Planet Stories … Greatest Covers in Comic History?

Maybe. Maybe not. But this one is a humdinger …

Visit the Comic Book Catacombs and read about Aura, Lord of Jupiter, won’t you?

You couldn’t get this much awesome for 1 slim dime in the modern day, I can assure you.

Princess Vara, despite getting a smaller font than Reef Ryan, appears to get the cover (I can’t imagine why), if in fact those aliens getting slapped around are the Green Legions of Xalan. She’s wearing her gold-plated titanium Venusian lady-parts armor (protection where you need it, when you need it – AC +1) and wielding a short sword while riding something that came out of a random monster generator.

Let’s tick off the alien parts on that beast – lower body of a horse, feet of a camel, talons of an eagle, neck of a hairy lizard, ears of an Elfquest elf, horn of a … I have no idea … and beak of abject, eye-poking horror. It needs some stats (S&W and Space Princess this time):

AREMIHC: HD 4; AC 6 [13]; Atk 2 talons (1d4), beak (1d6) and gore (1d6); Move 18; Save 13; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Run x5, only surprised on 1 on 1d8.

AREMIHC: HD 4; DEF 17; FIGHT 11 (Beak/Gore 1d8, Talons 1d4); MOVE F; STR 7; DEX 5; KNO 0; MEN 3; Special: None.

 The Green Legions are somewhere in the kobold-goblin-orc continuum – I’d go with goblin stats, since they’re clearly pretty easy to pick up and hurl. I dig the polearms and golden shields with the suns. They also have a sweet ride in the background – you can’t beat old school starship design, I always say.

I also dig the “Slaver-Hordes of Neptune” – good name for a Space Princess module – maybe a sci-fi version of the classic Slavers series for AD&D.

My Dinosaur Art Heroine!

Most small time rpg publishers like myself understand the importance of public domain art. Don’t get me wrong – I love commissioning artists. Most of the money I’ve made on NOD and my other products has gone to commissioning art, and if I made ten times as much money, I’d commission ten times as much art. But when your margins are especially tight, you can’t afford not to use the free stuff, especially when so much of the fantasy art produced pre-1923 is so dang good! Of course, your choices can be a bit limited, which is why the mother lode I recently found must be shared with the world!

Mariana Ruiz – who goes by the handle lady_of_hats on Wikimedia Commons has drawn quite a few groovy dinosaurs and released them into the public domain. God bless her! Check these beasties out …

Pretty groovy. If you want more, just go to Wikimedia Commons and do a search by her name. There are lots of other science illustrations (mostly technical) mixed in, as well as this kick ass image of a three-headed knight (I call dibs!)

And just for shits and giggles, a size chart (hey, got me lots of page views last time!) I threw in the three-headed knight for comparison purposes, assuming he’s the same size as a human being.

The size range in dinosaurs always astounds me.

On a side note – I finished writing Space Princess over the weekend … well, mostly. There are a few sci-fi monsters I want to add, but for all intents and purposes it is now in the editing stage. I added some vehicles for the game (hover cars, battle tanks, war walkers) and an additional class – the Space Ranger (maybe I’ll change it to Astro-Ranger or Cosmic Ranger to avoid any clashes with a certain space ranger that works for that very litigious mouse who resides in Anaheim).

When I publish Space Princess, I’m going to launch a new blog devoted to a community effort (well, assuming the community wants to do it) at populating a pulp sci-fi planet – Kepler-22B.

Details to come, but I’m hoping it will turn into a fun project and provide sci-fi buffs with a place to run adventures. Naturally, my first contribution will be a jungle sector teeming with dinosaurs and ruined Preserver Domes (whatever those are). Stay tuned!

Okay – you can actually check the blog out now. It’s called Strange New World.

OSR Conservation / Best Thing I’ve Seen Today

If you haven’t already, you might want to check out the OSR Conservation project. Basically, folks like me can upload some of the gaming stuff we’ve created to make sure it is preserved even if we disappear from the face of the earth. I’ve just uploaded NOD 1 and NOD 6, as well as the basic rules for Pars Fortuna.

There are many other things to download there, and if you have something you would like to upload, by all means do so!

On a side note, just saw this piece of work on DeviantArt …
Thor by ~Andrew-Robinson on deviantART

Best thing I’ve seen today. Simple, clean and powerful.

