2014 was a year full of interesting times. A mixed bag with so many varying degrees. With it finally being over, and 2015 starting off with a New Year’s bang for me (more on that soon), I felt the need to write this editorial piece on how 2014 led to what will, in my opinion, be one of the best years in the entire history of Icons of Fright. So, if you have a few minutes to spare, and feel like reading some thoughts straight from the mind of yours truly, thank you, because I’ve got a bit to say.
Following a brief break from Icons of Fright starting in September of 2013, 2014 began with me leading another site (the now defunct Martyrcycle), and attempting to step back from the horror genre a bit, all while doing my best to deal with personal issues that for one reason or another, interfered with feeling the passion for the genre that had been so profoundly strong for three decades. Icons of Fright was still trucking along, and I read it from the outside, still avidly keeping track of it. I was happy about the work that the crew were doing, but with The Martyrcyle, I never quite felt that magic or spark that I had felt, since being asked by Rob G. to take over the Editor in Chief role a few years back. 2013 had been such a crazy year for me, on a personal level, that when 2014 was almost hitting it’s mid-year mark, I felt like something was missing, and I sincerely missed my Icons crew. After a good phone call with Rob, we both decided it was time for me to come back into the Icons fold, and once Icons of Fright’s 10th year anniversary month began, I began to approach it, full speed ahead.
Coming back into the Icons of Fright family, things instantly began to pick up, and I hit the ground running. It was a difficult year for most of us, with our own BJ Colangelo battling (and triumphantly beating the hell out of) cancer, various other obstacles popping up, but like BJ’s badass iron will, we all endured. Many wonderful opportunities opened up for us all. I was asked to moderate the Q&A for the Los Angeles premiere of LOST TIME, which itself was a memorable experience (just ask Icons staffer Natty, there is nothing like a film’s co-star demanding everyone in the green room to turn the lights off and watch Fox News and want to kill me for referring to him as a ‘character actor’), Rob G moderated the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and PHANTASM reunion panels at Son of Monsterpalooza. I began to contribute to Fangoria and Delirium Magazines, covered the Johnny Ramone anniversary tribute and interviewed Eli Roth and Famke Janssen regarding Hemlock Grove for Fango, chatted with Jack Deth himself, Tim Thomerson for Delirium. Rob kept busy helping with Scream Factory commentaries, kicking ass alongside Rebekah McKendry and Elric Kane on their Killer POV podcast, and our own BJ Colangelo began contributing to Playboy.com. To say our creative lives outside of Icons of Fright were busy would be an understatement, with Colangelo writing and co-directing some great short films and starring in musicals, Natty kicking ass with her Exploitation Alley articles, and Josh Soriano doing a hell of a job with his A Look Back At series. Natty and I filmed small parts in the Jose Prendes-directed serial killer fever dream film THE DIVINE TRAGEDIES, which starred former Icons contributor Graham Denman (who also had a wonderfully creative and successful year himself!). We made friends with readers such as Derek Smith, who now heads up his own site, FilmClassicsVirgin.com. We reached out to friends and did collaborative pieces about the music we love (here and here). We filled the Icons slate with interviews with everyone from Greg Nicotero to my personal messiah, John Carpenter; Covered the Fantasia Film Festival and caught great films such as Nicholas McCarthy’s AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR.
The Icons of Fright goal since day one, was always to be a personal experience, somewhat of an “Inside the Actor’s Studio” for genre faves. Sure we’ve reported on DVDs/Blurays coming out, trailer news, etc, but we’d like to think that that goal has never changed, which leads me to the following questions:
What do you readers enjoy reading on Icons of Fright? The reviews, news announcements, retrospectives or interviews? 2014 was a year full of a million different things happening in a million different directions but all of us at Icons of Fright want 2015 to be the culmination of years of trying to give our readers a personal, FUN approach, in which you know the people writing the articles you’re reading, in which you feel like your voice matters, because to be honest, it really does. We want Icons of Fright to cover the types of films that YOU readers want to know about. We want to give you interviews that YOU readers want to read. I spent my New Year’s Eve in San Francisco with my wife, watching NYVES & IAMX bring in the new year with electronic beats, soaring melodies and enough champagne flowing to give 2014 one hell of a send off and to help 2015 start with pure love and excitement in the air.
So, by all means, sound off with what YOU would love to read, and let’s make Icons of Fright a fan-friendly site, a joint venture of sorts. There isn’t a chance of slowing down in 2015, it’s full steam ahead, and we plan on giving you readers one hell of a horror-filled year, with brand new content, and various new approaches. We’ve got exciting interviews, contests, reviews and even a full on short fiction series in the works for your fright fanatics, and we’re so very anxious to go through 2015 with creative highs, alongside you loyal readers. Thanks for being the best readers around and here’s to another year!