Monday, October 4, 2010

Buy my book!





otsa crap's been going on, if you haven't gathered by my inability to update a blog. I'm currently locked at my PC uploading tons of Halloween miniatures up on Etsy, so I thought it'd be a sweet, sweet time to inform you of all the craziness.

Horror Realm was absolutely fantastic. As always I had a great time and it was awesome to see everyone again. There's rumor of a mini-Horror Realm happening in March- like, one day or so- so I think I'll be running AMPUTHEATRE at that again. I'll let you all know.

I wasn't aware if I told you all about this, though:




HELL YEAH! The AMPUTHEATRE Rulebook is finally out! Boasting the complete rules, quick-start rules to jump into the action, artwork by myself and Chris Pallace, and a cover by Kevin Serwacki! 48 pages of black-and-white mayhem for only $14.99! Or download the color version for $8.99! Click on the preview to check out the pages!

Also available in the new AMPUTHEATRE bookstore are downloads of Slasher Sheets! They'll be trickling in over the months to come, but for now, you can download all the information you'll need to play two of the World's Goriest Board Game's most popular Slashers: game con favorite Jinglebuuny, and horror con favorite Trigger Treat! Only $2.99 each!

Other work on the way will include Order and Chaos Card decks, and full-color boards. So stay tuned!


New AMPUTHEATRE figures
are in the Etsy store once again. In fact, He Who Wilts, Quacksalver, and Thrush all make their debuts on the marketplace.

Buy all this crap, and we'll talk again. I've got to update my website as well now...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Still here, actually





irst of all, appy-polly-loggys for not updating this blog more often. I'm trying to finish the AMPUTHEATRE Rule Book before the Horror Realm this September, and (you've heard this before) I find that blogging is something I don't want to bother with when toiling on text in Adobe InDesign. And you know what else I find a drag...? Writing strategy for the Slashers. The book is going to include the profiles and stats of (I think) sixteen characters, and I can only write "a robust assortment of powerful attacks" so many times before sleep sets in. Yug.

I went to Portland, Maine for the Fourth of July weekend. From our vantage point on the island where my mother-in-law lives, my wife and I got to watch the fireworks from four other islands. I'd like to thank my friend Heather from The Portland Quest Center for letting me present my monsters to her students. Heather gives my monsters out as rewards to the most outstanding of her charges. Here are some examples of the creatures I've sold her; if you've already seen these guys I'm sorry about that:


...I love the guy in the demon mask, particularly.



But enough about me. Congratulations to Cathy Horner of Kingsport, TN! She's the winner of the Zombies & Toys-Chenille Macabre contest and thus the lucky recipient of the Zombie Woman Figure! Way to go, Cathy! Enjoy your Zombie! Thanks to Jason of Zombies & Toys as well, and all who took part in the Undead Bazaar! It sounds like it'll happen again next year, too! Thanks also to those of you who found me through Z&T!



...Now back to me. AMPUTHEATRE was quite crowded last Friday- two full boards with folks still waiting to play!- so work has begun on a third board. Behold: the new and improved Mt. Ripper!

Still under construction, and currently being played on by some of my Mortal Kombat figures. It's so cute. They think they're not going to get in trouble for this. But I forgive them- I figured they wanted to fight on a dangerous board for once. I keed, I keed.

The new Mt. Ripper board is getting a massive overhaul. First off, it's larger that the original AMPUTHEATRE: 10 spaces by 12, meaning Gnash and Trigger Treat will enjoy themselves. Second, the Mandible Gunsaw on the top now rests on blood-drinking grates, meaning you'll have to abandon the gun if you want to reliably heal (which I see a lot of my players NOT doing, honestly.) Finally, the two gray spaces will hold the board's two signature weapons: guns. I know I want one of them to be an assault rifle.

(Some folks might not like the idea of guns in AMPUTHEATRE- I sang NEVER NEVER NEVER for the longest time- but the idea of signature weapons on certain boards is a nice compromise.)

Less obvious changes from the first Mt. Ripper include a subtraction of cheese from the Gunsaw. It can now only target Slashers within the caution tape. You'll notice a line just before the peak. Thus, you'll have to find another way to deal with Slashers who share the top with you. (You're allowed to aim the Gunsaw in any other quadrant during the Rally Action, which led to cheesy 5d8 Weapon Attacks with the damn thing.) Also, the Chaos Deck for Mt. Ripper will sport a few guns: smaller firearms, like 9mm pistols and UZIs.

Finally, there's something else we're working on in regards to AMPUTHEATRE. I'll post it up here when we're nearer completion with it.

(...)

A number of the movies I've seen since I last blogged here: How To Train Your Dragon (bliss), Survival Of The Dead (better than Diary), Firepower (starring The Ultimate Warrior in an endless series of insomnia-curing cage matches), Aswang (forgot my rule about too many laurel wreaths on the DVD box, but I'll let this one slide), The Crow: City of Angels (still sucks harder than an airline crapper), Xanadu (EVEN SUCKIER!), Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (turned it off when this "Edward" thing squealed its way onto my television; I'd never seen her before), Stripped To Kill (not bad), and Honeymoon Horror (worth it for the human voice imitating coffee grounds being scooped up).

Twice. The sound is imitated twice.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Interview with me!!





op on over to read this interview with me conducted by our friends over at Zombies & Toys. Also, don't forget to enter this contest, where you can win your very own Zombie Woman Figure!

She stands 5" high and sports drool and intestines! Enter today; she's extra poseable!

Monday, May 17, 2010

There will NOT be a Hsu Hao





ack from a little trip from my home state of Pennsylvania. Ah, Pennsylvania. Where "JELLY BELLY, HOMEMADE FUDGE, STUN GUNS, KNIVES," and "SWORDS" all read on the same electronic highway marquee. Only you, PA. I love ya. Anyway: saw my parents, saw Doc Sk8, saw the Steel City Derby Demons kick visiting roller derby butt (209-30!) , saw my aunt and saw my nieces. A great getaway.

I made a new section to my Etsy store. It's called Grim History Miniatures, and it's gonna feature real-life terrors from our fearful olden days. Look for plague doctors, pirates, executioners, and other such scary reminders. If it does well, I'll plumb the pages of our past for more miniatures.

