Comic Book Heroines Podcast – Bonus Issue No 1: Female Superhero Movies, Fan Web Series and Shopping our local Comic Book Shops

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured

In this Bonus issue, Kellen Harkins, Amanda Brand and Jessa Phillips started with talking about the All-New Captain Marvel. The conversation took a turn and we spent some time discussing the troubles with making a female superhero movie, fan produced web series and the highs and lows of shopping at our local comic book shops.


Click here for Direct Download.

HOST INFO
Kellen Harkins -
 Star Wars triggered a passion for geek in her which spurred her to publish and edit a fanzine, pursue costuming and and education in film/tv production. She has been attending cons for a long time, participating in fandoms from writing and web series to gaming, costuming and more. For some years now, she has been running one of the big media tracks at DragonCon. You can follow the DragonCon track at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmSFFMedia/

Amanda Brand the comics, gaming, and sci-fi geek behind Geekphoria.net, where she writes about living the nerdy life, crafts, and conventions. She loves everything Batman, has a distinct fondness for the antihero, and will read anything ghoulish or gruesome. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @Geekphoria1, and see what’s amused her today at geekphoria.tumblr.net.

 

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com or email us at podcasts[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

The Nerdicane, it is a-Comin’! SDCC 2014 Pre-Preview Night

Category : Conventions, Featured, San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic-Con Convention Center, before

The calm before the storm. Photo: JSDevore

The streets were eerily quiet last night. With the exception of oddly quiet construction setups and a formidable sense of a looming pop culture storm, San Diego’s Gaslamp District was nearly devoid of any signs of the true onslaught of geekage fast bearing down on America’s Finest City. Yours Truly used the time to enjoy the vast amount of personal space and the ability walk about the Gaslamp District with arms akimbo and even engaging in the occasional twirl. (I was wearing a tutuesque skirt, after all.) Still, amidst the serene dusk, one could feel a slight tremble in the Earth, like a TGV heading down tracks on the French countryside, or a tornado steadily rumbling toward a calm, Kansas burg.

Nearly every bartender we met said this was their first Comic-Con and, to a man, they all claimed proudly they “weren’t worried”. Suckers. One of them noted plainly and proudly she was from Portland whilst another, across the Gaslamp, stated in the same manner that she was from Seattle, as if hailing from these metropoli alone was pedigree enough to command the coming Nerdicane.

Although, I do have faith in the mirthful and ebullient Kit. Nestled behind the bar, as though in a Shakespearean farce and ready to proffer the occasional aside and commentary to the audience, Kit pours out yummy, Icelandic-tundra, gin cocktails at McCormick & Schmick’s on the ground floor of the Omni Hotel. (Ask for him by name: Kit with one “T”, not two, like Knight Rider.) Kit seemed not only prepped and perked for the pending squall, but struck me as an even greater dork than Yours Truly. (A compliment, Good Sir Kit, to be certain! The cool kids will never know how to follow our lead!) Kit shall be amongst his own kind and, I predict, do raw-ther well.

Keep that smile plastered, Kit! You'll need it for the Nerdicane. Photo: JSDevore

Keep that smile plastered, Kit! You’ll need it for the Nerdicane. Photo: JSDevore

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 kicks off, unofficially, tonight with the coveted Preview Night. Twisted Pair Photography‘s Dr. Lucy and I will be there scoping out the Con floor (to make the most of our time during regular Con days) and checking out all the earlybird geekage like D&D tourneys, sneak-peek screenings and First Come, First Served deals on geek girl gear: notably, the Princess Leia V-neck tee I passed on at WonderCon. Of course, the biggest task of the night? Procuring an official Comic-Con Souvenir Book. Did my article submission make it in again, a 20th anniversary Hellboy retrospective? Fingers and painted toesies crossed!

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the Souvenir Book.
San Diego Comic-Con, setup

Open, open, open! Miss Hannah Hart (a.k.a. Jennifer S. Devore) is ready! Pre-Preview Night at SDCC 2014, photo: JSDevore

Best of all, I was picked up by Rotten Tomatoes’ official SDCC 2014 Twitter feed! Additionally, Dr. Lucy camera and I will covering all our Con shenanigans for GoodToBEAGeek. Come along with us @GoodToBeAGeek @JennyPopNet @Eslilay and @RottenTomatoes!

 

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 

Boobs Are Not Bunnies: Miss Hannah Hart’s Tips and Common Con Courtesy for SDCC 2014

Category : Conventions, Featured, San Diego Comic Con

Cheers, kittens! It’s Moi! One week to go! San Diego Comic-Con (July 24-27, 2014, S.D. Conv. Ctr.) is nigh and America’s Finest City is all abuzz. My own home at the Hotel del Coronado is stuffed to its ivory cornices and red turrets with not just the usual summertime crush of les touristes from all over the globe, but also with a healthy, amusing dose of geekery. Bienvenue a tous! San Diego loves geeks!

SDCC 2013 TMNT

SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Be ye a local geek (comme Moi) and didn’t get in (ni comme Moi), there’s still a faint ray of hope. Local “news” station FOX5 is giving away a pair of badges a day, in this week leading up to the Con; naturally, one must actually watch the local broadcast to learn the “Code of the Day”. Of course, considering what I went through for badges, the hoops could be more difficult than having to endure an hour a day of local news. If you are going, local or not, contest winner or no, I proffer a few helpful tips and links to help your Comic-Con 2014 be as easy-peasy lemon-squeezy as can be.

  • Toucan Blog: daily tips leading up to the Con from the very wizards themselves behind the Comic-Con Int’l (CCI) curtain
  • Programming Schedule: SDCC’s complete, online, Wed.-Sun. catalogue of panels, screenings, autograph signings et al
  • Transportation Info.: quick links to parking, hotel shuttles and local transportation like the MTS Trolleys, Coaster and Amtrak
  • Uber and Lyft: sure-fire, friendly ride-sharing to, from and around the Con; but know these private companies’ rates fluctuate depending on the time of day/night and need. Business 101, kids. Supply and demand hard at work here.
  • Taxi Magic: the beauty of free enterprise and capitalism? It forces real competition! The taxi industry is trying a friendlier, gentler, cleaner approach to service. Download the Taxi Magic app and give S.D. Yellow Cabs another chance.
  • North County Coaster: a great option if you’re coming anywhere from Oceanside south; the Coaster is a quiet, clean ride with great views of the Pacific for most of the way (Snag a seat on the west-facing side for the best views!).
  • Call a friend or beg Dad: if you have anyone in the area whom claims to love you, even tolerate you, even a little bit, capitalize on that. Beg them for a ride! Drop-off and pick-up anywhere in the Gaslamp District makes your life easy-peasy!

As one expects, SDCC is a complete jumblef#&*. Whether you end up inside the Con rubbing elbows and armour with the likes of  Salma Hayek, Daniel Radcliffe, George R.R. Martin, Weird Al and Seth Green or, enjoying the wild festivities that occur just outside the Con doors, it can, at times, feel like a claustrophobic nightmare. Remember to be kind. (As a dyed-in-the-wool geek, I can attest that a lot of us don’t groove well in large volumes of people; we’re oft a pale, quiet, nervous type.)

