively so), but the pacing and building storyline are hilarious even when I know what’s coming. (Pleasant Surprise)

Chapelle Show – Another college show. Maybe this one was more of its moment than I realized, because watching it again I couldn’t stand it. It was crude, it was gross, and it wasn’t nearly as clever as Key & Peele. I had bought the first season cheap out of memory, and promptly resold it. (Holy Crap)

Batman: The Animated Series – It’s a kid’s show and I am one of those people who contend cartoons were better in my day, based on my limited knowledge of current TV. This show shaped my perception of what Batman should be, and some of them are really quite good to go back to. But the dialogue is definitely a little hokey in spots and it lacks the stakes of more mature Batman tales told in the comics. This one’s somewhere between Nostalgic and Pleasant Surprise.

The Rescuers – What can I say, I love Bob Newhart. And it’s the rare Disney movie that doesn’t involve saving a princess and actually shows a woman (admittedly a mouse) being fun loving and capable, and even having to encourage her more nervous partner into bolder steps. I would love to show these movies to my kids someday. (Pleasant Surprise)

Foamy (Neurotically Yours) – This one’s a little trickier because I already sensed the quality dipping when I was watching this (again back in college). But truthfully as I get older I find less of this funny and just crude and gross, and occasionally sexually creepy. I still love the Matrix one, and the burping one about (when’s the last time I had a f-ing hot dog) but that’s about it. This one is somewhere between Holy Crap and Tastes Change.

I could go on, but I’d love to hear from you. What have you gone back to recently and how have you reacted to it? Where does that show, comic book, video game, book, or movie fall on the taxonomy?

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