The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #312 and Like a Hood Ornament #36: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 16

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #312 and Like a Hood Ornament #36: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 16

 
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Today, we are again working on the start of a new music track, this time with the iOS app Auxy (laying down the backing percussion and some notes in the verses) as well as watching the Rocketeer cartoon episode number 16, one of my kids’ favorites.  Some pictures from the episode … 

 

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I don’t know if this was written intentionally, but the part where Kit and Valerie go back and forth about stealing / borrowing a statue remind me of the part in the 1991 movie where Cliff and Peevy do the same thing (though the statue they “borrow” if of Charles Lindburgh, not the Rocketeer). 

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It’s hard to see in the above screenshot, but the dinero Kit and Tesh are holding in this scene has Rocketeer helmets on it where the Presidential head usually is 🙂

Lastly, about a year ago, there was a tragic explosion in Beirut, Lebanon (the country where half of Kit’s family comes from).  Things had been bad for some time, but the explosion and COVID really have done a number on the people of Lebanon.  Last year and recently, I made little posts on Twitter about it, mainly to raise awareness in a positive light (things on Twitter seem to have a habit of turning negative / political very quickly).  As I mentioned there, although Kit’s obviously not a real person, if she were real, she would be trying to help in some way, and if it’s one thing the world needs more of right now, it’s more everyday people who embrace their inner “heart of a hero,” just like our friends, Cliff and Kit.

When I think of those sentiments, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from another high flying aviator, astronaut Ellison Onizuka (RIP).

“… the people who make this world run, whose lives can be termed successful, whose names will go down in the history books, are not the cynics, the critics, or the armchair quarterbacks.

They are the adventurists, the explorers, and doers of this world. When they see a wrong or problem, they do something about it. When they see a vacant place in our knowledge, they work to fill that void.

Rather than leaning back and criticizing how things are, they work to make things the way they should be. They are the aggressive, the self-starters, the innovative, and the imaginative of this world …

Your vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine. Many things that you take for granted were considered unrealistic dreams by previous generations. If you accept these past accomplishments as commonplace then think of the new horizons that you can explore …

Make your life count – and the world will be a better place because you tried.”

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #311 and Like a Hood Ornament #35: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 15 with Production Coordinator Esther Gonzalez Murray

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #311 and Like a Hood Ornament #35: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 15 with Production Coordinator Esther Gonzalez Murray

Today, Esther Gonzalez Murray rejoins the show (she was last on for episode 294) to watch and discuss one of her favorite episodes.  Both of the segments that make up this episode are a lot of fun.  The show has really hit its stride by this point, as just about all the characters and villains have been introduced at least once, so even though each episode is generally meant to stand alone, there is some collective sense of history at this point that is nice.  

Some pictures from the episode … the first two involve a plot where the rocketpack is malfunctioning and gets captured by The Great Orsino (Cliff’s NY Adventure reference), who covers it for his stage act.   His assistant Deany, takes control of it for a short time and uses it to do good, but, ever helpful, not before first helping Orsino try to fly it in circles by holding him down with a tether (reference from the film where Cliff and Oeevy try something similar with a Charles Lindbergh statue).

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Thanks, Esther, for rejoining the show!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #307 and Like a Hood Ornament #34: The Rocketeer’s Sidearm

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #307 and Like a Hood Ornament #34: The Rocketeer’s Sidearm

Today, we’re taking a short break from toys and looking at the Rocketeer cartoon to discuss the Rocketeer’s sidearm, which we touched on last week at bit when looking at the clip in the 1991 film where he acquires a Mauser C96 pistol.

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I always thought it was odd Cliff is often shown (in both movie stills and the original Dave Stevens comics) holding a gun despite holding one for less than a page in the comic and for only a few minutes in the film.

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In this page of the original Rocketeer saga, what is shown is the Mauser select fire M172.  You can tell by the 20 round extended magazine and the selector switch on the left hand side.

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On this sketch done prior to inking and colors, you can see that the original idea was to draw something more akin to the older, more established Mauser C96 (usually chambered for the 7.63 mm x 25 round coming in an internal 10 round box magazine) – the one shown in the 1991 film and in most of the drawings that Dave Stevens did.

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Regardless of which version of the pistol was intended, this episode touches on some history and aspects of handing and usage and what might Cliff might have had to think about had he used the Mauser pistol he is associated with more.