Princess Leia, Daphne Blake, SDCC 2013

Be nice to the geek girls! SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

Comic-Con is a haven for nerdery, creativity and pop-culture camaraderie. It’s also a Tokyo metro-style, sardine-packed, hot-and-humid mess. Try to say “Pardon me” when you bump into Poison Ivy, “Thank you” when Adam West Batman holds open a door for you and a chivalric “After you, Milady!” when you and Princess Leia arrive at the same egress, at the same time. When it comes to cosplay, leave the snark and sneers at home; compliments go a long way in making someone’s day. Some of those costumes take forever to make, are probably raw-ther uncomfortable and it’s a good bet that no matter how smoking they look, the wearer feels just a tad self-conscious.

Apropos: the boobs. Yes, the boobs. As I wrote in my coverage of WonderCon Anaheim 2014, “Of course, de rigueur, there are lots and lots of boobs. There are always lots and lots of boobs. Funny thing is, after a few years of this, I’m beginning to recognize some of them.”  There is also a lot of chatter about the appropriate amount of attention one should give those boobs.

For this girl’s take, if you’re going to put them out there, waaaay out there as some of the ladies do, I think you’d better expect some feedback. Still, that does not excuse some of the vile, verbal assaults hurled their way. Keep it clean, folks. Common courtesy guides one should ask before taking a picture, glance but don’t gawk and never, ever touch! (Please, see official guidelines below.) Just be nice. Like Thumper’s mama says, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” A good time shall be had by all, especially when we’re all cheery comic chums! Come on, everyone! Let’s all play the Pollyanna Glad Game!

boobs, SDCC

They are not bunnies; you may not pet them. SDCC 2013 Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

As in years past, Dr. Lucy (Twisted Pair Photography) and I shall be covering SDCC 2014 for geek-culture website GoodToBeAGeek, even Preview Night! To boot, Yours Truly is champing at the bit to learn if this year’s submission to the official Souvenir Book -a Hellboy retrospective- made it in again: previous published articles include Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics. So, follow us on Twitter and stop by GoodToBeAGeek.com in the days following the Con for all the geeky, gooey, booby goodness coming straight from San Diego Comic-Con 2014!

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the 2014 Souvenir Book!

*CCI’s Code of Conduct and Anti Harassment Policy

Attendees must respect common sense rules for public behavior, personal interaction, common courtesy, and respect for private property. Harassing or offensive behavior will not be tolerated. Comic-Con reserves the right to revoke, without refund, the membership and badge of any attendee not in compliance with this policy.

Persons finding themselves in a situation where they feel their safety is at risk or who become aware of an attendee not in compliance with this policy should immediately locate a member of security, or a Comic-Con staff member, so that the matter can be handled in an expeditious manner. If your safety is at risk and you need immediate assistance you may also use a white house phone and dial 5911

Security may be contacted by visiting our Show Office in Lobby C. A Comic-Con staff member will be in the office during public hours.

 

Abyssinia on the Con floor, cats!

Follow  @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek @Eslilay  for Con-floor Tweets and pix! #geek #SDCC #cosplay

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

 

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Badge Quest: Victorious!

2

Category : Conventions, E-vents, Featured, Geek Rants, San Diego Comic Con, Travel

Holy moly, Hellboy!! This year was a close one! If you read my Adventures in WonderCon post, you will have noted the tint of sadness that came with realizing WonderCon Anaheim (WCA) was it for the year; the Comic-Con Badge Quest Slaughter of 2014 had left Dr. Lucy and myself emotionally exhausted and near expiration, with little hope of survival on the Con battlefield. Yet, like a Phoenix, rising from Arizona -wait, that doesn’t sound right- we mustered every cell of life that remained, gathered our courage and cerebral weaponry and … huzzah! With two weeks to spare, we parried and riposted our way into San Diego Comic-Con!

Dr. Lucy and I have had a pretty good run of not only getting into SDCC to cover it for geek-culture website GoodToBeAGeek, but also of Yours Truly getting into the accompanying Souvenir Book for a number of years. (Past years included articles on Peanuts, Tarzan and Bongo/Simpsons Comics.) This year’s submission is a piece on the 20th anniversary of Mike Mignola’s half-demon/half-Boy Scout, Hellboy. (Cloven-hooves crossed I get in the Book this year, too!)

  • Update: 23 July 2014: Yes, my Hellboy article did make it into the 2014 Souvenir Book!
Frank Cho artwork, Hellboy, SDCC

Hellboy artwork by Frank Cho

Still, as anyone will tell you, SDCC is becoming more and more difficult to permeate. Getting into the Con via standard, online badge purchase is a crap shoot; obtaining a Member ID is simple enough and getting in the online queue is equally non-taxing; getting to the front of the queue before every day sells out is a seemingly random, lottery-style mind%&*#. GoodToBeAGeek’s very own editor, Jessa Lynn Phillips, who one should note is closely tied-in with SyFy Channel’s upper-echelon, stated, “I don’t think I know anyone who got passes (other than panelists) for more than one day this year.”

To wit, not only is a badge purchase a shot in the dark, this year Comic-Con International (CCI) eliminated the ability to purchase 4-day badges. (Exception being if you purchased a Preview Night badge, for an extra fee, you can add an automatic 4-day pass.) The purpose, according to CCI, was to cut down on unused, precious badge space: folks buying all four days with the intention of only using one or two days. Further, the ability to purchase for friends (up to three plus yourself) during the pre-registration phase -which one can only enter if one attended the previous year- also limited those three friends to those whom attended the previous year. (Crikey! Getting a law degree has got to be simpler. Of course, based on some attorneys I know, it very well might be!)

Naturally, WCA was a blast and, for someone whom loves to play dress up, getting to don my Louise Belcher costume was fun enough in itself and enough to hold me over until Hallowe’en. Still, there had been a faint raincloud over my head as I read CCI’s Toucan Blog daily posts counting down to SDCC 2014.

I had worked my wee fingers to the bone massaging every contact, acquaintance and stranger I could. No one can say I didn’t try. I jiggled all the door handles; like Hillary trying to get into the White House. I even answered an ad on Craigslist to wear an M&M costume; and offered my scribing services for legit pro or press passes, only to be flagged. Apparently “honest-work for honest-comps” is offensive to the CL community; had I offered boudoir photos for scalped badges, I might have made “Best of Craigslist”. Besides the Badge Quest Slaughter, we here at GTBAG applied for press passes, only to be sliced and diced by CCI’s intensely perlustrative press wizards: You shall not [press] pass! I offered to man a booth at GoComics -sadly that contact was no longer with the organization- ; and I looked into volunteering anywhere there was a need within the Con, except the lavvies. One industry-insider advised with a pitiful shake of the head, “Volunteers was filled months ago. It goes almost as fast as the badge sale these days.”

