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I'm Back

Aikido Blogs - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 19:37
Was thinking about titling this blog entry, I'll Be Back, but then realized that won't work, because I am back. Wow, it's been 7 years since my last blog post. that's 7 more years of Aikido without posting about it. That means I must have a lot saved up to talk about. I've seen so much and experienced so much. I've been to a few seminars, and amazingly I'm still learning more and more. I must be getting stronger cause the other day I was able to pull of 200 pull ups, not all at once, but all with in 30 minutes.

I look forward to writing about all the wonderful things and changes that have occurred in my Aiki-life.

Check back soon!

Erik Sasha Calderon
www.shinkikan.com
Categories: Aikido

Torchlight Zine for Swords & Wizardry Light - Submissions

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 19:30
Art by Patrick E. PullenI've had a number of inquiries as to submissions for the upcoming Torchlight Zine. While we won't be posting submission guidelines until after Gary Con, I figured I'd address some of the basics.

Torchlight is a zine to support Swords & Wizardry Light / Continual Light. By extension, that means it is compatible with the various flavors of Swords & Wizardry - White Box, Core and Complete. That being said, articles should be submitted with SWL in mind or system neutral.

We are NOT looking for conversions of standard OGL content to SWL. We ARE looking for new content - new spells, magic items, creatures and the like. Short (2 to 4 pages digest sized) adventures are also needed. Remember, SW Continual Light only goes to seventh level, so keep that in mind.

Compensation. We would like to compensate you. No details yet. First issue will be PWYW and probably written in house for the most part.

Frequency of issues. We were thinking quarterly, but if there is enough material submitted, we may go bi-monthly.

Size. 16 to 24 pages, at least initially.

Art. We have a sizable library of stock art but we will always consider paying for unique art from artists in the OSR.

Alright, that's enough for now. If you have further questions, post them here or email us at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

INVISIBLE HANDS #1 preview

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 19:08

Delve into the world of an unknown consciousness with AGP’s award-winning science fiction series!

Imagine: you’re working late at the hospital discussing recipes with a co-worker. You come into the possession of an x-ray that should be impossible, and the man whose head it supposedly depicts suddenly corners you, demanding your help. Around the same time, another patient’s head explodes.

Are we having fun yet?

Writer Laszlo Tamasfi thought so when he submitted INVISIBLE HANDS to the 2016 Silver Scream Festival, and it paid off: it won the Best Graphic Novel Script award and publication by American Gothic Press! Now rendered in nightmarish detail by Michael Malatini with Riley Schmitz on colors, the mini-series is a trippy, bizarre throwback to 1950s pre-Code comics and the terror they wrought upon unsuspecting readers.

INVISIBLE HANDS hits comic shops on March 22!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH REVIEWS: Zombie Tramp # 33

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 19:01

Title: Zombie Tramp # 33
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Written by: Jason Martin
Co-Written & Created by: Dan Mendoza
Artwork by: Marco Maccagni
Colors by: Melek Koc
Lettered by: Adam Wollet
Cover: Dan Mendoza
Variant Covers: Mendoza, Maccagni, Celor
Price: $ 3.99 US
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Website: www.actionlabcomics.com
Comments: The Kaiju Queen wants Miss Very to retrieve the Demon Dagger of Samaria aka the Dagger of Souls. AS she is on her way Miss Very finds her way blocked. She uses her magics to clear a path. Miss Very is also known as Xula. There is a lot of fighting going on but it needs to be illustrated better to show off the action.
Near the end, we see Xula drawn with a lovely wicked expression. She is the Voodoo Queen.
Seeing all the demons and priests and creatures is great and having Xula battle them is good but why is she doing so? To get a dagger for Kaiju Queen but why?
There is a lot of evil shown here. It would be nice to see it shown and used better. Why is this going on?

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

BLACK PANTHER & THE CREW #1 preview

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 18:46

The Crew Takes To The Streets in Your
First Look at BLACK PANTHER & THE CREW #1!
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yona Harvey, and Butch Guice Helm All-new Comic Series

 

New York, NY—March 17th, 2017— Prepare for a whole new team to take on the vile underbelly of the Marvel Universe. It’s time to meet THE CREW – Black Panther, Storm, Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Manifold. And  they’re coming at you in the hard-hitting debut issue of BLACK PANTHER & THE CREW #1 – available April 12th. Co-written by Ta-Nehisi Coates (New York Times best-selling author of Between the World and Me and Marvel’s Black Panther) and Yona Harvey (Black Panther: World of Wakanda) and featuring legendary artist Butch Guice – the Crew will band together to take on a wave of crime unlike any New York City has ever seen! The death of a Harlem activist kicks off a surprising mystery that will unravel new secrets about the Marvel Universe’s past…and set the stage for its future! Fear, hate and violence loom. But don’t worry – The Crew’s got this! Don’t miss the debut issue of BLACK PANTHER & THE CREW when it comes to comic shops and digital devices on April 12th!

