UPDATE: I believe I on my own with no help of outside sources (neither WordPress or my site provider) finally found the issues and have locked the virus effecting this site off and out, but in case, I am leaving this note pinned with a read more if you are curious to history.
By Pulitzer Prize Finalist and THE NIB Founder Matt Bors and Artist Fred Harper
(February 22, 2024) Matt Bors — the founder of The Nib and a political cartoonist who has twice been named a Pulitzer Prize finalist —and acclaimed artist Fred Harper (Snelson) are collaborating on an all-new 5-issue comic book series, THE TOXIC AVENGER, starring the satirical superhero of the Troma Films cult classic films. Having already spawned five films, a cartoon, action figures, a musical, and a Marvel comic book series, the Toxic Avenger is a pop culture icon. He is also perfect for AHOY Comics, a Syracuse-based publisher dedicated to satirizing horror, space opera, social satire, sword & sorcery, and superhero stories. THE TOXIC AVENGER will debut this fall.
“THE TOXIC AVENGER delivers what Troma fans want,” said AHOY Comics Editor-in-Chief Tom Peyer. “The series has violent action, gross mutations, bursting pustules, eye-popping visuals, and trenchant humor.”
“If there was ever a superhuman hero for these toxic, miserable times, Toxie is the one!” said Lloyd Kaufman. “Only AHOY Comics and Bors & Harper could pull this off…er…mop this up! Toxie and the Troma Team can’t wait ‘til you read -no, experience – the art and stories that the Toxic Avenger Comic Book will explode in your brain, your soul, and your heart. Above all, remember – Toxie loves you and so do I.”
“This series will combine elements of the original films with the Toxic Crusaders cartoon and characters in familiar ways, updated to tell a story of environmental devastation, corporate control, and social media mutation,” said Bors. “THE TOXIC AVENGER is first and foremost an environmental satire, one about a small town and its unremarkable people trapped and transformed by circumstances they don’t control. The story Fred Harper and I are telling is about people frustrated by authorities telling them not to worry about their life, that things are fine, even as their dog mutates in front of their eyes. And at its core it is about a powerless boy, Melvin, who finds out he can be incredibly strong, hideously mutated, well-admired, and incredibly heroic… but still ultimately powerless over human behavior.”
In THE TOXIC AVENGER, teenager Melvin Junko helps run his parent’s junkyard in Tromaville, a small town in New Jersey where nothing much ever happens — until an ill-timed train derailment of toxic waste transforms Melvin into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength: the Toxic Avenger! Under a media blackout imposed by Biohazard Solutions (BS) and their PR-spewing Chairwoman Lindsay Flick, Melvin emerges as a hero fighting against BS and the mutated threats that keep popping up around Tromaville. Eventually Melvin uncovers a vast conspiracy more far-reaching than he could have ever imagined — but he knows if everyone is simply made aware of the crisis, they’ll act to stop it. Right?
The Toxic Avenger first appeared in the 1984 cult classic film about a mutated weakling mopping up a corporate mess, directed by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz and starring Mitchell Cohen.
TOXIC AVENGER is the second comic book series from Bors, following the release of JUSTICE WARRIORS, his critically-acclaimed comic with artist Ben Clarkson which follows two police officers, Swamp Cop and Schitt, stationed in the world’s first perfect city.
“In addition to the environmental and action satire at the forefront of this story, TOXIC AVENGER will skewer corporate PR, influencer culture, and the mainstreaming of conspiracy theories” added Bors. “It isn’t paranoia if they’re really out to pollute you!”
About AHOY Comics
AHOY Comics debuted in the fall of 2018 with the bold promise for readers to expect more from its line of comic book magazines, featuring comic book stories, poetry, prose fiction, and cartoons. The independent, Syracuse-based company is the brainchild of publisher Hart Seely, an award-winning reporter whose humor and satire has appeared in The New York Times and on National Public Radio. AHOY’s editor-in-chief Tom Peyer is committed to publishing comics with a (dark) sense of humor with titles like the religious satires SECOND COMING and HIGH HEAVEN, the superhero parodies THE WRONG EARTH and MY BAD, the sci-fi spoofs CAPTAIN GINGER and HIGHBALL, the time travel tales PLANET OF THE NERDS and G.I.L.T., and the humor/horror anthology series EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD.
About Troma Entertainment, Inc.
