Prepare ye now to be dazzl'd with various and sundry exciting things to explore! For herein, my dearests, thou shalt discover all the secrets and tales wrought from my more than 4800 years' worth of expertise in the field of Magecraft --- along with anecdotes, news, links, and so much more!
For ye who be newcomers to this website, methinks a proper introduction is in order. Know, then, that I am Blackwolf the Dragonmaster, Duke and First Marquess of Talisker --- Philosopher of the Internet; Mage of the Hard Drive; Champion and Conqueror of Thaumaturgic Technology --- and Unofficial Wizard and Sorcerer-in-Residence unto the Mortalfolk of the City, County and State of New York!
And what exactly do I do, you ask? Well, my job, basically, is to encourage my fellow New Yorkers to use their imaginations responsibly and meaningfully; and to tame the Good Dragons who populate the Multiverse. It's not always easy --- let's face it, it's not every day that a 4800-plus-year-old Wizard has to adjust to coping with life in ye Byg Appyl! But I do as I must because, quite simply, no one else will. My seven Wizardly superiors, the Grand High Istari, insisted that New York, being a tough town, was in need of a tough Wizard. Hence, their choice of me.
From the moment ol' Poopstar --- that would be Triumph the Insult Comic Dog --- first noticed me (and dearest Thor the Barbarian prior to even that), my adventures have seen me encountering some of the Cosmos' strangest beings! Why, only I would dare end up on a Grammy Award-losing comedy album, as well as have over 20 consecutive clips posted on YouTube .... and even match wits with Finland's incredibly fabulous Monstericans --- that would be Lordi, my Official Rock Band!
But all these tales shall reveal themselves within due course. For now, I bid ye welcome to Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Dark Chambers ---- where, I hope, you will find things to be, among other things, delightfully entertaining, deliciously twisted, and incredbily informative! Please enter, and be welcom'd!
Before we get on with things here in these Dark Chambers, a few words, if thou wouldst, concerning two of your Dragonmaster's fellow Champions of the Imagination:
Dearest Master Thoth is back in ye Byg Appyl, huzzah! He and his beloved Lila Angelique, now calling themselves Tribal Fusion, have renewed their 3 p.m. afternoon prayformance workouts in the Angel Tunnel at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. Of course, from time to time, and as long as the summer persists, Sir Aragorn and I shall witness their delicious adventures! Welcome home, old friend! Time may have changed us both, and you no longer wear that glorious loincloth thingie, but I can happily say that all is at long last back to normal in the Land of the Nular-in.
Would that I could say likewise for me Brother Mage, Merdwin the Mediocre, Mundanely known as Scott Payne. After some five days' recuperation at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, having had to have both his gall bladders removed for a colon reconstruction, Scott is, hopefully, back at home, looking after himself per the requirements of his doctors. Do keep both Scott and Merdwin in your prayers, my children; and do likewise for Debbie, his mom; and Michael, his older brother. Of course, I have had to e-mail Dennis Reeder, Executive Producer of the Fort Tryon Park Medieval Festival, that he might be properly updated as to Scott's well-being.
This from the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press:
Legendary special visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, whose awesome stop-motion animated sequences were among the earliest hallmarks of modern sci-fi cinema, has died in London, where he had been living in self-imposed retirement for several years. Harryhausen was 92.
In the era far long before the days of computer-generated imagery, Harryhausen was one of the first major champions of the painstakingly difficult stop-motion animation process, wherein the slightest adjustments were made to a series of custom-designed, three-dimensional, ball-and-socket full-scale models. These were then photographed frame-by-frame to create the illusion of movement.
Working first as an apprentice to King Kong co-creator and effects maestro Willis O'Brien, and then, for the next three decades in partnership with producer Charles H. Schneer, Harryhausen opened up the eyes of thousands of dreamers of all ages through his stop-motion adventures: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms; Jason and the Argonauts; The Three Worlds of Gulliver; The Mysterious Island, three legendary Voyages of Sinbad --- and of course, his last, and most ambitious innovation, the original Clash of the Titans.
Ray Harryhausen leaves behind his wife of over 50 years, Diana, and their daughter Vanessa. Please join your Dragonmaster in offering condolences to the both of them.
Still can't live without ol' Dumbledore, huh? Happily, Universal Orlando has the perfect antidote: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will begin expanding to include new areas inspired by key sequences in the film saga set in the beloved Diagon Alley and in London.
The new areas, set to open next year, will be built on the former site of Jaws: The Ride, directly next to Islands of Adventure, where the Wizarding World itself is located. "For Harry Potter fans, this is a perfect opportunity to go to multiple places that are iconic places within the story," explains Mark Woodbury, President of Creative, Universal Parks & Resorts. "And people who were not really big fans of the franchise came to check out The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and were immersed in the environments, and really thought that it was marvelous. We have the same expectation to take them on additional journeys."
