Artemis Prower – also known as Artie – is the webmaster of one of the biggest and longest standing furry/Sonic fan sites online today, teamARTAIL.
TSS: Andrew here – Its been a few weeks but we’re all set for our next interview, with Artie. Thanks for joining me here today. Please introduce yourself and tell us what makes you so special in the Sonic Internet Community.
AP: Heh, personally I don’t think I’m that special, but a lot of people seem to like my website… which I try to keep up and do new things on, but lately I’ve been kinda slacking off and busy with other things. ^_^
TSS: When did you start teamARTAIL? What were your original plans for it; was it always going to be a fan art archive?
AP: I started it on December 6, 1996 – as some people may have seen from the little anniversary header I had up recently (I need to take that down now, by the way). But anyway… the Sonic fan community on the internet was rather small back then. There were only a handful of Sonic sites, most of which aren’t around anymore today. I wanted to make my own site – basically it started with some Sonic fan art, and I added other information and content, like sound clips. I wanted it to be a good source for Sonic info, but the site’s claim to fame seems to be the fan art. I broadened it to allow artists to post any furry art as time went on. Sonic art still gets the most views, though.
TSS: So, would you say teamARTAIL is just about the longest running Sonic related fan site online?
AP: Yeah. Though honestly I’d say there are better sites out there now, if Sonic information is what you’re looking for. I need to work on that aspect of my site.
TSS: When did the art section start to bloom into what it is today?
AP: The art section was always a hit, from the very start of the site. Originally I went out and found artists whose work I really liked and asked if I could host them. As the number of artists and images in the archive grew, it got even more popular and well known, and before I knew it, I had artists from all over the world coming to me to ask if I would host them! ^_^; These days, I get anywhere from 20-50 emails a month from artists asking me to host their work. In an effort to keep up an archive of high quality work though, I only choose my personal favorites from what I receive. It might not sound fair, and maybe it isn’t, but that’s what’s helped make it what it is today – and lots of artists aspire to be accepted into it someday ^_^; To answer your question, I don’t know an exact time frame, probably sometime in mid-1997 is when the fan art section started to really expand. That’s when I moved to a host with unlimited space (I was limited to 10MB before that).
TSS: What about yourself? Are you also a good artist? Especially at drawing Sonic characters?
AP: Nope, Not at all.
TSS: What gave you the idea of creating a web site? I know back when you started, the internet was just getting started.
AP: I had seen some other sites, like rat.org (the biggest Sonic site back then, it no longer exists though) and just thought to myself “I wanna do that!” I had just turned 16 at the time so I didn’t have a job yet and had lots of free time to learn HTML. I also had a couple friends who were really good fan artists (Matt Burt was one of them) and thought it’d be good to showcase their work somewhere for the rest of the world to see, since I enjoyed it ^_^ But as for the Sonic portion of the site, I’d been a Sonic fan since the first game came out, and just wanted to make a web site about something I liked. I didn’t really expect it to get as big as it is today.
TSS: What other areas of the Sonic world are you also into? Anime, Archie, AoSTH, SatAM?
AP: The anime is cool, since I’m really into anime anyway, outside of Sonic ^_^ I used to like Archie, but it started going downhill in the late #40s and still hasn’t recovered. I stopped buying around the late #60s and only just started buying the comics again, since two of my favorite artists are working on the comic now (Dawn Best and J. Axer). So I only buy it for the art now. They still need to recover the story 😉 AoStH isn’t good for anything more than some cheap laughs, it’s just a silly cartoon. SatAM is where it’s at for me though. I LOVED that show, and still have the whole second season on tape from ABC. I know it’s not very true to the way the games are now, but it’s my most preferred Sonic storyline and I have to say it’s my favorite American-made cartoon ever ^_^ I’ll leave it at that and not write a novel about it.
TSS: Do you or have you ever thought about getting staff to help out at teamARTAIL?
AP: Well, a lot of people know that Reave helps admin the message board (and a lot of people hate him for it… but if they’d just follow the simple rules he wouldn’t get on their case, he’s just doing his job). And Pre helps me with a lot of the technical work and server stuff that I wouldn’t know how to do. I had Mind helping with the fanfics for a while, and he may be returning to do so again soon. But other than that, I’m reluctant to take on staff, as I’m very paranoid (I know a lot of people want to bring me down for one reason or another, I don’t get it really) and I like things done a certain way. I tried having Reave and Pre help me out on the old fan fiction archive and that didn’t work out too well when I went back to doing it on my own >.<
TSS: What are your thoughts on the third season of SatAM, and the theories around it?
AP: Well, I liked the story as written by Ben Hurst… other than that, I haven’t paid too much attention to the fan creations in regards to the third season.
TSS: Now that teamARTAIL is five years old, what are your future plans for the website?
AP: Just to keep doing what I’ve been doing (and add more Sonic content eventually).
TSS: Good luck on teamARTAIL Artie! Visit the site by clicking right here! Go there… or the evil Mr. H will destroy. Thanks again for your time Artie.