For background, I read about the pistol in question in this book (plus a number of other videos you can find on Youtube).

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This picture shows the stripper clip method of loading – the main way the C96 would have been loaded since there was no detachable magazine, though on the M172, the bullets could have been loaded one at a time in the magazines also.

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The Mauser pistols came with hollowed out wooden holsters that could serve as shoulder stocks as well as protecting the gun from damage or foul weather.  The airsoft version I’m using below also a similar (but plastic) stock. 

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I’m using a gas blowback airsoft version of the select fire Mauser M712 (the one pictured in the original comic) made by the Taiwanese company WE. While the Rocketeer is often shown next to an American flag, you might think more Americana would have gone into the character design. But I think Dave Stevens intentionally picked something distinctive looking that fits with the aesthetics of the costume. The fact that Cliff does not “buy American” (so to speak) and use something like a Colt Peacemaker or a 1911 fits with the character in many ways, who is a compilation of a bunch of archetypes from the mid to late 1800s (the cavalry style leather jacket, jodhpurs, and riding boots) to the 1930s (the GeeBee and the art deco styling of the rocketpack and helmet). The intricate, well machined Mauser pistol falls solidly in between, a Victorian, already somewhat overengineered and steampunkish design by the late 1930s that was nonetheless still widely used not only by the Germans but by many other countries as well, especially China, where it even had its own nickname (盒子砲, literally “box gun,” named after the distinctive box magazine).  Interestingly the Mauser M712 was apparently quite popular there pre-WW2, as an arms embargo prevented rifles and machine guns from being imported (apparently pistols that could become carbines with fully auto capacity was an adequate workaround).   

There is a video segment to this podcast which can be found here:

 

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #306 and Like a Hood Ornament #33: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 14, Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Rocketeer (6/21/1991)

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #306 and Like a Hood Ornament #33: Watching The Rocketeer Cartoon Episode 14, Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of The Rocketeer (6/21/1991)

The day this episode releases will mark the 30th anniversary of The Rocketeer.  In celebration, I have a few special things for this episode, including a few accompanying video segments.  

The first is the opening of the Diamond Select version of the Rocketeer figure:

There is also a short segment with a number of other Rocketeer figurines:

The next segment is annotation of a short part in the film where the Rocketeer is caught in between G-men, gangsters, and Nazi storm troopers, eventually leading to those iconic scenes where he’s taking off by the American flag. 

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Although he is shown in both the comic (on covers mostly) and in pictures holding a Mauser C96 pistol, he never actually gets to use it in either the film or the original comic (more next week).  This clip shows how he obtained it in the film:   

This week, I’ll finish a little Rocketeer one screen game made with the app Pixicade.  It will be a shooting game, since those are very easy to make the the built in physics engine the app has.  Here is a preliminary drawing:

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Now onto more family friendly things!  Some pictures from the Rocketeer cartoon part of the episode:

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Lastly, check out episode 43 of I Used to Like This One for a guest appearance I made on the show to discuss the 1991 film version of The Rocketeer for the 30th anniversary of the film.

Lastly, thanks for all who joined in for the live Facebook concert of Thirteenth Hour music with the custom Logan action figure that happened on 5/30/21.  You can replay it here:

Set list:
1.) The Thirteenth Hour Theme*
2.) Empty Hands+
3.) Dragons’ Eyes*
4.) Forever Young (by Alphaville, acoustic guitar cover)
5.) Dreams Go Far*
6.) I Will Remember You (by Amy Grant, acoustic guitar cover)
7.) Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things*
8.) Searching for Forever*
 
*from the Long Ago Not So Far Away LP (https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/…/long-ago-not-so-far-away)

If you would like to grab a little piece of The Thirteenth Hour, pick up a patch of Logan flying off into the sunset and bask in many of the things we discussed in this episode – silver flying machines, cloudscapes, and the sun setting on another day signifying a hope for a better tomorrow.  The patches come with a high quality mp3 download from Once Upon a Dream, the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.

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If you still have a cassette player, take advantage of the following deal and be transported to another world!  SALE!  While supplies last, grab Long Ago Not So Far Away on cassette!  Just $1/tape – last week only!
https://ko-fi.com/s/5579db9b27

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #127: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 3 of 3

Episode #127: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 3 of 3 – a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Based on the World of The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/Podcast127_201801/Podcast%20127.mp3

This week continues the recording (part 1 and part 2) I did of my first real foray into Dungeons and Dragons with a campaign my brother created using a backstory for the next installment in The Thirteenth Hour.   The Wayfarer finds a Rocketeer style jet pack this episode that may feature in a future installment.

