• Jeff Goldblum to roll the bones on the Dark Dice RPG podcast

    The Dark Dice podcast-based RPG is about to get a new elven sorcerer for its second season. Deadline reports:

    Jeff Goldblum is entering a new world. The Jurassic Park star is to lend his voice to Dungeons & Dragons podcast Dark Dice.

    Goldblum will play elven sorcerer Balmur on the upcoming season of the audio series.

    He is voicing one of the five player-characters in the improvised audio drama, where the outcome of the story is determined by the fated rolling of dice.

    It is latest unusual move for Goldblum, whose Disney+ series The World According To Jeff Goldblum was renewed for a second season.

    Dark Dice's quest takes place after a failed attempt to save the world and follows the team's hunt for revenge against the other player-controlled team. To complicate mystical matters, Goldblum's team is stalked by a creature known as The Silent One, a deceptive being that steals the face and voice of any creature it chooses.

    Find out more on Dark Dice.

    Image: Screengrab

  • Documentary on the New Romantic scene of the 1980s

    This 47-minute video on Are Friends Electrik? looks at the influences of the UK New Romantic scene, some of the bands and cultural ideas behind it, and the impact that it had on those caught up in it.

    So, tease up your hair, put on your face-powder, frilly shirt, and duster, and come join the cabaret.

    Image: Screengrab

  • Peter Bebergal discusses Michael Moorcock's "Elric of Melniboné" on the Appendix N Book Club

    On the Appendix N Book Club podcast, writer and Boing Boing contributor, Peter Bebergal, talks about his introduction to roleplaying games, friendly local game stores, Gary Gygax's love of mythology, fantasy lit, comics, and many forms of storytelling, real-life grimoires and literature as RPG design inspiration, and much more.

    The main subject of the show is Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné and Peter and the hosts read excerpts from Elric and discuss some fascinating aspects of the character, such as drug addiction.

    They also talk about Peter's awesome new book, Appendix N: The Eldritch Roots of Dungeons and Dragons, Gygax's Appendix N, and Peter's love for Deities & Demigods. Lots of meat on this bone.

  • Exclusive: Preview of Eric Powell's forthcoming Ed Gein graphic novel

    I recently binge-read Eric Powell's wonderful comic book series, The Goon, and instantly became a fan. So, I was thrilled when his publicist reached out to offer Boing Boing an exclusive peek at Eric and Harold Schechter's next project, a graphic novel about Ed Gein. Gein was the notorious 1950s serial killer and body snatcher who served as the inspiration for Norman Bates in Psycho, Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.

    Powell's imprint, Albatross Exploding Funnybooks, is launching a Kickstarter today to fund the project.

    Eric Powell—the legendary creator of comics like The Goon and Hillbilly—and Harold Schechter—the author of true crime classics including Deviant and The Serial Killer Files—are collaborating on an ambitious new graphic novel about one of the most notoriously deranged murderers in American history, Ed Gein. 

    Powell and Schechter are co-writing DID YOU HEAR WHAT EDDIE GEIN DONE?, an all new, 200-page, original graphic novel illustrated by Powell that delves into the twisted history of the Gein family and the notorious violence that inspired Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs. Painstakingly researched and illustrated, Schechter and Powell's true-crime graphic novel presents Gein's infamous story like never before.

    "This book takes Gein's gruesome crimes out of the realms of exploitation and delivers a powerful, fact-based dramatization of the tragic, psychotic, and heartbreaking events," said Powell. "Because, in this case, the truth needs no embellishment to be horrifying." 

    "Obviously Ed Gein's story has been fictionalized many times in the movies," said Schechter. "In no visual medium, however, have the bizarre inner workings of his mind been explored and portrayed. The graphic novel is the perfect medium to conduct such an exploration. DID YOU HEAR WHAT EDDIE GEIN DONE? will not only bring the factual details of Gein's crimes to vivid, compelling life but draw the reader into the phantasmagoric realm of his uniquely deranged psyche."

