Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Rage of Ognark: Part Three

Alright, this here is the usual disclaimer that these story bits are hilarious (to me, anyway) bizarro-type barbarian fantasy. Not for everyone. In fact, it might not be for anyone. If you get offended easily, think I have an agenda (I don't-- but still), take issue with "taboo subjects", or whatever, then Ognark is not for you. That said, I fully support your right to hate horrible shit for any reason you deem fit. I'm not saying "suck it up, snowflake" but "I respect your outlook; please respect my right to write terrible things". Saying "That Said", I don't think any of this is all that "Bad". But your mileage, as always, may vary.

I like to think that The Rage of Ognark incorporates influences from Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Blackadder, The Human Centipede, Brazil, Caligula, Conan, Thrud the Barbarian, Gor, Ass Goblins of Auschwitz, Slaughterhouse 5, Mother Night, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, AD&D, FATAL, and a bunch of other awesome and horrible things. Some of it isn't even my cup of terribad tea, but it's still influential for me.

Oh, who am I kidding? I think Gor and The Human Centipede are the only things on that list that I didn't enjoy in some way, and Centipede only because I actually have never seen it. Okay, and I'll give you that Caligula is murderfacingly overrated poop.

I would like to dedicate this part to my buddy Aaron, whose birthday it is today. Happy birthday, kid! Here's some Ognark for you. I think you'll dig it.

Read Part I HERE
Read Part II HERE


Dirge of the Dirigibles 
By S.G. Saunders

[Now, this excerpt pulled from the painfully incomplete texts, now called the RCO-01, seems to link closely—linearly speaking—to that last excerpt in what is now called the RCO-01 Sequence. Hopefully I can… massage a better designation out of an eager student soon. Perhaps Fabio Thurderstromklien...--Perseus Fractalthorpe Benzene IV, associate professor University of Doron, Nova Texum]


Ognark could barely hear Doctor Steelstormface Esquire, the strangely dressed man with the goggles whose airship Ognark was now in. And aside from that being unnecessarily too long of a sentence, saying “in” is a little awkward, since it was more like “being in a basket suspended from a large, oblong thing full of fart-gas or something incredibly flammable, or so Steelstormface had said”.

Then Ognark of Yonder Waystes wondered… in the last town he was in, why was there a market square outside of the city walls? And was it a town or a city? Just what is the difference between the two? A city is bigger than a town, right? A which point does one use terms like “hamlet”, “thorp”, “village” and “murder home”? These sorts of questions tended to creep up on Ognark like a stealthy Malalian Yak; and milk him of his thoughts that creepy mind-yak sure did…


Our large barbarian hero placed his hand by his square chin, as if we are watching him right now, with Ognark deep in self-reflecting thought.

Was killing everyone in that market square wrong? Perhaps if he mentally placed a tavern around the market square… yes, perhaps then it would make more sense. Perhaps.

“Doctor Esquire, I require time to think. You are making the wind silent with your screams.”

Ognark Thistlespoon fashioned himself to be a bit of a philosopher savage.

Doctor Steelstormface Esquire hollered unintelligibly some more. Ognark tried his best to tune him out. The strange little be-goggled motherfucker just didn’t shut up, you know? He yabbled on and on. He talked about airships. He talked about vintage leather clothing. Hell, vintage clothing? What does “vintage” even mean? Steelstormface also talked about everything in “punk” terms. His weird horse thing that he also talks a lot about runs on steam, so that horse is of “coalpunk” and “enginepunk” technology. The airship is a dirig…dirigible? The dirigible is “Luftpunk”. This all confused Ognark greatly, as “punk” means a dry wood used to start fires. “Punk” could also mean that you are in great danger if someone calls you that whilst in a dungeon. This be-goggled man annoyed Ognark greatly. Ognark’s renowned patience was running thin.


Ognark helped Steelstormface up back into the basket thing. They were high in the sky… many lengths of tall men, to be sure.

“We are up high, Doctor,” said Ognark.

“Yes, lad,” he replied, frantically patting himself for some reason, “Why did you let me hang there for so long?”

Ognark looked around, “Is this… airship hard to put back on the ground?”

“Of course it is, you big lug. And don’t even think of asking me if you can learn how to fly Mistress Abney Palmer again… that’s how I almost fell out!”

Mistress Abney Palmer?

Doctor Steelstormface Esquire looked like he was going to have a stroke. He rolled his eyes-- and Ognark despised people who rolled their eyes.

