This is the blog of Karen Mead, writer, geek, and over-analyzer supreme. Once I was a newspaper reporter, and wrote about things like plans for new sewage treatment plants and legislative redistricting. Then I woke up one morning and thought “Wouldn’t it be more fun to write about anime, and games and comics and stuff?” and started doing that. It was also kind of sad having a front-row seat to the Death of Newspapers, so I jumped ship for the Internet.

Expect long rants, episodic posts about 20-year-old cartoons and games that nobody asked for, and maybe even drawings if I can get my damned scanner hooked up again.

My Approach to Analysis

I think of myself as a fan first, critic second. Some might assume this means that I’m easier to please than most critics (and to be fair, that’s probably true), but that’s not really what it means. When I say I’m a fan first, I mean I want to write about the show– or the game, or the manga, or the book, or whatever I’m blogging about. If writing about the piece happens to involve academic-style criticism, because I think it fits, I’ll go with it. But I never write about anything with the purpose of making it fit into any kind of critical framework, which is where I think a lot of critics screw up.

I think that if you favor one particular style of critical analysis, be it feminist criticism or close-reading or what have you, you’re always partially writing about the school of criticism itself instead of the piece of media in question. A lot of criticism seems to be about justifying itself, whether consciously or not on the part of the writer. To me that’s a distraction from everything else that I’m really interested in.

I added this part here because while I sometimes say things that may seem anti-criticism (although hopefully not anti-intellectual), I do use the tools of academic analysis when I feel like they’re the right tools for the job. But that’s all they are, tools, and tools don’t excite me: the media itself does.

Now, if you want to talk about tools exciting someone, try taking my Dad to Home Depot or Harbor Freight and see what happens. I’m not hatin’ on tools, just not my thing.


Need to contact me about some special project, that will hopefully entail billions of dollars? E-mail me at Karen {a} rangoric.com. Okay, billions of dollars don’t need to be involved, you can just say hi if you want.