    "The case of Ed Gein is terrible, tragic and fascinating." said Powell. "This story is not just about Gein and his crimes, but also how a society tried to deal with the shocking facts of these crimes and the idea that the quiet neighbor next door could be a real life bogeyman. The after effect it had on our culture, especially pop-culture, cannot be overstated."

  • Jimmy DiResta carves a log into an anvil

    Burly maker man, Jimmy DiResta, seems to be able to fashion anything from anything. Case in point. In this video, he pulls a log from his stash, rolls it over to his outside workbench, and using little more than a chain saw and an angle grinder, carves it into an anvil.

    Image: Screengrab

  • "Mars Sucks" billboard shows up in front of SpaceX HQ to celebrate Earth Day

    A billboard reading "Mars sucks. — Earth" was put up in front of SpaceX headquarters to celebrate Earth Day. The billboard was sponsored by environmental groups including Greenpeace, World Wildlife, Surfrider, and the EDF. My personal hope is that all the planets can get along. Happy Earth Day.

    See their website.


    Jon Carlaw of Activista said: "The idea is solely from creative company Activista (www.activistalosangeles.com). Greenpeace, WWF, Surfrider, EDF are not sponsors, nor are any of the other organizations listed on our campaign page www.marssucks.com. We simply recognize the efforts these organizations are making in preserving life on this planet and wish to direct visitors to our site who wish to help to contribute towards them. We ask that you please kindly correct the article to reflect this."

    Image: The Mars Sucks projec

  • Incredible 4K restoration of a Peter Gabriel-era Genesis concert

    A 38-minute 16mm film of a 1973 Genesis show was painstakingly edited and transferred to 4K video. The results are amazing.

    This is the clearest, highest-resolution footage of Peter Gabriel-era Genesis to date. The track listing is The Musical Box,​ Supper's Ready,​ Return Of The Giant Hogweed, The Knife, and some band interviews.

    Image: Screengrab

  • Thanks for the laughs and the high weirdness Felix Anthony Silla (Cousin Itt)

    I just saw on the Hollywood Page of Death that Felix Anthony Silla, aka Cousin It on the original The Addams Family died on April 16th. He was 84. The Hollywood Page of Death writes:

    Silla was a film and television actor and stuntman, known for his recurring role as the costumed character of "Cousin Itt" on television's The Addams Family, with the voice usually provided by Anthony Magro. His skills and slight stature led to a number of roles, including the Gig Young-Shirley Jones comedy film A Ticklish Affair, the Bonanza episode Hoss and the Leprechauns, and in the Star Trek pilot The Cage in 1965. He later appeared in Planet of the Apes (1968), Demon Seed (1977) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). He did stunt work in a number of big pictures, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, The Golden Child and Batman Returns (1992), among many other films. A notable role where he could actually be recognized, Silla shaved his head to portray the maniacal villain Litvak opposite George Segal as Sam Spade Jr. in The Maltese Falcon sequel The Black Bird (1975). He was also responsible for the physical performance of the robot Twiki in the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, a role for which the voice was supplied by Mel Blanc or Bob Elyea.

    Silla provided the voice of Mortimer Goth from The Sims 2, the best-selling video game of 2005. He also played one of the hang glider Ewoks in the film Return of the Jedi, and had a small role in the indie film Characterz. He was married from 1965 until his death, and had two children. Felix Silla died on April 16, 2021 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 84.

    Image: Hollywood Page of Death screengrab

  • Mark Dery interviews Greil Marcus about his hugely influential book "Lipstick Traces"

    I was really excited to see this announcement from Boing Boing contributor Mark Dery's on his Facebook page:

    MY CONVERSATION WITH GREIL MARCUS ABOUT "LIPSTICK TRACES" (OVER 30 YEARS ON) will be broadcast live next Tuesday April 27 at 12pm Mexico City time on the Facebook and YouTube live channels of Museo del Chopo, as well as the YouTube live channel of Cultura en directo, and the online portal of Canal 22. It's part of "The World Today," an online conversation series.