Established in 1974 by Yale friends Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, Troma Entertainment is the longest-running, independent movie studio in North America, and it’s one of the very few genuine brand names in the industry. Troma is worldfamous for producing & distributing classics such as Kaufman’s “The Toxic Avenger”, Trey Parker’s “Cannibal! The Musical”, “Poultrygeist”, “Class of Nuke ‘Em High”, Charles Kaufman’s “Mother’s Day” & “Tromeo & Juliet”. Many of today’s luminaries can be found in Troma’s library of 1000 films, TV shows & shorts. Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Costner, Fergie, Vincent D’Onofrio, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gunn & Eli Roth are just a few notable Troma-lumni. Troma Blu-rays, DVDs, books, shirts & Tromabilia can be purchased at www.tromadirect.com. Troma’s classic & new films & exclusive extras can be viewed at www.troma-now.com.
About the creators
Matt Bors is a cartoonist, writer, editor, and publisher who founded the comics publication The Nib. His work has appeared in The Nation, CNN, The Guardian, The Village Voice, Daily Kos, and was collected in the book We Should Improve Society Somewhat. He is a two time Pulitzer Prize Finalist for his political cartoons and drew the graphic novel War Is Boring.
Fred Harper has illustrated stories for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Most memorable (at least to Fred) would be penciling for Animal Man at DC Vertigo. He started out with Savage Sword of Conan, Ghost Rider, and Doctor Strange at Marvel Comics. He went on to do illustrations for White Wolf and Magic the Gathering as he transitioned to magazine illustrations for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Week, SPORT, The Sporting News, Muscle and Fitness, Men’s Health, Muscular Development, and Sports Illustrated… to name a few. Fred currently resides in an apartment where he conducts experiments about the effects of copious amounts of espresso on an artist’s brain. Results have been inconclusive, but sometimes secrets take time for the beans to spill.
Having added photos and done edits and updates to my New Orleans live reporting I’ve felt it best to put links to all three posts in one.
(I put this collection together in Jan and somehow never posted it… it includes trailers and music videos still noteworthy of the start of the year, so I am posting them along with captions)
In no particular order a collection film, game and tv trailers, music videos and tracks and other stuff from Youtube that caught my attention.
I had gotten an early access copy to the full version of Please, Touch the Artwork 2 and fully enjoyed their experience. They found a few bugs which they reported to the dev and have been excited to see that they continued to polish the game showig love and promise to a completely free game says much about Thomas Waterzooi. As excited as I am by this game to be available now for all I am even more excited to see what he and/or his Studio does next.”-Pop-Culture Spectrum
Early reviews hail it as “A Masterpiece in its own right” and “A must-play free game”
19 FEBRUARY 2023 – Today marks the official release of Please, Touch The Artwork 2, now available as a FREE download on smartphones/tablets via the Apple Appstore or Google Play as well as on Windows/Mac via Steam. There are no ads, no hidden fees, and no paid DLC – just a free game to savor at your own pace.
Dive into the world of James Ensor, the Belgian Modern Art pioneer, with Please, Touch The Artwork 2: Explore his iconic paintings in a quirky, cozy, and engaging hidden-object artventure that’s filled with surprises. Help quirky characters retrieve lost items and restore gaps in the paintings in a game that transforms art appreciation into a short,fun-filled journey.
The game was made with the support of the Flemish Government, on the occasion of the Belgian EU Presidency 2024 and to celebrate the 75th anniversary of James Ensor’s passing in 2024. Making it available for free ensures that everyone can enjoy the game without any barriers to entry.
For more information and to download the game, visit the official website. Join us on this artistic adventure today!
Here is what the press had to say:
|“Please, Touch the Artwork 2 simultaneously managed to reframe my perspective on art, introduce me to one of the 20th century’s greatest painters, and offer a touching, heartfelt narrative imbued with great reverence for a medium that is perhaps at its best when we get to poke it with a giant skeleton hand.”
– 9/10, TheGameCrater.com
|“Please, Touch The Artwork 2 offers unique and engaging gameplay with the challenge of a hidden object puzzle game. With its seamless integration of gaming and art appreciation, it shows the creativity that can be found between gaming and the art world, and developer Thomas Waterzooi’s love of the arts shines through in the gameplay.”
– Two Thumbs up! (10/10), LadiesGamers.com
|“Walking through James Ensors’ paintings offers a magical cozy artventure that’s filled with unexpected moments; as a free game, this is a must-play!”
- 9/10, GamingBoulevard.com
|The entire game shows enormous respect for Ensor’s work. It’s just an hour long, but for a completely free game, that’s not bad at all. So by all means, take the time to download and play this artful game that has itself become a masterpiece.” (translated from Dutch)
- 5/5, HetNieuwsblad.be
About the game
Assist a wandering skeleton artist in navigating a surreal, hand-painted universe, while collecting hidden objects for its quirky inhabitants. Solve casual puzzles and fix gaps and cracks in the paintings. Carefully crafted from works by James Ensor, a Belgian pioneer in the world of Modern Art.
