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Bolo

My pop cultural education has exposed me to many heroes and villains, but few impressed me as much as Bolo Yeung.

I won’t bother copying and pasting his life story from wikipedia. Born in China, martial artist, body builder, you get the idea. If you don’t know who he is, you need to watch Enter The Dragon, Blood Sport and Double Impact, at the very least.

He was a terrifying presence, capable of explosive fury and icy menace. What modern day actor could compare to this Chinese Hercules? This Chong Li, the God of Thunder? You would probably need some sort of CGI monster.

Here’s all you really need to know:

Lest you think he’s all bad, here’s an adorable video of JCVD and Bolo having a reunion in 2011.

 

Who were some of your favorite villains? Leave a comment, or crush an enemy’s spine.

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Who is that angry alien?

cropped-ji-fu-hanko-red-on-white-circle.jpg

This angry alien is my hanko, a personal seal I used to sign my work while studying sumi-e, traditional Japanese painting. My instructor insisted I get one, and my classmates helped me choose the design.

Because I have a western name, I cannot write it using characters in the Japanese kanji alphabet. I first had to transliterate my name ‘Jeff’ into the closest phonetic characters in the hiragana alphabet, which wound up being “Ji” and “Fu”.

Next, I got to pick from a list of kanji pronounced Ji and Fu. Each kanji had its own meaning, and together they would produce my new artist name. Some of the combinations were strange, and some were over the top. It is considered poor form for both of your names to be bold (e.g: Awesome Thunder!), so I chose ‘luck’ for Ji (a traditional favorite) and ‘wind’ for Fu.

This gave me the name ‘Lucky Wind’, or ‘Wind That Brings Luck’.

Next I commissioned a hanko company to create the stamp. They converted my chosen modern kanji characters into their traditional historical form, which was the ancient script of the Chinese Han alphabet.

When I saw that angry one eyed alien, I was sold. These days I spend my time writing instead of practicing sumi-e or shodo calligraphy, so the alien is going to rep my work in fiction. Don’t worry, he’s not really mad. He’s just working hard.

shodo4 paintings sumi e

cat sumi e

 

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Bandersnatch Poppins

With the convergence of Black Mirror’s interactive movie BANDERSNATCH and the reboot of MARY POPPINS, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to post my interactive Mary Poppins inspired ‘choose thine own adventure’ game.

click here to play

mary1

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Punktown AF

Dark Regions Press presents TRANSMISSIONS FROM PUNKTOWN, a new anthology set in the weird, bleak, urban, shared world of Jeffrey Thomas. If you like your science fiction to feel lived in you will love Punktown. This book is an escape from the shiny plastic sets of the Star Wars prequels and a journey through the flesh and blood lives and grease and grime worlds you’ve seen in Blade Runner, The Expanse and yes, Mos Eisley.

Punktown is a coral reef, an accretion of bones, concrete, dreams and stories. In my entry, Less, Then Zero, a luckless thief has a scheme to trade places with one of the city’s anonymous, ever present labor clones.


Mik regained consciousness and tried to blink. He could not feel his eyelids. Do I still have my face? Or did the drugs wear off too soon? He imagined stumbling to the mirror to see a fleshless skull screaming back.

A robotic arm unspooled Kwik-Klot bandaging from his head. Each loop brought the world back in shades of red, from wine dark to scarlet to cherry-red.

He squinted at the harsh light of the body-mod shop and pushed the delicate auto-doc aside. He looked in the mirror. A stranger’s face looked back, the corners of its mouth twitching with a weak smile. It worked!

Mik gently touched his new face and winced, expecting pain, but the stolen flesh was numb. He bent his ear. The jailhouse tattoo tucked behind it, Gillen’s date of birth, was gone. In exchange he had a large, stylized ZERO inked across his scalp and forehead.

The auto-doc’s thin arms lifted a sterile tray holding Mik’s original face. No one had ever looked kindly on that portrait of failure. Even his own reflection had glared back with loathing.

“Flush it with the rest.” The auto-doc dumped the thin slice of flesh into a vat. It landed with a sticky slap upon a naked, faceless corpse.

The lid of the vat squealed shut and filled with caustic chemicals. Mik pried it open with one hand. Blistering fumes and the stench of dissolving meat stung his eyes. He gripped the auto-doc, uprooted it from its base station, and shoved it down.

The vat flushed. Corroded robot parts and melting bones rattled down the gurgling pipes. He zipped up the clone’s jumpsuit. The perfect crime, at last. Here’s to many more.


Transmissions from Punktown is available for pre-order now! Get the ebook, paperback or hardcover from Dark Regions Press here.

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Halloween Round Up

Greetings, Boils and Ghouls. Or should I say, Scabies and Mental men?

Seasons Creepings, etc etc.

This post is for short cuts, so I’ll get right to it.

crypt keeper

Yes, I know I said ‘cuts’. Zip it.

Here is my Halloween Roundup of original content for 2018

The Music Mix:   Horror Reggae!

The Movie post:  The Slasher Cycle Theory

Some Sci-Fi-Fun:  Halloween on Mars

The Spooktaculars:

 The 6 Demon Bag podcast (part 1)

The 6 Demon Bag podcast (part 2)

The 6 Demon Bag podcast (part 3)

That’s all the treats for this year. Have a Happy Hallowe’en!

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Gimme some Horror Reggae!

It has recently come to my attention that there is a sub-genre of music called Horror Reggae. I don’t get a lot of Reggae in my diet, but the dollop of horror makes it quite delicious.

reggae vampire

Here is a handpicked list of Reggae, Dub, and Calypso horror songs for your Hallowe’en party. Caribbean scares come mostly in the form of Obeah (voodoo, witch doctors), Duppy (spirits) and jumbies (zombies, evil creatures). If you want to get political, however, you sing about vampires. Lots of vampires.

