Saturday 31 March 2012

Blogging hiatus

Due to recent happy events I'll not be posting much over coming weeks.  Here's a quick breakdown of what has been happening at Zhu Towers:

Barrowmaze II
Gregs dungeon gets deeper and needs moar skullz! Drawing lots of pieces of weird and wonderous loot. Don't forget Barrowmaze I is now available in print and pdf

Red Box Games
Alternative Middle Ages, decoration, artwork and illustration

Now shipping with card art drawn by Zhuvian art-slaves! (well, that's me actually)

Chaotic Henchmen Productions
A few illustrations from the Mighty Pen of Zhu, featuring Grimlocks,  zombie-snake-elf creature,  apocalypses and giant monkey statues in Many Gates of the Gann AD&D module

Zhu on the left of me, poag on the right

"The City"
An urban AD&D campaign setting, in writing (currently expanding new spells) / editing / illustration works / layout / publishing. Selection of current reference materials on me worktop:
My home-grown folkloric Ænglisc AD&D Campaign setting, in development, plot flowcharts, monsters, characters, npcs, locations, etc.

I'm Z!
Honoured to take part in  Stuart Lloyds April A-Z blog challenge... he has got some great interviews lined up with Gamebook fans and seasoned pros including:  Russ Nicholson, Michael "DestinyQuest" Ward,  Coopdevil, and me! 

The saga continues...
  • 90% of a post on armour and PVs finished
  • Deconstructing 2e Scenarios
Also like to say a big thanks to everyone who is getting on board with the concept - even just finding Oldhammer a useful hook to hang their gaming style on, its all good!

Project Mayhem
Top secret  sideways expansion of the Oldhammer concept (lots to do) :-)

Random Nerdness

Loungetronica cover of Hawkwinds Spirit of the Age by Hausfrauen Experiment


Hey 100+ followers  joined the Kult of Zhu! With 86,409 pageviews to date

Also a sincere thanks to everyone commissioning me and well, apologies for the inevitable delay to projects...

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Oldhammer at the BBC

"The original rules were about fantasy combat and creating character.  Now the rules only work within their imaginary world, with their figures and it cuts out all the other influences." - Gary Chalk 2012

Thanks Gary for nailing the point of Oldhammer.

BBC article on 25 years of 40k

Actually apart from the title, the article is quite good...

... and was written by a Samira Ahmed who posts the full interviews with all the people mentioned in the article at her site:

Well worth a read.

Some extended (and slightly edited) quotes from Gary Chalk:

Warhammer was relatively unlimited...
People used to invent things – Eg. Dwarf hang gliders and hot air balloons and invent rules to use them in the game. I came up with naval ships – we called the game “All the Nice Dwarves Love a Sailor”: — they were fun add ons...

I wrote a scenario called the Bloodbath at Orc’s Drift. Dwarven militia with scythes and pitchforks based on the Zulu film. The principle characters were turned into a slightly deaf elf and a dwarf.  Had an alcoholic druid – none of it is possible any more.

Invention, fun, alcoholic druids...that's the ticket!

Thursday 8 March 2012

Teletext Art and Gamebooks

And now for something completely different - Teletext Art.

Hyper-observant readers might recognize this as a reworking of
the skull I drew for Greg Gillespies Barrowmaze module

The organisers of the International Teletext Art Festival picked the above image as the 'mascot' for their event, and it appears in print and all over their web.

ITAF is organised by Fix cooperative in collaboration with YLE the national broadcast corporation of Finland. The works are being shown on YLE Teletext pages 8.3.2012 - 8.4.2012 and presented in the one evening TELETEXT event 8.3.2012 (at the XL Art Space, Helsinki).

My submission of Teletext art is part of my DEADMEDIA series, exploring hauntology, brutalism and obsolete technology, inspired by the end of Teletext broadcasting in the UK. It's turned into a weird kind of mix of b-movie satanism and low-res pixel art.

If you don't know what Teletext is, it's a text and low-res graphic delivery system for television - it's a little signal that is interpreted by a tiny decoder that lives in your TV.  Teletext uses a system of numbered pages, you access different pages by tapping the numbers on your remote control, i.e. 101 is news headlines, and 400 is Weather. I'm pretty sure anyone in the UK will recognise this system as Ceefax, or Oracle or Teletext.

I've long held a desire to see a Fighting Fantasy style adventure broadcast  on Teletext - a dream that is increasingly unlikely to ever be realised, but in the mid 80's when Fighting Fantasy fad was at its peak and Teletext technology was in every home, I kinda though it would be a blindingly obvious and cool thing to happen, but it never did. Perhaps I should have written a letter to Steve and Ian.

Anyway, here's a glimpse into an alternative universe where Fighting Fantasy actually did make it into your TV via Teletext:

Imagine this on your telly...

Note, the cunning colour coding

I didn't submit these to the ITAF, so don't be too disappointed that you can't play THE MAZE OF AANGOR in Finland...

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Advanced Dungeons of Disturbia

Disturbia Clothing, with AD&D inspired Ts for Spring / Summer 2012 collection. Genius!

Womens: Advanced Dungeons & Disturbia

Mens: Advanced Dungeons & Disturbia
Distrubia do it again, not only did they decorate their shop with  Fighting Fantasy wallpaper, they now do AD&D inspired t-shirts.  Hardcore oldschool dungeonpunk psychedelia - for the win! I wish they'd name their artists, because whoever did that AD&D needs some serious linkage.

 I'm also rather taken with their Jamie Reid hommage "Never mind the future, here comes the Apocalypse" shirt...

Disturbia Clothing

K // D¡SURB¡▲ <3 ▲D+D //