- Explore 5 unique worlds – Embark on a journey through five distinct worlds, each brimming with the mesmerizing art of James Ensor. Discover hidden treasures and unravel the mysteries within his famous paintings.
- Hints when stuck – Stuck on a particularly elusive object? No worries! Players can request hints to nudge them in the right direction. This ensures a frustration-free adventure, allowing you to seamlessly continue your exploration.
- Simple point & click controls – Navigate the world by clicking or tapping where you want to move. The intuitive controls make it accessible to all types of players. Take advantage of the zoom function to delve into every intricate detail.
- Casual hand-painted art – Interactive elements and animations made from James Ensor’s authentic hand-painted works bring his masterpieces to life.
- Atmospheric relaxing sound – Let the immersive atmosphere and tranquil soundscapes wash over you as you delve into Ensor’s world. The combination of real art and calming audio creates a mesmerizing experience.
- Highly accessible – With a light-hearted and playful approach, “Please, Touch The Artwork 2” is a delightfully cozy adventure suitable for almost everyone.
LOS ANGELES, CA (February 16, 2024). Internationally celebrated publishers Top Shelf Productions (USA) and Knockabout Ltd (UK) are proud to announce the publication date of the long-awaited THE MOON AND SERPENT BUMPER BOOK OF MAGIC. Born of the longstanding creative partnership between legendary writer Alan Moore (From Hell) and his creative and magical mentor Steve Moore (no relation), this celebration of magic and the occult has been meticulously under development for nearly two decades and is brought to life through a combination of prose, illustration, and sequential art from five incredible artists. This veritable grimoire of the magical, the mystical, and even the macabre will be on sale in October 2024.
The secrets of the celebrated Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels (sorcery by appointment since circa 150 AD) promise to be revealed in THE MOON AND SERPENT BUMPER BOOK OF MAGIC. This clear and practical grimoire of the occult pairs the knowledge of the proprietors of the aforementioned Grand Egyptian Theatre with illuminating visual delights from artists Kevin O’Neill, John Coulthart, Steve Parkhouse, Rick Veitch, and Ben Wickey. Unprecedented in its scope and splendor, this tome is full to bursting with illustrated instructional essays, activity pages, biographies of the great sorcerers, and forbidden knowledge sure to tantalize even the most disillusioned of adults into believing in magic once again.
“One of the great honors of my publishing career has been to work with Alan Moore on so many monumental projects, like From Hell and Lost Girls,” says Chris Staros, Editor-in-Chief of Top Shelf Productions. “THE MOON AND SERPENT BUMPER BOOK OF MAGIC represents an amazing capstone, created by Alan and Steve, and brilliantly brought to life by five unforgettable artists. It’s been a privilege to watch those magical minds spend years building this grimoire, and I’m proud to join Knockabout in finally sharing it with the world.”
THE MOON AND SERPENT BUMPER BOOK OF MAGIC (ISBN 978-1-60309-550-1) will be available in fine bookstores and comic shops in October 2024.
A photo essay with links and descriptions of products in books, food, design, etc. that caught our eye at the Winter 2024 session of NY Now from Jacob Javits Convention Center which is also celberating 100 years as an expo/convention/curator.
Not Picasso, art jewelry: https://shopnotpicasso.com/
Haute Diggity Dog now makes cat toys: https://www.hautediggitydog.com/
Steiff had a small but elegant display as well as their Elton John Teddy and upcoming Snoopy Scout. https://www.steiff.com/
A few choice upcoming items from Running Press Minis including kc green’s This is Fine dog.
New games and books from Brass Monkey. https://brassmonkeygoods.com/
Cool and fun toys from Fun In Motion. https://funinmotiontoys.com/
Display set up from Art Is Bond. https://www.artisbond.gallery/
Products from Today is Art Day. https://www.todayisartday.com/
Spring 2024 products for Kikkerland. https://kikkerland.com/
Every gamer will tackle things at an “event” like Steam Fest differently. Based on the games they enjoy, thumbnails that catch their attention or even advertisements/promotions outside the Fest that guide them to a certain game. With 100s of games to demo one can only tackle a fair share before being inundated. The following is not every demo I played, only ones which I found enough fun, interest and enjoyment of gameplay in to make a small statement and in some cases grab a screenshot. Some of the demos will no longer be available but the games are ready to be wishlisted, so here’s one I personally feel deserve notice and promotion.
