A lot can happen within ten years time. Throughout the years I have changed as a person, seen beautiful animation, heard music that melted my ears, read stories that engaged me into the waking night, met some of the most interesting people in the world, saw sights that I had never saw or would even imagine.
I came to this website through a site called VGDC, a.k.a. Video Game Directors Cut. There was a series called Rise of the Mushroom Kingdom by Randy Solem. It was split into four parts and the final part could only be seen on this website called Newgrounds. After I finished watching Part 4, I decided to see what else was on this site. I came across this... the first true flash movie I ever saw on Newgrounds.
I had no idea what drew me to it. I knew this was an anime, but I didn't know which one and I didn't care. The only anime I was watching at the time was Cowboy Bebop. I knew who Weird Al Yankovic was so this movie delighted me on so many strange levels. After that, I signed up for an account and this movie was the first I ever reviewed. Do not go read that review... it is unbearably cringeworthy. A lot of my old stuff was.
I was enjoying the different flash movies and flash games. Hell on the front page the first game I ever played on Newgrounds was Super Smash Flash.
Seeing what flash could do it absolutely blew my mind! Here was Super Smash Bros. Melee made in Adobe Flash, with new characters added to it as well! This site was amazing! So many games and movies to watch it was incredible!
Then I discovered one of my true loves that I still visit to this day, and that was the Audio Portal. One thing I am is an ecclectic music snob from top to bottom. I will listen to any genre of music, but I tend to have a picky taste in my music. I jumped over to the Classical music section and the first song I ever heard would become one of my first friends on Newgrounds.
It was Selcuk Bor. Some of you here may know him better as one of his handle @MaestoRage or as @MaestroSorrow the name that gave me this beautiful and impactful song. _-=[The Maestro's Requiem]=-_.
This was such an awesome song. I had to listen to more. I started to dip into video game music and I ended up in some strange places. One song was entitled Hychapte and it was by this bizarre individual named Doki who I would later know his name as David Firth, the creator of Salad Fingers.
Now Salad Fingers... there is one creature that I learned broke the barriers of Newgrounds and became this huge thing all over the Internet. Therefore I also learned that Newgrounds was a site that could build creators up and their creations could spread like wildfire across the Internet. Needless to say I became obsessed.
It wasn't long until I started browsing the forums here on Newgrounds. Which by the way for those too young to know what Newgrounds used to look like... here's a glimpse into the past.
Not exactly pretty. It was a place where everybody was hopping though. A fun place to be. With so much going on in it every day! I still remember a lot of people who used to be on here, but aren't anymore. The old users who would bash me for being an asshole teenage user who signed up in 2006... which they were right. I was a stupid little teenager, I thought I knew more about the world than everyone else here did, I had an ego, I had pride, and I was wrong.
Some of you are probably looking at my username and thinking a lot right now. Makes sense, don't blame you. However when I signed up for Newgrounds my original username was Wilber7. Back then you didn't need permission from an Administrator or Supporter Status to change your username. You could just change it, whenever you wanted to. However when the 2007 redesign was being worked on, the username lockdown was announced. I wanted a username that looked and sounded better, so I picked BlueYoshi2. I later on didn't like having a number in my username, so I chose TheGreatOne. It was already taken though, so with a dash here and a dash there it became The-Great-One. From now on, if I hear someone ask me the story about my username, I'm just going to send them to this post, because this is the most complete this story has ever been and it is exhausting having to type it out each and everytime, moving on...
Anyways, as I stated I was a dumbass teenager. I loved video game parodies and sprite movies. There was a thread called SPA - Sprite protection agency. In this thread our goal was to protect sprite movies from negative criticism. I blindly followed. I was a joiner. That is when I met a man by the name of Nathan Malone. Some of you know him better as @ZekeySpaceyLizard. He knew his stuff and he kicked my dumbass teenager ass up one side of the forum and back down again. Funny thing is that everything he was saying was correct. I was being stupid. I didn't know what I was talking about. And this club that I joined had no real power to do anything. It was being trolled by The Star Syndicate heavily and there was nothing that could be done. Nothing. Zekey later banned me from sending me PM's, I understood why. I ended up making an alternate account to apologize for my behavior and he accepted it and allowed me to send PM's to him again. I wanted to do this, because at that time I wanted to interview him. We'll get to that shortly though.
