Monday, January 31, 2011


"Hornswiggle" is a fun little cartoon short that was originally intended to be a pilot for a series, but it wasn't picked up. Instead it appeared in episode four of the "Random Cartoons" series. It was created and produced by Jerry Beck and directed by Rich Arons.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lanikai LU-21 Ukelele

I'm normally not into musical instruments, but I picked up a Lanikai LU-21 Soprano Ukelele and I love it. It's decently constructed, has the classic Ukelele sound, looks nice, is reasonably priced and comes with some really nice Aquila strings. I've been very happy with it and I highly recommend it if you're looking for a decent ukelele that won't break the bank.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

My two seconds of fame

Way back in 1991, GamePro magazine used to have a section called "Secret Weapons And Tactics" (S.W.A.T.) where people could send in their hints, tricks, passwords and such and if they printed them in the magazine, the submitter would get a free GamePro t-shirt.
(Click photo to enlarge)

One of my tips was printed on page 62 of the June 1991 issue. It was for the NES game "Maniac Mansion".

Maniac Mansion (NES)

Inner Door Combination
To open the inner door of the lab, don't
fix the wiring in the attic and the combi-
nation will remain 0000.
Chris Pepin, Escanaba, Michigan
Jason Price of Trappe, MD and Nathan Park of Sumiton, AL also submitted tips for Maniac Mansion in the same issue. I received a free GamePro T-shirt for my tip which was neat, but quite frankly the shirt was pretty ugly looking. Oh well, I wore it anyway. I later went on to write a FAQ for the NES version of Manaic Mansion that can be found over at

Friday, January 28, 2011

Free Game - Quest for Glory 2

AGD Interactive has released version 2.0 of their free licensed remake of Sierra's "Quest for Glory 2". This is probably my favorite of the Quest for Glory games. Multiple paths depending on which character you choose (Fighter, Magic User or Thief). I personally like to pick the thief and use my extra stat points at the beginning of the game to give him the ability to use magic, but however you choose to play it, the game is lots of fun.Version 2.0 includes numerous bug fixes and it's also now available for both the MAC and PC. Go here to download it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good Old Games

Good Old Games (aka is a website that licenses old computer games, strips out any DRM (if any), fixes them so they work on modern operating systems and sells them cheap. They even offer a couple of games for free, such as the fun adventure game "Teen Agent". I've purchased several games from them and it's really refreshing to be able to download a game and install it on as many of my computers as I like. I give them two thumbs up!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham

Back in the eighties Marvel Comics created a parody of their famous character Spider-Man called Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham. Various other marvel characters appeared in the series such as a parody of Doctor Doom calling himself Ducktor Doom. It's quite a funny comic and thankfully Marvel is reprinting and compiling it into paperback volumes.
Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham - Volume 1 reprints Marvel Tails Starring Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #1 and Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham #1-5.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Star Comics: All Star Collection

Back in the Eighties, Marvel comics released a line of comics aimed at kids called Star Comics. It was intended to fill a gap left in the market after Harvey Comics stopped publishing. Former Harvey Comics staff Lennie Herman and Warren Kremer (famously known for their work on Richie Rich) helped to create many of the titles in the Star Comics line-up. 

Marvel is now releasing several of their initial Star Comics titles (Planet Terry, Top Dog, Wally the Wizard and Royal Roy) in a series of volumes called Star Comics: All Star Collection.

Three volumes have been released so far and hopefully more are on the way.

Star Comics: All Star Collection - Volume One 

Volume one contains Planet Terry #1-2, Top Dog #1-3, Wally the Wizard #1-2 and Royal Roy #1-2.

Volume two contains Planet Terry #3-4, Top Dog #4-6, Wally the Wizard #3-4 and Royal Roy #3-4. 

     Volume Three contains Planet Terry #5-6, Top Dog  
     #7-9, Wally the Wizard #5-6 and Royal Roy #5-6.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Big Buck Bunny

"Big Buck Bunny" is a comical cartoon short about a giant rabbit being harassed by a trio of rodents. Produced by the Blender Foundation it is available under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sticky Burr: The Prickly Peril

As I mentioned yesterday, I found a book called "Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest" at a thrift store. I liked it so much that I ordered the sequel "Sticky Burr: The Prickly Peril" from It turns out the sequel is just as much fun as the original. This graphic novel is smart and funny with great characters. It's main audience is intended to be 4 to 8 year old kids, but every adult I've shown it to has liked it themselves.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest

I found this while perusing the shelves of books at my local thrift store. It's a fun graphic novel aimed at children from 4 to 8 years old.  "Sticky Burr: Adventure in Burrwood Forest" by John Lechner is really quite good. I laughed out loud several times while reading it. The art style is perfect for the book. Sticky Burr, the lead character in the book is always getting stuck to things. He also gets chased by Scurvy and Spiny Burr, the local bullies. In spite of these things, however, Sticky Burr goes on an adventure and becomes a hero.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Battletoads cartoon pilot

Here's a cheesy pilot for a cartoon based on the video game "Battletoads" It's split into two parts.

