State of the Blog: More to Come

So, 2022 has proven itself to be….a year, hasn’t it?

Yeah, this has been a wild one. 2022 has been a year of tumult, both professionally and personally, for the both of us as well as the world in general.

Don’t get me started on what’s happening over at Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery.

All of this assorted…stuff…is why it’s been kind of dry over here these past several months.

But now we’re back!

Those of you who have stuck with us this whole time (and thank you for doing that, BTW) have noticed a slight uptick in the output here. Progress is kind of slow right now, but things are gradually starting to pick up here. Jason and I are getting back on track and the creative itch has returned, waiting to be scratched. I think we’re ready to FINALLY take this blog to the next level.

(Note how I didn’t refer to it as Twinsanity 2.0, because it’s not Twinsanity 2.0; it’s not Twinsanity anything. We changed the site’s name to Twin Images earlier this year; I’ve already elaborated on why in an earlier post, just refer to that.)

Now, as to what to expect here going forward.

“This is going to be a long read, so you might want to get some snacks.”

First and foremost, I feel like we’ve done all we can with the free version of WordPress.

I think it’s time for an upgrade.

In the upcoming months, we’re going to be upgrading to a paid site. More bells and whistles, more options, and as a paid blog we can monetize this bad boy.

“Cha-ching, baby!”

The reason for this is not just naked greed (though naked greed is part of it); you see, our long-term goal is to one day be able to do what we do here: cartoons, comedy, art and making people laugh, as a full-time occupation; ads can help us accomplish this goal, but we first have to attract more viewers to the blog. I’m also considering starting a Patreon or Ko-Fi account for Twin Images (there’s also another platform called Comradery that I’ve heard things about; we’re currently weighing our options). Artists gotta eat too, especially if we’re going to be paying for a bigger and better site/show.

-Yes, I said ‘show’. Despite the way it may look, we’re STILL planning to start making videos. (We’ll continue to blog in the meantime, though, at least until we get the hang of video production, then that’ll take precedent.) We were just shopping for equipment as recently as yesterday. WordPress has plenty of video-friendly themes and templates; just yet another incentive to upgrade.

We probably won’t upgrade the site until early next year, likely around January or early February, though. It just so happens that it’s now October, and the tail end of the year is a notoriously bad time to try and create content; you have Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December. (Also if you count it, New Year’s Eve/Day in late December/early January.) You have to deal with holiday preparations, shopping, family get-togethers, etc. and all the crapola that comes with all that, which leaves very little time to try and create. If you want to do any serious creative work, you’re basically out of luck until January, and since the whole point is to increase production so we’ll increase traffic, we’ll likely hold off on the upgrade until early 2023; we’re not going to pay an annual fee while we’re not producing a lot of work, and we’re sure not going to expect you good folks to donate to us for nothing.

Also, expect the style and nature of the posts we make to change slightly. Regular visitors to the site may have already noticed a slight difference in the types of posts that have been appearing here lately. We’ve decided not to adhere so rigorously to the recurring segments here. (This is why I removed the tab listing the recurring segments; that and it was just out-of-date now.) I/we used to try to make all or most of the posts adhere to one of the regular segments that we set up, but that’s just the thing: WE set them up; they’re not etched in stone so everything we do doesn’t have to fit into a specific box. At a certain point this year, I decided:

I’m just going to post what I want to post.

From now on it doesn’t matter if something fits into one of the recurring segment categories or not, whether it’s long or short, simple or detailed; if it’s funny or interesting and it came from one of our brains, then we’re going to post it. Period. We need to be flexible and just have fun with this stuff. It can’t ever stop being fun; it if starts to feel like a job or a chore, then it’s time to hang it up.

(The recurring segments won’t be going away, however; we’ll still be doing That’s Warner Brothers!, Brain Candy, The Couch, Retroville, What the Funny, Pop Dream, et al, it’s just that going forward everything we post doesn’t have to fall into one of those categories. We’re trying to give ourselves more creative freedom here.)

-As a consequence to this New Style, you’ll probably be seeing less of us on Tumblr going forward. We won’t be leaving Tumblr; it’s a great community and there’s some cool people and stuff on there, but neither of us have been posting a ton of original work on there this year. Initially we created the Tumblr account to a) attract more eyeballs to our main site on WordPress (feel free to do start following us here if you’re not already doing that, BTW) and b) post short, quick micro-blog posts and simple jokey-jokes that we didn’t think were ‘big’ or ‘significant’ enough to post here on the main site. However, as previously stated, nowadays we’ve greatly loosened that self-imposed rule and have been starting to put all of our musings and ramblings, big or small, on this site, to the point where sometimes I would copy the same posts on both sites. With this being planned to become the main hub for our content, we just don’t need to post on Tumblr as much anymore (lately I’ve mostly just been lurking and re-blogging stuff on Tumblr). There are no plans to shut down our Tumblr page just yet, but from here on out we’ll mainly be posting content here and on YouTube.

As for what type of content you can expect, no major changes. We’ll still be covering our favorite topics:

Our favorite Golden Age cartoon icons…
Our favorite current cartoon shows, characters and channels…
The glory days of Saturday Morning…
Video game stuff…
Weird, funny, memorable and obscure products, stores, ad campaigns and mascots…
Kooky, fun locations and tourist-y spots…
And whatever else we feel like.
Also expect to see more of us just being funny, wacky, crazy and creative in general.

