Monday, August 31, 2009

Here's my Orc!

Check out more pics on my new RPG/Gaming blog here!

A Band Of Orcs - Merging Fantasy With Heavy Metal! (It Was Bound To Happen)

I'm not crazy about death metal (or is it power violence or grindcore, all the new metal sub-genres confuse me) but I really like the idea of orcs playing metal. The Darth Vader vocals go pretty well with an orc raiding party!

Personally I prefer thrash metal over death metal. Give me Slayer, S.O.D., Anthrax, M.O.D., D.R.I. or any other initial bands over Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel or Obituary!

In another note, here's a merger that I'm completely disturbed about! Disney buying Marvel comics!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've lost interest in Marvel comics, but still the idea of Disney owning it really sticks in my craw!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Orc Sculpt!!!

I've just finished an orc mini, using my Wargames Factory Numidian miniature. It's turned out pretty well, I have a few more things to add to it and I need to paint it, before I show off the pictures. This is the first time I've ever sculpted a face before, but I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I drew all my inspiration from Angus McBride's LOTR orc paintings.

And keeping the orcy goodness going, I give you BAND OF ORCS!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ray Bradbury Saturday! Fahrenheit 451

Just a couple of excerpts from Fahrenheit 451 that have stuck out in my mind.

"Heredity and environment are funny things. You can't rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That's why we've lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we're almost snatching them from the cradle."

(We already see this in 3 year old Kindergarten. And supposedly the original intent on Kindergarten was to get children indoctrinated early by the state. I don't know if it's true, but I'm going to do some more research on that.)

Another quote that struck me as prophetic is this one...

"If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides of a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If the government is inefficient, topheavy and tax mad, better it be all of those than that people worry over it. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy."

Sound anything like our media who cherry picks information they want us to know about. Or stupid TV shows that have no relevance in real life.

It's amazing with all of these books like Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm, etc. It seems like our government has been taking notes instead of seeing these as an example of what not to do.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Robot T-Shirt Give Away

Do you like robots?

Do you like t-shirts?

Do you like bad French grammar?

Do you like t-shirts with robots using bad grammar?

Here's your chance to own all three, for free! Did I mention the artwork was done by me?

Check out the details here!

Thanks for a great birthday!

My wife and kids made me a cake (cherry chip) for my birthday, it was great! And the kids picked out some special man soap for me. And I also got a drawing tablet for our computer. At last I'm joining the 21st century, at least for the art world. Maybe I'll finally start that online comic I've always wanted to do!

Then my neice came over to watch the kids and my wife and I went out to Brocach (Gaelic for Badger's Den) Irish Pub and I had fish'n chips with a pint of Guinness. I'll have to go there when they have live Irish music! I think I found a new hangout!

Thanks for everything, it was a good day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lost Toys of My Childhood

Christmas of 1978, I asked Santa for something special. I told him I wanted Raideen from Shogun Warriors! He acted like he didn't know what that was, I thought Santa knew everything. Just incase, I told my parents what I wanted too. Suffice it to say, I was a very happy boy on Christmas.

Check out this TV commercial!

This was a Mattel toy production of a Japanese giant robot series. The American version of the cartoon was called Force Five which I didn't discover until I was in college. None of the characters were in any way linked in the original programs, but the American version tried to link them together.

Raideen was always my favorite. I loved the whole bird of prey look he had.

Next I got Godzilla

Unfortunately I no longer have Godzilla or Raideen, but I do still have...


...and Mazinger

A few of the Shogun Warriors have eluded my grasp, but I feel they should be mentioned!



Danguard Ace


If you want more information on Shogun Warriors, check out this excellent page here!

I share a birthday with...

Kenny Baker who played R2-D2, is seventy-five!

And Barret Oliver who played Bastian in The Never Ending Story, is 36! (he's the same age as I am)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ray Bradbury Saturday! Happy 89th Birthday!!!

Today is Ray Bradbury's 89th Birthday, and it just happens to fall on my blog tribute to him! I'm celebrating by re-reading Fahrenheit 451 and will post some thoughts on it next week.

