Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘autobiography’ category

The Seventies were a time of terror, and I’m not just talking about the fashion styles. The upheavals of the late Sixties ushered in a Strange New Decade of heightened anxiety and an loosening of cultural mores. The face of the looming unknown took a multitude of shapes, with a significant number reflecting those subcurrents […]

A twitter pal recently reminded me of The Devil Bat, a 1940 PRC thriller in which a vengeful scientist (played by Bela Lugosi) uses radioactive aftershave and trained giant bats (played by comically unconvincing puppets) to dispatch folks he believes wronged him. The film is standard “poverty row” fare, a mediocre murder mystery given a […]

I’ve learned over the years that childhood ownership of the Remco monster toys — either the Mego-scale dolls or Star Wars scale figures — conveys membership in a secret cult of Spooky Kids whose interests and practices transcend both space and time. Maura still has hers in our attic somewhere. Also, my maternal grandfather bought […]

In the fall of 1984, my family moved out of our cramped North Woburn apartment and into the other side of my grandparents’ duplex just north of Woburn Center. Lil Bro and I got our own room with bunkbeds and a door and everything. That may not sound like a radical development, but it was […]

Fiend Folio was one of the first Dungeons & Dragons hardcovers I owned, purchased on clearance from Kay-Bee Toys for the whopping sum of three dollars and ninety-five cents. I spent hours upon hours flipping through its gallery of fan-created creatures, sketching my own interpretations, and dropping them into my graph paper dungeons without any […]

Night Gallery was proof that you can’t go home again, with a tanned and weary Rod Serling attempting to reprise The Twilight Zone minus the level of craft or creative control. The spooky-themed anthology did have its occasional moments, but it’s telling that the best of them — like “The Caterpillar” and its ear-to-ear slice […]

From the moment of Warhammer 40k‘s release in 1987, fans speculated whether the miniature-based wargame would be followed by a spin-off along the lines of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. While the original Rogue Trader rules did incorporate some rudimentary RPG mechanics, it was first and foremost a wargaming system, as were later skirmish-based side franchises such […]

Back to Wax #37: Spaced out

September 24th, 2018

Sometime back around the turn of the Millennium, I was scouring the dank and dodgy recesses of fileshare networks for an art-synth obscurity from an early Eighties Boston duo. It eventually turned up as part of a “minimal synth” compilation branded after the long defunct Flexipop fanzine. Further digging revealed there were roughly three dozen […]

I went into the second edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay with a truckload of reservations, but ended up genuinely impressed that revised game managed to improve upon the original in almost every regard. So impressed, in fact, that I decided to check out Green Ronin’s other big foray into the fantasy RPG realm — – […]

Back around the turn of the Millennium, Rhino issued a set of compilations titled The Postpunk Chronicles. The three-disc series followed up on the label’s previous DIY, Just Can’t Get Enough, and Faster & Louder collections, offering meticulously curated snapshot of a bygone scene accompanied by detailed liner notes. Despite the title of the series, […]

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