Reality Is The Playground Of The Unimaginative

Home Of Superheroes, Swords, Sorcery, Sonic Screwdrivers, Supernatural Scares, Star Stuff, Sci-fi, Smeg, and Silliness

Sunday, 16 January 2022

FIFTEEN YEARS OF HEROPRESS!!!


FIFTEEN YEARS!!!

The observant among you will have spotted there is no arty anniversary poster this year to mark the occasion. 

Jeremy Hawkins
This is because we lost our friend and HeroPress artist, Jeremy Hawkins, to COVID at the start of the year.

Jeremy had provided me with artwork and logos for almost a decade, totally gratis, asking only that I continue to promote his work, websites, T-shirt designs etc

Alex J Cavanaugh is organising an online tribute to Jeremy on February 2.

In light of this tragedy, it's difficult to focus on the idea of 'celebrating' another year of blogging, but - fortuitously - much of the following drivel had been written in advance, because there were lengthy periods during 2021 when I really didn't think the blog would make it to this anniversary.

These last 12 months have been a particularly rough period for HeroPress.

Surprisingly this was not specifically because of the global pandemic; to be honest that probably impacted me less than most as I tend to be a hikikomori anyway and so mingling with the great unwashed masses is rarely on my agenda.

It's more to do with an all-encompassing black fog - a cocktail of general anxieties, imposter syndrome, and health issues (both very real and imagined) - that has ground me down to an apathetic heap who would rather bathe blankly in the calming rays of a TV screen than risk his soul on anything too creative.

Coming off the back of the "great Blogger overhaul" as well, I think this year was the closest HeroPress has come to being yanked off life-support.

Thankfully, despite everything else, I retain a degree of pride in its existence and continue to nurse it along, even when I don't feel the compulsion to post as regularly as I have during my periods of peak blogging.

HeroPress, of course, isn't my first crack at blogging - just my most successful. 

When I first came out of hospital in July 2005, Rachel and I stayed with my parents until I was well enough to be left on my own. 

We then moved in to my small, cold flat in Tunbridge Wells and I occupied my time - while Rachel was at work - with Internet shopping, watching DVDs and this strange new thing called "writing a blog". 

I didn't really know what I was doing and eventually my blog was "terminated" by the net Nazis at Yahoo for unspecified reasons. 

I guess it was because I was reproducing BBC news stories on there, but I could never get an answer from Yahoo and despite removing what I thought were the contentious items my Yahoo account was still axed (taking with it various pictures of our holidays, our engagement etc). 

Some time later I'd finally sold my flat and this seemed like a good time to start a new blog, as I was moving to Rachel's, our wedding was now on the calendar and my life was back on track.

While my new blog more closely resembled the current incarnation of HeroPress, it was also peppered with increasingly "ranty" texts against 'chavs' and noisy neighbours.

Rachel's flat, at that time, being the first floor of an old converted house, had a particularly noisy bloke living downstairs who would play his music at volume 11 all hours of the day, throw drunken parties, argue loudly with his girlfriend and generally live his life with no regard for those around him.

Thankfully he did a midnight bunk one day, without paying his rent, and - barring a few incidents - the new neighbours were much, much better.

In the end, I found the blog wasn't calming me down and distracting me, as it was supposed to, but actually winding me up more... so for the sake of my sanity I called it a day and took a few weeks off to think about what I really wanted my blog to be about.

And, after much pontificating, on January 16, 2007, with a tentative announcement about a play-by-forum roleplaying game I was planning on running, the 'ultimate' HeroPress was born.

That particular game idea came to nowt, but planted the seeds that eventually blossomed into The Tuesday Knights (our regular, monthly, gaming group) in August, 2008.

So, here we are, 15 years later, closing in on 18,000 posts and well over seven million hits.

There are have been hiccups along the way, often self-inflicted (such as several changes of URL and, at one point, a complete name change for the site), but progress has been steadily heading in the right direction for many years now.

Perhaps, one day, I'll eventually settle on a focus for HeroPress, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Will it be Doctor Who? Who knows???

I suspect my epitaph will read: "He could never make up his mind".

