Friday, June 27, 2008

Seraphim Guard Special Sale

Currently we're running a 25% off sale on our PDFs at the Seraphim Guard webstore. This is an Origins special that's only running while we're at the convention (probably until Sunday at some point).

If there has been a product you've wanted, now if a good time to check it out.

Click here to check out our store.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Picture From Origins

Cleveland Desolation's Origins 2008 photosetCleveland Desolation's Origins 2008 photoset

Hello From Origins!

Hello everyone! Today brings us to the tail end of the "second" day of Origins. The Exhibition Hall didn't open until today, and a lot of the gamers did not open today but there were people and events that started last night, and I have to so that so far this Origins has shaped up to be better than last years.

Here are some random Origins-related notes:
1. A lot of women with blue hair. I'm not sure about the relationship, just something to mention.

2. Talked today for a little while with Shane Ivey of Arc Dream Publishing. We talked about the past and upcoming future of Delta Green. Good Stuff!! Plus, it was great to put a face to the name that I've seen posting both on the DG list and over at

3. Talked for a while with Jeff Combos and a couple of other guys at Exile Game Studio about Hollow Earth Expeditions. At Battlefield Press we are really looking forward to our HEX-powered conversion of Pulp Fantasy and after talking with Jeff I can see why. His enthusiasm is great and infectious for his games. Might be meeting up at Big Bar a little later.

4. Picked up True20 Revised edition from the folks at Green Ronin. What's a great thing about conventions? Steve Kenson (the designer of True20 and an all-around great guy) ran up our order! How cool is that? I am really thinking that it might be a good system for a Gatecrasher conversion too.

5. Picked up a few odds and ends. There really wasn't a lot that I wanted to buy and the only thing that I am really still looking for is a cheap copy of Mongoose's new edition of Traveller. I got the quick start at Free RPG Day, and it just confirmed that this is a game that I want to have. A copy of Runequest Deluxe would be nice too but I haven't seen that either.

Aren and Aaron have had pretty full schedules so far. Aaron had a great session of Stargate SG-1 last night and Aren had a fun game of HEX that featured death rays and baby seals. Who doesn't enjoy role-playing like that?

I didn't get to take so many pictures yet. Hopefully I will get around to some more over the weekend. This badge will actually update itself as I load more photos into this set so one link is all that you will need:

Internet access will be limited but I will try to post more tomorrow (or Saturday before we leave and I will definitely get more photos. More shopping (probably) and I will also be wandering around and/or getting to doing some actual work around here.

If you are around Origins tonight, stop by the Big Bar and say hello!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wednesday...To Origins!!!

Early Wednesday afternoon I will be leaving for Origins. We'll be there until Saturday night.

I will be taking my computer and camera along with me, and will be blogging and photo posting from the convention while I am there. I'm going to try for a recap each night.

I will also be blogging this for the Cleveland Victus blog, provided they get me the posting privileges promised. I will probably try to do slightly different material for each blog, so that we can have a bit of variety.

Emails and other responses may be slow coming over the next few days.

George Carlin Dies

Outside of Richard Pryor, I cannot think of a comedian who has had as much of an impact on mainstream society.

This is a great loss but he is in a much better place.

Acerbic standup comedian and satirist George Carlin, whose staunch defense of free speech in his most famous routine 'Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television' led to a key Supreme Court ruling on obscenity, has died.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. He was 71.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mike Wieringo Scholarship "The 'Ringo" Announced

CHARLOTTE, NC (June 16, 2008) When Mike Wieringo abruptly passed away last August, the comics industry lost more than a great artist and creator – it lost a friend. Now, Mike’s family has teamed with the Savannah College of Art and Design to create The Mike Wieringo Scholarship or “The ‘Ringo” to help keep his spirit of generosity alive.

Created by Mike’s brother Matt and his sister-in-law Suzanne, the ‘Ringo is designed to help provide similar help to artists at the Savannah College of Art and Design or SCAD. Domestic and international students with have a minimum 3.0 grade point average who demonstrate financial need and display a serious interest in pursuing comics as a career are eligible. The scholarship will take effect in the artist’s second year of classes, and is renewable for up to two additional years, provided the student continues to meet the criteria.

The recipient will be chosen from three finalists determined by the college in a portfolio review by Matt and Suzanne Wieringo, along with a rotating group. The ultimate goal for the ‘Ringo is to raise enough funds so that it can cover a full year’s expenses at SCAD, approximately $30,000.