In the end, neither the M&M suit nor a volunteer’s t-shirt was necessary. Happily, Lucy and I were fortunate enough to garner not just an enviable Saturday-pass, but the much-coveted Preview Night-pass! How, you may wonder, mouths collectively agape like codfish? Simple: intricate dealings in the Black Arts, magick of the Teutonic strain and a serendipitous, random spin of Lady Fortuna’s wheel.

Keep all this in mind next year, kids. SDCC online badge sales usually hit mid-February to mid-March. If you got in this year, use that pre-registration phase next year! If you don’t get a badge for 2015, try not to utter in disgust the words of Dr. Sheldon Cooper. It’s okay. You know, th-there’s always WonderCon in Anaheim, you know? Th-that’s just as good. Excuse me. (Turns to cry)

The Big Bang Theory S7e14: "Convention Conundrum". Chuck Lorre Prod., Warner Bros. Prod.

The Big Bang Theory S7e14: “Convention Conundrum”. Chuck Lorre Prod., Warner Bros. Prod.

Take not ye Cons for granted! Each one seems to grow exponentially, year over year. Citing Events in America, a North American trade show and conference directory, SDCC 2014 augurs 130K attendees once again: a self-imposed, max. capacity. Only CES Int’l Las Vegas and New York Comic-Con (NYCC) will bring in more geekage per cubic sq. ft.: 150K and 133K, respectively. NYCC’s projected attendance is up from 117K last year.

As I wrote earlier this year of WCA, oft minimized and discounted as Comic-Con’s little sister, “Whether you get into SDCC or not, WC is fast-becoming a good time all her own and very possibly, depending on how things line up, just as high-maintenance.”

HelloKittyHellboy

Hello Kitty loves dress-up, too!

 

 

Follow  @JennyPopNet @GoodToBeAGeek @Eslilay  for Con-floor Tweets and pix! #geek #SDCC

 

 

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Comic Book Heroines Podcast – One Shot Issue #7: Peter Panzerfaust Volume 1: The Great Escape

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured

Comic Book Heroines is a podcast featuring women reading, reviewing and discussing comic books.

In this One Shot, Samantha Cross tells us about Peter Panzerfaust Volume 1: The Great Escape,  the reimagining of Peter Pan set against the backdrop of World World II. Peter Panzervaust is written by Kurtis Wiebe with art by Tyler Jenkins, published by Image Comics.

Comic Cover Art courtesy of Image Comics.

Click here for the Direct Download .

HOST INFO
Samantha Cross is a writer for Word of the Nerd (www.wordofthenerd.com) and co-host of the DC Confidential Podcast (http://podcasts.wordofthenerdonline.com). She has a Masters in History and works as an Archivist in Seattle, Washington. A long-time DC Comics fan, Sam is also a big fan of titles like SagaGhostedPretty Deadly and Quantum and Woody.

If you like inane comments or the occasional rant, you can follow Sam on Twitter @darling_sammy or check out her blog, The Maniacal Geek (www.maniacalgeek.wordpress.com), where she writes about comic books, television, movies, and whatever else suits her fancy.

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com or email us at podcasts@goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

E3 2014 – Sony Media Briefing Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PS3, PS4

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Sony Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.
 

 
Sony started their Media Briefing with a trailer for Destiny before Andrew House, Sony President and Group CEO, took the stage to remind the audience why PlayStation believes they are the best pace to play – “connected, highest visual quality, choice and being a member of a community of rivals and friends.” The Destiny beta will be available July 17, 2014, first on PlayStation. PS4 owners will have the opportunity to access the alpha starting Thursday, June 12th by visiting GreatnessAwaits.com/Destiny to register.
 

 
Sony is releasing a glacier white PS4 Destiny bundle which will include: a 500GB PS4 console, white dual-shock controller, a copy of Destiny and a 30-day voucher for PS Plus. The bundle will be available for purchase upon the game’s release September 4, 2014.
 

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation


 
The Order 1886
 

 
Entwined developed by a small group of recent graduates. Entwined focuses on two souls in love that cannot be together. Maximizing use of the dual-shock controller as players attempt to control two characters at a time. As the souls fly across the gamespace, trails of color create works of art as players work to bring the characters together to form a beautiful dragon. Scott Rohde, Sr. VP of Worldwide Studios, announced Entwined is available now in the PS Store for PS4 ($9.99) with PS3 and PS Vita versions to follow.
 

 
inFAMOUS: Second Son will have a stand-alone DLC, inFAMOUS: First Light. Players do not need to own a copy of inFAMOUS: Second Son to play the DLC; however, those who do own the game will receive exclusive content. The DLC will be released in August 2014.
 

 
Little Big Planet 3 on PS4 has enhanced graphics which add new textures. The new version includes new sets of power-ups, as well as new friends – OddSock, Toggle and Swoop. Each of the friends has their own unique abilities: OddSock can wall-jump; Toggle can alter its size to become large or small; and Swoop can fly, allowing for more fun and ease of gameplay in difficult multiplayer games. Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios, announced players will be able to access all of the expansive community-created Little Big Planet content on PS4 with enhanced graphics.
 

 
Bloodborne in development for 2015 release.
 

 
Alexander Hutchinson, Creative Director at Ubisoft, introduced  a gameplay demo of Far Cry 4. Adam Boyes, Sony VP of Publisher & Developer Relations, added PS3 and PS4 owners will be able to invite their friends to play, even if they don’t own Far Cry 4 through the PS Store when it is released in November 2014.
 

 
Given the popularity of zombies, players can expect more undead action with the release of Dead Island 2. there will be a 30-day exclusive beta and a full character class on PS4.
 

 
Offering more zombie action,  Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, set to launch August 19, 2014, will have a specifically themed dungeon and their own attacks.
 
Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation


 
The beta for Battlefield: Hardline is open now, exclusively on PS4.
 
In a partnership with Disney, a collector’s edition of Disney Infinity 2, exclusive to PS3 & PS4 will include Hulk as well as five other Avengers. Disney Infinity 2 is also coming to PlayStation TV and PS Vita.
 
Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation

Graphic credit: Sony PlayStation


 
Destiny will have plenty of PS4 exclusive in-game content, including: unique weapons, armor sets, ships, Exodus exclusive competitive multi-player map, an exclusive strike on Mars and more.
 
Sony is partnering with Paradox Interactive to develop exclusive PlayStation games. The first title to be released will be Magicka 2.
 

 
Returning after 15 years, Double Fine with the Sony third party development team is working to re-master Grim Fandango, exclusively for PS4 and PS Vita.
 

 
In support of indie games, Devolver Digital are developing a series of games for exclusive release on PlayStation platforms, including: Broforce, Titan Souls, Not a Hero, Hotline Miami and The Talos Principle.
 

 
Let it Die is coming exclusively to PS4 for release in 2015.
 

 
From the minds behind Journey, Giant Squid premieres their new title, ABZÛ, which will make it’s debut on PS4.
 