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

This is also a good time to give a shout out to my online peers who help keep me sane and who've looked kindly on this blog 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 only know me from my seemingly incoherent and ill-informed ramblings.

Great souls such as:

And thank you all, readers old and new, for ploughing through my nonsense and hopefully popping back on a semi-regular basis.

In the meantime I'd like to encourage you to check out my informal pro-blogging 'campaign', urging you all to Support Your Local Blogger.

I'm not talking about financially (although I'm sure that wouldn't be unwelcome), I mean just letting them know you read what they're putting out.

If you visit a blog, leave a message, a comment. Your words might just encourage that blogger to keep on blogging for another 15 years... or longer...

And let's take a moment to remember the kindness, generosity, and talent of Jeremy Hawkins. 

He will always be missed.

15 comments:

  1. Congratulations on 15 years, even if some of them have been better than others. Fingers crossed you find inspiration to continue for another few years yet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

      We may stagger, but we haven't fallen down yet... there are still a few hit points remaining ;)

      Delete
  2. Congratulations on 15 years of HeroPress! I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of Jeremy Hawkins he did some amazing work for the site. If I can offer any inspiration it is to blog about the things in your life that truly stimulate you. It was for that reason that I closed down Monster Island News and opened The Traveler's Guide to the Galaxy. MIN simply wasn't who I was anymore. I was simply posting articles sent to me by promoters and film makers and I did very little about subjects that interested me. I'll tell you a secret ... I really don't like horror movies so MIN was a (mostly) horror movie website written by someone who didn't care for horror movies. You can see why I had to pull out. My new blog allows me to have the freedom that I have been searching for. I can feature my photography, talk about interesting places I have visited, feature classic cartoons, share the music I love on top of stuff about old Sci-Fi movies and TV shows. I have always visited this page as a sort of inspiration when I felt off track. I hope that you continue to search for and eventually find the joy and ultimate freedom of expression that a blog like this can give you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry it's taken so long to post your comment (and then reply), Ken, I just found a collection of comments hidden in a "waiting for approval" folder on Blogger that I'd never seen before!

      Thank you for the inspiring words and explanation of why you swapped blogs. I'll be honest, I never would have known you didn't like horror movies.

      Delete
  3. Congratulations Tim, glad your sticking around for a little while longer. 😎

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Erik. I may be slowing down as I get older, but I'll keep going as long as I can ;)

      Delete
  4. Congratulations Tim, glad your sticking around for a little while longer. 😎

    ReplyDelete
  5. Congratulations! Sorry you lost the first blog but you found your way with this one.
    Miss Ivy blogging. Catch her on YouTube now and then.
    Jeremy would be glad you went ahead and celebrated anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, Alex. The Internet needs Ivy's energy back in some form - I was really enjoying her upbeat podcasts.

      Delete
  6. Thank you for putting me on a great list of fellow bloggers. You continue to inspire me and show me cool things I would never find on my own. Another 15 years to you. It's my `15th as well this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cal. I look forward to seeing your celebrations when The Cave of Cool's anniversary rolls around :)

      Delete
  7. And I can't even string together a good few months of consistent posts. ;)

    Huge congrats, Tim. Thanks so much for giving me something to look forward to whenever I'm able to escape to the web for a while!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thank you, Jonathan, for regularly posting erudite comments under my gobbledygook.

      Long may we both continue!

      Delete
  8. Nice one, Knight. A tremendous feat. I only get time to read just before bed, and look for that calm you mentioned. So, the news is definitely out, as is a lot of other material, but I can always rely on your blog to help wash away any detritus from the day and put a smile on my face. Thanks so much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Crowney. I try not to make the blog too raucous or politically controversial ;)

      Delete

Thank you for your interest in HeroPress.

Comment moderation is currently on again because of annoying spammers!

My apologies to genuine commentators for the inconvenience.

As ever I shall endeavour to acknowledge, and respond to, your comments ASAP.

However, if you're just looking to post spam, please don't bother. It's neither big nor clever. And will just be deleted.

Thor: Love & Thunder (2022) + Dr Who (2022)


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