So this is my blog. I collect religious art, taxidermy things and play video games old and new. I've been playing video games for over twenty years and for better or worse have begun to develop perspective on them. Heaven help me. I, with the full support of the Shadow Council, have taken it up myself to hand out decoder rings to all new members here on the C-blogs. I also like handing out little bonus gifts as well depending on what's in the trunk of my car on any given day. I do this because I have things growing inside me. Dark, twisted things that need love. So let me love you.
This is a past banner of mine that was made by fellow Dtoider and sexting partner Char Aznable. I have tattooed this on my heart. My apologies for it being cut off but I don't know how to make it smaller and screaming at the screen hasn't worked yet.
This is a picture Science Jesus and kind-voiced personal savior Beyamor drew while thinking about me. It's my old avatar but it still rings true in the hearts of men and beasts alike. I bet he wasn't wearing pants when he made it. A man can dream, right?
I was recently gifted with a Dtoid card. Its hard to put into words how much this means to me that I am finally a playing card.
Here are some pictures of things I like. I hope you like them too.
Summons in role playing games.† There is something so wonderfully appealing about calling forth a terrible monster to do your dirty work for you in an RPG.†Most of us can recall with fond remembrance and a glint of nostalgia in the eye the first time we saw the Knights of the Round or Bahamut Zero in Final Fantasy 7.† They instilled within us a sense of awe and pride.† We were epic heroes who wielded incredible power but fuck that, Iím going to get this Goddamn half dragon half spider thing to stab the boss in the dick with its eye razors and itís all going to take place in an unskippable cutscene.† These summons remain one of my favorite aspect of RPGís and in that spirit, I want to share with you four summons that I would have if I were to make my own role playing game.
Uncle Buck †
John Candy was one of my surrogate fathers growing up.† His movies taught me that flawed men were capable of great things.†Patience, love and kindness could come from simple acts and small moments and not every gesture had to be large to be grand.† He also taught me that having a relatively minor psychopathic streak in your character was advantageous when someone threatened the ones you loved.†
So Uncle Buck would make an appearance in my game.
Pulling up in that 1975 Mercury Marquis coupe and announcing his arrival with a shotgun backfire from the exhaust, he would step out smiling.† Not a warm smile, mind you, but a knowing grin, tinged with the drop of cruelty that every man defending those he loved is capable of.† He walks to the trunk of his car, opens it and pulls out a simple looking hatchet.† His grin widens as his eye narrow and he moves the hatchet in his hand the same way a child carrying a cherished doll would when presenting it to someone for inspection.
The screen fades to black and the sound of tearing meat undercuts what must be the awful noise of someone playing a cello with a hacksaw.† Then silence until the trunk closes and the car drives off.† When the game screen returns the enemy is a shaking mess of tears and whimpers.†
Marjory the Trash Heap
Few things were more comforting and confusing growing up to me than Marjory the Trash Heap.† A living pile of trash who appeared to have the demeanor of a waspy 65-year-old woman and who doled out wisdom and advice to the naive Fraggles.† She was kind but also firm and blunt in her opinions. Oh, and she didnít have eyes.† I struggled with this for a long time as a kid.† A child needs eyes in their tv friends.† Without eyes you are just staring into a black pocket that seems to go on forever.† Thatís a bad place for a child to end up.†
However, despite her lack of eyes, Marjory became a fast friend to little boy Occams as she was funny and strange and always had good advice to give those who would ask.† As such, I imagine Marjory being in my game with two forms.† The first is her in the familiar setting of her trash yard where the party gathers to listen to her speak simple truths and give sound advice on all manner of things.† In this form, the party would receive buffs to stats and skills.†
Her second form begins with Marjory rising out of out a jagged crack in the earth right in front of the enemy.† Her bilious mass would pour forth and coat the enemy and everything close by in a beige colored muck pock marked with broken egg shells and banana peels.† Then at the epicenter Marjory would emerge.†Her face would form at the top of the large mound, black sink holes and a jagged maw torn out of old diapers and empty cereal boxes.† She would open her mouth and rats would spill forth, a teeming mass squealing in delight.†The enemy would struggle to move away from her but the muck and mire has seemingly hardened around them.† They thrash about but Marjory just stares at them with two empty pits and a mouth leaking light pink and dishwater gray.
