Monday, 31 May 2010
Looking to the Future
I spent a lot of my free time on The Cimmerian, and it's daunting to think what I'm going to do without it. So, I have a few ideas.
Concentrate on The Blog That Time Forgot
This is the first that springs to mind. I'm glad to have my cadre of readers, so I must be doing something right: I could spruce it up with images for the banner, some nice backgrounds, clean up the various areas. I'm also going to start using the "Pages" tool. However, it feels a bit weird to mix my somewhat informal posts about Transformers and comics and dinosaurs with my more serious ones. Just be thankful I haven't posted my Top Twenty Girls To Acquire for a Seraglio. That said, I do have a couple of non-REH/Tolkien articles lined up: the character vandalism & hypocritical sexualisation of Lara Croft, mythic resonance and literary antecedents of The Transformers, the evolution of dinosaurs in popular culture, the bizarre balletic poetry of professional wrestling, and a few others I'm keeping secret for now.
Working on getting TBTTF up to a more presentable level would hopefully fill some small fraction of the void left by TC. It might even take off like The Silver Key, Grognardia and Atop the Fourth Wall. Another thing that wasn't as possible on The Cimmerian was back-and-forth feedback: though I got some emails from readers, there's something to be said for a good comments section. It makes everything public and freely available, and discussion is always welcome.
Join another REH Blog Site
There are a lot of fine Howard and related blogs apart from The Cimmerian: the REHupa blog, Damon Sasser's Two Gun Raconteur blog, The Black Gate, and what have you. I'm a big fan of TGR, and (if Damon et al would have me) I would seriously consider it. I suspect many bloggers will be making their way to the myriad other blogs, so even with me being a wet-behind-the-ears newbie in comparison, it's a possibility.
The thing that concerns me most about joining an existing site is, simply, jitters. Even with a Venarium award nomination under my belt, plenty of congratulations on good jobs and insights, and comments from the movers and shakers of Howardom... I still feel like a kid all the time. I can't count the number of times I'm reading Howard, think I've stumbled upon something totally new, only to realise it'd been done before in Amra or REHupa or even The Cimmerian journal. It got a bit frustrating sometimes. It's your classical West Coast of Scotland syndrome: for all my success, I keep expecting someone to turn around and try to cut me down to size, so I don't get a big head - even if I wasn't going to. So I just do it myself to stop them from enjoying their petty victory: sadly, it means I'm too humble for my own good.
Create an Heir to The Cimmerian
This is obviously ludicrously ambitious, but hear me out. The Cimmerian is one of the only blogs which held Robert E. Howard and J.R.R. Tolkien in equal esteem and value. From its inception, Leo intended it to be a Shield Wall for not just Howard, but his English counterpart, the other titan Argonath guarding the Anduin of fantasy fiction. As such, I feel that with The Cimmerian's passing, the internet will lose that unique perspective. Many Tolkien sites are dismissive of Howard, and most Howard sites tend to concentrate on the Texan: TC was the most prominent to view both as equals, and it would be a shame for that to be lost.
Of course, such a theoretical website would not be The Cimmerian: it never could. At best, it would be its enthusiastic, precocious younger relative, the one who nips at the heels of their awesome older brother and emulates them, wanting to be just like him when they grow up. The other matter is that The Cimmerian is, obviously, a very Howardian name: a name for TC's offspring should be applicable to both Howard and Tolkien, and perhaps others in fiction and history. My choice would be Shieldwall: evocative of everything the site stood for without excluding Tolkien in the name, and broad enough to accomodate history, mythology, fiction and other authors.
Those are the three I'm thinking of just now. Any comments or suggestions would be most welcome.