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The Towers of the Weretoads

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:19

By Michael Raston
Gorgzu Games
Labyrinth Lord
Level 1?

Are you in need of a breeding factory that spews out torrents of mutated weretoads into your campaign world? Do your adventurers enjoy exploring slimy, wet ruins inhabited by depraved, vile creatures? The Towers of the Weretoads is a mini-dungeon you can plop down in the edges of any of the lakes/fresh water bodies in your campaign world. It’s filled with treasure, danger and slime.

This is a six page adventure in a three level partially submerged manor/keep. It uses the one page format to present the levels with a little introduction page, a title page, and one page for new monsters. Good imagery and nice formatting for play are significant strengths, while the it suffers from generic magic treasure, a little sameness in the monsters, and a slightly confusing ground level/outside environment. It’s also free, so …

The imagery in this adventure is great and works well with the one page format. Towers, located in shallows of a great lake, the tide coming in and out revealing various portions. Slimy stone stairs. Near-naked slimy warty idiotic men, drowsy. A flooded basement a soup for zygotes. Crude stone doors on rusting hinges. Creaky ladders down housed in a dead black soggy tree. Stone pots fill with writhing misshapen beige tadpoles. The outside, near the manor has puddles filled with countless toad eggs, and young weretoads croaking pityingly and dragging themselves through the mud to bit .. .It goes on and on. This is all strong imagery, tersly written, and it puts a picture in to your head. The outside, a slightly submerged manor, pools or mud and water, with slime and eggs stacked up in piles against the walls, trees, rubble, etc, and the young weretoads crawling towards you … This sort of tersely written imagery, integrated in to a one page dungeon, is a great example of form and function combining to deliver a useful tool for the DM. Did I mention “toad-bears eating corpse mushrooms growing on piles of long dead adventurers …” and all in that soggy partially flooded environment. Grooooovy!

This is a collection of one page levels, three of them, with an intro page to tie things togethers. I’m fond of these collections of one-pagers, although they do have limitations. They put everything in one place that you need to run the level well. This one uses color to effectively call out certain sections. The downside is that none of these one-pagers does a very good job of presenting a large environment. At best they can combine a lot of one-pagers in to a larger area, as this one does. That’s good, I like it and it’s a good way to present these smaller “lair sized locations.

Mundane treasure is good, with most of it being nice & creepy objects for resale. It falls down in several places when it says “Horde XIV P106LL) in a watertight chest.” I’m not sure why it’s doing this .. there appears to plenty of room to actually describe a treasure found instead of using a random roll. I don’t get it.

When the enemies show up THEY. SHOW. UP. d20 weretoads building effigies. D20 weretoads patrolling. D20 weretoads transporting spawn-pots. Bulging eyes and lolling tongues aside, the combats here tend to be with lots of opponents. There’s generally nothing wrong with that, but in this case the environments they are found in are a little smaller than I would like for that quantity. It feels a bit off. It DOES have the effect of being above to explore most the level without combat, until you meet the big group on that level. There’s a nice exploratory and/or push your luck element there that’s good.

This is PWYW (with a current price of $0) at Drive Thru. The preview is GREAT, showing you two of three one-page levels. This is easily worth the price/time. You can practically run it without even having read it first. This is EXACTLY the sort of supplement you want when you’re looking for something to run tonight.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Modification Monday: The Robin Meets Dotted Rays

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:00


Original Patterns: Robin and Dotted Rays Knitter Extraordinaire: Carmen (Ravelry ID) Mods: Using the Robin Shawl pattern to start, Carmen changed the garter wedges to stockinette,  and added yarn overs where the short row turns occurred, which gives the shawl the ‘Dotted Rays’ influence. Details can be found on her project page, here. What Makes

The post Modification Monday: The Robin Meets Dotted Rays appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Advice about Prayer from Great Men and Women of the Past

Just Call Me Pastor - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:00

Recently, a simple brochure fell out from the pages of a book I wrote many years ago on church membership. This little brochure was intended to help ministers I was mentoring in their practices of prayer.