“Ognark, you daft fuck, that’s the name of my airship. I’ve already told ye that, what, six times now?”

Five times. Ognark was counting. Steelstormface continued to fume. Ognark had tuned him out for a few moments. He thought of pleasant things… like butterflies and how they must make screaming noises you cannot hear when you pull their wings off; like desert foxes, who look at you so, so innocently as you politely explain to them that they are being turned into fur coats.

And then Ognark noticed the meat flaps, on the face of a man with strange facial hair, moving up and down. Up and down. Warm air being pushed through a meat hole.

This punkman may be worse than any Rape Gnome, or even a dreaded Dire Gazebozelle, or rightly feared Soul Gargler.

“…well, what do you have to say for yourself?”

Ognark simply shrugged.

“I’ll figure it out.”

“You’ll figure what out you fucking oversized moron bastard—HEY!”

Ognark grabbed Steelstormface’s goggles. The little punkman was weak and small, and so it was easy to tear off the goggles and wrap them around his punkneck. But first, Ognark decided he would tear off Steelstormface’s funny moustache and teeny, dwarf-woman beard.

Doctor Steelstormface Esquire screamed. It was music to Ognark’s ears. Music that didn’t suck. Blood began oozing out of the annoying man’s face. His eyes bulged as Ognark wrapped and squeezed. The glass in the goggles broke and was promptly pushed into Steelstormface’s throat. He looked to Ognark, his terrified eyes full of the knowledge that he was most certainly doomed.

Doompunked, thought Ognark.

Steelstormface tried to pry Ognark’s mighty, meaty fist-hammer from him, but to no avail. If he wasn’t being choked, he could have easily convinced Ognark that he was a petty excuse of flesh and weak and sad about something, like a woman leaving him for another man with fancier clothes. But this is probably why Ognark went for his throat first. That is where the “talky spirits” lived. Ognark must kill them all.

Wasn’t he supposed to be looking for poison goats? Ugh, our mighty pile of muscles thought, I am severely lurking in focus and organizational skills.

Lacking. Whatever, you damned mind-thing.

Within seconds, Doctor Steelstormface’s talky spirits had been shushed on a permanent basis. Ognark could still feel his Rage growing.

“Come now, you esquirey, stringy, limp piece of fuck-shit! Let’s see how YOU land.”

And so Ognark threw his former comradepunk out of the basket place thing. If the poor, unfortunate and funnily-dressed man had survived the meaty barbarian’s assault with his mighty meat-hammer fists and god-killing grip, then he would most likely die on impact a few moments later.

Ognark looked around to find what Steelstormface had called a “spyglass”. Ah, there it was. Ognark put to his right eye and quickly tried to see where the Doctor was… and was amazed that he was easily spotted due to all the frenzied writhing he was doing in midair. Ognark lost sight of him as he fell into some trees.

Wait. Trees? Shit, this meant they had gone farther than Steelstormface had said! There were no poison goats to be had in the woods. Ah, perhaps this was why Steelstormface insisted on doing most of the journey above the low-hanging clouds, citing excuses like “safety” and “navigation”. He also has spoke of needing to be higher up for his astro… laid? Lame? Laybe? Something like that. Something about his astrolaything working better when he could see the stars at night.

Now, how the tears of countless dead babies could help you find anything, anything at all in the world, baffled Ognark, but Steelstormface seemed to know what he was talking about.

Unless he didn’t. That is entirely possible. Anything is possible, including, but not limited to, quickly aged cheese that is safe to eat.

Ah, Ognark hungered so. He had forgotten to save the Doctor’s body for some vittle-snacks. All that was left to eat on the Mistress Abney Palmer were crackers and dried vegetables. And rice. Was it rice? Whatever it was, Ognark promised himself that he would immediately disembowel any travelling companions in the future who claimed to be a part of some cult that worships a god called “Vegetarian”.

Ognark needed to land the airship. He looked up at the gas-filled bladder thing suspended above him. He seemed to recall Steelstormface pulling on some ropes. He did so, and the airship lowered a bit. Ognark shrugged and tore off the javelin launcher that was attached to the side of the area he was in.

He pulled on the ropes again. And again. Ognark looked over the safe. Lots of tress. He was still pretty high up, but the gas should release faster—but not too fast, as that would mean falling to his death.

Ognark launched a javelin into the airship’s float bladder.

He hadn’t been told that the javelins were explosive. The gas inside of the bladder was explosive, too.

