Lucy is Lawless

HISTORY

After watching my first Xena episode, "Here She Comes...Miss Amphipolis", in a Women's Studies first year survey course at university in the summer of 1997, I was shocked, surprised and excited. How could I have missed out for so long on a show that was so empowering, enlightening, unique, and -most importantly- fun? Who was this fabulous butt-kicking woman and why was I meeting her in an educational environment? After a rowdy class discussion about the episode and its relation to feminism, homosexuality, independence, female stereotypes, beauty pageants and dressing in drag, I realized that this show was not an average production.

Not only did the show prove to be beyond average, but so did the effect its star, Lucy Lawless, would have on my life. Soon after my introduction to Xena, I searched for Lucy sites, and found only one devoted to our warrior princess. I decided that one website wasn't enough to show tribute to this talented woman. I had done a bit of web design prior to this, but nothing of great significance. I started collecting and posting photos and information on Lucy (mostly photos!) and the Ultimate Lucy Lawless Picture Page was born. I researched digital imaging so I could modify and improve the photos, and web design so I could make the site as functional as possible. Soon after, I realized that photos weren't enough, and that I had collected quite a bit of information on this amazing Kiwi. The site grew substantially, and I changed the name to Ultimate Lucy Lawless (1998). I moved Ultimate Lucy Lawless (1999) to a new server where it lived happily for a while, until Xoom decided to delete the entire site - apparently the server had failed. Regardless of the exact cause, the site was deleted without warning or apology, and while all of the information was backed up on my hard drive, it wasn't as well organized as the previously live site. During this time I began to notice other sites that had blatantly stolen huge sections of content (especially photos) from the site without asking for permission or providing credit or a link, and this was beginning to frustrate me. I decided that, despite the setbacks of the site deletion and the theft of content, I would find a new host and, in the process, redesign the site.

During this time, I was, as mentioned, a university student, studying Computer Science and trying to pay the rent. I worked part-time as a web developer, focusing primarily on educational sites. My best intentions for this site fell behind as I left school and focused on full time web development. Not long after, my hard drive failed. While all of the content remained intact, it now was not only disorganized, but all of the file names were corrupted. I'd have to devote much of my time to renaming files before I could begin reconstruction of the site. I put up the "we're renovating" sign, and bought a domain called Lucy is Lawless (2000). The site remained dormant for some time, as I rebuilt the image gallery (approximately 800 photos) and sorted the remaining content.

Xena ended, and my bitter reaction to the finale caused me to ponder if it was worth the effort to rebuild. Lucy's fans (particularly those that were as unhappy about the ending as I was) would move on to new television shows and stars. As an instructor of digital imaging and web design at the local college, I found that my time was constantly redirected away from the site. I thought that I'd just hold onto the domain and see how I felt about it in the future. Throughout the down time of the site, fans e-mailed me regularly, asking when the site would be up or if they could help. Thank you to all of you for your concern and support.

Lucy's appearance on the X-Files in November of 2001 (and that nagging in the back of my mind, and all the e-mails...) rekindled my interest in modifying the site, and a new front for Lucy is Lawless (2001) went up. There was life after Xena, and Lucy's career wasn't over after all. I knew I had to share my admiration for Lucy and her work, as well as all of the information I'd collected on her over the years. Fandom is a strange phenomenon that can encourage a normally rational person to devote irrational amounts of time to unusual pursuits, and so I felt that it wouldn't be too much for me to rebuild my tribute to Lucy Lawless, the woman that inadvertently facilitated my interest in web development and digital imaging as a career. I hope you all like what I've done. If you have any comments or questions about the site please don't hesitate to contact me.

Alexis Layton, Webmaster of http://www.lucyislawless.com, May 2002
View my portfolio at http://www.alexislayton.com

Lucy is Lawless

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