Reality Is The Playground Of The Unimaginative
Home Of Superheroes, Swords, Sorcery, Star Stuff, Sci-fi, Scares, Silliness, Sauciness, Smeg, and the Supernatural

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

The Film Everyone's Tolkien About...


What's Coming In Next Week's Episode Of Game Of Thrones...



A very spoilery trailer if you're not up to speed with your viewing.

Thankfully the next episode appears not to have been shot at night, so it won't be like squinting into a mirror for 90 minutes, trying to figure out who's who!

Just three episodes to go now... will enough be explained?

Will plots be resolved? Will we be satisfied?

After the initial online reactions to this week's "fog of war"-heavy events, I'm thinking not...

Comics Without Context...

Monday, 29 April 2019

Musical Monday: Avengers - Endgame Soundtrack (Alan Silvestri)


Musical Monday: Brand New Baby Smell (The Chattering Order of St. Beryl)



This unholy a cappella tribute was written to remember and celebrate the moment when The Chattering Order of St Beryl realized their true purpose, to switch the new born baby Antichrist with the baby of an American Ambassador.

Armed with privilege and education, he would be protected till he recognized his true power and issued in the End Times with devastating abandon.

This is a song about love for a new infant and for a new leader who is yet to unleash his full potential.

Hopefully, the Dark Lord forgives them for using a pacifier 😈.

The Chattering Order of St Beryl are new to music videos and insisted that it be instilled with as much pop culture references as possible.

Those who find them all will be damned for all eternity. Awomen.

Musical Monday: Jenny of Oldstones (Florence + The Machine)


Saturday, 27 April 2019

Shelves And Secret Doors...

Doors Open

While the gamesroom is far from ready to receive its quota of DVDs etc, Rachel's dad built this cabinet in our hall - nicely blending it into its surroundings - where I was able to file the first wave of my film collection.

As the cabinet has doors I wasn't able to stack them two deep, but this actually turned out to be rather good as a single line of DVDs, set back on a shelf, are actually a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

Of course, it means I was only able to store about half of the DVDs that I'd previously calculated (having been unaware of the doors when the idea of a unit here was first pitched to me by Rachel) , but it looks really good.

And, yes, they are sort of ordered: top shelf: Star Wars, then two shelves of horror, two of fantasy (spot the Harryhausens and dragon's egg), two of sci-fi, and two miscellaneous (documentaries, comedies, period pieces etc).

Doors Closed

For those following along at home, this unit is built over the doorway to the gamesroom (as mentioned in a previous post).

Sadly, it wasn't feasible to turn it into a "secret door" that could swing open!

Here's a picture of the same space (different angle) before the DVD cabinet was put in place:

Terror Of The Steppes (1964)



Friday, 26 April 2019

Handbooker Helper Dishes On 5e Dungeons & Dragons' Many Condition Effects...

Marisha Ray delivers a marathon 12-minute guide to condition effects in 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons

Disney's Aladdin Is A Rags To Wishes Story...


New Creative Team Unveiled For Valiant's Flagship Character, X-O Manowar...


We knew Valiant was relaunching its flagship character - X-O Manowar - but this week the publisher has revealed the team it is handing this responsibility to.

Kicking off in November, with a new issue one, X-O Manowar will be written by Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, with art by Emilio Laiso.

While I'm trimming my pull-list - and my "all-in" drive on  Valiant titles has been shelved - I'll definitely pick this up as X-O is one of my favourite Valiant characters (as he was the first that I really "got").

As I said the other day, I wish this was starting at issue 27, following on from Matt Kindt's magnificent 26-issue run (which has now wrapped). Of course, in an ideal world that run would have followed on numerically from the character's first epic stint.

But, sadly, I guess long-running titles just aren't fashionable these days.

FREE LEAGUE ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL ALIEN TABLETOP RPG


LOS ANGELES, CA (April 26, 2019) – Forty years ago, Alien shocked and inspired the world with a horrific sci-fi universe that forever changed the genre.

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Free League Publishing has announced today that fans can soon explore that iconic universe for themselves with an official line of tabletop role-playing games.

The long-term licensing partnership with 20th Century Fox Consumer Products will kick off in late 2019, launching an ongoing tabletop RPG series drawing upon four decades of world-building within this beloved universe.

Free League is renowned for its own world-building in science fiction, with their best-selling sci-fi RPG Tales from the Loop sweeping the 2017 ENnie Awards for Best Setting, Best Writing, Best Art, Best Game, and Product of the Year.

Tomas HĂ€renstam, Free League co-founder and game director of their sci-fi RPGs Tales from the Loop and Mutant: Year Zero, will oversee game design, with original artwork from esteemed artists Martin Grip, John Mullaney and Axel Torvenius.

Taking place shortly after the events of Aliens, the first RPG will propel players into the vast possibilities of the Outer Rim Frontier. From the pioneering colonists and scientists to the ever-present Company reps and Colonial Marines, the game promises a diverse range of characters and gameplay experiences far beyond the staple cat-and-mouse suspense and survival horror of the franchise.