I had begun and ended my recommendations by quoting some things great Christian leaders of earlier times have said about prayer. I offer some of them here because they may encourage you, too. 

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties. Oswald Chambers

Prayer is where the action is. John Wesley

Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work. Oswald Chambers.

A golden thread of heart-prayer must run through the web of the whole Christian life; we must be frequently addressing ourselves to God in short and sudden utterances, by which we must keep our communion with him… Matthew Henry

 Accustom yourself gradually to carry prayer into all your daily occupation. Speak, move, work in peace, as if you were in prayer. Fenelon

Prayer is for Jesus not nearly so much connected with resignation as it is with rebellion… Practically all that is said in the New Testament about prayer is said not in the interest of being reconciled to things as they are but in the interest of getting things changed. John Baillie

Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. [Christians] are powerful on their knees. Corrie Ten Boom

Prayer is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings. Chrysostom

You may find among these promptings one or two that especially strengthen your resolve to pray more regularly and intentionally in the days ahead. If so, consider writing one or more of them on the fly leaf of your Bible to encourage you!

Photo credit: Jon Genius (via flickr.com)

Categories: Churchie Feeds

Some Science Fantasy Hexcrawl Influences

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:00
I spent the rpg-related portion of my weekend getting copies of the Azurth Adventures Digest ready for mailing (There are still copies available. Get yours today!). My work on the Ghostlight Fen thing got delayed, so it seems like a good time to talk about influences of the as yet nameless setting of which its a part.

Lord Valentine's Castle (Robert Silverberg): A distant planet settled by humans and other species long ago. Despite a science fictional underpinning, it operates much like fantasy with mostly primitive technology and things like the Lady of Sleeps that promotes moral behavior by sending dreams and a competing King of Dream that sends nightmares.

Planet of Adventure (Jack Vance): A Planetary Romance (or Planetary Picaresque) which stands above the myriad of planetary romances due to Vance's wit, interesting alien species/cultures, and quirky minor characters.

The Coldfire Trilogy (C.S. Friedman): A science fantasy that (like Silverberg's Majipoor) feels more like straight up fantasy. Friedman adds the innovation of a rationalization for the existence of "magic" (not unlike Jorune).

The Prime Mondeign stories (Rob Chilson): These are in the dying earth subgenre, perhaps a bit more science fictional than Vance's stories (something a bit like a more rationalized and less computer gamey Numenera). These stories haven't been collected, but you can read one of them, "The Wortling," here.

The Spire by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely: A Medievalish society of various aliens and mutants on a planet long ago settled by humans.


First Comics News - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 08:24

This week’s cosplay dude of the week

If you would like to be the Cosplay Dude of the Week!
Please send your photo to Alex.Wright@firstcomicsnews.com and you will be considered for inclusion in a future edition of Superhero Dudes!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 08:23

This months’ cosplay team of the month

If you would like to be the Cosplay Team of the Month!

Please send your photo to Alex.Wright@firstcomicsnews.com and you will be considered for inclusion in a future edition of Superhero Dudes!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 08:00

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Daniel Gete
MR, Color, 32 pages, bi-monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: The Americans are enthralled by their first real victory, but Stephanie and Groves are well aware of the true cost, and how easily it could be their last. Available with Regular, Wraparound, War Crimes, Propaganda and Blitzkrieg covers by series artist Daniel Gete and a limited VIP Premium cover by Gabriel Andrade that is limited to 500 copies!
Release Date: Dec-31-2017

