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Fiction Review: The Dead Zone

19th Level - Thu, 05/18/2017 - 01:50

It's been a long time since I read Stephen King's The Dead Zone. I believe I received it as a Christmas gift in a boxed set back around 1987. First published in 1979, The Dead Zone isn't really a horror novel - it is more a crossover of a political thriller and a tale of a man gifted/cursed with psychic powers.

What I found striking was how the book both worked as a period piece and how it is relevant today. It tells the story of John Smith - yes, that's his real name. Ever since an accident he had as very young boy (one he has no memory of) he's had the occasional psychic flash. This is illustrated in the beginning of the novel, set in October of 1970, where he and his girlfriend Sarah, both first-year teachers, are at a carnival and he has a wild streak of luck at the wheel of fortune. However, his luck soon turns ill as he gets in a car accident which puts him in a coma with nearly no chance of recovery.

We follow Sarah as she meets Johnny's parents, Herb and Vera, for the first time in the hospital. They all react in different ways. Vera becomes very extremely religious (she'd already been extremely religious), getting involved in various doomsday cults. Herb is horrified by his wife's instability and while he greatly loves his only child, is at the point that he wishes John would die and be free. Sarah stays in touch with John's father and struggles with the loss-but-not-loss of a man she had just begun to love. Eventually she moves on with her life and marries, with Herb's blessing and attendance.

Of course Johnny wakes up. Four and half years later. He discovers the world has changed, in huge and in small ways. There is of course the shock of his girlfriend now being married. And there is the shift in politics, with the Vietnam War over and Richard Nixon gone.

Johnny's psychic flashes have become far more powerful - a form of psychometry - by touching a person or object he can often (though by no means always) get flashes of the future or the past. His ability to trigger it is not reliable but when it does activate it is always accurate. Though the future he sees can be changed with these warnings.

The rest of the novel deals with Johnny getting a psychic flash that an up and coming independent politician, Greg Stillson, will one day become president - and will be a disastrous president. Around this main storyline Johnny has to learn to walk again, his muscles having atrophied. And he has to handle being an occasional celebrity as word of his abilities becomes known, though by no means universally believed. Johnny really wants to go back to teaching, something that proves rather difficult given the reputation he acquires, especially after a desperate Castle Rock police force makes use of him to find a serial killer.

Written in a period when it seemed to be open season on incumbents, especially Republican ones, it's interesting to view Stillson through a more modern lens. Stillson, though at his core quite ruthless, presents a bit of a whacky exterior, giving out free hot dogs at his rallies (one of his platforms, as well as send all pollution into space). His unconventional nature obviously makes one think of Donald Trump (and depending on one's political views, the danger Stillson represents).

In addition to the big story elements, the small ones are just as vital to the story. Johnny's relaitonship with his parents, his father in particular, is vital. As is his attempts to reconcile what happened with Sarah - the feeling that they were cheated out of a life they should have had together.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

State Control

The Rational Man - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 23:52

Reader, constrainedlocus had an interesting thought in the Anger Bias essay comment thread:

“The point is that a feminine-primary social order readily makes this nature a useful tool in dismissing what would otherwise be valid, but uncomfortable Red Pill truth. This anger bias mechanism is a tool for message control.”

What I find interesting is that, from my own personal observations of men in both marriage and long-term relationships, is that this dismissal happens readily and frequently at the micro level in sexual relationships as well. It’s impossible for men not to notice the hypocrisy.

A man need not experience the trivialization of his anger from “the sisterhood” response in the media, in the corporate setting, or even while at a party with other couples.

I think it now common for a wife or long-term girlfriend to assume a certain privilege or “authority” to express and direct her own anger, indignation and outrage rather freely and loudly – whenever she wishes – toward her male companion, without much consequence.

But should her male companion ever lose his composure, raise his voice in anger toward here, then this is either considered “verbal abuse”, an uncalled for overreaction, or his complaint is simply trivialized, ridiculed or disqualified by her, much like she would belittle the tantrum of her own young child.

Who has not witnessed wives scold their husbands in public at a restaurant or at a park like little children for his getting angry at her attitude or behavior? “Don’t you EVER raise your voice at me, mister!”.

I realize this is all about a man’s frame in the relationship.
I know that it is a weak man who tolerates this, while a wise man just ignores or nexts it.

Indeed, it is all about control.

But I still find it fascinating the confidence level with which so many women feel they can just scoff and ridicule the anger of men in relationships overtly, while unilaterally assuming the validity and overriding importance of their own anger whenever convenient for them.

It’s seems like an added bolt-on power up of feminist triumphalism.

Even among ourselves, we men are not supposed to show such angry emotions, at risk of verbal abuse or a humiliating well-deserved fucking beat down. Us dudes are to be these rational Vulcans walking around and doing shit, deleting emotion commands from our code. Because the thought is this: allowing someone else’s behavior to determine your feelings and emotional response is regarded as a sign of male weakness.
Anger should be expressed infrequently, and when expressed, done decisively and with brevity and action.

I think a lot of dudes recovering from blue pill conditioning struggle with this immensely, and are not sure what to do when their anger and frustration is openly minimized, trivialized or negated by their wife or LTR.

In a feminine-primary social order men are expected to show exactly this emotional restraint out of fear for being considered a typical, angry bully for any marginal display of aggressiveness. Yet, men are simultaneously conditioned to be emotionally expressive, emotionally available, in order to be ‘fully actualized’ human beings. They’re taught that strength is weakness and weakness is strength, and that vulnerability and emotionalism makes them whole persons.

Then the narrative changes again as per the needs of the Feminine Imperative. Men who are agreeable and show humility are punished with a removal of women’s sexual interest in them, while more conventionally masculine men, more Alpha, potentially more aggressive men who display outward signs of it – the emotions they’re taught to repress – are more commonly rewarded with women’s sexual interests.

