When I moved in to my new place last year one of the things I was most excited about was setting up my new game room. With a home-made 6×4 table and a wolrd of board games and 40k to play, I couldn’t wait to put up decor and set up my hobby room. I never thought of naming it until I shared with my RevPub partner my WIP of Commissar Yarrick’s legendary Tank, The Fortress of Arrogance.
I learned of this mighty armored vehicle from Chains of Golgotha and immediately loved the name. I knew when I started my guard army (built almost ENTIRELY from rage quitters and scrap and a couple of boxed sets admittedly) a version of Yarrick’s pulpit would have to be included. Here’s my version:
When I shared this she commented that it would be a good name for my game space, and I started work on a sign that night that mimicked the “official” markings on the tank as it appears in the Apocalypse expansion. Here’s what I’ll print for my door:
As for the Fortress itself it’s progressed a bit. I was able to get my fantasy armies out of boxes with the addition of the two new inexpensive glass curios, and even added some shelves for the Blood Angels/Flesh Tearers that used to be crammed into the bottom shelf of my IG curio (a couple of chaos engines too big for my storage boxes are up there too.)
As I get things painted (which I’m working on now, my Vostroyan command squad is up first) I’ll share them. As can easily be seen I have a lot to paint, but I like to build and play, so painting always seems to take a back seat!
Villainy and villains. Often we find them more compelling than the heroes of the story, even when we crave their defeat. There are many kinds of villains and many great ones. They can be tragic heroes or pure chaotic evil, so classifying villainy can be difficult. James Rolfe did a great list of the “baddest bad guys” using the criteria of who was really the “baddest” not the best villain or most evil, just the one who was through and through…BAD. He made a great list and it’s hard to disagree with his findings.
Following in his footsteps, and wrapping up the three-year anniversary month of threes, I thought I’d do my own criteria and give what I see as the most intimidating and imposing villains I can think of. The criteria here are a little more difficult to ascertain, but intimidation is rarely strictly physical. Once we leave the school yard the threat of “I’m big and gonna beat you up” doesn’t have the same weight as it once did. This immediately discounts the Jason Vorheeses and Godzillas of the medium. Similarly intimidation and having an imposing personality is usually just that, personality. The fact that these villains are human and show their humanity makes their villainy more imposing. It might seem a bit convoluted but hopefully the selections will help explain. So starting off with number three:
The Hunger Games – President Snow (Donald Sutherland)
“I like you…be careful…”
Before hipsters start to protest I ask everyone look the man himself. He is, in the world of Panam, supremely powerful. He has a family we see in his periphery and a public persona that is both calming and resolute. Then you see him interact other characters, Seneca and Katniss were frozen like the prey of a cobra. Plutarch, despite his confidence, maintained his composure by attempting to play Snow’s game his way to impress him with his own imposing declarations. In the books we see more of him, hear from him more, and get to know him more. His limited use in the films makes him even more intimidating. Sutherland plays him in a manner as cold as the character’s namesake. He speaks with a quiet voice, like thunder in the distance, so when he merely suggests it would be easier if parties agreed not to lie, explains it is not favorable to root for the underdog, or instructs you on the value of hope versus fear you listen. Wide-eyed and terrified at nothing more than the power of his…words. His intimidation is based entirely on his ability to tell you the truth in ice-cold realism with the absolute knowledge of what he can do. He can make you vanish in silence, make you obsolete in front of a roaring crowd, and send you into hysterics with a flower delivery. He’s that imposing.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris)
“Rest assured, if you attempt to bring destruction down upon me, I shall do the same to you. My respect for you, Mr. Holmes, is the only reason you are still alive.”
