Saturday, May 26, 2007

It all started with "Superman is a dick." Now we have such fun galleries as "Seduction of the Innocent," "Suffering Sappho," "Everything's Better With Monkeys,
and "Stupor Powers" (among other galleries. This is a great website for fans of comics. If you haven't already book marked it, you should now.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In the cards? Upper Deck bids to buy Topps

Personally I would rather see Upper Deck come out over Michael Eisner.

The Upper Deck Co. has made a pitch to buy The Topps Co., a bid that would join two iconic baseball card makers that have sold sports memorabilia to generations of fans young and old.

The offer price of $10.75 a share trumps a bid earlier this year from a group of investors led by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Topps, maker of baseball cards and Bazooka bubble gum, said Thursday it was not sure Upper Deck's bid is a superior offer.

Eisner's Tornante Co. LLC and the Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC had agreed to pay $9.75 a share, which represented a premium of 9.4 percent when they first made the offer in early March. That deal received regulatory approval on April 3 and has been scheduled for a shareholder vote on June 28.

The group led by Eisner agreed to let New York-based Topps negotiate with Upper Deck, which is in Carlsbad, Calif.

Topps, founded in 1938, makes trading cards that feature athletes of Major League Baseball, the NFL and NBA. In addition to Bazooka bubble gum, it owns the Ring Pop and Push Pop brands and makes sticker album collections.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Game Geeks ep #1 All Flesh Must be Eaten

I just picked up a copy of this at one of the local Half Price Books. I thought that I would post this for others to see as well.

He does need to wave his hands around a little less though.

Monday, May 21, 2007

June Opens a Busy Summer for Green Ronin

With four releases scheduled throughout the month of June, Green Ronin Publishing has their work cut out for them. First we have the sixth in the popular Bleeding Edge series, Escape from Ceranir, in which a party of 6th- to 8th-level characters must find out what happened to the inhabitants of this once-proud citadel, and quell the evil within before it claims them as new victims. Used alone or as part of an ongoing campaign, this adventure is a descent into horror and madness, redefining the concept of the classic dungeon crawl. This 32-page book by Scott Gray retails for $11.95.

The True 20 Narrator’s Kit provides a much needed tool for True 20. Retailing for $19.95, this handy product features a three-panel hardback screen illustrated by Chris Moeller that puts all the essential game info right in front you. The Narrator's Kit also includes a 32-page introductory True20 adventure by Rodney Thompson, "Last Voyage of the Stellar Galleon." In it a crippled starship crashes on a strange planet that's not on any star chart. Meanwhile, a band of brave explorers is summoned to a wizard's tower and charged with the task of recovering a powerful artifact: a golden orb able to transport people to distant worlds. Take the roles of Stellar Galleon crewmen, trying to recover the ship's power core from mutineers and primitive aliens with unearthly powers, or play the fantasy adventurers, trying to take the power core from the wreckage of the downed alien ship. You can play the adventure either way, or both, making it two adventures in one!

Freeport is Green Ronin's signature city setting and has been home to thousands of RPG campaigns since its launch in 2000. The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport is the definitive new sourcebook for the City of Adventure, set 5 years after the events of the original Freeport Trilogy. This is a pure setting book, focusing entirely on the people, places, politics, and perils of Freeport and containing no game statistics of any kind. The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport can thus be used with any fantasy RPG and Green Ronin will be providing companion products for popular systems like True20 and d20. The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport will carry a retail price of $34.95.

Finally, Iron Age takes gamers back to the grim days of the ‘80s and ‘90s, when super-vigilantes in leather and chains dispensed harsh justice. Iron Age looks at the darkest era of comic book history and how you can bring it to life in your Mutants & Masterminds game. It includes an overview of the period, how to create and run Iron Age characters and games, and details on the Iron Age of Green Ronin’s award-winning Freedom City campaign setting. Iron Age is written by Seth Johnson and Jon Leitheusser, and retails for $26.95. [Via]

We Will Kill You

WE WILL KILL YOU, originally uploaded by ernest.borg9.

Sometimes you just can't go home again. [Drawing by Paul Pope]

New Heath Ledger Joker image might be a fake!

It was one of the biggest stories of the weekend, but we’ve got some bad news for Batfans – there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the latest pic of Heath Ledger in his Joker guise is yet another fake.

If it is indeed a scam, it’s surely one of the most elaborate hoaxes in cinematic history, a gag worthy of the Clown Prince Of Crime himself.

If you haven’t already heard, here’s the story. At the weekend, what appeared to be a viral marketer littered a comic-book store in Southern California with playing cards, daubed with the phrase I Believe In Harvey Dent Too, a play on Warner Brothers’ official ibelieveinharveydent teaser site domain name.

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting. Fanboys who typed in ibelieveinharveydenttoo were sent to a new site, encouraging them to send off their email address, to receive a code which would allow them to gradually reveal a Bat-picture, hidden behind the official teaser.

Cleverly, whoever created the site (and we’ll prove in a moment that it wasn’t WB) didn’t announce that the image was Heath Ledger as the Joker, making fanboys even more desperate to see it.