Gimme some Horror Reggae!


1) Dracula Prince of Darkness by King Horror.

King Horror seems less interested in metaphors for societal ills and political corruption and more interested in screaming about monsters.

2) Witch Doctor by Mighty Sparrow

3) Mr. Brown by Bob Marley & the Wailers

Mr. Brown is a clown who rides to town in a coffin.

4) Ketch Vampire by Lee Perry

Jah Jah sent us here to catch vampire
We have the chalice to light up Jah fire
When I-and-I a-go catch them vampire
I-and-I a go set them on fire

5) Obeah Man by Lone Ranger

6) Dracula by Desmond Dekker
Don’t trust a big butt and a smile

7)Duppy Conqueror by Bob Marley and the Wailers

8) Vampire by Lee Perry and the Upsetters

9) Frankenstein by King Horror

Only Frankenstein can bust up these vampires in the list

10) Vampire by Peter Tosh

11) Obeah Wedding by Mighty Sparrow
A diss track against a girl so ugly she needs necromancy. Damn.

12) Chase Vampire by Sancho

13) Zombie Jamboree by King Flash and Calypso Carnival

 

For my other Halloween playlists, click herehereherehereherehere and here.

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An open apology to KITT

I am sorry.

It is with a heavy heart, hat in hand and tear stained cheeks that I grovel before you. I have spoken irresponsibly, making wild statements such as “KITT from Knight Rider has no offensive capabilities, Airwolf would destroy it every time.”

Mea culpa.

I have searched my heart, the television archives and numerous fan made wikis to set the record straight.

Of course KITT has offensive capabilities. Not only does it have a flamethrower and tear gas launcher, it has a frikkin’ laser!

Aim_Laser

I don’t know why I forgot this, as everything in the 80’s had mandatory lasers. Had G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. and Rick Springfield’s music video for ‘Bop ‘Til You Drop’ taught me nothing?

 

To be sure, the laser was rarely used. It struggled with its power supply, calibration and range. While it may have failed to destroy the evil KARR, it did bullseye a weakspot the size of a quarter on Goliath.

How could a horizontal mounted short distance, 3 shot capacity laser possibly take down a super helicopter like Airwolf? Let’s start slicing apples and oranges (not with a laser, though. We only have 3 shots).

Let’s start with Defense:

KITT has the vaunted Tri-Helical 1000 MBS, the ‘Molecular Bonded System’ that makes it indestructible. It has been claimed to be resistant to everything except for heavy artillery and missiles. This is largely true – it has even shrugged off rounds from a gatling gun and high speed head on collisions (RIP KARR).

With its upgraded super pursuit mode, KITT can travel at 420 mph.

In addition to physical defenses like magnesium flares, smoke screens and oil jets, KITT has a dizzying array of electronic warfare capabilities including long distance sensors, and an almost magical electronic jamming systems that could control other machines. In Episode 26, “Merchants of Death” the Microwave Jammer’s power has been increased 3 times than its normal strength, strong enough to bring down a helicopter, but only when KITT managed to jump over it.)

Airwolf is bullet proof and armored, though not to the extent that KITT is. It does have enough of its own electronic counter measures that we may assume that it would not be the deciding factor in a confrontation.

Airwolf has 30mm cannons, .50 cal chain guns, and dozens upon dozens of missiles, all sufficient to exceed KITTS threshold of invulnerability. With a cruising speed of 350 mph and the option to kick it up to Mach 2 (over 1,400 mph) there is no way KITT could outrun it. With a flight ceiling of 89,000 ft and up, KITT’s short range laser won’t be very useful.

military-aircraft-airwolf

If ‘The Firm’ orders Airwolf to destroy KITT from on high with extreme prejudice, it would be over in minutes. Even with KITT’s anti-heat seeking flares, smoke screens and faster than human reflexes, the battle would be determined by overwhelming air superiority.

But let us imagine that the Foundation for Law and Government gets wind of The Firm’s hostile intentions. What advantage could a car possibly have over a supersonic high altitude weapons platform?

Teamwork.

michaelknight

KITT possesses advanced, general artificial intelligence. In retrospect, the fact that this was used to drive a Pontiac instead of irrevocably transforming the fate of mankind is insane, but perhaps there is a long game here that has yet to be revealed. I digress.

The important thing is that Airwolf’s crew members are confined to one vehicle, while KITT and Michael can operate independently.

Why would Airwolf ever give up its decisive advantage and get close to the ground? That’s just how its pilot, Stringfellow Hawke, rolls. He’s not the type to use chainguns on a man fleeing on foot. His preference is always low and slow, map of the earth stunt flying.

Airwolf_ii

If KITT were to play dead, perhaps after a spectacle of smoke screens and evasive driving, Michael could get out and run from Airwolf.

airwolf on foot

If Airwolf took the bait and came down low, KITT could turbo boost upto 40 feet in the air and either use its laser or simply ram its indestructible body into the helicopter.

turbo boom.gif

If you really want to think outside the box, KITT could use his Surveillance Mode to hack into The Firm’s systems and then use his Voice Synthesizer and Voice Stress Analyzer to call Archangel to coerce, threaten and blackmail him into calling off the attack.

So the next time you are at one of your glitzy cocktail parties and a group of people are debating 80’s action properties and dismissing Knight Rider, remember the frickin’ lasers.

Will I ever get back the time I spent researching this? Will you ever get back the time you spent reading it?

No.

And for that, I am sorry.


If you do like to go deep on pop culture action, perhaps you’d like my dark superhero novel CRITERION.

CRITERION is available now in print and digital at

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Smashwords

iTunes

Kobo

Crossroad Press

 

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