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 07:53

Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Nahuel Lopez
MR, Color, 48 pages, ongoing monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: The Redhead Raider is back in a huge new Viking epic as Belladonna unleashes Fire & Fury! Pat Shand writes a new mythic saga as Belladonna and her shield maiden’s quest for riches take them to the lush lands guarded by three elemental forces known as the Furies! Series artist Nahuel Lopez is back to draw his most luscious women and vicious battle ever! Available with these sexy covers: Regular (and nude), Viking Vixen (and nude) by Lopez – Shield Maiden (and nude) by Matt Martin – Stunning (and nude)and Killer Body (and nude) by Renato Camilo – Wraparound (and nude) by Raulo Caceres – a special set of six Nobel covers by Christian Zanier and a set of three Playtime covers by Zanier – Blood Red Leather (With red foil over White faux-leather) by Zanier – and a 50 Shades Nude by Camilo that is limited to just 50 copies!
Release Date: Dec-30-2017


Cover: Christian Zanier
MR, Color, 32 pages
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Ember is ready for her close-up on this killer cover by Zanier! Also available with Nude and Adult editions.
Release Date: Aug-30-2017




Cover: Juan Jose Ryp
Writing and Art: Ron Adrian, Ed Silva
MR, Color, 48 pages, one shot
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: This special set of seven Fauna nude covers by Juan Jose Ryp are limited to just 350 copies each!
Release Date: Apr-30-2017



Cover: Juan Jose Ryp
Art: Ed Silva, Marcelo Mueller
MR, Color, 48 pages, ongoing monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Limited to just 150 copies, this leather has not been offered previously!.
Release Date: Sep-30-2017



Cover: Matt Martin
Art: Ed Silva, Ron Adrian
MR, Color, 48 pages, ongoing monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: This sultry series of Vixens nude covers by Matt Martin are limited to 300 copies each.
Release Date: Jun-22-2017



Cover: Christian Zanier
Writing and Art: Ed Silva, Emiliano Urdinola
MR, Color, 48 pages, ongoing monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Christian Zanier brings the sexy on this series of nine covers that are limited to 250 copies each!
Release Date: Aug-25-2017

Art: Ed Silva, Emiliano Urdinola
MR, Color, 48 pages, ongoing monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: The rumble in the jungle is on as all the forces converge on Saur! Available with these lovely covers: Regular (and nude), Sultry (and nude) by Renato Camilo – Wraparound (and nude) by Raulo Caceres -fully-painted Natural Beauty (and nude) by Jonatas – Luscious (and nude) by Matt Martin – Bikini Babes (and nude) by Ron Adrian – set of six Sirens covers and a three Fetish Adult covers by Christian Zanier – and a Century Nude by Camilo that is limited to just 100 copies!
Release Date: Dec-30-2017


Cover: Christian Zanier
Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Christian Zanier, Gabriel Andrade
MR, Color, 48 pages, ongoing monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Tanya is poolside dream on this Christian Zanier cover! Each are limited to 350 copies, and available with a Nude and Adult cover.
Release Date: Aug-30-2017

Writer: Pat Shand
Artist: Christian Zanier, Gabriel Andrade
MR, Color, 48 pages, ongoing monthly
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Ember is unleashed as the action heats up while the Lookers have to get real sexy for their undercover plan! From webcam girls to super spies, this will be a crazy ride from writer Pat Shand and artist Gabriel Andrade! Each issue also has an Ember solo story, written and drawn by Christian Zanier! Available with these sexy covers: Regular (and Nude and Adult), Red Hot (and nude), Wraparound (and nude), two Orgy Adult and a set of six Shellshocked by Christian Zanier – Workout (and nude) and GGA Homage (and nude) by Renato Camilo – Sexy Spies (and nude) by Raulo Caceres – Luscious (and nude) by Matt Martin – and a 50 Shades Homage Nude by Camilo that is limited to just 50 copies!
Release Date: Dec-30-2017

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

WWE Hall of Famer Bobby “The Brain” Heenan passes away

First Comics News - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 05:43

WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Bobby Heenan, regarded by many as the greatest manager in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 73.

With a career spanning more than four decades, Heenan was the “The Brain” behind some of the most prolific Superstars in sports-entertainment history. Heenan plied his trade as their mischievous manager by running his mouth on their behalf with a sarcastic wit considered among the best in the business.

