Monday, December 31, 2012

Art roundup

Catwoman by Mike Mignola.  Via.

Descent into the Maelstrom, an illustration by Harry Clarke. (You can buy Harry Clarke collections at Amazon.)

Viking by Laura Bifano.

Mantis riding a snail in Wonderland.

"Well, my old DM had the joke character that was a dwarven fighter that wielded two battleaxes and rode a bear that wielded two battleaxes that rode a dire bear that wielded two dwarven fighters who each wielded two battleaxes..."

*Buy Catwoman toys at eBay.

Jared Diamond describes the time he was nearly killed by a sorcerer in New Guinea.

Link roundup

1.  Another poor review of Diablo clone Marvel Heroes: "there is a long way to go before Marvel Heroes becomes a game you should think about playing."  (Repetitive freemium games like this belong on a tablet/phone, not a PC.)

2.  Kate Beaton's charming holiday comics collected.

3.  "[H]e’s clear proof that a human foot is no impediment to walking straight up a trunk."

4.  Noelle Stevenson's impressive year in review.  If you're an artist wondering how to blog, learn from her.

The very best of 2012: The Wind through the Keyhole

2012 was an up and down year for Dark Tower fans.  We were cruelly tantalized with the possibility of an A+ effort to produce a movie and tv series.  That project now seems truly dead.  But.  There was a new Dark Tower novel.  And it was good!  In The Wind Through the Keyhole, Stephen King grabs elements from King Arthur, Peter Pan, and who knows where else, and skillfully blends them into a thrilling post-apocalyptic fairy tale.

You can see more of the best of 2012 here.

The very best of 2012: David Aja's Hawkeye

David Aja's Iron Fist was the best, and now David Aja's Hawkeye is the best.  Hawkeye #3 featured the best comic book panel of the year.

You can see more of the best of 2012 here.

The very best of 2012: Captain Marvel

In a year full of great new designs for Marvel's female super heroes, Jamie McKelvie's Miracleman-esque transformation of Carol Danvers was the best.

You can see more of the best of 2012 here.

(And you can see a custom Captain Marvel action figure at Toycutter.)

The very best of 2012: Adventure Time

Plenty of Adventure Time episodes go off the rails with impenetrable lunacy.  But the plot-advancing episodes packed a truly emotional punch and established the Ice King as possibly the most interesting cartoon character ever.  It's also testament to the brilliant character design on the show that such original creations translate well to the real world.  Indeed, I'm morbidly excited to see the first Destiny Gang cosplay:

You can see more of the best of 2012 here.

(And you can buy Ice King toys at Amazon.)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

God Complex Inari one-sixth scale figure

God Complex Inari figure available in February.

*Buy God Complex figures at ebay.

Link roundup

1.  Looks like Redbook ripped off Jen Yates of Cake Wrecks (and other Pinterest users).  (I bet Cake Wrecks will be going strong long after Redbook folds.)

2.  "The Order of the Occult Hand is a whimsical secret society of American journalists who have been able to slip the meaningless and telltale phrase 'It was as if an occult hand had…' in print as a sort of a game and inside joke."  Via.

3.  Road House just got infinitely funnier:

[The Onion Audio Visual Club]: It seems like your sex scene in the film must be one of the most uncomfortable in cinematic history, being up against a rock wall and all.

[Kelly Lynch]: Oh, I know, but I was padded. [Laughs.] No one knows, so it looks more painful that it was. They really liked everything about the way that scene looked, with the blonde hair against the rocks behind me, but I was like, “Isn’t this kind of… mean?” So they put a thin padding under my dress, so you can’t see it. But he’s still slamming me against the rocks, so I had to be careful not to hit my head. Thank God Patrick was so strong. He could’ve carried me around that room forever.

By the way, speaking of Bill Murray, every time Road House is on and he or one of his idiot brothers are watching TV—and they’re always watching TV—one of them calls my husband and says [In a reasonable approximation of Carl Spackler], “Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now. They’re doing it. He’s throwing her against the rocks.” [Away from the receiver.] What? Oh, my God. Mitch was just walking out the door to the set, and he said that Bill once called him from Russia.

AVC: Sorry, not to dwell on this, but you said that Bill Murray “or one of his idiot brothers” will call. Which brothers are we talking about? 
KL: All of them! Joel has called; Brian Doyle has called. They will all call! Any and all of them! 
AVC: This was already an awesome story, but now it’s even better. 
KL: I know, right? I dread it. If I know it’s coming on—and I can tell when it’s coming on, because it blows up on Twitter when it is—I’m just like, “Oh, my God…” And God help me when AMC’s doing their Road House marathon, because I know the phone is just going to keep ringing. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 or 3 in morning. “Hi, Kelly’s having sex with Patrick Swayze right now…” 

4. James Cameron's Titanic as a secret prequel to Terminator.

*Take advantage of Amazon's year-end deals.

The Old Republic Trooper vs. Sith Trooper Lego set

Brand new Lego set - - The Old Republic Troopers vs. Sith Troopers available at Lego and Amazon.  Via.

Relatedly, I finally listened to the Star Wars radio drama Smuggler's Gambit (free download).  It's very entertaining, and David Collins is hilarious as Han Solo.

