SAM & FUZZY, by Sam Logan (updates M/W/F)

House of Cards, Pt. 10

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Aug 28, 2006


Did you know that the Ed Palermo Big Band has a new CD out? Did you know that the Ed Palermo Big Band... er... exists? Well, you do now!

For years, Mr. Palermo has been taking the music of 20th century music legend Frank Zappa, creating his own incredible arrangements of it, and then performing them with a band of extremely talented jazz musicians. The end result is, in my opinion, some of the best and most unique big band music to be recorded in years.

The Palermo Band's older CDs are kind of tricky to come by. But their latest album is available now, both on their website and on Amazon. If you are a fan of Zappa's work, you absolutely have to check it out. But even if you're not a fan, or if you've never even heard Zappa's music before, you should still check it out. A degree in Zappa-ology is not required to enjoy these sounds. (I am living proof of this.)

If I had to think of the most similar sounding music that my website's readership is most likely to have heard, I'd say that the Palermo Band's sound is not that far off from the juicier, jazzier big band cuts on the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack. If you liked that stuff, I bet you will dig this.

Sam Logan

Aug 25, 2006


It looks like Orbital has finally found a distributor! Orbital is a video game developer that seems to specialize in 2D handheld games based on original IPs. In other words, they make GBA games that don't star Spongebob or Shrek, which makes them a bit of a rarity these days. They debuted with an amazingly deep racing game for the GBA called Racing Gears Advance, and when I saw that they were planning to follow it up with a trio of completely unrelated 2D games mired firmly in completely different genres, I was really excited to see if they could match the quality of their first title.

Unfortunately, no one wanted to distribute their new games! They've been sitting unreleased for over a year. Until now. So, I'm excited! I mean, for all I know, these games could be terrible. But I've been waiting to try them out for so long that just seeing them actually get released is going to be a big thrill.

More and more I have found myself abandonning my home consoles and going back to 2D, sprite-based handheld games like Phoenix Wright and Screw Breaker. Maybe it's because these are the kinds of games I grew up with. Maybe it's because I'm busier these days, and handheld games tend to accomodate short, quick bursts of play. Maybe it's just because I like 2D sprite artwork a lot more than most 3D graphics, or because I find precise 2D gameplay easier to wrap my head around than most 3D games.

All I know is, I'm finding it a lot easier to get excited about Scurge: Hive than anything lined up for the Playstation 3. I just wish that there were more developers putting out non-licensed non-sequels for Nintendo's handhelds, because the handheld market is even more inundated with boring, unoriginal, unpolished crap than the home console market. I'm really excited to see that developers like Orbital are still managing to get their titles released. (Even without Spongebob's help.)

Sam Logan

Aug 23, 2006

Return to sender

I am back, back from Anime Evolution. It was an extremely chaotic but thoroughly entertaining time.

Most of the time, I was sharing some artist alley table space with Greg Dean and David Stanworth. I also got to meet JJ of Filibuster Cartoons and Angela of Spike Comix, who were not exhibiting at the con but came to visit. Upstanding cartoonist types, the lot of them.

Greg did a panel about vector art with Illustrator, and David did a panel about raster art with Photoshop, so I tried to fill the media void by focusing my panel around hand-drawn art with prehistoric pens and paper. Tried is the opperative word. I am confident I provided attendees with zero percent useful information and 100 percent disturbing-drawings-on-the-overhead-projector. People seemed to have a good time, but it probably wasn't very educational! Next time I will try to combine fun and education, which as we all know is a winning formula that never ends in failure.

Most of the other guests were voice actors, which made the guest functions a pretty surreal experience. They were thoroughly nice guys. But sometimes, having dinner with Michael Dobson, Vic Mignogna, and Trevor Devall felt like having dinner at a table of 50 people. They certainly drank as much as 50 people! (Joke! OR IS IT?)

All in all, it was a great time that left me completely exhausted. It is good to be home!

Sam Logan