How can you gone wrong with the Napoleon of crime? I’ve seen several versions of Dr. Moriarty and Jared Harris captured something that I found truly captivating. His Moriarty has an extreme patience and remarkable Zen-like nature that makes him even more frightening than Hannibal Lector. Moriarty’s intimidation is that, portrayed in the manner Harris played him, you feel he’s smarter than you. It’s not a physical intimidation, because as I said above what does that mean to grown people? It’s a feeling of helplessness that even Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock feels during parts of the movie. You feel at his mercy, as though he holds every card and you hold nothing…even if you’re holding everything. Anyone who has ever been in the presence of a real master knows this form of intimidation. And we’ve seen the result of someone far below their league when they attempt to compete. Moriarty is so wily he forces Holmes to chase a red herring at the opera just so he can watch him fail from a box seat. He attempts to start World War I and simply shrugs when he doesn’t pull it off. He can torture you singing opera in German…and just might be able to take you in a fist fight too. I’m not sure I’ve seen a more impressive supervillain…certainly not one who was this cold, this brilliant, and this realistic. Harris’ performance is wildly underrated and for me he’s the Moriarty to beat.
Apocalypto – Zero Wolf (Raoul Trujillo)
“When I catch him I will peel his skin and have him watch me wear it”
I don’t believe I’ve seen a character on film in recent years quite as intimidating as Zero Wolf. Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto received general indifference after its release. It was in Mayan. Directed by a man who had just gone through some serious personal issues. It had questionable historical veracity. But forgotten amidst all of that is what an incredible film it is. The film revolves around fear (The Nolan Batman films could have learned something about real fear in this movie…), specifically fear instilled into a small village by warlike, desperate neighbors who seek human sacrifices. The leader of these hunters: Zero Wolf. Decked out in jaguar jaws, wolf skulls, and human bones he is a massive, brutal, cunning leader. Since we spend most of the film in the captivity of these hunters or fleeing them, they had to represent a truly incredible threat and, though there are numerous hunters, they all fade into the jungle when in the presence of Wolf. He gives commands silently (watch his directive to his men to spread out and attack), can intimidate with few words (“Are we doing what you say now? Shall we try that?”), exudes power and menacing intent through extreme calm and stoicism, and is powerful enough to force that stone knife right through your sternum. More than just a vicious hunter you see he is a person. He has a son he cares about dearly and it’s both tragic and frightening when he is provided the motivation to relentlessly hunt Rudy Youngblood’s Jaguar Paw throughout the latter half of the film. It’s this humanity that makes him such a cold customer. He cares about his legacy and his offspring, but is simultaneously ruthless in the prosecution of his tasks. He is a man hunter, and he treats it like a passionless day job, until it’s made personal. Both his indifference and his cruel obsession cause tension in their own ways. Zero Wolf is possibly one of the most effective villains in years and he is used with remarkable skill to drive the plot, dramatically increase tension, and intimidate the audience. He’s intimidation personified and the most imposing villain I think I’ve ever seen.
I’ve been a cat owner essentially all my life. We got my lil sister Sweetie Pie when I was three. Jack-Jack was an adoption of a 12 year old boy who needed respite from his busy house. Tony and Gino were adoptees from the Katrina disaster. Razputin, my current baby, was an adoptee who wouldn’t let me leave without him. I’ve had a full menagerie in my life, but I always come back to cats as the lil furry companions I relate the most to.
Over the years I’ve found some things that cat owners will completely understand. In the spirit of our Third Anniversary I thought I’d mention the top three things cat owners understand.
