Thursday, January 17, 2019

Save Vs. Comics # 1

Review 

Popeye
Thimble Theatre Presents: “Witch Whistle” 
22 pages
Bud Sagendorf
Popeye # 12 
1950
Currently available in Popeye classics V3 Ed. Christopher Yo. 

Elements of note: 
Recurring Villain; powerful magic item (the titular whistle); unbalanced adventure party; nautical and airborne action; mystery; escape. 

Synopsis: The farmers of Spinichovia are disappearing. Ignorant of the crisis, Popeye, Olive and Wimpy arrive on the coast. Giant vultures abduct Olive and Wimpy, fly the pair to a hidden castle and lock them up with about a hundred farmers all of whom are nearly identical (clones?).

Soon after their incarceration, Olive and Wimpy discover that the Sea Hag is in charge of the castle; furthermore, she controls millions of giant vultures with her magic whistle. She used the giant birds to kidnap the farmers. The Sea Hag never really explains her plan in regards to the farmers. 

Discovering that Popeye is nearby, the Hag sends 500 vultures to slay him. Popeye defeats the vultures, but falls from the sky, smashes through the roof of the castle and into he dungeon, where he meets Olive and Wimpy. 

In the course of their subsequent escape attempt, the trio encounters the Sea Hag, who proposes matrimony to Popeye. Eschewing the customary can of spinach, Olive opts to open a family size can of whupass instead. Beaten within an inch of her life, the Sea Hag survives, but in a subdued state. Popeye and company take her whistle and, using the vultures, return all the farmers to their homes. 
The end.

This story, like many Popeye stories, invokes a mood that lies at a right angle to both high and low fantasy and emanates a  sort of whimsical, fairytale vibe instead. The art style mirrors this perfectly, giving equal weight to swashbuckling adventure; character warmth; slapstick, tall tale physics and fantasy. 

5 cans of spinach out of 5

RPG 

Science Fiction: Pilots and navigators have been vanishing from the local spaceport. Star-Kahn a notorious space pirate possess advanced mind control technology. Using an army of rogue robots moving through a secret tunnel complex beneath the space port, Star-Kahn kidnapped the spacers. He intends to brainwash them into crewing his armada. His captives are hidden in a domed city somewhere far away from the space port. Star-kahn requires a special cybernetic implant to control the robots. 

The adventure begins upon the discovery of the hidden tunnels. Where do they lead- to answers- or horrible death? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Fractal Superhero Setting creation 1

(Image from Cosmic Tales #1)

Introduction:
Fractal Campaign Creation 

A complex and satisfying campaign requires a solid and coherent setting. Superhero settings range in scale from a single city to a multiverse and often encompass elements such as time travel and alternate reality as well. 
Despite this variation in scope, most settings and sub-settings share a similar array of traits, differing from one another in degree, but not kind. This similarity in characteristics, regardless of scale, allows one setting to be nested within another, i.e., a neighborhood within a city; a city within a country; a country within a continent; a continent on a planet; a planet in a solar system; a solar system in a galaxy; a galaxy in a cluster; a cluster in a universe;  a universe in a multiverse and so on. 

These traits are as follows:

Four classes of sentient beings exist: Villains; citizens; superheroes and forces; each engages reality with unique motivations; behaviors and philosophies.

Environment is often, at least in part, a reflection of the villain(s) and, in game terms, should be thought of as an hostile NPC. Otherwise environment should contain several landmarks, hazards, wonders and mysteries. 

History reduces to the following: The beginning; the good old days; the disaster- which leads up to the present, AKA: This fallen world. 
Each class of sentients views the same history through a different lens. 
Origins profoundly impact the present.
Historically speaking, everyone feels put upon. 

Turf belongs to someone. Turf unprotected will fall to chaos. Villains claim their turf in an explicit and hierarchal manner; heroes, perforce operating in the same territory, assert their claim in much more passive, implicit and (often grudging) egalitarian manner. Turf wars manifest in many different ways and provide the initial impetus for numerous conflicts. 