When you have a social structure based on a calculated duplicity and confusion of purpose is it any wonder we see a generation of frustrated Betas with a perceived potential for violence? We’re supposed to delete emotional commands, but also to be more emotionally available and in touch (whatever the fuck that means) with our emotions. What it really comes down to is men are socialized to be automatons whose emotional connection should only apply to those emotions that benefit and complement with the Feminine Imperative and repress the emotions that frighten or potentially threaten the Feminine Imperative. In other words, to become more like women is to become a more perfected ‘man’ by today’s metric.

Blank-slate Feminism

We presently live in a feminine-primary social order that wants to convince us that egalitarian equalism is the normative presumption between men and women. The blank-slate idea is that men are the functional equivalents of women, but, for all the social constructivism, men need to train, learn, be conditioned to constrain the aspects of themselves that conflict with their identities becoming more like women in their emotional nature. If boys and men can be conditioned (or medically treated) to repress every evolved aspect of their maleness that conflicts with aligning with the feminine they can be trained to be ostensibly more ‘equal’ beings. In this mindset, for a man to become more ‘equal’ he must be more feminine.

The normative belief is that boys and men are simply unperfected women, but the subtext to this is that men and women, binary genders, are (or ought to be) functional equivalents. This too is based on the (I believe flawed) Jungian theory of anima and animus; that no matter the sex, every ‘person’ has some counterbalancing elements of male and female nature to them. I believe this is a flawed theory for the simple fact that men and women have never been functional equals from an evolutionary standpoint and modern science is disproving Jung’s (often metaphysical) presumptions with neurological and hormonal (and the functional behaviors that derive from either sex’s innate structures) understanding that didn’t exist in Jung’s time.

I’ve dug into why I have a problem with Jung in the past, but the point I’m making is that, in Jung, the Feminine Imperative and 2nd and 3rd wave feminist agendas have had an incestuous affair with his theories and conflating overwhelmingly disproven blank-slate equalism. This conflation of flawed theory has been the foundation for normalizing the social feminization of boys and men for almost a century now.

With this equalist presumption as a point of origin, the first step is to condition boys for emotional control.

State Control

Emotions have an evolutionary purpose in men and women. We can trace the manifested behaviors of emotional response to survival-specific functions. Oxytocin, for instance, predisposes human beings to feelings of trust and nurturing which primarily affects women most. The effects of testosterone, which men produce 12-17 times the amount that women do, are well known and masculinize the human body. These are just some basic hormonal differences, but the function behind the effects of those hormones (as well as men and women neurological structure) is where we run into conflict with the Feminine Imperative.

For millennia, boys and men have been taught to control their emotive states. This practice in control isn’t something that sprang up a few hundred years ago, we’re talking ancient cultures teaching their young men to resist losing their rational state-control over to an emotionalism that had a potential to get a man into some serious trouble. In some respects this self-control has been a necessary part of men’s upbringing, but also because men and women experience emotional states differently as a result of evolved biological differences. Women tend to process negative emotions differently than men. This processing isn’t due to some socially constructed acculturation, it is the result of the differences in men and women’s mental firmware. This is also a primary reason why making an emotional impact on a woman, positive or negative, is a source of stimulation for them. Men’s arousal may be founded on visual cues, but women are wired for emotional cues.

Likewise, men’s emotive states run a different gamut than that of women. As I mentioned in the Anger Bias essay, men are less predisposed to emotional states that women believe are beneficial in their own experience. In a feminine-correct social state, where women’s experiences define the norm, and in a social constructivist perspective, this amounts to a ‘repression’ of emotions. The idea is that an overly masculine acculturation of boys leads them to holding back the emotions that women tend to build their lives around. The real truth is that men process emotions, and prioritize the expression of those emotions, much more as a result of our own mental firmware than social repression.

That’s not to say there isn’t some social influence over teaching men to learn self-control over those emotions. As I just mentioned, young men have been taught for millennia to have state control by each other, their mentors and their peers, but since the time of the sexual revolution and the rise of a feminine primary social order this state control has been turned into a net negative.

So, in a sense, young men of the last 4-5 generations are caught between pleasing two masters. To be considered the ‘equal’ that feminine-primary egalitarianism would have them be they must first get in touch with their emotions. However, the only emotions they are taught are valid are those that make them more alike and identifying with women; nurturing, crying, expressing vulnerability, etc., essentially anything not characteristic of conventional masculinity. This of course has the effect of women subconsciously perceiving them as they would other women, and not potential intimates. Essentially, this aligning with women’s experience of emotion desexualizes men.

Yet, on the other hand, men are expected to repress their emotions in terms of having a state control that appeals to women’s Hypergamous need for security. Thus, the emotions that might better serve men in a survivalist utility are exactly those which feminine-correct society considers negative or ‘toxic’ and therefore must be controlled. The problem inherent in all of this is that it is feminine-primacy that is defining what men’s experience of emotion is acceptable despite it being the cause of so much of women’s frustration with men.

As the saying goes, women get the men they deserve and the emotive, masculine-confused men of today are simply the result of a social order that’s standardized the female experience as the definition of what blank-slate equalism should be for both sexes – but really as a means of social control for women whose experience is defined by an unsolvable need for certain security.

None of this is to say men ought not to express themselves emotionally or avoid being artists and poets or whatever in favor of some uninspired stoicism, but it is to say that Red Pill aware men should also be aware of the feminine-primary influences informing their expectations of expressing any or no emotion. That may seem like a drawn out way of saying ‘own your emotions’, but it’s my belief that for men to reclaim conventional masculinity it will require them to honestly assess why and how they choose to express or control their emotional states based on their own definition of what is correct from a male perspective, not the female perspective.

Filed under: Positive Masculinity, The Feminine Imperative, The Red Pill, Unplugging
Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - Time to Party Like its Third Age 2019 ;)

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 22:30
Yeah, I threw a little Tolkien reference in the title of the post. Tolkien and his works came up in last night's recording of Save or Die and its still on my mind. Of course, I don't have near the scholarly background that James or Glen have on the topic ;)

Anyhow, tonight is a Wednesday Night, and that means Tavern Chat. Just like that old AOL chatrooms except that its full of Old School Gamers and Grognards and without the random trolling and disruptions.

Oh, and we talk about gaming and geeky stuff.

Join us!

