It’s been 4 years since JBL showed real signs of life as an active participant in the fan community. However, things are changing around here and I thought I’d offer up an explanation of what happened and what the site will be going forward. (Knock on wood.)
Those of you who’ve known me for a long time know that I’m actually not the most social of individuals. It’s just one of those things– I tend to keep drama and things to myself rather than dump it other people. After all, we’ve all got our own problems, right? As recent as four years ago, JBL bordered on a full-time job for me. I was compiling the Daily News five nights a week, monitoring the forums, and writing reviews of everything from classic Generation 1 A Real American Hero figures from the 80’s to Generation 3 25th Anniversary figures. What started as a hobby had developed into a site and from there developed in something that was slowly taking over my waking hours. It was a labor of love– an outlet for a passion dedicated to a group of characters that inspired me all throughout the 80’s. That was when “real life” began to intrude. My energies were split in too many directions and I had things outside of Joe that required more and more of my attention. Aging parents, changing jobs, and health issues both personal and family-wise… all became more immediate than a site dedicated to “little plastic men.” As such, the site suffered as I stepped away more and more.
As they say at the beginning of every episode of Supernatural, that was “Then:”… Let’s talk about “Now:”.
JBL will once again be posting reviews and adding new content. It won’t be at the fever pace it once was back when I could devote 40 hours a week to the site. However, it will be MUCH more frequent than the people who do still visit the site have experienced over the past four years. My goal is for a minimum of one review a week, be it Gen 1, Gen 2 or Gen 3. JBL won’t necessarily be the first site to cover something– as I don’t have those kinds of overseas connections but it’ll be a site where you can find honest thoughts from one fan/admin when it comes to particular figure/vehicle. However, don’t look for reviews of every product produced that bear a “G.I. Joe” logo on it. I buy what I like and so some times the fact that an item is omitted might be more telling than any review I could ever post.
Heck, my first review in 4 years is up at the Marauder Review Index. (It’s Wave 6– be gentle!)
The point is– and this is one of those rare moments where I’ll talk about things in a personal sense– I’ve missed this site and this fandom. I’ve missed interacting with people out there who have gone on to bigger and better things during the past four years. I’ve missed posting a review and seeing the responses like “Are you crazy? Ice Cream Soldier totally p@wned Gung-Ho in the comics!” Most of all, I’ve missed the days when working on a Joe site was fun.
Does the web need another “old fogey fan” climbing back up onto his soap box trying to reclaim days gone by? Not really… there are a whole slew of great Joe sites out there– some old and some new. There are a great many review sites out there as well. However, I’ve always believed that differing viewpoints are what makes things interesting. Just because I don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean that I don’t respect their right to have a differing opinion. The point is– the fandom can only benefit by MORE discussion of G.I. Joe– not less.
So, this is where we get to “The Promise” part of this rambling self-indulgent post that is sucking up space on the front page of the site.
I promise to do my best to provide frequent and interesting content to the fandom– be it reviews, news posts, or the occasional commentary such as this. Sometimes that content will come from JBL and sometimes (as in the days of the old Daily News) it’ll be in the form of a redirect to another site that has provided something interesting. Regardless, you’ll see a more active JBL in the future for at least as long as I keep paying the light bills around here.
Thanks for listening… I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled internet surfing. (Unless you’re going to MyLittlePony.com. Seriously man– that’s just NOT cool.)
aka “Leonardo T Dragon”
You rock Fred!
Do what you like when you like it and people will follow. I’ll follow.
And seriously, Ice Cream Soldier?! /RAGE
Man, it’s great to read this! Looking forward to many great new reviews, and new content in the future!
A return to splendor! LONG LIVE THE KING!
Seriously, looking forward to it Fred! The Joe Community is filled with lots of GOOD people that would like a nice place to call home.
Welcome back Dragon!
Ice Cream Solder!!! 😀 Sounds awesome man “old fogey fans” are the best!
JBL is coming back to life? awesome!
I’m going to copypasta what I said on the board: “It may have been a while since your last review, but there’s no sign of ring rust (or whatever rust reviewers get) on any of those pages.” It’s a great review and I’m looking forward to more from you. I also hope you have some fun writing them. Welcome back and keep kickin’ butt!
As someone who enjoys a good review of our favorite Real american heros, one thing I have missed is your willingness to call out proportion and paint app issues ect. Glad to have you back. Also, I hope Alex stays on with the team as I have enjoyed lmao on many occasions.
glad to see you getting your feet back under you. i have always enjoyed this site and look forward to more content. its always better when you are having fun. keep having fun!