Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Stars Are Right Again!!

Great news for fans of Call of Cthulhu! Hopefully they will be able to maintain the high standards of quality that Pagan started with their magazine. It seems that a lot of support is building for Call of Cthulhu out there in the gaming world, which is a great thing.

Hopefully this will give Chaosium a much needed push in the market.

[TMP] Unspeakable Oath Reanimating for 2007
Skirmisher Publishing LLC is excited to announce that it is partnering with Pagan Publishing to resurrect The Unspeakable Oath, a leading periodical devoted to various manifestations of Lovecraftian horror in games, books, and films.

The Unspeakable Oath was last published in 2001, and the partnership will resurrect it in summer 2007 as an annual digest, containing top-notch articles, scenarios, and support material for Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu, Pagan's Delta Green campaign setting, Skirmisher's Cthulhu Live, and more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

BBC moves to file-sharing sites

Geeks around the world rejoice! It will be interesting to see how many other networks around the world embrace this sort of move. American networks already offer streaming video of many programs via their websites but I think that this is the first time that any media outlet has embraced file sharing.

Time will tell the impact that this decision has.

BBC moves to file-sharing sites

Hundreds of episodes of BBC programmes will be made available on a file-sharing network for the first time, the corporation has announced.

The move follows a deal between the commercial arm of the organisation, BBC Worldwide, and technology firm Azureus.

The agreement means that users of Azureus' Zudeo software in the US can download titles such as Little Britain.

Until now, most BBC programmes found on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks have been illegal copies.

Beth Clearfield, vice president of program management and digital media at BBC Worldwide, said that the agreement was part of a drive to reach the largest audience possible.

'We are very excited to partner with Azureus and make our content available through this revolutionary distribution model,' she said.

Dorkland Participates: The Carl Sagan-Blog-A-Thon

If you're a blogger, this is one that you should spread around. From the Cornell University Chronicle Online:
Fans and bloggers are planning a worldwide blog-a-thon to commemorate the life and legacy of Carl Sagan -- consummate scientist, communicator and educator -- on Dec. 20, the 10th anniversary of his death. Sagan was Cornell's David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences.

Ten years ago bone marrow disease took one of the great popularizers of science from the world. Cosmos was an incredible television series that had a great impact on me in my youth.

"We are poised at the edge of forever." -- Dr. Carl Sagan

Today, on the anniversary of his death the blogosphere is saluting Dr. Sagan with the Carl Sagan Blog-A-Thon. Perhaps a chain of billions and billions of blogs will honor his memory.

Finding a copy of Cosmos on DVD is well worth the effort of tracking it down. The book is great too. My copy of the book has seen great use and wear throughout the years.

Dr. Sagan, I hope that your travels through the Cosmos are still as enlightening now as they were when you were here with us on Earth.

You can find the blog of Nick Sagan, Dr. Sagan's son, here.

On Google Video you can also find a NASA video of a 1972 panel on extraterrestrial life that features Sagan.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cartoons inspire cosplay restaurant

Because the world just isn't goofy enough. There are some things that are just better when you let them introduce themselves...

Cartoons inspire cosplay restaurant
The only cartoon-themed restaurants that I've eaten at have been at theme parks and the only memorable one was Marvel Mania at Universal Studios, Hollywood. It has since closed down (probably because the food wasn't that great), but it was kind of entertaining to have Spidey hanging out at the dinner table. Perhaps drawing inspiration from that one selling point - that it is fun to sit with the characters - from such themed restaurants, a new cartoon-themed restaurant has opened up in Toronto that takes the theme further.

iMaid Cafe is a cosplay restaurant, which basically means that all the staff members are dressed in costumes and play a certain role. In this particular case, that role is of a maid from Japanese anime cartoons. 'I call them maids not waitresses,' said 24-year old Aaron Wang, the owner of the restaurant who is originally from Beijing. 'They smile a lot and they are cute. I want somebody cute like the characters from cartoons -- big eyes, long hair and young.'