Heenan named competitors under his guidance as the Heenan Family, a moniker meant to show the strength of their alliance over any opposition. Members of the Heenan Family in the AWA and WWE read like the who’s who of sports-entertainment, including Legends and WWE Hall of Famers such as Nick Bockwinkel, the Blackjacks, Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), Harley Race, and of course, the first WWE Hall of Famer, Andre the Giant, whom Heenan led to the ring at WrestleMania III before 93,173 fans.

As impossible as it may seem, Heenan’s overwhelming success as a manager was matched by that of his announcing career. Heenan’s constant verbal jousts with fellow WWE Hall of Famers Gorilla Monsoon and “Mean” Gene Okerlund on USA Network remain among the most memorable moments in sports-entertainment history. In fact, “The Brain” was so entertaining that “The Bobby Heenan Show” had a brief run on USA Network as well.

In addition, “The Brain” was part of the original broadcast team for Monday Night Raw in 1993, and also sat at the announce table for both Raw and WCW Monday Nitro.

WWE extends its condolences to Heenan’s family, friends and fans.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Appendix N: An Amazing and Rewarding Journey

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 04:56

Praise for Appendix N continues to roll in!

This article over at Shop on the Borderlands drops this particularly nice shout-out:

If you look around on the internet, you’ll find plenty of other articles about Appendix N, including plenty of reviews of the (sometimes obscure) works listed. I would particularly recommend Jeffro Johnson’s work, including his excellent book “Appendix N: The Literary History of Dungeons & Dragons”. Johnson has a true appreciation for the style of writing typified by Appendix N, and for old school roleplaying.

Meanwhile, I’ve pulled down yet another five star review over at Goodreads with this entry from “DNF with Jack Mack”:

While reading The greatest Modules of All time, I discovered a lefthand D&D path I hadn’t pursued, having been lured away by the Advanced label. This path was mostly Arneson and largely Science-Fantasy. Disappointed by Fourth Ed., I switched to DCC. Goodman’s Game had been inspired by Appendix N, so I followed suit. It’s an amazing and rewarding journey that I am still on.

I had a blast reading Johnson’s book, and I was shocked to discover how much our views are in accord– considering how fussy I usually am. I’d recommend this to anyone with an interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I’d wager there are less than two thousand living people who have completed this quest, so it’s remarkable that Jeffro would write such a thing. Salud.

Join us: the few, the well read, the Appendix N’s!

Meanwhile gaming legend Ken St. Andre recently dropped this on Twitter:

“I got a copy of Appendix N from @CastaliaHouse in the mail yesterday. Well written and researched–almost too much knowledge there.”

(Okay, that last one especially blows me away. Wow!)

If you haven’t already picked up a copy… now’s the time! It’s not only a survey of a great many lost treasures of fantasy and science fiction, but also details their relationship to some of the most iconic works in tabletop gaming.

Check it out!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Looking For Group - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 04:01

The post 1123 appeared first on Looking For Group.

Categories: Web Comics

First Impressions of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2nd Edition

19th Level - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 01:50

I just received my backer PDF for the 2nd edition of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea. Often when a backer PDF is released I'm playing something else so sometimes it may take days or even weeks until I get around to downloading it. Since I'm actually GM-ing an AS&SH campaign currently, I actually downloaded it right away.

I've given the original version of the game a review as well as a more recent actual play impressions. This isn't a full review of the new edition - I've only had time for a quick skim. But from that skim it's worth noting that the game hasn't changed - there's some rearrangement here and there, some tweaks, and a bunch of additions. So it's important to note that my earlier reviews are still very much applicable. Indeed, unlike many games, the fact that this is a new edition isn't even advertised on the cover. This reminds me of the way revisions to the D&D Basic and Expert sets were released in the 1980s - new cover art, new contents, but no big banner proclaiming a new edition.

