Saturday, December 25, 2010

Apple. Tree. Close proximity fall. - Star Wars Christmas, vintage-style!

Pretty sure I have a picture of me just like this 30 years ago, with the same present. Vintage Star Wars toys rock!

Grandma&Grandpa bought this one, along with a few figs. Of course, Santa brought some more SW figs and related gear too.

So far I think he has this Imperial Tie Fighter (above), Vader, Luke (Snowspeeder pilot version), Yoda, Darth Maul, Obi Wan (ep III-ish), a Clone Trooper (I could *swear* I told them Sandtrooper - ah well), C-3PO and R2.

Pretty sweet loot! Err.... I mean, for my son, that is. ;^]

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spandex isn't for everyone.


Look, I love TRON as much as the next guy; well, maybe not as much as this guy; but c'mon now.

If you ever see me looking like that, and it's NOT Halloween... wait, scratch that... including Halloween, puh-leeeeze derez me!

Thank you, oh merciful MCP!

I don't feel too bad making that request, because I hope that this dude doesn't really take any of this too seriously. I mean he has to know that donning that outfit is gonna get some attention, both good and bad. And I have a feeling he loves the attention. Thus, it's alllllll goooooood.

And honestly I'm not saying it's really bad. OK, it's pretty bad, but still, it's a free country. Dude can wear anything he wants. And ya sure can't knock his spirit. Go TRON-dude!

Sure, I did "dress up" as Darth Vader this year, but it was Halloween, and it involved absolutely no spandex. I save my zebra-striped pants for '80s-themed parties. Hmmnnn... maybe I do look like this on occasion. Oh dear! Oh deaaaaarh!!!!!

Anyway, I know he's been popping-up all over teh interwebz, so I tried not to simply jump on the bandwagon, but I just couldn't help it.

Weirdest part in all of this: What's with the bag? Apparently you still have to pack your own lunch in a virtual world of 1s and 0s. Who would've thunk it. Then again ya never can tell who you might run into in the cafeteria, right?

end of line

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cheers, Borrrrrris!

Happy b-day to one creeeeeeeeeepy dude.

If you have some free time (or free DVR space), check out TCM today for tons of Karloff flix (The Lost Patrol, The Walking Dead, West Of Shanghai, You'll Find Out, Isle Of The Dead, The Body Snatcher, Bedlam, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, The Terror).

Obviously a few of these have ...already played this morning, but maybe you can time-travel and you're just keeping it a secret from us all. Dunno.

Those Val Lewton (RKO) ones are some very cool films (Body Snatcher, Isle/Dead, Bedlam). Or pull out some classic Universal Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, or The Mummy, if ya have them. Probably the most famous (mainstream) of his movies.

Kinda makes ya wanna dig up that old box of CHILL stuff, right? Who knows what else you might unearth...

pants = soiled

Oh BTW, HBD2 Sara Karloff (his daughter) too! Pretty cool dualie celebration, right there.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Super-cool birthday gifts... from back in '77

I was diggin' through some old photo albums at my folks' house this week, and came across this snapshot in time:

I found several years of birthday pics, including some from back in '81, but this one really caught my eye, especially with some of that suh-weeeet vintage Star Wars swag.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a peek at some of those AWESOME b-day gifts from "a much simpler time."

So let's take stock. From left to right (sorta):
  • a Star Wars marker/coloring poster (with 3-D Vader mask, mind you!)
  • a Dallas Cowboys helmet lamp (I either put 12 or 33 on the back with stickers)
  • a set of 6 "silver" (ok, silver-colored) Hot Wheels cars (these I kept... they're my son's now)
  • an mpc R2-D2 *fully-articulated* model kit
  • a full set of all NFL teams pencils
  • an amt Cuckoo Nest Custom Ford Van model kit
  • an Obsession board game - "The game you can't get enough of!" (Dig that preposition-ending sentence. Nice grammar, babe!)
  • a Skorpion (advanced design street machine) model kit - I guess I got my share of sniffing glue back then, eh?
Sadly, no TSR loot. But then again, the earliest I really got into the likes of D&D, Gamma World and Top Secret was, well... back in '81.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Live a little, Chewie!

"Gggggaaaarrrrrrrr!!!! Arrrrhhhn!!!!!"

Happy World Wide Wookiee Life Day!

November 17 - And it's my birthday, too. Sorry for the self-promotion - I'm just in a happy mood today, and proud to have made it through another year.

"Me? Old? Hhmmmm...? Think so, I do not."

At any rate, in Chewbacca's honor, tonight I think I'll dig out this old fella from back in '77 (actually, I didn't get mine until '78, IIRC), and school my son on the wonders of late '70s action figure articulation... all four points of it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Rock!