On the side, I'm currently reviving my deviantART page with some Mortal Kombat figures.
Mortal Kombat 9 is coming out this Christmas and in the mad dash to find out any and all information about it, I'm throwing my artwork into the pandemonium for publicity:

First off is one of my favorite guys, Sektor:
























...Here's Tanya:

























And here's Kobra, whom my friend Cuss Muffin says looks like Sam Elliott as Buzz Aldrin. I don't know if I can make that, so I'll accept that as a compliment:























This shit works. My Boomer Mini from Left 4 Dead is approaching 7,000 views now.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Undead Bazaar!





ear ye, hear ye! The Undead Bazaar is happening right now, all May long, courtesy of our friends at Zombies & Toys!

Keep your eyes glued to the Bazaar as there will be interviews with crazed crafters of the occult, along with contests to win some free swag! There's even an upcoming interview with a certain pipe cleaner artist who does this blog, and crap...

Kudos to Jason at Z&T for bringing this all together! All May long! Watch!

Monday, April 26, 2010

AMPUTHEATRE Crime Scene (4-23-10)





ere's some photos of the AMPUTHEATRE action that went down last Friday! This is going to be a new feature on the blog, because I am frankly embarrassed of how few pictures of AMPUTHEATRE gameplay I honestly have.

This was the Millennium Games & Hobbies premiere of the evil new Green Inferno board:
Action is already well under way, as you can see. Clockwise from left: Black Annis, Locusta, Trigger Treat, Varga, Quacksalver, Mr. Eyeball Plucker, and D'Seff. Ashezz was the first to die. Quacksalver is prone, bleeding, and missing an arm thanks to a swarm of jungle ants; he's seen better days...

Mr. Eyeball Plucker retreats to the edge of the battlefield, where Varga's evil henchmen Brank awaits!

Crucifiend, Thrush and The Thicket (who loves small boards) all enter the fray. I had never seen Thrush and Cruiser go at before, so this was exciting to me! Here the evil marsupial rat gets the jump on the pale behemoth with her destructive Death Roll throw. Biting a Slasher in the neck, Thrush tumbles around with them, bowling over all in their path.


Teleporting around in an effort to Sunder someone, Mr. Eyeball Plucker appears too close to the mighty D'Seff! The two-headed death machine grabs him in both jaws and tears him apart with this patented Tug Of War attack! Meanwhile the buzzsaw-headed robot Gutwrench looks on, hoping for the right moment to make a play for the Camping Axe.


A massive clusterfuck in the foreground! While Gutwrench, Trigger Treat and Thrush squabble, Crucifiend is bleeding, Sundered, and- courtesy of the wail of the marine banshee Hagfish -on fire! In the background, The Thicket battles with Varga- who has remained relatively healthy throughout the entire fight!

And as the smoke cleared and Millennium neared closing hours, Varga was the original character with the most health left, making her the unofficial winner! (Not that we truly care...)

Want in on the next game? Join the AMPUTHEATRE Facebook group to find out when new games are occurring!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

RAHH GIL SMASH STUPID COLOR FORMATTING RAAAHHH





iped out, we are, me bitch-ezzzzzzzz. Twelve straight hours of running AMPUTHEATRE at the UBCon will do that to a man. Had to nurse a little bit of burnout before I could blog again. You see, in preparation for both SIMCON and UBCon, I built upwards of thirty to forty Slasher figures to debut with the new official smaller scale, as well as a new board. Along with the Chenille Macabre work, both for Etsy and as custom. And before this sounds too much like whining, I'll point out that I love the monsters I built for Etsy this week, and one of my commissions is turning out even more awesome than I originally thought.

And another wonderful cure for burnout is fan mail. I've gotten some recently, and I really do appreciate this because it's nice to know that my stuff is actually being seen and read. LiveJournal decided that this fan letter from Sincubus would look awesome if it were in white text on a white background (lemme guess, my format settings) so I'll take this time to answer some questions for you all. (He submitted his own ideas for characters as well, which is too cool, so hit that link, highlight the text with your mouse, and check out Sincubus' stuff.)

I want to say that I’m really surprised that this INSANELY (good) game of yours is so hard to find on Google and the rest of the net that it almost made me slam my computer to the ground out of stress because I wanted to view some of the missing profiles so badly...

Interrupting: We lost our original .url for a while there. It's ours again. Look for it soon! Continue:

I would have thought that when I would type Boomslang (for example) in on Google that I would find tons of pictures and information about her... but all I get are Dutch versions of tree vipers... (boomslang means tree snake in Holland) too bad...

I would have thought to find tons of fan-sites of AMPUTHEATRE because the characters are really well thought out; they in fact are ten times as good and one hundred times more original than the characters of one of my other favorite games Mortal Kombat.

Maybe you can tell me where to find the profiles of:

Boomslang
Scounch One-Ear
Dr.Thoth
The Toll
Nest (I’ve never seen him, but he probably has something to do with rats or killer bees right?)
The Bloodbeards
The Brunswich Eel
Urameshii
Vrakk
Dr.Ghanger
Copscotch
Mark Deck
Ling Chi
Maneater
Headcount
Mamba
Pirate Blackwell
Deathwish
Y'Shakaa
Epitome
The She-goat
Greasefire
Zamov
Heartstopper
Kali
Cycad
Scarmaker
Imbarhu
Tusagti
Tsatsara (that really cool voodoo witch)
Nefelia
Malmignatte
Varga

And are there more Slashers I forgot about? (and which are not on the main-site profiles)

For the first time in life you made me feel bad I’m not a millionaire, because if I was I would buy all characters, stages and items from you instantly, because I’m a very bad collector, I want them all in one buy, I have no patience for one by one collections.

I've been feeling bad that I'm not a millionaire for a long time. Flattery gets you everywhere with me.

The main reason that AMPUTHEATRE characters seem to come and go is because the game rules are constantly being revised and updated. When major rule changes occur- for example, adding a Steal basic attack and the concept of Desperate Measure Evil Deeds- that means major Slasher rule changes occur. And out of the tons of Slashers this game has, the most popular ones are the first to be updated. So Jinglebunny, Crucifiend, Gnash, Gutwrench, etc., they get top dibs. Urameshii and Varga are already back; they received raves at UBCon and will have Slasher profiles up shortly. Y'Shakaa and Scounch One-Ear are coming back too; they happen to be two of the favorite slashers for Roc City Roller Derby Penalty Box Keeper Grief Erickson to play, and I'd rather not piss him off.