[via Boing Boing]

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Light the Sky: A Comic Book in Progress /// Version 5.0: Fatally Yours

Another particularly twisted little webcomic (and I mean that in a good way) discovered via comicscene. Both Light the Sky and Self Inflicted have some things worth looking at.

Light the Sky: A Comic Book in Progress

Martin Nodell -- RIP

I saw him a few years back when I visited WizardWorld Chicago to meet the Big Bang Comics guys (too bad that didn't work out better) and he didn't look very good back then. It was sad, in a way, because he had been reduced to having to sell drawings of Green Lantern with his shaking hand just to pull in a little bit of money.

It's a shame how the comic industry ends up treating its own in the end. Siegel and Shuster. Dave Cockrum. William Messner-Loeb. Jack Kirby. Martin Nodell.

He will be missed, but somewhere there is an engineer lighting his way with an emerald lantern that brings life, then death, and the power.

Martin Nodell -- RIP
Martin Nodell, the artist co-creator of Green Lantern, died this morning less than a month after his 91st birthday. I'm afraid I have no further details other than that Marty had been in poor health lately.

Marty was born 11/15/15 in Philadelphia. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and later, Pratt Institute in New York. It was in New York that he began working as a freelance artist, in or around 1938. He soon started freelancing for several comic book companies that either didn't pay or didn't pay well. As he later told the story, he got tired of being stiffed by the smaller firms and decided to make an all-out effort to break into the majors. He called at the offices of the biggest publisher, DC Comics, and was told they were full up but that there might be work at an affiliated company, All American. The editor there was Sheldon Mayer.

Mayer gave him a little work. When Nodell asked what it would take to get steady assignments, Mayer, who was looking for a new feature for the company's signature title, All-American Comics, told him to come up with a character. Nodell returned a few days later with sketches and the germ cell of a strip called Green Lantern. He said the idea had come to him on the subway when he saw a man waving — you guessed it — a green lantern. Nodell also said he wrote and drew the first few pages of the first story...but he wasn't a writer so Mayer brought in one of comics' top writers, Bill Finger, to rewrite and finish the first tale. The result was that Green Lantern, by Bill Finger and 'Mart Dellon,' debuted in All-American Comics #16, cover dated July of 1940. The character, which drew inspiration from the legend of Aladdin, was an immediate hit on the magnitude of the firm's other new superstars, The Flash and Wonder Woman, and soon received his own comic. (The All-American company was later absorbed by DC Comics. A new version of Green Lantern was created in 1959 and that version remains popular today, though the original Nodell incarnation has also been known to reappear.)

The Graphic Work of Lien-Cooper, Greenlee and Howe

Here's a webcomic site that I found through the comicspace website. There's some really good stuff in here, particularly Gun Street Girl and Red Dahlia. Really good art and stories. If you like comics, web or print, you should check these guys out.

I will probably be posting more webcomics as I come across them through this site.

Edit: Be sure to check out No Stereotypes too. Pretty good stuff.

Georgia Erases 519 Places Off the Map

So, what happens when the place where you live disappears from the map? This can be an intriguing start to a senario for your modern horror games. What if someone was trying to actively hide a town from the rest of the world? Somewhere, off of the official maps, are places with names like Arkham, Innsmouth, Gotham are out there waiting to be discovered again. But why have they been hidden so thoroughly, and who benefits from their hiding?

Georgia Erases 519 Places Off the Map
Poetry Tulip has vanished. So have Between and Climax. Cloudland and Roosterville are gone, too.

A total of 519 communities have been erased from the newest version of Georgia's official map, victims of too few people and too many letters of type.

Georgia's Department of Transportation, which drew the new map, said that the goal was to make it clearer and less cluttered and that many of the dropped communities were mere 'placeholders,' generally with fewer than 2,500 people. Some are unincorporated and so small they are not even recognized by the Census Bureau.