All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Looking at the image above. I remember so many of those names and I don't even see most of them on the forums or even just lurking the site period much anymore. So many people that I had so much fun on this site with. When I was putting this together I decided to go back through a lot of these names and take a bit of a nostalgia trip. While on the way I ended up going back to my first popular thread on Newgrounds.
This thread pretty much summed up all I needed to know about the General Forum. It was a stupid place where people could gather and discuss stupid stuff with one another. True we could have some intellectual conversations, even though that was mostly saved for the Politics Forum, the General Forum was a stupid place to have fun. Get a little rowdy though and either @bigbadron, @EyeLovePoozy, or @STEM would not be far away with their Banhammers ready to dull out the punishment.
I was surprised that this thread lasted as long as it did. It is still unlocked to this day. This thread grew and grew in popularity. Why I have no idea. It is a nice little time capsule to how the Internet was (and I use this term begrudgingly) back in the day. I honestly thought that the thread was going to get deleted, I was going to get banned, or both. According to my recollection (which if a forum moderator would like to double check I'll edit this in post) I was never banned by bigbadron.
I bring up my time on the forums, because it was a factor in changing me as a person. I was born and raised in South Carolina, as a Christian Conservative Republican. Through and through. I was questioning my sexuality at a young age and around the age of 14 I accepted that I was bisexual. This although sent me into a turmoil that almost lead to suicide. When I joined Newgrounds, I heard about people who were gay, bisexual, lesbian, and even transgender. I heard about atheists, agnostics, non-religious people. I didn't make sense to me. Newgrounds helped open my mind.
It was at this point that I came out onto Newgrounds as an open bisexual. The responses I got were all wonderful. I did not need to be ashamed of who I was, where I came from, or how I felt and thought. Granted we're all complete assholes to one another on this site, but at the end of the day, we all look out for one another on this beautiful site. I wanted to find some way to contribute to Newgrounds. Anyway I could do so would be great.
Interviews with Famous Newgrounds Artists & Members
circa 2007, 2009
I was always a fan of the Newgrounds Mag. It was a special side site to Newgrounds where you could watch movies and play games in their demo and alpha states. What I loved about it though were the interviews done with famous Newgrounds people. When the Newgrounds Mag ceased, the interviews stopped. I was disappointed. I remember though that regular members here on Newgrounds conducted those interviews. I thought if they could do it, then why not I?
Well I learned that it was a lot harder than it looked. I started The Interviewer back in 2007, posting the interviews to my own profile. It was a failure though. I didn't like it so I decided to scrap it. I didn't take another shot at it until 2009 mainly due to inspiration from a TV show called Inside the Actors Studio. That TV show's first guest was Alec Baldwin, a recognizable name, so I thought my first guest should be just as recognizable and give some credibility to whatever the hell it was I was doing at this time. My first interview being the Interview with Tom Fulp.
February 10th, 2009 would be the beginning of a journey that I have been on for over seven years. Now look back, a dumbass teenager, turning into a dumbass adult, learning about life, bit of a loser, has lost all fucks known to man. Yet here I am intimidated as hell to send this PM out. I knew who Tom Fulp was, he was the creator and CEO of Newgrounds. He was worshipped like a god! He must get 100's, no 1,000's of PMs a day! There is absolutely no way that he is going to read mine. Even if he did, I'm sure he has no time to answer it, and even if he did he is probably too busy to even respond! Well he responded. I'm glad he did to. That was the start. Next I decided to interview EyeLovePoozy, a moderator who a lot of people wanted to know more about. Next I apologized and interviewed ZekeySpaceyLizard. Then I got to five interviews, which became ten, then became fifteen, then fourty, then fifty, then eighty-five, then one-hundred. It was insane! I was getting requests for more and more. How crazy did it get?
The next friend in this story goes by the name @deathink. If you don't know who deathink is. He created Pico Radio, the first way to listen to music from the Audio Portal like a radio. It was awesome. He sent me a message out of the blue one day telling me that he had a surprise for me. A couple of weeks to a month later I got a message asking for some input on this project. It would later become The Interview Codex.
I just want to take a small moment and talk about how crazy this is. Yes throughout my life writing has been a passion of mine, specifically creative writing. Despite this though, I never cared about journalism as writing for myself. I just started doing interviews because it was fun. Yes it still is fun, but it has slowly overtime become a lot more work. People ate this up like crazy despite me not knowing a single thing about journalism or interviewing other people. Apparently I got good at it overtime, because deathink is a fan of The Interviewer.
