Ecko Burning

ecko_burning

An Atomic Moo Book Review of Danie Ware’s New Sequel

Hello El Moochadores! This week’s Moo review is Ecko Burning, published by Titan Books. A sequel story to Danie Ware’s exciting sci-fi/ fantasy novel, Ecko Rising. The continuing saga of a cyber-enhanced assassin (Ecko) tossed into a fantasy realm full monsters, warriors, and magic!EckoRising_cvr It’s kind of like the Wizard of Oz, but instead of Dorothy there’s a skinny – foul mouthed – tech junkie, and instead of a tornado swirled house, there’s a flying bar (taverns are bars, right?). I’m not sure who Toto would be. Maybe one of the centaurs? Anyways, Ecko is pulled out of a dystopian London and wakes up in The Wanderer (the bar/tavern) and is soon on an adventure that Ecko hopes will get him home. Ecko Burning picks up right after this first adventure (sorry, but I’m trying really hard not to spoil anything), but this time around Ecko, and his new “friends”, must find a weapon powerful enough to defeat the evil force, Vahl, who is trying to destroy… well, everything. Here’s the synopsis:

Ruthless and ambitious, Lord Phylos has control of Fhaveon city, and is using its forces to bring the grasslands under his command. His last opponent is an elderly scribe who’s lost his best friend and wants only to do the right thing.
Seeking weapons, Ecko and his companions follow a trail of myth and rumour to a ruined city where both nightmare and shocking truth lie in wait. Back in London, the Bard is offered the opportunity to realise everything he has ever wanted – if he will give up his soul. When all of these things come together, the world will change beyond recognition.

Danie Ware’s knack for fantasy and science fiction is incredible. In Ecko Burning she blends the two genres beautifully allowing for a dark (paranoid) future and another, magical, world where metal barely exists at all. However; there’s also a lot going on here. Both Ecko Burning and Ecko Rising are chuck full of characters, new places, and because the books bring in a new mythology, it can be easy to get a little lost in all details. Ware’s writing style can also add to the confusion. It’s not that she isn’t a good writer, because she is, but her descriptions, analogies, and metaphors are almost poetry. Sometimes it was a little hard to see past her descriptive power to what was actually happening on the page. But on the flip side of that criticism there’s Ecko. A contentious, ornery, and foul mouth little bastard incapable of not saying “fuck” when ever he opens his mouth. I liked him. He a great lens to see through that brought the weirdness into focus. In Ecko Rising I enjoyed his growing friendship with The Bard, and Burning added some interesting twists to their tale. I was a little disappointed that Ecko and the Bard didn’t have more time in the book, but I am eager to see where they end up in the next novel.

Overall, I highly recommend Ecko Burning. It was a great 2nd act and set up for what’s to come, but if you haven’t read Ecko Rising, do that first! Other wise you’ll be muttering, “I don’t get it” many, many times.

Ecko Burning is available in book stores now or you can get your copy throughTitan Books!

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Adam Savage’s Alien Spacesuit

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Hey El Moochadores! Apparently every year at Comic Con Mythbuster, Adam Savage likes to walk the exhibitor’s hall incognito (would you believe I spelled that right first time out?) in a costume he’s made and apparently at this last years con this Space Suit replica from Alien was to be his costume. Check out the amazing amount of detail, and history, behind this remake of Kane’s space suit which, according to the video, took savage ten years to build.

Enjoy!

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The Good and the Evil… Decks

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Original – Custom Illustrated – Decks of Playing Cards by Designer, Giovanni Meroni

Hello El Moochadores! Since Chudd and I have a strong interest in graphic design (and vector based art work) I wanted to share this very cool set of playing card decks by Italian graphic designer, Giovanni Meroni. The Good and Evil Decks are custom made sets of playing cardseviltuck that combine original graphic design elements with traditional playing card sets. Each deck is individually illustrated, and the suits and tuck boxes are “the antithesis of their counterparts in the other deck“. That means they’re opposites. Don’t act like you knew. Anyways, each suit follows a theme: Clubs are Nature, Hearts are Passion, Diamonds are Violence (Evil Deck) and Bravery (Good Deck), Spades are Magic (Evil Deck) and Faith (Good Deck).

So far, Meroni has finished work on the Evil Deck (it even won a best deck contest)10d and he is currently crowd source funding the Good Deck via Cardlauncher.com. When finally completed both decks will come in “elaborate matte tuck boxes with embossed super-glossy UV elements.”