Toward this end, a table staffed by Mike’s family and friends will be set up in his traditional spot in Artists Alley at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. Heroes was a big part of Mike’s life and career, and was the industry event he most looked forward to every year.

The table will raise funds through donations and the sale of remaining copies of Mike’s sketchbooks, copies of comics featuring Mike’s work, selected pieces of Mike’s original artwork, sketches by Mike’s friends in the industry who will be appearing at the booth, and items donated by other comic professionals. Pros appearing include Jeff Parker, Rich Faber, Craig Rousseau, Todd Dezago, Mark Waid, Cully Hamner, Richard Case and more to be announced.

“SCAD is one of the most impressive programs in the world to focus on the medium of comics,” says Jeff Parker, creator of The Interman and Agents of Atlas, who worked with Mike at Artamus Studios. “I’m pretty sure Mike would have loved to have attended such a place in his student days. It would make an excellent legacy for him if we can grow the Ringo scholarship into a launch pad for the future greats of comics.”

Despite his success on such books as The Flash, Fantastic Four and his own creator-owned Tellos, Mike Wieringo never forgot what it was like to be a struggling creator. For many up-and-comers, Mike served as a mentor and friendly voice, whether it was providing free covers, advice, or just the encouragement to keep going.

With your help, the Mike Wieringo Scholarship can continue to grow and help a new generation of creators get the training and connections they need to start their careers. Mike’s talent, enthusiasm and generosity inspired many in the comics industry to be their best as both creators and as human beings. With your help, Mike will continue to be an inspiration for creators in decades to come.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


A great website by a political street artist in the UK.

Street Art

Boston find new lead singer - on MySpace

I didn't know that Boston was missing a singer. Of course it has been a very, very long time since I listened to a song by them.

File this one under Dreams Do Come True: Tommy DeCarlo, unknown singer from Charlotte, North Carolina, just joined his favorite group, Boston, and he has MySpace to thank for it.

DeCarlo, 43, who up until recently was working as a credit manager at his local Home Depot, put MP3's of himself singing Boston songs in tribute to original lead singer Brad Delp, who committed suicide last year, on his MySpace page. A fan contacted DeCarlo and suggested he send it to the band's management.

Just A Band!

And now I pass along the infection to you:

Monday, June 09, 2008

True20: D&D With a Twist

For a lot of gamers, Dungeons & Dragons serves as something of a default game system. Certainly, it is by far the most popular, though some would argue the system suffers in comparison to other RPGs. After all, there are countless systems out there, some of them very different than D&D. For instance, game designer Jonathan Tweet created Over The Edge, a system with no skills or attributes, as well as Everway, a game with no dice. Of course, fans of the White Wolf's World of Darkness series of games prefer their system, and GURPS-players like theirs.

However, in the end, D&D's ubiquity won out. Wisely, D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast licensed out the game system, calling it d20 and inviting small publishers to design products for it. The terms of the agreement, called the Open Gaming License (OGL) even allows publishers to tinker with the rules.

True20 started as a d20 variant designed for use in Blue Rose: The Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy. In the True20 rulebook's introduction, developer Steve Kenson describes the game this way: 'The idea behind Blue Rose was to introduce new players to fantasy roleplaying with an untapped genre and a simpler, more self-contained system than is currently available under the Open Gaming License.'

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Abney Park

McGuinn’s Folk Den

Do you like folks music? Real folk music that stretches back into history for hundreds of years? Then check out Roger McGuinn's (if I have to explain who he is I am going to be disappointed in you) folk tradition website.

If you don't know who he is, I leave that as an exercise for the student.

This song is what lead me to his site:

That's Cab Calloway singing though.

Monday, May 19, 2008

WotC at GenCon Indy

Well, it looks like the worries of D&D fans can be put back into their pockets. WotC will be in attendance at Gen Con this year.

Gen Con is pleased to announce that once again Wizards of the Coast, will be a co-sponsor of Gen Con Indy. Fans of all ages come to Gen Con each year to see and experience the latest in analog and digital gaming, and Wizards’ participation is a highlight for many fans. This year, Wizards of the Coast will be showing off their latest offerings, including the release of Dungeons & Dragons® 4th Edition.

