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Archive for November, 2007

One more day until December. It’s getting really, really cold outside. One more month until this blog officially turns one year old.

When I started this blog, my idea of blogging was much different. I churned out a post every week or so, usually an article a tv show or some Star Wars tidbit. It wasn’t for another few months until I really hit my niche: Star Wars books and comic news and reviews. I can’t exactly say it exploded; it really hasn’t, not yet. I don’t deserve to be on any list next to Rebelscum or the Forcenet, but I thank the reader that put me on it on Wookieepedia. The Jedi Blogger is a small-time blog, living off Google searches, Feedburner subscribers, forum advertising and a small band of loyal readers that have been here since day one.

A History Lesson

It all started in the January of this current year. Around that time, Blogger released it’s new version of the program, Blogger 2.o. You actually had to go through all the steps of transferring your blog to do this, and in the process, I lost my blog. So I decided to start from scratch; a clean start, with a new name, address and template. Back in those days, I had about a post a week, usually about a random subject. It began to feel like it was a job, trying to get a post out every week.

I began to really find my niche when I started reviewing comics and books. This was something I could do, for a reason able price, and I could do it really well. I sharpened my writing skills, started using spellcheck and started making weekly, if not daily, posts about books and comics. Every once in a while I’d get burned out, and have to take a break, but then I’d jump back into it.

Around that time a I began to get some regular readers. It was great: people were actually reading what I wrote! I added some reguliar posts, like the Star Wars Book News. It got a great response. I added a Sitmeter to my website. As of today, I’ve had 1,487 visits. While Rebelscum might get that in a week, I’m totally happy with that many visits in a yar.

Feedburner, Forums and Commision Junction Adds

The best thing I ever did for this website was add a Feedburner subscription service. I get daily people coming to the site because of it. I only added it recently, and it’s more than doubled my traffic.

One thing I really wanted when I started this blogs was adds. Not to make money, really, but just to look cool. I registered as affiliates of the Star Wars Shop, Gentle Giant, Entertainment Earth, and Sideshow Collectibles. For a little while there, all I had decorating the blog was a ton of adds. Every square inch of the side bar was covered with them. That got old really quick. As of today, I’ve never actually sold anything on them.

I’ve always advertised on forums for my website. The Star Wars Action New forums were the first I ever joined, and from the start, I advertised. I’d get maybe a click a day coming through the forums. As I became more involved in the community, I started to get more and more traffic coming through forums.

Around the time of September, I decided it was time to try and run my own forums. I used the a free phbb engine. For the first few months, I had three or four users, hardly posting at all. I got bored with it and literally forgot about it. It wasn’t untill about two weeks ago that I visited and found that I now had thirteen members, asking where the heck the admin was. This was a pleasent suprise. Since then, I now have sixteen members, more than 1,100 posts and a co-admin.

Looking to the Future

The Jedi Blogger is going to be around for a while; if you haven’t already guessed. I have some exciting things planned for the new year. Starting this month is my Podcast of the Week peice, where I’ll be reviewing a brand new podcast every single week. I also hope to get some interviews with some Star Wars artists, writers and podcasters.

This is just the first installment of my Year in Review series, which I talked about a few weeks ago. This series will include three different articles, starting with this one. The next will be a total review of the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, and the next will be my “top picks” of sorts, highlighting some of my favorite things this year. Look forward to more in this series.

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For as long as I can remember, Dark Horse has had nice commisions on the front of their comics. Some were so good you could frame them. Recently, starting with some of the early Rebellion and recent KOToR comics, Dark Horse has decided to put word bubbles on their covers.

The first one I can remember was on the cover of the first Akhista Gambit Rebellion comics, with Wil Tarson standing next to Raze. That cover was awsome, one of my favorites in a long time. When you do it right, word bubbles on the cover can look cool. When you do it wrong, it looks like a page out the the book. Or worse.

I really didn’t give this a second thought untill I saw the huge reaction this was getting on the Dark Horse message boards and the fan mail page of the comic books. Almost every letter that came in complained about the word bubbles; I’ve only seen two or three people that have actually liked them.

In my opinion, they add a sort of edgy-comic booky feel to the covers, which I haven’t felt in a while. Some of the recent covers just haven’t been up to par, in my opinion, with some of the stellar peices they had commisioned in the old days the the Empire and Republic comics. My only real problem with the word bubbles is the fact that the words in them really don’t make any sense; most of the time, they are reminiscent of a three-or-four panel scene of the comic that isn’t even worthy of notice.

Recently, in the fan mail page of KOToR #21, Jeremy Barlow said that after the end of the Knights of Suffering arc, which as of today only has one issue left, Dark Horse will be ending their word bubble covers. So you haters, rejoice! I’ll miss them.

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Just a quick news update. Knights of the Old Republic #23, Knights of Suffering prt. 2 of 3, is on sale today! As I’ve said before, I can not reccomend this current arc highly enough. The story and art are stellar.

