World Wildlife Federation of Justice “Eye Eye Eye” Comic Completed

I’m pleased to announce that the World Wildlife Federation of Justice comic I started working on in 2011 is finally done! At that time I had hoped to pull enough donations from friends and fans to pay for the writing chops of Ian Boothby, the lettering skills of Ed Brisson, and one page of pencils from Captain Carrot comic creator Scott Shaw!

I did get all the funds I’d hoped for and more (thanks donors) and a script from Ian Boothby. Shortly after I started the project I was offered a full time job at Atomic Cartoons to work on character art for some Marvel motion comics, which naturally I accepted! That 7 month contract turned into three subsequent positions on 2 more projects which didn’t leave me with the time I had anticipated to work on the WWFJ story. Recently however, I found myself with a couple months off and an opportunity to include a story in the Cloudscape Comics anthology “Mega-Fauna” and this story seemed the perfect fit. Ed had moved on from lettering to writing, including Secret Avengers and Robocop comics, but he recommended another Vancouver local Christopher Barrett. I also drew from my Atomic Cartoons talent pool my friend Tanya Lehoux to colour the thing. The page from Scott Shaw fell through, unfortunately, but in the end I’m very pleased with the results.

Look for “Eye Eye Eye” in Mega-Fauna August 2014, and on worldwildlifefederationofjustice shortly thereafter. Preview below:

wwfj-boothby-p2_FINAL

Posted in Art, Comic Book, Nerdiness, WWFJ | Leave a comment

2014 is the year of 365 Movies

My goal this year is to watch a movie for every day of the year – a movie that I have not seen before. Here are the results so far:

APRIL

30.
29. 28. 27. 26. 25. 24. 23. 22. 21. 20. 19. 18. 17. 16.
15.
14.
13.
12.
11.
10.
9. Tom Segura: Completely Normal
8. Inequality for All
7. Dykket (1989)
6. The Improv: 50 Years Behind The Brick Wall
5. Captain America: Winter Soldier
4. Skyfall
3. Doctor Strange 2007
2. Battle Beyond the Stars 1980
1. Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

MARCH:

31. The Music Never Stopped 2011
30. Shutter Island
29. How I Live Now 2013
28. Berserk: The Golden Age Arc 2 – The Battle For Doldrey
27. Twelve Years a Slave
26. No Way Out 1950
25. Lonely Are the Brave 1962
24. Falling Overnight 2011
23. The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014
22. A Face in the Crowd 1957
21. Strangers When We Meet 1960
20. Prince of the City 1981
19. Gulliver’s Travels 2010
18. Rise of the Guardians 2012
17. Big Top Pee-wee 1988
16. Haywire 2011
15. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 2013
14. Fruitvale Station 2013
13. Charade 1963
12. Before Midnight 2013
11. Before Sunset 2004
10. Too Big to Fail 2011
9. Carnage 2011
8. Bully 2011
7. Looper 2012
6. The Hunt for the BTK Killer 2005
5. Tape 2001
4. Death Race 2000 1975
3. The Gift 2000
2. The Wind Rises 2013
1. Safety Not Guaranteed 2012

FEBRUARY – 28 MOVIES

Before Sunrise 1995
3:10 to Yuma 2007
Safe 1995
3:10 to Yuma 1957
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa 2013
Night on Earth 1991
Intact 2001
Exam 2009
Vanity Fair 2004
The King’s Speech 2010
The Night of the Hunter 1955
Lincoln 2012
Buried 2010
The Perks of Being a Wallflower 2012
The Truman Show 1998
Some Like It Hot 1959
The Winning Season 2009
This Is the End 2013
Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949
Sullivan’s Travels 1941
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 1947
Metallica Through the Never 2013
Attack of the Giant Leeches 1959
Shattered Glass 2003
No Escape 1994
Monsters University 2013
Despicable Me 2 2013
Ender’s Game 2013

JANUARY – 31 MOVIES:

The Lego Movie 2014
Nebraska 2013
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – The Egg of the King 2012
Blackfish 2013
Brave 2012
The Life Zone 2011
The Thing 2011
Citizen Ruth 1996
Cocaine Cowboys 2 2008
Immortals 2011
Vulgar 2000
Cyborg 1989
Kick-Ass 2 2013
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 2011
The Hunger Games 2012
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 2009
Shakes the Clown 1991
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2007
Willow 1988
Inside Llewyn Davis 2013
Mud 2012
It 1990 Mini-Series
World War Z 2013
Frozen 2013
A Night to Remember 1958
Titanic 1953
After Earth 2013
Ma and Pa Kettle 1949
The Inspector General 1949
Coal Miner’s Daughter

Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

Caustic Soda Season Five Indiegogo Fundraiser Campaign

My beloved-by-all podcast Caustic Soda is doing a fundraiser for Season Five. Feel like contributing? No pressure but we’re all counting on you!

Posted in Nerdiness | Tagged | Leave a comment

Krampus Miniature Design

Not long ago I designed a Krampus miniature for Uncle Mike of Strange Aeons Miniature Skirmish Game.