BLACK PANTHER & THE CREW #1 (FEB170762)

Co-written by TA-NEHISI COATES & YONA HARVEY
Art by BUTCH GUICE
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
Variant Covers by DAMION SCOTT (FEB170764) & RICH BUCKLER (FEB170765)

Hip-Hop Variant by JIM CHEUNG (FEB170763)

Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (FEB170766)

FOC – 03/20/17 On-Sale – 04/12/17

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Diamond Fox – part 1: introduction and unpacking

Malwarebytes - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 15:00

Diamond Fox (also known as Gorynch) is a stealer written in Visual Basic that has been present on the black market for several years. Some time ago, builders of its older versions (i.e. 4.2.0.650) were cracked and leaked online – thanks to this we could have a closer view at the full package that is being sold by the authors to other criminals.

In 2016 the malware was almost completely rewritten – its recent version, called “Crystal” was described some months ago by Dr. Peter Stephenson from SC Media (read more).

In this short series of posts, we will take a deep dive in a sample of Diamond Fox delivered by the Nebula Exploit Kit (described here). We will also make a brief comparison with the old, leaked version, in order to show the evolution of this product.

In this first part, we will take a look at Diamond Fox’s behavior in the system, but the main focus will be about unpacking the sample and turning it into a form that can be decompiled by a Visual Basic Decompiler.

Analyzed samples Behavioral analysis

After being deployed, Diamond Fox runs silently, however, we can notice some symptoms of its presence in the system. First of all, the UAC (User Account Control) gets disabled and we can see an alert about it:

Another pop-up is asking the user to restart the system so that this change will take effect:

The initial executable is deleted and the malware re-runs itself from the copy installed in the %TEMP% folder. It drops two copies of itself – dwn.exe and spoolsv.exe. Viewing the process activity under Process Explorer, we can observe the spawned processes:

It also deploys wscript.exe.

For persistence, Diamond Fox creates a new folder with a special name (read more about this feature): %TEMP%\lpt8.{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}.

Thanks to this trick, the user cannot access the files dropped inside. Another copy (backup) is dropped in the Startup folder.

While running, the malware creates some files with .c extensions in %APPDATA% folder:

Also, new files are created in the folder from which the sample was run:

The file keys.c contains an HTML formatted log about the captured user activities, i.e. keystrokes. Here’s an example of the report content (displayed as HTML):

The files log.c and Off.c are unreadable.

Examining the content of the %TEMP% folder we can also find that the malware dropped downloaded payload inside:

It is a XOR encrypted PE file (key in the analyzed case is: 0x2), that turns out to be an update of the main Diamond Fox bot.

Network communication

Diamond Fox communicates with the CnC using an HTTP-based protocol. It beacons to gate.php

Data from the bot is sent to the CnC in form of a POST request. Pattern:

13e=<encoded content>

Responses from the CnC have the following pattern:

<number of bytes in content> <content> <error code>

We can observe the bot downloading in chunks some encrypted content (probably the payload/bot update):

It also periodically uploads the stolen data. In the example below: sending the report about the logged user activities (content of the previously mentioned file keys.c):

Unpacking

Diamond Fox is distributed packed by various crypters, that require different approaches for unpacking. They are not specifically linked with this particular family of malware, that’s why this part is not going to be described here. However, if you are interested in seeing the complete process of unpacking the analyzed sample you can follow the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBAVHiX-j_A.

After defeating the first layer of protection, we can see a new PE file. It is wrapped in another protective stub – this time typical for this version of Diamond Fox. The executable has three unnamed sections followed by a section named L!NK. The entry point of the program is atypical – set at the point 0.

It makes loading the application under common debuggers a bit problematic. However, under a disassembler (i.e. PE-bear) we can see, where this Entry Point really leads to:

The header of the application is interpreted as code and executed. Following the jump leads to the real Entry Point, that is in the second section of the executable:

I changed the the executable Entry Point and set it to the jump target (RVA 0xEDB0).