Suddenly the enemy seizes up and their eyes go wide and bulge as if they are trying to escape the skull.† Marjory stares.† The cracking sound the player hears is the enemy breaking their teeth as they grind their jaw.† Shards of broken tooth stab into gum and cheek flesh and blood begins to trickle out of their mouth.†
Then the enemy swings its head around violently and repeatedly.†Over and over screaming until the blood turns screams into gurgles.†† Then with a wet snap the enemyís head comes to rest at a seemingly impossible angle.
When the game screen returns, the enemy lies broken and covered in trash and rats.†
To say I like The Dark Crystal would be like saying Kim Kardashian likes black cock.† It is such a small word trying to describe such a huge and complex relationship. † No, for me, The Dark Crystal is something of a sacred moment and a personal triumph.† My feelings for it border on the fanatical.†† I could write a book on why I love that movie but for our purpose today, I will just say that I was always intrigued by those Crustacean storm troopers, the Garthim.† The combination of soulless, mindless killing machine that looked like spider, crab and beetle melded together were both terrifying and enthralling to me as a child.† So thatís why I think the Garthim would make an excellent summon for my RPG.†
Imagine the enemy standing around when suddenly the world goes dark except for a spot light on them.† It is completely silent for a few seconds and then this clicking noise begins.† Faintly at first and slowly builds up to a more frantic pace.†† The sound is cacophonous.† Clicking, skittering, squealing noises.† Then shapes begin to form.† Ebon shines like shark eyes as the light reveals what lies in the darkness.† Then suddenly little purple motes of light begin to blink into existence.† One pair, then another, then more and more until the enemy is surrounded by them.† The Garthim begin to crawl forward, a ring of mandibles and claws and carapaces.† Cruel edges end in wicked curves that reach out for the skin and muscle trapped in the circle.† Suddenly the wall closes in on the enemy.† There is screaming though it is quickly cut off.†All the player can hear is the clacking of claws and rustling of carapaces shifting and hurtling themselves towards the growing blood stain on the ground.
When the game screen returns, the enemy is gone.† Only the blood stain and shreds of clothing and hair indicate that they were ever there.
Those of you who know me know that I love Lisa Frank.† Ever since I was a little boy, I was fascinated with the magenta cats and rainbow unicorns that came from her strange and beautiful mind.† I had the trapper keeper and folders when I was in grade school and loved them dearly.† As I got older and things like puberty and MTV began to work their magic, I started drawing the Nirvana smiley face on my binders and wearing flannel shirts.† I may not have had the trapper keeper anymore but Lisa Frankís rainbow universe always had a welcome place in my heart.† Thatís why I want the Lisa Frank universe to be a summon in my RPG.
The scene starts out with the enemies getting ready to attack our heroes.†They rear back to strike and their attack hits home. †Blood pours out of fresh wounds, teeth tear into bone and muscle and magical energy cooks and chars exposed flesh.† However, the heroes do not move or even react.† They just stand there and stare straight ahead. †The enemies lash out again and again blood is spilled but the heroes will not fall.† Then the world around them changes.†Cracks start to form in the sky and on the ground.† The air is filled with the sound of breaking glass.† The heroes start to smile as reality shatters around them.† Wider and wider still until the skin splits up to their temples.† The enemies turn to run away but every where they look they are greeted by the the heroes wicked grins reflected in the cascading shards of reality. † Suddenly a piercing ray of light bursts forth from the cracks in the sky.†It bathes the enemies in thick colored bands.† Everyone is screaming now.
More rays pour out of the cracks.† Rainbow light floods the world.† The enemies scream and try to run but their legs wonít support their bodies.† Just as they collapse to the ground it stops.† They look around to find a landscape at once familiar yet alien.† A beach of dark pink sand dotted with rocky outcroppings that shine like sapphires under an impossible rainbow sun.† Water the color of a gasoline puddle dances and shimmers.†Plants and trees looked dipped in bubble gum sway as a hot breeze blows.† Off in the distance a unicorn the size of the tallest mountain slowly walks as the ground trembles with each step.† Then a bright green kitten wearing a candy yellow top hat walks up to the enemies.†It sits at their feet and meows loudly.†The sound that comes out resembles a broken calliope.