Here’s the drawing (click to embiggen):

toast

And here’s the sculpt (not by me):

toast2

The finished mini will be available in December here

Posted in Art, Nerdiness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hexmas Wish List 2013

I’m easy to shop for. Just follow the instructions below!

  • A theremin!****
  • Kickle Snifters original 1976 paperback printing if possible (NOT library binding)! (Alvin Schwartz)
  • Star Trek (original series) Remastered edition (must be the remastered edition). Used is fine!***
  • Gift certificate for RX Comics (because I love supporting my local comic book retail outlet!) **
  • Stripey socks (any colour, just NOT ankle socks)***
  • This Star Trek shower curtain
  • Spock socks**
  • Dye my purple hoodie a darker purple****
Posted in General | 2 Comments

Post-Apocalyptic Diner

This hex-grid post-apocalyptic Diner battlemat is something I put together from stuff I found online. It’s a full-colour pdf!

Post Apocalyptic Diner ready to print

Posted in Nerdiness | Leave a comment

Building a Better Spaceship

Why build a model of Spaceship Zero? To keep on the shelf as a cool toy? To use on the tabletop during SSZ roleplaying games? Because I can? Yes is the answer to all of these. Let’s have a look…

Rob Baxter Spaceship Zero side viewRob Baxter SSZ Top ViewUnPopular-Mech-72dpiRob Baxter Spaceship Zero

These are files from when the CD “Spaceship Zero: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” came out around 1999/2000.

The antennae-looking things are actually coming out of the ass end of the ship, and they are sensors. When not in use (for example when the ship is landing) they retract into the ship. On the front of the ship are 3 graviton tines, which are part of the Better-Than-Light Drive system (like warp drive).

SSZ cutaway cross section from roleplaying book

This above image is the cross section I drew for the roleplaying game that came out in 2000 or so. What this shows that isn’t in the first images (besides the interior)  is what the ship looks like with the xenon thrusters out (they pop out from the middle of the ship and swivel so the ship can navigate in any direction) and the landing gear extended. The landing gear are curved like the ship itself and indeed retract into the hull of the ship so as to be more or less seamlessly hidden. FOR THE MODEL I want the xenon thrusters out (they don’t need to swivel), and the the landing gear out, because otherwise the ship will not stand up! The landing gear do not need to retract into the ship on the actual physical model, but they should look like they could do.

SSZ comic page 2

The above page from the SSZ comic shows another view of the ship, and you can see kind of where the landing gear would come out of the ship towards the bottom.

spaceship zero model plan

Above are some scribbles as to how I envision the model working under the best case scenario. I think that if the model is about 20″ tall (originally I thought 17 inches but better slightly too big than slightly too small) then it will be to scale with the game miniatures I use during SSZ rpg sessions. Eyeballing it, I think the width at the widest point on the ship body (not counting the tines or landing gear) would be 7″ inches, maybe 7.75″ tops?

I think the main concern is going to be how big will the landing gear have to be to ensure that the model doesn’t topple over in a stiff wind.

It would be super cool if the ship were to be cut up in sections for some of the main decks so that at the gaming table it could be doubled as a battle mat kind of a deal. But it looks like that will be more expensive and would compromise the structural integrity of the model overall.

It would also be really cool if there were little blue LED lights in the tines. But again, that’s gravy.

For comparison, here are some images shared by Cliff Raeder, who made his own SSZ model out of two 2L soda bottles. Pretty great! Note that the figures he is using are kids toys that larger than traditional gaming minis that I would be using.

Cliff Raeders SSZ model17427_566932943327779_1144838332_n317437_566932843327789_1107086727_n

 

Posted in General, Nerdiness | Leave a comment

Toren’s Dull & Obvious Tips on Naming Characters for Roleplaying Games (Fantasy or Otherwise)

In my many aeons of running and playing roleplaying games like D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Spaceship Zero and Mutilator, I’ve witnessed and experienced firsthand the trauma and heartbreak of coming up with a name for a character. As a GM and a player, it’s important for me to choose names that are (1) memorable, (2) easy to say, and (3) add to the enjoyment of the game. Having the name evoke a feeling or idea that supports what the character is or does is an added bonus.

Things to avoid

  • Overly long, or complicated names (it’s okay to have a long full name for the character’s last will and a concise first name or nickname that the other players will use);
  • Names that nobody but you are going to remember. Tolkein was great at this (Amandil, Adanel, Alatariel, Arvegil, and Anfauglir you say? Got it);
  • Names that other players are going to twist in a way that infuriates you (unless you’re okay with that);
  • Random name generators. These are SO DULL. Although, they could be a good starting point if you have absolutely no idea. In which case, just keep reading;
  • Racism! Aunt Mammy Blackface and Chief Heapbig Redfeather are probably not okay.

Remember, there are always exceptions. Sometimes you want a character’s name to rhyme with penis, because that character is a dick.

Put a twist on it!

