I’ve been working on a graphic novel of Day of the Toys for several months now and have finished the script and begun thumbnails. The sketches make me pretty excited.
For Doom II
What started as a remake of Angst: Rahz’s Revenge ran away and became its own thing. After angering your woke bosses at the Global Insurance Company, you are deported to Lunica City, the only tourist trap/prison on the moon, to suffer the rest of your days in cubicle hell. A few days later the GIC’s experiments turn the moon city into a nightmare: dinosaur-like aliens have invaded, and the city is in chaos. Maybe now is a good time to find a way back to earth before the city falls?
My new pal Ryan wrote about a thing I mailed him, and it only just dawned on me that I should reblog it!
It’s been a while since I last wrote anything on here. But with it being a new year, I shall endeavor to post somewhat regularly. But we’ll see how that goes.
Anyway, back in 2017 I reviewed an unofficial Street Fighter II micro playset which featured Guile and Chun-Li, and was based on Guile’s stage. Since then, I have been on the look out for more of these micro playsets but they seemed to come up few and far between. A couple of months back I saw that Mike of Mike’s Toybox had acquired a set of these and had a double, so when he offered it to me for a very good price, I knew I would be a fool to refuse it.
So it wasn’t long before I was holding yet another SNES style controller in my hands, only this one was less yellowed than the last.
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Some Assembly Required
This is my attempt at Journey June, which I immediately fell behind on thanks to my grueling day job. May mostly play catch-up at the very end if I finish it.
Day 1. Our Hero
Day 2. Call to Adventure
Day 3. Answering the Call
The woman in the green greatcoat was in her mid-thirties — maybe four or five years Juno’s senior. Like most of her deputies, her hair was fiery red and suggested something tribal and barbaric: a wild mane from which several braids slithered like sea serpents from a river of napalm. Her face was chiseled and square-jawed, and cruel when it smiled, doubly so thanks to the bayonet scar across her left eye from brow to jawline — every soldier stereotype Juno had ever seen, rolled into a single, smirking, malignant individual. The Rourkes gave her plenty of room as she strolled past to join Juno, her sheriff’s badge glistening on her chest, eyes burning like tiny volcanoes.
She bared her yellow teeth in an unpleasant smile, and chuckled as she nodded to Juno’s eyepatch. “Shee-it. If we ain’t sisters in arms already.”
Juno had heard horror stories about her during the war. Back then she had been called “Ruthless” Ruth Bowie; her reputation as Gaulheim sheriff lived up to the name. Juno kept on her guard as if she were walking across the courtyard with a wild tiger at her side.
“We ain’t never met, Major,” said Ruth as she rolled a cigarette. “But I know all about you. Some folks collect antiques, or stamps, or itty bitty ships in bottles. I collect war stories. You was some badass commando in Jotunheim. Amazon Force, right?”
“Something like that.”
“Yeah, we heard about your unit. Little whispered legends, as if sayin’ your name too loud would summon you like Bloody Mary. Unit was called Ghost Lion, wasn’t it? Or was that just you?”
“I was Queen. The unit was Ghost Lion.”
Ruth chuckled. “Good name. Stalk the enemy camp, slip in like the mist, kill everything that breathes, then vanish. The way Nessy tells it, you’re the only Ghost Lion made it outta the war.”
Juno said nothing.
Ruth planted the cigarette between her lips and lit it up. She took a deep drag. “The way Nessy tells it, you’re like a one-woman army.”
Juno glanced briefly at her. “She tells me you waterboarded a woman to death trying to get a confession out of her.”
Ruth shrugged. “She made it tough on herself.”
“Got you suspended, didn’t it?”
“Coupla days. Doc was plenty mad, but she’s scatterbrained and forgets easy. She can’t run this city without me anyhow. Spends all her time in her little lab, playin’ dictator. Without me to keep an eye on things, her sorry-ass citizens woulda tarred and feathered her loony ass years ago.” She smirked at Juno’s eyepatch. “It true that a dog ate your eye?”
“Mostly ate it, or mostly true?”
Ruth shook her head and laughed out a plume of smoke. “Woulda served Nessy right if you’da killed her pups. She’s like a fuckin’ kid. Never listens or learns.”
“How’d she get such a high position in the police force?”
“Aw, she ain’t in charge o’ nothin’, really. I do all the heavy liftin’. The rest o’ my unit couldn’t find their tits with both hands. They’re used to action, not paperwork.” She pointed at Juno with the cigarette. “Don’t get me wrong. So long as they do right by me, I do right by my girls. I love and respect ev’ry one of ‘em, be they crazy or stupid. A commander oughta be a big sister to her unit or she ain’t worth a shit. That how it was with the Ghost Lions?”
Juno’s heart sank as Randie’s bloody death by machine gun replayed in her memory: a useless death for saving the life of a useless commander.
“Yeah,” she said.
