The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #364: Musical Interlude – Creating “I’m Here, You’re Not”

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #34: Musical Interlude – Creating “I’m Here, You’re Not”

https://archive.org/download/podcast-364/Podcast%20364.mp3

This week, I’m making one last track for the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack album.  Just when I think it’s done, I think of another track I want to make.  I think that’s because I really do think of all these tracks as accompaniments to various sections in the books.  The nice thing about that is once you find a central theme (e.g. elements of The Thirteenth Hour theme is one), you can repeat and vary it throughout depending on the needs of the scene.  This one goes along with a short segment from The Thirteenth Hour where Logan meets his crewmates again in a dream:

For awhile, all was dark, and I could hear nothing. Then the familiar elements of my recurring nightmare aboard the ship came into focus. But this time, I wasn’t afraid.

And there before me, were all seven members of my crew, smiling, looking down as I lay in my bed. It was like I was in the hospital, recovering from an injury, and they’d stopped by, flowers and get–well cards in hand, to wish me well.

“Guys?” I ventured. “You’re … okay?”

“We are now,” Jake said softly, laying a hand on my arm. The other men nodded. I looked for traces of resentment or anger in their faces, but I saw none.

“I’m sorry, guys, I don’t know what to say … I …”

“It’s okay,” they said.

“You’re not mad?”

“Why would we be mad?” Ben asked.

“I … I dunno. I’m here, you’re not … it just seemed like it should have been the other way around.”

“But it wasn’t,” said Phil, shrugging. “We’ve been watching, the whole time, and in some ways, we’re glad it’s you, and not us,” he said, laughing. The others nodded.

“We’re … we’re really proud of you,” Jake said. “The cards were stacked against us from the beginning. That asshole, Darian.” Other nodded vigorously. “We’ve been amazed you’ve made it this far. I certainly don’t think I could have, not alone.” More head nods.

I wasn’t sure what to say. “Thanks,” I said finally. “I’m glad we could meet again.”

“Well, we’ve been trying to get in contact with you as soon as we could, but … it never quite worked until now.”

The nightmares. “I’ve been having the same nightmare over and over since the ship went down. It always ends the same way.”

“Well, now you know how it ended. Here. Today. Now.”

It felt as if a weight had begun to be lifted from my chest.

The track we’re making today is basically a slow reworking of The Thirteenth Hour theme, similar to what I did with Empty Hands and the meditative theme that became the music video of pixelated Logan flying through the clouds.  This track is most similar to the latter but won’t have the angelic accents that that track ended up with.  I’d like to give it a more somber tone to fit with the nature of the passage above so will be thinking about which sounds would best pair with the base layer I made this week.  I was thinking of something haunting, kind of like the sounds of a Theremin, but am not sure I can make that with my midi keyboard.  But I may be able to find something close.  We shall see!  Stay tuned!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #363: Starting to Make Video Games Again!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #363: Starting to Make Video Games Again!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-363/Podcast%20363.mp3

This week, I talk a bit about two upcoming projects – starting to make video games again after a few decades of not doing it!  Though I’ve used a number of the animations and sprites I made in various things, most recently the music video of Logan using the music Jeff Finley and I made, for the most part most of the work I did making games using engines like Klik ‘N Play and The Games Factory sat mostly unused all these years.  But every now and then, I’d take a look at the games making software out there, since the dream of making a Thirteenth Hour game in some capacity has never really gone away.  Fast forward to now, and I discovered a freeware games making program called GDevelop, which seems to have the abilities of the programs I used before with more user-friendliness.   So, I decided to learn how to use the program by making a simple, one level game of the Rocketeer where he runs, shoots, and flies to escape from a facility where he’s (almost) been taken captive.  Turns out, I’ve been able to reuse some of the animations I did in the past, which has saved a lot of work of creating everything from scratch.

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So, more updates to come as I learn the program and advance the game!  

Speaking of games, the second project I’m working on is learning more about becoming a DM to be able to host DnD games set in the Thirteenth Hour universe for Patreon members.  So far, I’m looking at modifying some of the existing systems out there to fit the world and the ideas I have.  So stay tuned!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #361: Making a Retrowave Music Video, Night of the Comet, Toys, and Being a Kid Again

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #361: Making a Retrowave Music Video, Night of the Comet, Toys, and Being a Kid Again

https://archive.org/download/podcast-361/Podcast%20361.mp3

This week, I finished the music video I started recently using the two synth – handpan tracks Jeff Finely and I worked on together.  I finally figured out enough of Adobe Premiere to accomplish pretty much what I was going for in the video – i.e. flying through fantasy landscapes with a trail of smoke coming out of Lightning.  Now, in the book, it’s actually three rainbow smoke trails, but sometimes, I will just draw it as one large rainbow that trails afterwards.  I couldn’t quite get the rainbow effect but did get the smoke trail to change to the colors of the rainbow, which is good enough for now.  Here’s a short clip of what I started with (pixelart Logan superimposed over stock fantasy landscape animations I purchased off pond5.com):

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And here is the full video:

 

This was the last collaboration Jeff and I did, by the way, based on some ideas originally conceived by Brent Simon:

You can find out more about Jeff on his previous appearances on the show (episode 101, 102, and 176).

I also recently rewatched the 1984 film Night of the Comet to prep for a conversation with one of the leads from the film, Catherine Mary Stewart about the movie.  This is a little addition to the Lego Friends minifigure package I made of Sam and Reg from NOTC, but if you’re on the Patreon, you will be able to find the interview there.  If you’re a regular podcast listener, you will also be able to unlock the interview to listen to it.  Yes, that’s right, gameification!  Since Regina Belmont was an avid arcade gamer in the movie, it only seems right.  Stay tuned for details.  The Night of the Comet figures will be auctioned off starting in August, most likely, all proceeds to benefit the nonprofit Alliance4girls.org

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I also recently went back to my parents’ house and brought back a few things from my childhood for my own children and took pictures of some of the things I wanted to remember:

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A collection of some of my and my brother’s old figures to share now with my kids.

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Remember some of these guys?

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 We saved a bunch of the boxes from the computer games we had as kids.  Little did we know that ot only would most games not comes with big boxes anymore but people would collect these things for exorbitant prices on eBay! 🙂

More on Patreon … but in the meantime, let it be known that 7/8/22 is “Be a kid again day!”

