Saturday, April 30, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "Y" and "Z" Are for "Yojimbo" and "Zatoichi"

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A-to-Z of Adventure: "X" Is for "X"

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A-to-Z of Adventure: "W" Is Also for "World War II 1:6 Scale Village."


During a bout with insomnia this a.m., I ran across Marwencol, an interesting bit of weirdness on PBS's Independent Lens.

This award-winning documentary is the story of Mark Hogancamp, a man who builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard after being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar.

The name of the village is "Marwencol." It's is sort of a Belgian Brigadoon in which Hogancamp's 1:6 scale alter-ego acts out the drama of a magical WW2 village where the dead can rise from their muddy graves and the Axis & Allies can "live together in perfect harmony."

It's a must-see for any action figure collector.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "W" Is for "Walter Sobchak"


Walter Sobchak, circa 1779


Tip o' the tricorn to gislebertus
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A-to-Z of Adventure: "V" Is for "Von Daniken"

Trey from From the Sorcerer's Skull follows his inspirational piece Real Sandbox: Maps of Green Hell with more South American win in Akakor: Dungeon, (South) American Style

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "U" Is for "Urth"

Barbarians of Urth is one of the many RPG settings that can be found at Obsidian Portal, and, in my opinion, it's one of the most interesting. It's one of those campaigns that make you say, "Damn, I wish I lived in Oklahoma (or Vancouver, or South Carolina) so I could run a character." It's one of those games I love that avoids the "My Elves Are Different" pitfall.

Proprietor "cosimovecchio" describes it thusly:

Urth is our Earth, or perhaps one of it’s colony worlds, some unknown time after a technological singularity. Something happened to the sun, perhaps some failed astro-engineering project, leaving it red and swollen. The moon is green, covered in an endless jungle. The weird wreckage of the singularity litters the landscape, and those left behind carry on. Sentience takes many forms. Some of those left behind are recognizably human, others are uplifted plants, animals, machines, or strange hybrids. The level of available technology varies wildly from place to place. Stone age barbarians live a few days ride from a stone and timber city where laser pistol wielding armigers rule. Sorcery, or at least something that looks like sorcery, works. For most of the people of Urth advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Religion is as popular as ever, and sometimes the gods, or things claiming to be gods, answer their followers prayers. Imagine a mixture of The Planet of the Apes (Charlton Heston, not Marky-Marky), Jack Vance’s Dying Earth, Logan’s Run, Conan (Robert E. Howard, not Arnold), The Book of the New Sun, Dan Simmon’s Illium and Olympus, H.G. Well’s The Time Machine, Bas-Lag, Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards, Tekumel, HP Lovecraft’s Dreamlands, and Zardoz. This strange mix is some sort of science-fantasy, more sword and saucers than sword and sorcery. To emulate this odd genre I plan to use Barbarians of the Aftermath, a supplement for Barbarians of Lemuria.
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A-to-Z of Adventure: "T" Is for "Test Pilot"

I'm sure if you checked the resumes of Buzz Aldrin, Francis Gary Powers, and Race Bannon, the one common thread would be "Test Pilot." If you wanted to be a true "Man of Action" in the sixties and seventies, and you weren't a spy or a detective, then you damn well better have been a test pilot.
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Monday, April 25, 2011

...and my fiction is like


I write like
L. Frank Baum

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!


I Write Like ...


I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!


"Fergit, hell!"

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A-to-Z of Adventure: "S" Is for "Scooby"

Remember the Scooby Doo episodes in which the gang received an assist from a celebrity guest star in solving the mystery of the week. Everyone from Batman to Cass Elliott made an appearance. Think about how cool it would be to have seen other era icons like Count Dante, Huey P. Newton, or Curtis Lemay.

Well, artist Josh Cooley dug those episodes so much, he has made art based on his own dream team of mostly modern characters.





For more, check out his blog, COOLEY!: Scooby Doo: The COOLEY! episodes

h/t Super Punch
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "R" Is for "Redemption"


Since it is, after all, Easter, I'm going to wax religious for a moment. The comic above was in today's installment of Super Punch. I remember it well. As a regular Sunday School attendee and FOOM, I kept it in an honored place sandwiched between Capt. America and Daredevil.

The Cross and the Switchblade originally appeared on book-form in 1963. Authored by evangelist David Wilkerson, it recounts the true tale of his first five years as a minister in New York City, where he struggled to shepherd young people away from drugs and gangs.