 

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After the campaign ends, my brother and reflect on the experience, and we talk about a few what ifs.

 

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

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Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #126: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 2 of 3

Episode #126: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 2 of 3 – a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Based on the World of The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/Podcast126_201801/Podcast%20126.mp3

This week continues the recording (part 1 here) I did of my first real foray into Dungeons and Dragons with a campaign my brother created using a backstory for the next installment in The Thirteenth Hour.   Here are some photos from this week:

Abram and Wayfarer Breaking out of the cell.

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The party of four about to break out of the can.

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… and into the fire …

sniping from distance pied piper 286160_screenshots_20171102032438_1 all gone to shit Cpt Dingas burns

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Getting singed by a dragon …

Stay tuned for part 3 next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #125: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 1 of 3

Episode #124: The Wayfarer’s Escape Part 1 of 3 – a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign Based on the World of The Thirteenth Hour

https://archive.org/download/Podcast125_201712/Podcast%20125.mp3

Despite having grown during the 80s, I never got into the whole Dungeons and Dragons fad.  I think I might have liked it had I had a group of like-minded friends to play it with, like in Stranger Things, but I didn’t know anyone like that.  It was also a lot harder to find out information in those days, so if it wasn’t in the public library or the Yellow Pages, it might as well not have existed.   I did discover bits and pieces that were related, like D and D game books, but really had no conception of what an actual role playing game was until much later, and when I actually found out it was like acting in a play, I was woefully disappointed.   I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but it surely wasn’t a big game of make believe – that was for kids, wasn’t it?

So, although I had to admit, the little figures and the game books always held a certain curiosity, my interest never really went any further than that.  In addition, it all looked needlessly complicated, and in the day and age of computers, what appeal could imaginary landscapes, dice, and turn based battles have?

A lot, actually.

Like a lot of things, your perception and experience of them depends on whether you are at a point in life to be receptive to them.  At this stage of my life, while I still enjoy playing a handful of video games (generally limited to times when I run on a treadmill), I often find the idea of them more appealing than actually playing.  While video games have the capacity of awakening the senses and transporting you to a virtual world and an immersive story, more often than not, I find myself getting frustrated with how much like work they seem.  If I’m lucky enough to have a few minutes free, the last thing I want to do it spend it on some mindlessly repetitive fetch quest or filler that game developers stuck in to add bloat to their game.  And as someone with young children, I find it increasingly frustrating to combat the inevitability of all the screen time in the average child’s life these days (and that’s to say nothing for the average adult, who might spend much of the day in front of a computer screen tapping out TPS reports or something similar).  There’s something appealing about slower paced, more analog forms of entertainment.

Enter Dungeons and Dragons – as an adult.  If it weren’t for my brother, who also discovered D and D later in life, none of this would have happened.  But after he got into it, played a few campaigns, and began functioning as a dungeon master (the person who organizes and coordinates the whole campaign for the other players and serves as narrator and referee), he offered to create a 1:1 campaign to allow me to experience this little piece of the 1980s that I missed.

And that’s what the next few weeks will be – a showcase into a little, self-contained campaign that Jeremy created based on a little segment for the next Thirteenth Hour book.  I gave him only a few lines and character sketches to go by, but from those humble beginnings generated several hours of play that opened my eyes and changed my mind as to what this slower paced gameplay could be like.  And I finally understood not only how much fun an actual role playing game could me (and not just a digital representation), but how people could spend all day on a D and D campaign, forget to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom 🙂

The main character is this little adventure, who features heavily in the next two Thirteenth Hour books, is called the Wayfarer, a half-elf freedom fighter who has been captured and locked up in a makeshift dungeon.  While the method of his escape wasn’t something that I was planing to go into in the actual book, it made for a great backstory and gave Jeremy room to add and modify it as he wished to make the campaign more interesting.

In this episode, I talk a little about the backstory to set up the gameplay.  Since I audio-recorded a few parts, there will be a part the includes the first battle, which actually went on a little longer than anticipated and made me think of “turn based combat” in a while new way.

Here are some pictures from the campaign.  We didn’t go entirely analog, though.  Jeremy used a program called Tabletop Simulator to create visuals to simulate the little figurines, maps, and gameboards that can add depth to a game a help a D and D Luddite like me understand what’s going on.

