Back again for another highly opinionated — some might even say downright cranky — look at the week in fantasy. You’ve been warned!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!
As hard as it is for me to believe it, TheTorchOnline.com is exactly one year old.
I started this site for two reasons: first, because most of the existing sci-fi/fantasy websites seemed to treat the two genres like they were the same thing (and usually gave short-shrift to fantasy). In my experience, while there’s obviously some overlap, most people have a clear preference: sci-fi or fantasy.
I like some sci-fi, but it’s not what makes me get up in the mornings. Fantasy is.
I wanted to create a place where fantasy aficionados were always welcome — a “House of Elrond,” if you will (except that domain was taken!) — and where we could look, in depth, at the genre across all mediums.
I was also frustrated because most of the other existing genre entertainment websites seemed to be just another part of the big internet echo-chamber, rewriting the latest article from Variety or Hollywood Reporter, or blindly repeating the latest casting rumor. If a site did any original reporting at all, well, I often wasn’t very impressed.
I wanted a site that did mostly its own original reporting. And sure enough, in the last year, we’ve interviewed some of the most interesting and influential people in the field of fantasy, including Lucy Lawless, Rob Tapert, Tamora Pierce, Anna Torv, Bridget Regan, Ted Raimi, Kevin Williamson, the cast of Chuck, Craig Horner, Dominic Monaghan, David Boreanaz, Anthony Stewart Head, Jacqueline Carey, the cast of Being Human, Lynda Carter, the cast of Warehouse 13, Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller, and many, many others.
We also broke several important stories, including the news that the Xena movie was dead.
And people have responded. We’ve gone from, well, zero visitors to tens of thousands every single week. Basically, this makes me think, “Okay, so maybe I wasn’t completely crazy.” There was room for TheTorchOnline.com, even on the insanely crowded landscape of the internet.
Along the way, I’ve been joined in my windmill-tilting by some pretty cool folks, people I’m proud to work with and showcase, including my ever-game associate editor, Tim O’Leary, who not only creates our hilarious Ensorceled webcomic — honestly, how did I not see that “The Father” was Papa Smurf?! — he also does our weekly episode reviews of both Spartacus and Legend of the Seeker, among many other chores.
Ninety-five percent of the 750 articles we’ve published in the last year were written by either Tim or me.
Yes, it was just us against the Black Riders internet!
Our newest addition to the staff is Heather Hogan. She’s only just begun to write for us, but I’ve been familiar with her work for other sites for years now, so trust me when I tell you that in a few months, you’ll be just as impressed by her talent as I already am.
And we’ve also been joined lately by two terrific freelancers, Jennifer Fitzgerald, who currently writes our Magic with an Accent column about British fantasy, and Ed Kennedy, who now writes (most of) our From the Palantir fantasy news round-ups.
Speaking of which, the site is currently in the process of a major expansion, so expect lots more coverage in the weeks and months to come.
God knows I’m not the perfect editor. In the frenzied rush to do way too much in way too little time, I’ve made a few mistakes — though I’ve always corrected them if possible. I also wish we had more coverage of fantasy gaming, both video and RPG. I’m working on it, but hey, there are only so many hours in a day.
Speaking of which, my fantasy-themed web-series is on hold too. No, seriously, I honestly thought I was going to be able to write and produce one in all my free time, and it could be “presented by” TheTorchOnline.com. Ohhhhh-kaaaaaay.
There was a point early on in this website when I said to myself, “Is there really enough fantasy-themed entertainment out there to devote a whole website to it?”
Ha! If you ever have any doubt about the mainstream fantasy resurgence that began in the 90s, and then exploded outward with the arrival of the Harry Potter books and The Lord of the Rings movies, trust me when I say: fantasy is bigger than ever. There is no end in sight to the current fantasy renaissance.
And I, idiot that I am, am nonetheless determined to cover it all.
Which means, of course, that it’s time for me to get back to work!
THE IDIOT BOX
It’s all-or-nothing, isn’t it? Either all the shows on television are in first-run, or none of them are.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. Tonight brings a new episode of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and it’s a really, really good one. If they’re going to defeat the uber-gladiator Theocoles, Spartacus and Crixus must join forces. Oh, and along the way, they apparently also have to wrestle naked (10 PM, Starz).
There’s also a new Legend of the Seeker this weekend where — nice! — Cara dies and agrees to become a baneling. Yikes! (syndicated, check local listings)
THE BOX OFFICE
The only fantasy-esque movie opening this week is Shutter Island, but still in theaters is The Wolf Man and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (neither of which, it must be said, we liked very much).
On DVD this week is Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (and that one pretty much stinks too).
Well, this week’s flame has sputtered out, but join me again next week when I promise I won’t be nearly so cranky.
Oh, who am I kidding?!
Looking to buy any of the projects mentioned in this article (or any other media)? Support TheTorchOnline.com by purchasing it through this link.
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