There's a great new publication called Old School Gamer Magazine, featuring an all-star cast of writers, including Leonard Herman, Michael Thomasson, Walter Day, and yours truly, plus art by Thor Thorvaldson. Features in #2 include the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, When President Reagan Almost Came to Twin Galaxies, The Pinball Hall of Fame, The King of Kong, Beauty & the Beast (Intellivision), Donkey Kong (ColecoVision), The Nintendo Odyssey(!), and much more. You can read the second issue for FREE by clicking HERE. If you missed #1, you can read it for FREE by clicking HERE. And you can subscribe to Old School Magazine (print plus online) HERE.
As a full-time freelance writer, I keep plenty busy writing articles and books, but like most freelancers, I'm always looking for more outlets to ply my trade. My latest gig is with CultureMap Fort Worth, and my first article for them is about Galactic Gamez, a new retro video game store on the west side of Fort Worth. You can read it HERE. Thanks for reading!
While researching for the second volume of The SNES Omnibus, I ran across this interesting list of The 100 Top Video Games, according to Flux Magazine #4, which was published in 1995. Space Invaders beats out Zelda for the #1 spot, and the Atari 2600 and Intellivision get some love. Curiously, in their 25 worst list at the end of the article, they list the great arcade games Pengo and Q*bert at #2 and #3 respectively. Weird. Anyhow, click on each image to check it out.
Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat. Hopefully your
wallet is fat as well because it’s gift-giving time.
There are tons of nifty new pop culture items you could purchase for
family and friends, so I’ve narrowed my suggestions down to a few select items that
appeal to me—namely books and special collector’s editions of movies, music,
and video games.
If you read my AntiqueWeek
cover stories on Ken Kesey’s “Magic Trip” and the 50th anniversary
of the Summer of Love, you may have gathered that I’m fascinated by the Flower
Power era, which makes this book a no brainer.
Fully illustrated in color and featuring interviews, history, and more
on topics as diverse as The Brady Bunch, The Beatles, Jesus Christ Superstar, and comic book artist Jim Steranko, Groovy is as trippy and as its name
implies, taking readers on a psychedelic pop culture romp through a
controversial, yet colorful time.
Speaking of psychedelic, Oliver Hibert was born in 1983, but his outré
art, displayed beautifully in this book, is clearly inspired by the cartoonish,
counter-culture aesthetic and startling colors of such ’60s stylists as Peter
Max and Alton Kelley.
Sean Ono Lennon described the young artist’s work best: “Oliver
Hibert’s art is like Hello Kitty dreaming of Aleister Crowley on ketamine listing
to Syd Barrett while having an orgy with demonic love aliens on a
In 1981, KISS released Music from
“The Elder”, an artsy fartsy concept album that was far different than any of
the iconic rock band’s previous work. It was produced by Bob Ezrin, who also
produced Destroyer and Pink Floyd’s
landmark concept album, The Wall. The
low-selling record, which didn’t even feature the band on the cover, befuddled
many fans, but others hailed it as a masterpiece.
In the ensuing years, fans have created fiction, films, and comic books
based on the story-driven album, and now Dynamite Entertainment has gotten in
on the act, publishing a pair of intriguing, beautifully illustrated graphic
novels. Written by Amy Chu with art by Kewber Baal, the books take place in a dark,
futuristic world without heroes. Four young friends go on a dangerous mission
to uncover the truth about the mysterious Council of Elders and their underground
home, the city of Blackwell.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a decent collection of
live-action movies based on DC Comics superheroes. However, your animated movie
library of same may be wanting.
Enter DC Universe 10th
Anniversary Collection, a Blu-ray boxed set featuring all 30 animated
films, plus 5 animated shorts and a variety of extras, including collectible
coins and an adult coloring book. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but there’s a
lot of good stuff here, including my favorite Batman movie of all time (animated
or otherwise): Batman and Harley Quinn.
No, I’m not a big fan of Dirty
Dancing, the romantic film starring the late Patrick Swayze and Jennifer
Grey. It’s not that it’s a bad movie, but I’m probably not the target audience.
However, I do have a number of females on my shopping list, so grabbing a few
of these babies (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner”) would probably be a good idea.