The movie version starred Pat Boone and Erik Estrada.

For more info on Wilkerson's ministry, see How It All Began | World Challenge.
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A-to-Z of Adventure: "Q" Is for "Quint"


"Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We'd just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes.

Didn't see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin' by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and sometimes that shark he go away...

But sometimes he wouldn't go away.
wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't even seem to be livin'... 'til he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all your poundin' and your hollerin' those sharks come in and... they rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour.

Thursday mornin, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol' fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb."

--Quint
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Friday, April 22, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "P" Is for "Planet Algol"


PLANET ALGOL is the premiere purveyor of "OLD SCHOOL PULP SWORD, SAUCER AND SORCERY ADVENTURES IN UNIVERSES OF WEIRD SCIENCE FANTASY."
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A-to-Z of Adventure: "O" Is for "Omega Man"

Listened to "A Summer Place" on my morning drive. Felt like Bob Neville.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

P.S.



h/t Calvin's Canadian Cave of Coolness
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They're Taking The Rascals to Isengard

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'dump


Admiral B. Fett, Union Navy


Moebius


Brock Freakin Sampson Muppet

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "L" Is for "Late"

Sorry folks. Yesterday kept me too busy to post.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "K" Is for "Kelly"


Best known for his role in Bruce Lee's Enter The Dragon and his bad-ass afro, Jim Kelly was born in Paris, Kentucky. He began his athletic career in high school, competing successfully in basketball, football, and track and field. He attended the University of Louisville and left during his freshman year to begin studying Shorin-ryu karate. Additionally, he received his black belt in Okinawa-te Karate under the direction of Shihan Gordon Doversola. After winning the 1971 International Middleweight Karate Championship, he opened his own martial arts school.

As an actor, Kelly is best known for co-starring alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. This appearance led to starring roles in a string of martial arts-themed Blaxploitation films, among them Melinda and Black Belt Jones. Most of Kelly’s film roles played up the (then) novelty of an African-American martial arts master. After his appearance in 1982′s One Down, Two to Go, Kelly appeared in movies only rarely.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "J" Is for "Jonny Quest"


Great fan-art from Francesco Fracavilla


Jonny got his jetpack. Where's mine?

h/t From Palm Key
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Monday, April 11, 2011

The A-to-Z of Adventure: "I" Is for "Ioun"

Ioun stones (pronounced EYE-oon) are based on similar artifacts from Jack Vance's Dying Earth series. When functioning, they float in a circular pattern around their bearer's head, and grant various benefits based on their color and shape. Two stones of the same type will repel each other, and when drained of power, a stone becomes a dull grey, but still possesses the characteristic floating. While useless to a mage, burned out stones can still yield a single psionic power point to a psionic character in 3rd and 3.5 editions.

In the original Jack Vance stories IOUN stones are highly prized by arch-magicians, and are acquired from a race known as the archveults, who mine them from remnants of dead stars.

h/t D&D Wiki
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "H" Is for "Harry Palmer"



While that other bloke was quibbling over how his vodka martinis were prepared, Len Deighton's "clever Cockney" agent makes cold war on everything from brainwashers to billionaires.

For more information, I suggest the Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) Movie Site.

For your entertainment, below is a piece of fan-art that I made.


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Friday, April 8, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "G" Is for "Gandahar"


The hell with Japanime; give me "Franime." I prefer Metàl Hurlant to manga, Moebius to Mizuno, and Gandahar to Gundam.



René Laloux's Gandahar (a.k.a. The Light Years) is an animated science-fantasy classic based on a novel by Jean-Pierre Andrevon. The movie takes its name from the Utopian realm in which the film is set. Laloux's worlds have been called "reminiscent of a dreamy and more benign Hieronymus Bosch."



The world of Gandahar is a progressive paradise. Sexism has been eradicated as evidenced by the realm's governance by a queen and her Council of Women. No one goes hungry thanks to a harmonious farming system that involves tilling the soil with strange livestock and harvesting red fruit from blue trees by beautiful demihuman women. "Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds," anyone?



However, when our hero Sylvain heads out on his quest to bring a halt to the incursions of robot invaders, we find that his culture may have more in common with Pol Pot than Paul McCartney.



h/t Electric Sheep and. The Sword.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "F" Is for "Flint"



Derek Flint, the Original Man of Mystery, is getting his own comic.



