Archive by Author

There’s Alchemy to be found in Netflix’s The Dragon Prince

23 Sep

Netflix’s The Dragon Prince is a curious beast. This action adventure fantasy series gets far more intriguing in the latter half of the nine-episode season. It combines some high fantasy style trappings from Lord of the Rings with the humour from Avatar: The Last Airbender. When considering series co-creator Aaron Ehasz was head writer and director of the latter, he’s bringing some of that award-winning formula into this new work instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

In the world of Xadia, the elves are not your traditional kind. They are the protectors of dragon-kind. They are also different looking. In addition to their pointy ears, they sport satyr-like horns and speak with a Gaelic lilt. When considering the literary figure hails from Scandinavian and British sources, this oddity is not too weird. For the humans, they seem very atypical. Of course, a handful of them will do anything it will take to become absolute rulers.

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History & The Pulps are Featured in War Bears, A Comic Book Review!

21 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released Sept 05, 2018

With two incredible Canadian talents, Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy, get together to create a comic book, the industry better pay attention. Published by Dark Horse ComicsWar Bears offers two well-meaning stories than one; the main narrative sees Alain Zurakowski as a struggling artist in an era where life is a struggle. The early 20th century was tough for many; not only did a world have to deal with and recover from two World Wars, but also the Depression made getting employed tough. In a dog eat dog world of 1943, this young man manages to get a job at a Toronto-based comic book company (not New York, where the action was at) and has to deal with ornery coworkers. One particular individual steals this kid’s ideas, and the conflict may well run deeper in later issues.

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The Predator, A Review & My Hopes for a Shared Universe

19 Sep

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

  • Spoiler Alert

Ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger put the smackdown on a lone alien hunter Predator on screen, this creature left a huge mark in the world of sci-fi and pop culture. After countless crossovers into comic book universes, I find leaving him in 21st Century Fox‘s own shared universe makes for better tales. Throughout many millennia, this hunter species took down dinosaurs, strange aliens, primeval man and elite fighting units. Ultimately, the movies are about who is this galaxy’s apex warrior.

No sequel or followup will ever surpass the testosterone pool from the original film. The Predator tries, but without the widespread recognition of the actors, some people may ask who are these stars? Those performers whose career shone brightly the 80’s are very well known and they still are to this day.  The talents from this decade are only recognizable if fans have seen their work. From Chuck to Hatfields & McCoys to Game of Thrones, thankfully the roster is decently represented. The characters these performers played represent the best of the best for that division of the military; quite often, they are in a situation where the fight is about the survival of the fittest.

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Going Behind the Scenes with Crowdfunding the History of Origin System’s Ultima

17 Sep
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Click here to visit the Kickstarter Page

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Fans of classic computer role-playing games can get to read all about how Origin Systems’ Ultima series came to life. The many hurdles which occurred along the way in the software development cycle are exquisitely explored. It reads like a very deeply researched paper. I had the opportunity to look at an early draft of a preview chapter (which is available on www.theira.it). At the same time, readers will get to learn more about the creator, Richard Garriott, and how this series evolved from its eight-bit days to thirty-two. This book is finished, and just needs support from fans to facilitate translating it from its native language, Italian, to English.

The love for this game is strong despite not having any titles on the latest generation of machines to play. Does anyone want it? No definitive answer exists. This game has seen many sequels and the Avatar returns every time. In this interview, both author Andrea Contato and photographer/artist Enrico Ricciardi talk about their love for this product and how this crowdfunding campaign will go:

Could you please introduce yourselves?

Andrea: Here in Italy, I wrote a lot of articles for computer, technology and videogames magazines. In 2014, I created an online magazine (www.notiziedalfronte.it) whose goal is to document the history of the First World War, as though you were reading events as it unfolded on that day. There is exactly 100 years of delay.  That is, on September 20, 2018, you’ll read the news as it would have appeared on September 20, 1918 and so on. This site is followed by more than 3.000 Italian readers. This makes me a historian communicator.

I am a collector of stories. That’s exactly why wrote this book. The Ultima series is special because Richard Garriott was able to change the formula of his games many times. He succeeded at renewing it without losing the loyalty of his fan-base. There are very few video game series that spans their life in decades as Ultima.

Enrico: I am a professional fashion and advertising photographer since 1985 and am based in Milan. Apart from my job, I love all the visual art forms, and I believe the video game medium is one of the new expressions of art. In the last 10 years, the technologies made available to graphic designers and developers has allowed recreating fantastic worlds with extraordinary realism. They are real works of art. One such game is From Software’s Bloodborne (inspired by H. P. Lovecraft). Their amazing use of lighting technique and choice of colours perfectly materialized the gothic atmosphere this great writer described.

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