January 14th, 2010

Guess what's back? This thingy. Anyways, there was a mini spout of new comments for some previous entries, and I found out some folks were actually interested in seeing this list continue. Whodathunkit, right? But please file all cries of foul about using LJ cuts to the complaint department in the corner. It's a trashcan.

As always, if you missed previous entries, here's some links to help you along the way:
Here we go, kiddies...



Name: Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show
Issue: #8, April 2008
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: Now, I’ve never been a fan of this magazine’s covers. On average, the artwork’s generally appealing, but they always seem to funk it up with an ugly see-through box of text just slabbed across it like butter. Here, this is very much the case, but I really like the painting. It’s a great mix of red and blue, and it definitely grabs one’s eye(s). Feels unfinished, but for a reason.



Name: Fantasy & Science Fiction
Issue: July 2003
Cover artist: Bob Eggleton
Reason it rocks: Huge fan of Eggleton’s work ever since I devoured The Obsidian Chronicles by Lawrence Watt-Evans. Here, his loose painting style is obvious and seemingly without effort, but his love for mixing fiery oranges with diluted greens works perfectly for whatever alien pod party this thing is attending.



Name: If
Issue: August 1972
Cover artist: Jack Gaughan
Reason it rocks: Ah, Gaughan. How I effin’ love your work now. I’d love this cover even more if the cliffs and man in the lower corner were removed; they kind of ruin the perspective of the image, and if these two marionette-like lovebirds were just out in the open, floating in blue, well that’d be pretty spectacular.



Name: Fantasy & Science Fiction
Issue: June 1953 (the year is a guess; please correct me if I got it wrong)
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: I’m a sucker for the oddball. And here’s a great example. Who even knows what is going on here? A bug reading from a book and some weird mish-mash of a friend are…performing a play, perhaps? Your guess is as good as mine. But it’s catchy, as well probably a leap of faith for its time. I’d love to know if it was commissioned or just something the magazine’s editor loved.



Name: Realms of Fantasy
Issue: February 2009
Cover artist: Daniel Merriam
Reason it rocks: Yup, another Realms cover makes the list. Might be the last though. This one rocks because it’s just so absurd. Has a Corpse Bride atmosphere to it, with a sickly woman all dolled up and petting her cat. I love that both her skin and the clothes she’s wearing are nearly the same color, which really makes her pop against the blue-gray background. Her odd-shaped head and the kitty's tail covering up some nip slips will have you going, “Whaaaaaat?” This could be labeled a fail, but I really dig the art. So there.



Name: Exuberance
Issue: #4
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: For a small press sf/fantasy/horror magazine published in the early 1990s, Exuberance’s covers rock. They only published six issues from what I can gather, and this one could easily be found on a superhero comic book. I love the simple feel of vanishing it gives off. Great action lines and look to it.



Name: Beyond Fantasy Fiction
Issue: November 1953
Cover artist: René Vidmer
Reason it rocks: Don’t know much about this magazine of the hey-old days, but it definitely caught my eye while searching for covers for this list. Vidmer’s incomplete woman and desolate terrain has a Dali feel to it, and it’s just a peculiar image nonetheless. Why is she missing that part of her body? Wish the names of the authors had been better implemented, but that’s okay. She kind of looks a little like Marilyn Monroe, right?



Name: Clarkesworld
Issue: #38
Cover artist: Kazuhiko Nakamura
Reason it rocks: Two things to mention right away. 1) I’m a slush reader for Clarkesworld and don’t want to come across biased, but I’ve loved the covers Neil picks for a very long time and 2) there’s going to be a good number more on this list as we creep towards the final installments. Anyways, look at this thing. It’s massive, it’s detailed, it’s creepy, and it’s downright cool-looking. Reminds me somewhat of the final boss in Shadow of the Colossus. Or if the Mad Hatter met steampunk. Either way, it works, and there’s no denying that.



Name: Solaris
Issue: #171
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: Canadian magazine. A striking image, like something out of World of Warcraft. Epic fantasy, but cartoony. All shrouded in somber shades of blues and grays, but there’s a pinch of light behind our musician troll, giving the piece a bit of warmth. Love how warbled the instrument is, whether that's by design or the troll's hands. Wish there was a bigger image to ogle. It's also nice to see unheard of writers like Neil Gaiman getting some love.



