First, there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer; then its spin-off Angel; then the cult hit Firefly; and its follow-up film, Serenity. They all had two things in common: their creator, Joss Whedon . . . and their surprising psychological depth.
Revisit the worlds of Joss Whedon … with trained psychologists at your side. What are the psychological effects of constantly fighting for your life? Why is neuroscience the Whedonverse’s most terrifying villain? How can watching Joss’s shows help you take on your own psychological issues?
What if it turned out you could spend less time and less energy and have a better game as a result? It's time to unleash The Lazy Dungeon Master.
The Lazy Dungeon Master shows a new approach to game preparation, one that takes less time and gives your game the freedom to grow at the table. This book will help a dungeon master prepare awesome games for any version of D&D.
Based on the real-world experiences of hundreds of dungeon masters and dozens of professional game designers, The Lazy Dungeon Master includes interviews with veteran D&D DMs and a complete toolkit to help you improvise an entire game. Whether you play 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Pathfinder, or the D&D Next playtest, The Lazy Dungeon Master has tips, techniques, and advice to make preparation easier and help you run a flexible and entertaining game.
Firefly’s early demise left fans with a deep sense of loss and plenty of unanswered questions. From what was wrong with the pilot to what was right with the Reavers, from the use of Chinese to how correspondence between Joss and network executives might have gone, from a philosopher’s perspective on “Objects in Space” to a sex therapist’s analysis of Inara, Finding Serenity is filled with writing as exciting, funny and enthralling as the show itself.
In this follow-up to his first collection of essays - Shoot This One - television writer and producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach continues to overshare about his misadventures in the small screen to a degree that will make you fear for his future employment. Including, for the first time in print, Grillo-Marxuach’s internet-breaking, no-holds-barred account of the creation of the hit show Lost, as well as the never-before-seen “mean version” of his essay “The Eleven Laws of Showrunning” - an incendiary assault on the toxic culture behind many TV series - the essays in Shoot That One offer both a tantalizing glimpse into the inner circles of the entertainment industry as well a management lesson disguised as a juicy tell-all.
Comic book superheroines bend steel, travel across time and space, and wield the awesome forces of nature. These mighty females do everything that male superheroes do. But they have to work their wonders in skirts and high heels.The Supergirls, a cultural history of comic book heroines, asks whether their world of fantasy is that different from our own. Are the stories of Wonder Woman’s search for an identity, Batwoman and Power Girl’s battle for equality, and Manhunter’s juggling of a crime fighting career and motherhood also an alternative saga of modern American women?
Did you ever want to attend the biggest popular arts festival in the United States? Come along on a 5-day odyssey of all things nerdy. Part travelogue, part love letter, Colby Elliott and his traveling companions give you a badge holder’s eye view of the amazing spectacle that is Comic-Con. And find the answer to the question: Just how many miles do you actually walk when you’re at Nerdopolis?
All zombies are created equal. All zombie stories are not.
From its humble beginnings as an indie comic book, The Walking Dead has become a pop culture juggernaut boasting New York Times–bestselling trade paperbacks, a hit television series, and enough fans to successfully take on any zombie uprising.
Triumph of The Walking Dead explores the intriguing characters, stunning plot twists, and spectacular violence that make Robert Kirkman’s epic the most famous work of the Zombie Renaissance. The Walking Dead novels’ co-author Jay Bonansinga provides the inside story on translating the comics into prose; New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry takes on the notion of leadership (especially Rick Grimes’) during the zombie apocalypse; Harvard professor Steven Schlozman dissects the disturbing role of science in the television series; and more.
Triumph of The Walking Dead features a foreword by horror legend Joe R. Lansdale.
A lot has happened since Finding Serenity. We learned River’s secret; Mal took on the Alliance. Our favorite crew became Big Damn Heroes. And the Browncoats proved that hard work, passion and a little fan coordination can do the impossible. Serenity Found takes the contents of Finding Serenity even further, exploring not just the show but the events of the film as well, to create an anthology that’s even more thought-provoking, fascinating and far-thinking than its predecessor.