Saved application could be loaded in typical debuggers (i.e. OllyDbg) without any issues, to follow next part of unpacking.

The steps to perform at this level are just like in the case of manual unpacking of UPX. The execution of the packer stub starts by pushing all registers on the stack (instruction PUSHAD). We need to find the point of execution where the registers are restored, because it is usually done when the unpacking of the core finished. For the purpose of finding it, after the PUSHAD instruction is executed, we follow the address of the stack (pointed by ESP). We set a hardware breakpoint on the access to the first DWORD.

We resume the execution. The application will stop on the hardware breakpoint just after the POPAD was executed restoring the previous state of the registers.

This block of code ends with a jump to the unpacked content. We need to follow it in order to see the real core of the application and be able to dump it. Following the jump leads to the Entry Point typical for Visual Basic applications. It is a good symptom because we know that the core of Diamond Fox is a Visual Basic application.

Now we can copy the address of the real Entry Point (in the analyzed case it is 0x4012D4) and dump the unpacked executable for further analysis.

I will use Scylla Dumper. Not closing OllyDbg, I attached Scylla to the running process of Diamond Fox (named s_1.exe in my case).

I set as the OEP (Original Entry Point) the found one, then I clicked IAT Autosearch and Get Imports:

Scylla found several imports in the unpacked executable:

We can view the eventual invalid and suspected imports and remove them – however, in this case, it is not required. We can just dump the executable by pressing button Dump.

Then, it is very important to recover the found import table by clicking Fix Dump and pointing to the dumped file. As a result, we should get an executable named by Scylla in the following pattern: <original name>_dump_SCY.exe.

Now, we got the unpacked file that we can load under the debugger again. But, most importantly, we can decompile it by a Visual Basic Decompiler to see all the insights of the code.

Example of the decompiled code – part responsible for communication with the CnC (click to enlarge):

Conclusion

Unpacking Diamond Fox is not difficult, provided we know a few tricks that are typical for this malware family. Fortunately, the resulting code is no further obfuscated. The authors left some open strings that make functionality of particular blocks of code easy to guess. In the next post, we will have a walk through the decompiled code and see the features provided by the latest version of Diamond Fox.

This was a guest post written by Hasherezade, an independent researcher and programmer with a strong interest in InfoSec. She loves going in details about malware and sharing threat information with the community. Check her out on Twitter @hasherezade and her personal blog: https://hshrzd.wordpress.com.

The post Diamond Fox – part 1: introduction and unpacking appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds

Greyson Baby Blanket

Moogly - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 14:47

I’ve always loved the name Greyson – it was almost the name of our middle child! It turns out it didn’t quite fit him, but it does fit this gorgeous neutral baby blanket – a free crochet baby blanket pattern here on Moogly! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. The Greyson Baby Blanket is a [...]

The post Greyson Baby Blanket appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

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Categories: Crochet Life

As We Await Approval from RPGNow, Pocket Creatures Volume 1 is being Released for Free in The Tavern's Facebook Community

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 14:28


I don't know how much longer it is going to take to get approval at RPGNow for Pocket Creatures Volume 1. Until its approved, it won't show up for sale. With the weekend knocking on our door quickly followed by Gary Con I'd like to get this in the hands of gamers sooner than later.

So, I'm releasing it to The Tavern's Facebook Group in a few minutes.

On RPGNow it is going to be PWYW, so it isn't going to be a money maker, but if you like it you can always re-download it later at RPGNow. Heck, you could even throw in a few coppers too ;)

Pocket Creatures Volume 2 is laid out and ready to be submitted.

I'm not sure we'll have a print ready copy of the Swords & Wizardry Continual Light rules in time for Gary Con. If that's the case I'll bring a few dozen print copies of the two Pocket Creatures Volumes to hand out.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:00

www.knittedbliss.com

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week Financial tips I wish I knew in my 20s – still applicable now. Although I wish I had known all that stuff in my teens (am I the only one who thinks that financial planning and budgeting should be a mandatory high school course?) How to stop procrastinating

The post Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Straight from the Prismatic Peak

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:00

A Mortzengersturm preview! The Oubliette of Mistakes wher ethe mad manticore wizard keeps the creations that displeased him. The roll call:

Mocka: This attempt to cross a naga with a clown triggered even Mortzengersturm’s coulrophobia in the end. It giggles and mugs and sways and bounces like a jack-in-the-box unboxed, eager to bring laughter and joy.