Check out a few samples of the Decks below and for more information on the Decks, or to show support for this project, you can check out The Good Deck, or check out the Good Deck on Facebook.

Dammit, now I want to go and play some poker. I’m sure I’ll win this time…

Enjoy!

qod kod joh

s13 s10 s8

h12 h11 d8

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Harley

Cool Harley Quinn Art by Franchesco

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Hey El Moochadores, check out this great Harely Quinn pin-up, by illustrator Franchesco. According to his Deviant Art portfolio the illustration was done with Copic (not sure if it was pens or markers), and colored digitally. I’ve posted a few other samples of his work, but check out more of Franchesco’s work on Deviantart.com.

Enjoy!

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How to Build Your Fanbase

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A Livestream Art Chat by Stanley Lau

Singapore pin-up artist, Stanley Lau (aka: Artgerm), recently did this Livestream Art Chat on how to build a fanbase for your artwork.S_Lau Lau’s art work is inspiring, and any opportunity to learn from him shouldn’t be missed. I’ve posted this chat below with a few samples of his work, but check out more of Lau’s Livestream Art Chat’s and his portfolio on Deviant Art. You can also follow Lau on Facebook.

Enjoy!

batgirl_justice_magazine_by_artgerm-d7qrots cover_final_lr_by_artgerm-d7bkphv power_puffing_ladies_by_artgerm-d6y4xmf

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Atomic Moo Comic Review: Monsters vs Zombies

Monsters vs Zombies

This might sound a little twisted, but when I’m driving home from work every night, stuck behind a bunch of mouth-breathers going 40 in a 55, I can’t help but to day dream of an apocalypse. I figure there wouldn’t be as many people on the road if the world had ended. Then I could get to where I needed to go with some sanity intact. I guess I just want to see fewer people on the road… and everywhere else in general. However, using zombies, vampires and Frankenstein’s monster probably isn’t the best way of achieving that (global-wide use of condoms would probably work just as well), but that’s what happens in the comic I read today, Monsters vs Zombies by Eric Dong and Vin Teng. I picked this up at Comic-Con a few weeks back, and I’m liking what I read. It’s got monster, zombies, vampires, and kung-fu all wrapped up in a nice little cozy apocalyptic world (where there’s less people, and those that are around are more than likely to travel at least the speed limit).

The book says this takes place in an alternate past New York City. How long ago? I don’t know, but it looks like humanity is having a rough time trying to survive, with the constant threat of monster attacks, zombies, and Chinese Kung-fu vampires (that might be a cool band name…). There’s some hope though with a young girl who seems to be immune to the zombie virus (but how’s her Kung-fu?).

For more information check out their website at monstersvszombies.com. I’m hoping there will be a second issue soon. So the next few cons I go to I’ll be keeping an eye out for Teng and Dong—Heh! We’re looking for “dong”… Ha! Sorry, I mean the artist Eric Dong… so we can get another book… not the other kind of dong. Not into that… I should probably shut the f**k up and close this out. Read the book! ‘Night folks!

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Big Robot Moo-gnus

by Neko_bijin

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Welcome back, convention survivors! Your humble correspondent unfortunately did not make it to Gen Con, but I’ve got some updates for you anyhow. (If you know what was going on at a convention, then you weren’t really there.)

Robotech Figures in the Wild!

Long-time Atomic Moo viewers will remember this item on a new Robotech miniatures game. After a small fracas with their Kickstarter backers, Palladium debuted the new miniatures at Gen Con to much fanfare.

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Image credit: The Wayfarer

The figures come unpainted and unassembled on plastic sprues (very similar to the figures in the BattleTech 3rd edition box set). The figures have not yet shipped to backers, nor are they available for purchase yet, but they do exist.

BattleTech Strikes Back!

Sensing an opportunity to capitalize on long delays by Palladium and customer disgruntlement with Games Workshop, Catalyst Game Labs has released a line of plastic ‘Mech figures (one piece, no assembly, unpainted) for play with BattleTech or Alpha Strike.

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Image credit: The Wayfarer

At $20 for 4 figures, the price seems a bit stiff, but maybe I’m behind the times. The plastic is high-quality (essentially the same as in the new BattleTech box) and reports from the field suggest they can be reposed by running under hot water, or with X-acto knife.

Wearable Mech Wins Costume Contest!

The winner of this year’s costume contest in the sci-fi category wore a Warhawk/Masakari BattleMech costume. Awesome! [Discussion here]

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Watch this space for more big robot updates!

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Super! Volume One!

