Monday November 25, 2013
Sandra's Kickstarter is at 68% with about ten days to go. If you haven't seen it yet, please go have a look!
If you're interested in the first picture book from Sandra and Angela (perhaps as a gauge for the quality of the one that's coming) a free PDF is right here.
Hold On to Your Horses, the first book, is available now, and might make a great Christmas present for kids or parents you know. Strength of Wild Horses, the one being Kickstarted, won't be available until spring. But if you like that PDF, and aren't in a hurry, you can pre-order both books at once for the $25 funding level, which includes US shipping.
Angela's artwork is absolutely gorgeous. We ran some test prints on canvas and those amazed me. I look forward to seeing the originals (which should be arriving here at Chez Tayler sometime this morning) and then doing some super-high-resolution scanning to capture as much of the awesome as is technologically possible.
Wednesday November 20, 2013
We will take delivery of the 2014 Monthly Calendars today, which means it's time for me to start drawing in them. In the interest of front-loading this operation, I need to know exactly what I'm drawing, and how many of it, and for who.
That in turn means we're closing the sketch edition ordering. You have about a day before Sandra gets around to that. You can still buy lots of other things, though, including the last few Munitions Canister I sets. We even have those bundled with calendars!
Ordering for the digital-only versions (a PDF of the cover and the maxim pages, along with links to the wallpapers -- the monthly grids aren't included in the PDF because they're not particularly useful in that format) will open this coming Monday. Note that if you order a print version, the PDF and the wallpapers are included, so as much as I love getting paid for the same work twice, please don't pay us twice for the same merchandise.
Wednesday November 20, 2013
My copy of OGRE: Designer's Edition arrived yesterday from Steve Jackson Games. Work on comics ceased while I unpacked...
I blogged about OGRE when the Kickstarter was live over a year ago, and have been enthusiastically awaiting the game's arrival for months now.
The important part of this story is not that my game arrived, or that it's huge and lived up to my unreasonable expectations. It's that my 10-year-old son's expectations were ALSO lived up to.
When I was 10, OGRE was the game I saw advertised once in the back of a comic book, and which my parents would not let me buy because buying stuff from the back of a comic book is how you get ripped off. Or at least that was their take. Now I'm 45, my youngest son is 10, and OGRE is in the house. Patch got home from school and came downstairs to the punch-and-assemble phase. He built some Ogres, some turrets and towers, some command posts, and then all the assembly was done, so we flipped open the orange maps (not shown) and played the starter game.
Instead of giving Patch an Ogre Mark III, per the scenario, I gave him a Mark IV. Then I took my 20 points of infantry, my 12 armor units, and did my very, very best to trap and kill that Ogre. I pounded on it with heavy artillery from a distance, I did a little hit-and-run with light ground-effect vehicles, and I fed infantry to its mighty treads in an effort to slow it down.
Patch spent two turns being cautious before he realized that movement was also a weapon. His Mark IV had lost all its main and secondary batteries by the time it rolled over my command post, but there's a certain satisfaction to be found in finishing off your opponent under your treads when treads are all you have left.
He wants to play again, this time with the GEV maps and rules. I'll probably still balance the game a bit in his favor, but next time around I will ALSO have an Ogre.
First, however, I need to make some comics.
Friday November 15, 2013
Here are some things I don't want you to miss, but which have dropped way below the fold:
Also, this weekend is Comfy Con!
I'm doing a live Hangout on Saturday at 1pm EST with Spike Trotman (Iron Circus/@iron_spike), Zach Weinersmith (SMBC/@ZachWeiner), Kel McDonald (Sorcery 101/@kellhound), Aaron Diaz (Dresden Codak/@dresdencodak), and Hope Nicholson (@HopeLNicholson). We'll be talking about Kickstarter, and answering questions submitted from the audience.
UPDATE: We're all done hanging out, but you can still watch! Here is the link for the YouTube video.
Friday November 15, 2013
Last month at Conjecture I acquired a signed copy of Bowl of Heaven, by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven. During the summer of 2012 I got to hear Dr. Benford lecture, and he talked about the book, which wasn't out yet. Then, because I don't take notes, I totally forgot about it.
But then I remembered! Because it was right in front of me, and Larry Niven was standing right next to me.
It's a BDO book. Big Dumb Objects (Dyson spheres, Ringworld, Culture orbitals, Can Full of Sky) are a staple of science fiction, and I love them, end employ them shamelessly. In fact, at this moment in Schlock Mercenary we are inside of one. So I knew I'd enjoy Bowl of Heaven, and I turned out to be right. In addition to the eponymous BDO, the book features alien aliens, smart characters out-of-their-depth, and piles of fun science.
The problem with Bowl of Heaven is that it's half the story. Shipstar, the sequel (or 2nd installment? I don't know) comes out in April, and while Bowl of Heaven was satisfying, I didn't find quite enough resolution in the ending. I did, however, find plenty of desire to order Shipstar. Will you want to wait? Maybe. I suppose it depends on how patient you are.