Aug 28 2012

Fictionlet

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Brigid slumped into the couch, causing Ozymandias to flee from the splash. “Ugh,” she said. “I get laid off, break a tooth, the car breaks down halfway home forcing us to walk in the rain, and finally we have to pay the apartment complex $35 to let us into our own place because we’ve both lost our keys. This has been the worst day ever.”

“Eh, it’s not so bad,” said Greg. “You could have woken up with ‘Stacy’s Mom Has Got It Goin’ On’ going through your head.”

Brigid shuddered, turning visibly pale. “Oh God,” she said. “Don’t even joke about something like that.”

-The Gneech

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Aug 27 2012

Monster Monday: Opera Ghost (Valkyrie)

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The whole run of Titanic: The Musical seemed to be under a curse: when it ran in Washington, D.C., the iceberg prop went out of control and flattened the diva Beryl Starsland in the middle of “I Will Always Love You.” When it actually ran on Broadway a year later, the roof of the theater collapsed, killing most of the cast. Given how bad Titanic: The Musical was, however, it may have been a mercy in disguise.

In any case, both of these tragic locations became the focus for hauntings. The Broadway theater’s mess was cleaned up by the original NY Ghostbuster team during the “Return of Gozer” incident; the Golden Swan theater in Washington, D.C., haunted by Beryl Starsland, remained quiet and unused for many years, until finally the D.C. Ghostbusters were called in to clean it up.

In both incidents, the GBI teams reported being attacked by “operatic ghosts,” accompanied by an overwhelmingly loud ghostly accompaniment of Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries,” which seemed to arise spontaneously out of the theatrical environment itself rather than being tied specifically to Titanic: The Musical (which had no valkyries in it, thankfully).


Valkyrie by =SilenceV on deviantART

♠ Opera Ghost (Valkyrie)

Creature: Phantasm
Attributes: Agility d6-1, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength d8-1, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8-1, Intimidation d6, Notice d8, Stealth d8-1, Throwing d6-1
Pace: 5 (+1d10 fly), Parry: 7, Toughness: 9 (+3 armor), Charisma: 0
———————————–
Gear: Longsword d8-1 (Str+d8), Thrown Objects d6-1 (Str+d4, 3/6/12), Plate Corselet (+3), Medium Shield (+2, Parry+1)
———————————–
Special Abilities:
Ethereal: Immune to mundane physical attacks; Only seen if desired
Fear: Enemies roll Guts check against horrific manifestation

Text by John “The Gneech” Robey. Artwork by Sahar. Ghostbusters copyright Sony Pictures and used for fan purposes only. Stat block created by Hero Lab® (Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at http://www.wolflair.com). Savage Worlds is Copyright © 2004-2012 by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. All rights reserved.

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Aug 16 2012

La Brioche di Celestia (Foalpapers Commish, Finished!) [artwork]

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La Brioche di Celestia (Wallpaper) by ~the-gneech on deviantART

“La Brioche di Celestia” (The Muffining of Celestia) was not painted by Vincenzo Camuccini in or around 1798. What you are thinking of is “The Death of Ceasar,” which you can see at this link: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/Cesar-sa_mort.jpg

Instead, La Brioche di Celestia was commissioned by @Foalpapers and digitally rendered by The Gneech in 2012, over the course of eight months, but principally in July and August of that year.

Although explicitly drawing on Faustian design and technique, The Gneech clearly made an effort to add his own flourishes, and was once quoted as saying he was particularly pleased with Rarity, but did not elaborate as to why. Some Gneechologists have said that this piece was one of, if not the most complex image Gneech had attempted up to this point, although others contend that his famous “Dover and Comfort VJ Day” piece or the first two pages of the short-lived “Arclight Adventures” comic rival it.

This piece is also believed to have led to The Gneech’s subsequent submission into a rubber room later that same year, where he repeated “The horror… the adorable, candy-colored horror…” for sixteen straight hours before finally passing out.

-The Gneech

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Aug 13 2012

The Vast Depths of My Comic Ignorance

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Although like any kid I had my enthusiasms growing up, I have never been a big fan of superheroes generally. There are just soooooo many weak planks in the foundation of the premise that all you need to do is to lightly tug one and the whole genre comes falling down. As such, I have never followed mainstream comics much. I read Detective Comics, Green Arrow, and The Question for a couple of years in the “Longbow Archers” post-Tim-Burton-movie era, before it all just turned into “crapsack world,” but really my favorite stuff was always the Diniverse or the comic spinoffs thereof, and even that I only read for a while, c. 1990 or so.

Fast forward to this past month, when I started up a Tumblr account, which I use primarily to consume other people’s feeds. On some fundamental level I still don’t GET Tumblr, but say what you will, there are lots of pretty pictures on it. Through my Tumblr account I started following Gail Simone, Diane Duane, and a variety of other accounts that blog a lot about geekery, comics, and particularly women in geekery/comics.

One thing that many of these accounts have in common is an obsession with Batgirl, Batwoman, or both, and more generally with the fifteen or twenty “Bat-titles” going at any given time, and their peculiar interconnections, contradictions, and conundrums. It would seem that there are about twelve Robins, three Batgirls, four Batwomen, and at any given time any or all of them might be Nightwing, just to be different.

Also, I recently discovered that Renee Montoya (who I know mostly as “the smart cop from Batman: The Animated Series“) was The Question for a while. Which is neat, but came at me out of left field.

The net result of all of which is to make me just sort of raise my eyebrows, go “Huh,” and decide to make peace with the vast depths of my comic ignorance instead of trying to parse it all. I’m sure the others are awesome characters, but in my mind Batgirl = Barbara Gordon and is played by Yvonne Craig; then again, in my mind, superheroes exist in a kind of static world where time doesn’t pass, ‘cos otherwise how could Bruce Wayne still be Batman (which is the case as far as I know) seventy years later?

I realize that it’s a variation of this mindset that’s leading to the retro-reboots that have been whitewashing comics lately, and I certainly agree that’s a bad thing– if I were creating mainstream superhero comics these days (by some very peculiar whim of fate) I’m sure I would be much more interested in creating something that better reflects modern ideas and issues than just echoing the creative works of fifty years ago.

But again, this what-decade-is-this change-without-changing nature of the beast leads back to one of my big problems with the superhero genre generally, but especially in comics. Superheroes need sunsetting, but by their nature can never have it. With the exception of a character like The Phantom (whose whole premise is that the mantle is passed on from father to son) or some sort of immortal like The Doctor, the active career of any superhero (especially of the super-trained mortal type) should be ten years at the longest stretch, and way shorter for most of them. The window of “young, strong, and beautiful” is shockingly short. But the vast majority of readers (self included, guilty) don’t really care much for “new” superheroes– they want the big, iconic ones they know from their childhood.

Thus, the comic universes keep getting rebooted, so they can keep the same familiar faces but make them young again. But fan favorites from previous incarnations need to stick around, so they’re grafted into the new incarnation, giving each reboot progressively more and more leftover baggage… meh. It’s a mess. See also, “there’s always another Sith” and “*M*A*S*H* lasted three times longer than the actual Korean war.” 😛

Anyhow… not sure where I was going with this, now. 😀 I hope I got there. But long story short: please write your stories/comics with a beginning, middle, and end! Don’t just have them go on forever!

-The Gneech

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Aug 09 2012

Internet Quotes

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“I didn’t actually say this. And if someone had said it to me, I would have disagreed somewhat vehemently.”
–Albert Einstein

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