Eventually – and trust us, it took a long time, suspicious in itself considering how many people were eventually attempting to reveal the image, once the word spread – this picture appeared.

Looks good, right? Well, before you get too overexcited, consider the following two points…

Friday, May 18, 2007

Iggy Pop chats with Dinah Shore

Bruce Campbell: Hungry Like The Wolf

Lloyd Alexander; Fantasy and Adventure Writer

Lloyd Alexander, 83, a critically acclaimed fantasy and adventure writer whose coming-of-age novels use vivid action and elements of mythology to depict contemporary struggles between good and evil, died May 17 at his home in Drexel Hill, Pa. He had cancer.

Mr. Alexander wrote more than 40 books and is regarded as one of the best-known writers of juvenile fiction of the past several decades. He won over adult reviewers with cliff-hanging plots, stylish prose and believable characters that make his fanciful, long-ago settings seem plausible and relevant.

Essayist Laura Ingram, writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, said the books have 'the special depth and insight provided by characters who not only act, but think, feel and struggle with the same kinds of problems that confuse and trouble people in the twentieth century.'

He completed three major series -- the Chronicles of Prydain, which focuses on the maturity of an assistant pig keeper named Taran and is loosely based on Welsh mythology; the Westmark trilogy of political intrigue, whose main character is a printer's apprentice on the run in a corrupt European kingdom; and the Vesper Holly series, about a young Philadelphian who comes to the rescue of President Ulysses S. Grant.

Worldwide Adventure Writing Month

June is Worldwide Adventure Writing Month.
Join us in expanding the number of free, downloadable adventures for tabletop roleplaying games!

The goal is to write a complete 32 page adventure module by June 30th, 2007.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Important. And pass it on...

I found this on Neil Gaiman's blog and thought that it was definitely worth passing along.
John M. Ford was pretty much the smartest writer I knew. Mostly. He did one thing that was less than smart, though: he knew he wasn't in the best of health, but he still didn't leave a proper will, and so didn't, in death, dispose of his literary estate in the way that he intended to while he was alive, which has caused grief and concern to the people who were closest to him.

He's not the first writer I know who didn't think to take care of his or her posthumous intellectual property. For example, I knew a writer -- a great writer -- separated from and estranged from his wife during the last five years of his life. He died without making a will, and his partner, who understood and respected his writing, was shut out, while his wife got the intellectual property, and has not, I think, treated it as it should have been treated. These things happen, and they happen too often.

There are writers who blithely explain to the world that they didn't make a will because they don't mind who gets their jeans and old guitar when they die but who would have conniptions if they realised how much aggravation their books or articles or poems or songs would cause their loved ones (or editors, anthologists or fans) after their death...

Monday, May 14, 2007

The dark legacy of Carlos Castaneda

For fans of the literary con, it's been a great few years. Currently, we have Richard Gere starring as Clifford Irving in 'The Hoax,' a film about the '70s novelist who penned a faux autobiography of Howard Hughes. We've had the unmasking of James Frey, JT LeRoy/Laura Albert and Harvard's Kaavya Viswanathan, who plagiarized large chunks of her debut novel, forcing her publisher, Little, Brown and Co., to recall the book. Much has been written about the slippery boundaries between fiction and nonfiction, the publishing industry's responsibility for distinguishing between the two, and the potential damage to readers. There's been, however, hardly a mention of the 20th century's most successful literary trickster: Carlos Castaneda.

If this name draws a blank for readers under 30, all they have to do is ask their parents. Deemed by Time magazine the 'Godfather of the New Age,' Castaneda was the literary embodiment of the Woodstock era. His 12 books, supposedly based on meetings with a mysterious Indian shaman, don Juan, made the author, a graduate student in anthropology, a worldwide celebrity. Admirers included John Lennon, William Burroughs, Federico Fellini and Jim Morrison.

[To read the full story you will have to watch an ad, but I think that's a small price to pay to read some of the stuff at Salon.]

Game Geeks #7 Spycraft 2.0

An ongoing RPG review video "podcast" available through YouTube. Well done and produced, Game Geeks is well worth checking out. The reviews are informative and certainly comparable to anything that I have seen in print.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Family Ties

family ties, originally uploaded by Cleveland Desolation.

Next week I am starting a new game with the group, using the d6 Adventure rules. It might lead to something, but it's too early to talk about that right now.

The flyer is still tentative but it hits some of the themes that I want for the game. It isn't finalized though.

Friday, May 11, 2007

House of Hammer rises from the dead

Unholy lusts, depraved, thrilling passions and unspeakable acts of violence and terror - all in glorious, gothic Technicolor. When the legendary Hammer House of Horror group set out to scare the wits out of people in the 50s, 60s and 70s, it did it in style, leaving one British censor musing: 'The curse of this thing is the Technicolor blood: why need vampires be messier eaters than anyone else?'

For three decades, Hammer Film Productions has lain dormant, with fans having to rely on special late night showings at cinemas or the occasional reissue of one of the more popular classics from its prodigious 295-item back catalogue on DVD.

