Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back From The Dead!

Hello everyone.

So it seems that just over a year later I am back to this blog.

Sorry for being gone so long, just been a busy busy year.

I will update more later, but some big words coming from me here about life, love and whatever else hits my brain.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You Ever Have One Of Those Lives?

So between school, layouts, life and everything else I have totally neglected this blog.

For that I apologize.

The good news is that I have started up a new Zenith Universe campaign (in the aftermath of the previous one, no not the 2 session aborted one, the one with the time travel stuff).

So that's good and playtesting goes full steam ahead.

More to post when I have it, including the first session notes from John!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: The Role Playing Game - Playtest Report

Hey all, just a quick note to let you know that this past weekend there was an "outside" playtest performed and the reports are that a fun time was had by all!

This makes me happy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not Dead

Hey folks

Just a quick note to let you all know I am not dead, still plugging along and will have news very soon!

Thanks for sticking with me and look forward to showing you all what has eaten so much of my time.

As a side note, I have a weird glitch that redirects my Blogger stuff when I click on it.  Anyone else have this?  The internet can't seem to decide if it a is a virus/trojan or nothing at all.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Vol. 1 - Art Preview

Hey hey,

As layouts enter the final stage, I just received some updated art of Damselfly and Energion, so I thought I would share it with you.


P.S.  We are very close to release now... I am getting all excited and nervous about it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Forgot one...

I forgot to add another book we are adding to the line-up;

Zenith Comics Presents: Belle Isle

Belle Isle is the superhuman maximum security penitentiary, located off the shore of Capitol City.  This book will not only showcase the prison itself, but some of the long-term inmates and staff of the facility.

So with that we are looking at;

Roster Books
Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 1
Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 2
Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 3
Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 4
Zenith Comics Presents: Dastardly Duos & Terrible Trios
Zenith Comics Presents: Mayhem Inc./Ravage V
Zenith Comics Presents: Mercenaries & Masterminds

Setting Books
Zenith Comics Presents: A.S.A.G.A.R.D.
Zenith Comics Presents: The Citadel
Zenith Comics Presents: Capitol City
Zenith Comics Presents: The Golden Age
Zenith Comics Presents: Belle Isle

Zenith Comics Presents: The Ultimus Invasion*

As well, don't forget there will be plenty of freebies given away on this very website as well, including heroes, various npcs and more.  One of the statements I made earlier was that I won't produce roster books of heroes, since that seems counter productive to me, and that will continue.  Sure a hero or two will show up in the setting books, but I have no plans to produce a full out heroes roster book.  So the heroes of the Zenith Universe will be given away for free on the website.


*I may change the name of this (or other products) as we move forward.  This name may be due to an already existing event that has occurred in the Zenith Universe time-line called the Ultimus Invasion.

Zenith Universe Update!

Hey all, sorry I haven't posted in a while, but work has been ramping up on the Zenith Universe and related product.  Without further ado, here is what happening in the Zenith Universe.

First off Zenith Comics Presents: The Role-Playing Game has been pushed to the back burner for now.  The reason for this is two fold, one Jim Stoner (my game design partner and stat-block wizard extraordinaire) and I want to make sure this game is as good as it can be, so we are taking the design slow and play-testing thoroughly (stay tuned for the beta-playtest announcement to get your chance to be part of it) before we consider letting this game escape... er... I mean release.

Secondly Anthony Green (the outstanding Zenith Comics line-artist) and I have been keeping up with our meetings and the decision has been made by both of us to keep expanding the Zenith Universe through roster books and now setting books as well!  So as Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 1 nears release (we are in layouts as we speak and then we launch!) we have mapped out the future of the Zenith Comics line.

For the roster books we have;

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 2 - Probe, Glamazon and Dr.Power are just some of the names you will encounter in this volume of fully developed original villains.

Zenith Comics Presents: Dastardly Duos & Terrible Trios - What do a speedster, stretcher, three military mecha, two Irish terrorists and three astronauts have in common?  They are the villains you will find in this roster book from Zenith Comics.

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 3 - Icefire, Psiren and Galatea stand deviously along side 7 other villains in next volume of the Zenith Comics villain roster series.

Zenith Comics Presents: Mayhem Inc./Ravage V - Two teams of five villains each that work together like well oiled machines, with which to challenge your heroes or teach them some humility through defeat.

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 4 - Black Swan, Gargantuan and Sir Blood lead the pack for 10 more vile super villains from the Zenith Universe.

Zenith Comics Presents: Mercenaries & Masterminds - This book covers two concepts, those who want to rule the world and those who they hire to help with the task.  Only in the early stages of this one, but it is looking pretty sweet so far.

While they will release in no particular order, the next one up I can tell you is Dastardly Duos & Terrible Trios and the art samples are already coming in!

"But wait..." you say, "How can I play in a Zenith Universe campaign with only roster books at my disposal?"  Good question and Zenith Comics has you covered!  Introducing the Zenith Comics Presents setting line of supplements;

Zenith Comics Presents: A.S.G.A.R.D. - The American Specialized Government Action Response Department are responsible for providing the firepower and resources when it becomes time to take down terrorists organizations or rampaging super villains (or heroes).  From their hidden base called Valhalla, Viking power troopers, backed by Valkyrie medics take the field and keep the peace.

Zenith Comics Presents: The Citadel - The number one threat to world-peace this organization, lead by the tyrannical Lord Sovereign, has vowed to rule the world!  Using paramilitary shock troops and super powered agents, they are challenged by A.S.G.A.R.D. at every turn as well as heroes of all stripe.

Zenith Comics Presents: Capitol City - This is where it all happens, the premiere super city of the Zenith Universe.  From the Titan Observatory on Citadel Hill to the back alleys of Boxtown, welcome to a fully realized city and surrounding environ that is ready to have your heroes take to the streets.  This setting has been developed through actual play and expansion for the past 20 years.  Now I have taken all that information and begun editing and expanding to turn it into an exciting place for your heroes to call home.

Zenith Comics Presents: The Golden Age - Those who know me know that it is no secret I love the "All-Star Squadron", "the Invaders" and "Pre-Crisis Earth 2".  There is something about that time that just sings to me and in this setting book I will explore the Golden Age of the Zenith Universe.  Meet the heroes that started it all and the villains that they built their reputations on.