Children of the Sun: A clever puzzle tactical more than a shooter. You might be stealthily firing upon targets but it truly is mastering multiple trajectory and timing mechanics alongside hand/eye coordination to hit those targets then it is a action/adventure game. At least in the demo. The graphical style and design layout is really cool. I personally don’t care for seeing a Leader Board and hope the final version has a way to turn it off, as I find it a distraction instead of an impetetus to do better. My impetetus is to do better than myself, not others. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1309950/Children_of_the_Sun/
Please Touch the Artwork 2: Extremely different from Thomas Waterzooi’s first game, this completely free (available Feb 19th, 2024) hidden object game is built around some extremely strange paintings based in various styles and periods. The quiet zen vibe and relaxing feels even with an evil seeming art destroyer running around. I’ll have more on this wonderful game later in the week. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2600140/Please_Touch_The_Artwork_2/
Duck Detective: The art style alone really pulled me, but the sleuthing felt fun. In the demo it seems very.. rudimentary, nothing truly difficult but I can get the vive there’s a chance of frustration because you can’t just SOLVE it, you must deduce it, you must SHOW your work and that’ll be where it gets hard and I’m here for it, cause it’ll also stay cute. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2637990/Duck_Detective_The_Secret_Salami/
Miniatures: From the demo I can’t really tell exactly what this is, but the art style, the simplicity, the strangeness, the eeriness. I want to know. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2428840/Miniatures/
An English Haunting: Old school pixel art traditional point and click adventure game based in olde England with ghosts, mysteries, and more. Well constructed demo compels to see more. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2474030/An_English_Haunting/
The M/S Cornelia II Incident: Extremely minimalistic pixels, less traditional but still intuitive point and click adventure game built around amnesia, murder?, and a cruise ship. Another well crafted demo. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2516650/The_MS_Cornelia_II_Incident/
It’s Kooky-Land of Aotearoa: Basically a hidden object game, but different. Find the stuff that looks weird. The art style makes it extra fun. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2650510/Its_Kooky__Land_of_Aotearoa/
Follow the meaning: Basic logic puzzles, hidden objects hunts, an extremely fun art style, follow the meaning is a logic puzzle game through and through, although sometimes with weird logic or at least weird responses to what felt like logic and I love it for that. Perfect teaser made me clamor for the rest. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2720280/Follow_the_meaning/
Daemon Masquarade: Built on comic book images and logic puzzles, the demo for this more confuses than excites, but the art and puzzles in the teaser were just enough to get me going. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2277090/DAEMON_MASQUERADE/
A Park Full of Cats: Find the cats… I love these find the cat games and I love that multiple studios have versions of them with different storytelling mechanics and art styles. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2610090/A_Park_Full_of_Cats/
Aarik and The Ruined Kingdom: Top down isometric connect the pieces puzzle with a compelling story. Very simple, yet complex. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2687300/Aarik_And_The_Ruined_Kingdom/
Mizi No!: This is basically a digital jigsaw puzzle of various objects and sizes but the art and background concept gives it ease. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2654860/Mizi_NO/
Queer Quest: This might not appeal to all, but it seems to be mostly a modern point and click about everyday life. A hand drawn type of deal that makes me think of Zack McKracken or Day of the Tentacle or Deponia. Cept it’s a small town and you’re a non-binary with a beautiful girlfriend and you like weed and then… your girlfriend gets kidnapped. Normal stuff. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1296300/Queer_Quest_All_in_a_Gays_Work/
Copycat: Meow, meow, meow… meow, meow. Meow. Really though, cat simulation life games are the rage these days, there’s many of them but Copycat really has a good flow. The demo gives you just enough to feel where it’ll go without giving it away and ending on a cliffhanger. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1622350/Copycat/
Harold Halibut: I haven’t actually played this long demo yet, but as I’ve mentioned this game multiple times since it was first announced, here I am again. https://store.steampowered.com/app/924750/Harold_Halibut/
Tiny Terry’s Turbo Trip: Open world insanity in a weird world with lots of things to do, collectibles, simple mechanics, but with a goal, get your car into space. Earn money, do jobs, do errands, gain upgrades. It looks like a wacky cartoon and the demo even though I couldn’t fully figure out how to end it… or did I? I’m not sure… I wanted more. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2238040/Tiny_Terrys_Turbo_Trip/
Mutants Ate My Carrots: Animation artstyle, traditional point and click. Would love some fast travel as even in just the demo there’s a lot of back and forth and the majority of everything is more fetchquest guess than anything, but there’s something here and the demo ends just when it gets really good. https://store.steampowered.com/app/2654690/Mutants_Ate_My_Carrots/
There were so many more demos in Steam Next Fest. Some I have downloaded and not yet played. A week sometimes isn’t even enough time. Some of these demos alone are a few hours of gameplay despite being only a portion of the game. I appreciate these fests and adding to my always growing Wishlist.
