There were many others, but one in particular hits home for me. Photographer, artist, digital media personality and a good friend of mine, Peter Dean Rickards, lost his battle with cancer on December 31. I grew up with Peter, and he has been a major influence on the way I see the world as an artist. He was an innovator and a visionary who, amongst other accomplishments, saw the vast potential of the internet right from the very beginning.

Of course, now that he’s gone, I find myself frantically trying to immortalize his deeds and keep his memory alive. This always seems to me like the ultimate act of procrastination, waiting until someone leaves us before commemorating them. Perhaps something we should have done more often when they were alive. Oh sure I would occasionally tell him that he was brilliant, and sure he has left a substantial mark on cyberspace that will live on in infamy. But I can’t help but feel that I’m doing too little too late in the spectrum of accolades.

So let this be a year to make amends and start praising the geniuses living amongst us in the present. Our esteemed editor, and my very good friend, Kenneth Gallant who is the most creatively original person I know. Our incredibly gifted and driven managing editor Stevie Kopas – author extraordinaire (read The Breadwinner already!). Our extremely talented staff of writers: Tim, Mark, PJ, Maria, Billy Wayne, as well as our original members: Billy, Matt, and Jeremy. Read all about our contributors here.

The list continues with the many talented musicians, writers and artists for whom it has been an absolute pleasure to speak with. Whether it’s guitar-god Kelly Kereliuk, visionary director Phil Mucci, brilliant author Steve Kozeniewski or stellar artist Steve McGinnis, we take pride in bringing you the very best in the genre of metal and horror!

But there is another exceptional group of people that we couldn’t do what we do without, and that’s you. Our readers, our friends and our followers. You give us validity and keep us going with your passion for the darkness…

…and in our eyes that makes all of you rockstars.

As Ken says, keep it bloody and keep it metal.

Richard Leggatt, Art Director HMS - January 8, 2015

Click here to see Steve McGinnis' incredible HMS poster!