But now the brand that defined the great British film alongside Ealing comedies and James Bond is back in business and plans to make more movies to terrify a new generation of fans.

Responsible for the classic horror series of Dracula, Frankenstein and Quatermass, alongside such gems as Blood from the Mummy's Tomb and the Sweet Scent of Death, the company will repackage some of these old favourites but also plans new productions, inspired by such modern horror movies as the just released 28 Weeks Later.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Solve the Brooke Shields mystery

They haven't shown us what the alphabet is yet but graffiti around London is hinting at it's existence.

'Alphabet of Brooke Shields' – what does it mean?

This small bit of grafitti has been popping up all over London for the past few weeks, and is puzzling the living daylights out of everyone who spots it. From Tower Bridge to Wembley Park, it's everywhere. There are even reports of it appearing as far away as Hamburg and the Netherlands.

A Google search reveals nothing but bemused blogs speculating as to what's so special about the actess, model, former Mrs Andre Agassi and sparring partner of Tom Cruise. Does she have her own private alphabet? What?

What is the Alphabet of Brooke Shields, and how does it relate to the world? Hopefully we will find out.

Here's a Flickr pool documenting the graffiti. And here is a Google map showing the locations where graffiti has been found.

Share your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Man wants electoral voice for "living dead"

Of course the living dead need their voice to be heard in the political world. Brains without representation, or something like that...

Man wants electoral voice for "living dead"
A villager is campaigning in northern India for the rights of people declared legally dead by cheating relatives seeking to steal their assets.

Lal Bihari, a lower caste villager who lost his father's inheritance due to an unscrupulous uncle, formed the 'Union of the Dead' in 1980 to fight for the rights of thousands he says have fallen victim to scams by relatives.

He is contesting as an independent in a month-long election in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, which ends on Tuesday.

In 1976, an uncle allegedly connived with corrupt local officials to fudge village records and declare Bihari dead. The uncle then won the inheritance of Bihari's father.

'It was only as late as in 1994 that I succeeded in proving myself alive,' Bihari, 52, said.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Man 'cuts off own head with chainsaw'

A self-inflicted chainsaw wound? Even I have a hard time buying that one.

Man 'cuts off own head with chainsaw'
A man in the German city of Cologne fatally stabbed his elderly father before cutting off his own head with an electric chainsaw, police said yesterday.

The headless body of the 24-year-old offender was found when police raced to an the apartment yesterday after an emergency call, apparently from the dying father, had been broken off in mid-sentence, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

Alf Willwacher, a senior prosecutor, said an electric chainsaw was next to the son's body.

'We do not believe any third party was involved,' he said.

Neighbours said the father and son had been reclusive since the death of the mother, allegedly by suicide, several years ago.

Student tries to make roadkill pretty

The important thing to remember is to always wear gloves when handling road kill. Road kill is pretty.

Student tries to make roadkill pretty
For the past several weeks, drivers near Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville have been noticing odd things about some of the roadkill on the sides of the area's highways.

Some of the dead possums and raccoons have been dressed in pet or human baby clothes and have had their claws painted with nail polish. The carcass of a deer has been adorned with gold paint.

The culprit is SIU-Edwardsville graduate art student Jessica May, 24, of West Lafayette, Ind.

In an interview with the Belleville News-Democrat, May said she is not an animal rights activist; she is just interested in seeing if people would give more thought to the animals if they were somehow given human attributes.

'I think this is my way of slowing down and paying homage to these animals,' she explained. 'I don't particularly find it offensive, but I understand why some people who don't understand what I'm doing could find it that way.'

May, a 2006 graduate of Purdue University, said she takes precautions in dealing with the carcasses.

'I wear gloves,' she said. 'I don't know that I could touch it with my bare hands, because by the time I find them, they're pretty far gone.'

Monday, May 07, 2007

Diplomats of the Abenaki Indigenous Nation

News of the weird, indeed.

Diplomats of the Abenaki Indigenous Nation
Two months ago, police in Trenton, N.J., arrested four men in separate incidents who fancy themselves 'diplomats' from the Abenaki Indigenous Nation and claim immunity from the laws of the 'so-called planet Earth' (and, by the way, of Mars and Venus, too). One allegedly possessed an unidentified 'controlled substance,' while the others drove cars with made-up 'diplomat' tags. The four showed no ostensible ties to the Abenaki Indigenous Nation, a tribe in North America since the 17 th century and still in the northeastern United States.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ancient Vatican library to close

It sounds like someone found something in the library that they don't want outsiders to know about. With digital copies it makes it much easier for librarians at the Vatican to cleanse the books for public consumption.

What truth was accidentally discovered in the Vatican's Library?

Ancient Vatican library to close
One of the world's oldest libraries, at the Vatican, is to close for three years for rebuilding, in an unexpected blow to scholars around the world.

The decision to shut the library was made without warning.

After the library closes for its summer break in mid-July, it will not reopen until September 2010, the Vatican says.

The reason is that some buildings constructed only a quarter of a century ago are now considered unsuitable for the safe storage of ancient books.