I’m a martial arts fan and lapsed practitioner from way, way back. One of my favorite styles, if you will, was Kendo. Also known as the “Way of the Sword.” I very much enjoyed it.
It seems Keanue Reeves also enjoys using a sword and he does so to good effect in his upcoming movie 47 Ronin. Sure, there’s also a bunch of other stuff in this movie too (fantasy elements and more), but I’ll watch it mostly for the swordplay, which looks pretty cool.
There’s a trailer for the movies that’s come out recently and even though I like the trailer, I always get a bit concerned when the release of a movie is pushed back a couple times, as it was with 47 Ronin.
This is also the very expensive feature film debut of director Carl Erik Rinsch, which doesn’t always bode well either. Still, I think it looks pretty cool and I’ll be seeing it, even if they had to invent a character for Keanu Reeves to play in the otherwise rather well-known legend of the 47 Ronin and he is, again, the only “one” who can save us (or them, as the case may be).
Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons and the man most closely associated with the boom in popularity of roleplaying games, would have been 75 today. When he died in 2008, I wrote two pieces about his death and my personal connection and experiences with him.
You can read my piece for ComicMix right here. I’m including the one from this site below. He would have been 75 today.
Sad news today. E. Gary Gygax, the man widely considered the “Father of Role-Playing-Games,” has died. He was 69 years old. I already wrote a piece about Gygax and his death over at ComicMix. What I didn’t mention in that piece was that, like ComicMix’s Glen Hauman, I also had a personal connection to the man.
I was fortunate to meet Gary Gygax after some friends of mine and I decided to have a D&D marathon at my house one Summer weekend in the late ’70s. We decided to invite Mr. Gygax to join us by writing him a personal letter. We even enclosed an article from the local paper (the Coast Dispatch in case you’re curious) featuring our upcoming marathon in order to try and entice his participation a bit more.
Sadly, he wasn’t able to attend, but he did write me a personal letter with his regrets and also graciously included several D&D adventure modules, as yet unpublished, for us to use during the game. We used them and had a great time, all the while praising Gygax for being cool enough to not only respond to us, but for caring enough to send us stuff to help make our marathon D&D session a success.
Several years later, I was able to actually meet Gygax in person at GenCon after I had convinced my parents it was a good idea to drive me across country so I could play D&D with a bunch of other kids in Wisconsin. My parents were cool like that and did it not only once, but twice.
When I met him the first time at GenCon we spoke for several minutes and he even remembered me from when I had invited him to our game. He was a great guy to talk to. Over the years I would run into him again at various events and each time he would, somehow, remember me and we would have another very nice conversation. At each and every meeting he was gracious and generous with his time.
The magnitude of Gygax’s influence on gaming and pop culture, both directly and indirectly, isn’t something that can easily be measured. He was extremely popular among those who played his games, of course, but his creations, particularly D&D, also had a profound effect on kids of my and later generations.
D&D helped us learn to think logically, to solve problems, to work as a team and, more importantly, to use our imaginations. As someone who has the privilege of using his imagination on a daily basis and gets paid for it, I , for one, have a debt to Gary Gygax that can never be repaid.
I feel confident there are others out there working away creating the current and next generations of games, comic books, movies and TV shows that feel the same way I do.
Thanks for the help and inspiration Gary. We need more people around like you. You will be missed.
More often than not, you come across things on the Internets that are lame and not worth the time it took you to see them and decide they were lame. Things like that are a waste of time and that time is something you will never, ever get back.
But then, once in a while, you find something that is really cool, worth the time and makes you smile. That’s right kids, this is one of those times.
I won’t say too much more about these images, created by the very talented Jeff Zoet, except to say that I wish I’d thought of this. It’s really quite clever and makes perfect sense. Combining Scooby Doo with The Walking Dead (sorta) is a brilliant concept and a is deftly captured in these images.
Jeff has got plenty more great concepts, videos and photos at his website, so be sure and check them all out. Hey, maybe you’ll even hire him to do some work for you? That would be a nice thing to do. And no, before you ask, I don’t know Jeff at all.
Long ago, when Dungeons & Dragons was just called D&D and about the time the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons arrived, I started playing the game. Back then it was a group of like-minded friends who gathered around the ping pong table in my parent’s garage and had adventures.
It was a simpler time and I don’t remember the games ever getting violent, or even very confrontational, except when we were engaged in epic battles for our band of adventurers very survival. In the game, of course.