Gruebird: This spiteful creature hides in total darkness that only a magical light source can penetrate. It will attack anything that comes close enough for it to peck or snatch with its talons.

Chimerical Chimera: A swirling, churning cloud of protoplasm that never looks like the same thing twice. Each round, its abilities and appearance changes.

Jam: A sweet-tasting, edible variant on the deadly slimes or jellies of Subazurth was not to be. It is sweet, but no less deadly. Those entrapped by it may die in a euphoric sugar-sleep.

Moonster: A glowing spherical creature resembling the moon with a face: a bemused smile under half-lidded eyes. The Moonster is a narrator—and an annoying one. It will narrate the actions of anyone that enters the shaft in a somewhat florid diction, but with an ironic distance. It knows the past of the subject of its narration with certainty; its predictions for the future are only speculation, no matter how assured their delivery.

Miszm Throppe’s wizardly capotain, indigo and silver and arrayed with mystical symbol, crouches atop his decaying skull and waits. It was never a particularly virtuous piece of headwear, and somehow it has gained a degree of life and with it an even greater measure of malevolence.

Mediations on C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness (1e) for Sword & Sorcery & Domain Level Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 06:05
"A shadow from the past, the Ghost Tower of Inverness has loomed ever larger in the mind of the great Seer of Urnst. Now he has convinced the Duke that an expedition should be organized to go to the ancient keep and recover its greatest treasure - the fabled Soul Gem." So opens one of the more iconic & in some ways controversial titles in the 'C' or Competition series of modules, 1980's Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

HAMMER’S CAPTAIN KRONOS RISES AT TITAN WITH DAN ABNETT!

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 05:29

Titan Comics and Hammer Films team-up to take a slice out of Brian Clemens’ supernatural cult-classic Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter!

 

(March, 2017) – Titan Comics is excited to announce the next title from its Hammer Horror line of comics – Captain Kronos, materializes in 2017!

 

Based on the 1974 film, Captain Kronos will be the second Hammer title following the success of Peter Milligan and Ronilson Freire’s The Mummy: Palimpsest which hit stores and digital devices last November.

 

Written by Dan Abnett (Aquaman, Guardians of the Galaxy) with stunning art by Tom Mandrake (Sidekick, The Spectre) Titan Comics’ new series chronicles the adventures of the mysterious and powerful Kronos who has dedicated his life to destroying the evil vampire plague.

 

Once a victim himself, the debonair Hunter knows the vampire’s strengths and weaknesses as well as the dangers of confronting the potent forces of darkness. Now the cult-classic adventure continues in comics form!

 

The new Hammer Comics line sees the publication of brand-new comic stories featuring classic Hammer properties.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

BOOM! STUDIOS ADDS DAVID AJA FOC COVER FOR GODSHAPER #1

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 05:10

Plus, Colored Preview Pages by Artist Jonas Goonface Revealed

Godshaper #1 FOC Cover by David Aja
Los Angeles, Calif. (March 16, 2017) – BOOM! Studios is excited to announce the addition of a new cover by multiple Eisner Award-winning artist David Aja (Hawkeye, Karnak, Scarlet Witch) for Godshaper #1, the upcoming original series by Simon Spurrier (The Spire) and Jonas Goonface. The cover comes before the Final Order Cutoff (FOC) date of March 20 for retailers to adjust their final orders for the issue. There is no restriction on ordering. The issue goes on sale April 12.

The cover joins the previously announced covers by Jonas Goonface and Sonny Liew.

 
         Main Cover A by Jonas Goonface                         Main Cover B by Sonny Liew

 

In addition, the publisher released the first five colored pages from issue #1 by Jonas Goonface.

 

 

The solicitation information for Godshaper #1 is below.

Godshaper #1
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jonas Goonface
Cover Artists:
   Main Cover A: Jonas Goonface
   Main Cover B: Sonny Liew
   FOC Cover C: David Aja
Format: 32 pages, full color
Price: $3.99
On sale: April 12, 2017 (Final Order Cutoff: March 20, 2017)
Synopsis: 

  • Written by Eisner Award-nominated writer Simon Spurrier (The Spire, X-Men Legacy) and illustrated by breakout talent Jonas Goonface, Godshaper introduces a vast world where there’s a god for every person and a person for every god…though for Ennay, unfortunately, exceptions may apply.

