About

The Amazing is a shrine recommendation blog created by Samantha of After-Death.org and Todd of Nightbringer.net. It is currently ran by Samantha, Todd, and as of July 23, 2016: Destinie of Love-Gala.org! An avid artist and lover of art, Destinie sees shrines in a unique way, and will offer something new to the blog. We are all shrine enthusiasts, and are happy to have a place to feature some of our favorite shrines. We appreciate different things in shrines; read about us below to learn about our different histories with shrines, and what we enjoy when visiting them!

The Amazing launched in October 2015. We used to frequent a site called A Rainy Monday created by Shiori of the now-gone Time-Stranger.net. We were introduced to so many amazing shrines from A Rainy Monday, and dearly miss its activity. We wanted to create a place like it, where shrine enthusiasts can find the best of the best shrines the web has to offer. As previous Rainy Monday winners, when our sites were selected and featured, it felt amazing, like all of our hard work was appreciated. It motivated us to make all of our sites better. We want webmasters to feel like their good work is appreciated and want to promote shrines people can feel inspired by.

We named this site The Amazing after our mutual love for Marvel. Many Marvel comics were titled Amazing: The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing X-Men, to name a couple. Like the super heroes we love, the shrines we feature here are extraordinary and are simply put, amazing. We hope you check them out.

Samantha

Samantha Web design has been an important and cherished hobby of mine since I was a kid. I started messing around with a page builder in 2002, but actually started making shrines in early 2003. I don’t think I knew exactly what I was getting into back then, but the older I got, the more shrining became a part of my identity and self-care. My shrining focus is typically on subjects that really make me feel and think. I love being intrigued and moved by characters, as well as finding myself spending my free time considering as many aspects, theories and connections about them as I can. As a social worker and someone who has extensively studied psychology, trauma and human behavior, I thoroughly enjoy analyzing why characters act the way they do, looking at how what’s happened to them has shaped them as a character, focusing on growth and resilience, and defending them in light of the vulnerabilities of human nature. As a lover of literary devices, I also focus on heavily on symbolism and themes. In other words, I completely throw myself into the world of said character for the amount of time it takes me to create a shrine.

I’ve seen a number of sites come and go over the years. I’ve also witnessed my own shrining style change and evolve. Therefore, I’ve grown to appreciate many different types of shrines. Personally, though, I love seeing shrines that show a similar dedication to truly understanding their subject. My favorite shrines go beyond just re-telling a character’s story and listing factual information. They take risks in sharing their opinions, connections and interpretations of that story. They show evidence of considering themes and thinking outside the box. My favorite shrines are those that make me think about a subject differently than I did before (if I know the subject) or give me an understanding of the character from their interpretation of the character’s eyes (if I’m unfamiliar).

That being said, I adore browsing all sorts of shrines—big ones, small ones, detailed ones, introductory ones, etc. Every time I visit a site, I try to learn from it. What did the owner do that was unique? What is the strongest section of this site? Where might I do something differently? I believe that both shrining and visiting others’ shrines are ways to evolve as a shrine owner. I am grateful and humbled by being part of an online community of amazing shrines, and look forward to highlighting their hard work here.

Todd

I have actively been making shrines since 2007. I made a few other types of sites before then, but after I made my first shrine, I was hooked. They’re like potato chips; you can’t make just one. I approach my shrines very personally. I look at how I perceive subjects, and I try to express why I love those subjects so that others may appreciate them, too. More often than not, I have a personal connection with the subject I am shrining, so shrining is usually a very cathartic experience for me. Shrining is one of my favorite hobbies. Thinking about a character, tearing him or her apart analytically, and ranting and raving about subjects I love is more than relaxing and fun to me; it’s artistic. I feel a sense of euphoria when I finish a shrine, not unlike how I feel when I finish writing a short story or novel. I leave a piece of myself behind with every shrine I create, and my shrines are just as much a reflection of me as they are the character I have shrined.

I don’t expect others to shrine like I do, but I do look for a similar personal connection to a subject when I read a shrine. I love when I can feel a webmaster’s passion for a subject from reading a shrine. I love when I find unique views and opinions on shrines. I love reading how a webmaster uses a character in a video game, or how he or she perceives a relationship in a story. In the day and age of Wikipedia, shrines have to have something more than basic information to stand out. Those extras are what I look for and find in my favorite shrines.

The cool thing about shrines is they come in all shapes and sizes. Two people can shrine the same character and have completely different shrines. Webmasters have different intentions when they make shrines, and present their shrines to different audiences. I love getting lost in a personal or opinionated shrine like I mentioned above, but I also love being introduced to new things in shrines. I can’t tell you how many games I have picked up or how many animes I have started watching because I read a shrine on a subject. A shrine from a webmaster who knows a subject well and is able to present it in a clear and engaging way, even to someone who has never experienced the subject before is an amazing thing. There are so many amazing shrines on the web, and more are made everyday. I am excited to be able to shine light on some of those here.

Destinie

DestinieMy first shrine was made somewhere around late 1999 and early 2000 when the net was still young and web design was more about exploring the technology and less about content. I loved making shrines because it was a way to connect with other people with the same interests prior to social media. Shrines were a very different thing back then I have enjoyed seeing how they have evolved over time. I stopped making fansites for a few years around 2004 but picked it up again more steadily in 2007.

Fansites had always been an important part of my internet routine, more so than checking wiki pages or official sites. Reading a shrine that is filled with people’s own affections and theories about a topic make it more enjoyable, more relate-able, and an overall better experience about the topic. I’ve learned things about games, books, shows, and musicians I’ve never seen/read/watched/heard and also have been inspired to try out new things based on what I’ve read from other people. This is, to me, a great achievement of shrines!

And as an artist, I long to see shrines recognized as the form of fan-created art that they are, and to be shown along side fanart, fanfiction, fanzines, and the like. This is one reason I really am glad to be part of The Amazing: to highlight shrines that have influenced me and ones that should be considered works of art.

Guest Bloggers

GuestWe will periodically request and feature recommendations from guest bloggers. We appreciate them taking the time to contribute to our blog, sharing their enthusiasm for shrines, and introducing us to a shrine they enjoy.

Recommendations have been written from the following guest bloggers:

  • Stefi of Blizzara.org