Saturday, October 29, 2011


Thanks to 3POINT75 blog for bringing this to my radar (not sure how I missed it). JourneyQuest is humorous fantasy adventure web series. At this time there are seven episodes. This project is from Dead Gentlemen Productions who were the makers of The Gamers several years ago. JourneyQuest proves that a big budget and studio backing is not needed to make a high quality and wonderful product.
Following a group of dysfunctional adventurers on a quest to discover and destroy the mythical Sword of Fighting, JourneyQuest is a comedic adventure through the fantasy world of Fartherall, where intellectual orcs, incompetent wizards, and holy zombies form the living (and not-so-living) backdrop to an epic story of unrequited love, burning passions, and severely reluctant heroism. And running away. Lots of running away.
Here are all seven episodes- the entire first season.

There is a very successful effort to get another series made. According to the kickoff page there seems to be plenty of interest.

We'll be following the development of season 2.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

BURPS- GURPS for Kids! (or Beginners)

On the GeekMom blog geek mom, Rebecca Angel, wrote a post about roleplaying with kids. They mentioned a few of the games that often are mentioned on such blogs or posts. One that I hadn't seen before was called BURPS. This stands for Beginners Universal Role Playing System and is a humorous and obvious play on words from the title of the game it's based on- the Generic Universal Role Playing System. It's actually nothing more than a simplified character sheet with a page of GM advice and notes which is intended to be used with GURPS Lite. I think it's great!

BURPS Character Sheet link

 silly polyhedrons... BURPS is for kids!, GURPS is for d6!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Native Drums

Native Drums is a post-apocalyptic comic book written by Chuck Paschall and art by PunchyNinja- Vince Riley - 17 Machine Studios. One of my favorite comics available through IndyPlanet.

The protagonist (only known as Agent m17) is a cyborg or an augmented soldier in contact with an unseen controller who seems to be stationed in orbit. She communicates with a broadcast transmission via satellites that is guiding her through an operation where she breaks cover to help a young girl caught in the crossfire. Agent is determined to get her out of the combat zone and to safety.

The dialog suggests the story is set in Kenya, Tanzania, or Uganda- definitely somewhere in Eastern Africa. The technology places it in a near future with some of the hardware very familiar, but other tech is clearly sci-fi.

This is a full colored comicbook with a higher level of artistic quality than most of the comics available at Indyplanet. For that matter, the art quality is better than most of the mainstream big companies work (DC and Marvel, I'm looking in your direction), but this is my opinion. It is not purely manga, but you can see it is heavily influenced by Japanese style art. Occasionally some panels more-so than others.

There are three issues so far and the frequency of their release is pretty long between issues. This is the only thing bummer about the comic, but easily forgiven with the quality the wait offers.

I read an article in an issue of Knights of the Dinner Table about the end of the big comic companies and the rise of independents. In their view the big companies are inevitably on their way out by their own doing. This will make way for fresh and raw talent. It's sites like IndyPlanet that will serve to fill that gap. And it's comics like Native Drums that are already doing this. While I still read a couple of the big titles, I look forward to the day when these kinds of comics are more available.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Erin Esurance

Erin Esurance by MiloSaberhagen
Erin Esurance is a guilty pleasure of mine. I used to delight in the many commercials that starred her longing for the chance that the character and premise would grow beyond the ad campaign into a series or something. The tropes that the Esurance ad campaign used hit me in all the right buttons- spy girl in a S.H.I.E.L.D.-like uniform, gadgets, espionage action. Not sure what it had to do with insurance, but cool anyways.

Esurance has recently been assimilated by Allstate. This spells doom for Erin. Her espionage skills and gadgets may not be enough for her to get out of this one...

The demise of the Esurance cartoon girl as Allstate moves in?

Posted in dscriberwatch
The pink-haired, black-catsuit-wearing Esurance cartoon character, "Erin Esurance," may soon exit stage left leaving, however, in proverbial "good hands." In a note to its car insurance policy holders today, Esurance announced that it has been acquired by the nation's largest publicly-held personal lines insurance company, Allstate.
The companies will continue to run independently, according to a statement. "Your policy ID and coverages will remain the same and we'll continue to offer all the services we do today," policyholders were also told.

There was no immediate news on whether the two brands would eventually merge into one and, if so, which name would win out over the other. Bets are that this is the start of the end for Erin Esurance, a familiar commercial figure. Allsate's familiar "good hands" logo may well stay given that the company has been leader in the U.S. insurance industry for more than 80 decades and fully acquired Esurance, founded in 1998.
If the Esurance brand disappears, Erin could survive under the right scenario. That's what happened in the last decade when collapsed. The popular sock puppet dog that carries a microphone in its paw was sold to 1-800-BAR-NONE, an auto loan firm that focused on giving drivers (and corporate mascots) a "second chance."
Erin Esurance by joeadonis

Erin Esurance Looks Like KP by Kimworld

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chronicle trailer

Chronicle is being described as Cloverfield mixed with Kick-Ass. I'd replace  the Kick-Ass with the British science-fiction comedy drama Misfits where Kick-Ass was all about costumes, etc. Cloverfield because it has the hand-held video camera theme, and Kick-Ass Misfits because they're super heroes without comicbook names or costumes. Just kids with powers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Avanaut's Photostream

Vesa Lehtimäki, of Helsinki Finland,  takes pictures of toys. He posts them on Flickr under the screenname Avanaut. They're really good pictures...

Check out his photostream over on Flickr. There are many more than what I have here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gabriela Robin and Yoko Kanno

Kanno Yoko With Rat by Love-ROKKUGO
There is a mystery in the arena of Japanese Anime- who is Gabriela Robin? Many people believe Robin is a pseudo name used by Yoko Kanno.

Yoko Kanno is an amazing musician and composer best known for some incredible musical scores for some of the most popular anime series.

In many of the tracks that contain vocals the name Gabriela Robin appears in the credits.

Sometimes Kanno denies she and Gabriela Robin are the same persons, or used to. The who truth about it is wonderfully ambiguous. It reminds me a lot of Andy Kaufman's Tony Clifton.

The Macross Plus soundtrack was my first exposure to the amazing music. And the music was the strongest element to that series, in my opinion. I grabbed up all I could find from that show. Cowboy Bebop is what brought it home for me. Another collection of albums for my library.

There is a website dedicated to the question- Who is Gabriela Robin. Check it out here.

(warning, the above button will expand this post with extensive information about Gabriela Robin!)

Here's more about the name Robin...
On October 4, Japan's Center for Performers' Rights Administration posted an interview with acclaimed anime soundtrack composer Yoko Kanno. The interviewer noted that the name "Gabriela Robin" is used in the credits for many lyrics and vocals in Kanno's work. Kanno responded that the first time she recorded with an orchestra was in Israel, and at the time, the Prime Minister of Israel was Yitzhak Rabin. "That's all there is to it," she laughed.
Kanno is known for composing the soundtracks for Macross FrontierCowboy BebopGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone ComplexEscaflowne, and many other works. She first recorded with an orchestra when she wrote music for Macross Plus which the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed. In past interviews, Kanno would half-jokingly deny that she is Robin.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

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