In other words, a great excuse to play with some toys!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #359: Musical Interlude – Adding to a C#m Chord Progression on Synth with Jeff Finley

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #359: Musical Interlude – Adding to a C#m Chord Progression on Synth with Jeff Finley

https://archive.org/download/podcast-359/Podcast%20359.mp3

This week, I’d adding to the second repeating chord progression in C#m that I did with with past show guest Jeff Finley on the handpan.  We started this track in episode 354.  This track ended up having the repeating chord progression C#m B C#m B C#m B / C#m B C#m B A B at 100 bpm.   In this episode, I’m adding to Jeff’s arrangement with a little synth layer to hopefully complement what is already there.

For the first track we did, Jeff did an amazing job with accompanying and arranging the track started in episode 352.  That track is showcased in a music video on Adobe Premiere I started this episode with  pixelart Logan superimposed over some stock fantasy landscape video I purchased off pond5.com.  Here is a preview:

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I’d like to try to figure out how to add some rainbow colored exhaust to Lighting’s tail like I envisioned in the book:

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #354: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth 2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #354: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-354/Podcast%20354.mp3

This week, I’m making another repeating chord progression in C#m for a little collaboration with past show guest Jeff Finley, who recently told me about an instrument called a handpan, which is kind of like a steel drum you play with your hands, that, at least to my ears, sounds a bit like a synthesizer.  He did an amazing job with accompanying and arranging the track I started in episode 352, and this is another track that hopefully we can work on together.  

This track ended up having the chord progression C#m B C#m B C#m B / C#m B C#m B A B over and over.  Like the last one, this track was recorded at 100 bpm to make room for the handpan and allow it to breathe.   

This was our last collaboration, by the way:

You can find out more about Jeff on his previous appearances on the show (episode 101, 102, and 176).

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #352: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #352: Musical Interlude – Making a C#m Descending Chord Progression on Synth

https://archive.org/download/podcast-352/Podcast%20352.mp3

This week, I’m making a repeating chord progression in C#m for a little collaboration with past show guest Jeff Finley, who recently told me about an instrument called a handpan, which is kind of like a steel drum you play with your hands, that, at least to my ears, sounds a bit like a synthesizer. 

He mentioned that his handpan is in the key of C#m, so we thought it’d be fun to make another piece of music together.  So this is me just starting something, and then I’ll send that over for him to add to, and we can go back and forth and see what we come up with, kind of like a remote jam session.  

After playing around with a few, I ended up liking the descending chord progression C#m A E B and thought it might be fun to see what we could come up with around that.  Though there is a bit of a melody, for the most part, I purposefully didn’t add much.  It is just those 4 chords repeated again to allow Jeff to add to it.  (Jeff – recorded this at 100 bpm with each chord held for about an 8 count.)  Looking forward to what we can make together!  

This was our last collaboration, by the way:

You can find out more about Jeff on his previous appearances on the show (episode 101, 102, and 176).

In other news, I’m almost done painting the Beverly Switzler figurines for Ernie Trinidad’s postproduction backers for his Howard the Doc film.  These were tough!  I used reading glasses to see the tiny details and am glad I chose to make her eyes closed rather than open since trying to paint eyes on a figure this small is always a headache in more ways than one.  I didn’t realize I’d made so many – nine painted ones and four glow in the dark ones.  There’s definitely more than I need, so I may auction some off for charity like I did with the Lego Rocketeers.  Speaking of which, this past week, it was Star Wars Day (5/4), which is also United Nations Anti-Bullying Day (as of 2012).  Combined those two things and the Lego Rocketeer in a little skit.  There are some stills below the ones of Bev.

And the clip:

Stay tuned to episodes on more 80s fantasy and Rocketeer content coming soon! 

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #350: Musical Interlude – Making a 30 Sec Synthesizer Countdown Track

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #350: Musical Interlude – Making a 30 Sec Synthesizer Countdown Track

https://archive.org/download/podcast-350/Podcast%20350.mp3

This week, I thought I’d make a little piece of music as an unsolicited surprise for my friend Jeremy over at Whistlekick, who also does a little morning show called First Cup where he and other martial artists often congregate over his livestream (weekdays at 6 AM EST) to discuss various martial arts things as well as giving each other encouragement for the day.  It’s a nice little group (check it out on Youtube, Twitter, Twitch, and FB!), and lately, I’ve been trying to get up early to work out and do other things at that time to start the day with them.  I, as a perennial night owl, have always loathed mornings, but, you know, I gotta say, it’s nice to get your workout done in the morning, since at least then it gets done.  Time tends to slip away later in the day.  First Cup has thus been a motivating factor in helping me drag myself out of bed :).

Anyway, lately, Jeremy has been using some instrumental music to accompany a screen where he shows the countdown until the livestream starts.  I think he’s had a few difficulties where Youtube will flag his intro music as being proprietary even though he used royalty free stock tracks, so I figured I’d make a ~30 sec track to accompany that bit so if he wants, he can use it.  But even if not, no music ever goes to waste here at The Thirteenth Hour podcast!  I can also use it later for something else – e.g. I sometimes use musical bits to bookend podcast tracks (like into between the intro and an interview). 

This track was made entirely on the synth and was comprised of 5 different layers mixed together.  It is also one off the few times I actually used the pitch bend effect there to simulate electric guitar note bending.  

Next week, we’re going to start covering Masters of the Universe from 1987!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #346: Musical Interlude – Finishing “Homecoming” – a Slow, Introspective Synth Track

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #346: Musical Interlude – Finishing “Homecoming” – a Slow, Introspective Synth Track

https://archive.org/download/podcast-346/Podcast%20346.mp3

This week, I’m working on the last piece in the upcoming second Thirteenth Hour soundtrack.  The track, called “Homecoming” is an incidental piece of music I made back in the summer but wasn’t sure how to finish.  But today, I’m wrapping it up by adding two additional layers – a short melody for the “verses” using a xylophone sound (to invoke the feeling of nostalgia/childhood) as well as a choral vocal overlay.  The draft plays at the end of the episode.   A few pictures from part of the book that inspired this piece:

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Next week, we’re going to do another Q and A episode!  If you have questions or things you’d like to share, feel free to email me them at writejoshuablum@gmail.com.

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #341: First Blood and Rambo Survival Knives with Joe and Adam Part 2

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #341: First Blood and Rambo Survival Knives with Joe and Adam Part 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-341/Podcast%20341.mp3

Welcome to the 2nd part of the First Blood / Rambo miniseries.  But before I forget, as mentioned in the show intro, check out Adam’s tutorial on grey scale painting:

And!  A new podcast I recently found all about Howard the Duck – “Trapped in a World!”