Link roundup

1.  Dating advice.

2.  A history of the use of swords in battle (in Europe and America).

3.  Paolo Bacigalupi participated in an Ask Me Anything session at Reddit.  Here are some highlights:

My next novel is actually going to be middle grade. It's called ZOMBIE BASEBALL BEATDOWN, and it's about three friends in small-town Iowa fighting off the zombie apocalypse with their teamwork and baseball skills. That one is actually written, I just finished page proofs on it, and it will be published next fall. 
I was aiming to do two things. One was to bring zombies to kids in grades 4-6, and to do so in a way that honors zombies as creatures of horror, rather than something cute. A lot of kids in my wife's school wanted to read about zombies, but there wasn't much for them. So I wanted to give them some undead-bludgeoning action that they could call their own. But frankly, because it's me doing the writing, and because I'm a political writer in many ways, the book is actually about things like meatpacking plants, food safety and USDA policy, and race and immigration in America, and how we either work together or don't. I started out writing the book just for kicks so some kids in my wife's school would have something to read, and by the end, it was also something for me to talk about issues that I care about.
On participating in the Humble Bundle:
It worked out phenomenally well for me. I think the Humble Bundle earned more in two weeks for "Pump Six and Other Stories," than I had earned in the previous four years for that collection. Though, I have to think that being in the same bundle of writers as Niel Gaiman, John Scalzi, and Cory Doctorow, along with Penny Arcade and xkcd was the cause of most of that.
Struggling as a writer:
When I finally did start getting published, with "The Fluted Girl," and then "The People of Sand and Slag" and "The Calorie Man" it appeared as if I had emerged out of nowhere. The reality was that I had emerged from ten years of brutal failure, but no one saw all that learning. All people initially saw was the successful short stories, and I think that helped readers, and editors get excited about me. For a little while, I appeared to be a phenomenon, instead of just another writer who had been grinding it out for years. 
When I started working on short stories, I had pretty much given up on novels. I knew I liked writing, but I couldn't take the rejection of seeing a year+ project die. Short stories/novelettes were a risk I could stomach. Interestingly, by that time I'd been writing for probably six or seven years, and I'd done a ton of book projects, so when I started to focus on short stories, I finally had my craft dialed in. 
The thing that short stories really did for me was that they provided me with a market that wasn't afraid of the very dark stories I was writing. F&SF and Asimovs were happy to take me on, and it wasn't a risk for them the way it was for novel publishers to take on my long work. 
So the short markets gave me exposure and legitimacy and a readership that I couldn't get by myself, and ultimately, that exposure was also what made Night Shade Books willing to take a risk on both my collection, and later on, THE WINDUP GIRL, when none of the major publishing houses would touch it. 
The Drowned Cities took me two years to write, and it was a mess from the start. I wrote an entire draft of the book (90,000 words) and ended up throwing it away.
You should buy all of his books at Amazon.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Free digital comic of your choice from Dark Horse

If you use the code DHNYE2013, you get $2 off any comic at the Dark Horse digital store (making most non-brand new issues free).  I chose this one because I always thought the bounty hunter looked cool, and was in the mood for a Star Wars comic by Dustin Weaver after he posted this art today.

Off hand, BPRD 1946 #1 is the best single issue I can think of.

threeA's Portal robots

P-Body and Atlas from Portal 2 by threeA.

*Preorder the Chell action figure at Entertainment Earth.

Art roundup

Waldemar von Kozak:

In a small shuttle van sitting slim modest girl with big glasses. Suddenly in her bag when the phone rang. Played the melody of "The Imperial March" from Star Wars. I had to sketch it while I had the air in the lungs.

The Joker and an excellent Harley Quinn by Daniel Krall.

Lego Ice Planet logo.  Via.

Super Girl by Paul Maybury.

*Buy Heroclix at eBay.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Best book covers of 2012

The NY Times featured 19 of the best book covers of 2012. Here are my favorites (links are to Amazon):

Bloodland: A Novel jacket design by Keith Hayes

The Flame Alphabet jacket design by Peter Mendelsund

In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Other Stories jacket design by Office of Paul Sahre

Gravity's Rainbow jacket design by Matt Broughton

Art roundup

Christmas meets Patricio Oliver's The Tenebrae.

Thor by Frank Cho and Valkyrie by Chris Bachalo.  Via.

Ghost Rider by Mike Bear. Via these sites.

*Buy vinyl toys by Patricio Oliver at ebay.

Stephen King's Under the Dome is on sale

Stephen King's Under the Dome (soon to be a tv series) is on sale for $2 at Amazon.  (Been on my wishlist for years.)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Art roundup

Delirium art by Bill Sienkiewicz. Via.

Two prints from Julian Montague's state collection.  Via.

Batwoman by Bruce Timm.  Via.

A glimpse of The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys.

Rat King by Natalie Hall.

Pixel wallpaper by Michael Myers for Kotaku.

*Buy the Sandman PVC set at ebay.

Lego Armored Samus, Big Daddy from Bioshock...and Pin-Up Girls?


Lego Samus, Big Daddy, Watchmen and more by Pate-keetongu.  Via.

*Buy the new TMNT sets at the Lego store.