Reality is the playground of the unimaginative
Home Of Superheroes, Sci-fi, Star Stuff, the Supernatural, Swords, and Sorcery

Mortal Engines (December 22, 2018)

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Artistic Appreciation Of Anniversaries Past...

by Jeremy Hawkins

I don't always celebrate the anniversary of HeroPress in quite the same way as I have this year, but when I do I like to commission a unique piece of art to mark the occasion.

Here's a selection from previous years for you to feast your eyes upon.

by Jeremy Hawkins
by Jeremy Hawkins
by Reis O'Brien

Fine Dining To Mark My Bloggaversary...

Mmmmmm, carvery!

To celebrate the 11th anniversary of HeroPress, Rachel, Alice, and I went to The Clock House, in Tonbridge, at the weekend for a slap-up carvery meal.

The former tapas restaurant has recently rebranded itself as a family (and small dog) friendly establishment, offering a magnificent Sunday carvery.

I went for the turkey option, while Rachel had beef, and Alice had to settle for a bowl of water and the occasional treat.

Loving the fact that I'm gradually becoming more aware of an increasing number of shops and restaurants that are welcoming to our canine companion.

Afterwards, we went for an energising walk through the park, around the the castle, and then headed back home.

Please, sir, can I have some more?
My two favourite ladies...
A delightful picture of me stuffing my face...

ELEVEN YEARS OF HEROPRESS!!!

Fantastic anniversary poster for HeroPress, by the talented Jeremy Hawkins 

Today's the day, we mark the anniversary of the launch of this rambling enterprise: eleven years of unfocused wiffle embracing superheroes, sci-fi, comics, films, television, roleplaying games, wargames, cosplay, and whatever else spills out of my addled brain.

Given that this time last year I was in a state of blogging burn-out, I'm impressed that I managed to pull myself out of he funk and crack on with another 12 months of posting.

I really thought that was going to be the end of HeroPress, and there were several months of minimal postings at the start of 2017 which suggested the blog might be in its death throes.

But I persevered, and, in the end, 2017 saw several record-breaking months of posting (albeit that this included a lot of film clips and trailers, but I see them all as integral to the blog's edutainment remit).

In the end, I recorded a healthy 1,296 posts last year, not  record in itself, but far more than I would have imagined at the start of the year.

For a while in 2017 HeroPress also had its own Facebook page, but this turned out to be more trouble than it was worth and I returned to simply promoting the blog via my personal Facebook wall, which seems to be working just fine.

I've also moth-balled most of my Google+ engagement for the moment, really only staying involved with the That's Gameable! community.

Going forward the plan is to try and better balance my computer time against my time away from the keyboard, with the initial idea that I'm aiming to switch from the usual routine of one post every three hours from 9am (or 6am some days) through to 6pm (9pm some days), to a more rigid system of posting at 9am, 3pm, and 9pm (the formula I've been employing for weekend posts for a while).

This gives me a window between set posts to slip in any "breaking news" (which is usually film trailers!)

The idea of this is it should encourage me to be more active away from the computer: catch up on films, read books and comics, think about gaming in a constructive manner etc

Whether this actually comes about is another matter entirely, of course!

Back in December, I was celebrating 2,000,000 hits since the blog moved to its current URL in September 2013. That's an incredible feat I reckon, but imagine how huge my haul of hits would be if I wasn't prone to dicking around, changing the blog's name, its URL etc every few years?

I reckon I could have been giving Cal with his recent 8,000,000 hits over at The Cave Of Cool a run for his money.

As ever, I'd like to thank my incredibly patient wife, Rachel, for encouraging me to keep on blogging, supporting my endeavours, and turning a blind eye to the numerous cosplay picture posts that appear on the site.

I'd also like to thank the incredibly talented graphic designer/artist Jeremy Hawkins, of Being Retro, for his Stranger Things-themed poster (above) celebrating this 11th anniversary landmark.

While I may bang on about the blog's overall lack of focus, I'm pleased that I restarted my Six Of The Best feature, profiling fellow bloggers and cheerleading for the awesomeness of this form of social media.

When I've asked interviewees to name the best thing about blogging, many have said the sense of community and camaraderie.

I heartily second that, and would like to take a moment to thank those who've looked kindly on HeroPress in last year or so.

These are people I know I can turn to for inspiration or assistance, people who've never even met me and know me only from my seemingly incoherent and ill-informed ramblings online.

Great souls such as:

On the gaming front, The Tuesday Knights is now hitting a solid rhythm of monthly meetings, and having a great time in Pete's retro 1980's Top Secret SI campaign.

We haven't really discussed how long he wants to continue with this, but Simon has expressed a willingness to take on gamesmastering duties next... with his latest purchase: the My Little Pony roleplaying game!

Depending on how things pan out, I'm thinking of running a game again either from the end of this year or the start of 2019; quite possibly the Savage World of Flash Gordon setting from Pinnacle.

But I really need to get my head around the Savage Worlds rules first, otherwise there are several other systems I'm toying with that are simple enough for me to run quickly and smoothly.

One of these I'm particularly excited about goes way back to an idea I had at the dawn of my online presence, well over a decade ago.

The two main books of The Savage World of Flash Gordon
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