Nefelia is back, but she's been reborn as Black Annis. I've wanted to do the evil environmentalist for years- the left-wing extremist who performs actual documented methods of animal cruelty against human beings. She just took a few tries (and figures) to get right.

Here's the finished figure. And now it looks as if I've begun writing first-person perspective Slasher bios...

“My real name is Janice Sewickley, but the tabloids call me “Black Annis” after the mythical witch who wove her dress from human skin. So be it. I’ll be a witch if that’s what it takes to convince mankind that fur is wrong. But what does infuriate me is how often the press affiliates me with the Humans for Animal Rights Movement- I left that bunch of poseurs years ago! What kind of ‘Earth First’ outfit tolerates ‘controlled hunting’? Or owns a website? Blasphemy. I seek to completely free Mother Earth from the crushing advance of technology. My latest victory for Terra is the liberation of Her rarest and most powerful children. The Wardens of AMPUTHEATRE were torturing proud, innocent animals such as Sunderella and Xenichthys by forcing them into combat with known murderers. I did what was necessary: I felled the walls of Correctional Facility Alpha with carefully placed explosives, releasing man and animal alike into the wild. What matters is that the animals are no longer oppressed- the Slashers unleashed upon the country are of no importance.”

As if you didn't have enough to concern you while you were battling off Gnash and Crucifiend, Black Annis has a Save The Whales Evil Deed that lets her perform an Onslaught against anyone who tries to hurt a Monstrous Slasher. Her Shark Finning lets her rip off a limb and deposit her victim elsewhere, and her Chinchilla Grip is an AWESOME death move- she breaks her victim's neck by pulling straight up, detaching the vertebrae and turning them into a spastic kicking Trap in their last helpless moments.

Supposedly this is the best way to procure the fur from a chinchilla. Ah, AMPUTHEATRE- the research I do for you...

I'd shower, but I have to finish this post. Malmignatte is also back, but she's been redesigned as Portia. What the hell; I'll repeat the post:

Unruly and bratty, Amanda Goode was enrolled into the convent at The Church Of The Cleansing Moon at the age of six. After three years of trying to living up to the challenging Catholic ideals, she discovered The Church’s grim secret- virgin girls were bled out to rejuvenate the strength of the Mother Superior. On the run with this knowledge, Amanda was rescued by road travellers who eventually revealed themselves to be acolytes of the notorious Spider Cult. Her conflict of faith made her easy prey to the spell of the high priest Lycosus. Seeing much potential in the young girl, Lycosus educated her in the Cult’s arcane sorceries. Amanda was ultimately transformed into the grotesque Portia (named after a genus of jumping spider). The sheer distance of her leaps and the strength of her venom (the most toxic in all the Cult) hastened her prominence within the Cult, as well as to Lycosus’ side as his betrothed. Though much too young to legally compete in the AMPUTHEATRE, Portia nonetheless breaks into the arena to liberate her high priest and lover.


I know what you've been wanting: "Gil, we don't have enough reasons to despise Lycosus!" Portia has the longest range Charges in AMPUTHEATRE, and her Safety Line Desperate Measure lets her land outside her victim's Counter-Range if the Charge goes wrong. Her coolest attack is the Headdesk; she leaps up, pulls her opponent's head into the earth, and slides away in one fluid motion.


Most of the other characters will return over the weeks and months to come (Zamov and Ling Chi were cool!) but for now I will discuss characters that you shouldn't expect to return any time soon:


Dr.Ghanger was our version of Shang Tsung. He was the world's fastest plastic surgeon, and he could reshape his own appearance to resemble (and perform the attacks of) any Slasher that wasn't on the board. The sheer complexity of this character did not make him popular to play, so he's on the bench for a while.


Mamba was a fierce lady biker with her own motorcycle, and she performed attacks while riding. This became a pain-in-the-ass. In her numerous playtests she kept falling off the bike, and other Slashers would try to ride it which complicated everything immensely. So I wrote some bullshit about how only she could start the bike due to electromagnetic boot plates, leading to a Slasher sheet printed in size 4 font to explain how everything logically worked and oh fuck it! Plus I didn't make the Maisto motorcycle she was always photographed with, and while it's no secret that I borrow accessories here and there for my game, the bike is too big a chunk of work to pass off as inoffensive sampling.

Mamba is out of AMPUTHEATRE, but she lives on in both Riptease and Imbarhu. Riptease is the roller skating psycho, and Imbarhu rides a demonic steed- which disappears if he's dismounted.


Kali isn't coming back; plain and simple. It sucks, because she was very popular as a Slasher- very strong, four arms, a Thuggee henchman who leaned into the arena to throttle people. Two reasons she gone: first, originality. Kali simply isn't my concept. Second: religious imagery. The Indian Black Earth Mother is still held sacred by many Hindus- to wit, Matchbox got in trouble when they included Kali in their Monster In My Pocket toys. They changed her name to Four-Armed Woman. Oh, the horror...

But Gil, you have Crossface in the game; why not Kali? That's right. Crossface. Not Jesus. AMPUTHEATRE Character Design rule #363: make practitioners of religions, not the gods themselves. One day I'll make a Thuggee warrior for the game, once I get past how relatively uninteresting they were. Seriously. They didn't have mystics or magic or anything- all they did was strangle people. Hell, my mom can strangle people. There's no AMPUTHEATRE figure of her.

If you miss Kali, she lives on in both Kaiaphas (who has four arms, and has the added bonus of not looking a thing like a Mortal Kombat Shokan warrior) and Varga, who has adopted the Thuggee Throttle and transformed it into her own Scold Bridle. It's the exact same move, only instead of a turbanned throttler, Varga has Brank: an obese prison disciplinarian with a ball gag:

Hope that works for you; it does me. I wanted a hefty female orderly in the game somewhere, but very few people wanted to play such a character. And if you still miss Kali, well she's currently available for sale at the Etsy store. As the Queen of Destruction. With swords!