As previously, Universal Orlando execs will work with producers David Heyman and David Barron, movie series production designer Stuart Craig and other key Potter personnel to develop, among other things, new shops, a new restaurant, and even a Gringotts-inspired Wizard Bank.
"I'm so pleased that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has proven to be so popular to date, and I'm sure that the attention to detail in developing the new Diagon Alley area will make this an even better experience," The Lady Rowling said in a brief statement.
For most of this current Faire season, your humble Dragonmaster has been updating certain segments hither within these Dark Chambers, the better to reflect upon various upcoming New York City events. First and foremost among these: Make Music New York on June 21st; whilst your dear Dragonmaster has remained a faithful supporter of that all-day/all-evening music rainbow, I still have not yet physically attended a Make Music New York event, though I do hope to do so in the future.
In any case, there will be certain times whereby this foolish, ancient old Mage will start forgetting stuff; any time that happens, you're always welcome to contact me, be it in person or through me usual contact info. Be a dear, as ever, and stay ye tun'd!
Well, as usual, your humble Dragonmaster doth find himself having to surrender to that auld adage, "If you want something done, do it your own bloomin' self!" Herewith, then, is Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Countdown of the Longest-Reigning Renaissance Faire Kings and Queens in America! Lovely, isn't it?
The reason for the blossoming of this Countdown is simple and to the point: despite my repeated requests that they do so, Guinness World Records and GuinnessWorldRecords.com have not recognized Richard Patterson and Shannon Hopps --- King Henry VIII and Queen Anne Boleyn from the Scarborough Renaissance Festival --- as the longest-reigning RenFaire Royals in America. And needless to say, the ten that I've chosen --- regardless of whether they've ruled Faire as a duo or singly --- represent a great lot of these Kings and Queens. You may or may not agree with my selections, but I'm sure you'll not forget who these good and lovely Royal People are, and that you'll pay them proper homage shouldst thou attend Faire.
So enough nonsense now, and let the countdown begin!
1. RICHARD PATTERSON & SHANNON HOPPS, Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Why? As I said, there is no Scarborough Renaissance Festival without them --- especially now, as this season, Richard is celebrating 25 years of portraying His Royal Majesty, Henry VIII. Who knows how many children and grandchildren have long flocked to their Thrones and come away feeling gloriously enchanted? Huzzah!
2. JANNA CASSTEVENS-ZEPP, Queen Margaret of Scotland and the Isles, Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Why? Because, thanks to her, your Dragonmaster is also His Lordship, the Duke of Talisker --- and that's an honor I will always hold sacred, no matter what!
3. FRED NELSON, Henry VIII, Maryland Renaissance Festival. Why? Because he's had almost 15 seasons with the goodly gentles in Crownsville, and he has done a masterful job filling the shoes of beloved and glorious Bill Huttel. I hope, doubtless, that his next decade shall find Fred enchanting yet another generation of loyal subjects!
4. KIMBERLY STOCKTON, Elizabeth I, Louisiana Renaissance Festival. Why? Because she has a great photogenic appeal, as every great Elizabetha Regina should.
5. ANN ALFORD, Elizabeth I, New York Renaissance Faire Sterling Forest. Why? Because, after a quarter-century at Sterling Forest, she's made Tuxedo Park, New York, Zip Code Ten Nine Eight Seven her own fantastic Realm; because, as writer-director, she finds new and weird ways to get Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham to battle one another --- and because that pesky Lord Burghley keeps taking her away from everyone just as we're all beginning to get enchanted by her! (Drat!)
6. GREG TAYLOR & ROSELLA GONZALEZ, King and Queen of the Texas Renaissance Festival, Plantersville. Why? Because, as Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, they had a great formula together --- one that always had a delicious knack of keeping the fans coming back for more. Founder/Owner/Mayor George Coulam saw this, no doubt, and accordingly gave them their new Royal ranks! Huzzah!
7. JOHN AULD, Henry VIII, The Castle of Muskogee, Oklahoma's Renaissance Festival. Why? Because he's gotta be the most huggable Henry VIII I've seen in lo, many years!
8. JESSICA EPPLER, Elizabeth I, Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire. Why? Because she's a veteran of Mount Hope's beloved Faire, and (one may assume) has frequently enchanted the "nipperkins" on various occasions.
9. MARY ANN JUNG, Elizabeth I, History Alive, Baltimore, Maryland. Why? Because she adds a touch of laughter to her entertaining adventures in the role of Good Queen Bess --- which, I think, is just what Royal fans deserve.
10. DIERDRE SARGENT, Elizabeth I, Northern California Renaissance Faire. Why? Because I would go so far as to call her the most elegantly Elizabethan of California's Elizabeth I re-enactors. Besides, if you manage to have her smile at you, you'll leave NorCal Faire with a warmth and a magic that's unique!
Well, Mortals, there they are --- my Top 10 Faire Royals! I hope all of them will see what I've written hither, and be delighted by these humble remarks --- because, frankly, I knew you were all too busy to do interviews anyway! (Whew!)