The Mistress Abney Palmer engulfed almost entirely in flames, she plunged to the forest below. Ognark just smiled. He wasn’t on fire yet. He may survive the rapidly impending doom that was spelled “Airship Disaster”.

There’s always a bright side, you see.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Rage of Ognark: Part Two

So, hey, here's part two of "The Rage of Ognark". I hope there will be a part three soon... but you never know. I have shit to do, shit to get done, and shit to be paid for, hopefully. Christ, I still need to shave! Do you know how long I can go without shaving? My fingernails are even too long at this point. I'm going to start saving my urine in milk bottles, you just wait. The worst part is actually finding milk bottles.

Before you get to reading, you need to know that this crap is bizarro fiction, or my take on bizarro, anyway. It's about a crazy barbarian and the story is completely absurd. Thing is, while it's absurd, it's also totally not for kids. Like, if, Red Dwarf, The Human Centipede and Caligula all had a baby. I strive to be funny, but you may not find it funny. And that's cool. I will not mock your "delicate sensibilities". It's your life, after all, and I respect that.

I suppose if "rape gnomes" bothers you for any reason, stop reading right now. Check out my reviews or whatever, maybe. Avoid anything that says "Ognark". I write these prefaces (pre-feces? Hmmm) for you, dear readers. I know that some of you can be touchy about some things. Like I said: I respect that.

For the rest of you terribly twisted sick fucks: Enjoy?

As always, I love feedback. Let me know what you think of this terrible shit.


By S.G. Saunders

[The excerpt continues following a chunk that appears to be missing. Information as to what cataclysm befell LZ-486c is still under investigation-- Perseus Fractalthorpe Benzene IV, associate professor University of Doron, Nova Texum]

--to which Mighty Ognark Thistlespoon of Yonder Waystes said, “I have no squirrel testicle sacks to trade, good madam. This here Ognark can go on no further unless he caresses one boob, at least.”

The Head Mistress of the Vorhees Haus of Pleasures simply sighed. She had dealt with this type before. Large, brutish barbarian types, who had nothing more to offer than a very large member. Most wielded said member like an unwieldy club.

“Fine. I’ll tell you what: You get me the venom-sacs from a poison goat, and I will accept that in Lay-Trade. Understand?”

Ognark understood.

It meant that he, of some tribe of he’s from Yonder Hills and Plains, would have his Lay-Quota filled for hours. Perhaps days. Okay, two days—but that’s not bad, really.

“May I feel boob for goodish luck?”


Minutes later, after a goodish boob-rubbing, Ognark rejoined his life into Yonder Waystes and began trudging. And trudge he did… north… where the poison goat pickings were best.

Ognark HAD to remember not to eat the poison goats. Last time he had poison goats he fucked up and ate the beasts before he could turn them in for Better Food. This time it’s even more important. This time Ognark needed more boobies. This time Ognark needed a young woman—one who is willing—to spread her legs around his face and—

How long had Ognark been walking?, Ognark wondered. His thoughts had wandered, and thinking of women always made him think long and very hard. These things are tough, you see, as Ognark is a very visual thinker and he must make sure every detail is perfect.

Ognark is nothing if not a perfectionist.

Ognark was wondering what perfection tasted like when something had caught his attention. This was no mean feat, as hunting poison goats and blocking out things like deep thoughts was supposed to be hard or time consuming or something. But anyways, something was making noises further to the north. Banging noises. Evening was approaching, and Ognark, while not wanting to waste all these hours wasted in the Waystes, was curious to know about the banging noises and where they were coming from.

What was Ognark thinking about?

It doesn't matter. He’d figure that shit out as soon as he got to where he think he was going or needed to be… if he needed to be someplace.

Eventually, Ognark saw something. It was a large carriage thing that looked like it was attached to a huge squishy egg. That huge squishy egg looked like it might have been full of air—or farts!—it certainly smelled like farts, Ognark mentally noted.

By this Thing was some man dressed all funny-like in leathers and wearing stupid things over his eyes tinkering around on it. The man reminded Ognark of the Rape Gnomes of Zurnch, so now Ognark was a little wary.

Rape Gnomes are badass and they rape you.

You probably know this already.

Before Ognark could fully decide how he was going to kill the funny-like man, the funny-like man spotted the hulking brute who is the hero of our story.

“Hoy, yew there! Come on over, then, I’s won’t hurt ye—I means no ‘arm.”

