Thursday, December 30, 2010

NYE in Second Life: The Almost Everywhere New Year's Eve Prom Party

We're going to have a party. It's New Year's Eve and it's Second Life. A selection of the mighty, mighty DJs from Radio Riel will be bringing you wide ranging selection of music from different genres and eras as we attempt to ring in the New Year in as many time zones as possible for all of you. The party starts at 2:30pm (Second Life Time) and goes until 12:30am (also Second Life Time). Here's our line-up:

Carter Denja - 2:30pm - 5:30pm SLT
Gabrielle Riel - 5:30pm - 8:30pm SLT
Walton Vieria - 8:30pm - 10:30pm SLT
Edward Pearse - 10:30pm - 12:30am SLT

 Here's the SLUrl for the Edison Ballroom: Everyone on the Grid is welcome to join us for what is going to be a night of fun. Dress in your prom favorites from retro styles of the 50s and 60s to your favorite Pretty in Pink character to a zombie prom queen.

Find out more about Radio Riel.

MTVGeek: Top 10 RPG Products Of 2010

A list from the MTVGeek website (which I never knew existed before now). At least it doesn't have Kanye West's new CD on it. :) Actually, joking aside, it is a list with some depth to it even if a fact or two aren't completely right.
2010 has been a banner year for role-playing games and accessories -- here's 10 of the best!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

DJ Earworm's United States of Pop 2010 (Don't Stop The Pop)

You can the MP3 (and comment on it) here.

Tabletop RPG Gamers, Communication and the Fun of "Social Contracts"

*sighs and takes a deep breath*

Twice now in the last week people have tried to make a discussion over at RPGNet about "social contracts" and using better channels of communication to make gaming groups last longer and play better. Twice now in the last week those discussions have been shouted down, mostly by the same people, who say anyone who needs these sorts of things are obviously either socially dysfunctional themselves or obviously play in groups that are full of dysfunction. "Normal" people don't need these sorts of things, they say, because people who can function socially don't need to talk about what's right and proper because non-dysfunctional people know what's right and how to interact with others. All you need is to not "be a dick," they say. "Don't be a dick" is the extent of their help and insight into these issues. I know which side of the "don't be a dick" fence it puts these people on for me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Redheaded Ending

They got tired, that’s all, or mostly all. Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich and her drawing partner June Brigman decided in early December to stop producing Brenda Starr, and Tribune Media Services, which owns the strip, seized the opportunity to end its syndication. Last June, TMS took out of its comics line-up the other redhead, Annie, a remnant of Harold Gray’s plucky waif strip, Little Orphan Annie. The final Brenda Starr will run on Jan. 2, a Saturday, finishing the week and ending the nearly 70-year run of one of the medium’s most venerable (and venerated) efforts, undoubtedly the longest-lived newspaper adventure strip with an eponymous heroine and the most famous strip created and produced by a woman cartoonist, Dale Messick, who was fiercely feminine if not so much fashionably feminist.

Eisner Family pledges $250k to OSU cartoon library

The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation has pledged $250,000 over five years to support the new Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum facility, part of the Sullivant Hall renovation at The Ohio State University. In recognition of this gift, the library’s seminar room will be named in honor of Will Eisner. The Eisner Family Foundation gift will be matched dollar for dollar by Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schulz, giving it a $500,000 impact on the project. Ms. Schulz has promised to match donations to the new facility up to $2.5 million.

Creator of The Spirit, Will Eisner (1917-2005) is noted as the father of the graphic novel for his ground-breaking book, A Contract with God. He was also an early and influential analyst of sequential graphic narrative with his book Comics and Sequential Art. In addition to his eight decade career as a cartoonist, Eisner taught for many years at the School of Visual Arts.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Conet Project - Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations

I know a couple of mash-up artists who've utilized samples from numbers stations, but there is just something so hypnotic and weirdly otherworldly about these recordings that I would love to see more done with some of these recordings that are out and about. It's a shame these are only 64kbps.
For more than 30 years the Shortwave radio spectrum has been used by the worlds intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages. These messages are transmitted by hundreds of Numbers Stations.

Shortwave Numbers Stations are a perfect method of anonymous, one way communication. Spies located anywhere in the world can be communicated to by their masters via small, locally available, and unmodified Shortwave receivers. The encryption system used by Numbers Stations, known as a one time pad is unbreakable. Combine this with the fact that it is almost impossible to track down the message recipients once they are inserted into the enemy country, it becomes clear just how powerful the Numbers Station system is.

