Sunday, December 23, 2007

Erick Wujcik Tribute Site

I wanted to pass along word of this as soon as I read the email that I received. He is a great designer, and from what I have heard, an equally great person.

This website is dedicated to Erick Wujcik, game designer, writer, artist, originator of ideas, thinker and kind soul. Friend to countless people and an inspiration to thousands upon thousands more.

He is one of my dearest friends, so it is with a heavy heart that I report Erick Wujcik, age 56, is dying of cancer.

Until a few weeks ago, Erick was healthy and doing fine. He was enjoying his work at Totally Games, a videogame company, when he thought he had come down with the flu. When he couldn’t shake it, he went to the doctors. The prognosis was unexpected, to say the least. Pancreatic cancer that had spread to his liver. There was no advance warning. It was a shock. Erick presses forward with the willful exuberance he has exhibited all his life.

We thought about letting people know after Christmas, but Erick’s time is, all too quickly, running out.

We thought it would be wonderful to give the millions of people who have loved the man and enjoyed his games, the opportunity to express their appreciation for him and his work. I have no doubt your comments and remembrances will put a smile on Erick’s face and help his spirit soar.

While this is sad news that weighs heavily on our hearts, we’d like this website, and the comments posted on it, to be a celebration of Erick’s wonderful life.

Just as you did when Palladium announced its Crisis of Treachery, let Erick know how much you have enjoyed his games and ideas. How Ninja Turtles (or Amber or whatever) turned you on to gaming or opened up your mind to new possibilities, and similar commentaries, thoughts and regards. I know your kind words and warm remembrances will put a smile on his face and warm his soul.

We’ve chosen to go with a blog style. Post as often as you’d like. Share your recollections about encounters with Erick, the first time you heard him speak or met him at a convention, what he and his work have meant to you, funny convention stories, and whatever else feels right.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Quick Notice and Holiday Wishes

Dorkland will be shutting down for the holidays in a couple of days. Thursday I will be heading off to visit the family and in an uncharacteristically non-geeky manner I won't be taking my computer with me.

So, there might be the occasional post whenever I hope online but nothing too dramatic.

I hope that everyone has a great time with their respective holidays. :)

Smallville's Chloe Sullivan to Join Comic Cast

I liked the character of Chloe in Smallville, well at least while I was still interested in watching the show. Is this a good idea? Who knows. At least it isn't being done as a retcon, with Clark suddenly having a long-lost friend from Smallville showing up and having to be explained.

Of course I haven't regularly followed a Superman title in a number of years (I think my picking up the current LoSH story in Action has to be the first time in at least five years).

Longtime Smallville viewers get a treat on March 12th. That’s when Superman #674 hits the streets, and Chloe Sullivan hits Metropolis. For years, the intrepid young reporter has been a favorite of viewers, and though hints had been dropped about her arrival in the DCU, she never materialized. Now, she’s finally joining up with the Man of Steel’s supporting cast in the comics. From the outset, Superman Editor Matt Idelson points the finger at series writer Kurt Busiek for bringing Chloe on board – 'This was all Kurt’s idea, and it’s something we’d first talked about a couple of years ago.'

Dark Knight Trailer

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Well, it looks like we might be getting plenty of snow out of this.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Machine Girl Trailer


Hell Comes to Fangoria

Hell came to FANGORIA last Wednesday when a massive fire that swept through a warehouse in Oregon, IL destroyed our supply of back issues used to fulfill mail and on-line orders. Also consumed by the flames were copies of STARLOG, STAR TREK and our dozens of past movie tie-in magazines. As a result, we are unfortunately no longer able to process back-issue orders for any of our past titles—so collectors, hold onto the ones you’ve got!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The NeoPulp Manifesto

I found this through a link at Warren Ellis' new web community, and thought that it might be of potential interest to readers (I'm looking at you Jonny...yeah, right through the internet):
NeoPulp is not a new style of writing. It is a fusion of several well-tenured styles of writing.

NeoPulp draws liberally from the fantastic stories of this and previous centuries, a melange of mythology and popular culture (take a bit of Godzilla, a bit of Paradise Lost, some giant robots, the sexual tension of a romance novel and the Bhagavad-Gita and mix them all together), and adds to this a “literary” understanding of characters’ motivations and emotional needs.

NeoPulp embraces the clichés of pulp writing: the naïve superscience of B-movies, the nefarious underworld criminal mastermind, the lone sheriff against a town of outlaws, the young woman torn between love for a mysterious stranger and respect for her fiancée, and the mad god bent on destruction, and examines them closely in an attempt to find - or try - something novel: a subversion, an inversion, a juxtaposition, a statement about the human condition.

NeoPulp is born of a love and admiration for the flawed nature of pulp culture; it is not an exercise in poking fun at the plot and character shortcomings that are endemic to pulp. Such things are obvious and have been done to death. Rather, NeoPulp attempts to create a real and sympathetic portrait of these bizarre and self-contradictory characters and situations.

NeoPulp fuses the legacy of romantic, realist, post-modern and modernist writing with popular culture entities such as B-movies, comics, television, pop music and airport novels.

NeoPulp places realistically-defined characters into fantastic situations. It avoids the two-dimensional characterisation of pulp fiction while embracing every aspect of its subject material.

I think there's some merit to what he's saying, and some application to his thoughts but I do think that he's taking things a little bit too seriously in the way that post-modernists/pop culturalists tend to do. I think that a big part of what makes "Pulp" pulp is its inability to take things at a surface value, to not accept the seriousness of a situation. Perhaps a fusion of these ideas with Borges ideas on fantasy (if you haven't read his Book of Fantasy I just don't know you).

I guess, at the root, I worry about the whimsy being drained out of things; that sense of wonder that makes pulp what it is. But still, there are some good ideas that can be extracted and put to use.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

No! by Thomas Hood

No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no 't'other side this way'--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
'No go' by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ultimates 3 #1

Well, this will be short, sweet and to the point.

Color me extremely disappointed in this book. For all the flaws that Ultimates 1 and 2 had (and most of those being issues of scheduling), they had an energy and an excitement to them that drew the readers in. Well, they drew me in at least.

This first issue was disjointed, jarring and poorly explained and executed. The story begins in media res which can be hackneyed in the wrong hands, and in this case Jeph Loeb's hands are the wrong ones. Most of the characters are cyphers, with seemingly little progression from the two previous series.

There just isn't a lot there to sell the book past this first issue. The only real comparison that I can make is to the Heroes Reborn run on Avengers (which Loeb was involved with as well). The comparision, however, doesn't help Ultimates 3.

Unless this book picks up, and quickly, I don't see my following it.

First look: 'Speed Racer' wheels into live action


When it hit the airwaves in the late 1960s, Speed Racer was pretty innovative television — for a cartoon.

Four decades later, the story of a family that works out its issues on a racetrack seems a little hokey.

So how do you please a YouTube generation that likes its humor ironic and its special effects cutting-edge while pleasing baby boom moviegoers who still remember Trixie's haircut and Chim Chim's jumpsuit?