I did not serve. I never would've had the guts to do so. To those who did... and those who still do... every single one of you ROCK! Thank you so very much for our freedom.


Friday, November 5, 2010

A belated beheading. Plus a *pac*-o-lantern and some Darth Silliness

I had the above pic set aside for a Halloween related blog post, but 10/31 came and went. Alas, here it is, several days late. Still, what an totally AWESOME work by the late, GREAT Frazetta. I absolutely LOVE his stuff; always have. I still run across works of his that I have never seen before. This was one of those. The image alone is so bad@$$, but the use of color in his art is just plain stunning. God, I wish I could draw/paint/*pastel* like that! Nobody even comes close, in my mind.

Since this is basically a post-Halloween post, I may as well cover a couple other items:

First, on the "back in '81" tip ('80, really, but who's counting?), my son (6 y.o.) wanted a Pac-Man pumpkin this year. It's nothing extravagant (not like some of those amazing carvings I've seen posted online), but about 3/4 of the way through, it started to get a little tricky. Ya see I almost blew out the whole thing when I carved away too much of the bottom half before punching out the ghosts' eyes. Doh! Anyway... it held up, and he really dug it... and that's truly all that matters.


And finally, I also had a little too much fun out with the fam, as Darth Robbo, terroizin' y'alls neighborhood (hope this works - the video won't play in the *preview* pane - gives an ERROR):

Darth Neighbor
"I sense something; a presence I've not felt since...

Note to self: Eating garlic-heavy lasagna for dinner and then heading out trick or-treating with the kiddos in a tightly-enclosed face-mask is NOT highly recommended.

"The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner; now *I* am the master-bathroom![sic]"

Truth be told, if I would have had this costume this year, you bet your bounty-hunter-butt that I would have worn it instead of that Target one I'm wearing above. Check out this life-like, near-movie-prop below from back in tha day (note, this is for the lesser-known, often-disregarded Darth Vadar):

The Dark Lord of the Sith's "fun poncho."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Disney Tarzan 'toons - now with more *pulp*

What, like this???

No not like that. But still pretty pulpy. Allow me to explain:

See, when my 4 y.o. daughter is watching the DisneyXD channel, and The Legend of Tarzan cartoon comes on, I figure it's in her best interest that I watch it with her... ya'know, parental guidance and all.

Plus this episode, Tarzan and the Leopard Men Rebellion, is about Queen La, Leopard Men, and the Lost City of Opar. Cool! But, uhm, yeah... only watching for my lil' girl's sake. ;^]

Sure, it's not purist Tarzan - La is (sorta) clothed. Well, at least a tad more than in this Frazetta gem:

BTW, I'm not totally positive that even is La there, but it certainly is Frazetta and it absolutely makes me think of her nastiness... errr, *highness* when I see it. I originally was going to plop the more popular Tarzan Meets La of Opar by Frazetta right there, but I thought that there might be just a little too much "boobage" (let alone "pubeage") in it for a blog post that started out about watching kids' cartoons with my daughter. Ya dig? Cool.

Additionally, in this Disney 'toon, La's leopardmen are not really a cult (cannibalistic or other), per se...

... but actually leopard-men under her command. Well, maybe that sorta is a cult.. whatever. Let's just say, it's not exactly true to the novels, aiiight?

But... for a kids' show, it's still pretty freakin' cool, IMO. I usually try to scan the episode details for the week, and only DVR the ones that I think look like they might have a good pulpy storyline. After all, I gotta watch these things too, ya'know. LOL.

Anyway, this particular ep looked like it would be a good one to record, and indeed it was (again, IMO). I mean, come'on... A Lost City! Leopardmen!! La!!! She was pretty downright devious too, and dig that totally bad@$$ (and way overpowered) staff she wields... niiiiiiiiiice.

Anyway, here's the episode in 3 parts, in case you feel inclined to check it out:

So, although it's not exactly this:

... it's still pretty fun to watch... ya'know, for the sake of the children.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Old school horror flicks on TCM this month, starting... TONIGHT!

DVR free space be damned! - TCM is showing some AWESOME old school horror flicks, every friday night this month (Oct).

Included in the deal are some of my favorite films from Hammer. Those Brits picked up the American Universal's torch and ran with it - after they formed an angry mob with the rest of the villagers and chased the monster to the old mill and burned it to the ground using said torch, that is.

Anyway, here's tonight's offerings (EST):

.8:00 PM....Horror of Dracula (1958)
.9:30 PM....The Brides Of Dracula (1960)

11:00 PM....Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966)

12:45 AM....Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1969)

.2:30 AM....Psychomania (1973)

.4:00 AM....Daughters of Satan (1972)

Anyway, if you dig the old horror, especially Hammer flicks with Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and the usual bevy of babes...

