Monday, October 31, 2011

Showcase: Return of the Pixel

"8-Bit Han Solo"

"8-Bit Chewbacca"

"8-Bit Boba Fett"

[David The Destroyer's Deviantart]

My girlfriend had the bright idea, because she's awesome, to watch the original Star Wars trilogy this weekend. No reason; she just hadn't seen them since she was a kid, and for my part I will never say no to a Star Wars marathon. Of course, having seen the movies more recently (and much more often) than her, and also being a huge nerd, it turns out I have a lot to say about Star Wars. I tried to keep the running commentary to a minimum, but wasn't always successful, to her infinite chagrin. Observe:

(Return of the Jedi, the Rebels are looking over the Death Star plans)
Me: You know, many Bothans died to bring them that information.
Heather: What? How do you know that?
Mon Mothma: Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

(This also happened with "It's a trap!" and every time someone had a bad feeling about something.)

Furthermore, I was on Wookieepedia nearly the entire six-and-a-half hours, because for the first time in my life I could actually do that. I discovered a number of key pieces of information which I would like to share with you now:

· Ewoks and Wookiees are not related. The closest relative of the Ewok is the swamp-dwelling Dulok, who are not very nice to Ewoks and apparently are the race of the Grinch.

· Believe it or not, not only did Boba Fett escape from the Sarlacc by fighting his way out from the inside, he later fell in again (and escaped again) around the time of the Battle of Endor.

· Yoda's species is known as "Yoda's species". He's pointedly not just a very old, green-skinned Lannik. Other members of Yoda's species are Yaddle, Vandar Tokare and Minch (all of them Jedis).

· Under their robes, Jawas are "gaunt, rodent-like creatures, with shrunken faces and yellow eyes". They sew yellow or orange gemstones into their hoods to protect their sensitive eyes from sunlight.

· The musical number added to Return of the Jedi, where a CGI Sy Snootles and Joh Yowza perform for Jabba just prior to the arrival of Chewbacca and a disguised Leia, is one of the most odious things I've ever seen in my entire life. It has absolutely no purpose and it's such a drastic tonal shift that it's not hard to understand why Star Wars purists got up in arms over the Special Edition additions and alterations.

· Leia is way, wayyyyyy too casual about the fact that she made out with Luke when she discovers that he's her brother. Wayyyyyyy too casual.

· Before the release of Empire Strikes Back in 1980, Alan Dean Foster wrote the very first Expanded Universe tie-in Star Wars novel, "Splinter of the Mind's Eye". The book was written prior to the major success of A New Hope, and if that film flopped, George Lucas had intended to film "Splinter of the Mind's Eye" as a low-budget sequel. The story deviates significantly from what ends up being established in Empire, and ramps up the sexual tension between Luke and Leia to an unbearably awkward level. In an alternate universe, Splinter ended up as the filmed sequel to Star Wars, and our alternate selves are all much, much poorer for it.

Showcase: Retro Gaming Movie Posters


"The Last Starfighter"


[For Celebrations Past:
Retro Movie Posters

It's weird how Dabney Coleman was a staple of the '80s whizkid technothrillers that I grew up with (WarGames, Cloak and Dagger), disappeared for decades, and has now resurfaced as a villainous, manipulative bad-ass in one of my favorite current TV shows, "Boardwalk Empire". I mean, it's not like he wasn't working all those years (seriously, take a look at his credits... The man is prolific). It's just that those were the two points that he has surfaced in my particular periphery.

Also, "Boardwalk Empire". Great show, watch it if you aren't.

Triptych: Attack of the Battle of the Bands

"The Wright Stuff II: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim" by DKNG Studios

"Cat Pilgrim" (t-shirt) by Hanashing

"Sex Bob-Omb vs. The Twins" (t-shirt) by Bamboota

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Triptych: The Fun Will Never End

"Jake The Dog" by Salvation Series

"Flat Finn" by Alister Buss

"BMO" by Atatakakunakatta

Showcase: We Do What We Must Because We Can

(Click for full-size)
"Propulsion Gel"

(Click for full-size)
"Conversion Gel"

(Click for full-size)
"Repulsion Gel"

[wd.farmer's Portal 2 Poster Series]

Triptych: Does Whatever A Spider Can

"Spider Station" (t-shirt) by Jose Sabenicio

"Spidermanga" by Doug Harvey

"The Amazing Spider Reign" by Riccardo Bucchioni

Sorry it took me so long to get around to posting this week. Still, better late than never, right?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Triptych: Spelunking Anecdote

"A Story About Caves" by scrotumnose

"Doukutsu Damacy" by Alex Ahad

"Cave Story" by 8-bitch

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cthulhu Cthursday: Horrors Of The Deep Edition

"Cthulhu's Kid" by bubbyeater

"Tintin In R'lyeh" by Murray Groat (check out Murray's full series of Tintin\Lovecraft mashups, they're all spot-on)

"For Beginning Readers: The Call of Cthulhu" by DrFaustusAU (It's an actual book! Read the whole thing!)