Epitome. And speaking of characters that no one wanted to play... pull up a seat kids, because I only want to discuss this once. I don't like to talk about what I will and won't do in this game, but eff it. This is why we playtest.

Epitome was a white supremacist boxer. I got the idea from when Cassius Clay announced his affiliation with the Nation of Islam and became Muhammad Ali. So I thought, What if that happened with a white guy? He'd be an AWESOME villain! Sure the subject matter is abhorrent, but Marvel Comics has TONS of evil Nazis like Baron Blood and the Red Skull, and you can buy German WWII model kits and soldiers at your nearby hobby shop. So why can't I do this...?

I was proud of the story. I still am. Epitome wanted to fight the Slashers and score one for the "Master (bating) Race", but he was afraid to absorb their impure blood. So he sunk his championship fortune into a black market blood serum called Plasmogen which destroyed any Amputech entering his body. The trouble was that Plasmogen lacked the platelets of his regular blood- forcing him to wear a respirator, and it was a deep purple in color, turning his skin a faint lavender. So there was the excellent E.C. comics-inspired twist- his own idiotic hate turned him into what he hated the most- a handicapped person of another color. And a feminine color at that. I thought This is good, this is poetic justice, this is a great concept.

The trouble is that once you place Epitome on the game board, the irony doesn't follow him. NONE of my playtesters wanted to play a racist. Even one as goofy-looking as Epitome. Even one with a Resist score of 1d10 (so it was quite clear that was a moron). Even after I had him renamed the pejorative "Lilac" (his real name was Lyle, and Jinglebunny was teasing him). My wife hated him, my friends hated him... I'm not exactly sure of the rationale that lets people accept fictional mass murderers but NOT fictional racists, but there you are.


Well that's not entirely true. The Red Skull has his loathsomeness tempered by the fact that Captain America keeps kicking his ass. Similarly, wargamers recreating D-Day in plastic and dice rolling take pride in knowing we stomped Hitler's ass. What clinched everything was the one time when I was demoing AMPUTHEATRE for some black students, and when I went to get a new Slasher, there was the Epitome figure staring back at me. Um, no. HELL no. "Trust me, this is all awash in comic irony," I imagined myself saying through a bloodied mouth jammed with a lavender pipe cleaner figure.

I still liked Epitome's character design, but changes to the story (he's friends with Y'Shakaa!) deadened its initial impact. So Epitome sits on my shelf, where he'll stay.

But I do have a new boxer character lined up, sporting Epitome's non-racist-asshole attacks, and he'll debut soon. So please play him when you see him.

...And yet people still play the homophobic shitheel Crossface! WTF!?


Thanks so much for writing, Sincubus. I hope this answered some of your questions! Don't forget: AMPUTHEATRE is on Facebook where I announce meets and new happenings as well!

Copscotch and Mark Deck? Dude. I don't even remember uploading them. Maybe I do have way too many characters...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dear Penthouse of Carpathia...





eads up. The Chenille Macabre Etsy store will be closed tonight after midnight, in order to sell some monsters over at ye olde UBCon. Selling monsters at shows and finding out that someone bought the exact same monster online... well ahem, that's never ever happened to me before, ever. I'll relieve the store of its Vacation Mode come Monday, April 12th, but if there's a creature on sale that you've had your eye on for a while, you might not want to wait 'til after this weekend...

More Heads Up: The UBCon AMPUTHEATRE Splatter Royal has been slightly rescheduled: it now runs from 12pm-10pm on Saturday and 12pm-3pm Sunday. The Dealer's Room is officially open during those hours, and that's where I always play. Sleep in a little bit, folks- I know I will.

...So I got both of my Spring 2010 hard copies of Dark Gothic Resurrected in the mail (one is for the 'rents) and I'm very pleased with the book. It doesn't hurt that I'M in it of course, but I like the quality of this magazine and I'm delighted with how the photos I sent of my work translated to black-and-white. It's also got in it some vampire erotica, so I'll definitely be setting DGR on the coffee table for my next party- when my friends see my name on the cover, they'll leaf right past my interview towards "The Pink of Twilight" and drunkenly read it aloud.

See you guys tomorrow at UBCon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Typo every two words, Gil-Monster: GO TO BED





osing consciousness... time for some quick bloggery afore teh bedtimez.

I'm working on finishing up the Green Inferno before UBCon, which is of course, this coming weekend. I've decided that the boards should all have their own Weapons, Spells, Traps, and Evil Wardens- the latter is what I'm stuck on currently.

I finished the Weapons though. Want to know what they are?

Common Weapons: Chain Saw, Andiron, Cleaver, 2 x 4, Sledge Hammer, Crowbar.

New Weapons: Camping Axe, Fire Poker, Hedge Trimmer, Cultivator, Pest Sprayer, Blow Gun, Big Stick, Tent Peg, Pole Saw, Catch Snare, Power Drill, Garden Shears, Club Hammer, Scissors, Wrench, Barbeque Fork, Machete, Wasp Nest.

Revealed Weapon: Gas Can.

The Wasp Nest is on a branch, letting you smack Slashers with it. The Gas Can sits in the middle of the arena at the game's start (this is a board surrounded by fire...)

And when I say Cultivator, I mean the poles with five or six spinning spurs at the end. Ohhhhh yeah. You want to hit someone with that, too.

See me at UBCOn- it'll happen that way...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Media Blitzing





or whatever weird reason, Blogger was being very mean to photographs two days ago. So that's why there was no Monday update. Which sucked, because I wanted to discuss SIMCON 2010 and the most excellent and awesome time I had at it.

The good news and the bad news are the same: we weren't running enough tables of AMPUTHEATRE. I hadn't gotten the Green Inferno board finished, but I did have 48 playable Slashers by last weekend, so cut me a little slack, yo. I broke out my larger set on Sunday and both tables were packed. Holy crapsticks.

If you didn't get to play: my apologies. In my chats with the SIMCON Reg Desk Monkeys, we're going to have much more tables next year. And be sure to join the Facebook Page because I announce new games of AMPUTHEATRE there. You can also check out photos of the game in action, courtesy of Christopher Price. I will of course be at the UBCon in two weeks, so you can play there as well. We're going to have much more tables next year at SIMCON- believe it. I'm thinking about a tournament for next year.