When they came to the gate, both women stopped and waited as the doors slowly opened, admitting a slurry of snowflakes which vaporized before they touched the courtyard grass. Juno’s three vans sat in the snow on the other side, where her valkyries shared a community mead horn to loosen their nerves. Drinking alcohol outdoors was a sure way to freeze to death during nuclear winter without a thermosuit.
Ruth took one last drag and chucked her cigarette into the snow. “Stick around a few hours n’ have a drink with me. We got the best mead hall in the valley just up the road from here. Ain’t got no delusions o’ class like Gaul does.”
Juno now had a closer look at Ruth’s greatcoat: the fabled coat she had worn in the army, each button fashioned from the molar of a dead enemy, not all of whom were identified.
“I have work to do back home,” said Juno.
“Shee-it, I ain’t askin’ you on a date. All o’ Gaulheim is blue collar hicks. There’s nobody in this burg for a soldier to talk to, ‘cept my idiot troops. You n’ me, we both seen some crazy shit in our time.”
“I bet you see a lot more working for Dr. Gaul.”
Ruth’s grin was hideous. “It has its perks. Think it over. You change your mind, gimme a ring.”
They exchanged salutes, and Juno hurried through the gate.
I miss the days when board games could be twisted as hell. For example, this Roger Rabbit game about apartheid in Toontown!
I got a surprise review of my latest doom mod!
Another nice Cravenwild review, this time of The Amityville Nuisance!
Henry Holiday is a necromancer, whose life is disrupted when his ex-girlfriend, who is also a beautiful snake haired Gorgon, bursts into his life and pays him to attend a family gathering as her plus one, in an effort to find out what’s really going on with her brothers money making scheme at the old haunted Amityville house. As all Hell breaks loose there, with giant interdimensional spiders, murder and mayhem, potential ghostly spirits, and some born again Christians thrown into the mix.
Meanwhile, there are some strange goings on as his business associate and afterlife attorney, Edna, finds her licence revoked right before a big case, in an amusing and colourful subplot involving the gods of Ancient Egypt.
The second book in the Bishop & Holiday series, you don’t have to have read the first story to enjoy this one at all. Mike MacDee’s books are always a fun…
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I’m a guest reader at GCC on the 21st! Come say hi!
It’s taken several years, over thirty open mic readings, the tears of numerous children, an eye of newt, an uprooted and discolored patch of crabgrass, careful deconstruction of the lyrics of Phil Collins, and your credit card numbers, but we have finally achieved what we sought out to achieve with these open mics: a featured reader with the first name Mike. How could we possibly top this? (Incidentally, if you or someone you know goes by the name “Open” and is interested in a featured reader spot at March’s event, please contact us.)
Even if your name is something other than Mike, we still want you to show up, we still want you to share your creative work with us, and we still want you spend an hour or two commiserating with other creatives at GCC. We hope you’ll read, but if you’d rather listen to the works of others…
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In 2017 Doomworld’s level design geeks put together a Mario-themed community megawad, for which I was contacted to write the intermission text.
“Maybe skewering the toads on a”,
“pole was an overreaction, but”,
“you warned Peach what would hap-“,
“pen if you heard that damn ‘Our”,
“princess is in another castle'”,
“line one more time.”,
“You warned the Koopas, too.”,
“‘No more mister nice-a plumber,'”
“you’d said. Guess they’ll take”,
“you at your word from now on.”,
“You park the airship on some”,
“poor shyguy’s house in Groovy”,
“Grove or whatever it’s called.”,
“The locals seem miffed at your”,
“callousness. They won’t be talk-“,
“ing tough for long.”
“You sit atop the ruins, polishing”,
“off your pastrami sandwhich while”,
“reflecting on how much destruction”,
“you’ve wrought on the cultures of”,
“this weird world.”,
“John Carter gets sexy naked”,
“warrior babes and a legion of”,
“martian bug men. You get a”,
“preening blow-up doll and a”,
“bunch of shrill-voiced shrooms.”,
“Just your luck.”,
“Where the hell is that lazy”,
“sack Luigi during all this,”,
“anyway? Just like him to leave”,
“you holding the bag…”
“Nightmare transforming castle de-“,
“feated along with the bulk of the”,
“koopa army and too damn many magi-“,
“koopas and fake bowsers. What’s”,
“your reward? ‘Our princess is in”,
“another castle!’ Topping it all off,”,
“to get to the real castle you have”,
“to traverse Rainbow Road without a”,
“That tears it. For real, this time.”,
“This is the last time you pull”,
“that bubble-head out of trouble.”,
“Every damn week she’s in somebody”,
“else’s basement. Maybe she does”,
“it on purpose. Maybe you’ll give”,
“her a piece of your mind after”,
“handing Bowser his ass for all time.”