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/trapped-in-a-world-the-howard-the-duck-podcast/id1602849581?ls=1

Now to the feature …   Today, I’m again joined by my friends Joseph Esch and Adam Crohn to talk more about the first Rambo movie, First Blood (1982) and things like 80s hollow handle survival knives, as well as oddities like the Rambo cartoon and associated action figures.  If you haven’t caught the first part of this miniseries, you can find it here: https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2022/02/14/the-thirteenth-hour-podcast-340-first-blood-and-rambo-survival-knives-with-joe-and-adam-part-1/

Click on the picture below to find a copy of the film:

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We actually start off taking about this collection of ads, of which the survival knife is just one fine offering, coming from Boys’ Life.

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As an aside, if you look center bottom in the ad above, you’ll see one for a diver’s knife.  Adam sent along some pictures of his:

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Joe also sent along some pictures of the container he found to organize the contents of the knife handle in the Harbor Fright model we have.  If you look around, you can find little metal waterproof containers just the right size to fit in the handle.  This is the one Joe used.

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We also talk a bit about the Rambo cartoon (odd choice for an R rated movie about a vet suffering from PTSD who gets bullied by smallminded cops and wreaks a path of wanton destruction on their small town as revenge) as well as the accompanying Coleco toyline, which I vaguely remember from the shelves of Kmart, as they were bigger and had more accessories than a lot of your typical action figures of the day.

I found the first episode of the cartoon here, and here’s the trailer:

The backdrops from these 80s commercials were sometimes even better than the toys themselves.  Now, this, ladies, and gents, is a commercial …

For those of you on Patreon, there will be an accompanying exclusive episode later this week on favorite GI Joe figures, as the comic had many of the Joes originally as Vietnam vets trying to figure out what to do after the war, just like Rambo.

In the meantime, check out more Adam and Joe on our first joint collaboration on The Lost Boys parts 1 and 2 as well as on Adam’s show, I Have Spoken: A Star Wars Podcast, episodes 14, 15, and 19 talking about The Book of Boba Fett and Star Wars toys!  Thanks for coming on the show, fellas!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #340: First Blood and Rambo Survival Knives with Joe and Adam Part 1

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #340: First Blood and Rambo Survival Knives with Joe and Adam Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast-340/Podcast%20340.mp3

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Today, I’m joined by my friends Joseph Esch and Adam Crohn to talk about the first Rambo movie, First Blood (1982) and some 80s survival knife back-of-the-magazine ad goodness.  

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This ad comes from a 1985 issue of Black Belt magazine.

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Here’s the knife in the ad.  It’s different from the one Rambo uses in the film, of course, but has the same mostly hollow handle to hold a variety of survival bits, like fishing hooks, line, matches (which are clearly vintage – I found my knife on eBay).  

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Last year (when we first floated he idea of doing this pod!), Joe sent me a modern equivalent from Harbor Freight Tools.  It’s a bit bigger than the original, and the compass is protectively nested on the inside of the handle, not the outside, which I thought was a good change.  

Look for more details on the Patreon as well as next week with part 2!

In the meantime, check out more Adam and Joe on our first joint collaboration on The Lost Boys parts 1 and 2 as well as on Adam’s show, I Have Spoken: A Star Wars Podcast, episodes 14 and 15 talking about The Book of Boba Fett and Star Wars toys!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #339: The 5 Elements, The Water Tiger, and a Reading from Empty Hands

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #339: The 5 Elements, The Water Tiger, and a Reading from Empty Hands

https://archive.org/download/podcast-339/Podcast%20339.mp3

Since it recently became the year of the water tiger (per the Chinese version of the lunar calendar), I thought for this week’s show, it might be interesting to look at some of the philosophical underpinnings behind the elemental alignments the characters in The Thirteenth Hour martial arts novella, Empty Hands, have (Earth, Wind, Water, Fire, Void).

The original inspiration was Japanese esoteric Buddhism and the martial arts that use that system as a way of figuratively describing different kinds energy.   You’ll find more about this in epsiode 151 on the godai and in texts like The Book of Five Rings.

There is also a separate, very similar system tracing back to ancient Chinese astronomy using slightly different elements (Earth 🌎 土, wood 🪵 木, fire 🔥 火, metal ⚔️ 金, and water 💦 水), widely used in things like traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts.  Those five elements are paired with the twelve zodiac signs to make 60 different signs, this year’s water tiger sign being one.  Since these ideas spread through a lot of Asia, you see them in cultures beyond China.  In that way, they looped back to Japan.

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There, these ideas became the gogyo (五行 – “five phases”).  In the episode, I read a section on this topic from Stephen K Hayes’ Mystic Arts of the Ninja (the two graphics above are from that book) as well as a section from Empty Hands, which was inspired by both this and the godai system in creating elemental alignments for the characters as a way of encapsulating their personalities (and in a way, making their easier to write!)

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #335: Upcoming Plans and Updates on Current Projects

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #335: Upcoming Plans and Updates on Current Projects

https://archive.org/download/podcast-335/Podcast%20335.mp3

In this episode, a few updates:

1.) the last episode of the month for the next few months will have a Q and A segment.  Submit your questions via email or on social media (or if on Patreon, via messaging me there or commenting on the most recent post) to be a part of the show.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be Thirteenth Hour or 80s related – anything you like or think would be interesting to discuss.  Have fun with it!

2.) A few pics of the Lego Rocketeer minifigures I’ve been working on.  They’re about 95% done.  Just some touch ups needed then will begin work on the packaging.  

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3.) A picture of the current state of The Thirteenth Hour action figures.  Just a few paint touch ups there, also, and then will start assembling the figures. 

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4.) Speaking of figures, I was thinking I’ve used this little bookshelf to take some pictures before, but I thought I’d use it more since it has a lot of my influences in book form! 

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5.) Introducing my kids to resin over the past few weeks has been entertaining (and messy).  We’re making keychains here with a combo of Thirteenth Hour illustrations, Batman 1989 pictures, and Rocketeer stills.  The kit we received came with these little molds perfect for making keychain and charm pendants (and just right for small fingers).

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The finished products!