Highlights on my table included the discovery of a lost spell from the Arcanuum Ex Mysteriius that was apparently written in Grizzly Bear (Sunderella used a Corrode spell on the Meat Cleaver that I was wielding.) Another player chose to twice play Taenia of their own accord- and they played her quite well, I'm happy to say.

...Nah, you know what? It's getting late. I'm ending the post here. Want to hear a little bit more from me this week? Well, I'm gonna make you work for it. Two ways:

1) Pick up the April 2010 issue of Dark Gothic Resurrected, where, amongst slices of poetry from denizens of the nocturne, lurks an interview with me. And if you're poor...

2) Tune in to the Metallic Onslaught Radio Show this Friday night at around 9 pm on WEOS to hear me blab about AMPUTHEATRE, my work with both pipe cleaners and the roller derby, and also foist some of my own music onto Joe and Randy and the rest.

Okay. SO bedtime.

Monday, March 22, 2010

All dinosaurs, all the time





ews alert: apparently you can now have your flat-screen television custom framed. Here's how it works: measure both the outside specs of your TV (provided it's only got four sides) and the distance from its front to the wall. Once you're sure about those measurements, give them to us, and we'll make the frame. When you pick it up, it'll come with straps that you anchor to the back of your set- and at long last Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O will have that water-gilded Biltmore accent their coprophagic antics so richly deserve.

...Look it up. No, don't.

So I was asked to make a display for the new promotion. Something that would catch customers' eyes. Looking around our store, I decided a dinosaur was unlike anything else we had in the store. It's also something that can only be seen in a medium- not many of the fat fuckers left nowadays. And besides, I love dinosaurs.

So here's a Tyrannosaurus Rex I penciled and scanned, inked and colored in Photoshop, and slapped in front of a photo from these guys. The TV set was created in Adobe InDesign. And before you write in to tell me that flat-screen TVs don't have side speakers, it's important that it look like a TV, and also that a boring gray border need hold its own visually with a multicolored fanged reptile. Time of artwork: 13 hours. It's refreshing to know that I can still honestly draw when I have to.

I printed the piece in two parts. The T. Rex and screen text were printed on paper, while the TV monitor was printed onto sintra. When assembling the frame, the glass went between the monitor and the T. Rex, so it resembled an actual TV. Neat, huh? My boss loved it.


New monsters in the store today. I'm especially proud of the Lizardman and the Skeletal Warrior there. The former represents bold, new steps in Lizardman technology, since they used to be just one color before.

I haven't given up on AMPUTHEATRE. (Indeed, SIMCON is this weekend, and I'll be there running my crazy-as-usual battle royal.) But there haven't been new AMPUTHEATRE figures in the store for a bit, and I still need to make that rulebook available. I will have stuff ready. Really. I think I'll be breaking down and printing up my own copy, and guesstimate how much that will run so it can be downloadable in PDF format.

And also: I am behind on custom work, for which I apologize. There are at least two more shows I want to get into this year, so I'll be stocking up for those as much as I can. Hang tight: you will get your monsters.

...Have you seen Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen? Don't. No: I won't just say that. Some of you don't have me friended on Facebook, so I'll just paraphrase myself. It's stupider than a headless cockroach. It's more offensive than marionettes built from the stillborn. It's more awful than your rectum as a thumbtack dispenser. It's indispensable proof that Michael Bay hates you and everyone else on the planet, and if he were naked in a crowded room and didn't have millions and millions of dollars on hand to spend digitally rendering obnoxious racial stereotypes with which to painfully and permanently retard your inquisitive knowledgeable brains, he'd chew off his own leg, strip off its skin, gnaw the femur into a sharp point, and limp about stabbing everyone in the room. THAT'S HOW MUCH HE HATES YOU.

And amidst his blood-soaked hopping murder spree, he'd film his naked scrotum flapping about. And he'd make Peter Cullen deliver a monologue over it so that he could call it Transformers 3.

See you at SIMCON!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh, do you like the flesh-eating tarsier?





light of The Conchords were very difficult to sing last week on Rock Band 2. (I know; isn't that awesome that they're on RB?) But I'm finally recovering from my laryngitis. Pfft. Laryngitis: the Crap Disease. Nobody "gets" laryngitis; they adopt it when they either A. want to skip a day of work (because everyone knows that if you have trouble conversing with customers, you clearly can't perform physical labor) or B. are Gomer Pyle, and feel bad because their schizoid baritone voice got Barney Fife's ass catapulted far, FAR from singing at the Mayberry Talent Show.

So I spent a week talking like Kathleen Turner with her throat cut like Rory Calhoun's victims in Motel Hell on those rare occasions that my mouth wasn't crammed with Werther's butter candies. In between cough drops. Because I once did kind of take too many cough drops once. It was very funny. I likely should not have been driving.

I've just signed up both Chenille Macabre and AMPUTHEATRE for both Horror Realm and UBCon. At least, I think I'm signed up for UBCon- I'm not on the schedule yet. The 10th and the 11th are the dates I've committed to running AMPUTHEATRE on, though. What is delightfully cool is that I am on UBCon's information page. ...No, I'm the Sephiroth on the left.

We had a game of AMPUTHEATRE on Friday; the first game with the new figures. So now if you've bought an AMPUTHEATRE figure from my store, you can bring it to games because they are compatible. Isn't that cool and nice? Hee hee! And, I should point out: don't be afraid to request specific figures. I stock the store with the common Slashers as often as I can, but if you're waiting until I put Ixnay or Bathsheba or Willy Mammoth in the store before you buy them... don't! Drop me a line, please!

I've also revamped the Weapons system in the game. From now on, Slashers cannot normally Reverse attacks while carrying a Weapon, though they can still Block them. This rule amendment is to keep unarmed combat sexy. Signature Weapons (Evil Tweezers, Mazzatellos) in the hands of their owners (respectively, Mr. Eyeball Plucker, The Jack of Clubs) are exempt. This ruling has also let me add a few new exciting tweaks:

Finite Weapons. Some weapons now run out of juice (gas, electricity, ammo, etc.) if you roll no hits when attacking with them. This includes the old stand bys like the Chain Saw, the Pneumatic Nailer, and the Hairspray with Lighter. And it let me add a new, long desired element to AMPUTHEATRE's gameplay: liquid weapons. Clog Remover (oh, the delicious Clog Remover) is now in my current deck and has a sick Poison attack. The Gasoline Can, Oven Cleaner and Bleach will not be far behind.