Log into the Chatwing widget on the right side of this page using the social media / email / whatever of your choice. Seriously, you probably already have a log in.

We'll see you at 9 PM :)

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Stream of Annihilation for D&D

Gamer Goggles - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 21:27

Dungeons & Dragons loves the amazing video streams produced by our fans. This community-generated live-play highlights what’s fantastic about D&D—sitting down together with your friends to tell a grand story!


To celebrate, we’ve invited a bunch of D&D streamers and luminaries to Seattle, Washington to hang out and roll some dice on June 2nd and 3rd! This two-day event is called the Stream of Annihilation and it’s two full days of streaming that D&D fans won’t want to miss. We’ll have folks from Misscliks, Maze Arcana, Critical Role, and Dice, Camera, Action with Chris Perkins, not to mention international gaming groups like Yogscast’s HighRollers (U.K.) and Dragon Friends (Australia).

Watch the Stream of Annihilation

June 2 10am-10pm

June 3 10am-10pm





Kicking off at 10am on both June 2 & 3, hosts Anna Prosser Robinson and Kelly Link will talk to the Wizards of the Coast D&D team and learn all about our next exciting storyline coming in September. Then each group of streamers will play or share a sample of what to expect from the campaigns they’ll be running over the summer that preview the new D&D story. There will be multiple live games, interviews, new product unveils and improvised hilarity each day, starting at 10am PT and ending at 10pm each night. You’ll get introduced to the High Rollers crew delving into uncharted territory DMed by Mark Hulmes, a new Misscliks show investigating rumors called Risen, two weekly groups from our friends Satine Phoenix and Ruty Rutenberg at Maze Arcana, a new group of L.A. actors called Girls Guts Glory, and more!


Throughout the Stream of Annihilation, we’ll drop details on our expanded D&D Twitch programming, new accessories fans have been clamoring for coming later this year, and amazing board games and products from our partners. You’ll hear from Cryptic Studios about plans for Neverwinter, Curse Media for D&D Beyond, as well as WizKids, Gale Force 9, Fantasy Grounds, Roll20, and more. Plus, like any Dungeon Master worth their salt, we have a few exciting surprises to pull from our bags of holding!


You’ll have to watch the Stream of Annihilation to catch it all live! Subscribe to twitch.tv/DnD to get all the updates, then mark your calendars for Friday, June 2nd and Saturday, June 3rd to make sure you don’t miss a thing!


A full schedule, group bios and some more of the celebrities attending the Stream of Annihilation will be announced on DungeonsandDragons.com over the next few weeks. We’ll also be talking about the event on our official Twitter account (@Wizards_DnD) as well as interviewing some of the groups this month on Dragon Talk, the official D&D podcast.


For more information on Dungeons & Dragons and the Stream of Annihilation, please visit https://www.dungeonsanddragons.com or check out the new URL for the official D&D Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/dnd.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Goes Head To Head With New Variant Covers!

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 21:00

Marvel Artists Tag Team With Capcom For Covers Inspired By Game Characters


New York, NY—May 17, 2017— It’s time for heroes and villains to collide as one of gameplay’s most epic team-ups brings its characters to the front lines – of comic books. Marvel is pleased to announce a series of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Variant Covers, inspired by and featuring characters from the popular game. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be released on September 19th, but you can find these variants in comic stores throughout the month of August.


“Fight fans, if you can’t wait until September 19th to see heroes from two awesome universes collide in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, we’re bringing you a sneak peek one month earlier when the battle explodes onto the covers of your favorite comics,” said Marvel Games executive creative director Bill Rosemann. “The game makers at Capcom and Marvel are working closely with a team of the industry’s top talent to deliver all the over the top intensity you’ve come to expect from this fan favorite franchise.”


This summer, the popular Marvel vs. Capcom series is brought to life in comics. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the action with these awesome and stunning variant covers – enhance your collection with all 20 covers coming to comic shops this August.



  3. AVENGERS #10
  5. CHAMPIONS #11
  10. HAWKEYE #9
  11. I AM GROOT #4
  13. MIGHTY THOR #22
  14. ROCKET #4
  16. SPIDER-MAN #19
  18. THANOS #10
  20. VENOM #153

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Goes Head To Head With New Variant Covers!
Marvel Artists Tag Team With Capcom For Covers Inspired By Game Characters

New York, NY—May 17, 2017— It’s time for heroes and villains to collide as one of gameplay’s most epic team-ups brings its characters to the front lines – of comic books. Marvel is pleased to announce a series of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Variant Covers, inspired by and featuring characters from the popular game. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be released on September 19th, but you can find these variants in comic stores throughout the month of August.

“Fight fans, if you can’t wait until September 19th to see heroes from two awesome universes collide in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, we’re bringing you a sneak peek one month earlier when the battle explodes onto the covers of your favorite comics,” said Marvel Games executive creative director Bill Rosemann. “The game makers at Capcom and Marvel are working closely with a team of the industry’s top talent to deliver all the over the top intensity you’ve come to expect from this fan favorite franchise.”

This summer, the popular Marvel vs. Capcom series is brought to life in comics. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the action with these awesome and stunning variant covers – enhance your collection with all 20 covers coming to comic shops this August.










10. HAWKEYE #9

11. I AM GROOT #4



14. ROCKET #4


16. SPIDER-MAN #19


18. THANOS #10


20. VENOM #153

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Deal of the Day - The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 20:53

The Witch: Hedgewitch for the Hero's Journey RPG is today's Deal of the Day at RPGNow. Written by +Timothy Brannan (well known for his love of Witches in RPGs as well as a good friend of The Tavern) it is 68 pages of OSR goodness. Written for the Hero's Journey by +James Spahn it should be an easy fit for all of the clones but especially Swords & Wizardry.