To a man who's ignited the fire of imagination in thousands of minds, for over five decades!


Put on your party hats!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Doctor Who who meets H.P. Lovecraft


This is the audio drama that my brother and I are working on. The script is still in it's infancy , but Eldritch horror abounds!

Also, here's a trailer for the Doctor Who fan made movie my brother did about 10 years ago. He showed it at Chicago Tardis a couple of years ago.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cimmerian Thegn

Crusader Miniatures Dark Age Irish will be my Cimmerians!

More pics here!

Happy Thor's Day


Shemite Captain Miniature

There's more pics here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Conan The Wargame posts are now on MR&RPG Blog

If you're following some of my ideas for my Conan Wargame check it out here.

This will be the home for most of my wargaming/roleplaying ideas.

Slate Magazine Bashes Comic Version Of "Farhenheit 451"

I didn't want to sully my Ray Bradbury Saturday with this post, so I'll do it today.

With the advent of the release of "Fahrenheit 451" as a graphic novel, we see the first nay- sayer in having this classic book turned into a (gasp) comic book.

Being a Ray Bradbury fan, the irony of "Fahrenheit 451" being turned into a comic book isn't lost on me. Comic books being the only form on literature that weren't targeted for destruction. But I completely disagree with Sarah Boxer's elitist, pseudo-intellectual view of comic books (which seems to be stuck in the 1950s). Check out the article here

First of all, Ray Bradbury wasn't anti-comic books. In fact he used to work for E.C. Comics in the adaptations of his stories into comic book format.

Second of all Ray Bradbury isn't an elitist cynic who would view this as a dumbing down of literature. If we want to talk about dumbing down, let's talk about the quality of journalism these days. We've been seeing the decline of newspaper and magazine readership along with the decline of television network news. I know the internet is to blame (the irony of Boxer using the internet for her opinion piece, in which she also bashes the internet for dumbing down literature, isn't lost on me either), but I think that elitist attitudes are also to blame for the decline of journalism. But that's just my opinion!

Now I don't know Ray Bradbury personally, I feel I've gotten to know him through his writings and interviews. He seems to be more interested in spurring the imagination than trying to become some untouchable literary giant. His books have such optimism for the future, even in the stories with darker themes. And it seems like he's never lost his child like (not childish) awe of the universe.

I haven't read the graphic novel, but I'll more than likely purchase a copy thanks to Ms. Boxer's little hit piece. In the end I think this article just shows her complete lack of understanding of Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, or comic books. She doesn't get it and she never will.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lost Toys of My Childhood

One Christmas, in 1983, I opened a box that would forever shape my life!

Okay, not really but I definitely had a blast with Crossbows & Catapults! How could you not? Vikings and Barbarians battle it out, smashing walls and knocking over towers, to take possession of the loot inside enemy territory. This game was a good catalyst for introducing kids to wargaming, although I was also playing Cry Havoc around the same time. I spent hours and hours with my brothers, setting up the walls and defenses that couldn't be smashed. We had a second set to we would combine them together to make some impenetrable walls. It got a little out of hand!

Later, I used some Christmas money to by some of the add on games like:

The Dragon and The Trojan Horse and Battle Shield. They also had a Cyclops, Minotaur, and a battering ram but I never bought these for some reason.

There's a newer version on the market now, I'm thinking about picking it up but unfortunately it doesn't have the same feel. Instead of Vikings and Barbarians it's Orcs and Knights. But it's essentially the same game.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Swords & Wizardry won an ENnie!

Yay! I'm just giving a shout out to Matt Finch! Congratulations on winning a silver ENnie award for best free product!

And thanks for letting me be a part of this project!

Ray Bradbury Saturday! The Dwarf

A dwarf who seeks to be "normal", goes regularly to a funhouse. He finds a specific mirror that makes him look normal, and he spends hours looking at it. Ralph is the owner of the funhouse, and he thinks this is hillarious is quite cruel to him...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Anti-Dungeons & Dragons

Along with the huge following of Dungeons & Dragons, Tunnels & Trolls, Chivalry & Sorcery, and other fantasy role-playing games, came a huge anti-roleplaying movement.

