Terrouge E-zine Archives
RWNow - Redwall Websites
Greetings everyone, before I get to my article, I would like to digress for a moment. On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon were suddenly and viciously attacked by terrorist zealots. There's no use in censoring myself and trying to avoid the subject. It's safe to extrapolate that everyone in the western world has obtained some knowledge of the tragic event. It's hard to comment on such an act without offending someone, so I will be brief: Those responsible will assuredly be brought to justice. This attack on freedom will not go unanswered. The ideology of those responsible, "will follow Naziism, Fascism, and Totalitarianism to the unmarked grave of discarded lies." (President Bush, in a recent national address). To all those who have been affected by this horrific event, know that we at Terrouge offer our deepest sympathies. Also, to speak for my other affiliation, we in Canada share the grief of our American friends, and are resolutely determined to offer any aid required in this time of war. North America will stand united, and that's all I have to say.
On to happier topics:This month, I will be presenting part 1 of 2 in a series of articles reviewing the four prominent Redwall E-Zines: MossNews, RWOnline, Moonlight Times, and Terrouge. This month I will deal with the two "old boys" of the ROC, being RWOnline and Terrouge. Next month, I will review the other two mags, plus have a special look back at the BJFC Times, the only RW Mag ever to go hard copy. For now, on to the review.
DISCLAIMERThe opinons expressed herein are mine, darn it, and not those of the magazine in general. If you have some unaccountable problem with the work, then e-mail ME at firstname.lastname@example.org , where I will be glad to... discuss any concerns you may have. A side note: The article you are reading now is the 6th revision. The first 5 times it didn't go through. Then there was an argument, and a conflict, and you don't want to hear about it. The point is: 6th revision.
I might as well start in my own backyard, so to speak. Upon arriving at Terrouge, http://redwall.vr9.com , one is greeted by an annoying popup window. This, however, does not set the tone for the site, as it has a very well-manufactured design (crafted by Kenny) and it's easy to find the information you want. Updates are placed at the very top of the text field, so it's a snap to find out what's new. To the immediate left is a thumbnail image of the current cover (crafted by myself, Jesse, and others, with art by Kelly Hamilton), which, when clicked upon, leads to a large-scale image of the cover. There, the articles are listed, and one has but to click on the cover to enter. Inside, the articles are found on the left-hand column, with credits and the Redwall Bookstore found on the right. The Redwall Bookstore features a movie review (which has, I noticed, remained the same since the page's inception) and the cover art of all the books and a link to their Amazon.com page. The Redwall Bookstore would be a great concept for any website, and it's gratifying to see it pulled off so elegantly. Around the site, we run repeatedly into that popup window again, advertising Virtual Nine Web Hosting. Luckily, it's dispatched with a quick click (minimizing is the best way), and you're on your way. Every page that opens has the popup, but occasionally, when there are server troubles, it will fail to appear. Happy days! The articles are well-written and humourous. I can attest to the many revisions that are made and the feedback between authors that make each article printable. Terrouge boasts a number of serial features, the most recent of which are the History of Martin's Sword, the Mock Warfare Series, and the Terrouge Kitchen. The former recounts the saga of that brilliant blade that we all know and love, while the second is a series of insightful dissertations on the nature of battle. The latter, the Terrouge Kitchen, is an innovative idea that I have only seen at a few other sites. It is a list of recipes and descriptions of Redwall fair, the previous month's being Scones and Orange Fizz. Many of the foods and beverages contained herein are absolutely delicious, and are well-researched. The magazine also boasts two permanent, monthly columns: RWNow! and Erin the Editor's Editorial. The site also offers a large list of Redwall Links, a forum for discussing the mag, a link to updates about RedCon, and a link to the Mountains of the North (an affiliate, formerly Camp Willow). The latest thing is an online game called Questors Bold, which has attracted a lot of positive attention and a lot of misinformed controversy The game is starkly different than anything else out there (ESPECIALLY ROC: Survivor!), and should not be mistaken as a "rip-off". Besides, it has the support of ROC:S's creator ("Roxie"), and should not be considered unauthorized. Before I move on, I should mention that the mag has occasional problems with uploading and linkage, but they are usually remedied ASAP. Lastly, I have heard it said that fans would favour a return of the fanworks section, and that is something that I will certainly bring up in the future. Indeed there has been some talk of it, or something similar... Overall, I like the site, but it would be nice if we did some articles about something other than Redwall more often. That being said, we go to...
The site has seldom changed, and that's what many of it's readers enjoy most about it. It has a simple design, and is hosted by Geocities. Many that I have talked to are opposed to this, citing some inexplicable animosity to Geocities and any page hosted there. The simple design is alright, but it becomes depressing after a while. The backgrounds are all black with red or yellow text. This can, with time, become a devil of a strain on the eyes. The frames are sometimes irksome as well. The magazine, found at http://www.geocities.com/rwonline , is a hodge-podge of news, articles, fiction, and other fanciful items. I have often enjoyed their fanfics and notebook, and the magazine has definitley prospered with the addition of Raitha Dierbrenn's art lessons, and their editorials, while often vehement and controversial, are always great to digest. Rather then any kind of fancy site, the writers and staff members have utilised the best asset of all: good ideas. The quality of the writing is almost always exceptional, but there are, like with any other publication, instances of error. Many of the things they write I disagree with, but at least they have presented an eloquent point. Although, sometimes, their editorials are more like a cavalcade of mockery, they are at least emotive. An editorial, after all, is merely an opinion. They are always quick to update the latest news, such as Brian Jacques' stroke and the WTC Attack, and discuss the topics with tact and compassion. The topics of their regular articles are brilliant, the most recent example being a comparison of the plot of 'Lord Brocktree' to the English Civil War involving Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, Charles the First, the Roundheads, the Cavaliers, et al. However, the site isn't all a bed of roses. The articles, although informative, are often woefully short, sometimes taking less than a minute to read through one. Although this is by no means bad, it is sometimes disappointing to a reader, especially if they enjoy the writing style. Their cover art is of a decent nature, but it would serve readers better if the image was cleaned up and cropped so as to cut back on loading time and make for a more elegant cover. However, this is more than made up by the nice, lengthy fanfics which are seen every month, and the astonishing variety of miscellanea that makes up each issue. For instance, there are giveaways, fiction contests, an art tutorial that grows increasingly specific (this month's was Jackdaws), an article about Totally Unrelated Really Cool Stuff (TURCS), greeting cards, editorials, an advice column, an enormous comic strip, polls, and other engrossing items. It's not perfect, but it's certainly got potential.
That's all for now. As I mentioned before, Part 2 will be seen next month, where we will take a look at MossNews, Moonlight Times, and a special retrospective look at BJFC Times.
- The TV Series, "Mattimeo", has been nominated for a Gemini award. It's the Canadian equivalent to an
emmy. The nomination is for "Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Series". More news as events
- Taggerung has been released! Be sure to keep an eye out for it.
- A Redwall Winter's Tale has also been released! Booyeah.
- Only a month or so until the release of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone Film. Some fans have decided to boycott the film. Why? Check out http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2001-02-22-potter.htm#more for details, or go to http://www.potterwar.org.uk , if it's working again. Right now, the site simply bears a message of condolence to those affected by the Sept. 11 attacks. It may be back up sometime soon, though.
- The Redwall Tribes books are well on their way. Badgers has been released, Otters is due June 6th, 2002, and Mice will be released June 5th, 2003. Keep an eye out in the future.
That's it for this month, and be sure to read again next time for the thrilling conclusion to this month's article.