One of the main tenets of Manic Expression has always been “no stars.” If you’re someone whose work gets a thousand hits or none, you’re treated equal here.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have stars though. Oliver Harper gets tons of hits on YouTube. Decker Shado is the Internet personality with the best hair…the best. Patricia just interviewed April friggin’ O’Neil! We’ve got stars here, big stars. Anyone said hi to Nica Noelle yet? She writes for the Huffington Post and is an award winning porn actress.
Hold it! Wait! You can email her later. We’ve got someone else here we need to honor first.
When it comes to star power here at Manic Expression, few can compare to the crew at ComicBook Cast. This month we salute Armin, their fearless leader. CBC has nearly 30,000 subscribers on YouTube. Their videos get tens of thousands of hits. When YouTube star ComicBookGirl19 did her review of Man of Steel, she included clips from a other reviews. Among the heavy hitters there were the Red Letter Media guys, the Schmoes, Turner Classic Movie’s Ben Mankiewicz…and Armin. Armin was in there too. The dude is a rock star.
Armin has a reputation as kind of a prickly guy (a word of warning: don’t mention Dark Knight Rises to him). He has his opinions and he lets them be known. Should you be on the wrong side of that opinion, you may not like what he has to say. He won’t care. His opinion does not require your approval, and he’ll let you know it.
However, some people dismiss Armin’s criticism without hearing him out. Most think he loathed Man of Steel, while in reality he gave it a fairly high rating. Most think he’s taking interviews with assassins so he can rid the world of Christopher Nolan. Actually he’s a big fan of the man, just not of the man’s fans. Most dismiss him as a Marvel fanboy who hates all things DC. Wrong. His favorite superhero is Aquaman.

Armin doesn’t sugarcoat his opinions, and while he may get heated in his videos he’ll always do his best to back up what he’s saying. Most trolls see him as an easy target because he’s passionate, and if there is one thing trolls don’t understand it’s passion. They see passion as blind hatred, like what they feel, and they long to start a flame war. If they’d listened to the whole video they would have known better. Armin isn’t spewing hatred, he’s expressing his love of comics and the mythology they’ve spawned.

As you all know by now, Manic Expression is launching a YouTube channel today. This was not my idea, this was Armin’s. I went to him and asked him for advice. I wanted to know how he made CBC what it was. Honestly, I never expected to hear back from the man. “He’s busy,” I thought.

Busy? Yes. Too busy for me? No.

We met on Skype. He laid out a pathway to bring a bigger audience to Manic Expression, as well as the possibility of finally turning a profit. Not only was he prepared to help by offering me advice, he said he’d promote Manic Expression through CBC, and even better he offered to be a part of our YouTube channel. He even edited the channel’s trailer.

Becoming successful on the Internet has the same drawbacks as becoming successful anywhere else. It’s easy to forget who you are and where you came from. It’s easy to forget that not that long ago you were just like everyone else, making videos no one watched or writing blogs no one read. When tens of thousands of people are watching every video you post, I can imagine it would be easy for that to go to your head.

I knew Armin before ComicBook Cast blew up, and I can honestly say he’s the same guy. Busier, but the same guy. When I asked for help he didn’t see me as some pissant to be ignored. Many people, when they walk through the doors of success, want to lock that door behind them. Armin wanted to help. He wanted to help me. He wanted to help this site. He wanted to help you. He’s a hell of a nice guy.

…Seriously though, don’t mention Dark Knight Rises to him.

By James

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