Then the camera pans in close to the enemyís eye to show it is now a milky grey.†As the camera pans out from the eye the player sees the heroes are standing over the withered corpses of the enemies.
So there you have just a few boss summons I would love to have in the made up RPG that exists mostly in my head.
Art.† I love art.† Art ART ARRRRT!† Fun to say, fun to collect.† So as a creature who relies almost solely on visual memory and who works in a gallery, its no big shock that my collecting proclivities have led me to start purchasing art prints.† Fortunately, there are a lot of great galleries and artists out there who sell their wares at reasonably reasonable prices.† While I have all sorts of prints, today I would like to focus on the prints based on and inspired by movies.† I hope you enjoy them.
Randy Ortiz - John Carpenter's The Thing
The moment I saw this I knew I needed it in my waking world.† John Carpenter's perfect take on the horror classic is my favorite horror movie.† The creature effects were terrifying as a child and became fascinating to me as an adult. Randy Ortiz captures the alien horror that I adore so much.† He really captures the little details with his line work and muted colors.† I have seen a lot of Thing prints but this is the only Thing print I will ever need.
Ollie Moss - The Dark Knight Rises
Arguably the most famous print maker out there today, every thing Ollie Moss produces is an instant collector's item and work of art.† His vision is so unique as ab artist and the way he can play with shapes and shadows to create a statement is fucking brilliant.† I picked this up after it sat around in my head for a while.† I dig Batman but I never thought I needed a print.† However, Moss does this art deco take on Batman that is just lovely.† Strong, rigid lines and a hard profile then there's the Batman symbol in the mask.† It was just too awesome to pass up.
Ken Taylor - Beetlejuice
So I love Beetlejuice.† We all do, right?† It's a classic.† Great story, iconic imagery, amazing soundtrack and a script filled with quotable lines.† So when I saw this beauty by Ken Taylor, I had to have it.† Look at this.† Ken Taylor is a color pimp.† He makes those colors work for him.† He never hits the colors and he takes care of them.† This is a prime example of a master color pimp.† That green/blue with a touch of light grey for the darker areas contrasts perfectly against that faded burgundy red.† Fucking amazing.† Also, SANDWORM.
Jay Shaw - Ed Gein
As a younger man, I was fascinated with serial killers.† Its a phase that seemingly a lot of young men and women went through.† Maybe its a rite of passage for the quiet kids.† Ed Gein was the most fascinating to me.† He did unspeakable acts and inspired Leatherface and Psycho.† The photographs I've seen of him are unsettling.† Not just because I see this man and know what he did but his eyes...the switch was off, ya know?
Jay Shaw makes art that almost looks like a memory printed out.† I saw this poster and it just made sense. Splashes of color, lines stopping and starting.† Its like he gives you just enough to complete it in your mind.† The way he drew Gein, all red and black like his blood is on fire.† It's horrible and it fits.
Jason Edmiston - Terminator
Jason Edmiston makes art magic.† How anyone can take paints and pencils and a canvas and creates stuff like this is beyond my tiny Alien Ant Farm brain.† This is the print I am currently on the hunt for.† Its a stunning rendition of the T-800 in all its chrome and flame glory.† Seriously, look at those colors.† They are amazing.† All his stuff is just as bright and smooth as this.† I highly recommend you check his work out. Also, those two purple lasers streaking across the sky make this sort of look like the T-800 is posing for a high school graduation photo in the 80's.
Alex Pardee - Scream
This is one I've had my eye on for a while but haven't been able to acquire it yet.† I never thought I'd get a Scream anything as the movie was alright but I didn't really go nuts over it back in the day.† However, Pardee is so clever with his use of color and gore that I really liked it.† Its both horrifying and clever at the same time and really stands out as one of the better prints based on movies that I've seen out there.† Also, Alex Pardee does amazing work with lots of weird nightmare creatures and colors like demonic ejaculations.†
Godmachine - "Time Not Important. Only Life Important''
The Fifth Element is one of those movies that I will watch damn near every time its on tv even though I own it on dvd.† Its such a beautiful and strange movie, like one part sci-fi action epic and one part French perfume commercial.† I found the giant space suit beings from the beginning visually very fascinating.† So when I saw this I knew it would make a lovely addition to my collection.† Godmachine creates a lot of prints that would fit comfortably on the cover of a death metal album.† While this may be a slight departure from his usual forte, it still contains all the elements his prints are known for. Lots of black, heavy lines and bits of color.† Oh, and this glows in the dark.† How much fun is that?