Matt Fraction/Casanove Interview Podcast

If you aren't reading Casanova the question that you should be asking yourself is "Why Not?"

Matt Fraction interview

Go out and get it and come back. I'll wait.

Ohio State "Super" Collection

In comic book terms, it might be on the scale of a merger of the X-Men and the Justice League of America: two collections combining to form what's believed to be the world's largest treasury of cartoon art.

Ohio State University's Cartoon Research Library said it's acquiring and plans to display the collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art, about 200,000 works that have been in limbo since the museum's last physical location closed six years ago.

The museum's original drawings for comic books, comic strips and animated cartoons, as well as display figures, toys, collectibles and films, will double the size of the library's cartoon art collection, said Lucy Shelton Caswell, the library's curator.

Man says JetBlue made him sit on toilet

A New York City man is suing JetBlue Airways Corp. for more than $2 million because he says a pilot made him give up his seat to a flight attendant and sit on the toilet for more than three hours on a flight from California.

Gokhan Mutlu, of Manhattan's Inwood section, says in court papers the pilot told him to 'go hang out in the bathroom' about 90 minutes into the San Diego to New York flight because the flight attendant complained that the 'jump seat' she was assigned was uncomfortable, the lawsuit said.

Mutlu was traveling on a 'buddy pass,' a standby travel voucher that JetBlue employees give to friends, from New York to San Diego on Feb. 16, and returned to New York on Feb. 23, the lawsuit said.

Company to reprint yearbooks after head switching

School officials say they are appalled by altered photos — including heads on different bodies — in hundreds of McKinney High School yearbooks delivered this week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Look at the Pentagon’s Five Step Plan For Making Iron Man Real

'The human being is almost singularly pathetic. We lack claws, sport tiny little teeth, and are covered with thin, delicate skin. Most of us can’t even walk outside barefoot.' Roboticist Daniel Wilson is pointing to a singular riddle of humankind’s place on the planet. We are one of the weaker species physically and yet we sit at top of the food chain. The reason is our technology. A saber tooth tiger may be able to chew us to bits, but once that first cave man learned to shake a stick, its time was over. Today, we could literally bomb that tiger back into the Stone Age, that is, if it hadn’t already been made extinct by our stick-wielding ancestors.

And yet, while we have exponentially gone from stick to nuclear bombs in our destructive power, our human bodies aren’t any stronger, faster, better protected, or even that much smarter. About the only things that have even moderately changed about us are our waist sizes and hair to body ratio.

Technology again offers the lure, however, of solving for this weakness of the human body, an idea frequently played with in science fiction. Iron Man is the Marvel comicbook series in which Tony Stark, a playboy industrialist, dons a technologic suit of powered armor. The suit gives him superhuman strength, virtual invulnerability, the ability to fly, and packs an array of weapons. In the comic books, Iron Man uses his suit to battle the communists, a Chinese warlord, Godzilla, and the Incredible Hulk. In the new movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man takes on our 21st century versions of arch-villiany: terrorists and an evil CEO.

Vatican: It's OK to believe in aliens

Believing that the universe may contain alien life does not contradict a faith in God, the Vatican's chief astronomer said in an interview published Tuesday.

The Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, was quoted as saying the vastness of the universe means it is possible there could be other forms of life outside Earth, even intelligent ones

Real Archaeologists Question Indiana Jones' M.O.

Indiana Jones managed to retrieve the trinket he was after in the opening moments of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' He pretty much wrecked everything else in the ancient South American temple where the little gold idol had rested for millennia.

Though he preaches research and good science in the classroom, the world's most famous archaeologist often is an acquisitive tomb raider in the field with a scorched-earth policy about what he leaves behind. While actual archaeologists like the guy and his movies, they wouldn't necessarily want to work alongside him on a dig.

Indy's bull-in-a-china-shop approach to archaeology will be on display again May 22 with 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,' in which he's sure to rain destruction down on more historic sites and priceless artifacts.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Man Dressed As Darth Vader Attacks Jedis

Filed under the "I Couldn't Make This Up If I Tried" category
A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a black garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of Britain's first Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Neil Young gets new honor -- his own spider

Iconic singer and songwriter Neil Young has had an honor bestowed upon him that is not received by many musicians -- his own spider.

An East Carolina University biologist, Jason Bond, discovered a new species of trapdoor spider and opted to call the arachnid after his favorite musician, Canadian Neil Young, naming it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Esperanto and Klingon and Quenya...Oh, my!!