 
Also making its console debut on PS4, No Man’s Sky. Sean Murray, Founder of the indie studio Hello Games behind No Man’s Sky gives a closer look at the game which will start every player on a different planet to ensure a truly unique gameplay experience.
 

 
Andrew House returned to the stage to share how PlayStation is maximizing the camera, specifically with Project Morpheus.
 
Shawn Layden, President & CEO of Sony America, presents the latest tools for the PlayStation Network which enables sharing features, such as Share Factory and the photo mode in inFAMOUS: Second Sun. YouTube will also be coming to PSN and will include integration with the dual-shock share button. Sony is also working to enhance spectator interactivity, allowing observers to interact with the player during real-time play. Sony is also committing to Free-to-Play gaming with more than 25 truly Free to Play games coming to the network in the next 12 months, including: Planetside 2, Gunza, My Singing Monsters and War Thunder.
 
PlayStation Now service will be available in the US and Canada as an open beta on PS4 starting July 31, 2014. PS Now service to PS3 and PS Vita will follow. PS Now will also be available on Sony smart televisions in the future so a console is not necessary. During the beta, players have access to the vast catalog which will start with PS3 titles. The open beta is being used to obtain feedback on the service as well as test rental durations and pricing. PS Now will also be available for PS Vita to expand upon the catalog for the mobile platform.
 
Minecraft is coming to PS Vita, including co-op gameplay. Layden re-iterated Sony’s commitment to the PS Vita device.
 
PlayStation TV is coming to the US, Canada and Europe this fall. The small box will allow for remote play through PS4, provide access to streaming services and PS Now, as well as the ability to play PS Vita as well as PS One and PSP titles, bringing access to more than 1,000 games at launch when it will be released for $99. $139 bundle to include a dual-shock 3 controller, 8GB memory card, HDMI cable and a voucher for The Lego Movie game.
 

 
Mortal Kombat X is being developed for PS4.
 

 
Sony is developing original programming, the first of which is Powers, based on the comic. Brian Michael Bendis joins the powers show as Co-creator and Executive Producer. The series has already been greenlit for 2 seasons, casting is underway and the series will be available for viewing in the US in December 2014. Every PSN user will get access to the first episode for free. PlayStaion Plus will include original programming. An example is the entire Powers series will be free to PlayStation Plus subscribers.
 

 
Sony is also developing theatrical releases for PlayStation fans, as well as wider audiences. We get a look at Ratchet & Clank the Movie which will release in theaters in 2015. In addition, they are working on re-mastering Ratchet & Clank for PS4.
 

 
House shares a trailer for The Last of Us Remastered for PS4, scheduled for release July 29, 2014.
 

 
Konami and Kojima Productions present a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
 

 
Grand Theft Auto V is coming to PS4 Fall 2014, featuring enhancements for the next-gen console. The biggest news is current PS3 & Xbox 360 player communities will be able to transfer their GTA characters and progress to PS4.
 

 
Rocksteady and Warner Bros. present Batman: Arkham Knight.
 

 
Naughty Dog teases the return of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, slated for release in 2015.
 

 

E3 2014 – Nintendo Digital Event Highlights

Category : 3DS, Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, Nintendo, Product Announcements, Wii, WiiU

Nintendo opens their keynote strong with Reggie Fils-Aime and Satoru Iwata battling in the newest Super Smash Bros. game for WiiU. The game will also be released for 3DS this summer. Super Smash Bros. will include Lady Palutena stepping onto the battle ground with phenomenal skills such as Heavenly Light, Angelic Missile, Celestial Fireworks, Mega Laser and more. Perhaps the most exciting news from this announcement is the inclusion of Mii fighters. Your Mii identity can enter the arena, outfitted to do battle as Brawlers, Swordfighters or Gunners. Each Mii class is equipped with their own set of special moves.

Reggie Fils-Aime also announces Amiibo interactive figures for WiiU as their response to Skylander figures. The figures are embedded with a chip and designed to expand gameplay with compatible titles. The first compatible title will be Super Smash Bros. The figure is touched to the gamepad to sync and it’s essence will fight in game. You can customize special moves and each battle gains the amiibo figure stat boosts to ensure that each amiibo figure is unique. The data syncs back to the figure and can be played on any WiiU. Your amiibo figure can battle against the player, against other players, or with the player against the AI and others players. Plans for future compatible titles, include:  Mario Kart 8Mario Party 10, Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker & Yoshi’s Woolly World. Nintendo will also be releasing a peripheral accessory to allow use of amiibo with 3DS.

Among the upcoming titles to be released is Yoshi’s Woolly World for WiiU, in which Yoshi and the world around him is composed of yarn. The yarn aspect introduces a myriad of new abilities and interactivity. One of the highlights of Yoshi’s Woolly World is the introduction of a second player mode easing the gameplay of more difficult levels.

We also get a look at Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker for WiiU capitalizing on the puzzle platforming action Nintendo plans enjoy with more complex puzzles and bigger and brighter graphics.

 
Nintendo gave us a sneak peek at the graphic world in the latest Legend of Zelda title. The new world is gorgeously expansive and the open-world development opens the door to new gameplay opportunities, as players are no longer held to the orderly, set path gameplay of previous Zelda titles. While little gameplay footage was shown, the title is slated for release in 2015.

Zelda

The latest titles in the Pokemon franchise are Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, scheduled for release in November 2014.

The trailer for Bayonetta 2 promises bigger, badder battles with the witty repartee players enjoyed in the first Bayonetta game. The WiiU purchase will include the original Bayonetta game.

Hyrule Warriors takes the Zelda characters, such as Link, Princess Zelda and Midna, gamers enjoy and pits them against enemy forces on a large battleground which encompasses multiple battles. Players can collaborate with allies to assist in their battles as well.

Kirby returns in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, slated for a 2015 release.

The Xenoblade Chronicles X trailer offers more epic space battle and dramatic storytelling.

We are also treated to a first look at Mario Maker which allows players to create their own levels on the WiiU.

Splatoon is a 8-player, 4-on-4 team battle where players play as squids in an effort to splatter the landscape in their team’s ink color to claim territory. The WiiU gamepad lets players alter their view, adds functionality and provides a command view of the whole map, as well as a view of real-time action to provide an additional level of strategy. Spaltoon is set to be released in 2015.

E3 2014 – Ubisoft Media Briefing

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Ubisoft Media Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.
 

 

To start the conference, we get a look at Far Cry 4. Dan Hay, Executive Producer, introduces the newest chapter in the franchise, set for release November 18, 2014 on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
 

 

Aisha Tyler returns to E3 to host the Ubisoft Media Briefing for the third year.

Just Dance 2015, is the newest game to the dance genre. Just Dance 2015 includes the latest chart topping tracks featuring Pharrell, Ellie Goulding and more. The game adds more social functionality with community remixing, as well as the ability to put players in the game and allow other players to score your performance. Just Dance 2015 is set for release October 2014. Jason Altman, Executive Producer, took the stage to show how a smartphone & internet connected display can turn any smartphone into a controller and allow any player to dance no matter where or when.
 