Let's take a step back. deathink. The user that Tom Fulp thinks is one of the best damn users on here. Who has his on emoji set for you to use on the forums. Who Tom praises any chance he can get. Who Tom recommended to me to interview and who just sat on my list for years, is a fan of my work. Joygasm like you wouldn't believe... happiness everywhere it was everywhere, the walls, my chair, it was just... TMI... moving on.
So yeah deathink loved The Interviewer and he made this codex so people could read the interviews in flash. He even used the theme song that I was given permission to use by @sorohanro. Since I knew nothing about making stuff in flash, he even set it up to where I could add new interviews to it. It was unbelievable.
I never thought people would get this absorbed in interviews. Tom really liked them, because for awhile they were main features on the front page of Newgrounds before the next redesign. I became the first writer to have their work featured on the front page of Newgrounds. That is amazing. And I didn't deserve any damn bit of it.
Why? Because The Interviewer was made to shine light on others. That's what I wanted out of it. For new artists, musicians, animators, writers, fans, to get a glimpse of their favorite creators. To learn from what they have done. To not make the same mistakes they did and even if so to show that it's okay to make mistakes. There will be a time for glory yes, but as long as you put in the hard work you will grow and flourish. That's what Newgrounds is about. And that's what I wanted to show with The Interviewer. Hopefully I succeeded.
Before I end this trip down memory lane I want to talk about friends. Complete strangers from a different part of the globe who have all been there for my ups and downs. From old friends to new friends. People from different stretches of the world that are all united for a love of creativity, inspiration, and a little bit of immaturity.
@ZJ is my Newgrounds best friend. We actually signed up around the same time. We are kindered spirits of this site in a way. He too was just as much a dumbass teenager as I was when he signed up. Now he's one of the most respected users on this site.
@MaestroRage was one of my first friends on the site. He did a lot to help me out on the site. Gave me some wisdom, even though I only took in half of it at the time. I will always remember him as a great friend.
@Bosa is one friend that I don't talk to as much as I did. Although whenever we do talk to one another it's like we just talked to each other yesterday. Then again we're both Southern boys, so it's probably just in our nature to be able to pick up where we left off with ease.
@Jazza is one person I loved talking to. I honestly didn't know how famous he was on this site at the time I was talking to him. He became one of my biggest requests for The Interviewer. That's when I understood why.
@tigerkitty is an incredibly kind woman who was always there to help me if I needed her. One of my favorite moderators. I imagine I see the kitty side to her. Would not want to unleash the tiger part.
@NekoMika I knew as a man named SCTE3. I learned though that was not the case. For one human being was trapped in a world she didn't belong in. She has done interviews for The Interviewer in the past and I've even interviewed her myself. I felt like we grew up in similar househoulds, hers more extreme than mine, but we walked out different doors.
@Troisnyx has a story behind her. One I'm glad that I didn't have to live and others here who love the freedoms they have with their creative works should not take them for granted. She is a very kind person who I got to know more and is one who I can call friend.
@Wegra is... where do I begin. Holy shit, this guy makes me laugh, he is one of the funniest people I know on this site and if you're one of the lucky few, know him outside of this site.
@Ryanson is a face I don't see much of anymore. Saddens me. I enjoyed talking with him and working on The Interviewer with him.
@Ragnarokia is one of my gay friends. He is the one who introduced me to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. He is also in a relationship with another friend of mine.
@Rad used go by TheRadicalOne. We were Newgrounds brothers in a way. I was Great, he was Radical, it's a bit complicated. We talked seldomly, but when we did it was always fun. Didn't know he was with Ragnarokia though. Happy for both of them.
@TomFulp is the one who gave me everything on this site. Without this beautiful site, I would not be the person I am today. I will gladly call him friend, even if we're not close enough for that title. I don't know who I would have been or what state I would have been in if it were not for this site.
And thus I close this off in a familiar fashion by saying to all of you. Thank you for the memories these past ten years. It has been a wonderful decade. Although there is much in my life that I would go back in time and change if I could. The one thing I never would have changed, was the experiences I have had with this place. I would love to be here for ten more years and thus I can deliver to you an overblown wall of text for being on Newgrounds twenty years. Hopefully this site will still be here and Tom will be running it and still be alive to see it. If I were a millionaire I would give as much money as I could to keep this place alive forever. This has been a wonderful place to grow up.