“As Bowser is crushed in an avalanche”,
“of rubble what used to be his giant”,
“Koopa Dispenser, you wonder just how”,
“much political chaos you’ve plunged”,
“the Koopa Kingdom into. It might be”,
“fun to watch, but you’d rather not”,
“waste another minute in this dump.”,
“You turn and hop away, leaving Peach”,
“behind, scratching her head. Maybe”,
“she can write to Luigi when she”,
“gets snatched again.”,
“It’s a long walk to Daisy’s place”,
“for racquetball and strip poker,”,
“but it’s worth it. At least she”,
“doesn’t get kidnaped every ten”,
“minutes. She makes a mean mint”,
SECRET LEVEL INTRO
“You found the secret level!”,
“More like you took a wrong turn”,
“at albuquerque. The only thing”,
“you hate worse than koopas is”,
“mind-shattering puzzles, and”,
“boy did you find a doozie.”
SUPER SECRET LEVEL INTRO
“You found the super secret level!”,
“Man, things got low-tech in a hurry.”,
“Maybe Princess Daisy will let you”,
“crash at her place if you survive.”
So we’re in the giant port city of Baldur’s Gate, the four of us: Emil the Rogue, Serena the Battlemage/Archer, Darius the Necromancer, and Grommel the Gladiator. We’re on a long-running quest to pursue these cultists who may be up to something world-threatening, but mostly our journey has consisted of infighting and side-questing for the locals.
There were a lot of small, funny moments in this campaign, none of which could fill an entire article on their own. We were randomly ambushed on a forest trail by a nest of giant spiders in the middle of an argument. Emil, my character, was best known for disarming traps with his face, because he was technically a locksmith, not a thief. The party was invited to a soiree, where everyone had a great time but Emil, who was being tied to a bed, then gutted like a fish by a hooker who turned out to be his ex in disguise. Grommel was put on surveillance duty, which he had never done before, so his idea of tailing the girl who came out of the house he was watching was to blatantly follow her until he was nearly arrested as a suspected rapist. After winning a gruesome boss battle, Serena barged into a high-class inn, covered head to toe in blood, and waited in the doorway til she had the patrons’ undivided attention before declaring, “You would not BELIEVE the day I’ve had.” Grommel acquired a magic drum that gave instant migraines to whoever beat it, which led to a variety of idiotic experiments to determine how it worked, mostly at our own painful expense.
Baldur’s Gate was host to the best event of the game, though. Once in Baldur’s Gate we started running errands for the three political factions, but that’s neither here nor there. Our investigations eventually led us to the local fireworks maker, who had info regarding whichever faction we were working against that week.
While we talked with the shopkeeper, Grommel perused the wares, and his half-orc eyes fell upon a magnificent work of art: a bottle rocket the size of a barrel.
“What’s that?” he asked.
Shopkeeper replied, “That’s my masterpiece. I only make one every two years, ‘cos that’s how long it takes to make.”
Grommel pondered a moment, then said, “How much?”
“Three hundred gold.”
We were rolling in loot at this point in our adventure, so he said, “Done deal.”
For the rest of the day, while we ran errands and got into further trouble, Grommel had this flying powder keg tucked under one arm. Eventually we reached a brick wall in our investigations, and we weren’t sure where to go next.
Grommel shrugged and said, “Well, I dunno about you chaps, but I’m gonna light this sucker up.”
It was the middle of the afternoon, but we were bored and frustrated, so we shrugged and went with.
It quickly became apparent that Grommel was drawing a crowd as we made our way down to the pier with this giant bottle rocket: every person we passed dropped what they were doing, stared at our absurd firework, then eventually followed as their curiosity got the better of them. By the time we reached the pier and loaded this rocket into a dinghy, we had a crowd of about a hundred people with us, watching with anticipation. The bottle rocket went out into the bay on its little boat about fifty yards, then Grommel signaled Serena to light it with a flame arrow.
It ignited and soared into the sky, where it burst into a myriad of brilliant blue sparks in the life-sized shape of a dragon, dazzling everyone on the pier below.
The dragon then proceeded to animate and set fire to the pier and all the ships in port. Suddenly the harbor was a panicked mass of screaming pedestrians, sailors, and dock workers. Ships pulling into port desperately veered off-course to avoid getting caught in the fiery chaos. We looked at each other, realized the city guards were only seconds away, and joined the fleeing crowds.
As we fled, we happened to glance to our left. Three blocks up the shore stood the fireworks maker, sick with laughter and slapping his knee.
We avoided the piers of Baldur’s Gate for the rest of the week. So did everyone else, since they were still on fire.
another guest post Dan was awesome enough to be fully supportive of. Thanks Dan!
your humble host
From time to time on the blog we have other authors discuss a topic they’ve encountered. Here, Mike MacDee, friend of the blog and author of Shadow of the Fox, shares a potentially touchy topic that may be frustrating other writers.
Check out his few insights; feel free to discuss, agree, disagree – but be respectful. (You can tell my thoughts from the title.)
This topic has been a source of controversy for a lot of authors, including recently in a Facebook group I frequent with other writers. I wanted to share this to settle the matter for the many authors, myself included, who struggle with accusations of “cultural appropriation”.
It is OKAY to base a work of art or fiction on another culture.
It doesn’t even have to be another country: you don’t have to be Latino to write a Latino character…
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