This also means we have only one more issue untill the first issue of Vector comes out on January 30, 2008. Knights of the Old Republic #24, Knights of Suffering prt. 3 of 3, will conclude the 12-prt. Daze/Knights arc.

Definatly pick this one up. For a preview of the issue, follow this link to Darkhorse.com: http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/profile.php?sku=14-776

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Yes, it’s out of order; I recently reviewed issue #22 of KOToR, thinking issue #21 had slipped threw my hands, but I was recently able to pick up a copy at my local store. This was the concluding chapter in the Daze of Hate three-part story arc, which I have been able to review each issue of. Look back in the Star Wars Book News posts to check out former reviews.

First off, it was sort of a step back after reading such a stellar issue like #22. Nothing against Bong Dazo, but the art in this issue dissapointed me. His art was great in the first two, but this one seemed to be a rush job of sorts. His style is a little too animated for me.

The story ended as it had to; with a huge three-way battle between the Arkanians, the Republic and the Mandalorians. How it happened, in my opinion, was rather lame, with Zayne dressing up in Mandalorian armour and starting a fight with Carth. The two brawl it out and end up starting a battle in wich Lord Adasca is killed in the crossfire (Good Ridence!) and the main cast is able to escape to Taris, where Gryph is alive and well, leading the resistance against the Mandalorians.

If you haven’t already picked up this issue, sace your money! All you need to go leading into the next arc is the face that Zaybe escaped. This was a dissapointing end to a stellar arc.

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A Hasting’s store recently opened in my area, so I decided to go and see what it was all about. I didn’t go in expecting to see any Star Wars collectibles, but I came out presently surprised.

It’s hard to describe what a Hasting is… it’s a cross between a Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Blockbuster, Starbucks and comic book store. Not only did they have Wave five a six of the TAC collection, but they had Master Replica and Sideshow collectibles, too. I saw a couple FX Sabers, some mini blasters, the Dejerik Table statue and an assortment of other things.

While this was cool, everything there was priced high. The figures where nine dollars each. They had a few hard to find figures, including the Saga Legends Sandtrooper, Darth Revan, and even a Darktrooper. They also had an assortment of other wave 5 and 6 figures, including Yoda on Kybuck, which is a really cool figure.

Due to the nine dollar price point, I ended up only picking up the Dark Trooper. This is one monster of a figure! The figure is so big that the bubble is larger than the normal figures. While the articulation is of the 90’s, due to the fact that this was originally released back in the Dark Forces days, the nice gold Fan Choice #1 and gold coin make this a nice display piece.

It was definatly worth the price for hard to find figures. I wouldn’t really suggest picking up any of the Sideshow or Master Replica stuff there, because you could probley pick it up for less if you order it directly from the company. Definatly check out Hasting’s if you have one in your area!

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While one day it might have been the main database for all things Star Wars, it seems that of recently the fansites themselves have become more popluliar than the official site. I visited Starwars.com for the first time in a month today, while I visit Rebelscum, TFN and the Star Wars Action News forums daily.

The biggest problem I have with Starwars.com is Hyperspace. For a fee, you get to access “exclsusive” content, use the official forums and have a blog. The reason I refuse to pay for Hyperspace is the fact that I can get all those features for free from Star Wars fan sites. I can get my news from Theforce.net. I can have a blog using a Blogger engine. I can use any forum on the web I want for free. I can even start my own!

As the two new tv series start to near, I hope that Starwars.com will start churning out some good exclusive content. For now, it’s sort of obsolete to me. I think that for now, fans will turn to blogs, fansites and forums for their news.

I’ll also take this as a chance to plug my forums. Please join! We’ve got a couple of loyal posters, but we need more people. We’re starting some rpg’s, so please join in! For those of you reading off the Feedburner feed, here’s the link:http://thejbforum.freeforums.org/index.php. If you are reading from the website, the link can be found in

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I was surfing around Wookieepedia just now, and noticed how short many pages where about fan sites and other pages about the Fan community. While I know the Star Wars wiki revolves around the actual Star Wars universe, I think the community deserves equal attention.

More than anything, I think many of these fan pages have been forgotten. Believe it or not, I actually had to create a page for Rebelscum.com a few months ago. Theforce.net’s page complains about how it’s message boards and fan fiction section doesn’t allow explicit language or talk of “controversial issues.” Come on, people! It’s a Star Wars fansite. That doesn’t need to be on a Wookieepedia page. I am very tempted to delete this; but alas I can’t, not being a deletionist.

Another example of fans running wild on a forgotten page is the “Host Costuming” section on the Force-Cast’s page. I created the original page for the Force-Cast, and I thought it was pretty good! I worked a long time on it. While I think the guys from the Rebelscum Force-Cast forums did a great job with most of that page, come on! Do you really need a whole section about a costume that Jacen and Pete haven’t even made yet?

So what I’m saying is, if anyone reading is a Wookieepedian, please help me improve the Star Wars fan community’s pages on Wookieepedia. Some of this stuff is just plain ridiculous! I’ll be back soon with more details soon.

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