Saturday, March 17, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I've said this before, but Project: Rooftop is a site that you need to add to your RSS readers. It's consistently one of the best places to check out fan redesigns on popular, and sometimes unpopular, characters from comic books, and Wednesday's installment of Wonder Woman from Hanie Mohd is no different...
Thanks to LOVECRAFTeZine for reminding me. Here is what they had to say;
H.P. Lovecraft died 75 years ago today. His obituary follows (hat tip to Unspeakable Gibberer). In the comments below, let us know what Lovecraft and his themes mean to you, tell us what Lovecraftian-themed book you've read lately, or just say whatever you would like. For my part, I'd just like to say thanks. Thanks, HPL, for being true to yourself...
by Fallen Raziel
From my favorite Lovecraft film OUT OF MIND
The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions)
Al Bruno III
Again and again the formless creature threw itself against the thick, transparent, vault-like entrance to the walk-in humidor. Its tiny white teeth clattered against the reenforced glass as tendrils of its gelatinous body began to bleed and wriggle through the spaces between the door and the doorway.
The creature knew the door was going to give away, so did the three people trapped inside the refrigerated, cigar-filled room. Lorelei and Zeth began comparing spells and guns, getting ready for what looked to be their last stand. All the while Jason Magwier was raiding the shelves of the humidor, filling his pockets with improbable cigars.
It was only after a loud cracking sound filled the air that he seemed to remember where he was and what was happening. He gave his two friends a wink before pushing aside a shelf to reveal a hidden ventilation duct...
Zeth went first, pulling himself along with his elbows. His shoulders scraped against the cold metal walls of the long horizontal ventilation shaft. Magwier had insisted they bring Maxwell’s silver hammer along with them so he had to push it ahead all the way along. Zeth could feel a thrill of claustrophobia taking hold in his stomach. Only the reassuring weight of the automatic pistol in his left hand kept him calm, it gave him the same kind of comfort that a Christian might get from a rosary or cross.
Lorelei was second, impatient and grumbling she shuffled along. She wondered how many crawlspaces and air ducts she had found herself in throughout her strange and chaotic life. She wondered why did trying to do the right thing always involved so much sneaking about and running for your life. “So,” she whispered, “Dr. Flesh is trying to kill us by proxy.”
“Outsourcing,” Jason Magwier chuckled from behind her, “I never thought I’d see the day.”
“I’m coming up to an intersection,” Zeth called back.
“Turn to the right,” Magwier said, “and hurry.”
One after the other they went right. The sound of the humidor’s walls coming down echoed up from behind them.
“Why did Dr. Flesh run from us?” Lorelei asked.
“He didn’t run from us,” Zeth said with a sneer in his voice. “He ran from Jason.”
“From Magwier?” Lorelei wanted to turn her head and look back at her lover but the ventilation shaft was too cramped and dark to make that possible. “Why?”
“Because,” Magwier replied.
“Because? What the Hell kind of answer is that?”
“I’ll explain later,” he said. “Hey no kicking! Those boots are deadly.”
“They’re blood brothers,” Zeth said. The hammer snagged on a rivet in the metal slowing him for a moment, “Of a sort anyway.”
“What?” For a moment Lorelei was sure she’d misheard, “Did you two go to summer camp or something?”
“It was over a decade ago, when I was Noah. Dr. Flesh was wounded and we gave him first aid.”
“And we stole a bit of his blood,” Zeth added. “Now if he touches Magwier his power will short out for a month.”
“Wow,” Lorelei said. She’d been the man’s sidekick slash booty call for almost a year but he was still full of surprises, “I’m impressed.”
“Not a month,” Jason Magwier corrected. “Only until the next moonrise. Has to do with the tides.”
Zeth called back, “Another intersection up ahead.”
“Go straight on,” Magwier said, “in a few minutes you’ll find a mesh grating you can push free.”
The three of them scrambled further down the shaft. The crashing sounds were growing louder. Lorelei racked her brains for an incantation to have ready but what good was magic against a homemade shoggoth?
Magwier was still talking, from the tone of his voice he might have been describing a vacation itinerary, “Once you’re out you’ll want to make your way to the Sallow Sultan.”
Zeth slowed his pace for a moment, “Isn’t that a whorehouse?”
“I believe they refer to themselves as tantric masseuses,” Magwier said, “now once you get there you see an open second floor window.”
“How can you be sure of that?”