What the fuck was this ponce saying? Well, Ognark approached, regardless.

“Who are you? And have you seen any poison goats? Answer me, for Ognark’s need is great.”

The man smiled, “I see. Uh, no poison goats here, mate. My name is Doctor Steelstormface Esquire,” he started walking towards Ognark, “and it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” He extended his right hand when he got to our hero.

It took Ognark a moment or three before he realized that this… Face Doctor? Wasn’t offering himself up to Ognark as a meal.


Ognark took the Face Doctor’s hand.

“So,” Ognark slowly started, “You are a doctor of faces… and you… sing in a choir?”

“Wot? No, no, no, mate. I’m an airship cap’n. I ride the skies in search of ahvencha.”


“Avencha… er, adventure.”

The funny looking man smiled.

“Are you a Rape Gnome, sir?”

The funny looking man coughed, “Uhm, wot? No, I believe I am not a gnome, my friend.”

“A Rape… Gnome. And friend? Rape Gnomes like to say that sort of thing. That they are your friend. Or wife. Or overly promiscuous friend of an old war buddy. Rape Gnomes are very decep—decep—very tricky.”

“Look, mate, I am not one of these ‘Rape Gnomes’ you keep jawing on about-- alright? You haven’t suffered from too much sun? A head wound I can’t see, perhaps?”

Ognark exhaled satisfactorily. There was no raping from terrible Rape Gnomes tonight, then.

“What are those weirdish things on your face, Singing Face Doctor?”

The man just sighed, “Singing Face… Right, so these are called goggles.”

“…I…see… and what do they do?”

“They allow me to see things without getting dust or bugs in my eyes whilst I pilot the Big Bird, ye ken?”

“Who’s Ken? Are you Ken?”

“No, I mean, do you understand… what is you name, by the by?”

Ognark beamed. “Please excuse my manners, Doctor. I am Ognark Thistlespoon, Mighty Marauder of the Yonder Waystes,” Ognark was pleased he had learned to introduce himself so well. Of course, Ognark still wondered if this Doctor Steelstormface was actually a Rape Gnome and just what the hell “esquiring” something could mean.

Was to esquire something to… bugger it like a Rape Gnome would? Those beasts were tricky. Oh, sure, at first they would be all fine and nice with compliments, and apologize for their kind—you know, the ones who end up raping people—but then they would lure you into a false sense of security. Usually with candy. Ognark loved candy.

Candy will never taste as sweet as it once did to poor Ognark.

“’Scuse me, guv, you somewhere else?”

Ognark had been staring at the Doctor. For how long? Ognark did not know. All he knew was that he should have deep suspicions concerning this man. While the Doctor was probably not a Rape Gnome, he could be in their employ. Those Gnomes: Tricky.

The whole “tricky” thing cannot be stressed enough.

“So,” Steelstormface said, “Would you like a ride in me airship?”

Ognark thought for a minute. Hmmm… To ride in this… airship… It would be fun. A lark. A hoot. A… an airship.

“I am scared of heights.”

“I see,” said the Doctor, “Well it’s quite safe, boyo.”

“Safer than a Vergontorpatersaur? Because one of those threw me. Hurt me bad. Been afraid of heights ever since.”

Doctor Steelstormface Esquire blinked. He took in a deep breath, “Look, Ognark, this is not a living animal. I can control it. It is perfectly airworthy, airsafe, and you will be rather comfy as we glide along the air at fast, but safe, speeds. Ye ken?”

Ognark furrowed his brow, “It’s not living?”


The large barbarian of Yonder Waystes heartily laughed as he started toward the craft, patting Steelstormface on the shoulder.

The Doctor sighed relief, “There ye go, lad, that’s not so bad, eh?”

“No. Ognark is safe from being raped by a large flying animal.”

Our hero boarded the strange craft, noting that the fart-smell was coming from Steelstormface and not the airship…


Friday, July 27, 2012

The Rage of Ognark: Part One

Hello there! It's been a while, but I've been soooo soooo busy. I really should be getting back to this project I'm working on, actually, before I am beaten with sticks. But I figured I'd post this first. See, a couple years ago I wrote a very, very short bit called "The Rage of Ognark", which was intended to be the start of stories parodying Conan, Thrud, and stuff like that... However, I lost interest, got distracted, etc etc, and I never followed up on the 600+ word piece. Flash forward to recently. I have started getting more interested in bizarro fiction, so I thought I'd write Ognark bits in that style (and rewrite the first bit a little, expanding it to 1000+ words). If you know anything-- anything at all-- about bizarro fiction, you will know that Ognark stories just may not be for you. It's supposed to be silly, but "The Rage of Ognark" will be no doubt offensive and squicky to some. Perhaps many. Then again, if you know who I am and read my things on occasion, then you will know that while I'm a pretty nice guy, I have a really bleak sense of gallows humor and enjoy nasty jokes. So, yeah, this story is not for kids. And you may not want people reading it over your shoulder at work.

