Thursday, November 23, 2006

Personal Outlay Developed ("POD") Reviews: An Introduction

This blog is dedicated to POD media. The "POD" acronym traditionally refers to "publish on demand" books, and books will, in fact, be a primary focus of this blog. However, I use "POD" to refer to a much broader category of outsider pop culture: all books, movies, music, comics and other media where the creator, propelled by personal vision (and perhaps by the fact that no one else is willing to advance funds), personally assumes the monetary risks and rewards of creation, publication and/or distribution of art. In other words, POD media is, for me, Personal Outlay Developed media.

Several POD book review blogs already exist, including the ones linked to the right. Yet I believe there is room for (at least) one more. With tens of thousands of POD books published every year (including at least a couple dozen good ones), only a very small fraction of even the best POD novels receive any attention whatsoever. My own bookshelf is stands in silent, faux-wooden testament to this fact: most of the POD titles that I personally have most enjoyed remain unreviewed anywhere. If I can help spread the words about even some of these books, then my time here is well-spent.

Moreover, I have a gimmick. Because my interest in POD media extends beyond books, this is going to be a full-service blog. Although the focus of each entry is going to be a novel, I, like a sommelier of the "do-it-yourself" world, am going to push a POD movie or album to complement each literary main course. Ideally, this will create an overall experience that is thematically coherent and brings out the full flavor of the novel being reviewed. In reality, I’m sure that the link will generally be as strained as this dinner analogy.

So there you have it. If the movie "They Live" were POD, I would close this introduction by paraphrasing "Rowdy" Ruddy Piper's famous quote: I’ve come here to chew bubblegum and write some reviews . . . and I’m all out of bubblegum. However, this sounds much less impressive than in the original version (where Mr. Piper said "kick some ass" rather than "write some reviews"). In any event, "They Live" was a major studio motion picture (even if it had a decidedly POD sensibility), so it is not really appropriate here. But as always, even if I break my own rules, my heart is in the right place.