  • People like him are Godshapers, godless social pariahs with the ability to mold and shape the gods of others. Paired with Bud, an off-kilter but affectionate god without a human, the two travel from town to town looking for shelter, a hot meal, and the next paying rock ‘n’ roll gig.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

27-6

Looking For Group - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 04:00

The post 27-6 appeared first on Non-Playable Character.

Categories: Web Comics

RICH INTERVIEW: Nick Brokenshire Artist The Once and Future Queen

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 03:04

First Comics News: How did you get onboard The Once and Future Queen?

Nick Brokenshire: As we were wrapping up the Amelia Cole story, Adam and D.J. (the writers) and I knew that we wanted to work on something together, so they went away and invented the idea of a modern Arthurian take. Soon after some backward and forward between us, we had developed the concept of The Once and Future Queen.

1st: What characteristics do you give to the queen Arturus?

Nick: Adam and D.J. wanted her to be a punky girl, so I developed her style. I’m particularly proud of her hairstyle, which is supposed to mirror the top of the queen piece in chess. The personality that you see on the page is a combination of the lads’ writing and my visual interpretation of their words.

1st: How do you draw Merlin to show he is magical?

Nick: Well, for a start we can tell he’s somewhat magical by the fact that he blows green all the time. There are reasons for that! Also, whenever he’s employing magic, you’ll see little Celtic runes floating around him, but more often than not I signify magic by drawing stars. I love drawing goofy little stars everywhere.

1st: Who are the Fae, and what impression will we get from them?

Nick: The Fae are a race of beings. In some mythology, the Fae are known as faeries or fairies. The Fae are a race of ancient, magic-using creatures. In our books, they are corrupted and evil in nature, but they weren’t always like that…

1st: How will your art wow us?

Nick: I’m working very hard to create artwork that tells the story as clearly as possible. I have tried to give each character a very specific and recognizable set of features and movements. Also, I have developed an approach to coloring the comic that I hope will make it very enjoyable to look at.

1st: Why do you like drawing Amelia Cole?

Nick: The Amelia Cole series has a very special place in my heart because it’s the first real comic book I ever drew! I had only done short little comic strips prior to that. I did a lot of learning during that book. I went to the Amelia Cole school of drawing comics. I grew very fond of the characters in the book, especially Lemmy.

1st: Do you have any professional art training?

Nick: I studied illustration at university but learned nothing about drawing there, so I view myself as a self-taught artist.

1st: Which artists do you admire?

Nick: I love Moebius, Kirby, Crumb, Jaime Hernandez, Paul Pope, Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha, Alex Toth…So many!

1st: How do you improve your art skills?

Nick: By drawing every day, all day. If you want to improve at anything, you have to put the hours in. There is simply no way around it. If you want to become a master, you have to draw every day, all day, for ten years. End of story.

1st: How do you motivate yourself to draw?

Nick: I love telling stories, and I want to tell them as best as I possibly can. I want to be able to make a story that people will talk about for a long time. I want to be the best possible artist I can be, and every day there are new things to learn!

1st: Would you like to draw a Batman comic?

Nick: I would love to draw a Batman comic! It’s what I’ve dreamed of since I was a youngster!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH INTERVIEW: DJ Kirkbridge Co-Writer The Once and Future Queen

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 03:04


First Comics News: How did you and Adam P. Knave first get together?

D.J. Kirkbridge: It’s all Shannon Wheeler’s fault. I’d recently moved to California from Ohio (by way of Wisconsin), and I discovered a comic shop called Hi De Ho in Santa Monica. This was at their old location, and tucked in the corner were some copies of Shannon’s much-missed Too Much Coffee Man Magazine. I bought a couple issues, and Adam had an article in one of them about speaking Klingon that just tickled my funny bone. I approached them about contributing some humor-writing shenanigans, and they took the bait. Adam was the first and only person there who reached out to me via the electronic mail. He suggested we write something together. The issue that would’ve been my first one became the one after the last one. Adam and I kept in touch, though, and writing silly humor essays and running a website called The Footnote with our pal Dustin Grovemiller led to co-writing comics. Over a decade later, and here we are! So, yeah, blame sweet Shannon Wheeler for publishing an awesome humor magazine.

