Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Wow. I can't believe it's been over 10 years ago that I found the oh-so-awesome art of Bill Mudron.

Absolutely check out his site http://excelsiorstudios.net/. The gallery of thumbnails used to be much bigger...the current arrangement makes me scream for MORE!

His Pan comic is killer. The Firelfy and Zelda works have always been some of my favorites. There's really nothing he does that I don't totally dig.

His comic style and classic geek references still get me over a decade after first discovery.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Crime and Punishment

Let's say your story isn't about an intrepid party of adventures or noble knights on a quest. Let's say your hero is actually an anti-hero. A lying, cheating, stealing, killing scallywag. This murderous rogue is constantly ducking the law. Sometimes he gets away with it, other times his luck runs out and he's thrown in the dungeon. In fact that could make for a great "what are you in for?" story - a bunch of criminals passing time swapping stories about their exploits that eventually led to getting nabbed. Or it could be one lone prisoner, awaiting trial/execution, and reminiscing over his life of crime that led up to this dark end. Run with it. 

But before you dive on in, there is some ground work and logistics that you have to figure first. What are the laws that govern society? Is there an established, central judicial system like the US Supreme Court? Is there a process like Parliament/Congress that votes on laws? Do judges and lawyers banter for and against the accused? Do jurors deliver a verdict? Does a supreme taskmaster play judge, jury, and executioner? Is there capital punishment? Servitude? Imprisonment? Torture?

If there are prisons, are they regulated institutions, or complete hellholes? Is prison supposed to rehab convicts or just keep them locked away from mainstream society? Are there chain gangs of forced labor? Are prisoners tossed into dank dungeons, ne'er to be heard from again, where they are forgotten and go slowly mad from isolation? Is there an arena where felons can earn freedom and privileges through public bloodsport? Do the innocent/wrongly accused wander pens with murderers and rapists? Does a certain group make up most of the prison population? Is there any chance for parole or escape? Maybe convicts are given a choice of jail, mutilation, or military service. Is there a 3 strikes law? Is jail a deterrent, or is it a better life than many would have had on the outside? Where are prisons located? How are offenses classified? What is the worst? Most common? Current problem?

All things to think about. Don't try to apply all of them, but definitely consider them before you cast them aside.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

April A to Z Blogging Challenge

If only I had the time...

A to Z Blogging Challenge

This is a fantastic idea and a great way to find inspiration to hammer the keys.

Thanks to Sporkchop for tuning me into this. I really wish I could devote the time to it, but with work and school (and sleep, man I love sleep!) I just can't. [Enter quote about only failing to try here]

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nullus Deus Ex Machina

I know I said I was going to once-a-week posts, and I am (really), but I thought I'd spoil y'all with an unexpected Friday post. It's easy because it requires very little work from me ;)

Check out The Worldbuilding School's post today

Sanderson's Second Law of Magic

You can follow the links in his post to Sanderson's First Law of Magic and I'll also provide them here

Sanderson's First Law of Magic

and here, as the original source of genius


This all reminds me that I really need to listen to the many many recommendations and read The Mistborn Trilogy

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Woes of The World: Let Your People Go

There are lots of things negative about the world, humanity, and society in general. People aren't always nice, decent, enlightened, and/or considerate. Awareness is relative - you don't know what you don't know. Sometimes you learn things you wish you didn't. It is to this which I am speaking. Sorry if it isn't the "light" kind of uncomfortable you can laugh about later. I'm not talking about walking in on your parents.

What I will bring up is slavery, cannibalism, and abuses based on race, gender, age, religion, education, and class - to name a few. Apparently throughout human history the notion of "playing nice with others" struggles to stick. Social divisions come with society, it's that simple.And it's typically not viewed in favorable light...except perhaps by those gaining from the division and oppression.

A brief reminder before I drag us down even further; in my studies of anthropology, sociology, and history I have been admonished by professors to not judge the past based on the present.

Consider this, nearly every human society this world has known has some instance of slavery, cannibalism, and oppression. Before you get all defensive about it and start throwing out "nu-uh, not mine!", really stop and think. Did everyone always get along? Did everyone always get their fair share? Did everyone always have enough to eat? No one ever made someone work for them? Yeah, no. I didn't think so. 

So if you're building a world or writing a story, think about these atrocities. There is certainly a lot to be learned from them. Are there situations of folks nom-noming on each other? Keep in mind that such grizzly business usually only comes up in extreme scenarios. For reasons of simple growth and attrition, it can't be kept up indefinitely or you'll run out of neighbors to crunch and munch. Is there/was there a slave class? Who were the masters, and who/what were the slaves? Were they people or machines or animals? What was the work? If there was emancipation/revolution, how long ago? If it's in process, how/who/what started it? If slavery has been completely squashed, how is it enforced? How do former slaves and slaveholders feel about it? What was the slavery based on? Are the former slaves shunned, driven out of previous areas of servitude, or is there outright violence against them? To what degree, beatings, rape, disfigurement, murder?