Tag Archives: Fantasy

Author Profile: Scotto Moore, The Next Rod Serling?

24 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Scotto Moore is a playwright from Seattle, Washington bringing his style of the bizarre to the printed word. After being a singer at an early age and studying theatre in college, he blended the two in a bunch of works for the Annex. Locally, they were very well received and some of his works can be found online. This achievement made him seriously decide on what the next big step for his career should be.

After spending 15 years producing shows like H. P. Lovecraft: Stand-Up Comedian! (it’s available on YouTube) and offering web series like CHERUB: The Vampire With Bunny Slippers, to imprint his style to the masses, his book Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You is the next logical step. He favours writing science fiction, but in this recent work, it’s a blend of horror and heavy metal.

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Raising the Bard with Songs of the Dead and Book Two

12 Apr

Vault Comics.jpg

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Andrea Fort and Michael Christopher Heron are the writing team behind Vault Comic‘s Songs for the Dead. This series is still ongoing and it came to my attention when I saw it turned a lot of the conceptions concerning Necromancers upside down! This character class is not from Dungeons and Dragons as we normally know it and the protagonist, Bethany, is a bright-eyed young girl whose desire for adventure keeps her going. Her music, though, is able to bring the dead back to life!

The consequences are worth noting. She is a pied piper, and the zombie critters that keep her company is amusing. Along the way, the supernatural encounters she faces are worse, and what she does to answer them got me curious. It’s like these creators decided to have the thought experiment of what if George Romero was asked to write a Disney Princess story.  To truly visualize it, “We also have to acknowledge our artist Sam Beck without whom it would be a lot of words on a page without those beautiful beautiful images. We owe her so much for her contribution,” said Fort and Heron. 

When considering this team crafted a tale that’s unique in the world of fantasy, they had to do more. It was important for these creators to have this story live in the fantasy worlds that we, as readers, are already familiar with while subverting the tropes, They picked and chose from every product they ever loved, and were careful in not to overdo it.

These creators love cinema and know its history (especially Fort)—ranging from Ingmar Bergman to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Harry Potter—and in what they have crafted shows. There’s more The Legend of Korra style nuances in this book to which Fort admits she’s a huge fan of. They wanted a book that’s accessible to everyone taking an interest in their debut book.

The two are avid role-playing gamers and just how they became a team was not while gaming. Although they had worked for the same company and had mutual friends, they never met. “Instead, it was through online dating, as most anti-social squirrelly millennials did,” laughed Fort.

songs-for-the-dead gn cover

When they finally got together, they instantly clicked and discovered they have a love for storytelling in the comic book medium. To say one did more than the other is unfair. Ultimately, the narrative is of their fictional daughter coming of age. The idea for this series arrived one day when Ford mentioned how her companion came to her one day and said, “‘You know I’ve been thinking a lot about how necromancers are always these really scary old dudes in these cloaks. Why can’t they be just like some sweet girl?’

“And being a woman who likes strong complex female characters, we realized crafting a story that was really female forward was important.”

Whether this thought came from him one day looking over his vintage playing card and tarot collection (to which Death is famously depicted) or out of the blue, the two knew this idea had to be further developed. The first few issues of this comic book were self-published and, very quickly, Vault Comics came knocking at their door. These two creators said being discovered was a boon. Fort said this company is wonderful for taking them on and they can continue telling more stories.

The second series, The Necromancer’s Map, is coming out this summer and the two believes it’s a great jumping in point for new readers. It will continue the story of the main characters Bethany and Alyssa, and explore the world even more.

This next arc will see her take on more of a role as a bard. Much like the Dungeons and Dragons character class, this role needs to be explored. Bethany is a minstrel first and a hellraiser second. “What better representation of a hero is there than somebody who can rally people with their hope and their optimism?” said Ford.

For admirers of independent works, this comic is one to certainly look at. To keep up with the latest happenings, please follow their Twitter page here.

Daring to Defy the Odds; Dumbo, a Movie Review

29 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Disney’s film entertainment division really need not turn all their past animated hits to live-action spectacles. That said, Dumbo is the latest and while it looks terrific in a post-World War I America setting, none of the backstories matters. Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) comes home to his two kids, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins) who have been living at the circus. Prior to being sent off to fight for his country, the father was part of a circus act–a headliner.

Before anyone can yell, “It’s showtime!” enter the elephant’s mother and the birth of a big-eared baby pachyderm. The CGI is decent, but the emotional performance is hit and miss. Unlike Gollum, and other animated critters, who have graced cinema in the past, to convey fear and grief is only as good as understanding the creature itself.

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What Does Rick & Morty, ECCC and D&D Have in Common? A Bonanza …

11 Mar

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date: March 12, 2019

After reading IDW & Oni PressRick and Morty vs Dungeons & Dragons in a collected softcover release, I feel ready to take on the live show happening at Emerald City Comic Con! The panel takes place on Friday, 6:30pm at TCC Level 3, Room 5 in the Washington State Convention Centre. Here, writer Jim Zub and gang–Josh Trujillo, Kat Kruger and Kate Welch–through the wringer if he’s to recreate what he wrote in the book.

As for whether or not there will be any surprise visits, could voice talents Sarah Chalke, Chris Parnell or Justin Roiland be nearby?

The four-issue comic book run released last year, back around late Summer and it offers plenty of easter eggs for fans of this role-playing game to enjoy. Fans of the Adult Swim cartoon will find this new adventure fun and exhilarating. From recreations of classic covers of many an AD&D game module to jabs at how different each edition of the game is, I was reliving my days of an avid AD&D gamer. The 80s and 90s were my time with many a role-playing game. The jokes are hard not to miss (when I’m in the know) and I loved the inclusion of Dungeon Master (from the animated series of the same name). I was in stitches since writers Patrick Rothfuss and Zub nailed this personality spot on.

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