3.) They are the pauper kings/queens of the residence:
Every cat rules his or her house. At least they believe they do. Strangely however they are all entirely reliant on their chosen hairless housemate for food, water, and entertainment. It’s unusual to have a tiny little fur-face essentially tell you what to do (and you do it…at least you’d better) when you are, at least logically, the boss round the place. As royalty they can also be adorably mentally abusive. They will innocently use noise (mreoow…mreeeeow…MREEEOW) to get you up at 2am. Then look at you like, “what? Oh did that wake you? Sorry, but as long as you’re up…look at this toy! Or these treats! And pet me here!” They can destroy your whole world [40k players understand how a furry monstrous creature, eternal warrior, with hatred (all models), and 12D6 attacks can wreck your gaming s**t]. Then look at you with a sweet kitty face and make you love them for it. If that’s not the behavior of an insecure monarch I don’t know what is…
2.) They see many things…maybe even dead people…
They will stare. Stare at things. There’s nothing there…but there’s SOMETHING there. Sweetie (miss my lil sis) stared mostly at ME. It’s unnerving to be eyed by a predator. Even a little cute one. Jack-Jack (he was connected to me and we gave him the best last years of his life we could) was nearly blind but his hood-eyed scowl often drew attention. Tony only stares to smash things and even as a senior cat now he still has that young man athleticism. Gino (miss my lil crazy booboo) would just stare…at dust or fuzzies or microscopic particles only visible with an electron microscope. Raz stares up walls and at ceilings. But often…there’s nothing there. At least nothing I can see. Occasionally I’ll spot a tiny bug or a spot on the wall that has his attention. But sometimes nothing. He’s intently staring at the air. And cats do that. Just stare, fascinated by the various nematodes and bogeymen only visible to cat-kind. I know this. I’m not worried about it…but every now and then I’m drawn into the fantasy. I get up to check what he’s staring at. I think he does it to laugh at me…
1.) You mean NOTHING….but you mean everything…
Cats are the world’s greatest actors. They make you feel tiny, usually from self-important cattitude, but in the end one slow blink, one head butt, or one nose touch lets you know that, even though they make you feel utterly beneath contempt…they’re as glad to have you as you are to have them. I know my various babies liked to pretend I mean nothing to them…but for all the kitty bravado they all loved to have me there…even when all they wanted was for me to be in the same space as them. And for us, we’re happy to be in their space too.
Look for Life with Raz Cat coming soon on RevPub! A webcomic series featuring stories from life with a Mad Russian Blue!
It’s time for a reality check. Over the weekend “the two best fighters of their generation” fought in what was a very disappointing showing. Of course anyone who followed the sport knew it would be (as “superfights” almost always are). Mayweather is too skilled defensively and too protective of his undefeated record to pull a Sugar Ray Leonard circa Montreal in 1980 to make it interesting, and Pacquiao is too small and has slipped a bit into one-dimensionality to force Floyd to do so. But there has been a lot of talk as both of these fighters being “all-time greats” as though there is generational forgetfulness on what a real greatness looks like.
Of course “who is the greatest fighter ever” is entirely based on opinion. There is NO answer and rather than say this is a “definitive list” of the greatest fighters of all time I thought I’d say these are the 3 greatest fighters in MY opinion, meaning the ones I like to watch the most and whose abilities have made us stand in awe. And neither Pacquiao, and I love Manny and think he has accomplished a lot, nor Mayweather, who has made a career avoiding the hardest fights, have come close to these legends.
3.) Marco Antonio Barrera: Probably an strange choice for many, but Barrera was without a doubt a pound-for-pound all-time great who could both box, counter, or brawl. In legendary performances against Erik Morales (who many fans appreciate more for his all-guns blazing style), a beautiful chess match with Prince Naseem Hamed (who he battered essentially into retirement), and an all guts battle with Kennedy McKinney Barrera showed ring intelligence, heart, power, and adaptability that is almost never shown nowadays. He could jab southpaws, blast you with right hands, and crush you with left hooks to the body. An aging Barrera looked helpless against the young hungry Pacquiao in their first fight, but lured him into a slower pace in their second. Barrera has faded from collective memory in modern boxing, but people wanting to learn how to be an effective boxer-puncher-brawler need to sit down and watch Marco’s 75 fights.
2.) Roy Jones Jr: This is going to be unpopular, I know, but I have my reasons. In his prime Roy was supernatural. He was the fastest, wiliest, most elusive fighter to ever live. Robbed at the Seoul Olympics, he turned pro in 1989 and essentially didn’t lose a fight (one controversial DQ) until 2004. He had power in both hands and made other all-time greats look like absolute amateurs. Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Virgil Hill, all great champions made to look slow, awkward, and helpless again Roy Jones. Light Heavyweights, who in any other era would have battled it out for light heavyweight supremacy, skilled fighters, all called uncompetitive and weak challenges. Montel Griffin, Reggie Johnson, Clinton Woods, and Julio Gonzalez, all shelved with contemptuous ease. Even mandatory and lesser defenses against David Talesco (who followed Roy calling him out for months only to lose 12 out of 12 rounds against a one-handed Jones) and Richard Hall (one of the greatest of Roy’s performances) showed what an artist he was. He started at junior middleweight, became middle weight champion, super middleweight champion, light heavyweight champion, and cherry-picked a heavy weight title, easily beating John Ruiz. As with most fighters who rely on athleticism over well-schooled boxing ability, he faded badly and from 2004 onward has had a career that has been a shame to see (though he can still turn on some preternatural abilities even at the age of 40+) but if you look at his career from his heavy weight performance backward to his pro-debut you will see possibly the greatest-skilled pound-for-pound fighter ever to live.
