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Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

FVLMINATA Update

March 17th, 2008 (11:58 am)

The Ides were not kind to my wife, who suffered a broken leg while playing soccer. Now that old St. Patricius is here and INRI's resurrection is upon us, I do have some good news to report: barring any more emergency room visits, the updated draft of the IB Hibernia chapter will be sent to Conall for final review by this time next week. This is a major milestone and it feels good to be this close.

Up next: biting the bullet and purchasing the upgrade my layout software, updating the web site and making final edits to the other chapters.

The sleeper has awakened!

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

The Sleeper Has Awakened (or Thawing from Hibernation)

March 10th, 2008 (01:45 pm)

Updates on my progress soon now that I have fixed my baleful eye on the sun in DST.

The Second Coming
by W.B Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

Sidebar: My Crazy Theory About Zing! Comics

October 3rd, 2007 (02:47 pm)

Zing! was one of the more notable failures in the comic industry (comparable to Shooter’s New Universe fiasco). Its firebrand publisher, Emma DiMare, personally oversaw the transformation of underground cult favorite Zinger Comics into the more mainstream Zing! Comic Studio that focused on anthropomorphic characters aimed toward a younger audience, akin to the Star Comics imprint that Marvel created in 1984.

Zing! launched four titles in 1989: Mach Turtle: Fighter Ace; Pork Chop: The Karate Pig; El Quacko: Hero of the People and Welsh Rabbit: Private Eye. None enjoyed commercial success, although the later issues (#14-#22) of Pork Chop are collector’s items as they featured Geraldo Rodriguez’s groundbreaking layouts in the backup Hamonrai the Samurai segments.

Upon DiMare’s death in 2002, the comic industry discovered that she was also Dino Maggia, one of the most respected comic book artists of the Silver Age. Why is the use of a male pseudonym important? Because “Dino Maggia” had been a major player in Cable Publishing Group’s horror titles in the 1950s. After rereading a bunch of Zing! stuff, I’ve noticed connections between those two imprints. You can make a strong case that DiMare saw the Zing! characters as part of the CPG universe. In fact, I think she intended for them to be the actual “comics” that people in the CPG universe read. Retconning wasn’t in fashion back then, so this is pure speculation on my part. However, the same place names crop up in Mach Turtle and Edge of Mysteries. That can’t be mere coincidence.

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

FVLMINATA Update

October 2nd, 2007 (04:40 pm)
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Slow progress, unfortunately. Assigned to new large project at work which requires beaucoup time. Note to self: must update website (new release date – 2008), including recently discovered PDF highlighting the major differences between the first and second edition.

Good news! I finished my Hibernia edits and will be finished with the druid section by this weekend. I then plan on sending to Conall for his feedback…

Bad news! My version of the InDesign software doesn’t support the cool template that Daniel made. Looks like I’ll be investing in an upgrade.

Next: Salamander Corps update!

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

Darkpages Update

September 14th, 2007 (12:56 pm)
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Finished the rough draft of the Vigilante analysis from my theme-based history of supernatural comics. I've begun the outline for the Vampire analysis (yes, I'm doing them in reverse order). So far, pretty thin because of the Comics Code Authority. However, the fact that Galactus is technically a Vampire always makes me giggle.

As for rules stuff, still need to revisit the goals and canon rules with Jared.

Next: FVLMINATA updates from today's activities.

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

Avengers Round Up!

September 13th, 2007 (08:33 am)
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A quick report on my Tuesday reverie (the designated day for such ruminations).

In honor of 3:10 to Yuma, apparently the latest worthy addition to the Western genre, I plopped the Avengers into a Wild West setting. Mix in Deadwood, perhaps Deadlands, steampunk and the tone of Marvel’s Ultimate line for savory gaming.

Base of operations: the frontier town of Excelsior – a group of concerned citizens (“The Avengers”) band together to protect the innocent. In typical Western fashion, local law enforcement is incapable or unwilling to confront the lawless bandits that harass the townsfolk. Where is U.S. Marshal Nick Fury when you need him?

Enter Steve Rogers, Captain (ret.), former Union cavalry officer. Can he find peace now that the war is over? Will the ghosts of his past haunt him? Or, worse, will ex-Confederate renegades seek Rogers out? What happened to Colonel Johann “Red Skull” Schmidt anyway? Anthony Stark is easily reimagined into a railroad baron who experiments with steam technology to create a bulky, yet formidable ironclad battlesuit. Manservant Edwin Jervis doesn’t really need a costume change. Thor is tricky, whereas his alter ego is not. Perhaps a more radical take on the duality: Thor Odinson is the bare-chested blacksmith, a Swedish immigrant and the husband to Dr. Donna Blake, medicine woman.