Actual Weapons. I had an unbreakable credo in AMPUTHEATRE that, well... let's let the page explain it:

Weapons in AMPUTHEATRE are usually tools that have a primary purpose other than killing- chainsaws, icepicks, baseball bats, and the like.


But now, if for example I want to put a katana in the middle of an arena, I can- and Reversals are allowed with it, as it was specifically built for war. The Machete and the Nightstick already have this characteristic.

Speaking of weapons in the middle of arenas...


Here it is: the Green Inferno board (working title) as I promised. Fashioned from a clearing in the Zunirian jungle, General Ghebembwe has surrounded it with grates and a controlled fire. Anyone leaving the arena for any reason is Immolated. Sharing the arena with the unlucky Slashers is a Siafu Anthill and a Razorvine Tree. The driver ants swarm whoever disturbs their bivouac, and the Razorvine tangles up Slashers- Sundering them if they can't break free.

This board is a 9 x 9 grid. One aspect from Mortal Kombat: Deception that I like and have wanted to employ for a while now is the concept of a Stage Weapon in the center of the board, like Raiden's hammer on the Sky Tower. (AMPUTHEATRE's past even-numbered grids made that tricky.) I like the idea of starting a game with a mad rush for a Weapon. So the center space of the Green Inferno is differentiating steel, and there's a Pole Saw there now! Once this board has its own deck, it will be ready for play. The Inferno needs its own natural Traps and Weapons, so that will be something else I'll be working on. Hopefully in time for the cons.

...Oh, and before I go: a special shout-out to ImagineMDD, who featured my work along with numerous other pipe cleaner artists in her blog. I'm very flattered and honored to be featured with many talented artists.

I'm also laughing on the inside over who she chose as Chenille Macabre's ambassador.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Is Trigger Treat holding a beer...?





et's give somebody else the spotlight today, shall we...? Yes I made some monsters this week; something something inspired by who cares?

Faithful Etsy customer Felicia has been buying my figures and miniatures for a while now. Well just recently, she sent me some photos of monsters that she made from chenille stems. Check these out:


Aren't these cool? Awesome use of both pipe cleaners and existing materials. They're tall too- I'm guessing 11" high. I get a kick out of the troll soldier and the evil Smurf!

And if I had any misery or self-hatred for myself this past weekend, it was exorcised by the arrival of more photos from Felicia, this time featuring my work. How many of my figures has she bought...? Enough to seat her own homemade arena with stadium seating and sponsorship from Living Dead Dolls:

In the interest of full disclosure, the above picture is so not my current desktop wallpaper.

The victorious Lizardman cracks me the hell up! And behold: evil concession stands!

And I am SO NOT stifling crying right now. Nope, not crying, nope.

Thank you so much, Felicia! I see there's still a few seats in your arena to be filled- I'll get back to work!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Massively Mean Out-Raged Pissy Gil





een somewhat busy these last couple of days. The Job That Feeds has needed me for more than my regular hours, and the wife and I have undergone a bombardment of roller-derby-related chicanery in preparation for the new season.

Ah, derby. We love you, we really do. But those of you outside the phenomenon may be unaware of its participants' need to talk about derby and talk about it and talk about it and talk about it and talk about it and talk about it and talk about it AND TALK ABOUT IT and I just need to keep reminding myself that you are roller derby, and not a mass multiplayer online role-playing game. Which was our previous activity that burrowed its head in our lives to suck away precious hours and expand... and expand...

I got The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for Xmas from my dad, because it's his favorite game and he wanted me to enjoy it too. Heck, gives us something to talk about, too. When I can put away a few hours a night to put some time into it, I really do enjoy it. But my wife wants to know why I play Oblivion after leaving Final Fantasy XI Online back in April (and officially in December) in a cloud of torn-out hair and ferocious expletives that would make Satan beg The Pope for forgiveness. Likely I'll be sleeping on the couch tonight for posting what I'm about to, which sucks because the couches haven't arrived in the house yet. Deep breath... flame shields up... buy my figures, please.

I got us FFXI Online as an engagement present. For my PC and for my PS2, so we could play together. After all, I had burned a like number of hours of non-online games, so what would be the problem? And for the first year or so, I had a ball with Final Fantasy Online. She was a warrior, and I was her back-up mage. We made a lot of decent friends in the game as well- some of whom we met in person- and had a great time some evenings. The world was gorgeous to run through. And no horseshit, Wang- the Japanese make some of the coolest-ever monsters. The Yagudo, the Quadav, and the Evil Weapons are all well-designed and exotic beasts, and a welcome change of pace from the wolves and bats (bad example, FFXI has bats too) we Westerners have been encountering over and over again in our RPG's for the last decade or so. I enjoyed my time as both Dark Knight and Bard, and got to Levels 70 and 45 in them respectively. Shadowspawn, Siiri, Tolilli, Vrrlyrr, Lakina, Valkeira, Ravenna, Tyvin, Kasandaro, Clanmira, Wendie, Dyunami, Thecheat, Zzane, Neobubu, Piedimus... and I know I'm forgetting some folks, and I'm sorry about that. But I'm happy to have met and to know all of you.

NOW THEN: factor in a sub-job system that sounds great on paper and blows chow in the game world (TRY getting into a party as a Warrior/White mage). Real-money traders. Spending a real-life hour walking from your character's house to the Auction and back. "Easy prey" monsters that cost you 95% of your hp, your mana, and your once-every-two-hours-get-me-out-of-here! power. No way to find out who you're supposed to kill or where you're supposed to go without a hint book or a website. Only one dedicated healing job- party formation is a bitch. An over-reliance on buying expensive potions in order to sneak and hide your way to EXP camps- excuse me, this is a dungeon crawl. I myself want to hack and kill everything in sight. So sue me for growing up with Gauntlet.