1st: Why is Amelia Cole someone we should be interested in?

D.J.: She’s a hero who helps people because she can, not because she wants revenge or fame or anything base like that. She believes that if you can help, you should. That makes her an aspirational character. When writing her with Adam, I’d often ask myself what I wish I’d do in a situation. It was usually the opposite of what I would do, you see. Amelia Cole is the type of person many of us should strive to be. She’s also pretty funny and cool in her own way.

1st: On The Once and Future Queen how do two people manage to co-write it?

D.J.: We’ve had a lot of practice, after all the short stories and comics, and then thirty issues of Amelia Cole. We chat about the overall stories and story arcs on the ol’ telephone, and then one of us writes a basic outline, then the other makes that a detailed breakdown, then the first one makes a script out of that breakdown, and then the other one revises that script. We pass the scripts back and forth until we either feel we’re finished or we’ve run out of time. We flip roles from issue to issue. It gets to the point where neither of us are sure who wrote what by the time Nick and Frank have put their art and lettering magic on it, respectively.

1st: Which character do you like most in The Once and Future Queen?

D.J.: That’s a tough one, as every single one of them is interesting to me (and the whole team), or else we wouldn’t have them in the series. Right now it might be a tie between our very quirky Merlin and Gwen, our exuberant lady of action. That’s just where I am at the moment, as it’s subject to change with each issue as we delve deeper and deeper into the tale.

1st: What is so special about Excalibur?

D.J.: It’s the ultimate weapon! It’s more than a sword; it’s an idea. Traditionally it’s used for the offensive, but we are going to explore other aspects. It’s definitely not just a long, pointy piece of sharp steel.

1st: Who is the King in Shadow?

D.J.: The King in Shadow is the ruler of the Fae Lands. We merely scratch the surface of them in this five-issue miniseries, but Adam and I have developed a lot of backstory and story that we hope to dig into, if for no other reason than to see how Nick visualizes it all. Needless to say, the King in Shadow means humanity no good, and we should all be very scared of him.

1st: Where will future issues be taking the story?

D.J.: That’d be telling! I will say that issue 1 just scratched the surface. We’ve been introduced to some heroes, some villains, some supporting characters, and Merlin in a spacesuit, but there’s so much more to come. We’ll be digging deeper into what we’ve shared so far while adding new layers and wrinkles. It’s gonna get crazy!

1st: Would you like to see The Once and Future Queen continue in some form or other after the five issues?

D.J.: Absolutely. These five issues will be a pretty complete, entertaining story, but I can’t lie: we want to do more. If we can get a five-issue miniseries a year, or if we could just make this an ongoing in the middle of the run, I’d be a happy camper.

1st: What first made you want to be a writer?

D.J.: I have always loved telling stories. I used to think it was just lying until I heard of this thing called “being a writer.”

1st: What would be your ideal writing job?

D.J.: If I could pay my half of the bills and do fun stuff with my wife once in a while from writing comics, I think I’d be ridiculously happy. I write things other than comics, but I love them the most. Hopes and dreams.

1st: What other comic jobs besides writing have you done?

D.J.: I was an editor on the Popgun anthologies from Image Comics and edited a cool webcomic called Spy6teen.

1st: If you visited the time period of King Arthur, what would you do there?

D.J.: I’d probably cower in fear, day in and day out. I am not a tough person and like to bathe regularly. It might not be the era for me.

1st: Can you tell us one interesting or strange fact about you?

D.J.: Though I have no actual proof or evidence of this, in my heart of hearts I believe I’m an excellent dancer.

1st: What would you like to say to those who read your work?

D.J.: Thank you so much, dear reader! I hope you’re entertained and maybe get a little something extra out of my stories. Everything is from the heart and the heart’s gut and more sincere than you might initially think, spoofing and goofing included.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

RICH INTERVIEW: Adam P. Knave Co-Writer The Once and Future Queen

First Comics News - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 03:04

First Comics News: What is The Once and Future Queen about?

Adam P. Knave: A modern-day retelling of the Arthurian legend, The Once and Future Queen follows Rani Arturus, a nineteen-year-old chess prodigy, as she discovers that she’s the true wielder of Excalibur—with all that means for her life and family.

1st: Who is the queen in this series?

Adam: Rani is our queen. She’s serious, and focused, at times almost too focused, while still trying to work out what her life is and could possibly be. In the middle of that her life takes a turn and now she needs to figure out what she wants and if she could even have it. Plus she has a number of relationship questions to untangle and deal with, like many people do, weighing her down.

