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.

Monday, January 11, 2010

So quit with the cocaine jokes already

ew Years Resolution #1; update this thing more often!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Most everyone you listen to said that 2009 sucked, but the new house I live in keeps me kind of quiet in that regard. As for the decade... well, House + Marriage + patented game + pipe cleaners as job + fulfilled a life goal of appearing in a B-movie (Poultygeist) = satisfied Gil-Monster.

I did some custom work over the holiday. This is my most depraved and macabre work yet... hold onto your socks...

That's right: The Barenaked Ladies! I was commissioned to make the entire band as a Christmas gift, as they were before Steven Page departed.

Seeing as how this is my first ever drum kit, I think I did an okay job. No, Tyler can't hit the snare. Yes, his chest is pressed into the bass drum. But the cymbals look good- thank you, Maria from Dan's Crafts and Things, for suggesting the bases of cheap wedding favor champagne glasses would make excellent facsimiles!

Inspired by Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, the Ladies decided to hold a benefit concert at Correctional Facility Alpha for the AMPUTHEATRE Slashers. It goes pretty poorly from the opening number: Lord Morax sneaks on stage and plays "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse" during "One Week", causing a riot even before Ed Robertson can rap about being Aquaman.

Which led to the real reason Steven Page left the band...

Speaking of AMPUTHEATRE, if you check out its site, you'll see a big four-oh-four on the Slashers and Traps pages. There's a good reason for this: I quit paying for LiveJournal. I don't use it anymore (even less than this blog) so my photo albums are gone from it. I have new pages on the way, and they're easier to navigate and even better than before. Hang tight. It'll be worth it.

We had a game of AMPUTHEATRE this Friday and I debuted an all-new Slasher. Behold: the broadcast terrorist Quacksalver:

The signal was first hijacked during the fourth season premiere of the “Jinglebunny” television show: a man dressed in a plague mask and surgical scrubs aired instead. Introducing himself as “Quacksalver”, he informed his viewers that the Slashers were once innocent people before the government turned them into agents of death. The Amputech, he posed, was actually a man-made viral agent transmitted via basic human contact and inflicting permanent homicidal insanity. Only bleeding by leeches could cure the affliction as they were “drawn to the oxidized salts in Amputech molecules”. This pirate broadcast aired over forty more times on television before Quacksalver was identified as radio personality Benjamin Pauling and captured. It is still unknown if Quacksalver actually subscribes to his grossly incorrect theories, but the debate as to whether or not he is responsible for hundreds of deaths- whether the suicides of people who believed themselves infected, or the murders from dozens of city riots caused by the hysteria- is to be resolved in the AMPUTHEATRE.

Quacksalver doesn't look it, but he's a bruiser. Most of his Evil Deeds are at most troublesome hexes, so his basic attacks make up the damage quotient. He moves fast, too. Of note are his Leech Swarm, in which he throws a handful of leeches as an AOE Stab attack, and his Jam Transmission, in which he can actually cancel the decrees from the Evil Wardens. It's nice to know that someone in the arena can shut off the one-man-death-machine-power-up we know and love as the Norse Monkey Fury.

If you haven't, join the Chenille Macabre Facebook page. And then tell all your friends about how awesome custom pipe cleaner monsters are. That would be good.

...I knew I had other stuff to talk about, but I think I'll save that for next time. I leave now to play with the jigsaw I got for Xmas. Play me out, BNL!

If I had a million dollars
I would buy you a house