The inability to do anything by yourself after Level 20 (playing a job you like, beastmasters). Spending 50 levels learning to fight as part of a unit only to square off against a final boss you ironically must fight alone. Fighting crabs for damn near that whole time, because they're the easiest species for a group to fight. Links. Trains. Linking trains. Postponing real-life engagements or sleep because either you can't conveniently log off, or someone in your party needs "just 3000 more exp". Unforgiving drop rates- and not just the notorious monsters. The weenie rabble you see everywhere are no less stingy. I once spent two hours in a party trying to get "anima" or some dumb shit off mobs in Promathia to no avail, and my wife got angry with me when I got up and started cleaning the house. Which reminds me: a notable increase in arguments with my wife. Are games supposed to do that...?

Deleveling. Losing experience points when you die and having to get them back. More than once, I'd nod off from the repetition of one-click combat, and a Burnt Steak Tough Ogre Warlord would tiptoe up to my character, crush him in two hits, and steal away that 400 xp I'd spent three long hours pounding out of bats and goblins. Some of the worst dungeon designs ever- seriously, Square Enix: drop-offs...? And not tall ones, either: small ones which only come up to your character's waist that you can't see until you've fallen down them. And the only way to get around them is to return to the start of the dungeon. My Dark Knight had a Strength of 90, but he couldn't hoist himself up a ledge the height of a dry bar. He just helplessly runs at it because he can't jump and there's no spell in the game that lets you do that. Oh wait, my bad: there's a Tractor spell. No wait- you have to be dead first. "Oh, you walked off the curb of the aqueduct, and you can't walk back up?" I wish I was goddamned kidding. "Well, shit. The five of us can't pull you up. Your best course of action is to go find a giant death moth and let it kill you. It's only right that you lose experience points for such naivete and recklessness."

And of course, other players in the game who- unaware of what good games are- think that these are all exemplary examples of state-of-the-art gameplay. And they aren't afraid to tell you so. I realize you guys ejaculate over the idea of experience point penalties (I think I just came myself) and that you believe doing whatever one wants to do in a ROLE. PLAYING. game is to be stringently enforced, but gosh Davey: having to repeat what you just spent three hours doing through no fault of your own is SHIT.

...Sit down. This is not your cue to recommend to me World of Warcraft, or City Of Heroes, or any number of over-populated time-sucking internet circles of Hell. I am done with MMORPGs. Between both AMPUTHEATRE, Chenille Macabre, and something called a "life", I do not want to play another game I am powerless to turn off when I need to. The only thing I want to hear about MMORPG's is if you have a character from them that you would like me to build for you. THAT, I will happily do.

In the meantime, I will play Oblivion and make FFXI players jealous as I swing at a goblin, and step back before his sword connects with me. Wow, such shitty gameplay.

Come back, roller derby- all is forgiven.



Etsy Dark Teammate Emme Toaye suggested that the Death Addict Mini I built a few weeks ago needed a girlfriend. So here she is:

The Chaos Grrl Mini with Straight Razor is now available in the store! She wasn't easy to build. so I gave her the "Deluxe" moniker. Ladies are trickier than guys, of course. Buy her today!

Gonna go sign up for a few more shows. Thanks for listening to me vent. Can I borrow your couch?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SIMCON 2010




ell, that's all set. I've just signed up for five time slots at SIMCON 2010 at the University of Rochester, which is going down on March 26-28. My time slots are Saturday 9:30am to 4:30pm, and Sunday 12:00pm to go the hell home you pipe cleaner-weaving idiot and take these blood-starved buffoons with you. So come on down. (I'm also holding a game this Friday (Feb. 12th) at Millennium Games, starting at around 7pm or so.)

By the time SIMCON rolls around, I hope to have a decent set of figures, cards, boards and pieces for it. I'm making everything slightly smaller to accommodate the wonderful, generous souls who have purchased my AMPUTHEATRE figures from the Etsy site. And you as well- all you gotta do is shop there. Bring your figures on down, and join in the fracas!

I'm putting the finishing touches on an all-new AMPUTHEATRE board. It's called The Green Inferno (a Cannibal Holocaust reference, but you knew that) and it's an arena of General Ghebembwe's design. The evil vampire dictator forces his captives into a large jungle plain, replete with poisonous frogs, spitting vipers, and siafu- lots AND LOTS of siafu. Then the General surrounds the field in fire. Pictures forthcoming, once I build one more Device Trap for it.

Okay, gonna make more crap now (twenty-four Slashers and counting!) See you at SIMCON!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Okay, ONE girl has a full set of armor. FINE.





irst things first: Thank you all so much for your kind words in regards to Thunder last week. It meant a lot to Dee and myself, and we truly appreciate it.

I hope you all like the new AMPUTHEATRE website. I'm actually making myself smaller scale figures and boards, so I can host games for the kind and wonderful folks who have bought my figures on Etsy and want nothing more than to have them kill people. This has been a fun project: I love my new Hagfish and Zwanziger (oops, he has no page yet; best get to work on that, Gil) and I also got to recycle the first-ever Olympus figure that I built, whose musculature and frame were certainly not to the size that my larger scale figures needed.

Two new figures in the store this week that I want to talk about...

This is a Gallows Wraith. It's the undead spirit of a hanged innocent. Demons en route to the triple tree at midnight (expecting to take a murderer to Hell) will steal the pure soul for themselves and remain on Earth. The catch is that they leave their wings behind. The Gallows Wraith takes both the wings and the rope, and exacts vengeance on all life for cheating it of his.

I design these types of monsters as little generic beasts to spice up your role-playing campaigns. Let's see... give him 9 hit dice, Armor Class 3, and either two attacks via claw, or a strangling attack. Warp those stats to the game of your choice.

I was inspired by a Bal-Sagoth song which included in its lyrics a winged Arch-Wraith, but I toyed with this type of monster for years. In my first design it didn't have wings; rather it floated by means of holding its own noose, still fastened about its neck. Nightmarish. Then the somewhat embarrassing demises of many a cool celebrity from auto-erotic asphyxiation over the years would have lent the beast to some annoying jokes. "Look out! It's a zombie David Carradine!" "...No, it's Michael Hutchence; he's singing 'Never Tear Us Apart'! Quick, let's obliterate/This twist of fate/Asphyxiate/It's not too late!"