@13thhr

Experimenting with translucent resin and some #ThirteenthHour novel and the #Rocketeer cartoon for keychains. And yes, #createdonthate 🌈 #booktok

♬ The Thirteenth Hour Theme (Synth Orchestra) – Joshua Blum

6.) Lastly, check out this meditative youtube playlist.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEw1Y93zEv0qIPKp444imEBBASYxNrPYU

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Protect yourself and others with the Thirteenth Hour mask combo package on Etsy.  This fall, it became really hard to find good quality masks for our kids as they were going back to school.  There are still long wait times for some of the companies we like best, so I thought, why not try to find an alternative?  I eventually settled on the triple layer masks available for printing on by the company Flashbay.  They were one of the few companies I found that were transparent about their third party safety data (Junior: https://static.flashbay.com/images/certificates/Junior_REACH.pdf?v=1617870020, Adult: https://static.flashbay.com/images/certificates/Sky_Performance.pdf?v=1603078812), which is nice.  I was impressed by how well these masks performed on the filtration tests, even after repeat washings.  Also, I really liked how both the ears and nose piece could be adjusted for a good fit.

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The Thirteenth Hour mask combo also comes with Thirteenth Hour hand sanitizer! (But of course.)
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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #334: 2021 Year in Review and A Look at 2022

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #334: 2021 Year in Review and A Look at 2022

https://archive.org/download/podcast-334/Podcast%20334.mp3

Welcome to 2022!

In this episode, I’m reflecting back on the last year and planning for next.  2021 was a good year for the show (despite being a difficult year globally).  I’m going to focus more this year on planning out episodes (including the more intentional scheduling of guests) to make it all a bit more systematic and organized than it has been in the past (which, up up until ow, was basically just an extension of whatever I was doing creatively at the time).

I’d also like to engage my listener base more, so if you have any suggestions, questions, comments, or requests for the show, please let me know!  I’m going to try an experiment for a few months, making the last show of the month (1/31/22 in this month’s case to have a Q and A segment).  More to come in the coming weeks.  Listeners can also leave messages via voice on the main website (found on on the audio –> Thirteenth Hour podcast section):

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast

A few updates on a few creative projects I’ve been wrapping up:

These were some resin bookmarks I made with my kids – their first introduction to resin art and mica powder:

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A few pictures on the Lego Rocketeer figures I’ve been slowing working on.  The packs are almost done; just wrapping up some details on the painting.

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The figures will probably look something like this (an early draft):

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Speaking of painting, the Kenner style Thirteenth Hour figures are almost done.  Some heads of Aurora and Logan:

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What Aurora will probably look like when done (she is in her outfit from the part of the book where she fights a dragon):

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I also added little magnets to Logan’s boots to allow him to easily connect to Lightning, his hoverboard (which will be his accessory).

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Wishing you the best as you begin a new year!

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Protect yourself and others with the Thirteenth Hour mask combo package on Etsy.  This fall, it became really hard to find good quality masks for our kids as they were going back to school.  There are still long wait times for some of the companies we like best, so I thought, why not try to find an alternative?  I eventually settled on the triple layer masks available for printing on by the company Flashbay.  They were one of the few companies I found that were transparent about their third party safety data (Junior: https://static.flashbay.com/images/certificates/Junior_REACH.pdf?v=1617870020, Adult: https://static.flashbay.com/images/certificates/Sky_Performance.pdf?v=1603078812), which is nice.  I was impressed by how well these masks performed on the filtration tests, even after repeat washings.  Also, I really liked how both the ears and nose piece could be adjusted for a good fit.

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The Thirteenth Hour mask combo also comes with Thirteenth Hour hand sanitizer! (But of course.)
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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #321: Welcome Actress Catherine Mary Stewart As We Discuss Samurai Cowboy and More

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #321: Welcome Actress Catherine Mary Stewart As We Discuss Samurai Cowboy and More

https://archive.org/download/podcast-321/Podcast%20321.mp3

This week, we are welcoming actress Catherine Mary Stewart to the show! 

Thank You, Orange”: Catherine Mary Stewart on “The Last Starfighter,”  Harvey Weinstein, and Gratitude - Inside8®

You may know her from classic films such as Night of the Comet, The Last Starfighter, and Weekend at Bernie’s.  Although those are some of my favorite films of all time (and we do touch on aspects of some of those movies in this episode –  I mean, how could you not?), I thought it’d be fun to highlight an underrated gem that is hard to find but still very worth your time – 1994’s Samurai Cowboy Here’s the premise …

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The film starts in Japan with Japanese subtitles.  We see legions of modern samurai (salarymen and women) commuting in jam-packed Tokyo subways …

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Our hero, Yutaka Sato (singer Hiromi Go) and his best friend, Goro (J. Max Kirishima), work and party hard, though the stressful life of a modern business samurai is not what Yukata desires.  He longs to be a cowboy in the Wild West.  I thought Hiromi Go did a great job in a role that was part serious, part comedic.  He also gets to showcase his vocals by singing karaoke at least once as well as “Home on the Range.”

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After tragedy makes it hard to stay in Japan, Yutaka decides to emigrate to the US and buys a Montana ranch sight unseen, hoping it will be the Ponderosa of his dreams.  Reality, however, is a bit harsher, just like the pile of cow caca that he is about to step in here.

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It also doesn’t take long for the small-mindedness of the locals to make itself known (this was filmed at a time of a fair amount of fear/resentment at Japan in the West).  Yutaka does start to find non-bigoted allies, though.  He teams up with an semi-retired cowboy, Gabe (Robert Conrad of The Wild, Wild West TV show) and an American Indian artist, Jack Eagle Eye (Byron Chief-Moon), he sticks up for soon after getting to town.

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It’s hard to capture breathtaking vistas like this on film and have it translate to the feeling of being there, but I thought they did a really nice job on the cinematography.  Maybe someone can chime in and correct me, but this landscape looks a lot like Glacier National Park to me.  The peak they refer to as the Indian Chief looking a lot like Grinnell Glacier. 

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One of the non-bigoted locals that Yutaka befriends is a local veterinarian, Dr. Jessie Collins (our guest, Catherine Mary Stewart), who has the enviable job of riding around the country to get to the animals she rounds on.  Here she is dispatching a cow who isn’t doing so great while Yutaka slips on the snow since he doesn’t have boots fit for the weather.

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What kind of Western would it be without six guns?  When Yutaka gets himself some clothes more appropriate for ranching, he spies a gaudy revolver in a case at the front of the store and can’t resist (though actually hitting anything is a different matter).

