Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm a Hanna-Barberian!

All right, this may not come as a big shock. But I'm a big fan of cartoons, especially Hanna-Barbera!

Whether it's Johnny Quest, Space Ghost, Yogi Bear, Laugh Olympics, Huckleberry Hound, Magilla Gorilla.....etc. My favorites were usually the adventure shows. There were a couple that would make an awesome pulp fiction campaign (or even Gamma World or Mutant Future campaign). Thundar the Barbarian and Galtar and the Golden Lance!

Thundar (1980) took place on Earth right after a comet passes too close to the planet. The moon is split in half and the Earth's ozone layer is destroyed. This causes mutants and magic to emerge, and the scene is set for high adventure! Thundar, along with Ookla the Mok (a mutant) and Princess Ariel (a sorceress) adventure throughout the dying Earth.

I used to look forward to this cartoon every Saturday morning! It still holds up today!

Galtar and the Golden Lance (1985) had a similar feel, in fact the mutant horses were of the same design, so I always imagined that they took place in the same fictional universe. This was more of a revenge story, Galtar is hunting and evil sorcerer named Tormack who was responsible for his parents deaths. He is joined by Princess Goleeta and her brother Zorn, and together they rid the planet of evil.

I'm not being overly nostalgic about these shows. After all it's only nostalgia if you're revisiting things you loved as a kid, I'm not revisiting anything, this is a daily walk through my life.
I think both series have a kind of Jack Vance/Lin Carter/Andre Norton kind of feel, and I think that both settings are great for any fantasy RPG!

Although it could also be the Coco Puffs talking!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Boot Hill western RPG

As a kid, I grew up watching westerns. From The Lone Ranger, John Wayne movies to Spaghetti Westerns. Westerns have never failed to grasp my imagination! Heck, I used to live in Lois L'amour's home town, Jamestown, ND (it's not much to write home about).

TSR used to print a ruleset for old west style role playing. It was called Boot Hill! I've always wated to role play out a western setting, and maybe use an idea or two from the many movies I've seen and books that I have read. I've owned a copy of the B.H. ruleset to years, but have yet to play it, mostly due to lack of interest with my gaming buddies. One of these days I'll rope some gamers into playing it.

I wonder if Boot Hill falls under TSR/WoC open gaming license?

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Elder Rods!

Okay, so I'm a big H.P. Lovecraft fan, and a fan of 1950's and 60's drag racing (via Ed "Big Daddy" Roth). So naturally I decided to mix the two, it was bound to happen!

Well I illustrated these two images, and always meant to make to make them into t-shirts. I used a gocco machine and made some decent shirts, but gocco can only be done on a small scale, and I was never really happy with the size of the image. I recently bought a silk screening kit, so sometime soon I'll have some better shirts for the images!

I also plan on turning them into trading cards, with some more images forthcoming. Maybe there'll be some interest in it, but I'm told that the esoteric Nascar fans are a niche within a niche audience.



Sunday, February 22, 2009


This was my depiction of Arnold the Lion, for the Swords & Wizardry core rules. I wanted to get back to my comic roots, and after looking at it I can see some of the influences of Jack Kirby and Bruce Timm! I'm going to do some more drawings like this eventually, but probably not for S&W, I think they're looking for more old school gamer art rather than comic art.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My 5 favorite viking movies! (Okay, so maybe that's all I could come up with)

I've got a thing for vikings, I am after all a son of thor (my last name is Thorson). Or maybe it's the grim, nihilistic, hirsute warriors that are the inspiration for so much swords & sorcery and pulp fantasy tales.
Whatever the reason is, I like the mead drinking, Odin swearing oafs! And here's my movie picks!

1. Pathfinder (2007)

Based on the graphic novel by Laeta Kalogridis with art by Christopher Shy. It's a dark tale about a viking boy raised to manhood by a native american tribe. His adoptive tribe is wiped out by a horde of viking pillagers, and he sets out to rescue the few survivors and lead them to safety.

A great graphic novel and movie! The vikings aren't presented in a historical way, they look more like chaos marauders from Games Workshop's fantasy wargame Warhammer. But it's a great action tale, and well worth a watch!

2. The 13th Warrior (1999)

Based on the late great Michael Crichton's novel The Eaters of the Dead. This was a tale that tries to explain the plausibility of the epic of Beowulf. The viking portrayals were for the most part historical, although some of the armor was anachronistic. And from what I've read about the vikings, they rode ponies and small horses, not the the great steeds they rode in the movie. With that aside the action was great, and the enemy they faced (the Vendor) were fearsome. It's definitely one of my favorites.

3. Viking Sagas (1995)

This was a well done film, that really captured the feel of viking culture. The whole thing was filmed in Iceland and the directors used Icelandic actors for most of the film, and Sven-Ole Thorsen (from Conan the Barbarian, and The Road Warrior) and Ralph Moeller (from The Gladiator, and Conan the Adventurer t.v. series). Some of the action scenes were sub-par but the story was excellent!

4. Erik the Viking (1989)

A hillarious Terry Jones parody of viking myths and legends! Some vikings undertake a dangerous quest to valhalla, to persuade the gods from starting Ragnarok. It's been a while since I've see this one, but it's a great movie, kind of Monty Python's Quest For the Holy Grail only with vikings. I think I would've liked it better if Tim Robbins wasn't in it, but we can't have everything can we?