Speaking of which, we still would like to one day start posting original art and cartoons online. (I made a couple of early attempts, and they were just that, but the dream is still alive and I’m learning.) If that venture takes off, we’ll likely create a second blog for our cartoons. (I may put them behind some kind of paywall too, we’ll see.)

So once again, big, BIG thanks to all of you who have stayed with us. It means a lot. Please stick around to see what’s coming up next from us here; we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got in store. And as always…

2015 Progress Report

Hey, guys. I just thought I’d let you all know how things are coming along with those plans to revise the site that we mentioned at the tail end of 2014.

We’re about to blow up!

There will be videos. As of this writing, we’re still in the germinal stages of video making; they’re baby steps, but we’re making progress. Our brother Chaz (aka CJP of the Otaku Gamer Spot) has been giving us some pointers and we’re taking tutorials and watching instructional videos on how to do it and the right programs and software to choose, etc., so yes, original videos for this site will be happening. Our first attempts at video making will undoubtedly suck and suck hard, but you have to not be afraid to suck because that’s how you learn. If all goes well, expect the original videos to increase and the actual typed blogs here to decrease; in fact, I’ve been thinking of relegating the actual blogs to their own separate category, they’ll likely just cover site news and announcements and the few newsy type articles which don’t require a full video. Generally speaking, if it features visuals and jokey-jokes, it will done as a video rather than a blog article. We’re still mulling over choices for a video host; right now it looks like we’ll go with YouTube as our main host but also have a backup host in case YouTube decides to act funny regarding images and clips (we do plan to feature cutaways and such in the videos); right now we’re considering Dailymotion as a backup host, but if anybody has any suggestions or recommendations, please share your wisdom with us. We can use all the help we can get.

Now as for the content: in an earlier article when we revived and revised the Reviews on the Run segments, Jason (Goldstar) mentioned how the reviews need not be for a series as a whole: they could be about a specific character or a specific episode or even a specific scene from a particular episode. When we launch the videos, expect them to follow this standard. Additional inspiration comes from our friend Hobbyfan’s blog Saturday Morning Archives, in that we’re only going to cover the subjects that we choose to cover, regardless of whether they’re currently on the air or not. I try not to let myself become “time warped”, one of those people who allows themselves to get locked into one particular era, but at the same time, I admit that I have eclectic, almost esoteric tastes and simply lack the desire to try to follow everything that comes down the pike. As Goldstar noted, trying to please everyone by trying to cover everything was both time consuming and physically draining and we definitely won’t be going back to that.

The best way I can describe what I have in mind for the videos is something similar to the Nostalgia Critic (Doug Walker)’s commercial videos, only done as an on ongoing series so we can cover one thing at a time instead of several all at once and they can cover other topics such as cartoons, video games, sketches and products as well. Phelous, Calluna and Mike J’s videos are also indicative of what we hope to accomplish with the vids. I’d love to do the kind of stuff that Tony Goldmark (Some Jerk with a Camera) does but with varying topics. That’s the hope anyway.

Don’t worry, folks; the cartoon subjects won’t be going away. We’ll still be talking toons here, animation is and always has been a BIG part of our lives and that’ll likely never change, but we would like to branch out into other subjects as well (the 2 Funny and Nerdvana segments were born from this desire).

There will be riffs. As previously mentioned, I’d also like for us to do riffs on this site, kind of like Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Shorts videos, but as a series. We probably will do some 1950’s instructional type videos like Chicken of Tomorrow and Design for Dreaming type stuff sometimes, but I don’t want those to be our primary target because Rifftrax and The Isle of Rangoon pretty much have that domain covered, plus there are just other things I’d like to riff on. Ideally, I’d like for us to do riffs on cartoon shorts and episodes, TV shows and specials, commercials, movie trailers, etc., anything involving cartoons, costumed mascots, puppety oddballs or anything really campy and outlandish. Think Retsuprae tackling other things besides video games and you have the basic idea of what I’d like to accomplish with the riffs.

Hopefully, there will be cartoons. This idea is even more beta than the videos, but nonetheless it’s something I’d like for us to do in the future: original cartoons, either as web comics or possibly original animations. We have 1 idea that’s been in the planning stages for some time now; it’s sort of our take on the Johnny Test premise but with more Girl Power and very pro-STEM. Another idea we’re toying with is the Wild Cartoon Kingdom/Eat or Get Ate thing that we joked about previously but have since decided to actuallly pursue as a project, so we’ll see where things go from there. If all goes well with those, we may be giving the cartoons their own site, like what we planned to do with Twinsanity Toons: original cartoons.

So yeah, it may or may not look like it, but things are happening on that end. Expect Twinsanity to get more video-oriented and visual and less text-heavy in the coming months. We’ve been doing the site more or less the same way for 5 years now, and I just feel like it’s ready for a makeover. I’d like to see this site become bigger and better than it’s ever been. Our dream is for Twinsanity to become a fun site full of entertaining videos where we celebrate the stuff we like, cartoons and other things. Just good times and big laughs all around. We’ll keep you all posted as things progress, in the meantime…