Friday, January 28, 2011

Flash Gordon Friday! Novel Covers

Here's a few covers from some of the long line of narrative Flash Gordon books that weren't comic strip focused. There were at least three periods in which novels were released. These are from the last series published by Tempo Books and written by David Hagberg.
I've not read these, but fellow space ranger Chris Mills posted over at Space1970 about picking a few and briefly mentioned that they follow more in line with the 1950s TV Flash, than Alex Raymond's interpretation.

I prefer my Flash caped with sword AND pistol, but these are pretty cool too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Robinson Crusoe on Mars Art Print!

So the Criterion Collection has released Robinson Crusoe on Mars on Blu-Ray and DVD. If you're not familiar with Criterion Collection, they put out classic and rare films on DVD using the highest quality original prints available. I have several CC releases and each one is superb.

Anyway, every once in a while they do something special for releases, and they're offering a signed giclee print of the DVD cover by artist Bill Sienkiewicz. It ain't cheap, but if you use promo code "MONA50" they'll knock $50.00 off. Not bad!

I haven't seen the film itself yet. I've got it next on my Netflix queue. I'm hoping it will provide some inspiration for working on my X-plorers setting.

Oh, and it stars Adam West! BATMAN....IN...SPAAAAAACE!

Via Super Punch

Flash Gordon Friday!

Man, the month is nearly over and I've not been living up to my promises for Flash Gordon Month! That ends right now. Here are some choice images from Raymond's original strip. Click any to embiggen.

Here's Flash and co. strolling carefree through the dense forests on Arboria...
Looks like Ronal rolled a 1 on initiative.....
Sufficed to say, it doesn't end well for purple tree lizard. I'd show you how the creature was felled, but the next panel just shows one of Barin's merry men with a bow and arrow. Apparently seeing imaginary purple lizards getting skewered was too much for young eyes of the Golden Age. Sad!

I just love these panels illustrating starship construction on Planet Mongo...
I'm going to have to write some optional rules that uses GIANT CRANES to load spacecraft into GIANT TUBES for launch. Seriously, that's full of awesome.

Finally, everyone needs to give it up for Ming the Merciless, the O.D.M. (Original Dungeon Master)!
Ladies love a man who can pull off a gold-lapel bathrobe. Silk even!

More Flash posts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Random Fun with the Junkulator!

Oh man, this thing is awesome! You'd think that a guy like me who loves random tables of junk would have heard about the JUNKULATOR from IT'S FULL OF WIN!

It's been around a while, so I apologize for my geekgasmic gasps of joy if you're already familiar. If not--basically, it's a web script generator that will spit out random junk finds for a post-apocalyptic/Gamma World setting. You can set it for 1d4+1 pieces or just a single piece of junk. There's also options for item condition and PICTURES!!

Here's a few snapshots of stuff I "found". Click to embiggen:

Aw, man, the things you can do with an intact rototiller and a stained whirlpool!!

It's a riot, give the Junkulatator a whirl!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NASA Mission Logs Get a Facelift!

Here's a neat find while patrolling the spaceways this past week. If you're a NASA fan, space-head, or hell--just love history, you definitely need to check out for their re-formatting of original NASA space mission logs.

The logs are presented in a highly readable format mocked up to look almost like Facebook or Twitter tweets! The mission logs also include maps with checkpoints so you can see where in their journey the astronauts and mission control made their transmissions. Here's a screen grab of the infamous moment on Apollo 13:

Click to embiggen

Funny how movies can give you a slightly "off" impression of an event. Check out Jim Lovell's famous line--a minor tweak by the filmmakers, but still kinda interesting.

If you're working on a space adventure and need a reference for official space lingo, this glossary should be a big help!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Flash!

Flash Gordon, the original interstellar space stud!
Today marks Flash Gordon's 77th birthday, having first appeared in "the funny papers" (as they say), via King Features Syndicate, the world's longest-running comic strip publisher. Comic strip wizard Alex Raymond was challenged with coming up with a comparable space hero that could compete with the already popular Buck Rogers strip.
Flash leads an excursion through the wilds of Arboria
Raymond melded the growing fascination with science fiction with some old-fashioned swashbuckling, and in the process created a cultural phenomenon that quickly surpassed ol' Buck in popularity at the time. Other paramours followed, but it was Flash, who through nearly eight decades has endured as the template for space opera fantasy from the golden-age of comic storytelling. So began Flash's adventures on Planet Mongo in his tireless quest to free the enslaved populous from the tyrant Ming the Merciless, with companions Dale Arden, Dr. Hans Zarkov, Prince Barin and a host of other Mongo allies.Flash Gordon creator, Alex Raymond (self portrait)
Raymond drew Flash for less than a decade before he joined the Marines in 1944. He returned to the states, but not to Flash. Soon he began a new strip about a the adventures of a private detective, Rip Kirby. That series was also immensely popular in its heyday. Raymond wouldn't get the chance finish the series himself--or return to Flash--he was killed in an auto accident in 1956.

Flash had many artists in the years that followed, but most cleaved closely to Raymond's original formula of sword fights and rayguns, space damsels in distress, and spaceships that go wooosh!
Its a formula that works!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Exonauts Joins the X-plorers!

IT'S HAPPENING! If you haven't heard by now, X-plorers 2.0 is in the works and yours truly has signed on to help Star Admiral Adams at Brave Halfling Publishing get it to the launch pad. I'm currently cleaning up the players guide and readying it for layout.
I'm absolutely STOKED about working on the new edition, which will include a saddle-stitched manual, featuring some brand new, fantastic artwork from Peter Mullen. The book will provide Dave Bezio's original rules as a base "kit" for users to really make it their own.

Following that, Brave Halfling has several other goodies in the pipeline:
  • "Wreack Tech", an original adventure module by Bill De Franza (who is also lending a hand with the editing for the manual)
  • Upcoming supplements and settings material
  • "Galactic Troubleshooters", a sci-fi RPG fanzine, that will accept submitted material (kinda' like Fight On!)
For my part, I'm also helping with the Referee Section of the book and I'm working on my own "flavors" of the game. I've already begun one, with much more material on the way. For those of you who already own the first edition, help yourselves to the downloads at right: the compiled Random Space Finds posts and the sci-fi skill conversion PDFs.

I have to say that in getting to know John--he's an all-around, stellar guy and it's great to work with someone with so much enthusiasm. The game itself has a ton of potential and we're just hoping to do it justice and give gamers the ability to dive in and warpspeed into adventure!

The countdown has begun!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Vintage Mars Attacks Card Scans!

If there's a patient zero in post-modern America that fed the "gamma strain" into the pop culture mileu, the Mars Attacks collectible cards are a prime suspect.

Here's a few juicy scans posted on Flickr (hat tip to Boing Boing, BTW) of the set, as released in the 60s. They were, of course, the guiding inspiration behind Tim Burton's 1996 film.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January is Flash Gordon Month on Exonauts!

Image: Wikipedia
According to Wikipedia, January 8th is the 77th anniversary of the first appearance of Alex Raymond's much-beloved, space swashbuckler, Flash Gordon. Flash has long been a favorite of mine (as you might imagine) and with the loss of erstwhile Flash artist Al Williamson last year, I'd wanted to do a series of posts the character. Henceforth, I declare January 2011 to be Flash Gordon Month! At least once a week I will feature an FG post, some art, and maybe a surprise or two.

Stay tuned space cadets!