And once all those settings are in your hands, there is a special project I am really excited about;

Zenith Comics Presents: The Ultimus Invasion - Along the lines of the adventure path concept meets the 12 issues crossover event in comics, The Ultimus Invasion is a 12 part adventure story that can be played as a solid pre-made campaign set in the Zenith Universe that will be for all the marbles.  Your heroes will make the journey from nobodies to being the world's only hope as they travel to the four corners of the Zenith Universe and fight alongside its legends against the greatest threat they have ever known, the return of Ultimus!

As always these products will be stated out for use with BASH UE, ICONS, V&V2.1 and M&M3e.


The characters and concepts presented are the intellectual property of Zenith Comics

Saturday, August 21, 2010

That's That... Or Is It?

So with sessions 12 and 13 done, the Zenith Universe is rebooted.

What does this mean exactly?  It means that I have run a darn fun story arc that taught me a lot and in the end cleared up a lot of what I need to do (and not to do) with the Zenith Universe.

With the reboot, a new campaign is forming that will focus less on global occurrences and grand conspiracies, and more on local city level heroing, with occasional forays into the larger scene.

Another big change that will be happening will be the advancement of the timeline from 1964 to 2010, with appropriate changes of course.

This was an overwhelming choice from the players, and I agree.  The reason being that unless we were focusing on say the Cold War aspects of 1984 it didn't really play a big part of things, except making references to era related setting things (Regan as president, etc).

Stay tuned as more information about the new timeline/setting starts to arrive.  I have worked up a broad strokes narrative timeline and hope to make a more point based one off of that.

Also plan to start doing articles called "The Encyclopedia of the Zenith Universe" where I can put in interesting characters, items, events, etc...

All this while continuing to develop roster books (first one is in layouts now!) and the seemingly never ending work on the Zenith Comics rpg!


John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 13 - AKA Zenith Comics Giant Sized Special!

 With John away on a cruise for this session, Anthony was kind enough to step in and take notes.  Here they are;
Session 13:
The players:
Tick Tock - Robin
Max Plastic - Mike
Kenji/Galvanos/Galvana (but mostly Kenji) - Renzo
Doc Tesla - Pat
Monolith - Anthony