Anyway, your feedback is appreciated. Keep in mind that this is all done on a lark, and when I feel like it. I would love critical feedback, but I'm also not very serious about this stuff (so, feel free to let the love/hate/tacos flow).

And 'ere we go, 'ere we go! (Part II will be up soon, as it's already done. Yay?)


The Fruits of One's Labors
By S. G. Saunders

[This excerpt of something probably most horrible was found by Imperial archaeologists studying the now-dead world LZ-486c. Numerous translations have yielded only this result. More research is currently underway. As for the terrible fate that befell LZ-486c… that information is unknown at this time. – Perseus Fractalthorpe Benzene IV, associate professor University of Doron, Nova Texum]

Ognark viewed the scene before him.


Absolute carnage.

Ognark thought of what he’d had to do to survive, he thought of his family and friends-- he thought of home. But not his home, nor his friends, nor his family could help him. No, all they would be is a carnage ridden mess if they'd been there. Ognark Thistlespoon let loose a low whistle. He was actually rather impressed with himself.

Ognark was impressed that he then remembered that any friends and family he once had were dead, many by his own hand.

Normally, it was unfortunate tavern patrons across the land of Evarmoore who would fall to Ognark’s mighty blade, wielded by his mighty arms which ended in mighty fists. Normally, there would be a maiden or two left over-- bar wenches, perhaps-- who would yell things like "ra-pree-shus swine!" at him, expecting a child of Yonder Waystes to understand any of that nonsense. But this time... this time was different.

What was different, exactly?

Ognark thought for a moment. Well, for one thing, the gentlemen at his feet had been killed with one of those stick things that held up a kiosk awning thing. Ognark had not expected some random person in the Market Plaza to be so daft-- or was it deft?-- at removing his mighty blade from his mighty fists. That fellow probably didn't expect the blade to instantly kill a near-by mule, but Ognark was digressing a bit. He was then distracted by the cobblestones and how all the blood--so much blood-- flowed between them.

So much beautiful blood.

The mighty bipedal mass of meat thought again. How many people had he killed? He tried counting a few times. One, two, three... fifteen, sixteen... twenty, twenty-one?-- it had to be scores. Ognark had trouble counting past the twenties, anyway. He didn't know what a score was, really, or how many victims that could represent; but Ognark was quite sure scores of foes littered the plaza.

At this moment, the morose silence was abruptly shattered.

"Hoy! What is the Seven Hells has happened here? By Flurgstein's enormous balls, this is madness!! You! You there! What has transpired here?"

Ognark saw a man dressed in what he believed to be the city’s garish colors yelling to him. The man had black hair, dark eyes and lots of facial hair, which was also black. Ognark decided to quit noticing him, because unless he was slaying him or loving him, he cared not for such trivial details.

Or entrails. Entrails are tasty if fried up right.

Ognark felt hungry all of a sudden.

"Trans... pired?" Ognark let the words flow slowly from his mighty jaws, "I don't think weather has much to do with this, friend."

The man screwed his face into an expression of sincere confusion. "WHAT? Who are you, sir? From whence do you hail? And what manner of creature was responsible for this slaughter?"

Ognark took in a deep breath. He then spied another dead body, this one covered in pieces of various fruits. Ah, that's right, he mulled (or is it muled?). He had killed that particular fellow with the contents of a fruit cart.

His voice now a proud growl, Ognark spoke. "I would be that port-icular manner of creature, sirrah. 'Tis me who purpose-trated this righteous fury."

The man looked ill. He seemed to be trying to catch his breath.

Men who looked like this, Ognark thought, should be put to death for the good of the women who will avoid them anyway.

Ognark continued. "I pray fear you are next, for mighty Ognark Thistlespoon of Yonder Waystes will suffer no fools... uh, fool."

The man whimpered. "But... but why?"

