Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Luc Besson Valérian and Laureline film!

Luc Besson has made some of my very favorite films- particularly Leon The Professional and The Fifth Element. There is news now that he'll be coming out of retirement to write and direct an adaptation of the French comic- Valérian and Laureline. We've talked about this series a couple of times here in relation to the comic and the French/Japanese anime series based on the comic.


It wasn't that long ago that these characters finally crossed my radar. In that discovery I stated before how many tropes introduced in Valérian and Laureline interestingly appeared in the Star Wars stories.


Besson's film, The Fifth Element, already had a lot of flavors that seemed to be directly from the Valérian and Laureline comics. I can't wait to see how this turns out.


Here's more about the news:
Hot damn, French filmmaker Luc Besson has found some kind of second filmmaking wind. He's keeping up with everything, developing more and more, not only producing Taken 2, he was already in thenews earlier today casting a "darkly comedic gangster thriller" titled Malavita that he's directing next. In addition to that, Variety is now reporting that Besson is already setting up another project to writer & direct, this one an adaptation of a Gallic comic book series called Valerian, published in Pilote. EuropaCorp is developing the adaptation about the adventures of space and time traveling agent Valerian and his sidekick Laureline.
Besson, who said he was retiring from directing years ago, is back at it again. He just finished The Ladylast year, now he's gearing up to shoot Malavita with Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones, as well assome other untitled film with Angelina Jolie, in early 2013. Then it sounds like he'll move to Valerian, all with EuropaCorp, being written & directed (in English) by Besson. Those are the only details so far on Valerian.
Valérian and Laureline is a French science fiction comics series, created by writer Pierre Christin and artist Jean-Claude Mézières. First published in the magazine Pilote in 1967, the final installment was published in 2010. The series focuses on the adventures of the dark-haired Valérian, a spatio-temporal agent, and his redheaded female companion, Laureline, as they travel the universe through space and time in the 28th century. Valérian is a classical anti-hero, kind-hearted, strong and brave but with a tendency to follow the orders of his superiors even if he feels, deep down, that it is the wrong thing to do. I'm sure Besson has some angle to this to make it a cinematic story; I hope he's getting back to his sci-fi roots (e.g. The Fifth Element).
by Alex Billington | link
unrelated Valérian and Laureline concept art by Jan Ditlev Christensen

Friday, June 29, 2012

Epic

Having recently seen The Secret World of Arrietty, here is another film about tiny people. Compared to Arrietty, this one looks more... eh hem... Epic.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pathfinder comic


The comic will be out in August (at GenCon, perhaps???). Dynamite has been doing some great stuff. A lot of quality licensed products, perhaps second to IDW these days. My only complaint is that some of the work is a little too much on the sexy side (speaking as a family guy and dad).
May 14, 2011, Runnemede, NJ – Paizo’s incredible award-winning, best-selling fantasy world, fiction line and tabletop RPG is now the ultimate fantasy comic from Dynamite Entertainment, hitting stores in August! Dynamite is proud to announce that the ongoing series is written by Jim Zub with art by Andrew Huerta, with covers by Lucio Parillo, Matteo Scalera, Dave Dorman, and Erik Jones!

The iconic heroes at the core of the Pathfinder’s world are brought to life for the first time in a brand new story full of charm and high adventure that will please fans and entertain new readers alike. Issue 1 clocks in at 40 pages (and remains $3.99) and includes over 10 pages of character profiles and Pathfinder RPG game statistics, plus an EXCLUSIVE removable, playable tactical map and poster. Be sure to pick up Pathfinder #1 from Dynamite, coming this August to comic stores everywhere!

In issue #1, Valeros can rely on only his sword arm and his friends, the mysterious and beautiful sorcerer Seoni and silver tongued quick-witted elven rogue Merisiel, but nothing can prepare him for the dangers that lurk ahead. The scattered and chaotic goblin tribes of Varisia are changing, growing in power and unifying in ways no one has ever seen before. At the heart of this strange evolution is an ancient evil looking to establish itself anew.

“Pathfinder has blazed new trails in gaming and fiction, winning over thousands of fans all over the world. I’m absolutely thrilled to add to its mythology and flesh out the iconic characters at the heart of the Galorion world,” says writer Jim Zub. “Sword and sorcery adventure pumps through my veins and I can’t wait for readers to experience what Dynamite and I have planned.”