 

Patter Mannerfelt, Producer, introduces Tom Clancy’s The Division.
 

 

The Crew presents an expansive, US coast to coast open-world driving experience. Julian Gerighty, Creative Director, joins Aisha to explain how Ubisoft has been gaining gameplay feedback and the Route 909 campaign, which put a call out to players in 7 worldwide locations to play and compete. The Route 909 finals will be available streaming on TwitchTV June 10 & 11th. Ubisoft is also opening the closed beta on July 23, 2014; visit http://www.thecrewgame.com/beta to register. The Crew will launch November 11, 2014 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
 

 

Alex Amancio, Creative Director, presents the French Revolution in Assassin’s Creed: Unity, set to release October 28, 2014. The new title includes a 4-player shared gameplay experience.
 

 

Charles Huteau, Creative Director, announces a partnership with Xbox for Shape Up. The new title looks to bring gameplay to fitness in an attempt to make workouts fun. Players can record their performance and replay to compete against themselves or share with friends for some friendly competition.
 

 

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a puzzle adventure game which follows four friends and their canine companion through the battlegrounds of World War I. In a unique partnership with the documentary film, Apocalypse: World War I, the game provides a true historic transmedia event with the inclusion of film footage in Valiant Hearts.
 

 

Yves Guillemont, Co-found and CEO of Ubisoft, expressed his appreciation for the fans and developers. He also took the opportunity to show off Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Seige.
 

 

E3 2014 – Microsoft Xbox Media Briefing Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the Microsoft Xbox Media Briefing, check out the YouTube playlist we’ve cultivated.


Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, opened the briefing, promising to devote the briefing entirely to games. To start things off, Spencer announced a partnership between Activision and Sledgehammer Games for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, While not an exclusive title, Xbox players will have first access to add-on content. Look for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to be released November 4, 2014.

Dan Greenawalt from Turn 10 Studios took the stage to reveal the Nürburgring track will be available in Forza 5, available for download starting today…and it’s FREE. Ralph Fulton from Playground Games took the stage to share Forza: Horizon 2 with a bigger and more diverse inventory of cars. will have dedicated servers for instantaneous connectivity and the ability for players to create their own clubs. Forza: Horizon 2 will be available September 30, 2014.

2K Games and Turtle Rock Games announced Evolve with Xbox exclusive Beta access and DLC. Players will have the opportunity to select from four of classes, including: Assault, Trapper, Medic, Support; or, choose to play as the monster.

Vincent Pontbriand, Senior Producer at Ubisoft introduced Assassin’s Creed: Unity. The newest title in the franchise will be set in 18th century Paris, France during the French Revolution. Assassin’s Creed: Unity will allow players to join up to 3 friends to create their own brotherhood.

Electronic Arts (EA) & BioWare announce premiere content available first on Xbox One for Dragon Age: Inquisition which is set for release October 7, 2014.

Ted Price of Insomniac Games shows off Sunset Overdrive, an open-world survival game with off the wall action and comic sensibilities. In addition to the single player campaign, chaos squad mode allows 8-player co-op on dedicated servers. October 28, 2014 exclusively on Xbox One.

Capcom announces Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper EX plus αPlayers will be able to cosplay as their favorite Capcom characters with super moves, power-ups, bonus stages and a co-op mode to allow up to 4-players. Available now on Xbox Live.

Alex Rigopulos, Founder & CEO at Harmonix gave us a look at Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Available October 21, 2014. Gamers play as the sorcerer’s apprentice and remix music as the core game mechanic, combining music and magic.

Also coming as a Xbox One exclusive this fall is Dance Central: Spotlight which will be available as a download only title in September 2014.

David Eckelberry, Game Director at Lionhead Studios introduces the next title in the Fable franchise, Fable: Legends, exclusive to Xbox. Players choose to be the hero or the villain.

Project Spark is back on Xbox and PC. The tool which allows players to create their own games, as well as play games created by other players. Boasting over 1,000,000 creators, multiplayer and co-op functionality, now with tools to create galaxy landscapes.

Exclusive to Xbox One is Ori and the Blind Forest from Moon Studios, available in Fall 2014.

Bonnie Ross, Studio Head, and Dan Ayoub, Executive Producer, of 343 Industries  appeared to introduce Halo:  The Master Chief Collection. Available November 11, 2014, the entire Halo franchise unlocked will be available exclusively on Xbox One to play Master Chief’s entire history however players want, including over 100 multiplayer maps, all running on their original engines at 1080p ,60 frames per seconds on dedicated servers. Halo 2: Anniversary Edition is coming for Xbox One, including the original Halo 2 multiplayer and 6 of the Halo 2 maps optimized for the Xbox One. Halo: Nightfall, the live-action digital series, produced in collaboration with Executive Producer, Ridley Scott will be included with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, to lead up to Halo 5: Guardians. Further, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will include beta access to Halo 5: Guardians starting December 2014.

And now a look into the future…to be released 2015 and beyond:

Playdead, the developer behind LIMBO, presents INSIDE which will debut on Xbox in 2015.

Chris Charla, Director of the ID @ Xbox program takes the stage to talk about indie titles coming to the Xbox, including: Forced from BetaDwarf Entertainment, Knight Squad from Chainsawesome Games, White Night from Osome Studio, Spectra from Gateway Interactive, CUPHEAD from StudioMDHR, Dive Kick from Iron Galaxy, Below from Capy Games, Grave from Broken Window Studios, Woolfe from Grin, Source from Fenix Fire Entertainment, FRU from Through Games, Lifeless Planet from Stage 2 Studios, and many more!

We get the world premiere trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, scheduled for release in the holiday 2015.

CD Project RED shows off gameplay of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, scheduled for release February 24, 2015.

Ken Lobb, Creative Director of Microsoft Studios announces their re-boot of Phantom Dust, exclusive on Xbox One.

Ryan Barnard, Game Director at Massive Games introduces gameplay from Tom Clancy’s The Division with new content available first on Xbox One. Look for The Division to be released in 2015.

Hideki Kamiya, Game Director at PlatinumGames, Inc. gives us a peek at Scalebound, to be available exclusively on the Xbox One.

David Jones, Co-Founder of CloudGine reveals Crackdown, exclusively for Xbox One with dedicated servers on Xbox Live.

E3 2014 – Electronic Arts (EA) Keynote Highlights

Category : Conventions, E-vents, E3, Featured, Game On, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox One

To watch all the trailers and gameplay footage for the titles announced during the EA Keynote, check out the YouTube playlist we have cultivated.


DICE Studios opens the show with a look at the behind the scenes effort put into their Star Wars: Battlefront to be released Spring 2015.

Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts (EA) to state the company’s commitment to players, games and innovation. Then, introduces a look at Dragon Age: Inquisition. Aaryn Flynn offers a deeper look at the game and the team of heroes who will become your companions in game.


BioWare offers a preliminary look at what they are working on – the next title in the Mass Effect franchise, as well as a new intellectual property (IP).