Hawkeye works best as a Lakota warrior who forbears firearms, taking up the traditional hunting weapons of his ancestors. Completing the roster of “Avengers”: Mysterious gunfighters Henry Pym (who wears a yellow duster, natch) and Janet Van Dyne (aka “The Wasp”). Future additions to the team would come from the ranks of reformed outlaws and drifters. The rebellious children of industrialist Erik Maximoff: riverboat gambler Pietro (infamous for his quicksilver reflexes) and Wanda, the dance-hall girl in scarlet ruffles that possesses an unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Next – Darkpages (activity from Wed, Thu) and FVLMINATA (activity from Fri) updates.

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

Discipline!

August 30th, 2007 (01:04 pm)

Now that school has restarted, my life is returning to its normal routine (which is to say, incredibly busy at work and home, but the schedule is predictable). To reinforce this, beginning tomorrow, I've decided to focus my hobby efforts so that I will be able to achieve goals on multiple fronts:

* Mondays are TBD. For now, I rest.
* Tuesdays will be devoted to random gaming thoughts, such as my Economist inspirations and mashups.
* Wednesdays and Thursdays: Darkpages
* Fridays: FVLMINATA
* Saturdays and Sundays: Salamander Corps

I will do my best to document my progress on these fronts with an LJ entry as well.

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

Surrender Dorothy: An Alternate Oz

August 28th, 2007 (02:14 pm)
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I’m still decompressing from Gen Con. I haven’t been able to articulate my observations as of yet. Of course, when I do, it will be stale news.

This Sunday I watched The Wizard of Oz with my kids. Although I’ve seen it a million times, I continue to discover new things. Sure, Anna and Erik provide a fresh perspective as they ask questions (Anna: Why doesn’t the Scarecrow and the Tin Man fall asleep from the poppies? Me: Because they don’t breathe air like us. Anna: But they’re just people in costumes.) But the movie is truly magical. For the first time I took notice of the white ball caps emblazoned with a green “Oz” that some of the workers at the Emerald City Wash & Brush Up Co. of Oz wear. The last time I saw the film I caught the infamous continuity goof where the Wicked Witch of the West mentions the insect that she sent to soften up Dorothy and her pals to take the fight out of them. This contemplation led my imagination to some strange places, including an alternate movie:

“What if Dorothy’s house squashed the Wicked Witch of the West instead?”Collapse )

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

FVLMINATA Updates and New RPG Announcement

August 10th, 2007 (01:43 pm)

FVLMINATA
I made some serious (well, for me at least) headway in the past few weeks:

(1) I am about 40% done with the Hibernia chapter editing and writing. My goal is to send the revised text back to Conall for review/approval before Labor Day. A lot of the research/background notes for the chapter will be relocated to the first chapter.

(2) Daniel Solis has delivered the full template and cover design for printing. Once the text is finalized, I will begin layout.

New RPG: Salamander Corps
Salamander Corps is a game about intergalactic champions who wield the power of stars to defend civilization from annihilation. It's inspired by my love for Green Lanterns, Lensmen, Kree Imperial Militia, Warlock, Star Brand, Nova and Quasar. The strategic mechanics focus on balancing the Corps' goals with your homeworld's. The tactical mechanics simulate futuristic police work: solving "mystery* sets" and controlling "patterns" of energy. Oh, and it uses Icehouse pieces as energy units. It's cosmic, man.

The ultra-talented Jon Morris is doing the artwork and logo design. When the new website (www.salamandercorps.com) debuts later this year, I promise more previews. If you're impatient, one of the universe's baddies was posted weeks ago here.

I'll have playtest materials at GenCon for the curious.

*A "Mystery in Space", natch.

Jason E. Roberts [userpic]

Thyrsus Games Updates on Friday

August 8th, 2007 (09:55 am)

One will be a status report on Insulae Britannicae for FVLMINATA.

The other will be the announcement of my new RPG in development - playtest materials for said project will be at GenCon for some ad hoc gaming.

Oh, and I found my Parthian Frontier campaign folder from 2003-2004. Well, I'm excited even if you aren't!

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