Friday, December 7, 2018

Death Spore

DEATH SPORE:
AC: 0; Hit Dice: 12; Move: 240’; Attacks: 1; Damage: Death (Death Ray; save for 3d6 damage); No. Appearing: 1; Save As: MU 13; Morale: N/A; Alignment: D
Bio-weapons left over from the war that allegedly drove the Azure Martins to extinction, the remaining Death Spores circle Mars, borne on solar powered wings, riding high in the atmosphere. It is unknown how many are left; but sometimes, one comes down

SPORE ZOMBIES:
AC: 7; Hit Dice: 1; Move: 30; Attacks: 1; Damage: 1d4; No. Appearing: 10-1000 or more; Save As: F1; Morale: N/A; Alignment: D
Regardless of distance, all those who bear witness to the death spores decent; vomit uncontrollably for 1d3 rounds. Everyone within a mile of a Death Spore’s impact must Save vs. Death. Those who succeed suffer no damage, but fall into a dark, nightmarish slumber for the next 1d4 hours. Failure results in instant death. These dead will rise as zombies, their eyes an electric, luminous green, and make their way to the impact site. Once all the dead have gathered (2d6+2 hours) they will turn away from the crater,  join ranks and march towards the nearest population center,  bearing the green glowing sphere of the Death Spore in their midst and killing anything in their path. When the next settlement is reached the spore activates once more, and so on. The only way to stop the advance of these creatures is to destroy the spore. 
Adventure: returning from an errand beneath the surface, adventurers find that a vast army of Spore Zombies marches towards their location. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

B/X Mars preview: The Dragon Tower, cutaway.


Cosmic tales is sold out
If you have alreadey pay paled me- you’re okay and taken care of.
ZERO Cosmic Tales remain available for your purchase.
Please be careful; it’s a gateway drug.

On to the Mars
This was originally the Dragon Towers, but i cahnged my mind whilst drawing the second tower and decided that at one time it was the Dragon Towers- now it’s just the Dtagon Tower.

Some of the data will be presented on the “mapistration” below. The Riders have the tip; a huge grav-lift extends up the entire length center of the interior; trees and other plants grow, attached to the lift-tube and terraces; creating a vertical forest, that runs from top to bottom inthis 2.5 mile high structure (ease up, sperg, 20% gravity).

Countless small and equsitely modifed caverns line the circular wall of the tower’s interirom, from the base to just below the airie at the tip.

 Dragon Tower
    • Ruler The Dragon Empress
      • Fourteen adult dragons live in the aeries atop the three great spires. 
      • Thirteen of these dragons select their own riders through the auspice of a strange, psychedelic and poorly understood process. 
        • The Dragon Riders control the skies of Zerzura.   
        • The exploits of the Dragon Riders exist as a topic of eternal interest to the Red Martians. Everyone has a favorite rider, of course
      • The fourteenth dragon, the immortal seeming Empress, rules the Dragon Towers. 
        • Her priests manage and watch the populace
    • Population 3000, predominately,  but not exclusively, Red Martians.
    • Provisions 
      • Numerous well maintained phototron banks and meat vats provide food. 
      • Each tower has its own well (and bathhouse). 
    • Tribute
    • The Shuttered Spire
      • A structure/landform nearly identical to the Dragon Tower.
      • All external entrances blocked.  
      • Rumored to have been invaded by horrific creatures and abandon and closed off as a result. 
    • Day to Day Life
        • Although potentially as indolent as any other red Martian settlemrnt
        • The origin of the towers is a topic of continual speculation amongst the citizenry. 
        • Many believe the towers are natural spires of stone, modified and reshaped over time to suit the needs of their residents. 
      • A rival school of thought contends the opposite to be the case. According to this view,  the towers are artificial structures, worn by erosion and design until they grew to resemble, somewhat, it must be grudgingly allowed, formations of a more natural sort. 



