The History of the Neopian Times
There is no greater newspaper in Neopia than the Neopian Times itself. A week does not go by when it is not mentioned in the News. Thousands flock to get the latest copy while it's fresh off the stands. But what do these readers really know about the Neopian Times and its history? Shouldn't Neopians possess such knowledge already before calling themselves fans of the newspaper? Well, lucky for you, I've taken the time to gather the scoop on the Neopian Times and its past. When did it begin? What makes Neopian Times Issue 3 so special? These questions and many more tidbits will be answered, right now. Well, aren't you glad you found this article then?
January 25th Y2 marks the humble beginnings of the Neopian Times with these landmark words, "The Neopian Times starts today - if you have any articles you want to send in then please let us know!" Okay, maybe not exactly landmark, but indeed, they are special.
The Neopian Times nowadays does not have an official slogan per se. It has random pieces of text that make it underneath its header like Caution: Quills may be sharp, Invisible Paint Brushes rock, White Weewoos don't exist. *shifty eyes*, Battle Quills... ready!, Sanity is forbidden, A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll!, teh 1337est n00zpaper, Now with 50% more useless text, There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots, Chet Flash wuz here, and Enter Snowflake's lair... I guess the closest thing to one is Neopia's Fill-in-the-blank News Source. With so many random blurbs underneath its header, there's no surprise why you might have missed some or maybe I missed some. Who knows?
But back in the day, Issue 4 old, the original slogan of the Neopian Times was For an easier life. Hey, that sounds really nice. Wait until you see the header, too. No, not the current Batt-- I mean Neopian Times Quills, but the original one. Snooping in the archives, I managed to find it in Issue 4 in fact. The earlier issues have poofed I guess, oh dear, but that issue had a golden colored blob with two heads, one of a guy's and another of a woman's. *gasps* Maybe it's Adam and Donna! I really don't know who it was, but that was just my assumption. Neither am I sure when the header was replaced by a blue JubJub reading a newspaper, but from the 23rd issue, there was that familiar JubJub.
Of course, needless to say, the blue JubJub suffered from an untimely demise and by Issue 24, he was replaced with the golden JubJub that we all know and love, well at least Neopian Times oldbies. I think the real reason the Neopian Times got a facelift from Issue 150 and on was because that JubJub had to go on a much needed vacation. Serving for more than one hundred issues is a daunting task.
So the newspaper received a facelift, eh? On July 23rd Y6, two wonderful things happened, one of them being the new and improved bluish look of the Neopian Times. Quills replaced the JubJub as they don't really need a vacation. Besides, quills go much better with writing articles and interesting stories, don't you agree? Anyway, the other great, or maybe not so great, event that occurred on the same day was the announcement of a Neopian Times Star avatar. The Neopets Team was very smart indeed; I don't need statistics to believe that submissions to the Neopian Times increased substantially. As if the Neopian Times itself wasn't enough motivation for an aspiring writer! But of course, what better way to show you're a fan than having your very own Neopian Times Quill featured in a golden, starry background? A fan's dream come true!
Speaking of avatars, the Neopian Times Star wasn't the only avatar to relate to the newspaper. Soon after its release, another avatar came into existence though never officially in the news. The Neopian Times Writer avatar features an adorable White Weewoo, the new symbol of the newspaper, holding none other than a Neopian Times quill! The petpet seems to be writing something, possibly to the newspaper itself. There was enough material flooding into the newspaper from the other avatar, really. Now a second avatar? Let's just hope there won't be a third any time soon.
Maybe we're getting too far ahead in the timeline of the Neopian Times. Going back now, how were the early issues like? Remarkably, they were really similar in comparison. The first issue was filled with articles, comics, an editorial, short stories, series, but then we hit something uncanny. The first issue has continuing series which means, in the archives, are we really seeing the first true issue of the Neopian Times? Links to the first issue back in the Y2 archives have disappeared so we may never know.
So how do I account for Issue 3 then? It is a really old copy of the Neopian Times. That's what the item description says and there's no doubt in my mind that it is. After all, it was released on February 20th Y2. What made it so special it deserved to be turned into a book? Going back into the archives again, I ventured into Issue 3 expecting something new, something that would explain this mystery to Neopians. What did I find? Nothing of real interest, just the same old good stuff. However, that particular issue was brought to all of us by the Book Shop which just might explain why it was made into a readable item.
Even the most current issue is brought to us by some shop, place, event, or famous character. Even the feature of a quote, taken from one special written material from the issue, hasn't been forgotten. That much has not changed. However, there are some aspects of the Neopian Times that were implemented at first, but perished instead of becoming tradition. Did you know the newspaper had spotlighted several guilds on the front page? Talk about effective advertising for your guild if you were lucky enough to get featured! Appearing apparently in the first issue, the Guild Spotlight lasted all the way up to Issue 27, getting replaced in Issue 28 with Other Stories. The Neopets Team had the right notion in removing it since it did provoke competition.
Guilds weren't the only ones to drop from the Neopian Times. Neomarket was another. Neo what? Neomarket was an interesting segment featuring Maria Blumaroono and Neil Kauvato. You can guess what species of neopets they were for yourself. They talked about the status of the Neopian economy and finances. In Issue 28, Neomarket was renamed to the Neopian News Brief and altered to include the latest news and events taking place in Neopia along with the occasional economic information. All in all, this section lasted up to Issue 113 when suddenly it disappeared in Issue 114.
I hope you have learned some interesting little tidbit about the Neopian Times, your favorite newspaper. Rising from 2.5 million in circulation in Issue 23 to well over 140 million currently, the Neopian Times is and will be Neopia's largest, most popular, and well-written weekly newspaper with much more in store for the future.