The PDF is normally $5, on sale for $1.50. Print plus PDF is normally $15, on sale for $6.99.
New material for your Hero's Journey RPG. This book includes:
New Race: The Gnome
New Professions
The Witch class and Hedge Witch tradition
80 spells new to The Hero's Journey
15 new monsters
Is your witch ready for her own heroic journey?
Now she can be! For use with The Hero's Journey Fantasy Roleplaying or Swords & Wizardry.Remember, 5% of all purchases made via The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links go to support The Tavern. It is one of the easiest ways to support The Tavern.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Turns out those two words are a thing

Yarn Harlot - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 20:14

The quickest trip to my computer today (actually, if I tell the truth I wrote most of this on my phone and then texted it to myself) as I’ve been felled by that most ignoble of all ailments, the dastardly UTI. I’m clearly going to make it, although there was a patch in there where I didn’t really care to, but now that the antibiotics are starting to work, there’s a chance I’ll decide to carry on. I haven’t even been knitting much, so great was the horrors bestowed upon my by this fierce foe, but when I have, it’s been the little Habu Jacket that I’m trying to finish before the next round of blanket yarn arrives in the mail. (Yes, on Monday when there was no sign of it I did indeed freak out and order it from somewhere else. A knitter can only live with the unknown for so long. A fresh batch is now wending its way here from WEBS – and their shipping is so great that only the border will slow it down.)

A funny story about that little jacket – the astute among you will notice, if you clicked the link for the pattern and then glanced at my photo, that they don’t exactly look the same. When I tried this on at that Habu booth at Madrona, it was a perfect, fetching post-apocolyptic-my-clothes-are-all-rags-but-like-the-matrix jacket, knit in garter stitch, out of paper and silk.  I have a thing for all of those things, so I bought the kit, and brought it home to hang out with all other other Habu stuff I buy and then don’t knit. (I love it all, I really do, but without exception the projects are all simple, gorgeous, and as annoying to knit as a three year old who tells you they have to pee right after you get them in their snowsuit – but I digress.  This time, I actually decided to knit it, and I got out the stuff, and sat down to interpret the pattern, and that’s when I realized that the thing is written for stockinette. I called Debbi (’cause she was with me when I tried it on) and asked her if it was definitely garter stitch, and she confirmed that it was, and said she remembered specifically because that was one of the things we liked about it.

I think I know what happened though, the pattern is written in the Japanese style, which is to say that it’s charted like this:

That’s about all the instruction you get, which is cool, because once you know how those patterns work, that’s all the instruction you need, but like all Japanese patterns, the only instructions you get about knit or purl, or right side vs wrong side is one line at the very beginning of the pattern, which reads “Stitch: Stockinette.” Then all the other instructions (when there are some) read “knit this many rows” or “knit direction”. You’re supposed to interpret the instructions in the light of that first note – Stitch: Stockinette.

I think that the sample knitter missed that one line, and nobody noticed and it turns out I like it better that way so… It’s going to be a variation. If I ever finish.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

The Flash Trading Cards Season 2 Preview

Cryptozoic - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 18:40

We're happy to announce that this set will be released next week, on May 24th. Here's a quick look at a few of the set's components.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Knitted Bliss - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 18:01


My knitting has screeched to a dramatic halt: Over this past weekend, I fractured my ring finger. It was late at night and I was heading up to bed. I turned off the lights and was heading towards the stairs when I stepped on a kiddie toy, slipped, and in that slow motion panic of

The post Setbacks appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Jeff Burton and Martin Boruta talk about the CANADIAN COMIC BOOK ALLIANCE

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 18:00

Jeff Burton runs the Canadian Comic Book Alliance and our own Martin Boruta serves as the Canadian Comic Book Alliance administrator. You may wonder, “What is the Canadian Comic Book Alliance?”, I wasn’t sure. Martin was nice enough to bring Jeff into the First Comics News offices to share with our readers everything you ever wanted to know about the Canadian Comic Book Alliance.

Martin Boruta: Rik, thank you so much for the opportunity to discuss this very important project that I am involved with. Allow me to introduce Jeff Burton. While I have always been an advocate for independent comic books and Canadian creators specifically, Jeff is the true heart of the Canadian Comic Book Alliance. I know of very few people that can match Jeff’s passion and enthusiasm towards supporting Canadian comic creators.

Jeff Burton: Thanks to both of you for having me here to talk about the CCBA. I have loved comics as long as I could read and probably before that even. When I started to dig into the history of Canadian comics the world of the independent Canadian comics unfolded before me and I found such amazing books that tapped right into what I love about the medium. That really ignited my passion and enthusiasm and really just flipped a switch in me and I couldn’t get enough of the books being made, and sharing them with everyone, even in my classroom! So when the opportunity came up to become a creator myself I knew the next step was to look at making a network like the CCBA. In the short time since we started the CCBA it has already far exceeded what I hoped it could be!

First Comics News: What is the Canadian Comic Book Alliance?

Jeff: The Canadian Comic Book Alliance, or the CCBA, is a network of Canadian comic book creators from all across Canada. This includes writers, artists, colourists, letterers, etc.

1st: What does the Canadian Comic Book Alliance do for it members?

Jeff: We try to provide a community of creators to help promote the work happening in Canada, outside of the regular publishers. This enables members to make contacts in areas that they may not have reach to and get their work there as well. Several collaborations have already started springing up through the group.

1st: What are the unique problems Canadian Comics face in the marketplace?

Jeff: Low exposure, indifference by people not aware of the work being done, and limited range because face it, Canada is a darn big place, it’s not always easy to travel in person to places to get books in stores.

Martin: Jeff, if I could chime in here, of course, there are also challenges created by the huge marketing machines of DC Comics, Marvel, and Image. Trying to get an independent book into a reader’s hands is hard enough but with these top three publishers printing nearly 200 different titles a month it can seem almost impossible.

1st: How many members are there in the Canadian Comic Book Alliance?

Jeff: There are 22 members and counting as of Monday the 15th.

1st: Although it is called the Canadian Comic Book Alliance, do you support Canadian superhero projects in other genres?

Jeff: All members are proud to support Canadian projects of all kinds!

1st: How does someone join the Canadian Comic Book Alliance?

Jeff: We are always looking for people working in the industry or related industries that would be a good fit to our group. Members bring forth potential candidates to join and if it’s agreed upon then an offer is made.