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An Atomic Moo Comic Book Review

This last summer, at SDCC 2014, we met many talented comic creators, and checked out their independent projects. A stand out among the fantastic collection of creative talent, crammed onto the exhibit hall, was Unlikely Heroes Studios and their crowd sourced funded comic, Super!. Yeah, the exclamation is part of the title.About-Unlikely-Heroes Super! is a humorous, yet action packed, indie comic, about a world where Super Heroes are common place. These heroes are often shallow, and emotionally driven, pseudo-celebrities, dealing with personal drama while fighting a cast of over the top super villains. The adventures are mostly light-hearted, or self deprecating, parodies of classic super hero stories, and feature such characters as: Blitz, an up and coming new hero who is often overwhelmed by her new life; The Furious Fire Ant, think Iron Man, Batman, Ant-man, and Booster Gold rolled into one hero; The Streak, who can run really fast while being really naked; and The Unquenchable Lush, whom you should just read about. unlikely-heroes-studios-super-issue-1

The comic came to life through a Kickstarter for a 52 page first issue, but since completing a successful campaign, Unlikely Heroes Studios has produced several more issues, the first five of which can be found in a new hardback (Volume One) which features the talented work of Zachary Dolan (pencils, inks, and writer), Laurie Foster (inks), Tara Kappel (inks and pencil assist), Justin Piatt (writer and Letters), and Everardo Orozco (colors). Volume One also includes the cover art for each of the five issues, as well as some sample art, promotional ads, and cosplay from the Super! universe.

Super! really was a nice surprise from this last San Diego con, and it’s become one of my favorite graphic novels. The humor is sharp and, though it pulls a little from other comic sources, the stories are fresh and entertaining.3smashy412 Below, I’ve posted a few sample images from the comic along with a trailer from the website. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find where this volume is being sold, but when I do I’ll amend this post. However, if you are attending in the near future, and you come across an Unlikely Heroes Studios booth, I highly recommend you pick up volume one, or at least several issues. They did announce a Super! webcomic, but as of yet nothing has been posted to the new site.

Enjoy!

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Atomic Moocast #82: Warhead!

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Our Interview with Katrina Kunstmann!

NEW MOOCAST! Yes, it has to be shouted about. Okay El Moochadores, we’re back with another bold, and grand, edition of the The Atomic Moocast! I can almost hear the applause from here… Anyways, on this delightful expedition into the world of Geek Creativity we talked to independent comic creator and artist,tumblr_mri1obubUe1qj3i1so1_1280 Katrina Kunstmann! Katrina has created a wonderful comic, Warhead, about a young graffiti artist living in London… who also has an acid green Atom Bomb for a head. Keen. The comic is a blast (serious, I wasn’t going for a pun there, I’m above that) and Katrina was a lot of fun to talk with! I’ve posted a few samples of Katrina’s art, and sample pages from the comic, below.

So here we go folks! You’re just one mouse click away from total audio nirvana (nirvana not guaranteed)! So, prepare yourselves! For this journey you’ll need one comfy chair, one cool fizzy soda, two ears, a working computer, and the courage to want to know what happens on the best damn podcast your friends don’t know about!

Enjoy!

Free music used by the Atomic Moo cast is royalty free and was created and composed by Kevin MacLeod and can be found at Incompetech.com. Please support this site!

Songs used:

  • Funk Game Loop
  • As I Figure
  • Who Likes to Party

Show Notes and Links

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Warhead Images & Katrina’s Art!

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Additional Show Notes:

Play
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Megaman Drawing Tutorial!

Basic Adobe Photoshop Drawing Tutorial by Zarting Arting

Zarting

Good morning El Moochadores! Both Chudd and I are practicing with digital drawing techniques, which means we’ve started to use more online resources to teach ourselves how to draw (and color) with a stylus and programs like Photoshop. Recently I came across this great tutorial, by youtuber Zarting, that shows how to illustrate and color Megaman from beginning to end. He moves a little quick, but the information is solid, so stand by with the “pause” button. You can check out the rest of Zarting’s online tuts here at his Youtube channel.

Also: Though I tried to draw Megaman (that one didn’t turn out so good…) I did use what I learned on this tutorial to draw Trog, a character from a webcomic I’m working on. The Webcomic is called Atomic Tails and, hopefully, I’ll be finishing the first set of 20 strips by this winter. Hey, I work full time, it gets tough to do what I want sometimes… Anyways, check out the Trog illustration below.

Enjoy!

trog_at_desk_by_seancor76-d7v6gkp

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