Garbage Flesh Eaters - Omar Hauksson
Halloween is a badass time for prints.† A lot of galleries and artists release special Halloween prints or horror-themed prints.† From Nakatomi, Inc (a great printing lab and showcaser of fine works out of Austin, TX) comes the Garbage Flesh Eaters series.† Combining iconic zombie films with Garbage Pail Kids art, Omar Hauksson created a lovely homage to the greatest of the zombie films.† While there are 5 prints in total, I only picked up these two.† Each zombie is named after the director of the movie in which the zombie appeared.† Gored George is for George Romero and Oily O'Bannon is for Dan O'Bannon.† I love all things Garbage Pail Kids so this was a no brainer for me.
Welcome to the Apocalypse - Alexander Iaccarino
This is another one on my list of future purchases.† As someone who was in a group of friends that went to Babbage's to buy the VHS tapes of Evangelion when they were released in the states, I have a very soft spot in my heart for the series.† Alexander Iaccarino has taken pretty much everything I loved about the series and grouped it all together in this absolutely stunning print.† Between Lilith, the mass produced Eva's and Berserk Unit 01, its pretty much taken me back to being that teenager again watching these insane and lovely Japanese cartoons.† Iaccarino is quickly making a name for himself (he recently did a very sold out run of Cowboy Bebop prints that were amazing) and I look forward to seeing what he does next.† Personally, I'm hoping for something inspired by Fist of the North Star.
Anville - Harbinger of Death
Cain robot from Robocop 2 is one of my favorite robot designs ever.† There's just something so cool about it.† Plus it felt very much like an evolution in terms of design from the ED-209 which had a much stockier and heavy look to it.† This robot felt like an evil Robocop on steroids, or in this case, Nuke.† So when I came across this print I knew I needed it hanging on my walls.† Anville deals primarily in darker colors with lots of metal and chrome for his work.† However, he uses little touches of color such as the yellow caution stripes here to give the image some pop.† What really brings it all together for me is how he used stippling (lots of tiny dots) to create the shadows.† It gives the image a heavy quality which I really like.
Well, there you have it.† I think I might focus on some of my video game and random prints I have next.† I hope you enjoyed looking at some prints with me and if you are interested in checking out some galleries and art, might I recommend you check out these places:
I'm all for healthy debate.† Debate is a hallmark of human communication.† Its one of the many ways we learn and grow from one another.† There are debates that are super important, like the debate over legalizing gay marriage (which shouldn't be a debate at all but that's neither here nor there) then there are less important debates like who would win in a fight between a Predator and the Midwest.†
Fun fact: This was a debate that raged for my entire undergrad career.† Sure, the Midwest has the numbers but the Predators have optic camouflage and laser cannons and those badass telescoping spears.† Really, depending on the weather and the day, it could go either way but my money is on the Predator.
Now just imagine Adrien Brody is the Midwest.†
So lately there has been a lot of controversy surrounding video games.† Xbox One and the clusterfuck of information that has been coming out about it.† Used games.† Indie developers.† Always on.† TV, TV, TV, Sports.† So many aspects and all this information being put out there is like a cloud of angry bees stinging my dick hole only the dick hole is inside my brain.† Its this jumble and the more I hear about it the less I seem to know.† Personally, I'm not too terribly excited for the Xbox One so far but I'm waiting for E3 to see what else Microsoft has to offer.† Then today I see that the next Tropes vs Women video is up.† More debate.† More controversy.† It would be one thing if it was reasonable discussion but this being the internet, it is decidedly not all that reasonable.† Oh sure, there's definitely some reason in there but its drowning in a sea of angry reactionary stuff, like a kitten drowning in an above ground pool filled with Ocean Blast Powerade.