Monday, November 26, 2018

Cosmic Tales 10 copies remain.

5.95+ 4.99 shipping and handling. Sorry about the S & H charge but at 3.99 I am actually losing money.
Paypal “the metal earth at gmail” and I’ll get it out right away.

Order now!
As long as you stay drunk, you won’t be sorry!!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Cosmic Tales and some stuff I read.



Ten copies of Cosmic Tales remain available.



I decided to read Gardens of the Moon. 
It’s not good.
I think it can best be summed up as a sequel to an unwritten novel combined with “GM’s setting history nobody reads; let me tell you about my character and GMNPCs” the book. I gave up at about halfway and just skipped to Memories of Ice- or I will once I read a little something else.
Sorry is a great name, but it’s balanced out by how stupid of a name Whiskyjack is.
It’s a rocy start for sure.

Marvel Two in One 1-19.
Fairly pedestrian cape stuff, but with a great lead (the Thing) and it sets the stage for much cooler stuff later as Ben gees a life beyond the Baxter building.

X-Men Mutant Massacre Omnibus
Unrelentingly dour and full of the posturing nonsense that is most often associated with the franchise and its offshoots in the 90’s.
“You gotta prove yourself ta be an X-men, sugah”
“Girl you aint an one of the X-men best mind your own business and get me a beer.” Snikt.
“What’s going on? I’m in an endless power loss arc; also suddenly really dumb,” Storm, “and what the fuck happened to my hair?”

The round robin of artists on the main title really brings things down, but aptly mirrors the dissolution of the franchise as well.
The book contains 10 issues of X-Factor- The worst thing to happen to mutants since the invention of the Sentinels.
I just don’t enjoy Walt Simonson like I once did, so no silver lining there.

Thanksgiving anology: By the time Liefield and company carve into the x-turkey,  they don’t ruin dinner; it’s too late for that; they’re your crazy cousin who interrupts Uncle Dementia’s endless coma inducing political screed by intiating a fart lighting contest.
The house, of course, burns down as a result.
At least you got out of eating the jello salad.

And now the good news



I’ve been rereading the short lived  John Buscema era of Amazing Spider-Man. i don’t want to undersell them, but these comics feel as fresh as a summer day to me. I can just about smell the dew on the grass in Central Park. Reading each issue feels like getting out of school early and shooting down the walkparh dodging bullies on your Free Former.

I have the omnibus editions (these stories are in V3) and the art and colors are breathtaking. The light and the spave of the four panel grid, so often used, takes you there, and gives these comics a more than modern feel.  By this point Lee has both improved and cut down on the dialogue. This entire period involves mobsters and magic tablet. It’s some crazy awesome shit, and the wrong kind of silly for cape comics in 2018.
There are weak issues here and there along the way, but I really don’t have anything negative to say about Amazing Spider-Man 1-350.
When everything else goes wrong, friends, read some goddanm Spider-Man.






Monday, November 19, 2018

Cosmic Tales # 1 on sale here, I guess, whatever.




This post fills me with terror.
After half a decade of threats

CosmicTales #1 is on sale.

22 available copies.

What you get: 48 pages of story and two pages of pin ups, three if you count the next issue promo.
5.95 + 3.99 shipping and handling (US) international we’ll work it out in email.
My pay pal is the metal earth “at” gmail; no spaces.
Write a thoughtful or especially obscene email and I’ll do a letters page, for Number 2; they’re all number 2, friends.

I’ll order more if there is interest. I’ll fisnish this post after I reign in the laughtears.

Fair warning: you’ll be going on a bit of an artistic journey with me as my resitstance to devloping a style is utterly destroyed and I’ve gone a good deal further since finishing this in March(?).

Thanks for all the support and pestering.
Trey Causey did the cover colors and the log

Dude, your copy is cleared for launch. I have to rescan your original art, though. I redrew Talon’s ass. Surprising, I know, but I’m all about the quality.
You are clear to talk shit about the comic in whatever venue you prefer.