The story wizards at inkle, who recently nabbed three IGF nominations for A Highland Song, have teamed up with Google Arts & Culture on The Forever Labyrinth — a free browser-based game built from art across the world and all of history.
Professor Sheldrake is lost in a labyrinth beyond time itself. Can you find her before the monster finds you?
Game link: https://goo.gle/foreverlabyrinth
In Every Labyrinth, There Is a Monster
The Forever Labyrinth is an ever-changing maze of halls, rooms, clifftops and cellars, filled with the collected works of the entirety of the late human race — and your friend, Professor Sheldrake, is lost somewhere within its walls…
Can you decipher the secrets of the Labyrinth, to find her? Who is the mysterious figure leaving you messages? And will the Labyrinth — and you — survive the collapse that is coming?
Developed by inkle, the creators of acclaimed narrative games such as 80 Days, Heaven’s Vault, and Overboard!, The Forever Labyrinth is a replayable rogue-like adventure. A single run will take about twenty minutes, but you’ll need to play again and again to discover all the game’s secrets.
Explore the Labyrinth room by room, or travel through the very paintings on the walls! Follow the clues to piece together the many mysteries.
Explore Art from Every Era
The art that fills the walls of the Labyrinth is an eclectic mixture of the classic and the modern, the well-known and the obscure, the beautiful and the weird, drawn from the collections of great museums who are keen to share their treasures in new and exciting ways online. What will you find? And where will it take you?
inkle have created The Forever Labyrinth in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, who partner with over 3,000 cultural institutions from more than 80 countries in their mission to make the world’s art and culture accessible and engaging to all. Google Arts & Culture are always looking for ways to tell stories that connect people to culture, so they approached inkle with the challenge of designing a game that takes players on a personal journey of artistic discovery, telling a great story that allows people to discover art in a whole new way.
Learn more: https://artsandculture.google.com/
MAX INVITES YOU TO “LATTE LARRY’S”
IN ADVANCE OF SUNDAY’S DEBUT OF THE 12TH & FINAL SEASON OF THE HBO ORIGINAL SERIES ‘CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM’
MAX IS PARTNERING WITH MENOTTI’S COFFEE STOP
TO BRING FANS OF THE ACCLAIMED SERIES
FREE “HOT CUPS OF SPITE” AND “DRY SCONES”
FEBRUARY 2 – 4 IN CULVER CITY + VENICE BEACH
12430 WASHINGTON AVENUE, LOS ANGELES 90066 +
56 WINDWARD AVENUE, VENICE 90291
Los Angeles, CA (January 29, 2024) – This weekend, Friday, February 2 – Sunday, February 4, as the world eagerly awaits the premiere of the 12th and final season of the acclaimed HBO® Original Series CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, Max is inviting fans out to “Latte Larry’s,” Larry David’s short-lived coffee shop in Season 10.
|The Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, starring Larry David, returns this Sunday, February 4 at 10pm EST/PST on HBO and will be available to stream on Max. New episodes will debut subsequent Sundays at the same time leading up to the series finale on April 7.
|In partnership with Menotti’s Coffee Stop, at their Culver City and Venice Beach locations, enjoy free Hot Cups of Spite (coffee) and Dry Scones (one per person, while supplies last, vegan options available), along with limited edition Menotti’s x CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM collaborative shirts and mugs, plus a special blend signature roast of “Latte Larry’s Beans.”
| WHAT: “Latte Larry’s” pop-up spite stores
DATES: Friday, February 2 – Sunday, February 4TIMES: Culver City – 7am-4pm | Venice Beach 7am-4pm
LOCATIONS: Menotti’s Coffee StopCulver City – 12430 Washington Avenue, Los Angeles 90066
Venice Beach – 56 Windward Avenue, Venice 90291
The longest Nerd Notes you’ll have seen in a long time. Six days away in New Orleans means six days of catch up. Here are the trailers, music videos and what have you from YT and the internet that have caught my eye since I’ve been away and have come back between Jan 22-28th, 2024 and some bonuses from 1-29.
A COSMIC MOVIE CAMERA: DO NOT MISS THIS IMMERSIVE ART EXHIBIT EXPERIENCE YOU CAN ENJOY SAFELY FROM HOME BUT SEE IN PERSON TOO AS IF YOU ARE THERE (the films, the audio, the text, all of it, the floors, the layout, best interactive online real exhibit I’ve seen yet) https://epoch.gallery/ACosmicMovieCamera/index.htm