It tries so hard to be as cool as the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", but fails so miserably.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Have you ever been stuck in a game and not know what to do? Try looking up the answer in a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question), strategy guide or walk through over at The site is a great place for gamers to share information about games they know. Anybody can write a FAQ and submit it to the site for others to read. In fact, I have several FAQS on the site. The most famous is probably my FAQ for the NES version of Maniac Mansion. has been around for over fifteen years, but I still occasionally run across a gamer who's never heard of it. If you play any sort of video or computer game then you need to bookmark this site and keep it handy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An X-Box 360 comes back from the dead

My friend had two X-Box 360s that were broken. One had a broken DVD drive, the other would output sound but no video. Since I like to tinker, I gave him $25 for the two broken machines and got to work. The one with no video looked like it could be fixed with the same procedure that fixes the "Red Ring of Death!" (Cue scary music.) The one with the broken DVD drive booted up fine but the drive tray on the DVD drive was busted clean off. Getting this one fixed seemed like the best option, but there was a catch. You can't just buy a replacement drive and drop it into the X-Box 360. Microsoft flashes a serial number into the DVD drive's firmware that has to match the serial number of the motherboard in the X-Box 360 or else it won't play any games. However, when I had both X-boxes torn apart, I noticed one of the DVD drives was a Toshiba/Samsung MS25 and the other drive was a Toshiba/Samsung MS28. Looking them up online, I found that hardware wise the two drives were exactly the same, the MS28 was just a version of the drive with newer firmware.
Following this tutorial, I disassembled both DVD drives and swapped the circuit boards. Now I had a working DVD drive with a circuit board containing the correct serial number. I popped it into the X-Box 360 that originally had the broken drive and tested it out. The X-Box 360 booted up fine and I was able to play a game on it. Success! The other X-Box 360, I stuck in a box for now. I'll worry about fixing it whenever the other one dies. For $25 and a little bit of time and effort  I now have a working X-Box 360!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Smurfette

I've talked about the Smurf comics before, but since today is the release date for the fourth volume in the series I thought I would let everyone know it's now available. They're Smurfin' good!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Free Game - Dubloon

Dubloon is a free point-n-click pirate RPG adventure game produced by Banov with music created by Prophecy.
 Arr, if you want to set sail on a piratey adventure then download it here or here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

“Keys” - Animated short by Megan Tupper

"Keys" is a fun animated short produced by Megan Tupper while she attended the University of Wales, Newport. The short is hand drawn 2D and inked with digital color. Music by Matt Davison.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

No more "Complete Dennis The Menace" Volumes?

I've talked about the "Complete Dennis the Menace" volumes that Fantagraphics Books has been putting out before, but after only six volumes the series seems to have stalled. The last volume came out back in 2009. We had no new volumes during 2010 and Dennis the Menace isn't even mentioned in the Fantagraphics spring/summer 2011 distributor release catalog . This along with disturbing rumors of the first six volumes showing up as remaindered books does not bode well for future releases. I do hope they continue releasing volumes in the "Complete Dennis the Menace" series but the future looks bleak.

CORRECTION: The last volume (Volume 6) actually came out February 2, 2010. For some reason I thought it came out in November or December of 2009. In any event, it's been almost a year and no new volumes have been announced. :-(

Friday, January 14, 2011

King Thrushbeard

Here's a cool book I picked up at a thrift store."King Thrushbeard" by Kurt Werth is a great story with neat illustrations.
"The traditional story of a bad-tempered princess who got her comeuppance and learned to be a lady has delighted generations of children in all it's many forms. Now, crisply retold from the German version and embellished with gloriously colored "story-telling" pictures, it will gather a new audience of devotees." - From the Dust-Jacket.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free Game - Apprentice II: The Knight's Move

If you enjoyed playing the adventure game "Apprentice" (which I talked about yesterday) , then you'll definitely enjoy the much longer and still free sequel Apprentice II: The Knight's Move.   Produced by Herculean Effort Productions, it's available only for PC and can be downloaded here, here or here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Free Game - Apprentice Deluxe