“The Alien saga isn’t about superheroes with superior firepower,” says game director HĂ€renstam. “It’s about placing ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, and testing the endurance of the human spirit against inhuman atrocities and impossible odds. Such a harsh yet hopeful universe has captured our imagination for 40 years with good reason, and we’re excited to explore new stories and perspectives as players must face their demons (in a true and metaphoric sense) and brave the horrors of the unknown.”

To best capture the Alien experience, the RPG will provide more than the framework for continuous, open-world campaigns.

Beyond the sandbox campaign game mode, Free League is also designing a “Cinematic” mode, with pre-generated scenarios that players must complete within a single session.

Emulating the dramatic arc of an Alien film, these survival challenges promise escalating stakes and fast (often brutal) gameplay where most players aren’t expected to last the night.

Their first cinematic scenario, Chariot of the Gods written by sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska (Death of the Planet of the Apes), is included in the core manual.

Gaska is also the setting writer and canon consultant for the RPG series.

More cinematic modules and game expansions are already in production, with direct tie-ins to Fox’s future plans for the franchise slated for 2020 and beyond.

The Fox-Free League licensing deal was brokered by Joe LeFavi of Genuine Entertainment, who will manage the license on behalf of Free League and serve as an editor on the game series.

Alien is the latest in a slew of high-profile tabletop deals by LeFavi, including the master tabletop gaming license for Dune, the tabletop RPG series for Altered Carbon, and multiple brand extensions of World of Darkness.

For more news and previews on the Alien RPG series, visit alien-rpg.com.

Then follow Free League Publishing on Twitter and Facebook, where fans can discover art and gameplay development ahead of the game’s release.

ABOUT 20TH CENTURY FOX CONSUMER PRODUCTS

20th Century Fox Consumer Products licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of 20th Century Fox Film, 20th Century Fox Television and FX Networks, as well as third party lines. The division is aligned with 20th Century Fox Television, the flagship studio leading the industry in supplying award-winning and blockbuster primetime television programming and entertainment content and 20th Century Fox Film, one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures throughout the world. For more information on all Alien products and activities, go to www.AlienUniverse.com.

ABOUT FREE LEAGUE PUBLISHING

Free League is a critically acclaimed Swedish publisher of speculative fiction, dedicated to publishing award-winning tabletop role-playing games, board games, and art books set in strange and wondrous worlds. Our best-selling RPG Tales from the Loop swept the 2017 ENnie Awards, winning five Gold ENnies for Best Setting, Best Writing, Best Art, Best Game, and Product of the Year. The game is inspired by a series of iconic art books published by Free League – Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, and The Electric State – exploring artist Simon StĂ„lenhag’s original sci-fi universe soon to be realized in the upcoming TV series from Amazon Studios. Most recently, our fantasy RPG Forbidden Lands became the 3rd most successful RPG Kickstarter of 2017 and dubbed one of the best RPGs of 2018. Other tabletop work includes the post-apocalyptic RPG Mutant: Year Zero, the sci-fi RPG Coriolis – The Third Horizon, the fantasy RPG Symbaroum, and the Crusader Kings board game. To learn more, visit freeleaguepublishing.com.

ABOUT GENUINE ENTERTAINMENT

Genuine Entertainment is an award-winning producer and paladin in genre entertainment, specializing in strategic licensing for entertainment franchises and fandoms that demand quality and authenticity in equal measure. It’s our mission to build brands by building worlds and fan communities, making meaningful contributions with premium content and consumer products that extend brands into new markets and genuinely connect with fans across multiple categories. Recent collaborations include such genre greats as Alien, Altered Carbon, Avengers: Infinity War, Blade Runner 2049, Dune, Game of Thrones, and World of Darkness. To learn more, visit: www.genuineent.com.

Deadwood: The Movie... Need I Say More?


Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought. Starring Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, and Molly Parker.

Deadwood: The Movie premieres May 31 on HBO
.
NSFW!

So Excited That One Of The Pivotal Books Of My Teenage Years Is Getting A TV Series...



Based on the acclaimed Joseph Heller novel, Catch-22 follows the adventures and misadventures of a US air squadron in Italy in World War II.

Christopher Abbott is Yossarian, a bombardier, whose frantic obsession every time he goes up on a mission is “to come down alive”.

His odds of success at such a simple aim keep getting worse, because Colonel Cathcart (Kyle Chandler) keeps raising the number of missions the men have to fly.

More than the retreating Germans, the real enemy for Yossarian and his rag-tag bunch of friends is the bureaucracy of the military, inverting logic at every turn.

The pinnacle of this is Catch-22, a military by-law which states that if you fly your missions, you’re crazy, and don’t have to fly them; all you have to do is ask.

But if you as not to, then you’re sane, and so you have to fly them.