These stations use very rigid schedules, and transmit in many different languages, employing male and female voices repeating strings of numbers or phonetic letters day and night, all year round.
Here's a few more links that might be of use or interest to people reading this post:

The Conet Project on Soundcloud. You can also find the MP3s here.

A website dedicated to Numbers Stations.

Comfort Stand Recordings — Auld Lang Syne

Looking for a version of Auld Lang Syne for your New Year's party that's different from the same old? Check out this release from netlabel Comfortstand from 2006 for some different and interesting interpretations of the song.
Another New Year's Eve is upon us, a time to reflect on all that has happened in the previous year and to wonder about events yet to come

Tron 1.5 Soundtrack

For those wanting the direct link, go here (or click the post title).
In late 1998, I was commissioned to compile and produce the soundtrack for a sequel to the film 'Tron'. A draft of the story had already been written and early filming had begun (as reported by ZDNet on July 27, 1999). As I understand it, the film was kept in great confidence with the producers as Pixar was still in negotiations with Disney about the responsibilities of the production teams.

'Rise Of The Virals' was a fantastic, but much darker storyline from the original -- different from the 'Into The Machine' pitch made to Disney by another party. It involved updating the ENCOM universe to a networked system (thanks to the Internet), but also created a darker world -- full of programs abandoned as buggy systems (or 'mutants') and abused by corrupt users as viral systems. Furthermore, the story included the death of Flynn and presented questions about the digital life of programs lasting beyond the mortality of their creators -- the users.

My task was to compile great underground artists to create a new soundtrack for this darker world of Tron. After the completion of the initial tracklist and first production draft of the soundtrack, it seemed as if negotiations between Pixar and Disney had broken down. Funding for the project was eventually pulled.

I have been most excited to see the announcement of the third film, the new 'TR2N' (Tron: Legacy), especially with the involvement of those who will be creating the new soundtrack. It is obvious to me that 'Tron: Legacy' takes place after 'The Rise Of The Virals' without abandoning its first concept. Perhaps that is why we've seen sites like Flynn Lives creep up in anticipation of the new film.

I've decided to release the preliminary version of the soundtrack which includes a special remix of Journey's 'Any Way You Want It' produced specifically for 'Rise Of The Virals'. Journey provided two songs to the original "Tron", and their song 'Separate Ways' will reportedly be on the 'Legacy' soundtrack as well. In any case, since the story of 'Rise Of The Virals' takes place between the first 'Tron' film and the upcoming 'Tron 2: Legacy', I can't think of a better title for this material other than 'Tron 1.5'. I hope you enjoy the music these artists have put such great work into.

-- Flynn 1.5

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Culture Bully's Top Mashups of 2010

Let the debate and controversy begin. There are some good mashups here, but I have to say that in the opinion of this fan of the mashup method The Kleptones' Uptime/Downtime was a game changer in the community. They raised the bar so high on multi-part mashups that I don't know if even they will be able to hit it again. To have a track no higher that #6 is disheartening to this fan.

That said, there is a lot of great music here. Go and grab it. :)

This is Culture Bully’s sixth annual list of the year’s top mashups, and this time around I thought it’d be nice to switch things up a bit. Instead of simply compiling a list of my own personal picks, I invited a slew of mashup producers to vote for their favorites from 2010. Quickly, here’s how voting worked: I asked everyone to send in a list of their favorite two or three mashups from the past year (I deleted picks which selected mashups that were released in past years). If they sent in more than three I still listed them below on their individual ballots, but only three picks counted toward the final totals. Whether the track received a first or third place vote, it only counted for one point toward the final total. I also tallied total votes for individual producers; again, only counting individuals’ first three votes. Lastly, no one was allowed to vote for themselves.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From Batman

The panel is from "The Silent Night of the Batman" in Batman #219 (February 1970, reprinted in Christmas with the Superheroes #1, 1988), written by Mike Friedrich, art by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, coloring by Jerry Serpe. Via Comics Oughta Be Fun.