So what's changed? There's new art - a new cover and some full-color art at the start of each of the six "volumes" within the PDF. There's additionally a lot of new art, art which co-exists with the original art which reappears in this new edition. All of the classes are from the original edition are still here. Additionally, there are four new classes - a new subclass for each of the four main classes. The new classes are:

  • Huntsman - a fighter subclass, a wilderness warrior and hunter
  • Cyromancer - a magician subclass, specializing in ice magic (Fafhrd, your mom is looking for you...)
  • Runegraver - a cleric subclass who specializes in rune magic. This magic requires the expenditure of caster hit points to cast which seems in keeping with some of the sacrifices found in Norse mythology.
  • Purloiner - a thief subclass with some priestly abilities. Often serves the god of thieves...
A quick scan of the spell lists shows it has been expanded somewhat with new spells. The adventuring section looks pretty much unchanged from a quick scan.
As before, the referee's section covers monsters, magic items, and details of the world. The monsters section has some additions from the 1st edition as does the section on magic items. It's still the same world, though one addition I really appreciated was a series of random tables for generating weather. In a world with winters lasting for years (and dominated by a year of eternal darkness), weather is more than a background detail in Hyperborea and these tables (complete with game effects of certain weather conditions) make for a great addition. There is also an appendix with a starting village and nearby dungeon location.
In addition to the rulebook there is a PDF of a new color map of the setting - it's the same geography as the original map but much prettier.
It's worth noting that as a while the game looks much nicer. I found the layout enhanced in such a way to make for overall easier reading. The new art nicely complements the art from the 1st edition - and both styles of art evokes the setting - from elder things to laser-wielding zombies to orcs Atlantean spacemen. 
If you've the 1st edition, do you need to upgrade? Probably not. For the most part, the upgrade reminds me of the changes you'd find when going form one edition of Call of Cthulhu to another (though the 7th did make for a fairly major change, though even there backward compatibility was maintained). If you enjoy the game I think you'd like the improvements and would be happy you upgraded. If you don't like the game, I can't imagine any of the minor tweaks would change your mind. If you're curious about the game then the 2nd edition is a great starting point - there's no metaplot which has been advanced some years - it's the same setting as before. And as before, it's really well equipped for the insertion of most old school adventures you could think of, albeit with a tweak here and there for more of a swords and sorcery feel. 
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Matt Finch's Old School Gamer Radio: A D&D Resource

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 00:28

There are Kickstarters that excite me because of the names involved. Then there are Kickstarters that excite me because of the content. Old School Gamer Radio excites me for both those reasons and more.

Simply put, the OSR is a disorganized and chaotic and extremely beautiful mess. The OSR is vast wilderness of amazing content, creators, communication and the like but it is unmapped and difficult to navigate at times. Make that difficult to navigate all the time.

Old School Gamer Radio plans to help with the mapping:
In our community, it's getting difficult to track the vast array of projects and sub-communities coming from our bloggers, cartographers, YouTubers, artists, authors, facebook groups, and content creators. So OSGR’s first objective is to create and provide a robust search function for links to great OSR content. Looking for the best Greyhawk-centric blogs? Trying to find maps and monsters written specifically for your favorite flavor of D&D or retro-clone? Wanting to try out some podcasts or video blogs that focus on your gaming area of interest? Just looking for free downloadable Old School content? Old School Gamer Gamer Radio will help you find all of that and more quickly and efficiently.  There will also be new content at Old School Gamer Radio, such as YouTube videos with guest commenters as well as regulars.

Alright, I'll admit I backed at 75 bucks. I want that damn hat. Besides, The Tavern will be a full behind the scenes style partner to help in any way be can. I personally believe deeply in this project. How often do you hear me say that? That isn't because I personally know Matt and Zach (it doesn't hurt) but because I think Old School Gamer Radio will be good for the OSR and the OSR is where I hang my hat.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Crossover Combos

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 22:17
My core wardrobe is compact and built on basics, so I rely heavily on accessories to change up the look, especially when the weather turns cool. Some time ago, I began slowly but steadily making mitts to complement my favorite scarves and shawls. It's a three-way win. I stay warm, indulge my love of knits, and still appear somewhat pulled together.