Sims 4 will allow players to control the personality and emotions of their characters, expanding the story possibilities. Players can bring characters and items created by other players into your game. Sims 4 will be available September 4, 2014.

Brian Hayes, the Creative Director at EA Sports announces EA Sports UFC where players will be able to fight as Bruce Lee, available June 17, 2014.

Dean Richards, Studio General Manager, announces EA Sports NHL 15. NHL 15 add physics to all players, as well as the puck and includes more detailed arenas.

Patrick Soderlund, EVP at EA Studios, introduces a sneak peek at the new intellectual property (IP) from Criterion Games. Criterion steps away from their well-established background in racing games to develop a new title. The development team was heavily influenced by first-person action videos, in the style of GoPro, being uploaded to YouTube.

Cam Weber, Studio Group General Manager for EA Sports Golf, announces EA Sports PGA Tour being developed using Frostbite 3. Play famous courses or explore extreme courses starting Spring 2015.

Madden NFL 15 includes improvements to the defensive strategy, including more defensive camera angles, more control to push opponents and re-designed tackling. Additional emotional reactions. Madden NFL 15 launches August 26, 2014.

Dawngate promises to build on the traditional Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) structure with a “flexible meta” to provide a truly unique gameplay experience in every game, highly influenced by player feedback.

DICE shares the work they are putting into Mirror’s Edge, including working with parkour artists, an open-world design which appeals to new and skilled players and realistic combat interaction.

David Rutter, Executive Producer for EA Sports FIFA. EA Sports FIFA 15 includes emotional responses for players, a new ball physics system, man-to-man battles and a more immersive arena experience. FIFA 15 will be released Fall 2014.

DICE & Visceral Games announce Battlefield: Hardline. Battlefield: Hardline offers a 32-player multiplayer match in heist for a cops versus robbers gameplay experience. The Battlefield: Hardline beta access is available now on PC and PS4. Go to Battlefield.com to register for access. Adam Boyes from Sony Computer Entertainment announces that PS4 gamers who own Battlefield 4 can download the beta directly from the Battlefield 4 tile.

More Rum, Please: Summer Means Malkovich, Crossbones and Blackbeard

Category : Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Holiday, Literature, Television, Travel

If summer calls for sans souci, seaside days of sun and sticky sand, then summer nights, especially Fridays, demand a touch of gold bling and a white linen blouse to accentuate that tan, plus just enough coconut rum to help lull you to sleep by the sound of lapping waves … but watch your back, and your neck. Blackbeard’s in town for the summer and not since Jaws has the beach looked more inviting, relaxing … and deadly.

Ocracoke Island, NC Photo: Casey Robertson

In a sea of fictionalized Blackbeards, the latest incarnation cavorts freely outside the traditional, Pyrate King design book. Clean-shaven (gone is his namesake beard tied with multiple bows of red and gunpowder fuses), bald and casually styled in island linens and sandals, casting off his trademark black velvet frock coats and leather bucket-top boots, NBC’s Blackbeard appears more Gob Bluth than Rob Zombie. A mesmerizing figure to start, John Malkovich (Shadow of the Vampire, Being John Malkovich, Dangerous Liaisons, The Portrait of a Lady) portrays the 18thC. pirate with a soothing deadliness that lures the viewer into a unsuspecting trance: his escalating diatribes seep forth with an almost musical, rhythmic, Eminem-cadence, like an unsuspecting frog in a warm pot of slowly boiling water. Before you, or the frog, realize what’s occurred, your kidney has been cut out; but Blackbeard has left you a lovely shrub glass of port to ease your dying moments.

Given to way too many police melodrama and hospital backdrops, broadcast television has bravely left the shore of predictability and NBC has joined the ranks of writers and producers currently exploring that century chock full of not just high theater, but some damn fine wardrobes. Turn, Sleepy Hollow, Salem (although 17thC.) and now Crossbones have all not only done their homework, rewarding writers and creators whom clearly have studied their Colonial American history, but have skillfully engaged a 21stC. audience barely capable of understanding the difference between Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Button. This engagement may be partially due to a sagacity on the part of casting agents.

Be they Founding Fathers like George Washington, philosophers like René Descartes or medieval authors like Geoffrey Chaucer, varying forms of media have forever presented us with whiskered old men; when, in fact, most of them were in the ascent and apex of their careers about the same time as many of us today: 20s-40s. FOX’s reiteration of Sleepy Hollow casts the beauteous, theatre-trained Englishman Tom Mison as the heretofore, nebbish Ichabod Crane; AMC’s Turn gives us the chiseled Ian Kahn as George Washington and now NBC’s Blackbeard is a far more contemporary, if not quite Chris Hemsworth, version than any who have come before him. Whilst the historical-figures are given to us, visually, as men with whom we can identify by today’s standards, there is no mistaking the sartorial and language cues of the period. The frock coats and cloaks are as billowy and majestic as the dialogue. Contractions, abbreviations and slang be damned, the King’s English is securely, blessedly in place here.

Just as Bauhaus furniture was a severe reaction to Victorian and Edwardian flourish, perchance, conversely, this 21stC. trend toward the 18thC. may very well be a flouncy reaction to today’s nonchalant, terribly casual yet, simultaneously, hyper-agitated, get-it-by-yesterday, 140-character, “WhereUB?” schlubby kind of modern lifestyle. Casual historians and professional researchers alike of the Colonial period already know what TV audiences are just now learning: the 18thC. is far more hip than you thought and a dash of formality, in language and dress, is desperately craved.

Blackbeard’s End. North Carolina

Crossbones writer Neil Cross (Luther, MI-5, Doctor Who) knows both sleek, crime drama and dazzling, costumed fantasy. His treatment of the notorious Blackbeard, living an alternate, 1729 existence on the secret isle of Santa Compana, wherein he was never slain in 1718 by Lt. Robert Maynard and the British Royal Navy, is a thoughtfully imagined life of a temporarily land-stalled pirate, seeking to steal a proprietary technology, a chronometer, that will have him back on the Spanish Main and on top of the world by summer’s end.

“I thought it was a excellent piece of writing,” said Malkovich of The Devil’s Dominion, episode 1. So taken with it, he agreed to the role of Edward Teach, a.k.a. historically as Blackbeard or Thatch, upon finishing the script, he said in a Reuters interview.

As with many a film and theatre fixture gracing the small-screen as of late, Malkovich commands your attention. As author Jennifer Susannah Devore wrote of Tom Mison in a review of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, “Mison brings a decidedly non-telly flip-of-the-cape to primetime viewing.; so can it also be said of Malkovich in Crossbones.

Pleasingly, Crossbones also employs the considerable talents of Englishman Richard Coyle (Covert Affairs, Coupling, The Whistleblowers) as Dr. Thomas Lowe, posing as ship’s surgeon, serving as foil and nemesis of Blackbeard. “Ohhh, Geoffrey!”

If you find your summer lacking the proper amount of tropical sun, salty nights, Beach Bum Rum, silk-embroidered frock coats and Shakespearean-level dramaturgy, Friday nights on NBC, in a clandestine cove somewhere in the Caribbean is just the place to pile your purloined silver platter high with the spoils of privateering, pirateering and stagecraft that far excels the likes of standard, broadcast production.