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The beginnings of a romance start to blossom between our samurai cowboy and Jessie.  I have to hand it to the filmmakers – it was pretty unusual at the time for Asian males to ever get to be the romantic lead in a Western-made film.  The only person I can think of is Brandon Lee, who I talked about on here before.  I’m sure there were others, but I’m struggling to come up with ones made in the West at the time that were not martial arts themed films.  Of course, Yutaka, being Japanese, naturally has to know martial arts (which, to be fair, he uses to good effect at various points in the film), but stereotypes aside, in some ways it makes sense – he calls his ranch “The Dojo Ranch” since he views it as a place of focus and betterment and given the title, you kind of expect that the guy would be able take care of himself as any modern Samurai should, right?

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Yutaka also recruits a black hip hop artist (Bradley Rapier) who gets stranded in town, offering him a job to help out on the Dojo Ranch, thus completing the team.

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Together, Yutaka and company take on a corrupt local land developer, Colt Wingate (Matt McCoy) who wants Yutaka’s ranch for his own scorched earth plans.  Yutaka ain’t selling, though …

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Despite Wingate’s attempt to make life difficult for Yutaka, he and his compatriots decide the best way to go forward is to actually do what Yutaka set out to be – a cowboy … meaning that he and his ranchers need to herd the Dojo Ranch cattle old school-style to a town some distance away to be sold, ensuring Yutaka will have enough money to not default on his ranch loan.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Western if there weren’t a dramatic showdown at the end.  The way they handled it, though, I thought was nice.

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And it wouldn’t be a Western without a few sunset vistas like this.  Breathtaking!

Unfortunately, although I’d highly recommend finding this movie to watch yourself, it’s not the easiest thing to do, even if you go the bootleg path.  Thankfully, eBay is your friend in this arena.

If you are unable to find a copy of the film or don’t have a VHS player to play it on, you can still get a sense of what the movie is like with the clips we discussed in the podcast.  As mentioned, you can actually watch them as well.  Please excuse the video quality, however, since the video is coming courtesy of the Zoom call I recorded, so it won’t be quite as smooth as it were playing in real time.  However, you’ll at least have some visuals for the commentary in case you want to watch along with the podcast.  

 
 
I interspersed the Samurai Cowboy movie clips with a little 6 question quiz we had fun playing that touches on some bits from The Thirteenth Hour and classics like The Last Starfighter and Night of the Comet that Catherine was in.  There are a few questions where it helps to have visuals, which you can find them in the compilation below: 
 

If you’re a Patreon member, you’ll find some “extended scenes,” so to speak, in the latest Patreon podcast episode (#10). 

Thanks to Catherine Mary Stewart for joining the show!  Learn more about her on:

IMDB (how I found Samurai Cowboy!)

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Cameo

Lastly, since it’s now the month of October, I think I should get on that sequel to The Last Rocketeer I wrote last year mashing up The Last Starfighter and The Rocketeer (two of my favorite things!).  The story ends in a very Halloween specific way, so now that Halloween is approaching, I figure that if Cliff Secord from The Rocketeer and Centauri from The Last Starfighter are good, then adding someone who may or may not be Dracula must be better.  Is there a way Alex and Maggie from The Last Starfighter can make a cameo, too?  Hmm … looking forward to writing it!

Thanks for tuning in!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #274: Welcome Synthwave Musician – It’s the Dream Chaser

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #274: Welcome Synthwave – Musician It’s the Dream Chaser

https://archive.org/download/podcast-274/Podcast%20274.mp3

This week, I’m joined by musician It’s the Dream Chaser, a classically trained pianist turned retro 80s melodic synthwave artist.  We discuss his background, influences, his process of creating his sound, and advice for other musicians.  He has an upcoming album called The Great Void Above, which releases on 11/11.  We’ll be listening a few tracks from the album today, but before we do, let’s check out his first LP, Infinite Space since there is a narrative that ties the albums together.  Here’s the story behind that album:

Inspired by the sound of 80’s synths, the “Dream Chaser” gave birth to “Infinite Space”.  A melodic synthwave album that will take you to a journey to places you’ve never been.

In a Galaxy where planets are forced to fight for their freedom, a young time-traveler from the planet Earth will try to overcome and survive the overwhelming force of the “Galactic Federation of the United Systems” alongside a group of rebellious space riders. Where the mysterious presence of an A.I. called “The Unity” could change the way carbon based life beings live.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming album.  Like its predecessor, there are a selection of some great melodic tracks here that, at least to me, set it apart from a lot of synthwave, which tends to be atmospheric and ambient in nature.  I love the concept album feels of these albums given that there is an actual story behind the music, kind of like the soundtracks to movies or books.

Here’s a bit about the album:

With an 80’s heart, The Dream Chaser delivers a new album filled with melodic, chill and dark sinthwave that pushes the genre to new planets and systems.

Continuing the story of The Dream Chaser, Elara, the space riders and the mysterious “S”, “The Great Void Above” explores the consequences of fighting agains the system of the G.F.U.S. and The Unity.

“The Great Void Above” is the second album of the “4 Nights Saga”.

You can pre-order the album here: https://itsthedreamchaser.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-void-above  

You can learn more here:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Bandcamp

Many thanks to It’s the Dream Chaser for coming on the show!  For Patreon members, look for another preview track with more behind the scenes analysis of the making of the song coming later this week!

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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 #273: Halloween Episode Part 2: 80s Food and The Lost Boys 2

Episode #273: Halloween Episode Part 2: 80s Food and The Lost Boys 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-273/Podcast%20273.mp3

This week, I’m joined by fellow 80s enthusiasts Joe Fangsrud von Esch and Adam Crohn to discuss 80s food and the 1987 film, The Lost Boys.

To start, I invite you to take a culinary journey and experience Steakumms.  I’d actually never heard of Steakumms prior to seeing the following video (featuring both guests today, I should add):

Check out last week’s episode for more details on the 80s foods we brought for show and, if you’re a Patreon member, the second exclusive podcast episode, which has a guest appearance by Tibetan medical practitioner Ezdean Fassassi (a guest on episode 214) doing a meal critique of a Steakumms meal (listen to a preview below).