“I’ll explain later,” Magwier said. “Now Lorelei my sweet, I want you to climb in there and keep an eye out for Jack Diamond. Make sure he stays safe.”
Lorelei sighed, “I can't believe this. What are you going to have me do for an encore? Convince me to go dancing with the Anti-Christ?”
“Now while you are doing that Zeth will wait in the alley. Zeth if you see Dr. Flesh do whatever you can to stop him. Or at the very least slow him down.”
The wire mesh grating was up ahead, Zeth picked up speed, eager to be free, eager for open spaces, “And what will you be doing during all this?”
A wet slopping sound rolled up the ventilation shaft. There was the sound like a whip cracking. Magwier shouted, “I'll be trying to escapeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”
His hands made a squealing sound as he tried to anchor himself on the shaft’s metal walls only to be dragged away. Lorelei and Zeth shouted after him but they both knew there was nothing they could do but go on, there was nothing they could do but stick with Magwier’s plan.
The formless creature yanked Jason Magwier out of the ventilation shaft. Gasping tendrils of bubbling sinew slammed him against one wall then another and back again. Its roar of glee was a chorus of agonized voices.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
How will director Tom Six up his game with The Human Centipede 3, which he plans to shoot soon in the United States? "#humancentipede3 will have a 500+ person pede," Six tweeted yesterday, adding, "XXXXL American style!" While we applaud Six for finally realizing that centipedes aren't very centi- until you hit triple digits, we admit that we can't quite figure out the logistics here...
We have a feeling that Harry Potter is never going away, in the sense that franchises like Batman and Star Wars never went away (and Star Wars never got its own amusement park). And why not? It's the perfect storm of wonder, charm and innocent, family-friendly adventure that everyone can enjoy. Which is why we love talking about how pants-crappingly terrifying that whole universe is. For instance ...
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
THE COLD INSIDE
By AL BRUNO III
Tuesday November 8, 1994
Nobody had brought much work home with them so Carol Black and her children spent a rare evening together in front of the TV. Cookie the family cockatiel strutted from one end of the couch to the other, whistling and chirping.
It was almost nine o’clock and still no call from Dad. Tristam wondered just what it was his Dad did in law enforcement. All he ever said was that he ‘Consulted for the Department of Justice’ but what did that mean? Did he get in gunfights with hardened criminals or did he read reports and regurgitate those facts into reports of his own?
Whatever it was he does, if must be important. Otherwise I’d be sitting in Juvenile Jail instead of on my Mom’s couch. Tristam thought. The District Attorney had been all fired up to make an example of me. He would have too, if not for Dad. I’d love to know what he did or said.
Maybe I’ll ask him if he calls.
Cookie scuttled across the couch and hopped onto Pam’s shoulder. Her hair was down and the bird nuzzled and tugged gently on it. She gasped with surprise but let the bird keep playing.
“He thinks he’s a hairdresser,” Carol said.
“Wait’ll you get his bill,” Tristam joked. “Get it? Bill?”
For a moment they all laughed and suddenly Tristam felt like they were a family again. Then Pam suddenly got a guilty look in her eye and he turned her attention back to the television. Her expression told him that she wanted to take her smile back.
They went back to watching TV, about halfway through Law & Order the phone rang. Tristam bolted to his feet with an “I got it!” He was so excited that he nearly dropped the phone, “H-hello?”
He tossed the cordless handset to his sister, “It’s for you. It’s Ron.”
Carol winced. Pam offered, “I’ll make it quick.”
“Never mind,” he left the room, “I’m going to bed.”
Alone in his room, with the door locked behind him, Tristam made a fist and cursed.
I loved the Hell out of this album, I lost my copy of it when I moved to North Carolina and apparently it isn't in iTunes. I gotta track it down.
Since the start of the month it has been illegal to die in Falciano del Massico, a village of 3,700 people some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Naples in southern Italy.
Mayor Giulio Cesare Fava issued the tongue-in-cheek decree because the village has no cemetery and it is feuding with a nearby town that has one — creating a logistical problem about what to do with the deceased.
The mayor told newspapers that villagers are content.
"The ordinance has brought happiness," he was quoted Tuesday as saying. "Unfortunately, two elderly citizens disobeyed."
Monday, March 12, 2012
Price Breaks and Heartaches
A journal of retail and failed romance
The Creep On The Borderlands
Some mild shouting from Norm got us back on track, our gravely wounded characters gingerly made their way from the dungeon and made camp for the night. We chose who would get what watch and when. Curtis said, “I hope we don’t get any encounters tonight. If we do we’re finished.”
