New Years 1999 Letter from the Editor

Jan 1st 1999
Greetings! Hope everybody had a merry Christmas or Hannukah or Kwanzaa or Solstice, or whatever else they celebrate.
Now, as the new year draws near, I have to thank everybody who routinely keeps their eye on ANN. I really appreciate it.

So, that said, let's take a look back at our first five months in operation:

Our web site officially opened to the public around August 15, 1998. I had been keeping tabs on the news for years, and, a print publication being way too much work, an online daily mag seemed the ticket. We wanted (and still want) to be as integral part of the otaku world as CNN.com is for normal people.

I wrote the first ANN articles in July of that year, and registered the domain name with a very nice hosting service called Prohosting. I highly reccomend them. (Tell 'em I sent you and I get a free month! Woohoo!) An occasional technical glitch that they have yet to respond to has caused on occasional headache as ANN seems to be down at least once a week for whatever reason. I've read over their technical FAQ's and find no trace of this, so if you experiance a problem with ANN being down, e-mail them. If we can bug the piss out of them, maybe they'll cut it out. ;)

(Yes, I'm kidding. Don't really do that! Pass us a note alerting us, and we'll send word onto them.)

The first iteration of ANN was a mess. Frame-spaced white background (when I remembered to code it into the HTML) and utterly disorganized, it got the job done at first. A few postings to rec.arts.anime.misc got it noticed by a few patient individuals, who saw that we had created a truly unique resource. One such person (who actually alerted me to the Mixx story) offered some great advice and offered to help be improve and relaunch the site. I was very grateful, but for some reason, he stopped returning my e-mails. Which means I had to upgrade the page myself. No biggie.

I got a very talented artist I've collaborated with in the past to make some icons for me, and the new ANN was introduced to the public shortly before our relaunch date of October 1. The Mixx story was our big launch piece, and to this day, I'm very proud of it. That piece helped get ANN known as a strong, fair journalistic resource for otaku, and a unique semi-association with The Right Stuf helped get us going and get more noticed.

We've screwed up in 1998 too. The first iteration of the Mixx story (which, thank God, few saw) was so horribly one-sided that even those threatening to buycott the company identified it as such. The first few reviews were, in all fairness, pretty darn lame (something we've more than made up for!). The HDTV article was a steaming pile of cow dung (it read like a technical manual), and then there was the highly visible Mysterious Cities of Gold PR nightmare.

So, I'll bet you're wondering what we have cooked up for 1999. 1999 will be a huge year for anime, with the planned theatrical releases of FOUR new anime movies into American theaters, an increased interest in PokÈmon, and ADV Films finally releasing Sorceror Hunters after sitting on the rights for a few years.

In ANN's case, we're working on developing working relationships with several anime companies to get advance promotional copies of video releases. Since we're electronic, that means ANN will have reviews up before anyone else! We should have new releases reviewed over a month before print magazines can get around to it. We also plan to revisit some of our all-time favorites, as well as a few that we wish we could inflict pain on someone with.

As for conventions, we're planning large-scale team coverage of at least one large convention this year. We're attempting to get press passes to what we feel to be the largest four cons. Our first WOULD be Katsucon, but no one from the staff will respond to our e-mails or phone calls. (If someone reading this knows anyone, will they PLEASE ask them to get in touch with us?!)

We're also working on getting interviews with the most influential people in the American industry. We won't be asking them easy questions, but I'm sure you want to know the answers!

Which brings me to my last point: This is a free site. I love my work here, but in order to continue doing this, and especially cover conventions, we need more sponsors. If you or someone you know is in a position to place ads with us, we would greatly appreciate it! Also, these people keep us afloat, so it would be greatly appreciated if you would take the time to click on our banners and patronize those that do advertise with us. The future of this site depends on it!

Thanks for a great first few months, and here's to an unforgettable 1999!

Sincerely,

Justin Sevakis,
Editor-in-chief

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