Game opens with Max Plastic dreaming, during his dream he feels a weird disturbance which wakes him up. He gets up and walks out of the door to his room and finds himself in a sci-fi corridor. He turns around and the door he just left is now a sliding sci-fi door. While wondering what is going on, he gets attacked by a charging knight on a horse. Max wraps himself around the knight’s lance and flips him off his horse. He spins around only to find horse and knight gone. He spots a wall sign indicating the command deck and rushes over there only to find Guardsman there on monitor duty. Max’s confusion clearly apparent, Guardsman decides to call on Doc Tesla to check on Max. Tesla is as confused as Max since the last thing he remembers is teleporting the mansion to Arizona. While Max and Tesla leave to go to the med bay Guardsman continues to track Zero-G, now a villain who has recently destroyed an island off South America killing millions. Confusion is clearly king here.
Monolith and Galvana (Kenji controlling Eve’s robot body) head through the door to check out the structural damage to the mansion from the teleport. They find themselves now in the Amazon jungle.  Kenji also finds that Galvana is now the Galvanos robot. Before they can try and make sense of what’s going on, a T. Rex storms out of the jungle attacking both heroes. The dinosaur grabs Galvanos in its mouth and slams him into Monolith knocking him out. As Galvanos fights the T. Rex his communicator bleeps but he keeps his mind on the fight. Finally the super seizure eyes can come into play and he zaps the T.Rex... along with half the jungle and maybe the Amazon version of Tarzan to boot.
With the T. Rex down, Galvanos takes the call and freaks out when Guardsman is on the other line, not knowing what to do, he hangs up on Guardsman and wakes Monolith up. This time Monolith answers the call and both he and Galvanos get teleported where they find themselves onboard the orbiting satellite of the Guardians. There they encounter Sparrowhawk and Gyro who are heading out to hunt Zero-G back on the Earth.
Making their way to the command deck, they meet Guardsman (heroic this time) who suggests they get a check up in the med bay first and then to go interrogate their prisoner… Tick Tock.
In the med bay, Max and Tesla access the computer banks and bring themselves up to speed with the changes. They find out that Zero-G joined up with the Odd Squad and together they killed the island of San Bonito. When Zero-G turned his attention to the Guardians satellite, Monolith, Max Plastic, Doc Tesla and Galvanos helped the Guardians which allowed them to join the team. At this point Monolith and Kenji join the others and compare notes. They all decide to head down to the prisoner level and see if Tick Tock also knows if things are wrong.
When they arrive not only do they find Tick Tock knows things are different, but so does Brainflex. Brainflex believes there is something which caused an alternate timeline and that we need to join forces to find out what it is and undo it. The team decides to talk to Guardsman about this and leave Tick Tock in his cell in order not to provoke a fight. The team also decides to leave Brainflex where he is since working with him never works out for the heroes.
While Monolith and Kenji go to talk to Guardsman, Tesla and Max go to the lab to find out why they remember the old timeline. When they get there they find Doctor Destiny fooling around with Tick Tock’s pocket watch, which they find out is the source of Tick Tock’s powers. Destiny mentions that the watch seems broken and is firing off bursts of temporal energy. Destiny is called away which leaves the heroes there to grab the watch, which they find out is behind a force field.
On the command deck Monolith and Kenji find Guardsman with Lady America and before they explain what’s going on, a call comes in that there are pirates in the commissary. Guardsman runs off to fight them leaving Lady America who also remembers the old timeline. As they try to think of the next step to take, Major Victory walks in and kisses his girlfriend Lady A, which wouldn’t be creepy if the heroes didn’t know he died in WW2. When the Major finds out about pirates, he also runs off to fight them. Lady A realizes that if Major Victory is alive, then her dead sidekick Spangle might be alive as well. She then runs off leaving Monolith and Kenji alone and with nothing done.
Kenji asks if this change might not be so bad and Monolith explains that time is falling apart based on the weird things happening randomly. Alerts sound across the board as the main screens light up in the command deck giving Monolith and Kenji dozens of views of Zero-G destroying Moscow. Putting even more pressure to try and correct the timeline.
Before anyone can do anything else. Guardsman calls on all available heroes to meet at the teleport pads to try and take down Zero-G. Kenji offers to stay onboard and get Tick Tock’s watch back to him while Monolith goes down to help contain Zero-G. Tesla decides to also stay onboard and Max Plastic offers to help stop Zero-G as well. As Max and Monolith teleport down into a war zone, Tesla and Kenji try and get their hands on the watch with Tick Tock’s help. They finally get the watch just in time to get caught by Captain Adventure the Time Ranger.
Back on earth, Monolith gets blindsided by Lady A who doesn’t want time fixed because Spangle is alive. When Max tries to stop her, she ties him up into a knot easily.
On the satellite, Captain Adventure explains that the rangers were trying to catch up to Tick Tock in order to explain how to use the watch, not to take it away from him. Tick Tock needs to go to the end of time in order to unwind the watch and release the stored time locked in it. Before they do that, Kenji teleports all those who know about the time change back to the satellite. Not knowing that Lady A is anti-time fix, she jumps Tick Tock who pushes the time eraser button. The entire group starts falling through a time tunnel and land on an asteroid… Before we can react, Lady A de-clocks Tick Tock and Tesla tries to solve the situation the way he solves everything… with blasts of electricity. 
Amazingly enough, Lady A is faster than lightning, (literally) and she starts the time fall again. Landing at the beginning of time, Lady A breaks down since she can’t save Spangle. Relinquishing the watch to Kenji and Monolith she closes up.
Kenji and Monolith pop open the watch to see if they can do something with it to get them going the other way. Inside the watch there is a double helix of energy which shows that the watch is alive and leaving the science nerds puzzled. Lady A demands that when everything is figured out we need to save Spangle, the team logics her back down from that request. As the team tries to figure out what to do, Tick Tock goes with his gut and touches the source of power of the watch which is connected to the Heart of Time.
Tick Tock is brought to a timeless place where he meets the anthropomorphic personification of time the Time Master. They switch places (willingly) and he meets the team. He explains that he is in fact Tick Tock after exposure to the Heart of Time and that he needs the team to help Tick Tock stop the Time Rangers who have locked up time from doing what it needs to do. The Time Master explains he has been fighting the Rangers for a while and cannot attack them directly, so he used an avatar of himself to try and free time. He warns the team that if Tick Tock finds out he is not real, he will cease to exist. He switches place with Tick Tock who now knows how to unwind the watch and drags everyone to the end of time across the span of all history. The trip is so mentally dangerous that it drives Tesla sane.  Lady A tries to take command and is shot through the head by Captain Adventure who has gone TIME MAD! This leads Tesla to solve the problem using high amounts of electricity… it really can solve everything.
Approaching the Time Ranger base, the team tries to think of a way to sneak in. Monolith decides to handle the gate guards by shooting up to 60 feet and charging while shrinking back down at a gradual rate which really confuses the guards since it looks like someone running in place until he hits them, knocking both out. Max slips through cracks and gets the rest of the team in by opening the gates. Inside Tick Tock uses the watch as a compass to hunt the Heart of Time. 
Before the team can get too far in, alarms start sounding and encourages them to get the lead out. Running down a corridor of time windows, the team is assaulted by Rangers. Max bowls a few through a window, Monolith uses another window to scoop away a few more and Kenji strafes a few using weapons in his cool hover/assault wheelchair. Tick Tock decides not enough people were shooting at him so he decides to get their attention again. Once again running past time windows, Tock spots the moment he pick pocketed his own future self and got the watch. In the weirdest moment, he leaps into the window. He then ends up stealing
the watch from his younger self who is stealing it from his oldest self. The universe finding this too weird spits him back out the window.With more and more Rangers converging on the heroes, Monolith brings down the ceiling on the corridor behind them to give them a chance to get to the Heart of Time. Unfortunately he can’t get out of the way in time and gets crushed along with the Rangers. Pleading with the others not to worry, they can fix the deaths later. Meanwhile Tesla sees a window to the moment just before Westinghouse betrays the original Tesla and he flies through and kills Westinghouse. Nikola Tesla, horrified, uses his Tesla coil to absorb Doc Tesla trapping him as electrical current. Down to 3 heroes, they rush to a set of stairs with another small group of Rangers in pursuit. The stairs act like a mobius strip and everyone gets stuck on them. Tick Tock negotiates them easily leaving everyone else stuck. Max stretches himself out for Kenji to get through, the remaining Rangers decide to pepper Max with shots since he’s now a massive target. Max goes down in a hail of gunfire leaving Kenji and Tick Tock remaining.
Tick Tock finds himself at the Heart of Time, sealed behind a crystal cage. He tosses his watch shattering the cage and approaches the Heart. He hears a voice and turns around to see the Time Marshal, leader of the Rangers, pointing a gun at him. He is about to reveal that Tick Tock is an avatar of the Time Master when Kenji zooms from the stairwell ramming the Marshal and sending both of them into a wall where they blow up. Tick Tock responds to this with “How did you not see this coming?”. He turns to the Heart of Time, taking a breath and then rams his hand into it.

Fade to white.

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 12 - Part 2

Sentinels - Issue 12 pt. 2 - July 31, 2010 – ZCP System

Robin – Tick Tock
Renzo – Kenji/Galvanos
Anthony – Monolith
Pat – Doc Tesla
John – Bronco

So a fray is imminent and the tension is palpable.

Everyone waits for Monolith's move. Gal has called for backup. Guardsman has eluded that backup for him is en route...

The heroes go first, Champion leading the 6 on 1. Guardsman does well, resisting Tock's slow down trick and he takes down Monolith in one shot. Then he uses Monolith as a swing stick.

The fray continues in earnest. Guardsman tries to make a run and get away from the dogpile, when suddenly there's a dump truck in his way – courtesy of Tick Tock.

Guardsman run head on into the truck. Tock honks the horn. What an odd edition to the fray.

