Self Portrait 2022 - Wood Engraving

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This is the second self-portrait engraving I have made. The last one was in back in 2009 and I don’t think I ever editioned the print. In this print I am showing off my tools while seated in front of tiny renditions of other prints I have created over the past couple of years. It’s so meta.

In-Progress Images

Video of the Printing Process

I created this video documenting the printing of this engraving. Hopefully it won’t get taken down for the music I used:

The Girl in Room 2A (7/10)

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This Dick Randall produced giallo is, as one would expect, a complete mess. The plot seems to unfold randomly as it hard cuts from one disparate scene to the next. The idea here is that a young woman is released from prison into a halfway house or something: the titular Room 2A. The previous tenant was found dead of a suspected suicide (her car exploded falling from a cliff, but, whatever. Logic). Now our heroine is being haunted by visions of a red-masked torturer alá The Bloody Pit of Horror. This sounds awesome but it’s mostly boring talking scenes. That is, until the last twenty minutes. The climax is a frantic collage of ridiculousness that completely redeems the rest of the movie. It still doesn’t make any logical sense but everything about it, from the venomous snake rescue to the satanic torture cult to the final killer chase, will have you cheering for more.

The Making of Nox Archaist by Mark Lemmert (8/10)

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Here we go, yet another post about Nox Archaist. This book probably won’t be of much interest to people who have not played the game, but it does do a good job of painting a picture of what it takes to create a massive CRPG game for an ancient computing system. There are plenty of technical details but it doesn’t go too deep into actual coding and mostly deals with working around the limitations of an 8-bit computer. I’ve had been following this project since the early days of its development and appreciated learning more about the many contributors and of the details behind the game’s creation.

Bruegel: The Complete Graphic Works by Maarten Bassens (9/10)

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I still chuckle every time I read the name Hieronymus Cock. Maybe I’m just an immature fool, but Hieronymus is a really goofy name. He’s mentioned a lot here in the many essays about Bruegel and his work at the Aux Quatre Vents publishing house. Each gives a bit of insight into this legendary painter’s graphic output and some of the commercial motivations behind the designs.

But, let’s face it, the reason you get this hefty coffee table book is to impress your art historian friends with the beautiful reproductions of Bruegel’s prints. The images are big and there are plenty of zoomed-in details as well. It’s just like being in the KBR print room but without the stupid rules about not drinking orange Fanta while browsing the flat files.

The Devil In Maddalena (8/10)

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Like most who discover this movie, I knew about it only from Ennio Morricone’s legendary score. The title would suggest that this is horror film or another Exorcist cash-in, but, in actuality, it’s mostly a drama with art-house visual sensibilities. It’s a modern (well, 1970s modern) retelling of the story of Mary Magdalene. In this version, a promiscuous married woman attempts to seduce a young priest. Throughout she has fantasies of being another woman who is chased by dogs, or trapped in a prison ward. Again, I’m dumb and am not quite sure what it all means but it all adds up into a mesmerizing tale with a gut-wrenching ending.

The Laughing Woman (9/10)

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The Blu-Ray version of The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion’s interviews and commentary mentioned Femina Ridens as Dagmar Lassander’s previous (and better) role. A quick search and I realized that this was the disc currently being advertised by the excellent Mondo Macabro as available for preorder. The trailer has me intrigued and I immediately pre-ordered the Blu-ray.

This is definitely a strange and beautiful film that doesn’t quite sink in on the first viewing.

New Mobile Navigation

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POF Mobile Menu

I just made a pretty significant update to the site’s main navigation. Finally, I am using a more mobile-friendly menu system in which the various depths slide left and right as you drill down. This article about WordPress menu walkers was extremely helpful in getting all this to work correctly.

I probably should add a bunch of accessibility attributes, but that is a bit much for now. I’m just shocked the thing works.

Jellyfish - Pen and Ink Drawing

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Here is the drawing I created of a killer jellyfish for the Nox Archaist game manual. Along with this creature, there were a few other real-world beasts that were in the game. I think I managed to make this look a little more fantastic than what you see dried up on the beaches of Florida.

Nox Archaist: Jellyfish
The Jellyfish as it appears in the Nox Archasit manual.

Cosmic Connections by Time-Life Books (3/10)

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So far, this is my least favorite book in this series. Astrology is just not a very interesting topic and it definitely does not qualify as “mysterious” to me. Even here in 2022, too many boneheads out there still believe in this crap. The idea that one-twelfth of the population shares character traits because of the month they were born in is preposterous even for parapsychology.