Meanwhile in the AMPUTHEATRE store, Mandibula returns, but this figure's got a twist...

That's right: Topless Mandibula! Need I remind you that she's a succubus, and this is not out-of-character for her to wear.)

I suppose I should have marked this figure of deviantART and Etsy as "Mature". I really don't see why. For one thing, "Chenille Macabre" and "AMPUTHEATRE" are what they are- you know you're getting into mischief with names like those. Second, my art often contains skinless beasts, ripped-open corpses, and blood-stained weapons of death. But somehow those aren't as shocking as two blue mounds each topped with a pink dot...? I don't think so.

...That's right, SoulCalibur- you may have made millions of dollars making the same game over and over again, and your characters are known the world over. But I know damn well that it claws at your anime-rated-T-for-Teen-BDSM-guts that AMPUTHEATRE can show titty and you can't.

No matter how. Hard. You. TRY.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fuck YOU, paper towels




ell it's about bloody-monkeyfucking-time. The AMPUTHEATRE website has received an all-new Slashers page, which is far more intuitive, readable, and navigatable than the old photo album I was borrowing from LiveJournal- which I no longer use, and consequently no longer wish to pay for. And as a result, my most meaningful LiveJournal pics are now no longer available for use.

I don't even remember why I needed an avatar of Riley Freeman.

I'm digressing. Nearly fifty Slashers are now available for your perusal, and I will add more and more as they become created/updated. The sweet news is that if you see a Slasher you'd like, there's a link for you on that page to commission me and see that figure built. If it doesn't seem complete, or there are an inexplicable amount of white capital "N"s everywhere, that's my "skull" rating system which is being universalized for any and all web browsers by the awesome and invincible Jen of Pencognito fame.

The FAQ and Links pages have been revised. The Traps page is all-new, and there's also an all-new Weapons page. Instead of just photographing pilfered accessories with strategically-placed red paint, I tried to use only Weapons and Traps I built myself. (My more awesome ones, such as the Outboard Motor and Pole Saw, were in the hands of Slashers at the time of shooting, and probably complicated the page more than necessary...)

Oh and if I haven't mentioned this, both AMPUTHEATRE and Chenille Macabre are on Facebook. Join these groups if you like; just don't ask me to join your applications, and DEFINITELY do NOT ask me to join your Petition To Remove GRRRR PLOTZ AAAARRGH From Facebook. Because I fucking hate censorship. That's why.

I'm playing some AMPUTHEATRE tomorrow at Millennium Games. 7 pm. Friday, Jan. 22nd. That will be fun.

(....)

Never once did I ever think of myself as a cat person before I met who would become my wife. Four months into our relationship she decided to find an apartment in Rochester, and she wanted two cats to share it with. One of these was our female orange tabby Thunder.

Thunder never liked me. Granted, I was the shit come feeding time, and I could pet her anywhere I wished provided it was only her head, and provided I didn't mind that she would shake off my touch like it were a pedophiliac tapeworm. Even as two hundred plus pounds of tired pipe cleaner artist slowly lowered itself onto the side of the bed that she deemed hers, she still begrudgingly held her ground as if she had paid in advance on a time slot- eager to squeeze out every possible second she could.

But she loved my wife Dee Fenestrate. Absolutely, unerringly loved her. This love would be forced- sometimes during Final Fantasy XI Online when Dee's Mithra warrior was hair-bun-deep in armed Yagudo Templars- but it was always genuine. As Dee laid down on the couch to watch me play video games, Thunder- ignorant to relaxed protest- would leap onto the couch, comfortably recline on her adoptive mommy and snooze away, her face pressed awkwardly into the backrest. Chasing after string, ultra-long pipe cleaners, and trotting into the room at the first stirrings of her mommy rousing from a nap... Thunder was a fourteen-year-old kitten. A kitten with more nicknames than Satan: "Big Orange", "Mommy's Little Hellbeast", "Cuddles Cuteface"... I simply couldn't take to that one.

Two days ago, Thunder was very lethargic and not eating. We scheduled her for the vet on the following morning. We ran her to the emergency room when she twice snuck off to parts of our basement she had never been to before. What they say about diabetes and heart disease being silent killers is true. After receiving the diagnosis, and failing to receive any assurance that the thousands (thousands) of dollars spent could grant anything more than a fleeting reprieve, we saw Thunder off yesterday morning- painlessly, peacefully, and -instead of a cold cellar corner- her mother's lap. Maybe not so peacefully, as I was around. And my voice always made her tail lash about, like that of an enraged Ankylosaurus. Which was another nickname for her.

Wherever she is now, I'm positive there is plenty of shrimp to eat. And plastic that doesn't gum up your digestive tract when swallowed. And ribbon far from the presence of my sister. Thunder disliked me, but she loathed my sister Danielle. (Danielle once held Thunder for near the duration of an entire Halloween party, which is how Thunder learned that she had powers of hissing and spitting.) Once we had Danielle over at our apartment for her birthday, so she was opening gifts. The sound of torn wrapping paper was a dinner bell for the ribbonvore Thunder, so with an enthusiastic meow! she leapt onto the back of the couch- and realized that she was sitting right behind Danielle. The negative energy from that cat was such that I swore the lights dimmed. And why she didn't just get up and off the couch after leaping there, I have no clue. Maybe all her leg power was instinctively routed towards her internal hate-engines.

...I'm getting a lump in my throat now; can I stop writing and give you a picture instead...? This is from November, 2005- not long after Dee and I were married, and- fuck it; I'm just cut-pasting text from LJ:

It was very, very worth forgetting to return a roll of paper towels back to the counter from the floor (to clean up a spill from last night) and have Thunder destroy the whole roll while Daddy wasn't looking... and then hearing her add insult to injury by hissing and growling at the tattered mess.

"Fuck YOU, paper towels."

"...Think you're all the shit because you're super-absorbent; yeah, you SUPER-ABSORBED, all right! A BEATDOWN from DJ Cuddles CUTEFACE; THAT'S what you absorbed, bitch!"


We're gonna miss you, Big Orange.