1.) Roberto Duran: What needs to be said? Duran turned pro in 1968 (a year after Ali was forced into exile). Was lightweight champion, possibly the greatest lightweight of all time, from 1972-1979, handed Ray Leonard his first defeat to become welterweight champion in 1980, defeated young champion Davey Moore to become junior middleweight champ and took the greatest middleweight champion in the modern era, Marvin Hagler, to his only 15 round defense in 1983. He won the middleweight title from tough, younger, stronger champion Iran Barkley (scoring the fight’s only knockdown) in 1989. And even won a minor Super Middleweight title from journeyman Pat Lawlor in 2000 (19 years after Ali retired!).Fighting in FIVE decades, winning titles in FOUR. Duran was a brutal warrior with a fighting IQ above anyone who has ever stepped into the ring. He didn’t always look brilliant and lived an entire life in the ring, showing excitement, depression, indifference, joy, rage, and pride under the hot lights. Known for his aggression, Duran was also one of the greatest defensive fighters to ever fight, very hard to hit with clean shots and able to stand in front of you and still be elusive while crushing you with either his left or right hand. There’s never been a more effectively aggressive and brilliant street fighter to ever step into the ring. One Hundred and Thirteen fights. In the modern era that is epic and they are some of the greatest ring performances in history.
Just for fun three honorable mentions:
Marvin Hagler: Essentially unbeatable. He was another guy who could fight, box, brawl, or counter punch. His last fight, a shame, where he was out-PR’d by Sugar Ray Leonard in the ring. Even as a Ray Leonard fan I think Hagler won it on aggressive, effective punching, but beat himself by starting too slowly and giving away the first 3 rounds. Marvin was involved in the greatest single fight ever. Out-willing, out-fighting, and out-slugging dangerous puncher and brilliant boxer Tommy Hearns in under three rounds.
Arturo Gatti: Not the most skilled fighter, but good god what a heart and what a warrior. He could lose every second of every round and you’d still cheer for him because he never stopped trying. He could be battered into a swollen pulp and with one left hook change your life. His ring life is linked forever to his wars with Mickey Ward; probably the three greatest fights of all time. You were always on the edge of your seat when Arturo fought.
Vitali Klitschko: Yeah. I said that. Vitali is one tough mo-fo. Though not showing his brother’s pure athletic skill, this is a guy who never was a afraid to fight anyone. Anywhere. Any time. He NEVER lost from being out-fought, losing only twice and only through injury; once from cuts and once from having an injured shoulder. Never knocked down, never knocked out, never visually in trouble in a fight. Vitali was one hell of a smart, strong, SOB who would have been a threat to just about any heavyweight. Ever. Even Mike Tyson says so!
We’re happy to announce RevPub celebrated its three-year anniversary in March 2015! Thank you to everyone who has supported us through following, comments, or merchandise. Thank you to everyone who shares and relates to our sometimes crazy posts.
I’ve been asked several times why I post to RevPub? I’ve had people ask, “if you don’t get paid for it, why bother?” And my answer is always the same: Because it’s fun, and to me, that is enough.
Why Do We Blog?
When James and I first started the site, it was to store our creative projects. And if you have followed us from the beginning, you know we have evolved to have hundreds of posts covering everything from lost pets to movies and personal art.
It eventually became a place where we could share our opinions, projects, reviews, and even our first digital comic book, created from a story James wrote when he was a teenager. We could have something happen that triggered a post idea, and there it was. Blogging is about being able to be yourself, and that’s what we do. We’re just us.
