Well, here we are. The first day of the New Year.
I imagine that there will be few reading this. Staying up until midnight to ring in the New Year usually involves at least a little bit of partying and I imagine that there are more than a few sore heads this morning.
I’ll try to keep the noise down.
I won’t do a review of the past year because that’s looking back and science fiction is all about looking forward to the future. I could list my hopes and aspirations for the coming year but we all have those and mine aren’t that special. I hope to eventually see the new Star Wars movie (I keep trying. It’s always sold out before I get there) I hope that there is lots of science fiction and fantasy shows on TV and in the movie theaters and that they don’t suck. I hope that this will be the year that someone markets a real flying car.
There. I’ve covered the basics.
So lets talk about something important. Let’s talk about calendars.
Calendars are big business in the publishing world. Everybody wants to know what day it is and calendars are everywhere. But there are some very special calendars that get marketed every year and those are ones that feature science fiction and fantasy art.
The big boom in fantasy calendars started in the 1970’s with the 1977 Tolkien Calendar. There had been a J.R.R. Tolkien calendar printed since 1969 but it was something that only serious collectors purchased. That all changed in 1977 when the calendar featured the art of the Brothers Hildebrandt. Greg and Tim Hildebrandt’s take on The Lord of the Rings did the pre-internet equivalent of going viral. Everybody had to have one.
Then there was this little movie that came out the same year called Star Wars. Among the great avalanche of marketing materials related to that film was a calendar.
The floodgates opened and calendars were huge business. And for a fantasy art lover what could be better than a dozen or so well reproduced pieces of art that you can hang on your office wall? Your favorite artist or just pictures of your favorite subject matter, be it spaceships, dragons or fairies, there it is throughout the year, helping you keep everything straight and organized and reminding you of the things that you love.
Luis Royo, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, all have calendars as do so many more artists and science fiction and fantasy subjects. Why settle for pictures of puppies or flowers when you can have dragons or spaceships?
Every year for Christmas my wife gets me the Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell calendar published by the Workman Publishing Company. It hangs in my office all year long. The old one is still on the wall behind me as I type and it is soon to be rep[laced by the new one which sits on my bookshelf still wrapped in its cellophane. It’s a tradition that helps me to mark the passage of the year.
However you mark the passage of the year, whatever traditions you adhere to, I sincerely hope the best for everybody in 2016. May the new year bring you prosperity, happiness and a whole lot more of the science fiction and fantasy that you love.
And I’m sure the hangover will get better soon. Take a magnesium and drink some tomato juice. Other than that, only time will cure it for certain.
You can mark that on your new calendar.