Graphic courtesy of NBC Universal

Graphic courtesy of NBC Universal

Crossbones airs Fridays at 10/9c p.m. on NBC.

 

“Savannah of Williamsburg”‘s Cap’t. Maurice Bloodstone. Photo: Twisted Pair Photography

… and in case ye be needin’ a pirate chanty fer those summer nights …

The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates ... free for Kindle!

The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates … free for Kindle!

“Me Cup Is Broke!”

A pirate chanty from Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates, Virginia 1718

lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

Blow me sails full! Blow on! Blow on!
Pour me ale full! Flow on! Flow on!
Me treasure be waitin’, me lady tried ‘scapin’,
Me gold chest it swells, soon we’ll all go to Hell!
Ye Caribbean Sea so hot it drains me wit!
DREAD! Me cup is broke and who will fix it?!

Be ye a musician? Record a fine tune of “Me Cup Is Broke!” and let us hear it @JennyPopNet or Savannah of Williamsburg’s Facebook Page!

#Crossbones #pirates #summer

The Jumonville Massacre: A “Savannah of Williamsburg” Book IV Excerpt

Category : Candid Conversations, Entertain Me, Featured, Geek Out, Geek Rants, Literature

Today marks the 260th anniversary of the Jumonville Massacre. It also marks nearly as many years gone by since my pally, author Jennifer Susannah Devore, started writing Book IV in her Savannah of Williamsburg Series. Folks, she tells me this one is the most difficult one yet to scribe. Not only is this period of Colonial American history intricately spiderwebbed with FFV (First Families of Virginia: the Fairfaxes, the Randolphs, the Carters, the Byrds, the Washingtons et al) and all manner of their ensuing drama and personal conflicts, but 1754 is also a period of exponential growth in commerce, communication and westward expansion.

As Book IV in the planned, six-book, pre-Revolutionary series running 1705-1776, it also serves as a slight pivot wherein, like true colonials of the formative years of mid-18thC. America, characters begin to see varying ideals of life across the sea from The Crown. Whether royal power is dispensed via greedy royal governors like Gov. Robert Dinwiddie, or faceless judges of the Privy Council back in London, personal opinions and political ideologies are being formed. This is an arduous road to take with characters whom have always been only the very best of friends with little to worry about than fishing conditions on the James River, which bottle of wine to take to a hostess and whether or not a pink or a green hat should be worn for a spring garden party. Such is life, though. Folks grow up and, sometimes, especially during great turning points in history, disagree. Yes?

Savannah of Williamsburg's Master Dante Marcus Pritchen. Artwork/copyright: KIM, LLC

Savannah of Williamsburg’s Master Dante Marcus Pritchen. Artwork/copyright: KIM, LLC

History’s account of the Jumonville Massacre is whitewashed and glossed over so much so that it has come to be known romantically as the Jumonville Affair, to Americans and British anyway. Even the National Park Service (as the massacre occurred near what would become Fort Necessity, what is now in the Farmington, PA-area, and is now a national park) labels it “The Skirmish”. One particular “history” book describes the massacre as “A second expedition in 1754 led to bloodshed.” Jumonville is most oft characterized by one or two sentences with an airy flip of the wrist that says, “who knows what really happened?”. I do, and so does Savannah of Williamsburg. To be fair, PBS, as one might expect, has approached it with honesty and scholarship via their phenomenal series The War That Made America.

Jumonville is a deep, dark scar in our shared history, masked by the thick makeup of time. 22-year old George Washington’s first step onto the military stage is tripped by deceit, gullibility, naivete, youth, ambition and manipulation. Washington is played by not only those he thought confidants, but also his own vigorous itch to reach the next echelon of the gentry’s intimate infrastructure. The French have a different recounting of the Jumonville “affair”, of the slaughter in the woods; this is the tale I, and Our Dante Marcus Pritchen, intend to tell in Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington’s Folly and The French & Indian War, Virginia 1754.

So, for all you history geeks out there, as Book IV is still far from the publishing stage, Miss Jenny proffers the following excerpt to her long-suffering, long-patient readers waiting for the next title in the Savannah of Williamsburg Series of Books.

Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington’s Folly and The French & Indian War, Virginia 1754

by Jennifer Susannah Devore.

 

“Do you hear the owl, Ensign Jumonville?” Officer Druillong, though not superstitious, was aware his men might be less than rational about such things. “The men, they are sometimes wary of such omens,” he smiled.

L’hibou? The owl? Oui, je l’ecoute. I hear it. Not to worry. It is merely an owl. Crows are bad luck, magpies are bad luck, corvids are bad luck. I do not believe the owl brings bad luck. Maybe in America, though? You know a bit of the American culture, M’sieur Laforce.” he turned to his his other officer and compatriot. “Is the owl a harbinger of evil, here in America?”

“I do not think so, universally, Joseph.” He held up an index finger and added, “Although, I do know of a superstitious saying that comes from the British colonies in the South. From South Carolina, I think. I learn this from a trapper I once meet in Montreal; he learned this from a fur buyer for a French family in Charleston.” LaForce cleared his throat and looked upward for a moment, remembering the recitation properly.

When you hear the screech owl, honey, in the sweet gum tree, it’s a sign as sure as you’re born a death is bound to be,” he recited in his thick, French accent and ended with a bit of a chuckle, amused by the Southrons and their provincial ways.

Still, nobody else laughed or chuckled here in the officers’ tent; the misty, rain-soaked morning was just a little too creepy. All three officers then looked to the trees, set their cafes back on the wooden cabaret-tray, on top of the leather-trimmed trunk, and placed preparatory hands on their own firearms as a chill suddenly skittered up each man’s spine. Seeing nothing out of order, each man went back to his early-morning business, in silence, and ignored the hoots of M’sieur Owl. On the other side of the camp, cadets Remy St. Raphael and Xavier Moreau de Poirot went back to attending their cartridges and keeping a sharp eye for anything out of place.

Up on the cliffs, overlooking the glen, Washington stood anxiously, a young man, barely out of boyhood and ready for action. He looked back and forth amongst his Virginia militia. They looked ready, yet unsteady. These men were not trained for this; they were farmers, William & Mary dropouts and shopkeeps, not professional soldiers. It was akin to sending volunteer firemen into the raging mouth of a forest fire. Washington then turned his gaze to the troops with whom he shared this campaign: the British regulars, the professionals.