This summer, at the Cleveland Public Library:
Running May through August 2008, Cleveland Public Library will present an exhibit entitled 'Esperanto, Elvish, and Beyond: The World of Constructed Languages' on the second floor of the Main Library.

What are 'constructed languages?' Quite simply, they are languages that have been intentionally constructed. Languages like English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Swahili, and Guguyimidjir (a nearly-extinct native language of Australia) all evolved naturally, arising organically within a group of people through various natural forces. No single person defined their vocabularies, designed their syntaxes, or deliberately decided to create them.

Constructed languages, or 'conlangs' for short, stand at the other end of the spectrum: a single person (or a small group) defines the vocabulary, designs the syntax, and deliberately decides to create a language. Why would someone want to do this when there are so many 'real' languages to learn? The reasons are legion: from the simple artistic desire to play with linguistic concepts to the obsession to provide the world with a universal language. 'Conlangers' (those who construct languages) bring a myriad of skills, tastes, and goals to the art and craft of conlanging. Conlangs have been used in fiction (like The Lord of the Rings) and movies (like Star Trek) to add a sense of realism but have also been purely personal projects intended to stand on their own. Conlanging is a worldwide phenomenon practiced by people of all ages. It is hoped that this exhibit will provide a glimpse into the fascinating world of conlangs and those who take part in this art. As J.R.R. Tolkien may have said in Quenya: Á harya alassë! Enjoy!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Cleveland's Summer of Superman

CLEVELAND, OH – A group of Cleveland leaders met in New York City with executives at DC Comics, the owners of all Superman property rights, on Monday, April 28, 2008. The purpose was to launch collaboration on a series of events and legacy projects to celebrate Cleveland as the birthplace of Superman. The Man of Steel was created in 1933 by writer Jerome “Jerry” Siegel (1914-1996) and artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), who both lived in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. Superman’s first appearance in a comic book was in 1938 in Action Comics #1.

The organizing committee determined that the best course to follow would be to form a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization to work with DC Comics in planning events for the summer of 2009 and, if successful, for many years to follow. Mr. Richard Pace, the principal of Cumberland Development LLC, was selected to lead the organizing efforts, and he will be supported by staff at Positively Cleveland. His primary charge in these early stages is to consult with DC Comics about every aspect of the planned festivals and to assure compliance with all legal and creative requirements for the use of images of the legendary super hero.

'The only way this effort can succeed to the greatest benefit for our committee is to apply the demanding standards prescribed by DC Comics – the very standards that made Superman the best known comic superhero of them all', Pace said. 'We will do this right, or we will not do this at all!'

Other geeky/Superman somewhat related events in Cleveland this summer:

May 11 is the North Coast Comic Con, located just a wee bit south of Cleveland at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Middleburg Heights with, among others, Sean McKeever, (Teen Titans); Marc Sumerak, (Marvel Adventures); Eddy Newell, (Black Lightning); Sean McArdle and me (Phantom Jack and Tales of the Starlight Drive-In.) Relatives of Jerry and Joe will be there, ready to share stories about those wonderful, creative days.

Jamie Reigel, ( huge collector of all things Superman, will have an exhibit of his rare and wonderful toys. Comic dealers and collector John Haines will show off his Superman comics collection. for more details.

Anyone in the Cleveland area is invited to a casual, free, party Saturday evening, May 10, at the hotel.

In July, the artists celebration called Ingenuity Festival of Art and Technology July 25 - 27 will have several cool Superman components. Visit for details.

Beginning in September and running though through January, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, near Cleveland, will host a superheroes exhibit. That’s in addition to the fine Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster exhibit the museum already has.

Visit for more details closer to the event. No comic fan’s visit to Cleveland is complete without a visit to the Maltz.

And even though it’s a little further away from Cleveland, the Screaming Tiki Pop Kulture Convention in Niles, Ohio, falls under the very broad Summer of Superman umbrella.

On Oct. 17 to 19, the convention welcomes Margot Kidder (Lois Lane, of course) and Sarah Douglas (Ursa in “Superman II.”) The convention will have a 70th birthday cake for Superman and host an auction to benefit the Christopher Reeve. Other featured guests include the original Batman TV show cast: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar and the original Batmobile.

For more info, visit

All of this via Michael San Giacomo and Newsarama.