One starting point is to take an average or well known name and put a twist on it to make it unique. This could be a mundane Western name and zazzing it up (Sarah becomes Sarahi, Christopher becomes Christopheles, Jack becomes Grimjack or Jackslacker) or taking a famous character from fiction or mythology and tweaking it (Prometheus becomes Brometheus, Prothemeus or even Antimetheus). This can have the advantage of being easy-to-remember for other players (most people are familiar with Red Sonja, so they shouldn’t forget Gold Sonja’s name, especially if your gaming miniature is wearing gold armour).

“On the nose”
Name your character after her physical attributes (Scar; One-Eye; Slouchy, Meatface) or skills (Cookie, Bowyer, Cardsharper, Windjammer).

Translations

This is like the above, using a descriptor as a character name, but to make it a little more exotic you might plug the adjective into a translator and see what comes up. For example, if you want to have a fire wizard, plugging ‘fire’ into google translate comes up with fuego, incendio, zjarr (Albanian), fajro, masunog (Filipino) and Brandstelle (German).

Alliteration Adds Amemorability

Think about it: Peter Parker. Bilbo Baggins. Doctor Doom. J Jonah Jameson. ‘Nuff said!

Add an Epithet

Fortran the Black; Hogmeal Wundersniff the Elder; Richard the Duckhearted; Kilwich the Sunderer; Bob the Great. Udon Haddock the Third.

Here are some more jumping off points…

Place names.

Think Indiana Jones, Hanna Montana and Carmen Sandiego, but better. Load google maps, pick a spot on the planet, zoom in and look at some of the place names. I just zoomed into northern Pakistan and in less than 3 minutes found Mingora, Battagram and Sukai Sar, all of which I’m now going to use so hands off!

Food, spices and drugs

Think about your favourite (or most hated) foodstuffs. It’s especially fun to name siblings or groups of characters after specific related consumables. For example, you could have in your favourite tavern three halfling serving wenches named Fennel, Anise and Caraway – these are all ingredients in a popular tea blend. A court of nobles could all be named after fancy cheeses (Lord Camembert; Earl Roquefort; Tyrolean Grey; Cherise Chevre; Casu Marzu; Sir Hedwig Havarti) or a trio of hirelings could be dishes you’d find in an Indian restaurant (Palak Paneer, Malai Kofta, Aloo Ghobi).

Gems & Precious Metals.

Amber, Sapphire, Ruby, and Jade are always popular, but there are many other less well known gemstones and minerals such as Alabaster, Beryl, Bismuth, Borax (sounds like a dwarf to me), Cadmium, Celestine, Corundum, Coltan…and I’ve only gone through A-C.

Plants & Animals (and parts thereof)

Got a druid, shaman or ranger? How about Talon, Fangfoot or Greywing to start with? Mammals and birds are a common go-to (Flynn Falconhelm, Nighthawk Emberblade, Tyr Bloodfox, Ursa Windsinger – notice how I dipped into the Latin name for bear) but let us not forget fish, reptiles, and our invertebrate friends! Marlin Smelt, Octus Snakeblade, Coral Greentooth, Snails McPhee, Dargh Brittlestar, and Tarantalus Rex come to mind. For a more feminine angle, flowers and plants work great: Greta Greenleaf, Forsythia Hollyhock, Ivy Monkshood, Lily Snapdragon, Belladonna Nightshade, Fern Azalea are all easy pulls.

Colours

I wouldn’t even mention this, except for the following: Fuchsia, Azure, Cerulean, Sienna, Taupe, Teal, Mauve, Carmine, Celadon, Cerise, Chartreuse, Vermillion, Cinnabar, Magenta, Drab, Ecru, Glaucous, Tawny, Fulvous and of course Aurometalsaurus. See also epithets above.

Thanks to Jay H, Andrew B, and all the other nerds on Facebook for your help!

Posted in General, Nerdiness | 1 Comment

On the 12th Day of Life Day Chewbacca Gave To Me…

I have a podcast, and our sponsor is Toy Hutt. I have a lot of fun putting together ads for them, as you can hear in this mp3:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Just in case there’s any confusion, Life Day is the Christmas of the Wookiee planet, Kashyyk, as noted in the Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978.

12 *unintelligible*  – Chewbacca
11 gooberfish – Jarjar Binks
10 oil baths – C-3P0
9 pod racers – Watto
8 IT’S A TRAP! – Admiral Ackbar
7 custom boxes – Yoda
6 *unintelligible* – R2-D2
5 fully operational battle stations – Emperor Palpatine
4 yub nubs – ewoks
3 light sabers – Obi Wan Kenobi
2 bounty hunters – Darth Vader
1 sweet deal at toyhutt.com – stormtrooper

Posted in Nerdiness | Leave a comment

Post Apocalyptic Miniatures update!

Remember a little while ago I designed sketches for a line of post-apocalyptic miniatures? They are now in the fundraising stage so they can move forward into production. If you’re a gamer or a fan of properties such as Gammma World, Land of the Lost or Thundarr the Barbarian then you will want to contribute to the indiegogo fundraiser campaign. There are a bunch of different tiers of support with different perks for each, so do check it out and help make it happen!

Link: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/199676

 

Posted in Art, Nerdiness | 2 Comments