1st: What part will Fae and Merlin play in The Once and Future Queen?

Adam: The Fae want to invade Earth for reasons that will be explained as we go and Merlin…Merlin, as always, has his own agenda. Both will be revealed as the story goes, helping to shape the world.

1st: Does having Arturus, a female, pull the sword Excalibur from the stone create opportunities for you to change the story?

Adam: Sure, though really it is more about dragging Arthurian legend into the modern era. It’s a story that adjusts and changes over the ages and always will; we’re simply part of the cloth being woven. Exploring a non-cishet white male ruler widens a lot of avenues for us, of course. We keep getting locked in that mode, for countless historical and societal reasons and need to break out of it. Every change gives us new chances to tell new stories.

1st: Will Arturus be seeing any romance in her future?

Adam: Oh, very much yes. We hint at some of it in issue 1, and fans of Arthurian legend will think they know some of the rest but we’re also, again, going somewhere modern with it, so there is a lot more to be discovered.

1st: Are there both good and evil knights in The Once and Future Queen?

Adam: In this arc, we are focused on the threat of the Fae, which limits the evil-knight possibilities but in no way removes them. Knights come in many shapes and sizes.

1st: Who co-writes The Once and Future Queen with you?

Adam: D.J. Kirkbride and I have been writing comics together since around 2009. I adore working with him. We each bring different things to the table in terms of structure and what we want to say but we have the same basic sensibilities, which allows us to find middle ground that neither of us would land on alone. I’ve learned, and continue to learn, a ton about writing from working with him.

1st: Why is Crazy Little Things important to you?

Adam: CLT was the first novella I wrote, but also just one of those stories that gets under your skin as a writer. I got to play with a bunch of themes, big and small, that I’d always wanted to dig into, and it became a bit of a proving ground for me. The publisher expected a different story, actually—had approved the other story and everything. I called and warned him I needed to go in a different direction and ran with it. Thankfully he was all right with that; a lot of people would have dumped the project when it 100 percent shifted. But for me, it was the first time I was selling something I had written that wasn’t part of an anthology or in a magazine, just me alone and my work. That’s a big deal and will always be special because of it.

1st: Who is Amelia Cole?

Adam: Amelia is the star of the last series D.J. Kirkbride, Nick Brokenshire, and I worked on together. She is a bit of a hothead who doesn’t know how to not help people, regardless of personal consequence to herself. She is, in so many ways, the hero we wish we were. Over the course of the series, she grows into herself and becomes a leader, a woman who can lead the charge, smartly, and be an inspiration to her friends. She’s also a mage who uses a magic pipe wrench as a wand, so you know, there’s that too.

1st: How does it feel when people want your autograph on a comic?

Adam: Surreal. When we’re working a table or signing together, D.J. sometimes needs to remind me to sign a book someone buys. My default mode is “Why would you want that? I’m just some random dude.” And I sort of hope that feeling never goes away.

1st: Can you tell us all about This Starry Deep?

Adam: Starry Deep was a dream project for me. I grew up loving pulp SF and wanted to contribute my own take on things, but with some key changes. First, and to me most importantly, was to start the story at the end of the hero’s career. Old people in space is a thing now. It’s hard to chase someone with a bum knee, right? But the job still needs doing. Big space battles, crazy planets, jetpacks of a sort, and a bunch of punching—these are the things that went into Starry Deep. That and a love of family. It’s all about family, and what you’ll do for them.

1st: Will you be writing any other comics in the near future or would you like to?

Adam: Right now I’m focused on The Once and Future Queen, though I am setting up some future projects as well, just nothing I can discuss at this stage.

1st: How do you feel about the editing work you do?

Adam: I love editing. Helping a writer or a creative team come as close as possible to their vision of a story fills me with pure joy. Editing is a job where you get to work with other people and support them to help find the best parts of their creativity. That’s sheer magic, it is. I also get to work with great editors myself in my prose and comics work and learn from them. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some of the best editors.

1st: Anything to say to fans of your work?

Adam: Thank you. That pretty much sums it up. Money is never a free-flowing object, and for anyone to spend theirs on things I’ve worked on means the world. I consider it a trust, and I do my best—and will continue to do so—to earn that trust and entertain, to bring new ideas and new fun things to the table for you.

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