When I hear the term "Ocean Blast", this is what I think of.
My rambling, tired point to all this is that its no fun being angry all the time.† Its downright exhausting, in fact.† We need to take a deep breath, remember why we love video games and have an open discussion.† Try to understand one another rather than immediately shitting on someone's opinion.† Debate can be this wonderful tool for understanding one another but when it turns into this ugly, angry thing it becomes toxic and starts to poison the well.† I know that for me, the anger has turned me off from trying to engage in a discussion and it makes me feel old and tired.† Its hard to get excited about upcoming games when everywhere I look its how this company is horrible and this game is horrible and this perspective is shit.†
Video games are amazing.† I mean, when you think about it, its kind of science magic.† We are living in an amazing time of innovation and growth for this medium that we all cherish and respect.† Don't bring yourself down along with everyone else by being an angry prick.† You do yourself and this medium you propose to love a great disservice.††
One last note:† I'd like to call a moratorium on replacing the "s" in Microsoft with a dollar sign.† Really, any of those things like Crapcom of whatever you can change Sony into.† All of them are, to put it gently, super lame.
April 1st, that special day in which Destructoid falls under the spell of the blood moon and transforms into the Foolish April Beast. It's a day I look forward to every year, not only for what the kulture meisters behind the scenes will think of next but also because its a special day in my waking world. This April 1st also happens to mark my fourth anniversary here. Four years...seems like so much longer, like I've always been here. I can't imagine my world, waking or otherwise, with Destructoid in it. So as we pierce the Earthly veil to stare into the face of God, we find Him gazing back with frog eyes filled with benevolence. The world is a strange place that can be confusing and scary and wonderful but I always can find comfort and solace here. Thank you all for being amazing and letting me love you the best way I know how, with trimmed fingernails and the resplendancy of black grandmotherhood.
Iíve always been a picture guy. Iím a visual learner almost to a fault (math is hard) and the way I recall memories is by shuffling through pictures in my head until I find the one I am trying to remember. This makes me the worst navigator on earth but I do have a deep appreciation of art and artistic things. So it comes as no surprise that I collect art books. They allow me to own a part of the beauty I have found in a video game or artist or thing and it makes my heart sing. So I wanted to share with all of you my collection of art books. Itís meager in terms of volume but thereís a lot of love for the pictures contained on the glossy, photo stock paper. Iím mostly just going to kind of jump around from book to book as a memory hits me so this will be a little random and maybe a wee bit disjointed. I hope you enjoy the following pictures and my apologies for the blurriness. For the life of me, I could not get these to upload to the blog correctly so I had resize them and it was a bit of a hack job. Oh, and thereís one image near the bottom thatís kind of NSFW so just a warning there.
Udon is a lovely company. They create some great art books and they do a great job in making each art book a love letter to video games and the fans. The few Udon books I own are absolute gems to me. The Capcom Design Works has some of my favorite art from Capcomís archives over the past twenty plus years and that Okami book was something I ordered from Japan the day after I beat the game when it had just come out. I always loved the robot designs for Mega Man and when the Mega Man books were released, I knew I needed them in my life. They are now somewhat rare so Iím glad I grabbed them when I did. If you get the chance to acquire them, the liner notes about the characters are very insightful and well worth reading.
These are some of the most cherished art books I own right here. The first Bioshock art book is something I have debated on being buried with along with my My Pet Monster and Priss, my fetal cat in a mason jar. The Resident Evil archives book is so great. Itís got every weird monster and strange character from most of the games and as a fan of the series since the first game, I was so happy when I found this. Fun fact: My local video game store had this sitting in a discount bin so I got it half off cover price. That was a good day in my waking world. If you loved El Shaddai then you should own at least one art book. They are amazing and really capture the surreal beauty that was found throughout the game.
I finally grabbed the Asuraís Wrath art book which I had been meaning to for a while. Itís pretty awesome and if you are a fan of the game and the art style, this is well worth your hard earned pennies. Thatís the Onimusha 3 strategy guide up there. I was surprised when I picked this up that it came with a pretty hefty art book along with the guide. Iíve had a difficult time finding a decent Onimusha art book so this was a pretty neat find. Oh, and the Nier book is more strategy guide than art book but its Nier and I love it so.