"Because ‘fool’ is all I can think of—Oh, uh, prices," Ognark huffed, moving his long, jet black hair from his mighty face with a mighty hand, "Now be a nice man and fetch me my axe. It's over there... in that rather portly fellow's chest."

The man dressed in the city’s garish colors promptly fainted.

“Useless,” Ognark muttered. People dressed as guards, or watchmen, or guards usually tended to be useless. Bribeable, sure, which made them slightly more useful when he needed to get in to places unnoticed, or hide in whorehouses, or to pay them to look the other way…

Ognark placed some coins in the trousers of the city guard (if that’s what he was). It was time to get going, and Ognark grabbed a nearby cart and started filling it with corpses. Finally, after a few minutes, locals began to show their faces, feeling safer in the fact that they could see what’s going on without losing said faces.

The barbarian looked around, made eye-contact with a few of those horrified faces and he smiled. He couldn’t really recall why he murdered all of those people. Was it a price issue? Did one of them aggress him? Hmmm… think to think about.

One thing was for sure. It was best to just slit the guard’s throat. The gold was left in his trousers… for the man’s family, if he had one. That was the right thing to do. Now Ognark had to leave this city, whatever it was called… he counted his blessings that everything occurred just outside the walls in the open market. He hated it when things got complicated and lead to putting yet another settlement on the list of places to avoid for awhile.

His mighty face let loose a mighty grin…

Once a mercenary captain he worked with, and eventually decapitated, told him that “it’s always best to look on the bright side of things”. Of course, the captain had said it when his head was still attached. His head didn’t say much after it was cut off, but once it was placed into a small burlap sack, local children seemed to enjoy playing games with it.

Our hero, heeding this dead decapitated mercenary captain’s words, continued to grin as he ventured back into the Wilderness. The cart creaked and the captured mules made unhappy noises. But Ognark didn’t care.

He now had meals and trade goods for his long and hunger-inducing journey.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Valiant Returns!! X-O Manowar #1

Important Details to get out of the way first--

X-O Manowar #1
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Writing: Robert Venditti
Pencils: Cary Nord
Inks: Stefano Gaudiano
Colors: Moose Baumann
Cover Art By: Esad Ribic, Cary Nord, David Aja, and Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic
Editing (he's essential): Warren Simons

There we go.

Due to a variety of reasons, I can't make it to the Free Comic Book Day festivities today. So I figure I might as well post a comic book "review". That should cover for my long Grognerdy absence, eh?

Valiant Comics was an important part of my latter youth. They and the Epic imprint really did a lot to change my perspective on how comics are made, marketed, and enjoyed. There's more to be said there, and there are many more comic book obsessed people who are infinitely more qualified than I am to get into it. But Valiant hasn't been around for a long, long time...

...And they return with an epic smash-fist of a goddamned great comic. Just insert a whole bunch of needless hyperbole right here, alright? The truth is that this is an excellent tale of the sequential art persuasion. Cary Nord's art is only magnified by Gaudiano and Baumann's efforts, and Nord knocks it out of the park. So, yeah, the art is awesome. I loved it. I think there's a panel or two where I was, like, "Hmmm", but it doesn't matter. I can't take art THAT seriously. All I really give a fuck about is "Is it rad?"; and the answer to that, my friends, is "CROM, YES". Nord brings the same game he brought to Conan, and it really shows and shows hard.

Then there's the writing and story. Right, so X-O Manowar back in the 90s can be looked up here. Read that? No? Well, the main character is a Visigoth* dude named Aric. He's from 5th century Dacia. I cannot tell you how many history boners I have seeing "Dacia" in comic books. There's Romans, too, and Aric fucks their shit up hardcore. But all is for naught, as the Romans are a murderlicious beat-down machine. Don't worry, though, Alaric, who makes an appearance (perhaps there to increase the enormity of my nerd -boner zeppelin fleet), will beat the fucking hell out of Rome and even sack their ass.

(*Think a people comprised of angry historical Goths, not an army of arthouse types who look like Robert Smith or Christian Death. Or Lycia and the Virgin Prunes. See? I know my goth shit, yo.) 

Take that, you Roman dicks.

Anyways, Aric bumps into these aliens who call themselves The Vine and gets abducted. There's this suit of armor that they have and no one can wear, but then Aric shows up and plans his escape right away... and you can see where this is all going. It's Spartacus meets Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. Except instead of some raging pussy* from America (or Britain, for you fellow Dan Dare fans), he's a Dacian Visigoth Asshander. Space Spartacus is gonna fight the Space Romans. It's pretty freaking sweet, actually. This first issue is all set-up and leaves things ready to jam into high gear come #2. I'm already excited for it.