Alright!  More on The Lost Boys …

They're only noodles Michael | Lost boys movie, Jason edmiston, Lost boys

Some great art here.  There’s a whole Chinese food segment we do based on the scene below …

The Lost Boys Santa Carla Only Noodles - Red T-Shirt

The whole noodle / worm idea has its issues (as I discuss in the intro), but it’s clearly made its impact.  You can find all kinds of imagery around (again, for those of Asian descent who grew up in the US having people say their lunch smelled or looked like worms, it takes on different significance), but I think it was meant as an innocent enough scene.

The deleted scenes get referenced a few times in the podcast.  Here are some I found on youtube:

If you look around youtube, you can find elements of the soundtrack and score of the film.  Here’s a great example:

Check out the podcast I Used to Like This One for more Halloween episodes, including The Monster Squad, and their own on the rewatching of The Lost Boys.  Check them out on Patreon to help support their work!

And thanks to Adam and Joe this two part episode!  Look for an extended feature with both gentlemen in the third Patreon exclusive podcast coming this week.

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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 #272: Halloween Episode Part 1: 80s Food and The Lost Boys 1

Episode #272: Halloween Episode Part 1: 80s Food and The Lost Boys 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast-272/Podcast%20272.mp3

This week, I’m joined by fellow 80s enthusiasts Joe Fangsrud von Esch and Adam Crohn to discuss 80s food as a precursor to a much longer discussion on the 1987 film, The Lost Boys.

To start, I invite you to take a culinary journey and experience Steakumms.  I’d actually never heard of Steakumms prior to seeing the following video (featuring both guests today, I should add):

So, we decided to bring a few 80s food staples (as well as candy, of course, this being a Halloween special) to do a little show and tell with y’all prior to discussing the film.  There are more details in the show itself, though if you want to see some of what we were eating and learn more about my own inaugural Steakumms experience, you can see more on Patreon.  Later this week, there will be a Patreon exclusive podcast episode that goes into the creation of a Steakuums meal, a critique of the meal by Tibetan medical practitioner Ezdean Fassassi (a guest on episode 214), and more.

Alright!  Now that we’re fed, let’s get on with the show!

The Lost Boys (1987) - IMDbThe film … cue the most excellent soundtrack …

Michael, Sam & the Lost Boys come to TV! – Moviehole

These guys are brothers in the film (Corey Haim and Jason Patric)

https://imageproxy.themaven.net//https%3A%2F%2Fwww.biography.com%2F.image%2FMTc1NDk1MDQ5OTQ4MTc3NjQz%2Fthe-lost-boys-where-are-they-now_alamy-pnd07j.jpg

The vampires – seems like they could be in a glam band … (Fun fact – Laddie, the little guy here (actor Chance Michael Corbitt), was credited as “Newspaper Kid” in The Rocketeer – I guess he must have been the kid that shouts, “Extra, extra, read all about it!  Man flies without plane!”)

Here's What The Cast Of "The Lost Boys" Looks Like Exactly 30 Years Later

I mean, check out their costumes – like this coat Star (Jami Gertz) is sporting …

Check out the podcast I Used to Like This One for more Halloween episodes, including one upcoming one on The Monster Squad, which I guested on, and their own on the rewatching of The Lost Boys.

Part 2 coming next week!

Speaking of Halloween, later this week, join me and others at a virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST (see episode 268).  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved or by clicking on the picture below.

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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 #271 and Like a Hood Ornament 19: Welcome Nicole Dubuc, Executive Producer of the Rocketeer Animated Series

Episode #271 and Like a Hood Ornament 19: Welcome Nicole Dubuc, Executive Producer of the Rocketeer Animated Series

https://archive.org/download/podcast-271/Podcast%20271.mp3

This week, I’d like to welcome screenwriter, actress, and producer Nicole Dubuc to the show.  She is the executive producer of the Rocketeer cartoon that came out about a year ago (which, as of 10/16/20, is now also available on Disney+.)  She joins the show under another installment of the Like a Hood Ornament Rocketeer segment to discuss the creation of the series, the music, and some of the ideals she and her team brought to the cartoon.  It was especially great to see how they were able to take Dave Stevens’ and the 1991 film’s visions of the Rocketeer universe and turn it into something that young children could easily digest and fall in love with (as my kids did).

My own children started watching the show when it came out.  We don’t have cable, so I had no idea how to watch the episodes initially but eventually figured out that you could buy the episodes individually on iTunes (and then, ultimately, as a whole season on Amazon).  It’s been great to share my favorite movie with the kids in a form they can digest, and as I mentioned here before and on social media, we’ve done a bunch of things from that love of the show, like reading books about airplanes together, making a Halloween costume for my daughter (almost done, more on the first Patreon exclusive episode coming soon), and making little resin figurines.   I also have the Rocketeer comics to thank for helping to keep my three-year-old son on the potty long enough to, you know, take care of business.

If you haven’t seen the show, here is a clip of our favorite song, which has all the 80s pop glory of flying to the sound of synths and guitars.

Can you spot the original Rocketeer film/comic Easter Eggs?  Here are a few to get you started …

-recreation of the scene in the original comic and film of the Rocketeer saving a pilot in trouble at an airshow

-Butch the bulldog

Billy Campbell, the original Rocketeer in the 1991 film, who voices the pilot in trouble (the father of Kit, the new Rocketeer).

-gum in a white wrapper (a la Beeman’s) that saves the day

If you don’t have Disney+ or another streaming service with the show, you can, of course, buy episodes or the season individually like I did.

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However, you can also watch an episode for free (which has a nice cameo by the original Rocketeer) on Youtube:

Although I wasn’t able to get it to work since I think my phone is too old, there was a Rocketeer game with the same bright color palate the series has that used to be part of the Disney Now app.  I’m not sure it’s still available since I wasn’t able to find it this time around, but you can check out the gameplay below.   Looks like fun!  I hope it gets released to be more widely available!

If you want to listen to more of the music, you can find a playlist of the songs on Youtube Music.  Here a great one that has a great retro 80s feel with some iconic cloud chasing:

Thanks, Nicole, for coming on the show!  You can find out more about her on Twitter and Instagram.