Iíve never played the Monster Hunter games but holy shit do they have neat art books for the games! The one I picked up is just all the different weapons from the games. Some of the weapon designs are pretty amazing, like the lobster crossbow. The Shin Megami books are must haves because of the art direction. The monster design in this series is some of my favorite ever. Want a three-breasted woman with fly eyes and a bird cage for a torso? Done! Iím not really sure what Fantasy Earth Zero is but I like the cover so I picked it up.
Speaking of Monster Hunter, I grabbed volume 2 of the Illustrations set. This one comes with two books in a slip case. One is full color and the other is black and white sketches. I love the detailing on the monsters and character classes (giant weapons are neat!) so this was needed in my waking world. The Breath of Fire complete works book has some of the richest colors I have seen in an art book so far. Itís really quite stunning. Digital Devil Apocalypse is all about crazy monsters and weird haircuts. The Rogue Galaxy book is special to me as that game was one of the best RPGís I have played in years. Seriously, check it out. Well worth an RPG fanís time. Meganix is robot art from Mazinger Z to Robotech to Gundam. And lastly we have the The Eye of Atrocity which is all about violent art of Yoshitoshi. This beautiful book was a gift from our own VenusInFurs who is a fellow collector of true beauty.
These are most of my mini books. Some more Shin Megami stuff because sensual kill beasts are awesome. The Final Fantasy VI guides are neat to flip through and make for great stocking stuffers for your friends. The guide in the upper right corner is Silent Hill and I loved the cover so that had to be in the collection. The Marvel Super Heroes guide was just too fun to pass up and it features a lot of the cabinet art from back in the day so itís worth owning.
Here is my small but dedicated anime art book section. Cowboy Bebop is my favorite anime and the book was a gift from a friend many moons ago. Itís pretty badass and has sentimental value to boot. Thatís an Evangelion art book in the upper right corner and includes a lot of production art from the new movies which I think is quite lovely. That centaur Evangelion? How fucking great is that? The bottom two books are from Sengoku Basara which is like Dynasty Warriors but a bit more color-coded and silly. I enjoyed the anime and found these books dirt cheap so I couldnít pass them up.
I found out about this guy named Yasushi Nirasawa. Heís an artist and model maker and sculptor out of Japan. Heís worked on video games, movies and television designing creatures. His work is fucking incredible. The details on his models and sculptures are stunning to me. I donít think Iíll ever be able to swing owning some of his work but these books are good enough for now. If you like terrible monsters then Google this guy.
This is my more ďadultĒ collection of books. Iíve always been fond of erotica and the surreal and grotesque so when I found out there were collected volumes of art dealing with the subject, I was giddy. Hitesh Hino is a horror manga artist who is known for making books about kids who get turned into bugs and live in the sewer where they eat people. Heís a big fan of Hell and what happens to people in Hell and drawing Hellscapes. His cartoonish style underlines the real menacing feeling you get from his work. In the bottom right corner is Marougraph by Suehiro Maruo. This guy makes the most sad, fucked up wonderful stuff that is at once achingly beautiful and viscerally repugnant. His art makes my heart sing and my stomach turn and I love him for that.
Decadence: Fetish Art in Japan was a random find in a bookstore and one of the first books I bought when I decided to start collecting strange and erotic stuff. Itís filled with pages of classic woodblock prints dating back hundreds of years of all kinds of devious behaviors as you can no doubt glimpse from the cover. Up next is Chimusi 2 by Toshio Saeki. This guy takes equal parts Japanese Mythology and erotic fable and creates images that are haunting and enticing. All his lines and colors are so soft and delicate. It gives his work a kind of visual sensuality that I really like.
Lastly we have Red Mausoleum by Keita Amemiya. Itís not really an erotic book but it got included here for space reasons. Keita is the guy who draws the really awesome Monkey King mange thatís out now and has done Hakaider and Zeiram the Animation. His stuff is gorgeous.
