Tuesday, October 1, 2013

500 Posts!

Almost 4 years ago, I started Tentacle News as a fun outlet for showcasing my art, sharing cool internet finds and other ideas. There have been ups and downs in that time and some success with this endeavor. Sometimes it has been a chore to keep this site going, and other times an absolute joy. After my first post about cuddlefish in January of 2010, over 19000 page views later, I am here to make my 500th post.
So I thought I'd take a look back at the last 4 years, and highlight some of my favorite posts, take a look at the most popular links, and most viewed works of art.
Thank you everyone for 4 years of support, encouragement, and readership.
- Jeff Powers
Cuddlefish, was the very first post I made to Tentacle News. The idea for Tentacle News came around sort of as a joke. But with some encouragement from a few others, I broke into the blogging hobby with a ridiculous theme and no real direction where things would go from there.

After that, the site was a mess of random internet finds and reposts from other blogs I read. I was not yet fully devoted to the blogging hobby and did minimal amounts of actual writing. Posts would happen at unknown intervals and usually consist of less than a paragraph of writing and a link somewhere else. I had yet to grasp how blogging actually worked.

By the end of January, I did manage to write a longer editorial on my feelings about a potential robot invasion. After that, I seemed less afraid to really lay down a few words about a topic. Often leaving the tentacle or genre themes behind, I would sometimes just write about anything I could think of, from Sports to popular media.

In March 2010, I wrote what is still my most viewed post of all time. My list of the Top 16 Tentacles in Movies has reached over 2600 views and is often the go to link when searching for such a list on Google. Rereading this post is strange, it is rather funny. I remember the week or so I spent putting the list together and writing it. And yet, when I read it, it still feels like someone else's humorous words. But that often happens to me when I write. I can write something one day, in one mood, and months later feel like I couldn't write like that if I tried. It makes me wonder how inconsistent is the novel I have been writing for over 8 years.

The popularity of that post, gave me the idea to occasionally showcase classic b-movies that I could find online. This is still something I do. I have always had a softspot for really bad genre films of yesteryear. If I had the time to watch and review each film, I'd make it the sole focus of this blog. But with the hustle and bustle of real life, especially these days, the most I can do is try and share a few with people.

The posts that have been the most popular have been my yearly best of lists, especially the Best of 2010, the very first. As well as a link to an article about Giant Leeches in the Amazon and of course my Absinthe posters.
The absinthe posters came about from my many personal challenges to make interesting illustrations between commissions. I have been very proud of my Absinthe posters, with their unique strangeness and homage feel to a historical period and very niche type of art. They have certainly been popular with viewers as well, each gaining nearly a thousand page views. Now little did I know they would later become one of the most aggravating and hurtful events in the history of this blog, when not too long ago, I discovered they had been lifted from this site and were being sold by various print companies and others on the web. Having your hard work stolen, I discovered can be devastatingly invasive. Thankfully after nearly a month of harsh worded letters, legal complaints and copyright infringement forms, I feel I have once again gained the upperhand on the issue once again.
I have since then learned that it is a sad fact of life as a 21st century artist, that I have to do what I can to protect my work. I have to balance a desire to share my work, with a need to keep it from unauthorized use. Something I would of course write about in a post about the whole thing.

In October 2011, I tried something new with clearly defined sections of the blog. Pushing myself to make blog headers to help me categorize each post. Some of these included my regular Saturday posts of sketchbook drawings and things I was working on. I had a regular showcase of animated short films from around the web, and even humorous webcomics. Some of these categories have come and gone on a whim. New categories have sprung up as cool new ideas to get me posting things. Some longer lived ideas than others. One of my favorites was a series of fun little drawings based on a quick flash story about a memory I have of my life. But as thinking of new stories became more and more difficult, the feature quickly faded away. But without it, I wouldn't have come up with perhaps the biggest feature of Tentacles News. The mammoth undertaking of writing about and illustrating every story written by pulp horror master H P Lovecraft.
lots of regular posts within common themes. I added

Lovecraft 101, has been a lot of work, but perhaps one of the most rewarding posts I regularly do on this site. It has almost become a hobby in itself, nearly surpassing the fun of blogging. Part of me has missed the educational environment of school ever since I left. And taking the time and energy to not only dive into fiction I love, but to really get to study it, look at it in various lights and above all research. Man do I love that part!

Life has often gotten in the way of blogging. I have done what I can to adjust the content of Tentacle News to what is going on in my life. Though it may lack the focus of a distinct theme or topic over time, TN has really been foremost a creative outlet for me. As I have traveled the world, I have tried to share photos and stories of my experiences. As my art career has hit hiccups, I have done what I could to share my feelings about it. And now, as the frequency of posting takes a backseat to my busy life, I prepare for taking on one of the biggest events of my life. I am working hard at finishing commissioned projects, plug away at Lovecraft 101, but most importantly I am packing up my life to begin a new. Starting a new life with my beloved. And by this time next year, I am sure I will still be filling the pages of TN with interesting content, but I will be doing so as a newly married man.

Thank you all for your love and support. The first 500 posts have been a helluva ride! Here's to the next 500! Cheers.

1 comment:

Meg said...

I'm proud of you. I can hardly wait until you're home. <3

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