It's time to take this thinking to the next level. 

Two-shawl weather is on its way and I'm determined to be prepared, so I've decided to create a cozy collection of coordinating wraps, cowls and scarves that aren't matchy-matchy but work well together. Because yes, indeed, I've been known to wear two scarves or cowls twisted together, or a cowl and scarf combo, or a small shawl topped with a larger wrap.

In other words, I'm on a mission only a fellow knitter can understand: I want to leverage the knits I have by making more knits. With this in mind, there are two color combos on my radar screen.

One involves various shades of teal. According to some interior designers, it's the most versatile hue for home decor, because it blends well with virtually any color scheme. I'm beginning to believe the same is true for clothing and accessories, since it seems to complement any skin tone and plays beautifully with black, grays, earth tones, reds, roses, purples, blues, golds and oranges, especially deep pumpkin shades. (Hmmm, I see another color post on the horizon.)

In practical terms, that helps explain why many recent posts feature shades of teal, either on its own, paired with neutrals, or blended with closely related tones of turquoise, lake and sea.

The other combination involves a mix of reds, wines, plums and purples. For me, the scarf below hits all the marks. It's soft. It's light, It's warm. It's reversible. It features some of my favorite colors worked in a simple three-stage gradient, and it's long enough to wrap multiple times without becoming overwhelming. 

There's enough of this exquisite cashmere-silk blend (Richesse et Soie) in the stash to make a coordinating cowl or scarf, but if I blend it with another yarn, I could make a shawl or wrap. I was playing with various combinations, when I discovered this.

I'm still in the concept stage, but this interesting mix may be just the crossover combo I need to tie this whole whacky plan together.

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

New Release - BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules (because this Holme's goes to 20 ;)

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 22:08

BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules - I'll take your Basic and raise you to a complete game! heh

I backed the Kickstarter for the BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules and I'm excited to see the PDF go live. The PDF is currently on sale for $9.99
NOTE: This is an early release of the game. There are some pieces of interior art which are not yet ready. Keep an eye out for updates which will include this missing art. The BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules are a table top fantasy roleplaying game which emulates the game play of the original basic rule book, popularly known as the Holmes Edition or simply the Blue Book. Unlike those basic rules, however, this book allows for characters of 1st to 20th levels, and include everything the referee could possibly need to create and run a campaign in the Underworld, the Wilderness, or the Realm: monsters, magic, treasure, and … well, what more do you need? BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules are fully compatible with the BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules (priced at PWYW so no point not to look) and can be used with most old-school adventure modules.Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links put 5% of the sale price to support The Tavern. Thank you :)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

WAYNE’S WORLDS: Fool Me Once, Shame on You…

First Comics News - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 20:56

Is anyone else getting tired of having our chains jerked around?

Some people seem to know that those of us into comics and anything related to them “freak out” when certain “news” hits the Internet.

My favorite example happened a while back when Justin Bieber, teen pop star, sent out a photo supposedly showing him taking a picture of a script from the Batman versus Superman film with the hashtag “#robin?” Predictably, the fans went nuts, saying that Warner Bros. had lost its collective mind anywhere they could on the Internet.

Instead of Batfleck, we now had Bieberobin. Anyone else remember this?


When cooler heads prevailed, people in the know pointed out that it wasn’t real by any stretch of the imagination. I could list the reasons why here, but I hate to give Mr. Bieber any more column inches than I absolutely have to.

I’m pretty sure that when certain folks in Bieber’s entourage saw the reaction from the selection of Ben Affleck as Batman, they decided to jump on the bandwagon.

And why not? They got the reaction they wanted, with people screaming their disapproval at even the notion that Bieber might be cast in that iconic role.


While criminals are “a cowardly and superstitious lot,” people who don’t enjoy comics don’t “get” the way we fans often react. Let’s face it – we’re passionate about the things we like, so many of us do respond with some vitality when those comics or characters are demeaned.

