Tuesday, March 31, 2015


We've been here before. But this time it sounds more official. There is a ROBOTECH movie being made.

In various stages of development for quite some time, it appears that a live-action adaptation of the anime classic Robotech is finally on the way! Sony Pictures has just announced that they have secured the big screen rights to the property with, in their words, “the intention of moving quickly toward production of a future global franchise”! 
“Robotech” debuted in the 1980s from Harmony Gold USA and Tatsunoko Productions. A peculiar science fiction amalgamation, the show re-edited and re-wrote the dialogue of three Japanese anime series (“The Super Dimension Fortress Macross,” “Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross” and “Genesis Climber MOSPEADA”) to give the producers enough episodes to air as a daily syndicated series. 
A sprawling sci-fi epic, Robotech takes place at a time when Earth has developed giant robots from the technology on an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific isle. Mankind is forced to use the technology to fend off three successive waves of alien invasions. The first invasion concerns a battle with a race of giant warriors who seek to retrieve their flagship’s energy source known as “protoculture,” and the planet’s survival ends up in the hands of two young pilots. 
Immortals and 300 franchise producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton are developingRobotech with Michael Gordon (300, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra) set to provide the screenplay. This team will “bring their modern sensibility to the tentpole, reintroducing today’s audiences to the Robotech universe.” The project will be overseen at Sony Pictures by Doug Belgrad, Michael De Luca, and Matthew Milam. Frank Agrama of Harmony Gold, which is the original intellectual property rights holder, will executive produce with Michael Gordon and Jehan Agrama. 
“‘Robotech’ is unique in that it has always been a marriage of spectacle with human characters that seem drawn from life,” says De Luca. “That’s why we are so excited to be working with Mark and Gianni as we move forward on this project. With a history that offers an epic love triangle, a renegade hero, and a world on the brink of extinction, ‘Robotech’ offers a wide scope and a rich and impressive universe where the story possibilities are endless.” 
“When the rights to ‘Robotech’ became available we jumped,” adds Nunnari. “Mark and I knew it had what big movies in today’s world must have if they want to grab everyone: insane visuals AND powerful themes. The characters in ‘Robotech’ wrestle with both the destructive and redemptive powers of technology; nothing is more relevant today than that.” 
“I’m thrilled to be back in business with Sony Pictures and Gianni and I look forward to working with the studio on this global franchise-driven opportunity,” says Canton. “‘Robotech’ is a very significant and legendary part of the growth of anime into the force that it is today, and we’re excited to be adapting it for modern audiences.” 
“Patience is a virtue,” continues Agrama. “We at Harmony Gold have waited 30 years for the chips to fall in place. Finally they have, and finally our dreams have come true. I am sure that our fans and the public at large will be flabbergasted with what they will hear and see on the screen. Thank you Gianni, Mark, Ralph and above all, all of the Columbia Pictures people involved.” 
The deal on behalf of Harmony Gold and the producers was negotiated by Ralph P Brescia of Bloom Hergott.

Monday, March 30, 2015

TIE Fighter

Classic '90s space flight simulator/space combat computer gaming meets classic '80s sci-fi anime as the OtaKing (Paul Johnson, not to be confused with Gainax co-founder and fellow YouTuber Toshio Okada) has presented the final, finished results of four years of work with a Star Wars: TIE Fighter tribute.  

What if there was an Empire-focused short Star Wars animation, drawn with the crazy detail and shading of classic 80s anime that's all but vanished from Japan nowadays? Well, I tried my best. Apologies in advance for not living up to Venus Wars standards.Drawn and animated by yours truly over 4 years' worth of weekends, with music by the living guitar solo Zak Rahman and sound design by up and coming audio technician Joseph Leyva. Fans of Lucasarts' seminal 1994 TIE Fighter game may notice a few familiar sights and sounds. That “incoming missile” noise gives me horrible flashbacks to this day... 
Official poster art: http://mightyotaking.deviantart.com/a...“Interdictor,” the music track: https://soundcloud.com/zakrahman/tie-...Story/character info pdf file: http://www.mediafire.com/view/cpnc1oj... 
Special thanks to the good folk at Lucasfilm for encouraging people to get creative and make these kind of projects. It's thanks to their extremely fan-friendly nature that we can enjoy IMPS: The Relentless, TROOPS, etc. 
Don't support me on Patreon, because I don't have one! And don't donate to my Kickstarter, because I don't have one of those either. Instead, if you enjoyed this, give someone at your workplace, uni, school or whatever a random bar of chocolate or can or Coke or something. Seriously, it'll probably make their day. 
That would totally make my day.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Crash Ryan

I didn't know much about Crash Ryan. But after reading this report I'm more along the lines of YES PLEASE!
It looks like yet another Marvel Comics property will soon be making its way to the big screen in what will surely be a magnificent montage of monstrosity. The title of said property? Feel free to start mental drumrolls… Crash Ryan! Are those crickets I’m imagining hearing? Or perhaps that faint scraping sound is attributed to the collective scratching of heads from people pondering the all-too-critical question, "who the hell is Crash Ryan?!" Well, he is a character who once graced the pages Marvel Comics and, thanks to a producer’s recent purchase of the film rights, it looks like he’s getting a movie. 
According to a report from Variety, producer, Ryan Heppe has acquired the movie rights to Crash Ryan; a Marvel Comics property started in the mid 1980’s as a miniseries that we can safely classify as "obscure." However, while it won’t likely have a place in Marvel Studios’ Avengers-centric Cinematic Universe, the title does seem inventive. According to the comic book’s original creator, Ron Harris, 
"Crash Ryan’ is the product of a mishmash of influences: my childhood spent on Navy airbases; the old flying movies and Masked Villain serials I loved on latenight TV, and especially my fascination with predictions of future life made in the 1930s."

