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A History of My Old Fanzine
Thursday, September 15, 2005 -
11:00pm cst:

On my sister videogame weblog V - The Next Generation, I wrote a history about my old zine, which was called simply V. I wrote and published eight issues, during which I became a part of underground videogame journalism, and even freelanced for a couple professional magazines. I still have the first issue preserved digitally, and I'll likely have it available for download soon. I'd also like to do the same for the entire series run.

V - A History of the Fanzine That Gripped a Nation...sorta

 

Picture of the Day
Thursday, September 15, 2005 -
2:00pm cst:

These photos were taken at the University of Minnesota.

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

Miyazaki Interview in Guardian UK
Wednesday, September 14, 2005 -
1:30pm cst:

The Guardian UK managed to score a rare interview with Hayao Miyazaki during the Venice Film Festival, where he was awarded the Golden Lion. It's a fairly interesting read, one that highlights the filmmaker's fatalism mixed with hope for future generations. A good read, overall.

 

V - The Next Generation...My New Weblog
Wednesday, September 14, 2005 -
2:30am cst:

I have a new videogames weblog at Digital Press called V - The Next Generation. The name is a reference to an old fanzine that I wrote and published at various points between 1993 and 1996. It resulted in a freelancing job with GamePro magazine, and a small bit of fame. I don't think this will affect this website in any way - it's just a small thing, really - but I have some long-winded thoughts about games that just wouldn't fit here.

V - The Next Generation is added to the links section on the left side of this page, so please pay it a visit and add it to your bookmarks alongside danielthomas.org. Enjoy!

 

Monday Squirrel Blogging
Monday, September 12, 2005 -
9:30pm cst:

Hey, aren't those the pigeons from Animaniacs? Probably explains why they're ganging up on that poor squirrel.

Monday squirrel blogging

Monday squirrel blogging

 

Hurricane Katrina Timeline
Sunday, September 11, 2005 -
12:45am cst:

Courtesy of Think Progress, who this week offered a detailed timeline of Hurricane Katrina and the terrible aftermath, including the Bush Administration's shameless lack of action. As always, it's an essential read, so pull this out for the benefit of your friendly neighborhead dittoheads, Fox News zombies, and Bush Cult members.

Hurricane Katrina Timeline.

 

Bush Approval Ratings - 38%
Saturday, September 10, 2005 -
11:45pm cst:

Most of the major polls over the past week show Bush's approval drop below 40 percent. Now Newsweek has chimed in as well, and it's at 38%. We're talking Richard Nixon during Watergate numbers.

Don't forget that the grand jury investigation into the Valerie Plame affair is expected to wrap up this fall, and if there is any justice left in this country, Karl Rove will be slapped with a criminal indictment. I'm voting for conspiracy and obstruction of justice, but that's just me. Wonder how low Bush's numbers will drop by the end of the year.

Remember, this President was given advance warning of this hurricane, was personally briefed on the matter, and then chose to do nothing. George Bush is responsible for the death of a major American city. He went to John McCain's birthday party, he golfed, and he played with his new toy guitar - instead of doing his damned job. Bush is a disgrace to the American Presidency. What a rotten, despicable man.

You have been reading all the weblogs I link to, right? Right?

 

Picture of the Day
Saturday, September 10, 2005 -
11:30pm cst:

Here are a few black-and-white photos using the Canon A510. Not too bad for a low-end digital camera. Remember, of course, to puruse the weblog archives for older pictures.

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

Howl's Moving Castle R2 DVD - November 16
Thursday, September 8, 2005 -
11:30pm cst:

Howl's Moving Castle R2 DVD (Japan) Ghibli Ga Ippai Special Short Short R2 DVD (Japan)

The release date for Hayao Miyazaki's latest - and possibly greatest - film has just been announced in Japan. Howl's Moving Castle will appear in three different packages. The Standard DVD (2 discs) will include Japanese and English soundtracks; storyboards; trailers; a documentary on the movie's premiers in Venice and the US; and interviews with Diane Wynne Jones, Pete Docter, and various staff and casts.

The Special Edition DVD (4-discs) includes all the above, plus audio/subtitiles in Japanese, English, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin; documentaries featuring Miyazaki and Mobius, John Lasseter, the US premier; and a lecture by CG director Mitsunori Kataama on the CG in the film. Strangely, the first disc (Japanese audio) doesn't include English subtitles.

The third package includes the Standard DVD of Howl's paired with Ghibli Ga Ippai Special Short Short. Short Short (mentioned below in an earlier post) includes 22 short films, television spots, and promotions from Studio Ghibli. The early listing at YesAsia and CD Japan claim the disk doesn't include English subtitles, and that's downright strange. All the Region 2 DVD's in the Ghibli Ga Ippai Collection include subs on the main disk. Hopefully this situation will change.