(*Comparatively. And apologies to any women's groups offended.) 

Now, for you fellow History Geeks, don't expect the history shown to be perfect, but kudos to Robert Venditti for going the extra mile for verisimilitude's sake (onagers!). Also, it's a rip-roaring tale which makes me fall in love with comics all over again. This is why I read comic books, goddammit. I just hope they can keep the awesome up as the story progresses. Massive high-fives and salutants to Mr. Venditti.

To the crew of X-O Manowar: VICTORIA! VICTORIA! Per aspera ad astra!

One final note: I hope Valiant doesn't mind, but I had to find an image of this and post it in this write-up. It is my favorite part of the comic and shows just how committed these guys are to telling a great story.

Just click on it already!!!

Dude. I about crapped myself with glee.

Nutshell: If you love pulp action, history, sci-fi laser stuff, aliens, and an overall epic feel to things, buy the hell out of X-O Manowar. Lovers of European historical fantasy, Heavy Metal, 2000 AD, Marvel and DC's cosmic material (that's you, Jim Starlin and Abnett & Lanning fanbeings), and role-playing nerds will all find this right up their respective tears-of-joy alleys.


Wow, I really gushed, didn't I? I suppose it's been awhile since I read a comic I enjoyed this much. Other may not be so forgiving or kind, but I don't care. I will read this comic as long as it remains this cool.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Midnight Mini pr0n: Beautiful Warfare, Indeed

Howdy, folks! I've been recovering from GottaCon, and am finally going through pictures and such, fighting the dreaded Confluenza Convergiftung (in other words, con-crud). The first thing I wanted to do is a slightly past Midnight Mini pr0n featuring a young gentleman who is one of the most kick-ass miniature painters I've seen in quite a while.

Now, my pictures were taken with my Blackberry Playbook, which means they're not the greatest pics-- so I may be doing Kurt a disservice here. If so, I'm terribly sorry, man.

Anyhow, let's feast our eyes on what I'm sure is the first video I've posted on Diary of a Grognerd. And you know what? This is the only video I thought of to take at GottaCon. Funny that.

Hey, I'm a writer, not a videographer, okay?
(Update: I think that YouTube provides a better video thing than Blogspot... so I switched them oot.)

And here's a few pictures...

I sharpened it a little. Should be a bit less horrible a pic...

As you can see, these are Legion of the Damned space marines from Warhammer 40k. Probably my fave space marines. I mean, who can dislike evil looking rockabilly Adeptus Astartes who are like undead Angels of Death?

Those guys? Badasses painted by a badass.

I really wish I could catch the badassness better.

As you can no doubt tell, I took the pictures at the t-shirt booth I was working. Oh, the humanity.

In case you didn't pick it up from the video, Kurt and a buddy have started a mini-painting outfit called BEAUTIFUL WARFARE. If you live in or around the Vancouver, BC area, they would be happy to help you with your miniature painting needs. I believe Kurt told me they charge around $12 an hour. Trust me when I say it's worth every penny.

This brings me to: Should you get people to paint your dudes for you? Well, when I was waaay younger, I would let people pay me to paint their figs*. I was no where near the level of Kurt, but it did help me pay for more cultists, daemons and Imperial Guard. I personally encourage Wargamer Stategoi to paint their own troops, but sometimes you want to have an awesome looking squad or personality figure. And let's face it: Few of us are astounding painters like Archmagos deGraaf. There is absolutely no shame in paying someone skilled and talented to make your dudes look badass. It's your money and miniatures, after all.

(*Not a euphemism.)

If you are in need of the services of BEAUTIFUL WARFARE, I'm afraid you'll have to contact Kurt through Facebook for right now. It's a really good thing he has a distinct name, eh? I'll update this entry when he has a website to direct you to. Ah here we go. Information for contacting them is here.

I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this installment of the pr0n! I should be slowly posting GottaCon posts starting tomorrow. I may even have a goal to put something in this blog at least once a day. We'll see how that goes.


Feel free to comment below! Or email me.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Midnight Mini pr0n: Metzner's Magnificent Madness

Okay, I'm going to be short, to the point, and assailing you with many pictures. See, GottaCon is going on right now, and I need to get up to work a booth and be on a panel concerning GMing in the morning. But I just HAD to post about what HAS to be my fave drool-worthy booth at the con-- and it concerns terrain.