"Tentacle Face" by Travis Perkins

"El Cthuluchador" (t-shirt) by Andy Hunt

"H.P. Lovecraft" by Ghoulish Gary

Triptych: Speedy's On My Tail

"Roboto-Pakku" by David Eichenberger

"Finish Him!" by Muddybeats

"パックマン! (Pac-man!)" (print) by Uriel A. Duran

Triptych: You're A Lonely Rolling Star

"Katamari" by kozyndan

"Katamari of the Dead" by Hector Mansilla

"AXOR Heroes: Katamari" (print) by Axel Pfaender

Triptych: TARDIS Blue

"TARDIS Blue" (t-shirt) by Don't Blink Tees

"It's Bigger On The Inside" by geekasms graphix

"Portal Who" (t-shirt) by Kung Fu Chook

Triptych: May Contain Courage, Wisdom and Power

"The Temple" by Justin White

"Videogame Poster: Adventurer" (print, iPhone case and iPhone skin) by Justin D. Russo

"Triforce Pilsner Potion" by Magmakensuke

Triptych: Heroes In A Half-Shell

"Cowabunga!" (poster) by Itomi Bhaa

"TMNT" (print) by by Resistance

"Renaissance Ninjas" (t-shirt) by Emory Arts

And On A Personal Note...

So I wanted to take a break from regularly scheduled updates and talk a bit about the purpose of this blog and where I hope to see it going in the future.

Apocalypse POW! was originally a videogame-themed off-shoot of my former blog, Cabinet of Curiosities. For a while I made the effort to keep both blogs updated concurrently, but after a few months I decided to put Cabinet of Curiosities on permanent hiatus so I could focus all my attention on blogging about videogames - primarily, videogame art. Now, after 250 posts, I feel like I'm hitting my stride with Apocalypse POW!, but I also feel like there's still room to grow.

One of my primary goals with this blog was to draw attention to some of the amazing, clever, wonderful artists out there who focus on videogames in their work, whether through painting, graphic design, sculpture, illustration, digital art and - for lack of a better word - consumer design (a category that would include t-shirts, album covers, application and device skins, and so forth). I've noticed that a lot of blogs don't bother to credit the original artist when reposting their art, and while I can understand the lack of motivation, I also can't help but think that it's somewhat unfair to that artist. To that end, I try to not only credit the artist for every piece that I post here, but I also try to provide at least one link to their home page or, if they have work for sale on Etsy, Redbubble, or the like, a purchase page. At times I've put a great deal of effort into trying to track down the original artist of an image I came across through my daily art-perusing channels, and I consider that a necessary part of what I'm trying to do here - which is to showcase and feature artists that I appreciate and art that appeals to me. Occasionally, despite my best efforts, I won't be able to locate a source for an image that I really want to share... When this comes up, or when I mistakenly attribute an image to the wrong source, I urge anyone who knows better to let me know in the comments.

Right now I'm averaging about 3000 hits a month, and while that isn't a mind-boggling number, I am kind of pleased to note that anyone at all is paying attention to what I'm doing here. All I might ask is that people comment more. I'd really like to get some feedback on what I'm doing right, what I need to be doing more of, and what I need to stop doing altogether. As starry-eyed and idealistic as it may sound, I like the idea that this blog could become more of a community, and that visitors might send me links to other cool art they've found or even their own art. The internet is a huge place, and while I do my best to trawl the more common fishing spots, there are backwaters and tidal pools and whole rivers of cool things I would be posting about if I knew they existed.

As for where I would like to take Apocalypse POW! in the future, I have a few ideas. For a long while I've been posting nothing but art, and I've gotten away from reviews and editorials. There are a few reasons for this. First, being employed full-time doesn't leave me with as much time for gaming as I had when I was in university, and whereas I might have once spent 20 hours playing through a game in the course of a weekend, now I'm lucky if I get 10 hours in a week. Secondly, I tend to write most of my posts from work. This means that while I can easily take five or ten minutes to throw some image tags into one of a handful of pre-existing templates, I rarely get the chance to conceive of, and then write, an actual article made up of words and stuff.

All that aside, I would like Apocalypse POW! to have a more editorial slant going forward. I'd like to get back to my Five-Minute Impressions and One-Line Wonders review features, and start to post more lists as well. I'd like to start featuring more music - nerdcore, geek rock and chiptune music primarily. I have a lot of ideas for Apocalypse POW!, although as always, the main obstacle in achieving everything I'd like to here is time limitations. So with any luck, you'll start seeing both new and returning features in the near future, and I'm always open to your feedback and suggestions and requests.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Triptych: My Slow Clap Processor Made It Into This Thing. Good.

"Aperture Background" (1440x900 wallpaper) by QWervenDravis

"Portal Cake" by Justin Currie

"O Cara Mio, Addio" by A.J. Hateley

Triptych: Chill, Fever and Weird

"Chill, Fever and Weird Virus" by Dirk Erik Schulz

"Dr. Mario Viruses" by AlbinoRaven

"Red, Yellow and Blue Viruses" by Greg Suj

You know who was cool? Dr. Mario. He's a plumber AND a doctor! And a tennis star and an Olympic athlete and a world-class go-kart driver and a backstreet brawler and...