Here's a fun little adventure game produced by Herculean Effort Productions called "Apprentice". It's about a Magician's apprentice who wants to learn how to cast spells instead of just doing all the grunt work around the house. Available only for the PC it can be downloaded  here or here. These links are for the deluxe version of the game that has:

-Full voice
-New MP3 soundtrack
-Slightly improved graphics and animation
-Subtitles available in French, German, and Portuguese

It's a really fun game even though it's a bit short. Give it a try.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Archie: The Classic Newspaper Comics (1946-1948)

Everybody loves Archie! He's been a staple of American comics since the 1940's. IDW is currently reprinting the early years of the Archie comic strip in gorgeous hardcovers. The first volume, which reprints strips from 1946 to 1948 is available now with future volumes planned. Sweet!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Skies of Arcadia

Skies of Arcadia is one of the best games released for the Sega Dreamcast. It's a fun role-playing game with flying ship, floating islands and Sky Pirates. What's not to love?
An enhanced port was also released for the Nintendo Gamecube called "Skies of Arcadia Legends". It added some new optional quests, a new character  and a variety of other tweaks. The game didn't sell real well originally (either version) which is quite a shame as it's really good. It also means there's not much chance of a sequel. :-( As both games are long out of print, you'll need to hit up, eBay, craigslist, garage sales, thrift stores, pawn shops, or your local used video game store (such as Gamestop) to find a copy. I managed to find my copy at a local pawn shop for $10 but if you keep your eyes open you never know where you might run across it. Good Luck!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Plastic Man Pilot: "Puddle Trouble"

Here's an unused pilot for a Plastic Man cartoon pitched to Cartoon Network back in 2006. Produced by Andy Suriano and Tom Kenny (aka the voice of Spongebob Squarepants)  and designed and storyboarded by Stephen DeStefano.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Missile Mouse Volume 2: Rescue on Tankium 3


I've mentioned Jake Parker's Missile Mouse series before, but now that the second volume in this awesome series is available I felt I should bring it up again as it really is fun with a lot of humor. It's one of those rare series that's worth reading whether you are seven years old or pushing past the century mark. Grab yourself some good clean adventure and get reading!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Twelve Doctors of Christmas has posted the last part of their "The Twelve Doctors of Christmas" event which celebrates the many incarnations of your favorite Timelord from the long running science fiction series Doctor Who. As a long time viewer of Doctor Who it's interesting to read other people's thoughts on the various incarnations of the Doctor.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Collected Works of Carl Barks in English!

Good news everyone! Fantagraphics Books has announced they are collecting all of the Carl Barks duck stories into roughly thirty hardcover volumes. I've mentioned the  "Collected Works of Carl Barks" before but it's nice to know they are finally being released here in the United States in English. Robot 6 has the exclusive as well as an interview with Gary Groth from Fantagraphics Books. A quick rundown is the books will be released two a year at $24.99 a volume (much cheaper if you shop at They will be roughly 240 pages each. They will be 7" by 10" in size. The exact name of the series hasn't been announced yet so it is still up in the air if they will call them "The Collected Works of Carl Barks". They are also being completely recolored by artist Rich Tommaso to better reflect the original coloring. This way we don't end up with the horrible recoloring Carl Barks fans have had to put up with in the European collections. The first volume should be available this fall! All in all, 2011 is off to a great start!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I love buying all my favorite tv shows on DVD but trying to keep track of which shows are coming out with DVD sets can be a daunting task. Fortunately, news site is probably the best resource for keeping track of upcoming (Region 1) releases.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Free Game - Charlie Foxtrot & the Galaxy of Tomorrow

Charlie Foxtrot & the Galaxy of Tomorrow by BaRoN is a fun sci-fi parody adventure game.  I especially like the Doctor Who references. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wild Dogs

Here's a funny little animated short produced by Catherine Hicks while at Ringling College of Art and Design.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Baen Free Library

Well over a decade ago, Baen Books (a science fiction and fantasy publisher) started the Baen Free Library. This is a website where the publisher gives away free electronic copies of some of the books it publishes. They realized that by giving away free electronic copies without encryption (ie no DRM) sales for the printed versions shot up. It also allowed readers to discover new authors.So, if you like science fiction, pop on over to the Baen Free Library and check it out.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Han Solo Trilogy

 Way back in 1979 and 1980, Del Rey released three books about the rapscallion smuggler Han Solo. These were "Han Solo at Stars' End", "Han Solo's Revenge" and "Han Solo and the Lost Legacy". These were all written by science fiction author Brian Daley. While most attempts at writing novels set in the Star Wars universe fail miserably, these were actually quite good and still hold up well even after thirty years. Del Ray has released a compilation paperback called "Star Wars: The Han Solo Adventures" that contains all three books.