George Clooney stars as the barking mad, parade-obsessed Scheisskopf. Hugh Laurie is the mellow, slightly checked-out Major de Coverley. Clooney directs the six-episode series, along with Grant Heslov and Ellen Kuras.

Catch-22 premieres May 17.
Hope it finds it way on a UK channel as soon as possible.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

We Are A Rumour: Here Come The Men (And Women) In Black...


The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest, most global threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.

Two Boxes And A Broken Bed...

Shelves with some of my comics now on - sorted alphabetically
Mo' shelves, mo' comics

Determined to do some unpacking for myself, I lucked upon a box marked "comics" at the top of a stack of back-breakingly heavy boxes in the gamesroom (that the removal men had humped around like they were full of feathers).

It took me most of this morning to then empty the box onto the floor of the downstairs room (which has initially doubled as a storeroom), lug them all upstairs to the office, and sort them out onto the shelves.

I'm going for an alphabetical organisation, but decided - after I started - that I'd be blending individual floppy issues with graphic novels.

Time was also taken up with fixing the spare bed, as it collapsed while I was standing on in with a stack of old issues of The Flash in my arms.

I won't be standing on that again, instead relying on the mini two-step ladder we have for this kind of job.

Under that initial box was one labelled "books". Opening it up I saw it was rammed with graphic novels, so that was a win.

After lunch, I ploughed on with emptying this second box onto the floor of the gamesroom, then transporting the books upstairs and shelving them alphabetically.

This took a fraction of the time that the jumbled individual issues because the books were pretty much collected by character and team anyway.

Beneath that second box was another labelled "books". Sadly, that was full of meaty film tomes which are supposed to remain in the gamesroom, so I couldn't go any deeper in that particular vein of exploration.

As it stands this evening, the office shelves have two box loads of comics and graphic novels on them, as well as some other randoms I found elsewhere:

Now with graphic novels

Of course, what dawned on me very quickly was that this felt quite possibly like a drop in the ocean of my comic/graphic novel collection.

I hope I haven't seriously underestimated how much room the whole collection will take up... and still allow room for expansion and the continued growth of my comic book addiction.

Unfortunately, the way my collection was boxed up in the old place I don't have a definitive grasp on how extensive (or not) it really is, and have to, instead, rely on my Swiss cheesed memory.

Let's see how things unfold over the next few weeks.

Disney's Aladdin: "Sometimes, Princess, You Just Have To Take A Risk!"


I've Just Discovered Our 'Twin Town' On The Other Side Of The Planet...

Bowerman's General Store, in Tunbridge, Tasmania

I love this kind of thing.

Thanks to a "mishear" by Alexa the other day, I got the weather forecast for "Tunbridge, Australia"... instead of Tonbridge in the UK (where I actually live).

I didn't even know there was a Tunbridge down there, but then again it's population is only 145 according to the 2016 census, down from 192 in the 2006 census.

Turns out it's named after Tunbridge Wells, our neighbouring town, which, in turn, takes its name from the much older Tonbridge (the spelling of Tunbridge Wells' name was changed at the request of Post Office, I believe).

Wikipedia tells us that the Antipodean Tunbridge, in Tasmania, is:
"...a town in the midlands of Tasmania, Australia that was originally a coaching stop on the Hobart to Launceston road, now known as the Midlands Highway. It was named after one of its three original coaching inns, the Tunbridge Wells, which in turn was named after Tunbridge Wells in Kent, England...

"In its coaching heyday it had three coaching inns, the Tunbridge Wells Inn, the Victoria Inn and the York Inn. Each inn was associated with a different coaching company. The Tunbridge Wells serviced J. E. Cox Coaches, the Victoria Inn serviced Samuel Page Coaches and the York Inn serviced Alfred Burbury Coaches. Tunbridge Post Office opened on 17 March 1856.
"
There's a much more thorough, and very well-illustrated, article on the small town at the On The Convict Trail blog, by Geoff Ritchie, which you can read here.

Man, it looks so wonderfully Wild West! I love it. I know I will never get to visit Tasmanian Tunbridge, but I'm definitely going to research it further.

Maybe, it will even influence my gaming somehow at some point.

Where to find Tunbridge in Tasmania.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Swamp Thing Looks So Good That It's Already Dead In The Water...



Even before it's released on the DC Universe streaming service, the Swamp Thing show has had its episode order cut from around a dozen episodes down to 10, and it's now being presented as a one-off mini-series rather than the start of an on-going serial.

I sense this could be the beginning of the end of the DC Universe service, at least in its current form, as rumour has it that Warners is now looking to launch its own streaming app (in competition to Disney +, Netflix, et al) and the DC content is likely to be subsumed by that.

I'm also wondering if this might have something to do with why we have yet to hear any announcements about Doom Patrol appearing on Netflix over here (as the DC Universe app remains staunchly America-only)?

And what does this mean for season two of Titans?

Weird Wednesday...

Wonder Woman Wednesday...

Shangi-Chi (2021) + Venom 2 (2021) + Eternals (2021) + The Batman (2022)

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