Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sample Pages of My New Book

McFarland has posted sample pages of my new book on their website. You can check them out here.

You can read sample pages of my first book here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Classic Game Fest 2009 -- Austin, TX

Friday, July, 31st, while my family gets the house ready for my son's 13th (gasp!) birthday party, I'll be doing a book signing at Game Over Video Games for Classic Game Fest 2009, a fun-filled event featuring a Dr. Mario Tournament, a costume contest, a screening of the Super Mario Bros. movie, and more. For more info, check out Game Over Video Games.

For a look at pics from the last autographing I did at Game Over, check out this previous post.

(BTW, I'll be home in time for the actual birthday party, Ryan, so don't worry.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cover Me

The other day, after returning home from a trip to Galveston (where I had a great time with the family, swimming, wakeboarding, and building sand castles), I was pleased to discover these two magazines in the mail.

Video Game Trader #13, which published my Super-Hero article as their cover feature.

And McFarland's Fall 2009 Catalogue, which includes listings/descriptions of hundreds of new books from my publisher.

I was surprised to find my book featured on the back cover.

Freelance Writing Opportunity for Gamers

Digital Press is looking for non-fiction video game stories for a new book.

Here is the information from Rob Strangman:

One of the most popular parts of the various Digital Press Guides is the LORE section. And one question that's been asked over the years is "will there ever be a book consisting solely of LORE stories?" Until now, though, there has not been a concrete answer.Today, I'm happy to announce that the answer is in fact yes. Joe and I have been discussing the particulars, and we're ready to start taking submissions.

This is where you come in. Anyone interested in contributing a story to be published in the book feel free to submit it to with the subject heading "DP LORE Book Entry". The deadline for all submissions is September 20, 2009. There is no scheduled release date yet, but you can expect that to be announced in the near future.

Here are some basic rules: You write up a non-fictional account of some gaming moment, memory, event, or recollection, then send it to me. This post should be in essay form (we will help with the editing) and most importantly should be as ENTERTAINING as possible. It doesn't necessarily have to be funny - but intrigue makes for good reading, and good reading increases the chance that you'll be published.

Your story can be as long as you'd like but in the past we've always preferred stories that take up less than a full page in 10pt text. Grammar, spelling, editing all count but we will assist. It just gets you points if the thing is written well because that means it reads well right out of the gate. We ask that your story be truthful. You can embellish, of course, but wildly unbelieveable stories are usually cast aside.

I'm looking forward to reading what you send in! Good luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988 - NOW AVAILABLE!

For ordering information, click on the following link:

Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988

Here's a description of the book:

Introduced by Bill “The Game Doctor” Kunkel, one of the most important figures in all of classic gaming, Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988 contains detailed descriptions/reviews of every U.S.-released game for the Nintendo NES, one of the best, most popular video game systems ever produced. The book also contains detailed descriptions/reviews of every U.S.-released game for the Atari 7800 (revised, expanded, and updated from Vol. 1) and the Sega Master System, both of which maintain a loyal fan base to this day.Organized alphabetically by console brand, each chapter in this book includes a description of the game system, followed by substantive, literate, fun-to-read entries (most 125-185 words in length) for every game released for that console, regardless of when the game was produced (meaning hundreds of games are covered).

Each video game entry includes publisher/developer data and the release year, along with gameplay information and, usually, the author’s critique. A glossary provides a helpful guide to the classic video game genres and terms referenced throughout the work, and a preface provides a look at the industry at the time (and how it relates to gaming today), along with anecdotes from the author, a full-time writer who has been a devoted gamer and game collector since the days of Pong, Pitfall!, and Pac-Man.

Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988, which is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Classic Home Video Games, 1972-1984, also contains photos, historical information, and comparisons to arcade classics, computer games, and similar games for other consoles. Aimed at hardcore gamers, casual fans, and pop culture scholars alike, Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988 is must-reading for anyone interested in the history of the industry and the playability of its games, namely that fondly remembered era that gave us the Atari 7800, the Sega Master System, and the Nintendo NES.

Recently published in...

Comics Buyer's Guide #1657.

Where I review:

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1
Marvel Comics
$2.99, color, 32 pgs.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Sean Chen
Grade: 3 Stars (out of 4)

Mostly setup for the next four installments, this issue takes place in the aftermath of such “events” as Civil War, Illuminati, and Secret Invasion, with Reed Richards blaming himself for all that has gone wrong in the world. To make things right, he has constructed a “bridge,” which lets him observe other earths in order to see how they have solved various problems. Adding to the drama is an attack on the Baxter Building by H.A.M.M.E.R. Agents, who are soldiers in the employ of the recently empowered Norman Osborn.

Jonathan Hickman, slated to follow Mark Millar on the ongoing Fantastic Four title, appears to “get” the family dynamic and personalities of the FF. Reed feels obligated to use his smarts to make the world a better place; Sue worries over Reed, but shows leadership skills of her own; Johnny feels lost without his little black book; and Ben acts gruffly, but is a good friend. Sean Chen provides semi-capable art—the sci-fi machinery is sleekly designed, but the characters, though recognizable, exhibit odd facial expressions.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Drive-In Movie Manor

While vacationing recently with my family, we saw some amazing sights (Pike's Peak, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, etc.), but one of the more esoteric things we did was visit the Best Western Movie Manor, in Monte Vista, Colorado.

The kids were dying to see Drag Me to Hell, but Mom preferred Night at the Museum 2, so guess who won out? If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

We stayed in the Charlton Heston room, which was cool since he's in some of my favorite films.

This was the view from our room (where you can see and hear the film being played), but we chose to watch the movie the old fashioned way: from our car.

The History of Kelloff's Movie Manor (click on the photo for a closer look).
Prior to the screening of the film, we had time to play on the sturdy steel playground, which was built in 1960.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

ScrewAttack Game Convention

This weekend, I attended the ScrewAttack Game Convention, which was at a hotel near the DFW Airport. While there, I met some really cool people, had a few laughs, heard some interesting talks, and sold a bunch of books.

Atari founder and Pong mastermind Nolan Bushnell delivered the keynote speech (which was funny and informative), and he was kind enough to pose for this picture.

Nolan gets a visit from yuckmeister Keith Apicary.

Crazy Keith kept people in stitches the entire weekend.

Keith organized a you-had-to-be-there game of human Duck Hunt.

Sonic the Hedgehog keepin' it real.

The obligatory Rock Band jam session.

The only really big disappointment of the show was the dealer's room, which was very small. Only two vendors were actually selling video games. Others had miniatures, plush toys, sign-up forms, and such. (The show could have also used an auction, a swap meet, more consoles set up for play, more panels, and a larger arcade).

Political activist and former lawyer Jack Thompson was on hand to discuss violence in video games. He was a good sport, taking questions from the crowd and explaining his viewpoint with intelligence and, frequently, humor.

Thanks to the ScrewAttack staff for putting on a fun, funny, and even educational show.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave

I went to my beloved niece's wedding over the weekend, where I ran into comic book artist Kerry Gammill (he's been a friend of my sister's family for years), who's got a new project in the works: Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave, a horror anthology series slated for some time in 2010. It was fun talking movies and comics with Kerry, who I see from time to time at conventions and various family gatherings (birthdays, anniversaries, and whatnot).

Me, Kerry, and Kerry's lovely wife, Susan.