Look for more Rocketeer cartoon content in future episodes, and if you’re a member of the Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon group, look for more updates on the costume we’re currently making.  Here’s a preview:

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As I mentioned last week, I wanted to finish the short story, “The Last Rocketeer” (which tells the story of what might happen if a 71-year-old Cliff from The Rocketeer met up with Centauri from The Last Starfighter) by Halloween since the story ends on Halloween, but also because, when writing it, I wanted to pay homage to the timeline the Rocketeer cartoon established for Cliff and Jenny later in life.  Although the IDW comics had stories that went up through World War 2 (and that was with Betty and the Dave Stevens version of the rocketpack), I don’t think there is anything that discussed what life was life for these characters after that.  That is, until the cartoon!  So, there are some cameos and mentions of Ambrose, Cliff’s son, and Dave, his grandson in “The Last Rocketeer.”  Here are a few of the illustrations, mostly done with the kids in daddy day care art time:

last rocketeer cover actualtired rocketeerimg_1490zandozaninside the minerocketeer kodan dogfightimg_2144

By the way, proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to the organization Corazon de Vida (see episode 268).  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.  Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

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 #270 and Like a Hood Ornament 18: Welcome Author and Comic Book Artist Brian Fies

Episode #270 and Like a Hood Ornament 18: Welcome Author and Comic Book Artist Brian Fies

https://archive.org/download/podcast-270/Podcast%20270.mp3

This week, I’d like to welcome author and illustrator Brian Fies, of works such as What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? and A Fire Story for another installment of the Like a Hood Ornament Rocketeer segment.

I first heard of his work on this episode of The Rocketeer Minute with Jim O’Kane and Hal Bryan (who were on episodes 249 and 250) talking, of course, about the Rocketeer but also his graphic novel, What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?, which chronicles America’s journey in the 20th century from a pre-WW2 sense of optimism in the future of less disease, better living through chemistry, jet packs for all, flying cars, and wrist communicators through the Space Race with the USSR to the gradual waning and disillusionment with space exploration in the 80s and beyond.

We also touch on his most recent work, A Fire Story, about the loss of his home in the 2017 California fires (timely especially now given that US West coast residents are again dealing with the same situation). Here’s a frame from his initial version (drawn at the time of the loss as a kind of chronicle of what was happening).

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You can check out his webcomic, The Last Mechanical Monster, here (highly recommended!): https://www.gocomics.com/the-last-mechanical-monster/2020/10/07

Find more about Brian Fies at facebook and his blog;  http://brianfies.blogspot.com/

I wanted to finish the short story, “The Last Rocketeer” in time for this episode, since they are tied together serendipitously, as we’ll discuss in the episode.  Some of the lost luster of the early part of the 20th century discussed in What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? kind of reminded me of the quietly reluctant hero portrayed by Sam Elliot in The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot, and I figured all these forces converging together meant I should proceed with my weird idea of combining The Rocketeer with The Last Starfighter after all.  Well, the story’s done, just in time for Halloween, which figures into the end, though I won’t say how.  It’s been a fun ride!  I hope Cliff has earned some well deserved rest and inner peace.  A few of the illustrations, mostly done with the kids in daddy day care art time:

last rocketeer cover actualimg_1490rocketeer kodan dogfightimg_2144

By the way, proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to the organization Corazon de Vida (see episode 268).  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.  Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

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 #269: October Updates and Most Recent Draft of “Once Upon a Dream”

Episode #269: October Updates and Most Recent Draft of “Once Upon a Dream”

https://archive.org/download/podcast-269/Podcast%20269.mp3

This week, there was so much “housekeeping” business to take care of, I made it a whole episode.  Here’s the lineup:

-I am just about done the title track, “Once Upon a Dream,” for the next Thirteenth Hour soundtrack LP.  I finally figured out what was missing from the backing part.  More synth (there’s a surprise).  Then it all fit together.  It’s odd, in a way, since the beat is fast (120 bpm), but the vocals are actually quite slow, much slower than I anticipated.  So there’s an alternating ascending / descending note progression that can be heard in the background (that’s the new part) that helps to bridge the gap between the tempo of the beat and the speed of the vocals.  This version can be heard at the end of the episode.

-Speaking of synth, check out the weekly podcast, SR Weekly.  Steven, the host, who goes by the alias Synth Redneck, used to host his show on youtube but has since moved it over to an audio only format that is available on major podcasting platforms.  If you check out the 9/16/20 episode, you’ll hear The Thirteenth Hour synth orchestra theme as one of the selections in that week’s set.  If you’re a synth musician yourself, you can submit your music for consideration to be included in a future episode or just check out the lineup with each episode to discover some great new music.

-By the way, proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to the organization Corazon de Vida (see last week’s episode).  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.  Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or here.

-Speaking of guests, next week’s we’ll be hearing from author and illustrator Brian Fies, of works such as What Ever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? for another installment of the Like a Hood Ornament Rocketeer segment.  I hope also to have finished the short story, “The Last Rocketeer” in time for that episode, since they are tied together serendipitously, as we’ll discuss in the episode.

-Speaking of other creative folks, check out frequent podcast guest Adam of ACToyDesign on Patreon for an exclusive podcast all about toys, including a lot of retro 80s content.

-This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday, always a treat when you’re a kid (at least it was that way when I was a kid and you could spend all day out collecting bags a bags of candy – one year, I collected two whole pillowcases).  Stay tuned!  I’ll try to come up with something special for the end of the month!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

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 #268: Welcome Hilda Pacheco Taylor of Corazon de Vida – A Positive View of Orphanages

Episode #268: Welcome Hilda Pacheco-Taylor of Corazon de Vida – A Positive View of Orphanages

https://archive.org/download/podcast-268/Podcast%20268.mp3

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Hilda Pacheco-Taylor of the organization Corazon de Vida, which helps to raise funds for a number of orphanages in Baja, Mexico (which are 100% reliant on donations to stay open).   We met in a very serendipitous way, but I thought it would be really interesting to speak to someone who knew more about what life was like in orphanages given that Logan and Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour both grew up in one.

When writing the initial draft of the story, I wanted to create a better home for them in the Aquarian Orphanage than movies and fairy tales often give their protagonists.  In a lot of stories, childhood trauma is used to fuel later motivations, and the lack of parents gives the writer free reign to have the characters do things that most parents in their right minds would never allow their kids to do.

Instead of the usual dark and oppressive views of orphanages and other public institutions, I remember wondering – what would happen if the kids at the Aquarian Orphanage basically just lived there, kind of like an extended summer camp?  What would happen if the staff that worked there actually cared about the kids and tried to raise them as their own children?  What would happen if they went to school there, grew their own food, and were responsible for the upkeep of the orphanage as if it were their own home – since that’s essentially what it was?  What would happen if the orphanage environment were designed to build the kids up rather than just exacerbate the bad things that had already happened to them?