Roleplaying is satanic, it will lead you to the occult, and it will drive you so insane that you won't know what reality is anymore. It sounds crazy, but people can be lead to believe in almost anything. My parents were concerned about what they were hearing in the media, and they bought a book for me because I was showing interest in D&D.
The book was called Playing With Fire: Dungeons and Dragons, Tunnels and Trolls, Chivalry and Sorcery, and other Fantasy Games by John Weldon and James Bjornstad. I read through it, and even to my 12 year old mind, I thought it was crap! It covered every cliche' in the book, and was nothing but a polemic against fantasy role playing games. And for some reason it increased my interest in FRPGs. I even started playing them in secret, with my friends.

For some reason I held on to this book, and I found it in the basement a few weeks ago. For some reason I have affection for this book, it's got kitsch appeal for a bygone era. You don't really hear all the anti-rpg things anymore, mainly it's anti-video games or whatever is super popular with young people today.

Mazes & Monsters starring Tom Hanks is also another media attack on FRPGs. But for some reason, I love this movie! I even bought a copy and I watch it fairly often.

Then there's the infamous 60 Minutes expose' on D&D, where they actually interview Gary Gygax. What's even more funny is that the Psychiatrist , Dr. Thomas Radecki, who said that D&D was dangerous got himself into some trouble with female patients of his! Hillarious!

I just get a kick out of this today, but in the 80s it was serious business. Whatever the real reasons the nay sayers had for their attacks against these games, nobody really remembers them for their crusade. But the legacy of Gary Gygax left us lives on!

Happy Thor's Day

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I AM the God Thor,
I am the War God,
I am the Thunderer!
Here in my Northland,
My fastness and fortress,
Reign I forever!
Here amid icebergs
Rule I the nations;
This is my hammer,
Mi├Âlner the mighty;
Giants and sorcerers
Cannot withstand it!
These are the gauntlets
Wherewith I wield it,
And hurl it afar off;
This is my girdle;
Whenever I brace it,
Strength is redoubled!

The light thou beholdest
Stream through the heavens,
In flashes of crimson,
Is but my red beard
Blown by the night-wind,
Affrighting the nations!
Jove is my brother;
Mine eyes are the lightning;
The wheels of my chariot
Roll in the thunder,
The blows of my hammer
Ring in the earthquake!

Force rules the world still,
Has ruled it, shall rule it;
Meekness is weakness,
Strength is triumphant,
Over the whole earth
Still is it Thor's-Day!

Thou art a God too,
O Galilean!
And thus singled-handed
Unto the combat,
Gauntlet or Gospel,
Here I defy thee!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blood and Thunder

I've just finished reading Mark Finn's BLOOD & THUNDER: THE LIFE & ART OF ROBERT E. HOWARD. It's a well written and fair biography of the life of Robert E. Howard. It's not bogged down with pre-conceived ideas about R.E.H.'s life (like L. Sprague De Camp's "Dark Valley Destiny"). I like the fact that Finn is a Texan and he doesn't try to separated Texas from R.E.H.'s life and writing, in fact they are inextricably linked. An overall good read, and one that puts to rest all of the myths and downright lies surrounding Howard's life and death.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Thor's Day


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Billy Lee Riley R.I.P.

Rockabilly Raconteur Billy Lee Riley passed away today. He cut a lot of music in the late fifties on the Sun Label. Songs like "Red Hot", "Flying Saucer Rock 'n Roll", "Rockin' On The Moon", "High Heel Sneakers" and more. I always thought he had a great raw sound to his music, and although I never got the chance to see him live, I bet he put on a great show! Here's to you Billy Lee!

Read more about him here.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

To All Of The OD&D And OSR Haters... tribute to you!


Ray Bradbury Saturday! Banshee


This is a short story about a screen writer off to visit his friend, who is a director, to talk about a current script he wrote. It turns out that John, the director, is being haunted by a banshee........