Deviant Saturday – Manarama Edition

Manarama does lots of great work in a loose, free, fun style. Now, I’ve been notified by some readers that embedding the images via DeviantArt is a problem in some mobile devices. For that, I apologize. However, I want to be careful about copyright and proper attribution, so I’m going to stick with the embed codes for now.

Thor Dee-Lite!

A few months back I posted about backing Jeff Dee’s project of re-producing his old TSR art that was apparently thrown away (God, to back in time to that day and dumpster dive!). A couple weeks ago I got this spiffy signed print of Anubis.

Today, he announced the re-creation of his drawings for the Norse mythos, and with the $20 level getting you a signed print of Thor – the drawing that made me a lifelong fan of the thunder god – I had to jump in. Should look good next to old Jackal-head when I get them both framed.

I love me some Kickstarter. It helped give birth to Mystery Men! and many other worthy old school endeavors. Long may it reign.

Okay – in a couple hours I’ll post those Cave Brawl teams. Until then, have fun …

Deviant Fri … Saturday – Francis Manapul Edition

Today, we’ll be looking at some nice superhero art (plus a little more) from Francis Manapul. Check out his entire gallery for more!

Deviant Friday – In Memoriam

Okay, not technically a Deviant Friday, because this has nothing to do with DeviantArt. Instead, I thought I’d honor some of the artists who passed away in 2011. If I missed anyone on this list, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the shrine. R.I.P to them all, best wishes for those they left behind who are missing them terribly, and a hearty thank you for all the wonders they introduced to the rest of us through their art.

Dave Hoover



Jerry Robinson



Minck Oosterveer



Shingo Araki



Gene Colan



Joe Simon



Eduardo Barreto



Mamoru Uchiyama



Darrel K. Sweet



Jim Roslof



Jeffrey Catherine Jones


On a personal note, I’d like to honor my uncle, George Stater, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly earlier this year. I love him dearly, and everyone who knew him will miss him keenly in the years to come.

Saturday Grab Bag

Just some random nonsense. I have some leaf raking and bagging to do today, along with other household chores to prepare for the family coming over tomorrow for all the traditional festivities. Whatever you do tomorrow, do it with a little love in your heart and find a way to be happy.

From the Old Fashioned Geek-mas Dept.

When I was a young lad, maybe 12, I remember borrowing a friend’s copy of B1 – In Search of the Unknown and transcribing it on my parent’s typewriter. Not as fancy a model as this (and they still have it!), but until I finally got an Apple IIE, the typewriter was one of my most important RPG tools. Image comes from James Lilek’s Merry Kitchmas site.

From the Zeppelin Christmas Mash-Up Dept.

Fleming & John – Winter Wonderland to the tune of Misty Mountain Hop. Image and link from one of my favorite daily reads, NEVVER.

From the My Hero Dept.

I officially declare that the rest of my life will be dedicated to trying to match the greatness of this man.

From the Heart’s Desire Dept.

I’m back on the weight loss trail again. I lost 50 pounds about a year ago, and then hit a long plateau. I’m now back on the trail, trying to finally get back to my college weight of 180. Images like this are both a balm and a torment.

From the Sci-Fi RPG Challenge Dept.

Okay, so we have a couple new planets to play with. Who wants to do a non-denominational sci-fi hex crawl with one of these planets? Maybe I could set up a blog called Kepler 20-F, post a map and people could all throw their 2 credits in. No game stats, no over-arching theme other than – “Recently discovered by ‘Man’, largely unexplored, holds secrets and ruins of the ancient Keplons”. Just anything that grabs your fancy that other Referees could then use with their groups to explore. Whaddya think?

From the Thank God for Frank Cho Dept.

Yeah – just … yeah.

From the Super Short Story Dept.

I wrote a very short story for some Lulu contest. You can download it for free from HERE if you have an e-reader thingee. If not, I’ll probably post it in the near future. It’s set in the Beyond the Black Water hex crawl I did with Frog God Games, and I might look at expanding it into a proper short story.

From the Blood and Treasure Art Dept.

I leave you with an elf paladin and a dwarf cleric from Blood and Treasure, both illustrations by Jon Kaufman (Pachycrocuta). Not a bad way to end a pre-Christmas post. Maybe a post tomorrow, maybe not, definitely normal posting next week. Enjoy the day, even if it has no spiritual meaning for you.