Name: Interzone
Issue: #218, October 2008
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: Immediately, it’s different. From the figure’s outfit and ruined car in the background, you know we’re looking at something lifted right out of post-apocalyptic somewhere. What’s nice is, because of this, there’s no reason to clutter the image, allowing us to really see the grit and grain on the ground and buildings. Love how the umbrella is falling apart, too.

Until later, cover art fans!

It may sound funny, but one of my all-time favorite gaming memories involves chickens.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a classic. I don’t mean that in a way to say it’s old (it was released for the Super Nintento Entertainment System in North America in 1992; still a teenager, truthfully), but rather that it’s eternal. There’s moments and scenes in this game that can never be duplicated or truly re-experienced. From the rain-laden search of the castle grounds for a secret entrance to the first time you ever switched from Light World to Dark World and saw just how twisted the map screen became, it’s no surprise this game is on my gamers’ top fives, top tens, top fifties, top one hundreds, and top whatevers. It is simply great, with mindful pacing, brilliant action, tons of secrets, and…retaliatory chickens.

Yup, you read that right.

Shortly after you sneak Zelda out of Hyrule Castle and safely deliver her to the sanctuary, you’re given freedom as Link to explore the nearby lands on your quest to destroy Agahnim. One of your first stops will be in Kakariko Village, a colorful spot with lots of interesting characters and secrets to unearth, and there you’ll also find a few chickens hopping about. I immediately went over to one, scooped it up high over my head, and tossed it at the boy to no effect. Well, the chicken was pretty flustered and tried its best to stay as far away from me as possible. Then I remembered something I overheard at school, something about hitting them with your sword a lot. And so I did. Slash, slash, slash, back that chicken into a corner, slash some more. Those kids at school were right; this is fun and funny.

But then it all changed. Out of nowhere, a swarm of chickens come flying at you to protect their fallen cousin from any more danger. They swoop down in a thrum of feathers and bah-clawk clucks, angry as chickens can be, and they actually damage Link. Only one way out, and that was to run. Once you’re a little ways away, the chickens relent, and you’re safe to wonder back over…to do it all again.

There’s lot of other great moments in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but this is the one that makes me smile the most. The fact is, these chickens exist in this world just to be abused. I know PETA won’t like that. I’m sorry, but there’s no other reason for their existence, and even though the gameworld could ultimately go on without them, I think it’s better that they are there, now and forever, those classic little chickens that take a beating and keep on clucking.

(Cross-posted from Grinding Down)

Ghosting around

I’ve been wanting to draw some new MyLifeComics as of late, but it just isn’t happening…on both a physical and mental level. I even took notes to do hourly comics for last Saturday, but meh. Can’t do it. Need more cowbell or something. Plus, I’ve been focusing on Supertown and writing thingies. But I did manage to crank out two ghost-themed comics tonight for y’all. Enjoy:

This weekend, starting promptly tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., is one of those weekends where I stay local and Get Shtuff Done. I have to. I've been away for about the past seven or eight weekends, and I only ever see my place on the weekends, which is such a mundane schedule of eating breakfast, working, eating lunch, working, working, working, eating dinner, doing one thing before I get too cranky, and then spending the remainder of the night fiddling around on the Internet/playing videogames. I generally need a full weekend to really compose myself, put things in order. Plus, getting up early on Saturday and Sunday and scratching things off my to-do list before noon hits is something that oddly warms my heart.

But I got some goals, all of them obtainable so long as I don't goof off too much. They are:

  • Start slushing tomorrow for Clarkesworld and, depending on the first flood of submissions, not go insane
  • Write a total of 1,000 words for "Knock the Chocks"
  • Draw three to five Supertown comics for chapter two; draw, not tone
  • Take the fiancee out to dinner on Saturday to celebrate our engagement since we haven't really done that by ourselves yet
  • Bullet needs an oil change
  • Miscellaneous cleaning of the apartment, like throwing out all my shredded documents and other junk, as well as packing up unwanted clothes for donation
  • Play some videogames for new reviewing gig (yeah, that'll be a tough job ::wink face::)
I can do it though, methinks. Not even NBC can stop me.

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