    Both Dery (Escape Velocity, Pyrotechnic Insanitarium, I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts) and Marcus (Lipstick Traces) have had a huge impact on my own thinking. I am looking forward to hearing these two brilliant authors and cultural critics in what should be an exciting match of brain tennis.

    Image: Promo image

  • Did you know Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi was in Jethro Tull?

    As a big Tull (and Black Sabbath) fan, I'm not sure I ever knew this. Between playing in the bands Earth and Black Sabbath, Iommi tried out a stint as Jethro Tull's guitarist.

    In this Ultimate Classic Rock piece, Tull's Ian Anderson talks about how he was willing to redirect the band's sound to accommodate Iommi's unique playing. But, after a month, Tony decided Jethro Tull was not for him and he returned to Earth, which would soon change their name to Black Sabbath.

    Nothing was ever recorded with Iommi. He did appear with the band on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (miming to the pre-recorded single for "Song for Jeffrey").

    Image: Vertigo Records – Public Domain

  • Listen to a spider web being constructed

    After building a web, spiders sit patiently, waiting for the movements of their prey to vibrate the silk strands beneath them like guitar strings. Seizing upon this analogy, researchers from MIT have introduced "Spider's Canvas," an algorithm that turns spiderweb vibrations into a digital stringed instrument. They presented their results on Monday (April 12) during the virtual spring meeting of the American Chemical Society.

    "The spider lives in an environment of vibrating strings," Markus Buehler, who presented the work, says in a press release. "They don't see very well, so they sense their world through vibrations, which have different frequencies."

    Read more on The Scientist.

    Image: Screengrab

  • Hawk tangled in kite string gets a feather implant

    As my southern mama used to say: "Try to put a new wrinkle on your brain every day." Today's wrinkle is my newfound knowledge of "imping," the implanting of donor feathers from a deceased bird onto the hollow feather shafts of an injured bird.

    A red-shouldered hawk arrived at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center in Boyce, VA after the hawk had been found some 80 feet in a tree at the Occoquan Regional Park in Lorton, VA. The bird was found hanging by a kite string from a branch. Northern Virginia Parks employees, with the assistance of a local tree service, managed to free the hawk and transport it to the hospital at the Wildlife Center. The feather damage was extensive, but they were able to repair them using a process called imping.

    "With the bird under anesthesia, matching feathers (e.g. the first primary feather of a donor red-shouldered hawk is used to replace the first primary on this one), is cut to match a cut level made to the original feather shaft. A skewer/dowel/other similar item is expoxied into the donor shaft, then that is expoxied to the shaft on the receiving bird. Once this has all set, it's extremely secure. The bird will molt before that glue breaks down. Everything must be prepped and cut before hand and only feathers from the same species can be used. It is extremely tedious work, but it does allow birds who are only in care for missing feathers to fly and be released sooner."

    After about two weeks in care, this hawk was returned to the park where it was found.

    Here is a brief video with more photos.

    [H/t Eric Brown]

    Image: Screengrab

  • The unique and hugely influential Canterbury music scene of the 60s and 70s

    In my late teens, I went deep down the rabbit hole of "Canterbury bands" (and Canterbury-adjacent). Bands like Soft Machine, Wilde Flowers, Caravan, Hatfield and the North, National Health, Matching Mole, Egg, Henry Cow, and Gong. There was something so different and audacious about this music; its British pastoralism, its psychedelia and pop surrealism, its virtuosic playing and pretensions toward freeform jazz and modern classical, its uncompromising noodlism!

