Monday, 29 December 2008

Year in Review 2008

Another year has gone by... Our first full year as a blog, including our first year anniversary in November. We've covered a lot of ground, and hopefully we'll still have enough material to keep going for a while yet! Before we move forward, however, here's a look back at some of our favorite posts from this past year.

We were absentee authors in January on account of our very own globetrotting extraordinary voyage to Madagascar via Paris. We recounted more of this once-in-a-lifetime trip here as well. Whilst in Paris and enjoying the sights, we picked up La Mécanique du Coeur by French rock group Dionysos.

We enjoyed our first "Scientific Romances in the Magic Kingdom" theme month, with more to come. Here at VEx, we're admitted and unabashed Disney fans... At least when it comes to Scientific Romances, theme parks, pirates and ghost stories! A lengthy exegesis on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was mandatory, but our "sleeper hit" was on The Disneyland Railroad. It was also time to launch our defense of Treasure Planet, which we think is vastly underrated.

Space pirates are a relatively new thing, however. We visited the pirates of the ocean waves, including concept art for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction's living and dead occupants. We also took a good long look at the source of the Davy Jones legend, and waxed philosophical over Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner (with illustrations by Gustave Doré).

Our time-tripping adventures with the First Doctor Who continued with stories 2 and 3: The Daleks and Edge of Destruction. We also paid a visit aboard the TARDIS. More is right around the corner!

We went to the Land of the Rising Sun in May, where we reviewed a trio of Hayao Miyazaki's works: Howl's Moving Castle, Imaginary Flying Machines and Castle in the Sky. We also examined at the series Vision of Escaflowne, which proves that anything (in this case Fantasy) is made better by giant, steam-powered robots.

June was our celebration of paper moons and celestial spheres. We published three galleries of those fanciful paper moon fantasy photographs of the turn of the century (one, two, and three). We reviewed one of our favorite albums, Sara Brightman's La Luna, and one of our favorite movies, The Adventures of Mark Twain. Later in the year we were also privileged in seeing Sarah Brightman's Symphony Tour. We also introduced you to Charles Golightly and his amazing Steam Rocket.

The sunshine and good weather of July brought us out to the rodeo and Wild West Month. We looked at some of the earliest Westerns, like The Great Train Robbery, and some of the most recent, like Wild Wild West. Riding off with The Lone Ranger, we watched some of his 1960's cartoon, before heading off to the lost Valley of Gwangi where cowboys and Native Americans fought dinosaurs.

We gave in to populism by journalling the history of Steampunk through August, and revisited it briefly in October when Steampunk got all over MTV. Some of those sentiments necessitated a commentary by G.K. Chesterton on so-called ordinary people. However, if the paucity of activity on the main message boards, blogsearch and Google Trends is any indication, this "history" was only a few months shy of being a "retrospective". Somewhat related, we received a review copy of Ekaterina Sedia's Alchemy of Stone novel and published an exclusive story by her.

During that time we went off on vacation, travelling around North America to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the Grand Canyon and the Columbia Icefields. We recounted a bit more of that vacation in a guest post on Viewliner Ltd., and included video.

Pith helmets were donned in September for a trip into the deepest, darkest jungle. Mainly it was an orgy of 1930's and 40's adventure films, including Tarzan and his Mate (both of whom escaped), King Kong and his Son, King Solomon's Mines, and the Swiss Family Robinson. That then led us into a month long celebration of classic Universal Monsters horror through October. We ran afoul of Dracula, the Bride of Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man, as well as the original Frankenstein and Mickey Mouse.

We celebrated our first anniversary in November with a celebrated essay on Scientific Romances. We also took a deep look into Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, From the Earth to the Moon, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth. The French spirit carried over into our first Fairy Tale Month, which was devoted almost entirely to Sleeping Beauty.

Thank you once again for patronising our weblog. We hope you've enjoyed the past year and will continue on with us into the coming one!


Richard Harrison said...

And a great year it's been!

George Taylor said...

Congratulations, Cory!

I remember the early days when you were posting mini-essays at Passport2Dreams.

What a long strange trip!

Cory Gross said...

Thank you guys!

I still post mini-essays on Passport every now and then. I just have to admit that some of the latest stuff is either not my area of expertise, or it's so high it flumoxed me ^_^

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Thanks for all the great pics and info this year. They are all appreciated. Happy New Year, Richard