...then you'll wanna tune in or at least DVR/Tivo them (possibly never to actually watch them via those recordings, like me... sometimes ;^]).

Oh, BTW, I have quite a few of these already on DVD, especially most of tonight's selections, but some of them coming later this month are not very easy to find on DVD, or so it seems. The Reptile, for one, is up next week, and I have NEVER seen it. I'm totally GEEKED to finally get the chance.

Same deal with Plague of the Zombies.

OK, put a stake in me... I'm done.

"Aw, cripe!"

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bedrock as a sandbox? Or just a one-shot through Uncle Giggles' haunted house?

First things, first: Happy 50th Anniversary to "the modern stone age family!"

Yep, 50 years, folks. Wow! Or maybe more relevant: "Yabbbbbba Dabbbbbbba Dooooooo!" Now, The Flintstones may not be totally RPG/D&D/etc-related, or even really Back in '81-ish (although I know for sure I was still watching them back then, everyday, after school, so we'll count it, right?

Having some fun with the Flintstones thing this morning I couldn't help but think about Bedrock as a place for a group of adventurers to discover, or even to roleplay the main characters through some sort of scenario. There certainly were many episodes where we got to enjoy the adventures of Fred & Barney. They were always getting themselves into some sort of trouble.

One in particular that makes me think RPG was the episode called "A Haunted House Is Not A Home." This creepy joint could make for some fun times in any sort of haunted house session - you pick the game/ruleset. I mean seriously, check out some of those traps to disable and dark rooms to explore. Also, dig that sweet "switchbladed" axe at the end of the clip - first it's a Hand Axe then it's a Battle Axe!

If that doesn't feel quite right, then maybe float the Lost World/Hollow World/Savage Worlds type of boat and either mix in the 'stones and some of their gadgets (i.e. artifacts?), or maybe just the setting of Bedrock itself. Sound crazy? Yeah. Stupid? Possibly. Fun? Who knows. I'd give it a whirl, just to find out. In fact maybe I'll have some Flintstones-inspired quick&EZ RPG fun with my kiddos later today. After all it is their anniversary, for Dino's sake!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Brand new old school pulp tales 2-in-1: "I'd buy *that* for a dollar!"

Just a quickie here, because time is money... or money costs a lot of time... or ya can't buy good time for a nickel any more... or somethin' like that. Plus this little tale is actually about money... or at least not spending much of it.

Anyway, my family and I hit the Halloween shop yesterday (after lunch, after church) and right next door to it is a Dollar Tree store. So I made a quick stop to check the Star Wars action figs/cards/etc, 'cause sometimes they have some cool stuff in these joints.

Now, in case you don't have them in your area, or if you've never heard of them before, the Dollar Tree is just one of the myriad dollar-store chains that seem to be everywhere these days. This one in particular truly is "everything for a dollar" (not *everything* in one huge pile for only a dollar, but a dollar per item).

So... I check the toys section real quick (for my kiddos, of course, right?... yeah right - LOL) and see nothing really cool, so I turn back and take a gander in the books section. Now these are usually some pretttttttty sucky offerings, ranging from cheesy knockoffs of legit characters/stories/etc to self-help/diet books and the like. But I did see a couple sci-fi/fantasy covers and authors (Andre Norton, Glen Cook, etc) so I dug a little deeper in behind the mess on the shelf.

That's when I saw this bad boy:

Slaves of the Laughing Death/Satan's Murder Machines - Some nice family reading time material, right?

Yep, two original The Spider stories in one paperback novel sized book. Sa-weeeeeeeeet! Now I'm not a HUGE Spider fan, as I haven't had a ton of experience with these stories. I am, however, a very BIG fan of pulp in general, especially the oldschool '30s/'40s stuff like Doc Savage, The Avenger... even The Shadow. I have far too many of the Bantam Doc Savage reprints to list here (most of those I actually only paid $1 each for too, but that's not a deal I can pass along like this Dollar Tree one), a dozen or so of the Warner Avenger books, and a handful of the Shadow books as well. I also have a small selection of the Nostalgia Ventures/Sanctum Books pulp-style magazine reprints that came out not too long ago, mostly of Doc. But I only have one, single-solitary book/magazine reprint of The Spider, so this one I found yesterday was a rare gem to my cheap@$$ eyes. (We're talkin' Dollar Tree, remember?)

OK, back to this book: These are NOT the Pocket books rewritten/updated versions that came out in the '70s. Those had a whole new image and artwork, and new(er) cars/gadgets/etc. Don't get me wrong, I dig these types of Men's Adventure books/illos too, but when you're expecting a creepy '30s pulp dude, you don't really want to see a blonde Mack Bolan on the cover. Dig?

Yeah, *not* this.