    In this BBC segment, edited out of a longer documentary on prog rock, they look at the roots of the Canterbury scene, what made it special, and how it fits into progressive music and rock in general. Those interviewed include Robert Wyatt (Wilde Flowers, Soft Machine), Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman (Yes), Richard Coughlan (Caravan), Phil Collins, Bill Bruford (Gong, King Crimson, Yes), and Bob Harris (Old Grey Whistle Test). The opening bit, where each of the interviewees scat their way through Canterbury riffs was worth the price of admission for me.

    "Court jesters, crimson kings, lost souls, and magic men — it was a broad church, a very English music, infused with childhood fantasy and the quirkiness of a small island race," explains the narrator (Nigel Planer, aka Neil from The Young Ones!). Canterbury music "grew out of rock n' roll and was written about in the rock press because of it but that's kind of a shame…I think the ethos was completely different. And if you judge it by the standards of rock n' roll, it totally fails," says author and lifelong Canterbury fan, Jonathan Coe.

    Image: Screengrab (of Soft Machine)

  • A look at UFO, Gerry Anderson's first live-action TV show in 1970

    We've talked about the work of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and their supermarionation shows here on Boing Boing over the years, and we've discussed UFO, their first live action series, on the BBS, but it doesn't appear anything has ever been blogged about the show.

    Like this YouTuber, Jonny Baak, the Andersons' shows like Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds, and Supercar were a huge part of my childhood and the early wiring of my imagination. And then, in my teens came UFO and Space: 1999.

    Image: Screengrab

  • Michel "Away" Langevin of Voivod on 10 albums that changed his life

    Michel Langevin, aka "Away," drummer, artist, and spiritual heart of Canada's prog metal icons, Voivod, talks to Louder about the albums that helped shape him as a musician.

    As drummer with Canadian visionaries Voivod, Michel 'Away' Langevin was there at the birth of both the thrash and prog metal scene. Fittingly for someone with a casual disregard for musical boundaries, his tastes run the full spectrum. "I really didn't have a problem buying Kiss, the Sex Pistols and Genesis or Gentle Giant all at the same time," he says. We asked him to dig deep into his record collection and pull out the albums that mean the most to him.

    Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden (1980)
    The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal was very popular where we are from, in Jonquière, northern Quebec, so we were able to find albums by Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden, the bigger names.

    With the first Iron Maiden album, the front cover really stuck out in the record store. I grabbed it and looked at the cover, then flipped it over and looked at the song titles and immediately they became my favourite band. I had no idea what they even sounded like.

    I went back home and put the needle on the record. Prowler started and I was, like, 'Yeah, they are my favourite band.' They had everything I liked in music, from punk to metal to prog to goth – everything was in there.

    And of course, Eddie was an influence on me. I created the Voivod character before forming the band, because I wanted to be an artist, but when I came to draw the War And Pain [Voivod's debut album] cover, I wanted it to be immediate like the first Iron Maiden album. The cover of War And Pain comes directly from that. 

    The Beatles – Twist And Shout (1964)
    It's an old Canadian compilation of The Beatles' really early songs. The first song was I Saw Her Standing There, and that's when I first felt the energy of Ringo Starr – that's what made me want to drum.

    Later on, I saw the movies Help! and A Hard Day's Night. There's footage of them live and you can literally see the drums shaking – Ringo banged the drums and cymbals as if they were about to fall apart. The way he moves and keeps the beat with his head really helped me to understand how to get the groove going. To this day I still drum keeping the beat with my head sideways. That's from Ringo.

    Rush – Hemispheres (1978)

    Prog rock was huge in Quebec. A lot of progressive rock bands formed here, singing in French slang. But in terms of Canadian bands, Rush had the most impact. People talk about 2112, but Hemispheres has some deep prog stuff on it. I learned to play drums in my parents' garage. So when I was learning to play long songs, I had to go to my bedroom, listen to the song, run back to the garage and try to play it. The fact that I was able to memorise 20-minute songs really came in handy later in my career.

    Read the rest.

    Image: KoshalCC BY-SA 4.0