Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Whole Wide World Vs. A Walk In The Clouds

* = Behold Bran Mak Morn and shudder in fear.

I know Friday wasn’t what a lot of people, ok let’s be honest all four of you who read this drivel, expect, but I felt like it was a nice bit of closure to something that will most likely take me the rest of my adult life to deal with. As for the blog, I’m going to just say that I’m done for the foreseeable future writing about it. It’s to personal, to raw, to hard to put into words currently. Oh and I’m sure you’re all tired of reading about it.

So onto the nonsense…

I finally finished two books I’d been working on;
- The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross (**** ¾ out of 5) – This was a damn near perfect read for me. I’d read a bit about Stross’ “The Laundry” books, which are techno-spy books, built around the Cthulhu Mythos. Oh and they are quiet cheeky. The only reason I can’t give it 5 out of 5 was that some of the self-masturbatory techno babble was just SO above my head that it was uninteresting to try and wade through. However the plot, the characters, the insanely twisted twist were all so memorable and inspired I fell in love with this book. So I’m now trying to find the other books in the series so I can lovingly assimilate them as well. Thank you Carla for one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve gotten in some time.
- Legion From The Shadows by Karl Edward Wagner (*** ½ out of 5) – This is a non-Howard tale of Bran Mak Morn. It deals with the fallout of all of Howard’s tales but mainly the fantastic Worms Of The Earth, which is my favorite Howard story. I think it’s difficult for anyone to follow up on Howard’s coat tails, see all the horrible Conan books out there, but I will say Mr. Wagner did a damn fine job with this story. See the problem I had with it though was that this tale should have been about 50 to 75 pages shorter. There was just some portions that were overly repetitive, there was a bit to much ‘monologuing’ by the two main baddies for my tastes, and Bran was just a tad to ineffective until the very end. I will say about the ending though that it set itself up for a VERY interesting potential sequel. To my knowledge there was not one, but if there is I’d love to read it.

I also did some productive sitting on my ass. Here’s what I watched;
- Shadow Of The Vampire (*** ½ out of 5) – I had never seen this, which is surprising since it has Malkovich and Defoe. Nosferatu (***** out of 5) is a scary-ass flick, so to see it built into something of mythic proportions. This is a surprising little movie; it’s really funny, sometimes dark, and actually sort of sad. I was trying to glue together my Thule army grunts while I had it on, but it continually held and even stole my attention so much I almost glued my hands together. It’s a very entertaining flick.
- Dracula A.D. 1972 (**** out of 5) – How can you go wrong with Cushing & Lee in a Hammer flick? Answer, YOU CAN’T! This was Hammer’s attempt to move their Dracula franchise into modern times and what you get is pure Hammer 1970’s AWE-some. The music is just a step above porn, the lighting is bizarre, since it’s not as lush as much of their period work, and the sets are pretty campy, all that being said it’s a fun vampire movie as one would expect.
- Pandorum (** ½ out of 5) – I remember when this was coming out and I was very ‘meh’ about it. After watching it I’m still pretty ‘meh’ about it. It’s not a bad flick, but its not breaking new ground by any stretch. What was entertaining was its visuals. The ‘savages’ on the ship looked fantastic, it definitely gave me some ideas for both the Marvel SAGA campaign as well as some places to take the Basement Sci-Fi War.
- It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 5 (*** ½ out of 5) – We finally finished what was a return to form by this show. Now it wasn’t as brilliant as seasons two or three, but it was much more even and consistent than season four. I have to confess though that the one hour Christmas episode was depressing, damn was that dark. Although watching Charlie go bat shite crazy on a Mall Santa was laugh out loud funny. Mighty Mike was right this season was not a disappointment.