Mods, mini-skirts and Vietnam. Paisley shirts and satellites. Afros and lasers. The Cold War is hot and the Red Chinese aren’t the only ones doing the brainwashing. Love is in the air, but everyone isn’t groovy.

Derek Flint, inventor, ballet instructor, editor and contributor to the revised Kama Sutra, transcendentalist and translator of an ancient Mayan cookbook, seeker of the third eye and freelance spy, is the one M.A.C.E. (Mandated Actions for Covert Enforcement) calls on to tackle their most perilous assignments. From crazed Nazi scientists hatching dastardly plans, sultry Russian spies with killer bodies and kung fu grips, super strength cyborg assassins, to fiendish henchmen and quixotic masterminds, these are examples of adversaries mystery writer Gary Phillips (Operator 5 and Decimator Smith) will throw at the cool, collected Mr. Flint.

With his gadgets and skills, aided by his quartet of brainy glamour gals, That Man Flint is a retro revisionist series capturing the fun, feel and excitement of halcyon espionage fare such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Bond in Goldfinger,and Steranko’s Nick Fury for today’s audience . . .




h/t BISH'S BEAT and Moonstone
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We Interrupt This Meme for This Important Announcement ...

I won an award.

I received the above award from fantasy author and fellow Blogger™ Deidra Coppel of A Storybook World. When I went to pick it up, I found a lot of neat stuff: original artwork and a link to an article on the abundance of LDS science fiction and fantasy writers.

We now return to our regularly scheduled bloggery.
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A-to-Z of Adventure: "E" Is for "Eastern Jewel"

Eastern Jewel, more formally known as Yoshiko Kawashima, was a Manchu princess brought up in Japan, who served as a spy in the service of the Japanese Kwantung Army and Manchukuo.

Born in Beijing as the 14th daughter to Shanqi, the 10th son of Prince Su of the Manchu imperial family, she was adopted at the age of eight by her father's friend, Naniwa Kawashima, a Japanese espionage agent/mercenary adventurer, and renamed Kawashima Yoshiko. Raised and educated in Japan, she married Ganjuurjab, the son of the leader of the Mongolian-Manchurian Independence Movement in 1927. Divorcing a scant two years later, she moved to the foreign concession in Shanghai where she met Japanese military attaché Ryukichi Tanaka, who used her contacts with the aristocracy to expand his espionage network.

Easter Jewel is probably best known for her relationship with former Qing Emperor Pu Yi as portrayed in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor. Through this liaison she was able to persuade Pu Yi to return to the Manchu homeland as head of the newly Japanese-created state of Manchukuo.

Following Pu Yi's coronation, she became the mistress of Major General Hayao Tada, Pu Yi's chief military advisor, and formed an independent counter-insurgency cavalry force made up of 3,000-5,000 former bandits to hunt down anti-Japanese guerilla bands during the Pacification of Manchukuo.

The fame of her exploits, her popularity in Manchukuo society, her appearances on radio broadcasts, the release of a record of her songs, and the numerous fictional and semi-fictional stories of her exploits in newspapers and the pulp fiction press led to a demise of her usefulness as an intelligence asset to the Kwantung Army.

She was ultimately arrested, tried, and executed for treason by the Chinese Nationalists in 1948.

You can learn more about at your local library. Or just order a copy of The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel: A Novel by Maureen Lindley.

Oh, by the way, she even has her own gaming miniature.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The A-to-Z of Adventure: "D" Is for Dangerwoman


Danger Woman is a real-life superhero headquartered in the Atlanta area. Diagnosed with Asperger's, this Songbird of Justice uses her mad karaoke skills to fight "disabiliphobia." She has been one of the highlights of Dragoncon; however, she has announced on her Facebook page that she has been left off 2011's itinerary. Pat Henry, who can be reached at chairman@dragoncon.org, needs to be reminded of what a golden asset DE has been over the years.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

A-to-Z of Adventure: "C" Is for "Catoblepas"

he catoblepas has a large, bloated, bison's body with short, stumpy legs like those of a hippopotamus. At the front of its body is a shaggy mane of dark brown hair, from which sprouts a long, snake-like neck. The creature's head like that of a warthog with bloodshot eyes. The beast's coiling tail has a stony mass of stubby spikes at the end. The catoblepas is orange-reddish-brown, and its hide is covered with warts, scabs, and bits of encrusted dung.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

The A-to-Z of Adventure: "A" Is for "Adventure Team"

Let's start this meme with a video, shall we?
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