Honestly, since we’re now in football season, the fans of individual teams make our reactions seem tame in response. Painting your face blue and silver? Attending a game in below-zero weather with your shirt off? Spending hundreds of dollars to go to a single game? Granted, some of us who are cosplayers or big fans of statues can drop that much cash as well. I think footballers don’t grasp why we don’t spend all our money on their sport they way they do, so that makes it “bad.” Some of them feel they need to knock us down a peg or two.

They need to remember that “fan” is short for “fanatic,” and that no matter what resonates with you, that makes you a fan as well.


Still, the reason people do these things is to get a reaction! When they post something, they want us to respond with horror and yelling. Personally, I think the best way to stop this is to simply laugh at it, and move on.

I’ve read a lot of things on the Internet over the years that were totally false. Star Trek: Enterprise is going to have a shortened season in its last year! Orlando Bloom is going to be the next Batman! I’m sure you can list some of your own as well!

On the other hand, I’ve laughed at some things that turned out to be true. My favorite was Lorne, a demon who could read people by listening to them sing. I was stunned when that came true. Andy Hallett, who played the character, said that was his response when he first heard about it as well.

Also, most people who comment on the Internet these days as what I refer to as either “gushers” or “bashers.” When message boards first appeared, you could get a pretty good variety of opinion on them. Now, the novelty has worn off, and only the two extremes seem to be around – those who completely love everything a show or star does, or those who completely hate everything a show or star does. They spend their time facing off against each other, sadly. (Before anyone says it, I admit I lean a lot toward the “gushers” because I prefer to promote the “good stuff” than go the other way.

If we don’t want this trick played on us any longer, we need to take the fun out of it for those playing the game. The next time we hear something like One Direction being cast as the Royal Flush Gang, we should smile, shake our heads in disbelief, and move on! It won’t take long before those posts dwindle and fade away.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Kevin Crawford responded to Frank Mentzer's Commentary on the Viability of the OSR Market

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 19:17

As the original post with Frank's commentary is 5 days old and hasn't had a comment in 48 hours before +Kevin Crawford 's this afternoon, I'm breaking Kevin's comment into a post of its own. It deserves to be read and commented upon.

I'll be reserving my thoughts to the comments section of this post...

Here's Kevin's comment in text format:
"Speaking purely for myself, the OSR has been a very good market segment to me. In the past two years, I've had gross sales of about a half million dollars worth of Sine Nomine books. That's not mansion money on the post-tax net, but it is an extremely comfortable location-independent living for a single creator. And that, I think, is the key. The OSR as a market segment can absolutely provide a comfortable living to more creators than it does now, but those creators have to be able to take a project from inception to print with minimal outside involvement. My per-book profits are huge compared to the royalties I'd get from a publisher. They have to be, because in the last year I've sold 12,000 copies of one title or another, and if I were with a conventional fiction publisher they'd burn my rolodex card if I moved less than 20,000 on one title in a year. I can make a very comfortable living on 12,000 copies sold, but that living gets a whole lot less comfortable if I have to pay authors and layout designers on every product I issue. And by the same token, those creators have to _produce_. One swallow does not make a summer and one hit product does not make a living. They have to be able to hit their project deadlines and constantly create new, compelling products that draw new buyers and keep existing fans coming back for more. They can move tremendous amounts of back catalog this way, but only if they _have_ a back catalog. You know what a hit OSR product means? It means the customers are willing to see what else you've got."
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Review & OSR Commentary On Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Second Edition) From North Wind Adventures

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 19:00
So many months ago it seems that the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea Second Edition's kickstarter seemed to take the OSR community by storm! Well the long await is over! Last night whist I was at my weekly AS&SH game the pdf broke! It was billed as the premiere Sword & Sorcery OSR rpg during the kickstarter. So let's see if that's true and I'll be the judge of that claim! Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: Hana-Bi (movie review)

First Comics News - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 18:20


Nishi (Beat Takeshi) is a beleaguered Japanese police officer. His wife, Miyuki (Kayoko Kishimoto), is suffering from leukemia, and his partner, Horibe (Ren Ôsugi), is paralyzed after gangsters violently attacked him. Nishi is fed up, and wants to give up his job in order to be with Miyuki. To do so, he is forced to borrow money from the Yakuza, and then, to clear his debt, he robs a bank. The Yakuza, however, are not pleased so easily, and they continue to hound Nishi for more money.