And now I give unto you your daily allotted amount of…


- Holy crap this looks good!
I haven’t read the books, but the vibe this show is giving me makes me really want to dig into them.
- I started The Satanic Rites Of Dracula yesterday, but fell asleep due to my overwhelming lack of said sleep. What I saw of it really had me interested. Maybe I’ll finish it this week or maybe during the weekend. Either way there isn’t much better than Cushing and Lee Hammer flicks.
- We finally get a NEW Young Justice this Friday, FINALLY!
- I have some Artscow decks coming for Castle Ravenloft. In fact someone on Board Game Geek dot com put together a total Gammaworld make-over of the game. We haven’t played in awhile and I really should just hammer out my Ravenloft series of adventures I was working on, but my brain is just getting pulled in so many other directions. Maybe I’ll have to draft Anthony “I gotz Photoshop skillz” J. to help keep me motivated and get this project done.
- Oh if your looking for a t-shirt that will set you apart, that is just the cat’s meow, look no further than what Steve Gilpin is throwing down;
o http://www.etsy.com/shop/billythesquidltd
o http://stephengilpin.blogspot.com/2011/01/in-beginning.html
Steve’s a great guy, we grew up together, and he’s responsible for my love of Anthrax & LEGO’s. All that being said his art kicks both my and your ass. You know it; I know it, so go on already and give him your money. Oh and Steve if your reading this, get it in some GIANT guy sizes and I’ll be sending you bags of cash.
- Gawds I hate the Jets. I hope the Steelers put a beat down on them.
- Here’s a bit of the DC Universe Online update;
o So Raptor, that ‘s my dude’s name, escaped Braniac’s ship in what was a harrowing experience since I was shite on the mouse and keyboard to start the game. Then I was charged with helping Zatanna stop Felix Faust in Metropolis’ China Town district from stealing souls. It took me some time to get all the parts of the quest done, but it was worth it as the final battle was fun and challenging. In the end I get Mr. Faust in a corner and beat him mercilessly. By the end my costume had drastically changed due to items I’d both picked up and purchased. Oh and did I mention Ambush Bug had a cameo. I love this game!
- Dave’s got a new music project going; The Fairly Secret Army. It’s going in a lot of interesting directions, and if you dig music you should be checking it out;
o http://theczardr.blogspot.com/2011/01/fairly-secret-army-song-1.html
o http://theczardr.blogspot.com/2011/01/tfsa-song-2.html
For the record I LOVE the first song with wild abandon, and yes it does need some Cowbell. On a side note, Dave thanks for the Battlelore. I needed it, and it's always nice to crush you when you are possessed of the Steven Miller mindset.
- So Avengers is in the midst of three weeks of Kang, and you know what? I LOVE IT! See Kang is a character that needs that sort of attention, he’s a threat that can’t appear more than once or twice every two to three years, and when he does it has to be a big deal. He’s a damn near impossible threat to defeat; he’s a time traveler, he has infinite resources, and he has the ability to attack the Avengers on multiple fronts at any time. So the fact that they’re giving him this much run on the cartoon is a great thing. I enjoyed how Cap is slowly asserting his leadership, much to Tony’s chagrin. I’ll be intrigued to see if they have a more complicated relationship than in the early comics, especially since they really play up Stark’s arrogance and pride on the cartoon. Hulk and Thor’s competition was only outshined by Hawkeye’s response to them both. I also have to say that the relationship they’ve built up between Hawkeye and the Hulk, which I think is a reflection of the relationship Hawkeye had with Hercules in the old comics, is one of the best parts of the show now. Oh and the Black Panther moment was fantastic. AND we got some Black Knight! Seriously, this show just is a half-hour of fabulous smothered in awesome sauce.
- Once the basement gets painted the T.V. will go up, and lordy LORD we’ll have another living room downstairs.

And with that…

“Great peril awaits us beyond the Black River
Summoned by the beating of drums
Our number is few and our errand is dire
We do what must be done

At the bidding of the high priest
The tribes gather for war
Evil sorcery is unleashed
Upon the opposite shore

Make your stand with great hound
The frontier is lost
Black waters lie before you
Together you cross

Take heart!
Do not fear
Though you know
Your death nears

We shall build you a cairn beyond the Black River
Where no one will disturb you rest
There you shall lay in your helm and your harness
With your sword across your breast

Now take a quick moment to answer this question
As the ferry approaches the shore
Will you have the coin to pay for your passage
And the courage to take up the oar?”

* = Look at the 'pimp' on REH!

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