Another great thing about blogging is that you can go back and reminisce about the posts. I remember posting about our first comic con and International Tabletop Game Day. Blogging is similar to Facebook in the social aspect, but blogging really lets you express yourself, and it’s more intimate. I love talking with our readers, and reading what they post, too. It’s the one social platform I’m never annoyed with.
James and I have been friends for 17 or so years. In 2011, when we first created the site, his first post was Remakes and Reboots – Part 1, where he discusses the perfect remake. It’s interesting his post three years later was Remakes and Reboots Redux: Part 1, when he was once again inspired by the film industry. My first post was a scarf I knitted for a friend’s mom. It’s still one of my favorites.
I remember being a little nervous about posting it and wondered if people would like it. And looking back, I had no idea what I was doing – the pic is tiny! (But you can click on it if you’d like to see the details.) Even though I was nervous, it felt good to get it out there. After a year hiatus, we picked it back up regularly, and that’s when it really became something. Everything became a post idea and still is. And neither of us are afraid to put something out there. We’ve come a long way.
I encourage anyone considering starting a blog to do so. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or work. It can and should always be fun. If you’re afraid to put it something out there, then just write a draft and publish when you’re ready. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just be you!
Thanks again to all our readers, and we look forward to another three years with you! We have much more coming, including top three posts, so watch out world!
On this April Fool’s day I thought a story of how I was fooled by no one in particular and how it was the most fooled I’ve been in ages..
I have a lil Russian Blue cat named Rasputin (Raz or Raz-cat for short). Raz is a weird little animal and he plays with everything, but one of his favorite toys is the springy doorstops that stop doorknobs from crashing through dry wall. He’s crazy but he’s soft and sweet and likes to sleep on the pillow next to my head.
One night a few weeks ago I was asleep around midnight when I heard the sproy-yo-yo-yoing of one of the doorstops. I sat up and thought “what is that little maniac doing…” when I noticed Raz sitting bolt upright next to me. Then my sleep-addled brain caught up with the situation; if Raz was here…what hit the doorstop?
I turned on the light and looked at my bedroom door, which was propped open. I have a few wooden swords leaned up behind it but both were still standing. Then I slowly looked up and realized it must have been the door in the game room across the hall. The door was closed. I live on the second floor and that room is the only window accessible from the outside. The rest of my windows are all two stories up and unless you’re Spiderman you’d have trouble breaking in through them.
I immediately started thinking of what I could use as a weapon, and it occurred to me that all of the most useful stuff was in the living room…not wanting to cross in front of the door in question I looked around my room and the only weapon I could find was a replica Danish War axe leaning against my book shelf. It’s not a convenient indoor weapon, about 42 inches long with a 7-pound axe head at the business end. A quote from Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels went through my head, “I don’t want to blow the arsehole out of the world, but I don’t want nobody blowing a raspberry at me either…” It’s kind of a ridiculous weapon in a CQC situation, but it was all I had.
Still I picked it up and headed toward the door. Raz was sitting in the bed looking at me and the game room door with an expression that read, “Was it in there? You’re not going in there are you?”
I leaned against the wall next to the door and listened. I didn’t hear anything in there. I decided not to be an idiot and yell out “hello?” and resolved when I opened the door I’d slam it open to go with the shock and awe tactic. I silently braced my shoulder against the door, took a deep breath (looked back at Raz who looked like he was saying “don’t do it…don’t open the door!”) and barged into the door.
To my shock something was pushing back. The door wouldn’t open as if someone was leaning on the other side or had their foot on the bottom of the door to keep me from opening it.
I pushed harder and went in, axe handle first (I decided I didn’t want to swing that thing and get it caught on the door jamb…). The door finally opened and I flipped the light on. I didn’t find any medieval intruders…I found my rolled up Frontline game mat, which I keep standing behind the game room door, had fallen across the doorway and hit the door stop. I actually fell to me knees and laughed. Raz looked at me like I was nuts.
I’m paranoid, so I still searched the rest of my house before calming down and going to bed.
I learned a couple of good lessons from this incident. First: It never hurts to be cautious but don’t always assume the worst. Second, and maybe more importantly, Danish War Axes are not ideal for home defence.