I mean, I was so impressed that I'm putting off going to bed right now. In fact, this will be going up a bit after midnight because I'm working on this actual-time for a change.

Usually I'll tell fellow dork-nerds to get paper terrain, or make their own, because pre-made terrain for minis is usually very expensive. Especially if you want it to look good.

Well, look at this real quick:

It even comes with little spiders!

Neat, eh? How much do you think they would cost? They're decent size, keep in mind. Like the size of a large fist. Maybe bigger.


In case you can't make that out, it says they're $7.50 a piece. Seven dollars and fifty cents. Holy. Shit.

Let's continue with more pictures and the information you'll need to order some after the jump, shall we?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Total Party Kill 2/3/12: Now with More Butterment

Howdy! For those few of you out there who keep up with this blog, you may have noticed I barely did anything  here over the last week. Well, I've been more busy than usual, especially with GOTTACON coming up... in fact, GOTTACON starts today!

I look forward to GOTTACON every year, and not just because they invite me to come do things. If you are too damned lazy to look up GOTTACON, the nutshell version is that its a gaming convention that happens every year right here in Victoria, BC, Canada. All kinds of cool games and such can be found there. Panels with special guests, too. Seriously, check it out. Here's another link to their site.

At this GOTTACON, I will be excessively busy, it seems. The convention organizers have me on two panels: "So You Want To Write A..." with other writers more awesome at writing than I am, I'm sure, and "DM Roundtable" where I sit around with other consummate DMs and talking DMing and such.

I will also be working my part-time job's booth, Style N Print, selling shirts-- including the official GOTTACON shirts. We'll also be able to show off our Direct To Garment thing, where we can create shirts for you in minutes.

And finally, I will be running a Warhammer 40,000: Dark Hersey RPG game tonight, from 7 to 11 PM. I call it "Logan's World Run", and the PCs are Adeptus Arbites personnel, sent to the wild place that is Hellsreach on Logan's World... a planet that only fans of the original Warhammer 40k Rogue Trader will know about.

Anyhowitzer, here's a link to the two posts (two??? wow) I've done this week:

Traveller OGL: Alienist [RPG Review]
This is covering a short and inexpensive PDF supplement for the new Traveller rules. Review material courtesy of Postmortem Studios.

Hardcore Book pr0n: First Edition Timez
Figuring I have to use "pr0n" in another feature name, this one is about books I find or rediscover. And I found a Spelljammer novel and a couple other nice treats.

And that's it for posts...

As far as other things going on, author Ryan Speck and I finally recorded the podcast thing we've been talking about for years. We called our evil worm-baby MouthFist. As with nearly all first ventures into podcasting, we had a few massive technical difficulties and we almost scrapped this episode. But Ryan, who's producing it, didn't want to re-record... so, out of sheer lethargy, I suppose, he edited the hell out of it... and aside from the weird static bursts, it turned out okay. Please, check it oot at yer leisure:

MouthFist Podcast, Episode 0: Fudginating with Hitler

Using our mouth-fists for the butterment of mankind. 

Master Nerd points will be handed out to anyone who can tell me where we shamelessly stole our logo from. Please be a good sport and try to answer BEFORE you look it up on ze Googles!

Now let's get to some links really quick-like...

A great take on the whole "Before Watchmen" Watchmen comics coming out...

...And Markosia's Ian Sharman offering a different viewpoint on the whole affair.

Looking for a great artist to drool over? How about one of my favourite Swedes, Peter Bergting? His art rocks, folks. A few years he gave me a copy of Gangkrig 145 (Gangwar 145), which I enjoyed (despite me not knowing Swedish). Recently he masterfully crafted the art for Joe Lansdale's The Dunwich Horror comics from IDW. Lovecraft fans, take serious note here. I'll cover the comics, soon, but you must pick these issues up. Now.

For the full preview from IDW, go here.

Here's an interesting site where I saw this blog listed. Its called 6D6 Fireball, and it's worth perusing. And it's not just a cool site with interesting things, but it also has the 6D6 rules system.

I'll have to check it out more in-depth sometime-- but it does look quite good.

I really wish I could keep going, but I need to get out the door for GOTTACON. It's going to be an action-packed weekend, folks. Hope to see a few of you there!

And I promise to do a Midnight Mini pr0n soon.


Questions? Comments? Hit me. Or email me