Guardsman goes to blow the gas tank. Champion interrupts and shakes Tock out of the truck.

The Guardsman-pile reforms and the fray continues. Doc Tesla arrives, somewhat confused by the enormity of the fray, but happy his arrival brings a brief detente and time for the start of a conversation.

Champ suggests Tesla should zark the water Guardsman is standing in. He obliges. Guardsman is still kicking.

10 Metal Militia men burst on the scene. Tesla talks to Tesla and gives him a suggestion. Doc Tesla lets loose a giant EMP. [Anthony out of game to Pat, pondering the implications of the emp: Fuck Astro Boy – kill HALO!!"]

Kenji survives the EMP, Galvanos does not, nor do the 10 Militiamen. Bronco coup-de-graces Guardsman and a moment of calm descends.

Champion grabs Kenji and runs for it. Eve calls Tesla, the only one with a working communicator. He teleports out as four new squads of goons teleport in to help Guardsman.

Tock pauses things and goes around grabbing grenades and ammo from the new goons. In paused time a new Time Ranger arrives. Tock pops a pin on a grenade. 'Are you insane?' he asks Tock. Tock drops the grenade, smiles, then runs back to real time.

New dude gets fragged back to real time. Lady A recognises him as Captain Adventure. She goes to investigate.

Monolith, recently back up, gets knocked down again. Goons strafe Tock. Lady A takes a rare opportunity to interpose the shots. In doing so she saves Tock and Cap Adventure. And gets tagged by some flying lady coming into the fray.

Bronco squares off against Guardsman, who tries logic on the big Native. Bronco lets him leave to fight on better terms another time. Guardsman orders retreat as more villains flood the field. Monolith keeps fighting with another giant sizer named Rampart.

Tesla returns with reinforcements of our own – Masonic Knight, Renard Roux, Galvanna (under Kenji's control), The Angel and Little Dove.

Then Lord Sovereign bursts in and takes down Guardsman (whut?) interrupting his sounding of retreat. The Angel takes control of Lord Sov's mind and has him sound retreat instead.

Tock is amazed by the fisticuff punishment Iron Lady and Lady A are dishing back and forth on each other. 

Seems personal. He interrupts their party and sees that Iron Lady is a perfect match to Lady A. Great. More clones.

Tock pauses time again. More Time Rangers coming. Grabs a taser and zaps everyone in the pond, including himself.

Tock gets back up promptly, just as Lord Sov is breaking his mind control. He sticks with the retreat and the villains bail en mass from the fray. Bronco goes looking for Guardsman – who was last slammed into the bushes. Finds him and calls Monolith over.

Tock brings a nullifier, Tesla modifies it to hold Guardsman. Tick finds a letter from Cap Adventure.

Reinforcements depart as friends and the team heads back to base. Amazingly Renard didn't get killed this time.

As we're discussing what to do with Guardsman, we have to go interrupt Champion whaling on the old hero. 

Champ steps out and we talk.

Guardsman tries to talk his way out. Bronco prompts him to lay it all on the line and explain the whole deal. He does.

He used to run information and such between Doc Titan in America and Doc Fear in Nazi Germany. They're brothers, playing both sides for their own and they've created lots of supers on both sides. A while ago Guardsman and Ubermann got to talking about the futility of the fight and carved up the world as personal empires. And he seems to be evil and deranged. Megalomaniacs...

He continues to explain all the evil shit they've done. Explains the cloning and mental imprinting. He explains the Lady A cloning thing. And how he, Ubermann and Sovietsky Soyuz are in cahoots and all his plans are well entrenched and impossible to stop now.

Guardsman really really thinks his militaristic fascism plan is the right one. The debate goes back and forth, but Guardsman is firm. And nuts.

Doc Tesla wants to use the Citadel's resources to build his Teslanauts. Who's more nuts now?

Monolith wants to use Guardsman as bait. We convene a team meeting to discuss. Doc Tesla stays behind and has a conversation/debate with himself.

At the team meeting we decide to go public and explain the whole shebang to the media and the people. The doorbell rings at our public HQ. Bronco heads to see who's visiting now.

Guardsman tries to manipulate the madman in the lab. Seems to be gaining ground.

It's Van Jove at the door – who everyone in the world has forgotten is Brain Flexx. He joins in on the team meeting a re-informs us of his identity and all the other information we've been made to forget. And in five minutes Lord Sov will be at their location.

He's offering himself to help us in our impending fray. We discuss cloning and spitball other ideas.

Down in the lab Doc Tesla precision teleports Guardsman's locator out. Flexx compels Guardsman to talk.  Then he makes up all forget again, including Guardsman's world domination plan. Guardsman demands to be taken to the world court in The Hague. Tesla, Flexx and Guardsman 'port out.

They arrive, and there's Trauma waiting for them. She freaks Tesla out. Smilidon also walks in. They're waiting for Guardsman, but they'll let Doc Tesla live.They give him a message that Brain Flexx says thanks. Tesla breaks the fear and tries to bail with Guardsman. Trixie and Smilidon both tag Tesla on the way out, but Tesla does make it back to the base with Guardsman. Bleeding heavily.

Bronco goes running for Little Dove. Tock freezes time and Monolith helps stop the bleeding. He sees the whole of the Citadel approaching the island. Monolith declares he's gonna fight. The team follows as Dove heals Tesla back to full. Tesla immediately starts having a conversation with himself.

Tesla calls back in the reinforcements and anyone else who can come. The team goes out to hold the line.
Meanwhile, Doc Tesla gets it into his head that he can teleport the whole island elsewhere, or at least the house. Doc Titan calls in, Tesla cuts the conversation short by frying the transmitter.

Doc Tesla then telports the entire base to the Arizona desert.

Lady A for no reason in particular, punches Bronco in the face while she has a blank expression. Not knowing what's going on, Bronco returns the favour, knocking her out.

Detente is reached, however confusingly.

Though all but Telsa had forgotten the Brain Flexx stuff, the recorders in the lab picked up the whole conversation explaining everything. The team is brought back up to speed, again.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Vol. 1 - Cover Preview

With the art completed and the writing done, the layout begins and the final approval from Basic Action Games can be sought!

