Edgar Rice Burroughs (Brussels Journal): One of the most popular authors of the Twentieth Century, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875 – 1950), had a keen intuition about the health of the body politic and the positive relation of a vital culture to its founding traditions. The Author of Tarzan (1912) and its many sequels, the inventor of the extraterrestrial sword-and-sandals romance, ex-cavalryman, admirer of the Apache and the Sioux, anti-Communist, anti-Nazi, self-publishing millionaire entrepreneur, religious skeptic.
Fiction (DMR Books): Sir Walter Scott was born yesterday…two hundred and fifty years ago. On August 15, 1771. Born before the Declaration of Independence had been penned by Jefferson. Born less than two hundred years after his Border Reiver ancestors had been–somewhat–tamed by the ascension of King James to the throne of a united Great Britain. Two hundred and fifty years is one-quarter of a millennium…and yet, Scott’s works still speak to readers. They remain in print and are likely to do so.
Cinema (Arkhaven Comics): Bob Chapek has changed his mind. Despite the strong indications that Shang Chi would be pulled from theatrical distribution last week, Disney CEO Chapek went on the record at the 3RD quarter meeting, stating that Shang Chi will indeed be released “in theaters only.” Regardless of the fact that it is tracking to pull in an anemic box office haul of $35 to $55 million (and it’s not going to be $55 million).
Publishing (Vanity Fair): Then, in a preceding Fresh Air interview, he said, “I had some hope of actually reaching a male audience, and I’ve heard more than one reader in signing lines now at bookstores say, ‘If I hadn’t heard you, I would have been put off by the fact that it is an Oprah pick. I figure those books are for women. I would never touch it.’ Those are male readers speaking.”
Awards (Declann Finn): If you’ve tracked … any of my movements on social media lately, you’ll know that I’ve talked often about the Dragon Awards. What I have spelled out lately is… well… why I care. And why you should care. Many on the right will cite the old adage “Politics is downstream from culture.” If that’s the case, our culture is heading for a sewer. Frankly, we should fight back. And I mean on every conceivable level.
Tolkien (Notion Club Papers): Rivendell was located in a hidden valley; and, while it is obvious that being hidden was a helpful defence – I find it very difficult to imagine how a valley was defended when the enemy had succeeded in locating and attacking Rivendell.
Rivendell was twice besieged by Sauron – once in the second and again (by the Witch King of Angmar) in the third age (there is a description in the History of Middle Earth of the near starvation during one of these sieges).
Fiction (Alexander Hellene): antasy and historical fiction resonate with male audiences because they feature brave, selfless leaders who inspire those in their charge to great heights of glory for noble causes that matter. There is a reason why stories like The Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, Gladiator, The Odyssey, The Iliad, Master and Commander, Captain Blood, action fare like Commando and Rambo, and even superhero stuff are so popular with men: they fill a need for adventure, bravery, and purpose in a gray, boring world of efficiency, production deadlines, and self-serving leaders who openly despise those beneath them.
Warfare (Future War Stories): When discussing the modern warfare Japanese-constructed mounted machine gun light cavalry chariot that has been one of the most iconic symbols of all types of asymmetric conflict in the Middle East and Africa along side the AK-47, there is an odd term that sums up these mobile gun platforms: Technical.
Westerns (Western Fiction Review): The West made him a man. The War made him Shiloh . . . named for the bloody battle that twisted his soul. And when the fighting ended, he became a bounty hunter. Because for him, death is a way of life.
Cinema (According to Quinn): After the events of the first film, the thinning of the ozone layer necessitated the creation of an artificial replacement sponsored by none other than the now-mortal Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). This new atmosphere, though it protects mankind, denies humanity the stars, ordinary views of the sky, and seems to have a generally negative effect on the climate. Connor has grown old and is despised by many of the people he had tried to protect.
Art (Capns Comics):
Fiction (Ken Lizzi): Carl Jacobi (1908-1997) is one of the forgotten genre writers, penning weird tales, crime fiction, science fiction and fantasy for the pulps, and later in life for their successors. He’s an author I intend to keep an eye out for when browsing for something new to purchase. Why? Well, I happened upon a short-short of his by the title of A Pair of Swords. It’s a weird tale, from 1933, with just a touch of the swashbuckling fare I enjoy brought to life with the assistance of an unexplained supernatural occurrence. Classic pulp contrivance; museum antiques, weapons, the King’s Musketeers, an out-of-time encounter. Good stuff.
Lovecraft/Gaming (Lovecraft zine): A custom deck of Cthulhu themed playing cards, available in 2 unique editions, and with some great tier rewards! Check out the Kickstarter here, and check out pics of some of what’s available for you below.
Hoaxes (Jason Colavito): Last week, viewers fled Hunting Atlantis, with the show’s ratings falling even as its lead in, Expedition Unknown, gained viewers. Last Wednesday’s episode drew just 605,000 live plus same-day viewers, down 45,000 from the week before. The demo collapse was worse. Only 90,000 adults 18-49 watched. By contrast, Expedition Unknown rose significantly, to nearly a million viewers. It’s clear: Viewers aren’t into Atlantis.
Cinema (Den of Geek): Thirty-five years ago, James Cameron’s Aliens opened in theaters, stunning audiences and surprising even the most jaded critics. Here was a much belated sequel to a Hollywood blockbuster that was seven years old—and at a time when sequels were synonymous with soulless cash grabs. Yet in so many ways, Cameron’s follow-up took the ideas introduced by Ridley Scott and company in Alien and ran with them. More than just an added “s” in the title,
Games (The Wert Zone): Dishonored, released back in 2012, was a breath of fresh air. Building on the groundwork established by the earlier Thief, Deus Ex and System Shock series in offering the player tremendous freedom in how they approached their objective, with a more modern user interface and better AI, it was a solid success both critically and commercially. It spawned two excellent expansions, The Knife of Dunwall and The Brigmore Witches, and, four years later, a full sequel (which yes, I’ve been extremely tardy in getting to).
Comic Books (IGNhttps://www.ign.com/articles/marvel-what-if-comics-stories): When Marvel Studios rolled out the massive slate of film and television projects making up the MCU’s Phase 4 at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con – that feels like a decade ago, doesn’t it? – perhaps the most surprising reveal was an animated series based on a cult favorite comic book series. Marvel’s What If…?, which is now available on Disney+, offers a re-imagination of some of the biggest moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Art (Muddy Colors): I am honored to present the portrait of Planeswalker Mordenkainen the Wizard from the recent Magic:The Gathering. expansion: Dungeons and Dragons – Adventures in the Forgotten Realms. This painting is my most detailed and masterfully executed Magic: The Gathering cards as well as one of the finest portraits to grace my portfolio.
Fiction & Art (DMR Books): Grim and gritty fiction, today all the rage, has always been around. What separates it from the fiction of old is often a matter of emphasis.
Armored knights fighting in tournaments, even wielding blunt-tipped lances in controlled melees, is a pretty darned violent activity if you pause to think about it. Would you want to be struck on the helmet with the weight of a charging rider, your momentum and that of your opponent coming together to create an impact so great it snaps the straps on your jousting helm and sends it clattering into the dirt, and your mount staggered from the impact?
D&D (Skulls in the Stars): Undermountain: Stardock (1997), by Steven E. Schend. I bought this one specifically because I thought I might adapt it’s plot into one of my own campaigns in the future! This adventure has a very dubious distinction: according to DriveThruRPG, it was the last RPG product published by TSR before their bankruptcy! (Though Wizards of the Coast would publish more adventures under the TSR label for several years.)