Brian Szabelski is Tomopop's Editor-in-Chief, stuck with an ever-growing collection of figures and toys. When he's not posting on Tomopop, he can usually be found working on any number of projects (some of which will be revealed in good time) or hunting down older figures he doesn't own but wants.
Born and raised in Detroit, he currently lives in northwest Ohio. He enjoys a number of things, including taiko drum playing, food, friends, watching movies, food, writing fiction and playing Team Fortress 2. He also longs for the day a Tomopup figure is available ... among two dozen others he'd like.
You can currently follow him on Twitter at @brianszabelski.
Hope you're all doing well. I popped into the C-Blogs here because I wanted to talk about something with you guys directly, and that would be contests. Specifically, I wanted to mention two things:
1.) Megapixel and Micropixel are both going to return. Sorry about not hosting them the past two months; things have been a little busy on our end. But we fully intend on starting them up again soon; stay tuned for info on when.
2.) The main reason I'm writing up this blog entry is because I'd like to know what you guys are interested in for contests. I'm hoping we can run a few more of them for the remainder of 2013, and it helps me to know what you guys like and don't like specifically. Do you want them to be comment and random draw to win? Something more like Mega/Micropixel that requires entrants to produce something? What kind of prizes are you interested in, too? Gashapon and blind-boxed figures? Or a bigger prize, but with a longer entry period like we do with Megapixel?
Let me know in the comments below; your suggestions can definitely go a long way in helping to shape how we do contests in the future. Thanks a bunch! :D
Thought I'd pop in here now that things are winding down after New York Comic Con and talk a bit about the show and a few other things that have been rattling around in my head as of late:
New York Comic Con Post-Mortem
First, I'll talk a bit about the convention (and not about my delayed flight home through turbulent weather ... that is another story). I personally think we did a pretty good job running around the NYCC floor and it was pretty tiring, but overall, I had a great time and we got to meet a lot of very cool people. There's also some interesting things possibly coming up in the future that I'm really excited about, and trust me when I say you guys should be very excited, too. I also managed to not get sick this time, so hooray for that! It almost makes me like NYCC better just for that reason, lol.
Tomopop Game Nights
A while back, we did a few gaming nights for the site, but we lost track of scheduling them and they disappeared. Would anyone be interested again? And what games, if so? I'm game for anything, no pun intended.
Features and Interviews
One thing I think the site has been lacking that I feel we need are more features and interviews. I've always believed that features and such are really what set us apart, yet they've been fewer and farther inbetween in the last few months. Once I get through my review queue, I'm hoping to write a few... but I'm curious as to what you might all be interested in as well. Is there anything you're interested in reading about? Let me know; sometimes the best sparks for writing come from other folks' inquiries. :) I can say there's at least one constructive criticism piece on the way and another is sort of a wishlist-type feature like we've done in the past. Don't want to spoil things too much.
Likewise, if there's anyone you're interested in seeing us interview, don't be afraid to ask! :) Can't make any promises, but it always helps me to know what or who you're all interested in.
The 2012 Tomopop Toy Awards
Yep, we're bringing them back! After forgetting last year because I wrapped myself up in too much stuff, the 2012 Tomopop Toy Awards are actually happening. They'll cover everything we cover, so expect to see categories for anime/PVC, designer toys, plush, western/Comic/action figures and more! There will be some reader-voted categories, too, that you guys will get to have a say in, along with quite a few staff-voted ones. I think we're thinking 20-25 categories here, but nothing is set in stone besides Collectible of the Year. If you have any ideas, shoot me an e-mail at brian (at) tomopop.com and we'll add it to our growing list of ideas. :) Expect to see the winners announced in late December. And we're hoping to do the roundtable round-up feature again this year, so there will be a lot going on!
As for trophies, we couldn't find enough Nendoroid Mikus to gold-plate and stick on pedestals, so we'll have to wait for the future on that, it seems. Darn.
One of the things I have wanted to do this year is do more blogging in the C-Blogs, perhaps more personal stuff. I always feel like I cover the news side well but that sometimes it obscures the fact that I, too, am still a collector who thinks about things and goes through the same problems with collecting that you, Tomopop's readers, do.
So I was thinking to myself last night that I wanted to write about something related to collecting today, but I wasn't sure what. And as I thought about motivation ... that became my answer. Or more precisely: "What makes me collect what I collect?"
For me, it's half characters I like, be they from anime, games or little fellows like Super7's Foster and 64Colors' Marshall and Gumdrop; and half designs or sculpts I like, including the HSP ver. Hatsune Miku. It's a fair mix lately, though with all the Persona 4 stuff out there, there's been more character stuff than design stuff.
I like things that look nice but that I wouldn't be ashamed to display if I had visitors, which drops most NSFW stuff out of the picture for me. What used to motivate me to collect was being a completionist, and for some folks, it still is and that creates problems for maker and collector alike (more on that perhaps later). But what drives me now is all bundled up in one simple idea: I collect what makes me happy.
Not everyone does for the same reasons, though, so let me know in the comments about what drives you to collect. I'll try to respond to every comment, too.
Just wanted to give you all a heads up on this, but Friday afternoon, we got punched in the face by some bad weather. Long story short, I lost power and because of the damage, it's not expected to be restored until at least Saturday, July 7.
So, if you don't see me around this week posting, that's why. I'm trying to make alternative arrangements to see if I can't post a little bit, but I am not expecting power to return for another week at best, especially if we keep getting more bad weather like we apparently have been.
However, the site's going to keep updating regularly so do keep checking in, and I'll be back as soon as the power returns. Or San Diego Comic Con, whichever comes first at this point. -_-
Tl;dr version: My update on where I'll be this week is sitting in the dark until the lights come back on whenever. Fun.
So here's something cool: I imagine a lot of you guys are fans of Jon Paul Kaiser, and recently, he finished up a unique commission for a fan of his. Instead of painting a Dunny with his usual black and white style, he finished up a set of skate decks that, when hung on the wall, make a picture.
According to Jon Paul, "I drew them so they would work as separate pieces on their own, as well as being able to be hung next to each other in different ways, making different pictures (though the 'correct' version os with the samurai to the right)."
I like how you can flip flop the decks however you choose and it still comes out to be a painting that looks great. What do you guys think of these?