1st: What does it cost to be a member of the Canadian Comic Book Alliance?

Martin: At this time there are no fees to being a member. We encourage all of our members to display the CCBA logo on their work.  We encourage cross-promotion, reduced advertising rates for members in each other’s projects and if there is a bit of room we have a CCBA ad we love to see in print.

1st: Do you have to be Canadian creator to join?

Martin: As stated above, the CCBA is really about Canadian comic creators helping Canadian comic creators. A few members, such as myself, are more involved in the business side of the creation process but in most cases, membership is typically only offered to folks with active comic book projects being produced in Canada. I’m sure the group would consider any project where the majority of creators were Canadian. We love communicating with fans on all levels but we are not focused on being a fan club.

1st: Does the Canadian Comic Book Alliance primarily work with creators or publishers?

Martin: While many of the members have some connections with publishers the Alliance is about helping creators get their works into the public eye. At this time we have no official affiliation with any of the current mainstream comic book publishers.

1st: What type of social media support does the Canadian Comic Book Alliance provide?

Martin: We have a public Facebook page where we try to interact with the public and share any and all news and updates. We also have an informational website for the community. Each creator also keeps the #CCBA hashtag active through Twitter and Instagram. Of course, we also maintain a presence at comic conventions.

1st: How does the Canadian Comic Book Alliance help comic creators publicize their work?

Jeff: Again it comes down to spreading the word about the work in our own circles of influence. We all have our own fan bases, and not all of them overlap so it helps to extend the reach.

1st: What type of networking does the Canadian Comic Book Alliance for their community?

Martin: Much like a small business networking organization our members share information with each other at every opportunity. At meetups whenever possible but we also maintain a private, members only Facebook group to keep our very geographically diverse membership close.

1st: Does the Canadian Comic Book Alliance help support Kickstarters?

Jeff: Yes we do help to promote members crowd funding campaigns in all avenues that we can.

Martin: This is where I see a huge amount of friendship and collaboration amongst the membership. Everyone is pitching in with art print rewards, extra content, pin-ups, etc.

1st: The Canadian Comic Book Alliance is supporting some wonderful projects. Is there a quality control feature, that projects that truly aren’t ready are told “not yet”, or do you support everything regardless of quality?

Jeff: We generally keep tabs on the up and coming work, looking for new members but so far we haven’t yet encountered anyone that we would have to say that too. It’s not to say that it couldn’t happen but hasn’t yet. Typically we look at people that have published already for membership.

1st: As an organization what are your goals for the Canadian Comic Book Alliance?

Jeff: Help increases the exposure of great Canadian made comic books that are produced outside of the mainstream publishers.

Martin: Fill readers hands with quality, diverse and immensely entertaining Canadian comics books.

1st: Where do the readers find the Canadian Comic Book Alliance on the internet and social media?

Martin: Our official Facebook page can be found at  facebook.com/theccba.ca/ and the official website link is theccba.com

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Where’s the Merch … Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2017

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 17:39


Each year I look at the comic convention schedule and plan out where I would like to go. Some years I hit all the small shows, others I like to tackle the third largest comic convention in North America, Fan Expo Canada. Each year I see the Toronto Comic Arts Festival on the calendar but have never attended. What a massive mistake on my part as the Toronto Comic Arts Festival is exactly the place to go if you are a comic reader like me.

Review TCAF Poster

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (or TCAF) celebrates the artistic nature of the comic industry. Hundreds of artists, writers and creators bring their comics, graphic novels and original artwork to a two-day exhibition and vendor fair; not just from Canada but from around the world. While I love a Star Wars t-shirt as much as the next guy, at TCAF there were no vendors with walls of Pop Vinyl figures, no massive merchandise vendors or comic dealers with long boxes of overpriced back issues. What I did find were comic creators enthusiastically willing to chat with you about their love and passion for their work. The festival also features events like readings, interviews, panels, workshops, gallery shows, and art installations. While a lot of the vendors feature comics with definite mature themes the festival caters to all ages with a dedicated children’s section with books and creators more suitable to the younger crowd.

The main event happens in the Toronto Reference Library with displays and tables arranged around the multi-level library. You navigate around book stacks and gorgeous seating areas. Many vendors have tables that overlook the large balconies. Such a huge change from the generic convention center with massive concrete floored rooms. Events have spilled over to other buildings in the area as well, all within a few moments of walking while you take in the Toronto vibe.

Review TCAF Crowd

As part of their 25th Anniversary, Image Comics took over the Masonic Temple and featured tables manned by Image creators like Charlie Adlard (Walking Dead), Ivan Brandon (Black Cloud), Valentine DeLandro (Bitch Planet), Babs Tarr (Motor Crush, Batgirl), Cameron Stewart (Motor Crush, Batgirl), Brendan Fletcher (Motor Crush, Batgirl), Karl Kerschl (Gotham Academy), Jeff Lemire (Royal City, Descender), Jason Latour (Southern Bastards), Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals), Jim Zub (Wayward, Glitterbomb) and so many more. All available for signatures, chats and some of the artists were sketching; in addition, Image setup panel discussions, special signings and live drawing events.

Of course, Canadian publishers were also in attendance with Chapterhouse Publishing having a booth with comics, novels and collected editions. The table was staffed by all manner of Chapterhouse creators. I was fortunately enough to have some fun little conversations with Jason Loo (Pitiful Human-Lizard), Andrew Wheeler (Freelance) and Andrew Thomas (Freelance, Captain Canuck). AH Comics was present having just released volume two of Moonshot, an Indigenous comics collection. Members of the Canadian Comic Book Alliance were also in abundance, Expired Comics, Great North Comics, Novel Comics and Cuckoo’s Nest Press all with amble examples of their books for sale.

Review TCAF Poster

I will be coming to this event every year from here on in. I spoke with so many creators with such a huge diversity in product and I know I ran out of time to see everything. More than half the books I picked up for my personal reading were new ones I had previously heard nothing about. If you are tired of the massive entertainment, pop culture shows come to TCAF.  Even if you love the huge shows but want a bit of a change of pace this is a terrific event. If Toronto is too far away then track down a festival like TCAF in your area.