So here is a mock-up/preview of the cover for your enjoyment.  I think Anthony's art is really good on this.  Please keep in mind this is a mock-up and the final will be cleaned up (artifacts on the art, etc...) but I was so excited I couldn't wait to show you all!

Click here to see the full size!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

You ever have one of those games?

Your plans go out the window.

You tip your hat too soon.

Your carefully constructed campaign is revealed and it was no where as cool as you thought it would be.

These are the things that happened to me last night.

After an exhausting 2 hour combat (which was quite the kick butt fight btw) I found myself going against my instinct and revealing too much and making it go too fast.

Now as this is issue 12 - Part Two, it could be said that after five months of playing I was just a bit burned out.  Or it could be that the night was tiring, we were all exhausted after the fight, and that lead to me making some really dumb moves.

Both of these are valid reasons, but in the end I have only myself to blame.

Let me explain.

I have been running a fairly tight campaign thus far, and I have all sorts of ideas of things I want to do with the characters and the story being told.  I have plots, conspiracies and even awesome fights planned.  I have put a lot of work into this and thinking it through, the Zenith Universe is not random.

The thing is that I wanted this to be a Bronze Age campaign and, as one player put it, the big reveal and craziness of last night made it into a Modern Age as written by Mark Millar.  Now I don't mind Mark Millar comics as a general rule, it isn't very Bronze Age.  In fact it is too much and too crazy and, for lack of a better word, wrong.

The campaign certainly was doing just fine, but as I went along my reach started to exceed my grasp and I got caught up in all the crazy fun and conspiracy metaplot and less on the heroes fighting crime and doing their thing.

As another player said, referring to an old campaign, it went to the moon.

That's like saying it jumped the shark.

This has always been a problem I have as a storyteller.  I put a lot of work into my campaigns and that is good and bad.  It is good because there is always something happening and it bad because there is always something happening.

The first rule of campaigning, that I seemed to forget, is that this is about the players and their interactions with the world, not the world and its interaction with the players.  The latter is just a bad idea from the word go as it will make the players feel like passengers and not drivers.

Fortunately I have a group of players who are very understanding and tolerant.  They accept my foibles and my missteps, trusting that I can either make it better or fix it.  That's a lot of trust and something I hope to live up to with this current campaign.

So yeah, just needed to get that off my chest.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 12

Session Notes - ZCP Unnamed System - Sentinels - July 17, 2010

Robin - Tick Tock
Renzo - Kenji/Gal
Mike - Max Plastic
Anthony - Monolith
John - Bronco

So Max is having an awesome night. He's been getting drinks sent to him for a while before finding out it's an inebriated and recently fired Tori. They wake up the following morning together. Max sees a blue-grey guy.  Then he gets a zarking.

Tock's hunting for food at the HQ. Then a blue-grey guy appears. Zark.

Doc Tesla's off base and out of communication. He has a reason, but no one understands it.

Monolith's going through the lab to see what Doc Tesla's up to. Seems the Doc's into cloning. Lots. He opens the door to leave the lab after hours of snooping. And gets zarked.

Bronco's having a good time rassling. It's a good card. Better party afterwards. Lady A's there as Amanda Reese and a good time is had. Then drinks, a snack, and back to her place. Time pauses, a blue-grey guy appears. Zarkage.

Kenji's rolling around the base. Still pondering death and such. 10am rolls around and still no sigh of anyone. He searches to find an empty house. Also finds the Gal chassis missing.

The heroes wake up somewhere else. Lady A in lingirie, Bronco in a towel, Max naked, Tock clothed - holding a jar of pickles, Monolith in a lab coat. Gal chassis just standing there looking impressive.

As we discuss where we might be, the door opens. It's one of the blue-grey zarkers with a clipboard and a pair or purple reptile-men as escorts. They apparently have no sense of humour, but they do have remote control shockers for the control disks we're all wearing. He explains we're on the Arena ship of the Gamemasters. We're to fight for them, gladiator style. And here's our general - Jonathan Wilder. He doesn't seem to remember being a superhero. Doesn't remember anything after the shuttle accident. Might be a cloan.  But he does have the powers he's supposed to.

0G: "So I was cloned? So am I a clone?? How do I know you're not a clone...?"

Bronco: "We don't - that's the fun part."

Mono tries to snow Wilder on how to activate the robot. Wilder's charming, but Mono's not falling for his charms.

The Zarker comes back. Paralyzes the lot of the heroes. He takes Tock out to see if he knows anything about the robot. The interrogation is a big zarkfest. He breaks and tells them about Kenji.

Meanwhile, back at the HQ... Kenji finds Garrison. They confer. Garrison 'aw-hell's it and goes for a look-see. Kenji goes looking in the system for Eve. Finds her. Ahem, he senses something behind him. Blue-grey dudes. They zark him.

Tock's brought back to the hero barracks. He's in rough shape. He talked. Kenji's brought in, unconscious. Mister Zark is upset with all the delays. Mono hacks into the base to provide long-distance radio life control for Kenji though some tech stuff. Eve answers the phone at the base. Tock freezes time, keeps Mono out of time, and blipverts the whole story and how to help to Eve. Then 2 scifi soldiers start coming out of the shadows. It's Time Rangers, on the hunt for Tock. Tock pops them back into regular time.

Eve links Kenji virtually with Galvanos. And Eve is still in Kenji's head.

Then Wilder comes in. Gal hugs him. Oops, says the massive robot.

Monolith fills Wilder in on what we know as history. Eve shows footage of aliens retrieving the bodies from the moon. Gal holos the dataa. Mono shares the aliens making supers subplot. He then asks Tock about the Time Rangers and gets no good answer.

Into the arena we go... We get a nice big intro. Seems we're the underdogs. They kind of imply Lady A's a clone. Our opponents are being lead by Guardsman/Lord Sovereign. And his team.
U, F, and O come out first with Guardsman. Then Gyro and Starbird. And Garrison, in his Champion costume.