I had no idea when I was teen writing the story if such a place existed.  I figured it could and have seen such places as an adult that gave me hope that such places did, in fact, exist.  And today’s conversation is further evidence of that.  Kids are our future, yet for some reason, when there are funding cuts to be made, often the first things to go are organizations and supports that help children.   Thanks, Hilda, for coming on the show to share your story and talk about the work that your organization does to make a positive difference in the lives of the children in your area.

Proceeds from the next Thirteenth Hour LP, Once Upon a Dream, will also be donated to Corazon de Vida.  If you are also interested in helping to support their mission, learn more at https://www.corazondevida.org/get-involved.

Join me and others at the virtual event that Corazon de Vida is throwing on 10/29/20 at 7 PM PST by clicking on the picture below or 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 #267: Wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 3 – Start of Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon

Episode #267: Wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 3 – Start of Thirteenth Hour Arts Patreon

https://archive.org/download/podcast-267/Podcast%20267.mp3

This week, I’m wrapping up “Once Upon a Dream” and discussing more on the idea of creating a creative arts collective.  Last week, I created a private Facebook group called Thirteenth Hour Arts – For Creators, Not Haters.  Many thanks to all who joined!

This week, I’m launching a Patreon of the same name and idea – a place to share in the creative process, though more specific to things related to the creation of The Thirteenth Hour books, music, podcast, pictures, figures, and the like, as well all the other things that have influenced those properties.  Hopefully, people will be able to share what they do as well so we can all build off each others’ creative energy.

You can go to the Pateron by clicking the picture below of going here:

d64c277b-d4ce-467c-970a-a2ce020ef6c5

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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 #266: Adding Vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 2

Episode #266: Adding Vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and Creative Community 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast-266/Podcast%20266.mp3

This week, I’m adding vocals to “Once Upon a Dream” and discussing more on the idea of creating a creative arts collective.  To start, I ended up creating a private Facebook group called Thirteenth Hour Arts – For Creators, Not Haters.

Here’s the premise I’ve copied from my inaugural post there:

Welcome to The Thirteenth Hour Arts Collective – a place to create, not hate!

There are so many ways to be creative in the world. Although I publicly create books, music, and toys for The Thirteenth Hour stories, those are informed by a number of other things, like 80s films, new wave music, martial arts, dance, and so forth.

I’m sure you have or had many things in your own life that are kind of the same. Please share them here – you may inspire someone else (or yourself) to make time and space for creative pursuits!

When Logan’s hoverboard flies in The Thirteenth Hour, it emits a cloud of rainbow colored smoke.  There were rainbows all over the place in the 80s (Rainbow Brite, Skittles, Reading Rainbow, etc), and if not exactly rainbows, plenty of kids’ shows used the idea of different colors coming together to represent strength or unity through diversity and/or teamwork (Voltron, Captain Planet, etc).  Rainbows encourage us to look off into the distance, towards that ephemeral spot where the rainbow ends.  To me, they have always represented hope and possibility for the future, so I’m using them as a symbol for this group to represent creativity, especially the diversity of creative pursuits and people that practice them in hopes that it can be something we all share in and benefit from.

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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 #265: Continuing the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream,” Magnet Dolls, and Creative Community

Episode #265: Continuing the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream,” Magnet Dolls, and Creative Community

https://archive.org/download/podcast-265/Podcast%20265.mp3

This week, I’m continuing to record the backing tracks for “Once Upon a Dream” – the solo, the chorus, and so forth.  Next will be the vocals, the outro riffs, and maybe a few electric guitar accents here and there.

Speaking of which, I thought it might be a nice thing to add some of the magnet dolls I talked about recently as part of the special edition of the Once Upon a Dream LP.  Here are the magnet dolls, by the way, of Logan and Aurora plus all their stuff:

magnet doll Logan and Aurora sheetIn the latter part of the podcast, I talk about the idea of trying to create some kind of online community to showcase the creative process.  I touch on that in many of these podcasts, and I’ve been thinking about trying to help people showcase the creative things they do in their own lives.  In may ways, that’s one of the messages of The Thirteenth Hour – creating the world you want to inhabit.  You may have noticed that on my Instagram posts, I have little emoticons before the post, kind of like these:  👾🎤📖🎸🍓🎨🕹🏹🙋🏽‍♀️🤸🏼‍♂️🌈🎭🎬

I’ve organized the different kinds of art types by sense, more or less, to showcase them

Sight

🎨 – visual art (e.g. paintings, illustrations, sketches, sculptures …)

🕹- digital worlds

🎬 – films

📖 – stories

 

Sound

🎤 – audio entertainment (e.g. podcasts, audiobooks …)

🎸 – music

 

Taste / Smell

🍓- food, gardens

 

Touch

⚒- tools made of metal, wood, plastic, ceramic …

🪑- furniture

🏕- places to live

📟 – electronics

💍 – jewelry

🧣- clothing

🧸- toys

 

Movement

🏹 – safety, confidence, inner peace (e.g. through martial arts disciplines)

🤸🏼‍♂️- movement, health (e.g. dance, gymnastics …)

 

Mind

🙋🏽‍♀️- knowledge (e.g. through teaching)

🎭 – characters (e.g. acting)

👾 – memory

👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 – community

🌈 – hope and possibility, freedom of expression

Especially in 2020, when there is so much turmoil in the world, we could all use a little positivity to bring out the better parts of humanity – our desire to explore and create – rather than human drama and politics.

I’ve been thinking about creating a Facebook group for this for awhile or perhaps a Patreon community to do this.  What do you think?

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

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 #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

Episode #264: Starting the Recording Process for “Once Upon a Dream” and Custom Minifigure Making

https://archive.org/download/podcast-264/Podcast%20264.mp3

This week, I’m working up and wrapping up few concurrent projects – starting the recording of the backing track for “Once Upon a Dream” discussed last on episode 261 and finishing up a little “kitbashed” minifigure of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour discussed a bit last episode. The magnet dolls discussed last episode are in the editing process, so I’ll be printing those out soon!

magnet doll clothes

One of Aurora’s costumes is this one from a picture in the book:

I’ve been working on a custom miniature of Aurora in this outfit made from a few different Wonder Woman mini figures.

I ended up using parts from all three different verions of these little Wonder Women to make the figure, plus some Apoxie Sculpt clay and paint.  These are the pics from last week. Here’s what the finished figure looks like:

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