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I finally learned what all the funny shaped dice were for.  It was also a great exercise as a writer to create my character, the Wayfarer (since I had to do that anyway).  There’s something about the D and D character creation process, though, that helps to make more fully fleshed out, 3D fantasy characters. 

Below are a few Hero Forge digital figurines Jeremy created to represent the Wayfarer (the jetpack comes in part 3).

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This fellow (not sure where he came from) provided Jeremy the inspiration for Abram, the Wayfarer’s prison break accomplice.

So in summary, I’d have to say that as a parent, I’d much rather have my kids get together with actual, live, in-the-flesh human beings and use their imaginations and problem solving skills to go through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign than play the equivalent in digital form with virtual players.  Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!  Thanks for coming on the show, Brent!  It was a pleasure!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #124: The Robocop Show (30th Anniversary Tribute with Jeremy and Brent Simon)

Episode #124: The Robocop Show (30th Anniversary Tribute with Jeremy and Brent Simon)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast124RobocopShow/Podcast%20124%20Robocop%20Show.mp3

Last show of the year! Happy holidays! Brent Simon and my brother, Jeremy, came on the show this week to cap off 2017 to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1987 film, Robocop.  We also touch on the recent remake and a number of other things from the era, like some Saturday morning cartoons (there was a trend of making kids’ cartoons out of hyper violent 80s action films, like Conan, Chuck Norris flicksRambo, and, of course, Robocop – click on the highlighted links or the pics below for youtube clips of the show intros).

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The original Robocop was an interesting film in many ways since it was sort of aimed at kids … yet not (in that it was over the top violent and barely squeaked by an R rating)! However, robots were all the rage at the time.  Kids, adults, we all loved them.  Remember that this was the age of super robots cartoons (Transformers, Gobots, Robotech, Voltron, M.A.S.K., and a skew of others, mostly from Japan that didn’t get as much exposure here in the US) and ones in films like Star Wars, Short Circuit, and Terminator.

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We also covered a number of Robocop spin offs, like the games and some crossover comics.  Jeremy, who has encyclopedic knowledge of comic books and is behind the Classic Batman Panels Instagram page, contributed a lot of great info on the show about comic crossovers (many of whom were published by Dark Horse), including the Robocop / Terminator miniseries written by Frank Miller.

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Of course, one must check out the AVGN videos on the games spawned by the Robocop franchise.

The originals for the NES looked pretty shite.  In this epsiode the AVG Nerd also comments on the interesting 80s/90s phenomenon of making kids games’ out of R rated movies.

The Robocop v Terminator SNES game looks like it might have been ok to while away a few hours.

I originally intended to purchase a used gas blowback airsoft replica of Robocop’s auto 9 machine pistol on eBay for the show and include a video clip of it letting loose like in the movie but decided against it when I saw the price tag. 🙂   Ganking a clip off youtube was much cheaper!

(The auto 9, as a heavily modified Beretta 93R, doesn’t actually exist in real life, so a replica is the closest you can get if you want to legally own something like in the movie.  Even so, a gas blowback airsoft pistol will still set you back ~200 USD.  If you are in the States, a retailer like Airsoft Atlanta is a good option, and you won’t have to pay international shipping charges.  However, the latter may be worth it in some cases.  The HK retailer Redwolf Airsoft has a good selection and generally reasonable prices.)

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This pixelart animation of Lara Croft for the Tomb Raider game I intended to make once upon a time shows her shooting an auto 9.

Find more Brent Simon here (parts 1 , 2 , and 3 here) or on Jeff Finely‘s channel (below, Brent’s interview and Jeff’s – they were both multipart episodes, and Jeff compiled them into these videos):

A day in the life of Brent Simon, “The Brentumentary,” done by Jeff, and Brent current project, Aerial Focused.

Giveaway:

Nirvana Pilot Yume is a recently release PC game now available on Steam created to answer the question: what happened if the 1993 space racing MS-DOS game, Skyroads, were a visual novel with 80s anime visuals and a synthwave soundtrack?

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The team who created it, Dev9k, came on the show last week (12/18/17) to talk about their influences and have graciously supplied a free copy of the game for a lucky entrant into this contest!  It will go on until next week. 

Happy holidays.  See you in the New Year!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!  Thanks for coming on the show, Brent!  It was a pleasure!

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