Here’s A Short List Of Stuff I Think Is Cool

This blog post probably won’t be useful to you. It’s literally just what it says on the tin: a couple things that I think are cool. It’s a combination of preaching the good word of dork evangelism and the unplanned stream-of-consciousness conversations you occasionally get to have about things that excite you. Maybe you see something you want to check out because of this list. Maybe you just get to judge me from afar. I’m cool with either. Hopefully something good comes of it, regardless!

The Last Witch Hunter

It was not some masterpiece of film-making, but I really enjoyed seeing Vin Diesel get to play his long-term AD&D character on the big screen. I’ve seen it a few times now. I still enjoy it. I wish others liked it more! In 2020 Vin Diesel said the studio greenlit a sequel which, to me, was a small bright spot in the year. But since COVID then took over the rest of the year and the year to follow without any progress I’m aware of, I’m not sure we’ll see it.

Alaca Höyük Bronze Wares

My love of Bronze Age stuff is well-known around these parts. I’ve written several times about how cool humanity’s more distant past is and how it compares favorably to the medieval western-ish European assumptions common in D&D settings.

Ralph Bakshi’s Rotoscopic Films

Rotoscopy was/is cool as hell and Wizards was one of the most confusing, awe-inspiring, imaginative, inspiring things I saw as a child. It stands up today, too. Ditto for Fire and Ice – Frazetta and Bakshi together on a fantasy movie sounds like someone’s dream project, but it is real, and it is cool as hell. On a tangentially-related topic, I recently saw The Spine of Night and while the movie itself is very uneven it is clearly a love letter to these movies and to D&D and fantasy as a genre and for that, I kinda love it despite its faults.

Thundarr the Barbarian

How can you not love what may be the most “gonzo D&D” show of all time? Wizards ruling the ruins of major cities, beast men, powerful glowing swords, a shattered moon in the sky? Jack Kirby designs? A masterpiece of Saturday morning wonder. I think Thundarr was underappreciated in its time and maybe remains so now, overshadowed by the other titans of Saturday Morning, like He-Man. Thundarr was immensely imaginative and somehow being in a crazy ruined version of our own world made it resonant in some sort of way I can’t articulate. For a show that boiled down to “let’s see what Star Wars things we can borrow”, it really had some cool stuff.

That’s all for this edition of Stuff I Like. Hopefully you agree, found something new to look into, or disagree in a comical fashion!

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