Right-wing bloggers decry Nightrunner, DC’s Muslim ‘Batman of Paris’

I know a lot of geeks, gamers and comic fans prefer to ignore political matters, but then that is how this sort of idiocy starts to happen. Seriously, don't these people have some sort of real political issue that they can deal with without having to poke about in comic books for them?
A conservative blogger who earlier sounded the alarm about the perceived attack on the tea party movement in Captain America and warned of the 'anti-American nihilism' of Watchmen has now turned his attention to Bruce Wayne’s recruitment of a Muslim to be the Batman of Paris.

But Nightrunner, the parkour-trained crimefighter introduced in this month’s Detective Comics Annual #12, isn’t just any Muslim — he’s a 22-year-old Algerian Muslim living in Clichy-sous-Bois, the poor commune east of Paris best known outside of France as the epicenter of the 2005 riots. And that doesn’t sit well with Warner Todd Huston.
Don't get me wrong, people like this have as much right to spout dumb crap about comics as anyone who frequents any of the many, many comic blogs, forums and websites around the world. It's just that I have a difficulty with taking someone trying to attack the politics of Batman seriously.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Long Time DC Colorist Adrienne Roy Passes Away

Adrienne Roy, who created color designs for most of DC Comics' top comic books for more than two decades, lost a year-long battle with cancer on December 14. She was 57 years old.

A native of Verona, New Jersey and a Magna Cum Laude fine art graduate of William Patterson University, Adrienne was active in science-fiction and Star Trek fandom before she became one of the first female comic fans to break into the ranks of New York comics professionals. She initially assisted her then-husband, DC Comics staffer Anthony Tollin, with his freelance color work before she moved (rapidly) to working on her own. Before long, her work was seen on Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Warlord, The New Teen Titans, House of Mystery and many other titles but she was most often associated with the DC books featuring Batman. Amazingly prolific — and often specifically requested by artists — she was at one point the only DC freelancer with her own desk in the company's Manhattan offices. She was also the first colorist signed by the firm to an exclusive, multi-year contract.

Her long tenure on Batman (more than 600 issues of various comics featuring the character) meant that her credit appeared on more tales of the Caped Crusader than anyone else except for Bob Kane. "Adrienne made it easy to take her for granted because she was quiet, pleasant, reliable — never any fuss with her — and her work was always exemplary," former Batman editor Dennis O'Neil recalls. "It's only in retrospect that I realize what a blessing she was to my editing."

She lived her final years in Austin, TX, and is survived by her daughter Katrina Tollin, her brother Normand Roy and her former husband and art partner, Anthony Tollin. She is also survived by more than 50,000 pages of colorful comic book storytelling featuring the World's Greatest Super-Heroes. I always liked Adrienne and am saddened (but given her recent health, not surprised) by this news.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

DJ Earworm “Working Feverishly” to Complete United State of Pop 2010

I'm wondering if this year's might be a little scary, due to the selections available.
Following the publication of the Billboard 100 for 2010 (USA music chart), DJ Earworm has been 'working feverishly' to complete his famed 'United State of Pop' mashup track, which seamlessly blends the top 25 tracks of the year.
Edit: If you want to keep your own watch, you can find DJ Earworm's website here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Change To Comments

I've made a change to how people are able to comment on my blog. Since the great number of anonymous comments that I receive on this blog (which is why comments have been on moderated status) are spam, I have made it so that people can no longer post anonymously on the blog. From now on, posting will require some form of logging on. Since I have taken away the ability to post anonymously, I have also taken away the moderated status for comments, and have activated the word verification instead. However, if spamming continues at the rate that it has (I receive at least five spam comments per day) I will reactivate moderation. Hopefully that won't be necessary.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spirit of the Four Colors Update

Just a note to those who followed my start on the "Spirit of the Four Colors" FATE build. I want you to know that they project hasn't died. I've just got paying jobs in the queue before it. Look for a big update in the new year. I already have some changes I want to make to the part I've posted and I've been thinking a lot about character creation. This is definitely not a dead project.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The 50 Dirtiest Comic Book Sex Scenes

So comic books have grown beyond spandex do-gooders punching jaywalkers in the breadbasket - now they're fit to depict the full range of human experience. And that includes sex.

Captain Britain And MI:13 - 25 Comics Cancelled Too Soon

In the old days, even the dumbest comics got a chance to thrive - hell, Dazzler lasted thirty-eight issues! Unfortunately, in the post-everything America, stuff gets cancelled right and left. Here's 25 comics that should have lived longer.