So when I saw this trailer for the indie film Zero Charisma (a title which works for me on several levels), I had to think if I ever had these kinds of problems as a young D&D player. I was pretty sure I didn’t, but perhaps I was remembering it wrong? Or, was I just lucky that none of the people I played with back then were bona fide sociopaths as, unfortunately, the character of Scott (the terrifically creepy Sam Eidson) seems to be.
I like to think we were all just good friends brought together by our love of role playing games, the desire to use or imaginations and because we liked to have fun. I really hope it wasn’t that other stuff. I don’t like to think that I can’t remember things or that I could have misjudged people’s character so badly back then.
As I still keep in touch with most of the guys I played with “back in the day,” I guess I can just check with them and see if my recollection of events jives with their own. I’m pretty sure it will.
You can call a prison directly, right? I kid, I kid.
Check out this trailer for Zero Charisma and some scenes from the movie. It looks like a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing it when I get a chance.
I read The Walking Dead back when it was just a comic book and not a hugely successful tv series. Even then I was hooked on it and devoured each new installment the moment I could get my hands on it.
Then, it became a tv show. And of course, I watched it. And each week it delivered a solid bit of tv drama complete with all the characters and situations (for the most part) that I’d loved from the comic. It also became a mega success.
Sure, it got kind of bogged down when the show decided to spend a lot of time searching for Sophia and living at the farm. But then things got really great again after they reached the prison and met the Governor.
It hasn’t gone exactly like the comic, but that’s okay. It doesn’t have too. It’s a tv show adapted from the comic, and that’s all the loyalty it owes to the source material.
Fortunately, what they’re doing with the show lately is really paying off and I’m very much looking forward to the next season. Speaking of that, there’s a new trailer for Season Four that’s just come out.
Check it out and let me know whart you think. I know what I think.
I’m not sure I agree with everything in this video. However, I do appreciate the time and effort that went into making it by the folks at HISHE.com and it does raise some very good points.
So, if you’re one of the people who thought Man of Steel should have gone a bit differently, this just might be for you. Okay, who am I kidding, it never would have ended this way, especially not for a big Hollywood blockbuster. It’s just for fun.
But heck, it’s still pretty funny.
Also, while we’re on the subject of comics and movies (as we often are), I’ll be in San Diego later this week for Comic-Con. So, if you’re going to be there, be sure to say “Hello” if you see me.
I will also be posting some stuff here and over at The Flickcast during the show so be sure and look out for that. You don’t want to miss it.
If I was going to make a list of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies, on that list would have to be Ridley’s Scott’s 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner. As I mentioned in a previous missive, the film made quite an impression on me as a young man.
I first saw it at a screening in San Diego in May of 1992, after having won tickets from a local radio station, and was treated to a version somewhat different from the finished product released to theaters the following month. It was an amazing experience.
I’ve watched it many time since that day and each time I enjoy it more. It’s definitely a movie worth seeing again and again.
Of course, not everyone has the time to watch entire movies. People have lives and schedules to keep. For those with limited free time, the Speedrun was invented.
Simply put, a Speedrun is an animated version of a popular film told in sixty seconds made by the talented folks at 1A4 Studio. This one is Blade Runner, as if you couldn’t guess.
Enjoy. Oh, it has some adult language, so be advised it’s probably NSFW.
Yes, the movie Pacific Rim is out today and yes, it features giant monsters called Kaiju who we humans fight with giant, mechanized, human-piloted robots we build called Jaegers. And sure, the idea that monsters come from wherever they come from (no spoilers here) and we need to build giant, mechanical creatures to fight them may seem far-fetched and relegated to the world of fantasy and the movies.
And really, I can’t vouch for the likelihood of giant, alien monsters coming to destroy humanity. That does seem rather unlikely. However, I do believe we’re not that far away from being able to create the mechanical robots that would fight them if they did come.
Don’t believe me? Meet Atlas in this video and maybe you just might change your mind.
I’ve been into LEGO since before it was cool. Back when the blocks were bigger and they only had a few basic colors. In fact, I still have some of my original sets of blocks. One day I will get them out, take a few pics and post them here. But that’s for another day.
Moving on I’m also, surprise, a big fan of Star Wars. Or, in this particular case, The Empire Strikes Back. I’ll wait while you recover from the shock of that revelation.
So, when these things are combined, as they are in this pretty awesome video, I take notice. What is this video you may ask? Well, it’s a timelapse recording of Jeff Needles, who works at TWiT, assembling a LEGO Super Star Destroyer.
I think it’s pretty cool. Perhaps you will too.
Now to scrounge up an extra $300 to get one for myself.