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Showing posts from June, 2020

Barrels Out of Bond?

Last week, we lost a man near and dear to a great many nerds. Sir Ian Holm passed away and left for the Undying Lands, and it shall be a sadder Hobbit Day this September. It is an utter shame and loss to us all that he couldn’t grow to Bilbo's ripe age of 131. Bilbo bookends the whole trilogy for us. Before we even start the epic journey through Middle Earth, we have Bilbo’s birthday, and we end (almost) with his trip to the Undying Lands. Bilbo is, in a way, our journey through Lord of the Rings. We’re borne into the series in fellowship with his birthday. We’re excited to see Frodo and his friends make it to the Last Homely House, and we’re jealous that Frodo has the Ring and not us. Finally, our journey ends with all of us on the ship to the Undying Lands with him. End of the story. How lucky we were to have such an excellent actor help us on this quest! This week we’re taking a look at one of the more dangerous events of Bilbo’s burglar career. If you’ve read the Hobbit or watc

Unclouded by Conscience, Remorse, or Delusions of Morality: Ash and the Face of Corporate Evil

Ian Holm's last film role was in 2014's The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies but he's made a surprise appearance in the past few months thanks to a meme that popped up with the COVID-19 lockdown referencing 1979's Alien , and one of Holm's most well-known roles. Of course, many (including myself) pointed out that the movie was even more relevant to the current situation than than the meme suggests: Ash brings the infected Kane onto the ship based on secret corporate orders, fully aware of the horror this will result in. Right around the time this meme first appeared, we began to hear calls for immediate "reopening," and that the countless resulting deaths would be a small price to pay for the good of America's corporate elite. Had Alien writer Dan O'Bannon given the character that kind of dialogue, ("The crew are expendable, but consider the good your sacrifice will do the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and its shareholders.") he would have

Strange, Familiar Visitor from Another Planet - Superman and Storytelling

What was your first Superman story? It should be a simple question. I can tell you my first Batman story - the 1966 Adam West series, of course, which remains one of my favorite comic adaptations. Or my first Spider-Man story, via a tape of the 1967 animated series episodes. But for Superman, it’s not as clear. Every time I think about it, an earlier memory pops up. Superman II (taped off HBO)? The Fleisher cartoons (copied from a rented collection)? A couple comic issues from a yard sale? The Atari 2600 game? General vague awareness aside (all of these were preceded by Sesame Street’s Super Grover, after all), that first piece of actual Superman media remains shrouded in some half-discovered, half-imagined past - not unlike the man’s own experience with the world of Krypton. While I was born into the tail end of 70s-80s Supermania (and, thankfully, a family with a relaxed attitude toward copyright law), I doubt my experience is unique. Superman has been a towering presence in popular

Moment of Silence

In deference to the murders of George Floyd and countless other Black individuals through acts of brutal police violence, Never Say Dice will not be updating this week. Please consider looking into the of work of RPG creators of color - I recommend starting with those of my former GM, Chris Spivey, at Darker Hue Studios , and of my friend and fellow Balticon participant, James Mendez Hodes , as well as thinking of what you can do to make your an inclusive table. - Bugsy