Now we get to the Western art books. Fun fact about me: Brian Bolland is my absolute favorite comic book artist. From his early work for 2000AD through his evolution as a cover artist on books like The Invisibles and Animal Man, Iíve followed his career and art to the best of my ability. It was a no brainer for me to own these books. He draws everyone and everything like it was under fluorescent bathroom lighting and itís just lovely. New fun fact about me: my favorite comic book cover of all time is Animal Man no 61. You should check it out. Google ďAnimal Man Lobster CoverĒ and it should be the fourth image from the top.
I got this library copy of the Vertigo Visions art book for a dollar off of Amazon which is awesome because Vertigo is my favorite comic publisher and library copies of books make me very happy. Reload is a collection of art from Heavy Metal magazine which I have been getting into lately. Pretty awesome stuff. Lots of space monsters, Barbarella-esque women and insect people.
I am a bit of a slut when it comes to the art for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K. So I tend to pick up art books whenever I can. As I live in the United States, finding them can be somewhat difficult, especially the older books but thanks to some fortunate dealings and Amazon, I have been able to secure a few for my collection. Thereís still three or four Iím dying to own but unless I come into some money or make a trip to a used bookstore in England, I may be wishing for them for quite a while.
The Dark Crystal is my favorite movie of all time. It has been since I was a child and my love for it has only grown now that I am an adult. Unfortunately, Dark Crystal memorabilia is somewhat limited and can be hard to find. Thankfully, I have been able to get these two amazing art books. The re-release of the World of the Dark Crystal is something I am proud to say that I indulge in on an almost masturbatory level. I have tried to burn its pages into my muppet arms brain and commit ever nuanced detail into my waking mind. The Land of Froud is an art book which contains drawings and paintings by Brian Froud that would go on to be the basis for a number of creatures that would inhabit the world of the Dark Crystal. When I saw this at the bookstore, I jumped a little from joy and felt that God had reached into my chest and pulled the sadness from my heart.
This is a bit of a mish mash of books I find to be joyful and triumphant. Volumes one and two of beasts are pretty great. A bunch of different artists each do a drawing based on a mythical beast from a bunch of different cultures. The result is two volumes of awesome monster drawings. Well worth picking up. Next up is the Art of Reboot. As a child of the mid to late 80ís and a teen form the 90ís, this is pretty self-explanatory. Comic artist Ben Templesmith not only has a badass last name, but he also draws weird tentacle monsters and robot warrior gods.
Conluvio is a collection of some of the weird and horrible creatures that have come from his mind. If you are a fan of his art style, I highly recommend you read Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse. Itís very much worth owning.
Tomer Hanuka is an artist who came to my attention when I started to collected prints and posters from places like Mondo Tees and Nakatomi, Inc. His stuff is stunning. Think James Jean but with a harder edge. His cover for the Marquis De Sadeís Philosophy in the Boudoir almost makes me blush which is no easy feat. His art book Overkill collects some prime examples of his style and if you are looking for a beautiful art book to sit on your shelf, this is it.
Finally we have Gigerís Alien. If you are a fan of the Alien franchise or just really dig the look of the xenomorph then this is the book for you. All the concept art for the alien along with Gigerís notes and his retrospective on the process (which he apparently had a very bad experience with) is fascinating and revealing. You get to see the evolution of the creature from initial designs to modifications to the creation of the costume and how it worked in the film. Plus, you get to see how the Face Hugger was created. Sometimes I think I love the Face Hugger more than the alien. Thereís just something about the simplicity of its design and the nature of how it violates its victim. Itís terrible and amazing all at once. This book has been reprinted a few times but you can score a copy on the used book market reasonably cheap. I cannot recommend this book enough for Alien fans out there.
The last few pictures I want to share with everyone are just kind of fun things. Here is my graphic novel collection. Please excuse the mess on the shelves and around it. Iíve been meaning to spring clean since July but always find an excuse not to. I love my comic books. Some of the most inspiring moments I have had in my waking world have come from reading comics. I cherish these graphic novels for what they are and what they have given me. My current plan is that one day I would like to donate my collection to a library so that future generations of awkward, quiet people can discover the beauty that I have found.
This is a picture of me as a Crossed drawn by Dave Lapham. I plan to make this my Christmas Card next year.