Directed by:

Takeshi Kitano

Produced by:

Masayuki Mori
Yasushi Tsuge
Takio Yoshida

Written by:

Takeshi Kitano


Beat Takeshi
Kayoko Kishimoto
Ren Osugi
Susumu Terajima


Takeshi Kitano as Yosh itaka Nishi
Kayoko Kishimoto as Miyuki, Nishi’s wife
Ren Osugi as Horibe
Susumu Terajima as Nakamura
Tetsu Watanabe as Tesuka
Hakuryu as Yakuza Hitman
Yasuei Yakushiji as Criminal
Tar Itsumi as Kudo
Kenichi Yajima as Doctor
Makoto Ashikawa as Tanaka
Yuko Daike as Tanaka’s widow

Run Time: 103 min
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Website: www.filmmovement.com
Comments: The DVD comes with bonus features such as commentary by David Fear, making-of Hana-Bi featurette and new essay by Jasper Sharp.
It is hard to follow exactly what is going on. The movie is in Japanese with English subtitles.
There is killings and blood in this so yes it is violent.
Nishi’s wife is in the hospital. She has leukemia. A fellow police officer was shot and left in a wheelchair. Nishi also lost his daughter recently. The man has had a hard life recently.
Niski borrows money from the Yakuza. Things do not go as he planned.
A lot of the film the people do not talk and you are left to interpret the visuals. The bank robber scene is one. Actions do speak louder than words here. Nishi can be so violent.
This is a violent crime thriller crossed with domestic situations that make the film hard hitting at times and with a tenderness at others.
Takeshi Kitano does do a wonderful job on all the aspects of the movie he works on and especially as is main star Nishi.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sun, 09/17/2017 - 16:00
The weekly series offers exclusive access to the very best in underground and homegrown horror, thriller, sci-fi and cult cinema LOS ANGELES, CA – September 15, 2017 – Moviegoers will go insane every Thursday night as The Asylum – the studio behind the Sharknado franchise phenomenon – partners with Cinemark Theatres for a weekly late-night theatrical movie series. Thursday Night at The Asylum launches on September 28, 2017 in 76 Cinemark theaters across the country. (tickets: Cinemark.com/asylum). Targeting students in college markets and film enthusiasts in general, attendees will have the option of a low cost $5 general admission ticket or a $10 Premium Ticket which will include a digital download of the movie. Thursday Nights at The Asylum will also offer attendees a unique glimpse into Hollywood with a chance to meet the filmmakers, the studio and win signed merchandise and other promotions, including a walk on role in an Asylum film. “Cinemark is excited to form this partnership and create this unique showcase of Asylum  films!”, said Bryan Jeffries, Vice President of Marketing and Promotions for Cinemark, “There has always been a tremendous audience for these movies and we know our customers will go crazy for the chance to see them on the big screen!” With a focus on college students and genre fans, the series will showcase the best in frightening, provocative, and fun feature films every Thursday starting September 28. The weekly series will build up to a special live Sharknado event featuring Sharknado5: Global Swarming on November 16  – with appearances from the cast and crew of the pop-culture juggernaut. The Asylum co-founder David Michael Latt adds, “I’ll be front and center every week as the biggest fan of all, there‘s nothing else that can duplicate the theatrical experience. For Cinemark movie goers, we‘re bringing back the thrill of drive-ins and Grindhouse cinema with this chance to see unapologetic and completely original films. The experience for some attendees won‘t end at the theater! After each screening, movie goers who purchase a the Premium Ticket will own the movie forever by digitally downloading the film available on its home video release. For more information and to buy tickets go to Cinemark.com/asylum.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


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