A horn sounds and the fray is on. Lady A begins with a kick sprung from Max at Guardsman. He takes it. Bronco runs into Obelisk. The shockwave sends Flora flying. Flora is caught by Monolith. Aww. The fray rages everywhere. Max one-shots Flora, again, as soon as she's back on the ground again. Gal ricochets a rocket fist off Gyro and into Obelisk, knocking the big man down. 0G drops Obelisk onto Uranium, taking down the radioactive madman. Monolith slaps Gyro out of the sky. Tock takes Starbird surprisingly out of the air.  Leaving Guardsman standing. Just ready to take hits, as the only villain standing.

Lady A is still down. Max tries to talk to Guardsman. He shatters Max's illusions of friendship. He then sonic slaps everyone out of his way. Tock slows down the big man's hands so lessen the impact of the slap. As the dust settles most of the villains get back up again.

Starbird frees herself from her shock disk, gives Tock a prophecy about control to Tock, then bails. Garrison finally rips off his control disk. He then grabs the 60' foot tall Monolith and swings him mightily around. The dust of the fray clears, Max and Bronco combo hit Guardsman into the wall.

Lady A gets back up and tries to kick Guardsman for all she's worth. She lands it. Garrison stops Kenji from frying the Guardsman. So the aliens fry the lot of us for having no desire to kill everyone. We almost all pop our control disks. Guardsman take the lead with the assembly (setting the fray aside for the time being). Max and Bronco take on the incoming guards. Champion and Guardsman fight together for the first time in decades and do quite well for themselves. Then the aliens gas us all. Leaving Galvanos. Kenji (with Eve's help) reverses the air flow from the arena into the rest of the ship, and gasses the lot of everyone else. Everyone makes it back up. Guardsman dispatches Tock to go get Kenji so they can all leave.

-In this meantime, Tock has a four-issue miniseries about the quest to get Kenji while dodging the Time Rangers-

Gal hacks a hole down out of the arena. We get to a ship, next to another ship that Tock crashed in his miniseries. We escape back to Earth.

Wilder heads off to find Starbird and Gyro. And U.F.O. as well. Detente is reached.

Guardsman doesn't really want to come in to be arrested for killing the president just yet. He still has an agenda he plans to follow. Max turns his back on Guardsman and walks away.

Everyone else, really juiced on the idea of fighting Guardsman, jumps into a new fray, lead by Champion and Lady A...


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fast And Dirty Summertime Update!

Hey everyone.

Just stopping in to let you know I am not dead and work continues.

The writing for "Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies" is done, and now comes the editing and layout process.

The art is all but done, only the cover remains to be done.

I don't think I will make a July release, but August looks more than good.

The Podcast continues to do well and the line-up of guests continues to be strong.

Last but not least, work on "Zenith Comics Presents: The Roleplaying Game" moves along at a very nice pace.  No predictions as to when the product will be ready, it will just come out when it does.

I will try to make more updates here as the dog days of summer approach.


Oh and say hi in the comments, it can only encourage me. ;)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 11

Session Notes - Sentinels (New System) - July 3, 2010 - Session 11

Anthony - Monolith
Mike - Max Plastic
Robin - Tick Tock
Renzo - Kenji/Galvanos
Pat - Doc Tesla
John - Bronco

So here we are on the field of battle at the White House - what's left of it.

0G is dead. Lord Sovereign/Guardsman, too.

Lasseter King arrives. He's upset at us again. The Veep wants to put us all in jail.

He likes the 'We've got the strength to stand up to more clones' thing as an angle to keep us free.

"If you mention cloning again; I will eat you. I will grow to a larger size and actually eat you." Monolith to Doc Tesla

Elsewhere the recently released Tick Tock is watching the heroes on tv. Sees this Max Plastic dude he used to hang with. Decides to go to Washington to join in with the exciting world of heroics. Steals a car, slows time and is almost instantly (to everyone else's perspective) in DC. He strolls into the secure area where the heroes are awaiting their fate. Then resumes time. The Sentinels are more than a little surprised by a Mad Hatter-looking dude with a clock cane coming in.

He's recognized by Monolith and Doc Tesla. Doc Tesla knows what his powers can do, also knows he's out of jail from good behaviour.

He can't reverse time, sorry Mr. President. Monolith is the only one really troubled by Tick Tock's appearance.

Lady A comes in. Hilarity ensues. He wants to join the team. Then Champion (Garrison) and Galvanos arrive.

Doc Tesla 'ports us all to the not-so-secret HQ.

We search for Kenji, find him on the floor of the control room in bad shape. He seems catatonic. Max wakes him up, Garrison kicks everyone out. He tries to make Kenji feel good about killing Uberman. Kenji still feels bad about it. Garrison goes on a mini-rant about Uberman's atrocities to try and bring Kenji around.

Garrison gives him a talking to about the reality of life and death with a giant sword. Kenji kicks Garrison out. Garrison points out the choice Kenji needs to make about being on board with the deal or getting off now. He then leaves and instructs the team not to disturb Kenji until he's ready.

Meanwhile in the bar with Tick Tock and Monolith...

"Oh, you're the urrrrrr (a la Frankenstein) Monolith!" says Tock in a brilliant realization of having a drink with a fellow ex-criminal.

The rest of the team coalesces. Monolith grills him on the source of his powers. Bronco moots the point and interrogation by sponsoring Tock for membership. Doc Tesla wants to kidnap Tick Tock for study. Nicolai agrees in Doc Tesla's head. Tock leaves the team to discuss matters. He liberates a hotel room for the night, planning to be back at the HQ the next day at noon.

And then Marbles, the retarded rock guy is there. And he's upset. Little Princess asks Marbles to put Tock down. They've broken out of jail. And they're putting the old gang back together specifically to kill Max Plastic.

Tock calms Little Princess down as they sit down for a tea party. Apparently Marble is immune to the power nuillifiers. Tock calls the base with Monolith's borrowed comlink. Conveniently Max is on the monitors. Tock fills him in. Then he's spotted by Mr. Bearkins, Princess' animated teddy-bear companion. Tock boots him down a laundry chute. Marbles tags Tock hard into the wall. Tock runs for it and gets away.

Time doesn't seem to work for him, as he slows down he spots a sniper from his rogue's gallery taking a bead on him.

Tock bails on stopped time and runs like hell. Then Marble catches up. The team, meanwhile is homing in on the comlink.