Thanks for taking this journey with me. I hope you enjoyed my words and pictures. Have a lovely day.
Let's take a journey together and read about my gaming moments of 2012. I hope you enjoy them.
My gaming moments of 2012:
Sending NeverDead back to Gamefly.
I was so excited for NeverDead. Neat premise. Ridiculous combat mechanic. Japanese tomfoolery. It had all the elements in a silly game that makes my Rudie Canít Fail heart swell with joy. Turns out the game was a horrible piece of shit. Seriously, Iím sitting here trying to come up with a metaphor for it. Iíve come up with ďchildís coffin filled with 9/11 debrisĒ but that doesnít feel strong enough. Sending it back to Gamefly made me feel like Tina after she kicked Ike to the curb.
This was the best fucking episode of Power Rangers ever. Any time you give me a chance to punch something so hard it turns into a blood cloud, Iím a happy camper. It was criticized for being more QTE fest then game at times but it never once let me down.
The boss fights in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations.
Iíve always wanted an anime-based fighting game that looked like you were essentially ďplayingĒ the anime. The boss fights in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations achieved that. To top it off, the game itself was a lot of fun and gorgeous to boot. This is worth a rental even if just for the story mode.
Being pleasantly surprised by Binary Domain.
I rented Binary Domain because it looked like a fun time waster. It ended up having an engaging story, solid gun mechanics, and a black guy who said ďdamnĒ a lot which helped to assuage my constant white guilt.
My character in Dragonís Dogma.
I wrote a blog about her a while back but to recap my wizard lady in Dragonís Dogma looked like a cross between the psychic lady from Poltergeist and the Elephant Man. She looked like a Skeksi jogging whenever she ran. She was tiny, misshapen and had a spell that gave her a whip made of lightning. In another world, she was the lead singer of Bikini Kill and I was the drummer and her husband.
Shooting a Naziís balls off from 800 yards away in Sniper Elite v2.
The x-ray slo-mo shot of a sack full of future Naziís being obliterated by my bullet is the closest I've ever come to feeling patriotic.
Darksiders 2 was released.
Playing Amnesia: The Dark Descent with the lights off.
I finally got around to playing Amnesia. I even turned off all the lights and put on headphones like they said you were supposed to. It was terrifying. Goddamn, I had missed the fear. It made me feel the way those first few Silent Hill games made me feel and the way Fatal Frame made me feel, back when scary games on consoles were still new and companies did some weird shit to freak you out. Amnesia was horrifying and wonderful and as a slow burn to your own red nightmare, I canít recommend this game enough. Oh, and the new Amnesia game is called A Machine for Pigs. Thatís an amazing title and I bet Trent Reznor is just kicking himself for not thinking of it first.
Braining British soldiers with a club in Assassin's Creed III
Assassinís Creed III was pretty fun. I liked the colonial setting and Connor was someone I could relate to as a character (Iím 9/85ths Cherokee). But by far, the kill animations with the blunt weapons in that game were the best part. That thud and crunch of bone as another red coat lay there twitching and bleeding out. It just felt right, ya know? If you think about it, the red coats were the first Nazis.
The look, sound and feel of Hotline: Miami
This game is how I feel on the inside when its night and Iím smoking a cigarette outside in the dark.
I past 100 hours in Team Fortress 2.
I just know Iím going to get someone telling me how they are over 1000 hours and yeah, thatís great but itís not the point. The point is that I have spent over 100 hours playing a shooter. Thatís a testament to how well done and creative the Team Fortress 2 universe is. Itís fun and clever cartoon murder world with characters that are easy to play (except the Spy) and hard to master (like the Spy) and I fucking love it. Looking forward to another 100 hours in 2013.
Other gaming thoughts for the year:
Using a musket rifle in Darkest of Days.
It was like equipping blue balls as a weapon.
Rocket sliding up stairs in Vanquish.
Thatís just silly.
Hearing that Kanye West song about power in Saints Row the Third a few dozen times.
He pronounces power in a funny way. ďPowahĒ.
Using chakras in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
I finally got to live out some of my Xena: Warrior Princess fantasies.
Well, that's it, Hope you enjoyed my gaming moments. I'd love to hear yours. Have a lovely day.