Captain Stephen’s men, about twenty in count, had arrived as silently as Tanaghrisson’s warriors and placed themselves just west of the glen, flanking the pit where the French obliviously set about their morning routine. Washington’s men had come up from the south, whilst the Indians were everywhere, and nowhere, all at once. As he squatted behind a rock, keeping his lithe, 6’2″ frame hidden from the French, Washington watched the contrasts between his Virginians and Stephen’s regulars. That was where he really wanted to be, in charge of a proper British army. This Virginia militia business was okay for a bit; but it wasn’t the stuff of gentlemen. Royal officers were gentlemen. Colonial lieutenants were simply chief rabble-rousers. Of course, he could have joined the Royal Navy straight away. Alas, there would be little to no opportunity to rise within those ranks. He may have had family connections; but so did every young man of note on either side of the Atlantic and they all wanted to be naval officers. Few wanted to rough the wilds of the colonies. If Washington could move along the French, secure some prime property with Governor Dinwiddie and the other Ohio Company landowners, he’d be certain to receive a commendation, a promotion and a grand step up the social ladder. He just needed to get through today.

Long ago young Washington lost sight of his Indians: the savviest group of this military triad, at least where the deep woods were concerned. Their numbers were small, maybe only ten, but a powerful ten they were. The Seneca, Iroquois and Delta warriors knew this area better than all of the Virginians and Britons put together. They certainly knew it better than young Dante, Washington’s official journaler.

 Commissioned to document all goings-on, Master Dante Marcus Pritchen was an adventurous tabby always on the lookout for an escapade and a good time and whom also called Williamsburg his home. He had jumped at the chance to be embedded with this expedition led by the equally adventurous Lt. Colonel George Washington. A country cat by nature whom lived in a rather comfortable tavern in the colonial capital city and who was descended from the cats of Julius Caesar’, Dante’s version of country was more suited to the life of a English country gentleman. These Ohio Country, dense woods were a little wet and wild for his druthers; but hearty he was and every bramble, bug and blister was nudged away with a sturdy spirit and not a small bit of cockalorum. Not a soldier by any stretch of the imagination, Dante was still a natural athlete, never a flabby and lazy tabby, if not altogether fit for a forest atmosphere. Accustomed to a fine meal, a decent glass of port and a quality bed of goose-down, he made the best of dining on stale bread, a ration of rum (not bad, that) and sleeping in a tree, which, by the morning, was wet with dew. If there was any test for Dante, it was wet fur in the morning.

For now, he shook a bit off his back legs, adjusted his scarlet-lace stock, smoothed his sleep-wrinkled blue frock coat and shot his , now-torn, lace cuffs. Just because he was camping, didn’t mean he had to look like an animal. Thinking back though, the blue-and-scarlet drawing room ensemble, even though capped with very expedition-appropriate, buckskin cloak and moccasins, might not have been the best choice of gear. Nevertheless, though many of the soldiers had openly mocked his dress and, whilst never uttering a word, Washington’s occasional side-long glance betrayed his bewilderment about clearly found it an odd selection, it had yet to impede his job. In fact, Dante had already filled two of his four journals with notes, reports and even some sketches. Nobody could have covered this expedition better and if any military embed was to get his work published in the Virginia Gazette, or, even more exciting, the London Times, it was Dante Marcus Pritchen, cub correspondent. With a final shake of dew off a back leg, he snatched a fresh journal and a dry quill and nib from his leather bag and began to scribe onto the first page. He always loved scratching his nib onto that first page. He surveyed the morning’s situation.

With the British on one side, Virginians on another and the Indians all around, the French would have neither a clue what was happening, nor a sliver of a way out; trapped like rats on a sinking ship. Maybe then they would heed King George’s polite requests to extricate from British lands.

Without warning, a single pop of ignited gunpowder cleaved the peaceful dawn, like a sharpened hatchet through brittle firewood. In a flash, chaos, screams and the smell of sulfur replaced the morning serenity, cricket-song and the musky scent of moss and wet earth. Before anyone in the French camp knew what was happening, dozens of men flooded into the hollow, like water flowing freely out of a pitcher and into a bowl. Indian warriors dropped from the trees like acorns as polished British redcoats and countrified Virginians poured into that same bowl, into the glen. Scattering this way and that, the regulars and Virginians blocked the only egress up and out of the glen. Armed Indians lined the cliffs like a row of stolid pickets. The French screams were sudden and surprised, ranging from soprano to deep baritone pitches. Remy turned toward the excited and terrified screams of his friend.

Au secours! Au secours!” Xavier pulled a piercing screech from his lungs, a last-ditch warning to Remy. “Les Anglais! Les Anglais! Les sauvages, mon ami! Les sauvages!” and he pointed to a warrior crouched on the cliff directly above where Remy stood.

 Remy looked upward in the direction of Xavier’s telltale finger. The sharp edge of a tomahawk was the last thing Remy saw. It was quick. Xavier had just enough time to pray his friend’s end was painless before he saw his own mortality at the edge of the same blade. Blessedly, it was instantaneous and painless for both of them.

Excerpt from Savannah of Williamsburg: Washington’s Folly and The French & Indian War, Virginia 1754 by Jennifer Susannah Devore. All rights reserved. Property of KIMedia, LLC. Excerpt may be shared digitally for entertainment,  non-commercial purposes only and may not be reprinted in analog format or sold in any format, digital, analog or otherwise.

 

@JennyPopNet #historygeek #Jumonville #GeorgeWashington

Hannah’s other fave places to haunt online?

JennyPop.net  jenniferdevore.blogspot.com and amazon.com/author/jenniferdevore

Comic Book Heroines Podcast – One Shot Issue #6: Please Save My Earth

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured

Comic Book Heroines is a podcast featuring women reading, reviewing and discussing comic books.

In this One Shot, Rachel Pandich shares the manga Please Save My Earth, art and story by Saki HiwatariPlease Save My Earth is published by Hakusensha in Japan and by Viz Media in the United States and is available in print at Barnes & Noble (check your local comic shop), as well as digitally (Kindle & Nook too!)

Comic Cover Art courtesy of Viz Media.

Click here for Direct Download.

HOST INFO
You can find her at the Webcomics site, SkinCrawlingComics.com, or on podcasts, such as Greatest Movie Ever or Heroes & Villains.

 

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at podcasts@goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Comic Book Heroines – One Shot #5: Rat Queens

Category : Comic Book Heroines, Comics, Entertain Me, Featured, Reviews

Comic Book Heroines is a podcast featuring women reading, reviewing and discussing comic books.

In this One Shot, Samantha Cross tells us why she enjoys Rat Queens, created by Kurtis Wiebe and published by Image Comics.

Comic Cover Art courtesy of Image Comics.


Click here for Direct Download.

HOST INFO
Samantha Cross is a writer for Word of the Nerd (www.wordofthenerd.com) and co-host of the DC Confidential Podcast (http://podcasts.wordofthenerdonline.com). She has a Masters in History and works as an Archivist in Seattle, Washington. A long-time DC Comics fan, Sam is also a big fan of titles like SagaGhostedPretty Deadly and Quantum and Woody.

If you like inane comments or the occasional rant, you can follow Sam on Twitter @darling_sammy or check out her blog, The Maniacal Geek (www.maniacalgeek.wordpress.com), where she writes about comic books, television, movies, and whatever else suits her fancy.

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com or email us at podcasts@goodtobeageek.com.

Comic Book Heroines is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Comic Book Heroines is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.