And admission is free!

Yes, there is no charge to attend. So much comic fun and enthusiasm all bundled into one event and no admission cost so you can spend that money finding a new comic or graphic novel. Hope to see you there in 2018!

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2017
Main Exhibition: Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14
Free to Attend – All Ages

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Rogue Heroes and Palladium Books launched The Rifts Board Game

Gamer Goggles - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 17:35

A Press Release from Rogue Heroes and Palladium Books®
! A typical game lasts 90 minutes.
! 3 different ways to play:
– Campaign (Players vs Mission Director)
– Skirmish (Player vs Player)
– Head to Head (card combat; only 15-20 minutes to play).
! 32 mm miniatures. Detailed and posed for combat.
! Iconic Rifts® characters like the Red Borg, Juicer, Ley Line
Walker, Mind Melter, Dead Boys, Dog Boys and more.
! Powerful and dynamic artwork for cards, maps, and rule book.
! Stretch goals expand the number and type of characters, miniatures,
cards and fun added to the game with additional heroes
and enemies.

! From Rogue Heroes Publishing LLC, produced under license.
! Game design: Carmen Bellaire.
! This game is endorsed 100% by Palladium Books® and Rifts®
creator Kevin Siembieda. “The Rifts® Board Game is everything
I could have hoped it would be. Best of luck to Carmen
and his crew.” – Kevin Siembieda
If you have enjoyed playing Rifts® at any time in your life,
you will love the Rifts® Board Game.
Please support this Kickstarter
and spread the word
Please tell gamers everywhere about this Kickstarter. If it is
a big success, it will be just the start of many Rifts® miniatures
board game products coming from Rogue Heroes Publishing.
Rifts® is a popular pen and paper role-playing game that exploded
onto the scene in 1990. Its multi-genre blend of science
fiction, fantasy and horror set in an alien, post-apocalyptic, future
Earth made it an instant hit. An overnight sensation, the initial
press run of 10,000 copies sold out in three weeks. The Rifts®
RPG has since become known to millions of gamers, spawned
more than 90 RPG titles, and has been optioned by Walt Disney
Pictures for development into a live action movie by Jerry
Bruckheimer Films.
This press release may be reprinted, reposted, linked and shared for the sole purpose of advertising,
promotion and sales solicitation.
© 2017 Palladium Books, Inc. All rights reserved, worldwide. www.palladiumbooks.com
Rifts®, Megaverse®, and Palladium Books® are registered trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. All
logos, names, characters, and distinctive likenesses are trademarks or registered trademarks of Palladium
Books, Inc., and used with permission under license. All rights reserved.
All other logos, game rules and materials © and TM 2017 Rogue Heroes Publishing, LLC. facebook.
Now, for first time ever, Rifts® is being
made into a miniatures board game
Heroes, can you defeat the forces of the Coalition States?
Coalition patriots, can you stamp out all resistance in the
Play the Rifts® Board Game and find out!
You and your fellow heroes strive to outwit, outmaneuver,
and take down malevolent Coalition storm troopers in one of the
Chi-Town ‘Burbs. To prevail, you must face overwhelming odds.
You never know how epic the battle may be, but victory depends
on you.
! 2-6 players.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Valiant Soars into Phoenix Comicon 2017

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 17:25

From Thursday, May 25th to Sunday, May 28th, Valiant’s non-stop convention tour is blazing the trail into Phoenix Comicon– and we’re bringing along a massive stash of exclusives, merchandise and panels for three full days of non-stop action!

All weekend long, join Valiant inside the Phoenix Convention Center at booth #760 to see why Valiant reigns supreme as the most acclaimed comic book publisher in the industry today with a selection of paperbacks and deluxe hardcovers for critically renowned and award-winning titles including BLOODSHOT REBORN, BRITANNIA, DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE, FAITH, HARBINGER RENEGADE, NINJAK, QUANTUM & WOODY, SAVAGE and many more! And don’t miss the stacks of Valiant merchandise rolling into Phoenix, including a brand new FAITH & THE FUTURE FORCE T-shirt by artist Kano (Daredevil) [$25] and the RAPTURE #1 PHOENIX COMICON VARIANT, featuring the art of fan-favorite artist Jeff Piña (Zombies Vs. Cheerleaders)! New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (X-O MANOWAR, Mind MGMT) and explosive artist CAFU (RAI) begin Valiant’s spellbinding summer standalone event right here as MI-6 assassin Ninjak unites with the fallen hero known as Shadowman for a harrowing journey into the Deadside…where the very fate of the Valiant Universe lies at the mercy of an ancient evil with an unspeakable connection to the origin of the Shadowman loa itself!

Plus: Get ready for the all-star talent charging into the Valiant booth for signings and free sketches, including David Baron (colorist, BLOODSHOT REBORN; DIVINITY III: STALINVERSE) and Jeff Piña!

Next: Your official initiation into Valiant’s critically acclaimed pantheon of heroes begins on Friday, May 26th at 3:00 p.m. MST in room #232ABC for the VALIANT 101: THE STORY STARTS HERE panel presentation! New to the Valiant Universe? Jump on board right here with a concise and fun-filled introduction to the origins and adventures of Valiant’s greatest and most iconic heroes – from BLOODSHOT and DIVINITY to FAITH and HARBINGER RENEGADE to NINJAK and X-O MANOWAR! From The A.V. Club to Buzzfeed and Entertainment Weekly and dozens more, Valiant has been hailed as the premier superhero publisher in comics today… Now, look no further than this panel of Valiant all-stars to find out where to start!

Finally: Prepare yourself for the biggest and bloodiest battle to ever enter the Valiant Universe on Saturday, May 27th at 3:00 p.m. MST in room #232ABC for the VALIANT: THE ROAD TO HARBINGER WARS 2 panel presentation! The road to Valiant’s biggest, most ambitious and impactful comic book event of all time starts right here! Jump on board to find out what the future holds for HARBINGER RENEGADE, X-O MANOWAR, BLOODSHOT, FAITH, DIVINITY, NINJAK, and the rest of Valiant’s most powerful heroes… and how the coming of HARBINGER WARS 2 will soon be felt across the entire Valiant Universe!