* Acclaimed science fiction author Orson Scott Card lauds Serenity as film sci-fi finally done right
* Writer and comedian Natalie Haynes reveals the real feminist savvy of the Firefly universe: the girls get the guns and the gags
* Pop culture critic Michael Marano connects damaged, ass-kicking River to the other weaponized women of the Whedonverse
* Multiverse executive producer Corey Bridges explains why the world of Firefly is the perfect setting for an MMORPG
* Mutant Enemy’s visual effects wizard Loni Peristere relates what he’s learned from Joss about telling stories, and tells a story of his own about Serenity’s design
* Television Without Pity recapper Jacob Clifton frames Serenity as a parable about media: how it controls us, how we can control it and how to separate the signal from the noise
* And Nathan Fillion, Firefly and Serenity’s Captain Malcolm Reynolds, shares his affinity for Mal and his love of Mal’s ship and crew.
Compiled by a veteran writer of the comic series, this collection of essays explores Batman’s motivations and actions, as well as those of his foes. Batman is a creature of the night, more about vengeance than justice, more plagued by doubts than full of self-assurance, and more darkness than light. He has no superpowers, just skill, drive, and a really well-made suit. One of the most recognized superheroes ever created, Batman has survived through campy TV shows and films, through actors like Adam West, Michael Keaton, and Christian Bale. It covers both the silly and the solemn, asking questions like Why is the Joker so good at pushing Batman’s buttons? What does Batman’s technology say about the times? Why are Batman’s villains crazier than average? and Why is Batman the perfect, iconic American hero?
This close look at Wonder Woman’s history portrays a complicated heroine who is more than just a female Superman with a golden lasso and bullet-deflecting bracelets. The original Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, advocating female superiority and the benefits of matriarchy in the 1940s. At the same time, her creator filled the comics with titillating bondage imagery, and Wonder Woman was tied up as often as she saved the world. In the 1950s, Wonder Woman begrudgingly continued her superheroic mission, wishing she could settle down with her boyfriend instead, all while continually hinting at hidden lesbian leanings. While other female characters stepped forward as women’s lib took off in the late 1960s, Wonder Woman fell backwards, losing her superpowers and flitting from man to man. Ms. magazine and Lynda Carter restored Wonder Woman’s feminist strength in the 1970s, turning her into a powerful symbol as her checkered past was quickly forgotten. Exploring this lost history adds new dimensions to the world’s most beloved female character, and Wonder Woman Unbound delves into her comic book and its spin-offs as well as the myriad motivations of her creators to showcase the peculiar journey that led to Wonder Woman’s iconic status.
After journeying to Nerdopolis in San Diego, what’s the next geeky peak to climb? Colby packs his bags and heads to the Big Apple for the sights and sounds of New York Comic-Con! Get a view from the con floor as he explores the back issues, the panels and the celebration of multimedia that is NYCC in another exciting installment of this nerdly travelogue!
This collection of irreverent and surprising essays about the popular television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer includes pieces by leading science fiction and fantasy authors. Contributors include bestselling legend David Brin, critically acclaimed novelist Scott Westerfeld, cult-favorite vampire author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and award-winner Sarah Zettel. The show and its cast are the topics of such critical pieces as Lawrence Watt-Evans's “Matchmaking in Hellmouth” and Sherrilyn Kenyon's “The Search for Spike's Balls.” An informed introduction for those not well acquainted with the show, and a source of further research for Buffy buffs, this book raises interesting questions concerning a much-loved program and future cult classic.
Every summer, more than 130,000 comic fans, gamers, cosplay enthusiasts, and nerds of all stripes descend on San Diego to mingle with the top entertainment celebrities and creative industry professionals in an unprecedented celebration of popular culture in all its forms.
From humble beginnings, Comic-Con has mutated into an electrifying, exhausting galaxy of movies, TV, video games, art, fashion, toys, merchandise, and buzz. It’s where the future of entertainment unspools in real time, and everyone wants to be there.
In Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture, author Rob Salkowitz, a recognized expert in digital media and the global digital generation (and unabashed comics enthusiast), explores how the humble art form of comics ended up at the center of the 21st-century media universe. From Comic-Con’s massive exhibit hall and panels to its exclusive parties and business suites, Salkowitz peels back the layers to show how comics culture is influencing communications, entertainment, digital technology, marketing, education, and storytelling.
How do you become a television writer? What does it take to create your own show? Did the writers of Lost really have a plan, or were they making it all up as they went? In a career spanning far longer than he cares to admit, Javier Grillo-Marxuach has not only written for some of your favorite (and not-so-favorite) shows — from the Emmy Award-winning Lost, to Charmed,
Medium, Law & Order: SVU, and seaQuest — but also worked as a network executive, created a comic book that became a cult television series, co-hosted a popular podcast, and contributed essays on the entertainment industry to such publications as The Los Angeles Review of Books, io9.com
and Apex Magazine. Collected for the first time, Grillo-Marxuach’s occasionally far-too-revealing essays offer a true insider’s look into the good, the bad, and the frequently bat-guano insane inner workings of the entertainment industry.
Often, we treat games like work. We buy shelves of thick books. We plan detailed adventures. We memorize rules.
In Play Unsafe, Graham Walmsley explores what happens when you throw the serious stuff away: when you stop working, stop planning and start playing.
This book explains how to make roleplaying less like work and more like play; stop killing other players' ideas and build on them instead, and put stories at the heart of your game.
Last Word Audio
My Peculiar Family is an anthology of gothic horror and unusual stories like none ever published before! Combining New York Times bestselling authors (Christopher Golden, Tracy Hickman), Amazon bestselling authors (William Meikle, Derrick Belanger, Rob Watts), award-winning authors (James A. Moore, Stacey Longo), and emerging talents, this anthology unites these authors, who have sold millions and million books between them, to come together for a common cause. What makes this anthology so original? A woman by the name of Chyna Dale discovers in her attic a box of old tintype photos. Each picture features a mysterious portrait of a single person. Who are these people? What are their stories? What makes them so…peculiar? Each author had to answer these questions in their unique tale. All of the authors received one of Chyna Dale’s tintypes, a name for the photographed person, and the person’s occupation. Some of the stories are more on the horror side, some more paranormal, some science-fiction/fantasy, but all are linked together by Chyna Dale’s discovery.
Journey to the castle of the mad scientist and hear tales of imagination to both amaze and astound! In the grand traditions of the late-night horror movie and 1950s scary comics comes an anthology for those who love Science Fiction.
Hear unearthed classic tales from authors such as Fritz Leiber, Harry Harrison, and other masters of the genre.
Your host may also let you poke around the lab a little. But be careful…those tanks contain beasties best left suspended in their animation!
Last Word Audio © 2013
Five years ago, the Lazy Dungeon Master offered a simplifed approach for preparing fantasy RPGs with one clear directive: prepare only what most benefits our games. This focus on lightweight preparation and improvisational preparation resonated with many GMs.
With the release of the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the world of fantasy roleplaying has changed and expanded. Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master builds off of the concepts of the Lazy Dungeon Master, updating that book with five years of new experiences, new approaches, and new observations of the way people prepare and run RPGs.
Has your game got the blahs? Are your players spending more time thumbing through your book collection than hunting down clues, more energy heckling one another than in crushing their cruel foes?
Never fear, o beleaguered Game Masters, for Robin D. Laws, noted game designer (Feng Shui, Hero Wars, Dying Earth, Rune) and columnist for Dragon magazine is here to help.
Know your players! Analyze your system! Build your campaign! Design adventures! Prepare to be spontaneous, and improvise like a fiend!
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced roller of the polyhedrals, the insights in this book will improve your Game Mastering faster than you can say, "Roll for initiative!