I couldn’t let that go by without commenting, “It’s too bad we left our NPC cleric to die in a pit trap last session.”
“Oh will you shut it?” Daniel snarled, “If Lovitar had wanted her precious cleric to live she would have gotten him out of there.”
Norm shrugged, “Clerics are the red shirts of the D&D system. Always have been.”
“I don’t think that’s fair.” I said.
“Then why aren’t you playing one?”
“Well… I don’t know…”
“Speaking of clerics…” Norm began, as you continue to make camp you are approached by a cleric of the church of Lovitar. He asks to speak with the party. He has questions.”
Orville’s eyes lit up, “Sure we’ll tell him whatever he wants to know, after the rest of my team gets some cure light wounds.”
“Your team?” Daniel’s voice cracked with indignation, “ I thought though we were Force Whoopass from Greyhawk.”
I said, “Wouldn’t something like that first entail your character telling us his name.”
“You losers don’t deserve to know his name!”
There was nothing our Dungeon Master could do but talk over us, “This new cleric heals your party and then asks you about the cleric you hired a few days ago. Apparently the members of the church are very worried he isn’t going to make it back alive.”
“Uh-oh.” Buddy said.
I turned to Will “Did we even get that cleric’s name before we left him to die?”
Curtis nodded, “It was Derek.”
“Derek the cleric?”
Orville shushed us, “I tell our new friend… what was his name again?”
Norm thought for a moment, “His name is Eric.”
“Eric the cleric??” I said.
Daniel rolled his eyes, “Why even give NPC’s names?”
Orville threw some d4s at us, “I tell Eric that we sent Derek ahead to scout for giant turtle eggs and that he should come along with us if he wants to meet him.”
Buddy gave a thumbs up, “Cool we’ve got a new cleric!”
“Let’s bed down for the night.”
“I’m hungry.” Curtis said, “I thought we were getting pizza.”
Everyone agreed that pizza sounded great, then the argument about toppings began. Daniel was too busy trying to figure something out from his copy of the Dungeon Master’s Guide to participate.
“You know…” Norm thought out loud, “I think I have a copy of Murphy’s Rules that had a random pizza generation table.”
“And wings.” Buddy added, “We need an order or two of wings.”
“Hey Norm.” Daniel put his pencil aside, “Can we do one last thing before our little meal break here?”
“Sure,” The Dungeon Master said.
“I kill Will's character.”
Norm shrugged, “OK roll your dice and lets see what happens.”
It was all over before I could even speak or react, Will’s character went down in a hail of spite and modifiers. “Why?” I asked, “Why did you do that?”
“But...” Will stared at his character sheet, “But he just made second level.”
“Yeah.” Daniel said, “And the experience from killing a second level fighter is just what I needed to get my Ninja to fifth level.”
I was appalled, “You dick.”
“I’m sorry but D&D is a world as cruel and multicultural as our own, if not more so.” Norm explained, “Now Will let me have your character sheet so I can add it to the Binder of Shame.”
“What exactly is a Binder of Shame?” I didn’t really want to know the answer but I had to ask, “And why is it so large?”
“Every D&D game has many binders but each D&D game must have a Binder of Shame and a Binder of Glory.” Norm held up a pair of three ring binders, “The player characters that die heroic deaths are saved forever in the page protectors of the Binder of Glory. The characters that suffer, humiliating, soul-crushing deaths go into the Binder of Shame. It’s a sign of quality DMing to have a Binder of Shame three times the size of your Binder of Glory.”
“Isn’t there…” Will asked, “I mean wouldn’t any of the other player characters have seen or heard something?”
“Hello!” Daniel said, “He’s a ninja- he could bugger you in your sleep and you wouldn’t know it. Now let’s get that pizza. Who wants sausage?”
I paled, “Suddenly I’m not so hungry. Let’s just keep playing.”
As you all ready know I had intended to just game once in a while but before I knew it I was stopping by Norm’s house twice a week or more.
Every night at the gaming table I rolled my eyes at their casual racism, suppressed rage and hardcore geekery but I stayed.
And despite the many hours spent in their company I never once thought of them as my friends. They were just people I wasted time with while waiting for people worthy of my company to come along.
Now, many years later, I am a little ashamed to realize that I was the real creep on the borderlands.