5. The Vikings (1958)

Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine as vikings! What more could you ask for? Two half brothers fighting for the control over their kingdom. A great adventure story, and it still passes the test of time!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Greatest Fantasy Album Covers: The Four Eyes

The Four Eyes - Rock & Role Playing

Okay, they're a newer band and most people haven't heard of them, but how can you say no to an album cover with a rust monster on it?!
A Larry Elmore Red Box Basic D&D illustration at that (do I officially have my geekdom credit for that?)!
All of The Four Eyes music revolves around roleplaying, WOW, and other geeky ephemera. And the music is fun too! It reminds me of The Hi-Fives or The Fall-Outs (if that means anything to anyone). Really up-tempo energetic tongue in cheek pop punk!
Here's their website if you want to check them out:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tales From The Darkside

I remember, when I was in middle school I would look forward to staying up past 11:00 every sunday, to watch this show!

I consider it the 80's generation's Twilight Zone. Every episode had the feel of EC Comics "Tales From the Crypt" or "Vault of Horror" comics. And having George Romero (of Night of the Living Dead fame) as producer and sometimes writer helped a lot too!

From the spine tingling music, celebrity guest stars, to the creepy stories, this show gave me a new nightmare once a week. It holds up pretty well with age, some of the effects are a little cheesey, but I've seen worse done with computer graphics.

My favorite was "A Case of the Stubborns", a family is dealing with their grandfather who is dead, but refuses to behave like he is dead. He walks around the house like everything is normal, except for the fact that he's a rotting corpse. It takes his grandson playing a trick on him, to get him to realize he's dead.

If you like one shot horror anthology shows, this one is really good! Check it out on DVD!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Greatest Fantasy Album Covers: Dust

Dust: Hard Attack (1972)

Okay, it's an unknown band, and a mediocre record but not terrible. But the drummer Marc Bell, went on to become better known as Marky Ramone! And really, do you think I would pass up on another Frank Frazetta painting?! This one was used for a Conan novel as well!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Greatest Fantasy Album Covers: Dio

I would've posted this earlier, but I've been fighting off the flu or something. Now I can finally look at the computer without getting nauseous or dizzy. Enough about me though, I bring you my Fantasy Album Cover pick....

DIO - Sacred Heart

Ronny James Dio has been the epitome of "Dungeons & Dragons" rock! From his stint in a band called Elf (I think the title was a reference to his height), to his long run in Black Sabbath, and his solo career in Dio! Heck, he was the one that came up with the "devil's horns" symbol that's associated with rock'n roll. Although he refers to it as the malocchio, and says his grandmother used to make this sign as a superstition, to ward off the evil eye.

All of Dio's album covers have a fantasy theme, but this one is my favorite!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Greatest Fantasy Album Covers: Molly Hatchet

Okay, I'm starting a new series, one of many. And I'm focusing on fantasy themed album covers. And for the first I'm going with Molly Hatchet!

Most of their covers were Frank Frazetta, one of the most recognized fantasy artists, and also my favorite!

Frazetta being my favorite artist this was a hard choice, but I went with 1979's Fliting With Disaster. I've always been a bit of a Norse fanatic. I've always loved vikings and norse mythology (plus I share a name with my favorite viking god), so this was bound to be my first pick. I think this was originally used for one of Karl Edward Wagner's Kane novels.

The album/song title is probably the most well known Molly Hatchet song. They were part of the later southern rock movement, similar to .38 Special and The Outlaws. Just all around good rock'n roll, and a great addition to anyone's record collection!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lux Interior R.I.P.

Thank you for making a middle shool/high schooler feel less weird. Knowing that the Cramps shared similar interests as me, like B-movies, comics, cartoons etc. made it that much cooler to me.
You were my Elvis, my Beatles, my Rolling Stones!
You will always be the Human Fly, Gore Hound, Goo Goo Muck, the Garbage Man, and the Creature From the Black Leather Lagoon. I'll never forget your strange antics and lyrics, and your cover songs of long forgotten garage bands that turned me on to more obscure rock'n roll.

I don't have much to say, 'cause the words escape me, but THANK YOU, Lux Interior!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chill the role playing game

When I was in 4th grade, I discovered horror movies for the first time. First, I got into the Universal horror movies and then Hammer House of Horror and then zombie flicks. I've been hooked ever since!

When I was in 7th grade, a buddy of mine (John) had an older brother (Richard) who was into rpgs, he had one in particular that really interested me. It was called Chill (by Pacesetter Games) My brother and I stayed at John's house one night, and we begged Richard to run Chill for us. It was already 1:00 A.M. and I could tell he didn't want to do it, but being the nice guy that he is, he ran a quick game for us. We were in some castle in eastern Europe and there was a werewolf in the castle. I remember my brother was firing his pistol in the dark, and he ended up hitting an killing my character, before being eaten by the werewolf. Now I know Rich killed us off quick because he wanted to go to sleep, but I remember the experience was fun.

I later found out another friend of mine wanted to sell his copy of Chill, so I jumped on that right away. And then a few years later, Mayfair Games released a newer version of the game. I bought a copy of it but didn't like that it was set in contemporary times. I prefer the Victorian setting that Chill was set in (although the rules for modern weapons and technology were there).

I used to run a game every now and then for my brothers, but never really got involved with a gaming group (at least not with Chill). Now it's sitting in a box somewhere packed away in my garage. I think I'm going to dig it out and see if any of my gaming buddies will play.