We’ll see you in Phoenix! And don’t miss a moment of the incredible action as Valiant’s cross-country convention road show charges on through Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver and more throughout the summer!

Saturday, May 20th – Sunday, May 21st
Five Points Festival

Pier 36
New York, NY

Saturday, May 20th
White Plains Comic Con

White Plains Public Library
White Plains, NY

Thursday, May 25th – Sunday, May 28th
Phoenix Comicon

Phoenix Convention Center
Phoenix, AZ

Saturday, June 24th – Sunday, June 25th
ID10T Music Festival and Comic Conival

Shoreline Amphitheater
San Francisco, CA

Friday, June 30th – Sunday, July 2nd
Denver Comic Con

Colorado Convention Center
Denver, CO

* Stay tuned for more dates to be announced all year long!*
RAPTURE #1 (of 4) – Phoenix Comicon Variant by Jeff Piña

FAITH & THE FUTURE FORCE T-Shirt – Artwork by Kano

Phoenix Comicon 2017 – Logo

Valiant 2017 Convention Tour – Poster Artwork by Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Robotech Comic Teaser Trailer

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 17:23

This July, the world-famous and fan-favorite animated epic Robotech returns to comics with an all-new twist on the classic 80s adventure!

Robotech returns courtesy of writer Brian Wood, artist Marco Turini and colorist Marco Lesko – and nothing will ever be the same again!

Return to the fan-favorite Macross Saga that began the classic Robotech franchise, as hotshot Veritech pilot Roy Fokker and skilled rookie Rick Hunter are pulled into an intergalactic war when the Earth is invaded by the insidious Zentraedi!

Fractures in the timeline are rewriting history… which means that no-one in the cast is safe… and nothing will play out as you expect!

Robotech #1 hits stores on July 26 and is available to order now from May PREVIEWS.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

A Key Archie Cast Member Faces Death in Over The Edge – And Now We Know Who It Might Be

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 16:20

OVER THE EDGE” begins today in the ongoing ARCHIE series from acclaimed team of writer Mark Waid and artist Pete Woods

The final pages of ARCHIE #20 change everything for the residents of Riverdale – and one of Archie Comics’ most popular characters will face death as the epic OVER THE EDGE storyline heads towards June’s can’t-miss ARCHIE #21.

As revealed in the closing moments of the first chapter of OVER THE EDGE by Mark Waid and Pete Woods, the dangerous street race between Archie Andrews and Reggie Mantle crashed into an unexpected bump in the road as Betty Cooper drove towards the two in an attempt to stop them. All three vehicles were sent careening over the edge as the issue leaving the fate of Riverdale’s favorite teenagers hanging in the balance.

Writer Mark Waid promises that OVER THE EDGE will have lasting changes to the series in the months to come and that the effects of the storyline will change the dynamics between the cast.

“The gang will not be the same, I promise. These kids did something stupid, and there are consequences. This isn’t some weird, parallel-world offshoot of the Archie universe–it is the Archie universe, and we have a responsibility to make even the craziest parts of it grounded and realistic.”

Waid also says that while tragedy may strike Riverdale, the overall tone of the book will stay true to its core, merging the classic slapstick humor with modern teenage drama and romance.

“We’ve done a pretty good job so far of juggling comedy and genuine heartbreak, and no matter what grim trials we visit upon these kids, there’s always going to be some moment where Archie ends up with a paint bucket over his head.”

The 3-part OVER THE EDGE event launches today in ARCHIE #20. In June, a life-changing phone call will leave Riverdale’s citizens in shock and readers will discover the fate of their favorite characters in ARCHIE #21. July’s ARCHIE #22 will serve as a heartfelt and emotional coda to the event and set up the cast for the future of the series.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 16:15

(W) Fernando Ruiz, Dan Parent
(A) Fernando Ruiz
(A/CA) Dan Parent, Fernando Ruiz

Just one more issue until the exciting conclusion!! Enjoy!!
SRP: $3.99


Categories: Comic Book Blogs

East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention Promoting Literacy and Creativity!

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:54

Gather with friends old and new at the 16th Annual East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention! Bring your costume, your artwork, your story ideas, or your passion to the TECH Freire Charter School at 2221 N Broad St., Philadelphia, PA this Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11 am to 7 pm, to get your yearly fix of positive vibes!

Questions? Contact ECBACC


ECBACC 2017 Programming Schedule

Feel free to use the event information below to plan your day at ECBACC 2017.

ECBACC 2017 Volunteer Application

ECBACC, Inc.appreciates all the volunteers who help our events go smoothly.  All volunteers will receive free ECBACC merchandise in exchange for your time and effort.  To receive your volunteer badge, use the link below and complete the requested information.

Volunteer Application Form

The completed form can be sent via email [volunteer@ecbacc.com] or fax [(877) 849-2522].  If you plan to attend our free, public reception on Friday, you can also hand deliver your form to one of the convention organizers.

We look forward to working with you to make ECBACC 2017 the best ever!


ECBACC 2017 Press Credential Application

ECBACC, Inc. invites our media partners to take advantage of this opportunity to assemble with the creators behind many of the popular and emerging comics by and about African-descended people.There’s a plethora of stories to be told about developing and distributing content to this under-served market. To receive your media passes to the convention and information kit, use the link below and complete the requested information.

Press Credential Request Form

The completed form can be sent via email [media@ecbacc.com] or fax [(877) 849-2522].  If you plan to attend our free, public reception on Friday, you can also hand deliver your form to one of the convention organizers.

We look forward to reading and hearing what you have to say about ECBACC 2017!

For More Information, Visit ECBACC.com

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The World’s Creepiest Coloring Book Returns with a Terrifying New Trailer

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:46

Life of Agony’s Alan Robert Reveals The Beauty of Horror 2: Ghouliana’s Creepatorium – Another GOREgeous Coloring Book From IDW Publishing Coming This September

San Diego, CA (May 17, 2017) – Following up his #1 best-selling adult coloring book The Beauty of Horror, creator and Life of Agony bassist/songwriter Alan Robert has just unleashed a twisted new trailer for Volume Two in the series, titled The Beauty of Horror 2: Ghouliana’s Creepatorium – Another GOREgeous Coloring Book.