“I am thrilled with the work Jim Zub and Andrew Huerta have put into the Pathfinder comic book,” adds Paizo Publisher Erik Mona. “Jim and I go way back to my time as Editor-in-Chief of Dragon Magazine, and his experience with fantasy and gaming make him the perfect writer for the series. Andrew’s pencils are absolutely amazing, and bring an exciting and fresh new look to the characters, monsters, and lands of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.”

“From day one of when we were awarded the license for the Pathfinder comic we knew we had only one chance to make a great first impression for Pathfinder and comics fans – Jim and Andrew are the perfect team for the series. It is great to finally have the opportunity to publish these wonderful comics,” adds Dynamite Entertainment President and Publisher Nick Barrucci. ”I also finally get the chance to work with Jim Zub, a writer whom I have the utmost respect for, and Andrew’s art is nothing short of breathtaking. And these covers by Lucio Parillo, Matteo Scalera, Dave Dorman, and Erik Jones are just astounding!”
I like that there will be character stats in the comic.  It reminds me of the old TSR Comic Modules that Flint Dille was in charge of back in the day.

Jim Zub talks about the gig in his blog.

  

 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

True20

I'm currently running our group's round-robin Pathfinder game. So, by necessity, I've built my own enthusiasm for the d20 system and it's appropriate variants. In doing so I've revisited the good old True20 system and have fallen in love with it all over again.

It was not too long ago that Green Ronin officially declared True20 dead finished. They seem to be focusing on True20's cousin, Mutants and Masterminds as well as Dragon Age.

A recent conversation gave me a new perspective on games like this. It was stated that because of PDFs games cannot die. As long as someone is passionate about a game and there are people playing it, it's not dead. I like that idea. I guess this is the essence of the retro-clone movement. Still, there is something about new products coming out for the game you love.

And actually, there are new products for True20- of sorts. paNik Productions have recently released two adventures that are compatible with three RPG systems, and True20 is one of those. The Deadly Seven (which actually has an R rating!) and Caravan. So, technically, True20 still lives. Of course I'd love to see more. I won't complain about a little.

A minor thing that I really appreciate about the core products is the art direction. Green Ronin's art choice doesn't insult my intelligence like other and bigger RPG products. The art is not tits and ass and it isn't heavy with anime. For that small thing, I'm grateful.

While we're on the subject, I'll take this moment to shamelessly promote an old project- the True20 Wiki.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Paul Darrow - Forever Avon

Three part interview about the production of Blake's 7 with Paul Darrow who played Kerr Avon through the four seasons.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Anachronistic Adventurer - The Enforcer

The Enforcer is the first of five supplements from Super Genius Games that start to take the Pathfinder RPG to setting themes with modern elements. At this time there are three released, the other two being The Investigator and The Daredevil.

This is not Modern Pathfinder. It is a new approach to blending modern themes in a fantasy RPG. These are character classes and options for characters from modern or recent historical eras that somehow find themselves in a fantasy world- be it magically, or some crazy science experiment. Doesn't matter. here they are... Much like John Carter on Barsoom, David Innes and Abner Perry in Pellucidar, or Travis Morgan in Skartaris.

The Enforcer character class is a modern day fighter. The archetypes range from soldiers, thugs, pro-fighters, etc. There are alternate firearms rules (as opposed to the Ultimate Combat's Gunslinger firearms rules).

Also presented here are some alternate methods of improving Armor Class without having to rely on fantasy or historical armor by way of unique feat chains. And finally there is a simple Progress Level (PL) system that mirrors GURPS or Traveller.

The PDF is excellently written, very easy to understand and entertaining to read. There is no mystery about why rules were established as they philosophy is clearly laid out. My only complaint is that the PDF format is laid out in landscape orientation which has been a bit awkward to bind when printed. Besides that it has been one of the finest 3rd party products purchased.

It is no Pathfinder Modern. But it is a very strong foundation to build a game that heads in the modern direction. As stated before, there is this one and four more planned. It sounds like there might be additional supplements in the line as well. I hope to see as much of this as possible.

This is the first product I've ever seen by Super Genius Games and if it's an indication of the quality, I definitely could stand to pick up more. And I've seen that there is a lot of stuff out there by them.

The only other remotely serious attempt at a Modern Pathfinder has been The Modern Path by Game Room Creations. To date, there are two products- the main rule book and Arcana of the Modern World (both featured in the above link). In addition to these, the people behind the Pathfinder SRD have made a separate system reference document site for this Modern Pathfinder. There are a lot of mixed reviews and opinions on the Modern Path effort. The Anachronistic Adventurer line feels like a much stronger product.

Judge Dredd poster


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