Doc Tesla gets Marbles' attention. He charges. Bronco takes the freight train hit. As the full bore fray begins, Doc Tesla is much distracted by Mr. Bearkins flinging itself on Doc Tesla's face. Doc Tesla in surprise and disgust fries the stuffed companion. Little Princess screams. Marbles is distracted from hitting Bronco for a moment. Bronco lays a massive hit in, causing Marble to bawl.

Tock finds Princess hiding and hits her with a rolling dumpster. She sends it right back at Tock. Marbles misses Bronco as Doc Tesla fries Little Princess. She is lifted off the ground by the zarking and lands unceremoniously in the now-ubiquitous dumpster. Bronco catches Marble in a sleeper hold and puts him down.

Belle Isle sends a retrieval team. Doc Tesla informs them of the nullifier issue with Marbles. He explains a new way to adjust the gear, which is spectacular and well received by the retrieval team.

Doc Tesla and Monolith convince Tick Tock to come back to the base.

Monolith to Max Plastic: "Keep an eye on Tesla..."

Max Plastic back to Monolith: "Keep an eye on Tick..."

Back at the base...

Lady A's back. She makes fun of us for fighting the Odd Squad. She then has a private meeting with Monolith and quits the team, again. This time for good, again. They discuss the exciting field of cloning. Lady A shuts that door hard before any real discussion can be had.

In the lab Tock refuses to use his power. Doc Tesla finally relents.

Monolith tries to console Kenji, who replies: "Thanks, Monolith, but the only person I can talk to is dead..."


Kenji then reveals he killed Uberman. He calls it a day and leaves Monolith to ponder that.

Cut to Belle Isle... As Marbles and Little Princess are being lead through the halls they head past a door marked Brain Flex. Van Jove is intrigued by hearing Max Plastic's name. He calls the guard over, mutters a control word and expedites his own release by casually walking out the front door...


Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Announcement

Happy Canada Day all!

As promised it is the 1st of July and I have an announcement to make!

I am making my own superhero role-playing game.

That's right.

Staring my 40th birthday (July 3rd) in the face I knew this was my year to move.  The recent boom of superheroes once again also let me know the time was right.

Now there may be some who feel I am jumping on a bandwagon, but those who know me know that this has been coming for the past 20 years.

I have assembled a dynamic team of contributors/consultants who are helping me develop the system, including James O'Rance proposing a fantastic dice mechanic that just sings to me!

The name of the game, for now, is "Zenith Comics Presents: The Role-Playing Game!"  Now this could stay as the title or just be a working title.  Only time will tell, though to be sure it's hard to get a name that hasn't already been taken by one of the numerous amazing superhero rpgs already on the market... but I digress.

I have also assembled (notice a theme of assembling here?) a team of outstanding artists.  Some published, others on their way to being published, to design and create the "look" of the art.  These dudes know their stuff and I am very excited to see how it will all turn out!

And last (never start a sentence with "and"), but by no means least, I have a publishing partner which means this will see actual dead-tree status!  Right now we are talking digest sized and... wait for it.... BOXED SET!  Oh hell yeah!

Of course any of the above information could change at a moments notice, so don't hold my feet to the flames on any of it.  We shall do our best and try our hardest to bring you this fantastic (at least in our opinion) game!

What does this mean for Zenith Comics other project, Public Enemies?

Public Enemies continues on track and will be released towards the end of the summer for BASH (the hopefully ICONS and M&M3rd Edition... also once again trying to secure permission to make a V&V 2.1 version) and based on sales and demand, there may be more issues.

Though that said, every copy of "Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies" that is sold will add to the coffers for the role-playing game's production (a.k.a. art costs) so if you are inclined, feel free to pick up a copy and support this project!

Keep watching this space for news and updates as the project continues and I won't be so arrogant as to give a release date, since we all know those are slipperier than ... well... something really slippery!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: The Podcast - Issue 2!

Go here!

Warning there is only a very large file up right now.  John is gonna break it down into smaller files for me later this week!


Friday, June 18, 2010

V&V Returns! Great Success!

This is a good piece of news for us old timers.

Hopefully if their sales are good they will do another boxed set :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 10

Session Notes - Sentinels Session 10 (rectified issue numbering) - BASH - June 5, 2010

Robin - 0G
Renzo - Kenji/Gal
Pat - Doc Tesla
Mike - Max Plastic
Anthony - Monolith
John - Bronco

So the team has blacked out the city, draining power for a prototype MRI.

Bronco strolls into the HQ just in time to see the lights go out.

Garrison and Bronco catch up to the team in the darkened hanger looking at a screen.

There is certainly another floor.

The shut the machine off, which brings the lights back.

The team openly discusses Eve. Kenji leaves to call his father for advice.

He actually leaves the room to discuss things with Eve.

0G and Monolith discuss recent events. Monolith revisits the Starbird origin story - including how she saw 0G get his powers.

Kenji returns. The consensus is to punch through the floor. It takes no effort to pop the elevator's false bottom.

Kenji sends Gal in. HE then reroutes video for the rest of the team to watch. A quick glimpse of Eve pops on the screen before vanishing.

Gal can't pry the door so Bronco tries. He gets it open, then klaxons sound and Max retreats his hands before the hatch snaps shut and Bronco gets gassed. He tries to punch his way out, fails, and succumbs to the gas.

Doc Tesla teleports blindly in to the elevator shaft, then succumbs to the gas, too.

Gal steps in, whips out the sword and carves a hole in the hatch. Max takes in the gas, and Eve reverses the vents. This creates a vacuum momentarily. 0G's training kicks in and he offers a suggestion which helps everyone who's not unconscious. The smoke clears and the elevator shaft is devoid of Bronco and Tesla. 0G pops the big inside door with ease. It's a big shiny tech room.

Kenji hears and understands the Japanese voice issuing warnings on the other side of the door. And then the robots attack.

Gal flattens 5 with his rocket fist. Gal hears the warning voice getting ready to up the ante.

Now it's 8 robots in an octagonal room versus the heroes. Doc Tesla and Bronco are in glass tubes in the middle of the room.

A fray breaks out. Max and Gal go for four, Monolith and 0G go for the other four.