This Blu-ray set is loaded down with features and memorabilia,
including documentaries, interviews, dance step cards, a mini theatrical
one-sheet, Kellerman's cottage room keychain for Baby's room, and a 108-page
Everyone knows about the 50th anniversary set of The
Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club
Band, so I won’t discuss that here. Rather, I’ll go with a re-release of a
more obscure album from 1967: The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, which veered from the band’s blues
and R&B roots in favor of a psychedelic sound.
This four-disc set includes mono and stereo mixes on vinyl and hybrid
SACD (Super Audio CD), along with a recreation of the original 3D cover and a
20-page booklet featuring photos from the original cover shoot.
KISS fans take note: Their
Satanic Majesties Request includes the original version of 2000 Man, which Ace Frehley covered for
his 1979 solo album.
Even back when the world called the first Star Wars movie by its two-word name without adding “Episode IV” or
“A New Hope,” I knew John Williams’ film score was special. From the opening
credits to the destruction of the Death Star, the music is as key to the
excitement of the action as the lightsabers, blasters, and TIE fighters.
The music in this set is pressed on three bound and sleeved LPs on 180g
vinyl, certain sides of which are etched with 3D holograms: one of the Death
Star, one of the Star Wars 40th Anniversary logo. The records are packaged with a 48-page hardcover
book featuring images of recording sessions, film scenes, and conceptual art.
Short of an actual movie prop, I can’t imagine a better gift for the Star Wars fan in your life.
If you grew up during the 1990s and played a lot of video games, you
were probably a Nintendo or Sega kid. I was both (big surprise there), enjoying
both the slower, more exploratory pace of Mario and the speedy thrills of
Sonic, who dashed, zipped, and looped through levels with reckless abandon.
(Okay, I wasn’t exactly a kid during the ’90s, but I was a kid at heart.)
Sonic Mania recaptures the
excitement of the original Sonic the
Hedgehog titles on the Sega Genesis, but features new zones, new hidden
paths, new secret areas, and new abilities, such as Sonic’s new Drop Dash. This
collector’s edition of the game is super cool, particularly the Sonic statue
featuring a Genesis-style base for him to stand on.
The follow-up to last year’s hottest retro gaming device, the NES
Classic Edition, this plug-and-play console features 21 built-in games,
including such classics as Donkey Kong
Country, Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Expensive, hard-to-find
role-playing games are part of the package as well, including EarthBound and Final Fantasy III.
No cartridges are necessary, and you even get a previously unreleased title,
Star Fox 2, which was programmed
during the 1990s, but never officially offered at the retail level. One caveat:
you may have to go to several stores to find a Super Nintendo Classic Edition
as they are selling out about as fast as retailers can stock them.
A few industry insiders have had an advance look at my forthcoming book, The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. (A-M). Here's what they've had to say, and down below you can check out just a few of the more than 2,000 images that will be in the book. You can pre-order the The SNES Omnibus Vol. 1 WITH FREE BONUSES by clicking HERE.
* “This book is not only a reference volume, but it keeps alive the spirit of Nintendo's legacy.” - Walter Day, industry icon and founder of Twin Galaxies.
* "I read the whole thing and loved it! My favorite chapters were the more intimate ones, where the contributing writers talked about how the games affected them from a personal standpoint...I kept turning the pages looking to connect with the writers, and it happened a lot...The quotes and factoids are great...Grammatically, it's spotless...There's a plethora of balance, knowledge, and fun here...This is the best book Weiss has written so far." – Patrick Hickey, Jr., author of The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Video Game Developers
* “This book has a great collection of game-related stories that really take me back to the ’90s, when I had so much fun playing the heck out of the Super Nintendo.” - Steve Woita, game designer/programmer of Atari 2600 Taz, Garfield, Asterix and Quadrun.
* “Each one of Brett's books is painstakingly researched, very well written and extremely polished. This Super Nintendo book is no exception and should definitely find a place in the library of every retro-gaming enthusiast.” - Dr. Roberto Dillon, author of The Golden Age of Video Games and Ready: A Commodore 64 Retrospective.
* “Brett Weiss has captured an essential part of what made the SNES indelible and one of the classic video game systems. The personal stories and memories wrapped up in each game are a welcome time warp back to those halcyon days." - Tim Lapetino, author of Art of Atari.
* “Brett Weiss proves again that he is the master of game directories” - Leonard Herman, author of Phoenix IV: The History of the Videogame Industry.
* “Weiss puts a heartwarming and personal spin on all that is still great with the Super Nintendo.” - Michael Thomasson, author of Downright Bizarre Games: Video Games that Crossed the Line!