The Beauty of Horror 2: Ghouliana’s Creepatorium – Another GOREgeous Coloring Book by Alan Robert from Alan Robert on Vimeo.

The unsettling clip was filmed in Los Angeles by Director Robert Hall (Teen Wolf TV Series, Laid to Rest, Chromeskull) and Director of Photography Brandon Trost (Halloween II, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Crank: High Voltage). Makeup FX were designed by Hall’s Almost Human FX shop (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teen Wolf) based on the book’s Ghouliana character. Written and produced by Alan Robert (Crawl to Me, Killogy, Wire Hangers), with producer Nick Principe (American Muscle, Chromeskull). Edited and Visual FX by Josh Petrino (The Devil’s Tree, Hatchet III). Narration by Jane Dashow (Law & Order, Homeland), and Ghouliana performed by Biannca Nodle. Executive Produced by IDW Publishing.

Nerdist hailed Robert’s debut as being “The World’s Creepiest Adult Coloring Book” and it received critical acclaim in The Wall Street JournalGQand BuzzFeed. Ghouliana’s Creepatorium continues the journey of everyone’s favorite undead girl, Ghouliana, as she mischievously attempts to trick budding colorists into unleashing her deadly spell. Ghouliana has secretly sprinkled her haunted ingredients throughout 80 pages of Robert’s original pen and ink illustrations. The Beauty of Horror 2 features a beautifully chilling red-foiled cover and high-quality paper that will ensure the pools of blood you color don’t leak through the pages. Robert and IDW have come together to present a deluxe coloring experience.

“Bringing Ghouliana to life on set was such an incredible experience,” Robert says, “I think it just may be the beginning of seeing her in the flesh!”

“Alan has topped himself again,” says IDW VP of New Product Development, Jerry Bennington. “Not only is the coloring book twice as creepy as its predecessor, but the trailer ups the chill factor to nightmare-inducing levels to satisfy horror fans everywhere.”

The Beauty of Horror 2: Ghouliana’s Creepatorium, Another GOREgeous Coloring Book by Alan Robert arrives in stores this September from IDW Publishing. http://www.thebeautyofhorror.com

TP • BW • $17.99 • 88 Pages • 9.8” x 9.8”• ISBN: 978-1-68405-070-3

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Lancaster Comics Day Returns on Sunday 11th June

First Comics News - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 15:37
It’s a Roy of the Rovers Special: Lancaster Comics Day Returns on Sunday 11th June

The third Lancaster Comics Day, organised by The Friends of Lancaster Library, will take place on Sunday 11th June 2016 in Lancaster’s Main Library.

This year, the organisers have gone football crazy, not only bringing local publisher Michael Barrett, author of Preston North End: Rise of the Invincibles graphic novel to the event, but artist David Sque, best known for his work on the iconic Roy of the Rovers too – all the way from Spain!

Roy of the Rovers is of course one of Britain’s best-loved comic characters, first published in the weekly comic Tiger in 1954 but who eventually got his very own comic in the 1970s, edited by Barrie Tomlinson – who will also be at Lancaster Comics Day.

Barrie is eager to reveal some stories about British comics publishing for the very first time direct to fans who grew up reading the comics he edited such as Tiger and Eagle, and how he persuaded Morecambe and Wise to write for comics, and Prince Phillip, too!

Joining them will be Doctor Who and Road to Perdition artist Richard Piers Rayner, a longtime artist in residence at Middlesbrough Football Club; publisher and comic artist Tim Perkins; top artist Nick Brokenshire, who’s currently blowing comic fans away with Once and Future Queen for Dark Horse comics; local fantasy author A.S. Chambers, whose characters live and work in an alternate Lancaster; top indie comics creator Tom Ward, a master of crowdfunded comic publishing; Beano and Aces Weekly artist Marc Jackson; and Lancaster Guardian cartoonist Jack Knight.

The event is supported by Lancaster’s very own comic shop First Age Comics and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, who will be taking over a whole room to bring comic fans the latest news on their major comics event spanning 13th – 15th October. (Weekend passes already on sale).

With Comic Cake and plenty of comic creators on hand selling their independently created comics, as well as lots of comics to buy (and more), there will be plenty to do and comics to discover.

“We’ve had great fun over the last two years with Lancaster Comics Day and support for the event has been amazing, from local comic creators, fans, library staff, Lancaster’s own comic shop, First Age Comics, and backing from Kendal’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival.

“Lancaster Comics Day also helped raise money for a sound systems for the Library last year and black out blinds in the first,” notes co-organiser and comics writer and editor John Freeman, whose many credits include Doctor Who Magazine and who runs the British comics web site downthetubes.net. “This year, we hope to support the Library still further, and make a donation to St. John’s Hospice.

“The British comics creator community has been hit hard this year by cancer-related deaths, with the passing of 2000AD artist Edmund Bagwell announced just this week,” he continues. “Stuart Reynolds, of the Friends of Lancaster Library and I were only too happy to agree to support our local Hospice in appreciation of the work such services do nationwide for cancer victims and their families.”

“I’m looking forward to second helpings of Lancaster Comics Day and I hope local comic fans are, too!”

• Related Pictures: https://flic.kr/s/aHskZWMoBx

Lancaster Comics Day art created by and © Nick Miller

• Lancaster Comics Day takes place from 11.00am until 5.00pm on Sunday 5th June 2017 at Lancaster Main Library in Market Square, Lancaster. Tickets £5 adults, £2 concessions, which includes admission to all four comics panels, accompanied children under 13 free. Web: www.lancastercomicsday.uk

• Follow Lancaster Comics Day on Twitter @LancasterComics – https://twitter.com/LancasterComics/

• For further information about the Friends of Lancaster Library contact Stuart Reynolds of the Friends of Lancaster Library: follmembers@gmail.com

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


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