The Howl's Standard DVD will cost 4,936 Yen, while the Special Edition and Short Short box set will cost 8,925 Yen. The standalone Short Short DVD will cost 3,900 Yen. Please note that in the US, Disney has scheduled Howl's for a March 2006 release, alongside My Neighbor Totoro and Whisper of the Heart. As for extras, we should expect the standard Disney treatment - which means barely anything at all. Whatever. Get your DVD or DVD-ROM fixed for multi-region use and buy the import.

 

The Best Puzzle Game Since Tetris
Thursday, September 8, 2005 -
6:30am cst:

Meteos for Nintendo DS

Meteos is the game that does for Nintendo's new DS handheld what the great Soul Calibur did for Sega's Dreamcast. It's a wonderfully stylized game that's endlessly challenging, loaded with options, bonus features, and breakneck speed. At the point when when Tetris becomes too fast to play, Meteos starts.

It's a fiendishly complex game, a mutant offspring of Tetris, Soul Calibur and Robotron. It plays more like a strategic fighting game than the standard match-the-blocks formula. Did I mention Meteos includes four-player deathmatch? This game was made to break friendships.

The Nintendo DS is turning into an excellent system, and that's a real surprise. I expected Sony to steamroll with their Playstation Portable, but after an impressive launch, Sony has little to offer besides movies on mini-disc. DS has the games, and that's what counts. And Meteos is the best videogame to come along in ages.

 

Gilligan (aka Bob Denver) Has Died
Tuesday, September 6, 2005 -
6:30pm cst:

His coffin will be made entirely out of cocoanuts. Sorry, couldn't resist (little MST3K joke).

Here's a little-known fact: back in the 1980's, Bob Denver and Bob Hale, Jr. appeared as Gilligan and Skipper for a commercial promoting the city of Duluth, Minnesota. It was an effort by the city to draw in tourism. Needless to say, this was a major event for a small-sized (population, not geography) city. Duluth was beaming for months. Bob Denver will be missed.

 

More Miyazaki and Takahata DVDs Coming
Tuesday, September 6, 2005 -
3:00pm cst:

This is becoming a great year for fans of Miyazaki and Takahata. Last month saw the long-awaited DVD release of Takahata's great movies Pom Poko and My Neighbors the Yamadas, and now more films are set for DVD release.

In the UK, Optimum Home Entertainment is scheduled to release The Adventures of Hols, Prince of the Sun on October 17. The first major collaboration between Miyazaki and Takahata, Hols was released in 1968 and is widely considered a landmark of Japanese animation. This DVD will be the first with English-language subtitles.

Optimum will also release Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro on October 17, and hopefully this will be a DVD worthy of the film. The US DVD (by Manga Entertainment) has correct subtitles but uses an old film print and no extras. The Japanese R2 has the picture quality but poor subtitles. So, needless to say, our hopes are high.

Meanwhile, France has seen most of the pre-Ghibli films re-released in theatres and DVD (compare this to Disney's sweep-under-the-rug policy in the States). Takahata's 1981 comedy Jarinko Chie (Chie the Brat) appeared on the big screen earlier this year, and the DVD is set for this fall with French, but not English, subtitles.

In Japan, Studio Ghibli will release the DVD for Howl's Moving Castle in November, which, like Miyazaki's previous two films, was monstrously successful in its home country. And, once again, Disney put Howl on 202 screens in the US. Two-hundred-freaking-two.

Also set for a fall release is "Ghibli Ga Ippai Special Short Short," a collection of short films created by the studio over the years. Included on the DVD is Miyazaki's On Your Mark, Sora ino no Tane (a charming 90-second short credited to Miyazaki but possibly directed by Yoshifumi Kondo), Portable Airport, Space Station No. 5, and various commercials. None of the short films created for the Ghibli Museum will be included, however.

Finally, Anime on DVD reports that Discotek Media is planning to release classic anime movies, including Animal Treasure Island, Puss 'n Boots, and Taro the Dragon Boy. Animal Treasure Island and Puss 'n Boots stem from Miyazaki's earliest years as a key animator, where he also contributed many ideas of his own. Taro was originally pitched to Takahata, who was committed to other projects, but animation director Yoichi Kotabe had worked with the two masters on Heidi and 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (aka "Marco"), and Taro is considered a classic. No release date has been set, but the movies should include animorphic widescreen and the original Japanese language tracks.

 

Picture of the Day
Tuesday, September 6, 2005 -
1:45pm cst:

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

Daniel Thomas photo of the day

 

Monday Squirrel Blogging
Monday, September 5, 2005 -
10:00pm cst:

After the worst week Americans have faced in a century, we need anything to lift our spirits. Thank God for squirrels.

Monday squirrel blogging

Monday squirrel blogging

 

Red Cross Banned From Entering New Orleans
Saturday, September 3, 2005 -
8:45am cst:

I swear on a stack of holy books I am not making this up. TalkLeft reports from the Red Cross Website:

The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.

Bush fiddled while New Orleans drowned. Condi Rice bought shoes and watched Spamalot on Broadway. Cheney just disappeared (don't f'n tell me he's on vacation). I've never been so damned angry in my life.

Bush fiddled while New Orleans drowned

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