The story takes place in an alternate version of 1935 where real life contemporaneous technology and aesthetics have been fused with over-the-top serial film/comic book influences - and the world is under the threat of a sprawling, evil organization run by a mysterious villain who calls himself The Doom. In many ways, it’s the kind of quasi-historical fare that we’ve seen prominently with 1991’s The Rocketeer and 2004’s Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. In fact, the report even hints that the film will sport a stylistic influence of "an earthbound, steampunk-inspired fusion of Indiana Jones and Star Wars." 
The Crash Ryan comic book title debuted in 1984 under Marvel’s more mature-themed Epic Comics banner, which was the brainchild of then-editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter (who was tasked with reinvigorating the broader Marvel brand that had gone stale in the 1970’s). The banner, which was sporadically ended and resurrected over the decades, also served as a point of exposure for mature superhero fare like Frank Miller’s darkerElektra solo series’, Dreadstar, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and even facilitated the 1988 release of the original Akira manga series here in the United States. As a result, we probably should expect Crash Ryan to me a more clever kind of comic book film, infused with some meta sensibilities, serving as an ode to fans who understand the internal construction of big-budget fiction in an intimate way. 
While still in the earliest of processes, Crash Ryan actually already nabbed its scribes starting with David Cowper, who recently co-authored a script called Road Dawgs withThe Outsiders author, S.E. Hinton. The aforementioned rights-securing producer, Ryan Heppe will actually bunker down and co-write the script with Cowper. This does seem to be a rather odd collection of creative forces, since both of their credits are somewhat obscure and extremely sporadic. However, writer/producer Heppe does have another major project on his docket to prove that "Number Five is alive," as he is producing the upcoming remake of the 1986 robotic romp, Short Circuit
No details have been released regarding when Crash Ryan plans to fly his gigantic steampunk mega-plane to theaters.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

next Vorkosigan novel

There is word that Bujold is working on the next Vorkosigan book for 2016. Yes!

Lois McMaster Bujold has confirmed that a new Vorkosigan Saga novel will arrive next year.

However, rather than being another adventure for Miles, the new book will focus on his mother Cordelia. The new book will be entitled Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, and will be published in February 2016. 2016 also marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first three Vorkosigan novels, Shards of HonourThe Warrior's Apprentice and Ethan of Athos, and Bujold has indicated this will be celebrated with the new book.
I am pleased to report that a new Cordelia Vorkosigan novel has been sold to Baen Books for publication, tentatively, in February of 2016.

The title is Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.

It is not a war story. It is about grownups.

And that is probably all I ought to say right now in a venue read by the spoiler-sensitive. It is, after all, a long haul till next February.

2016 will also mark the 30th anniversary of my first publication by Baen, which ought to be good for a little PR fun.

The Reward: Tales of Alethrion

Idle Red Hands - Generalist vs Specialist Players

Idle Red Hands is an RPG podcast recorded in Japan. They have entertaining and higher quality discussion about a nice variety of gaming topics. It quickly became one of the few 'must subscribes' for my list.

The latest episode struck a deep chord, actually. The discussion was about Generalist vs Specialist gamers. Dabblers vs those who stick with one system. Struck a chord enough for me to post a lengthy message on their forum, which I realized towards the end, that it was also going to be a blog post. Here it is:

I really dug this episode. Struck a chord for me. My issue is that I think I am an extreme Generalist, a big-time dabbler, almost an RPG system schizophrenic who longs to be a Specialist. I'm always on the search for that one system to consider as my home system, the go-to system.

My gaming group has always, and it looks like will always, use 3rd edition/Pathfinder. I used to hate that. Now I don't mind it so much as these days I'm the GM. I realized it is the system that I know almost like 2nd nature.

I've taken it upon myself to find a system that would work better to introduce my kids to gaming when they are old enough and ready, which is getting closer all the time. The goal has kind of become to find that one system that is intuitive, not too simple or abstract, does have some element of crunch, easy enough to each and understand (for young ones, but also non-gamers who want to share in the experience- like grandparents if I'm ever so lucky).

I dabble in many systems and I go round and round, exploring one system for a while and then moving on to the next one. Finding things that I like or don't like, then on to the next one. Usually cycling through the game books I already have.

The major contenders these: Vortex system (Doctor Who and Rocket Age), Ubiquity, Savage Worlds (sorry), GURPS, BRP, d00Lite (Barebones Fantasy and Covert Ops), D6. I am a sucker for generic systems. And when new ones come around, I just have to look into it.

Currently I'm stuck on d20 Modern (again). Finding the old books for cheap where I can. There's that collector/completest that was talked about. I'm blessed to have a tolerant wife.

These obsessions fuel my blogs. The blogs are my vent.

Anyway. Cool episode. Defined some of my personal chaos.

Read more: http://happyjacks.proboards.com/thread/4073/episode-187-generalist-specialist-players#ixzz3UiRq365v

I have to credit Idle Red Hands for introducing me to Tripod Jimmie. Thank you, fellas.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

excellent pulp art - LGX by exedor3

LGX 1943

World Crime League 1942

LXG 1966

LGX 1974

I was allowed to use this one on a personal project a while back. It's appeared on this blog before.
LGX is short for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen playing off of the wondrous comic book/movie from Alan Moore. exedor3 is an excellent artist with a variety of work. He is also very generous.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Beyond the Mask trailer

Here's a twist, an action adventure with virtue and morals. And a load of pulp action. This may be one for the whole family.
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