As far as I can tell these are the original stories, just reprinted in the '90s as doubles, in novel paperback form, not pulpish, trade paperback/magazine form. Here it is at The Vintage Library. Browsing that site, it looks like I may have overpaid for this little tome. Some of these are FREE there. Doh! - Of course there's that little thing of the $7.95 shipping (not sure if that applies to free stuff, but I suspect it does). Yeah, I'll just stick with the Dollar Tree for now.

So of course I immediately (nearly) tore the place apart looking for more titles, as this is #6 in a series of these doubles, but sadly I didn't find any more. So I'll be hitting a few more locations near my home and near work, just in case there are any more treasures there just waiting for me to find. If you dig pulp, you may wish to do the same.

Now get 'yer hands off me booty!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"I was falsely accused of a hideous crime... yada-yada-yada..."

Am I the only one getting totally GEEKED about the new (old) show Nikita? Maybe. Still, be it a remake, a reboot, a reimagining, or even just a regurgitation, I'm usually always a sucker for this crap.

Now, I will admit that there really isn't much "Back in '81"-ish about this show, BUT these types of shows and movies, when done right, can take me back to the days, somewhere in '81-'86, sitting with some buddies around a kitchen table, with this rulebook,

and these dice,

playing through modules like this (or a totally ad-lib'd one),

with slick, bad@$$ dudes and chicks like this:

See, I'm a HUGE fan of the late '90s (-early '00s) La Femme Nikita,

the original French film, subtitles and all,

and even the re...make with my girl Bridget (Point of No Return),

... so this new Nikita might be a total suckfest, but I just HAVE to give it a shot. Tonight at 9 (EST), on The CW... we'll see. OK, now I'd better get back to Section, before they decide to cancel me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"OK, now *these* are the droids we're looking for." - retro Star Wars night with the kiddos

OK, so I lied... a little. Way back in April, I noted that it had been since way back in November that I had blogged. I vowed to blog more, but I failed my save vs. (the_universe - this_blog). In other words, life has been so fun for me that I just haven't had much chance to get on here and talk about it.

See, I've been very busy with family stuff, especially since it has been the summer, and my kiddos and my wife were on summer break. That means lots of time spent doing cool, fun, kiddo things with them. This is a good thing, BTW.

Still, in keeping with some level of geekdadliness, I have continued to mix as much gaming, fantasy, sci-fi, etc as possible into many of our activities. So just recently I decided it was time (why did I wait so long?!?!?) to introduce my son to some real Star Wars. See, he started getting interested in the animated Clone Wars stuff, which is pretty sweet in its own right, but I wanted to make sure he experienced the really-REALLY cool stuff.

So I got out the "original theatrical version" DVD of the beloved '77 gem:

Yeah, yeah... I know... there are numerous "original" versions which have been released, and this DVD one certainly isn't exactly the way we saw it back in the day. But, as far as I know, it's the best we have as far as DVD format goes.

Because of this, and for better aspect-ratio purposes, I almost took 'em back to the VHS world. Maybe next time:

Certainly, it is pretty easy to fall into the trap of just watching the newer edited versions, which seem to be on SpikeTV every other week. However, my conscious just wouldn't be happy with that move. So we went back (pretty darn close) to the way I saw it, in a tiny two-screen cinema in my hometown, back in... err... '77.

You bet yer shaggy bantha-butt that my kiddos will know, without a doubt, that "Han shot first." Greedo's a punk!

Similar to good ol' Luke Starkiller... err, Skywalker, my son skipped right past that silly "Jedi Youngling" stage. Lame title, anyway.

Darth Bobby - "The circle is now complete."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RIP, Frank Frazetta... and soar.

Simply amazing. My all-time fave fantasy/sci-fi artist. RIP.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Anyone got a spare raise dead blog or resurrect site?... and maybe a few restorations while you're at it?

"I've fallen... and I can't get up!"

According to the historical log here, my last actual blog entry was on waaaaaaaaayyy back on Friday, November 13, 2009. Yikes! There's no specific reason for the downtime. Life just sorta got in the way somewhere along the line. I guess that happens every now and again.

Then along came rpg blog vet (and one of my all time fave bloggers around these parts) Jeff Rients, from Jeff's Gameblog. He sorta nudged my blog-corpse a bit, in a comment response to a comment I made on one of his recent posts, basically pouring a virtual potion of healing down my blog-gullet. So I guess I'll consider Jeff the group cleric in this one-shot here. I sure hope he's got the XP levels to pull this off. It's been so long though, that it might actually take a group effort. So gather around if ya would, please.

I hope to get back in the groove and post again here on some sorta consistent frequency. In the past I've gone from once every other week to a few times a day. We'll just have to see how it plays out I guess.

Please (limited) wish me luck. With your blessings, I just might be able to get this blog back on it's feet.

I'd really hate to have to resort to darker methods, ya'know?