The fray abruptly stops at a big deactivation. The robots stop. The big screen pops to life and Jume, Kenji's dad's major domo is on the screen. He berates Kenji for the interruption, then deactivates Galvanos. He releases Bronco and Doc Tesla, then reveals the origin of Kenji Kobayashi.

Mom, Dad, and little Kenji were in an accident. A bad one. The last occupied tube in the room is occupied by a little Japanese boy. And Kenji that we know is a robot. And he doesn't know anything about any of this. He asks us, in a totally non-threatening slightly guilt-trippily, to keep quiet about the bot thing. We agree. He leaves the screen, and the new big door back out of the room opens.

Kenji's on his way down in a wheelchair. We conspire to keep this from the little robot under the guise of 'important personal effects' of his father's. Doc Tesla wants to study the gear. 0G really really doesn't want any studying at all. Gal is picked up and the heroes leave the room.

Van Jove starts talking in 0G's head. Tesla is confused by 0G's non-sequitor responses. Van Jove links 0G's mind to Tesla's. He points out Tesla's pseudo-insane split-personality. They leave his mind. 0G wrecks the hallway on the way out. Tesla points out he can teleport. The grumpiness continues. Van Jove keeps baiting and talking over 0G as Nicolai is talking over Doc Tesla. Doc Tesla teleports out in frustration.

The doorbell rings. Bronco goes to answer. Monolith and Max Plastic meanwhile are trying to explain to Kenji why he shouldn't go push the big shiny red button in the basement.

It's Garth at the door. He wants to talk to the team. Bronco shuts the door in his face and heads to find 0G. Lady A comes in moments later. She calls the team to a meeting. She's pissed at us, again. This time about the power blackout. Maybe EAGLE will be chill if we share our new MRI with them.

Garth is brought in. He has an offer. He wants the team. Again. 0G tells him to go away. Tesla wants him to keep talking. Garth leaves. Eve is next on the discussion agenda. Kenji admits he didn't create Eve, he got her from Garth. On that note the meeting is called and the heroes head off to ponder recent events. Monolith and Tesla keep talking. Lady A comes back in to send them to bed. Tesla points out that he didn't appreciate getting a talking to...

0G sleeps. Dreams. He's on the shuttle again. And Van Jove is his copilot. The have a chat. He says Guardsman's not dead. He warns of a storm coming. Van Jove refers to the mysterious They that are running things. Now they're in Berlin and Lady A's getting killed. Then Dallas. Lady A seems to die a lot. She's a clone. So is Guardsman. Now there's a German boy who's only a mind. They are using him. Van Jove is mounting a resistance. 0G is to be the lynch pin. He's the runner up, though, he wanted Gravity originally. Oops, time to wake up. A couple more cryptic warnings and he's gone. 0G wakes up, barely holding on to the revelatory dream.

0G gets up and heads to the machine shop to seek out Tesla. He wants to go back to the room. He convinces 0G and they go and disturb Jume again. His mood is no better than last time. They chat. Jume encourages them to not trifle any further with the room. At all. Anymore. The agree and leave.

(I didn't keep good track of who 0G spoke to about dropping the leadership of the team, or when. So we'll just skip to breakfast).

At breakfast Lady A announces the change in leadership of the Sentinels. Lady A also mentions a shitstorm is coming.

As if on cue, a helicopter is coming in. It's another guy in a suit summoning us all to DC, again. He leaves. 0G does his sliding trick and boom, we're in DC. We go to visit the President himself. Introductions are made, lip service is paid, and incidentally, Ronnie knows Kenji's dad. He has an offer for us. More of an imposition than an offer. He's going to nationalize the team. Though a partnership with Garth. He leaves to let us think about a creative way to say yes.

Van Jove warns 0G. Then an explosion rips through the White House. It's Lord Sovereign in the remains of the Oval office. Fight or run? We fight. Tesla sends Kenji back to the base to get Gal. Garrison's gearing up, too, in his old costume. The fray begins in DC.

Lord S shrugs off most damage. It goes back and forth... just kidding, we don't do shit against him. Lady A grabs a bazooka. Lord S sees it coming and reverses it. Bronco gets in the way and takes the hit for Lady A. He seems to be dead, but gets back up never surrenderedly and wallops Lord S astoundingly, cracking his helmet; revealing his the Guardsman. Oh shit. Gal and Garrison enter the fray. Guardsman bails, Garrison follows. Van Jove wants 0G to talk to the people and take control. He resists and breaks the connection with Van Jove. He follows Guardsman. Monolith orders Gal and Tesla to catch us with 0G. A streak takes Garrison down. Gal peels off to help him.

Tesla catches up and zaps Guardsman. 0G uses the distraction to slide himself and Guardsman into space, where he hits Guardsman with the Moon. 0G catches up to the Moon and goes to see the crater. Guardsman dead. Dead dead. Then 0G's mind kind of snaps. Then he realizes he's screwed. The radiation seeps through his shield and he dies on the Moon next to Guardsman.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Gal is pursuing the Garrison hit. He's in the Caribbean on a small island. It's Uberman whaling on Garrison. Gal comes in hot. He pulls the sword and whales right back on Uberman. He cleaves the Nazi hard, killing him with one shot.

So back at the White House, the president is dead and EAGLE is debriefing us.

The issue ends with a shot of the Moon, and the dead bodies of 0G and Guardsman in his Lord S outfit.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Something Is Cooking At Zenith Comics!

I don't want to say anything right yet, and in the end maybe it will be less impressive than I am making it sound, but something is cooking that might be fun.

More details to come when I make further headway.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

System Mania!

So as those of you who have been following this blog know I plan to release villain roster books for BASH Ultimate Edition, ICONS and Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition.

I had hoped to do Villains & Vigilantes, Champions and a couple of others, but in the end they either never got back to my request, or I didn't like their licensing deals.


You also know that I plan to post up Zenith Universe heroes for free on the website, so there need be no licensing issues as I believe it falls under the provisions of "fair use".  Please correct me if I am wrong on this one.

So what systems would you like to see heroes statted up in?  The above three are a given, plus V&V and Champions.  I was also thinking 4C and SAGA as well.

Any others?


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Vol. 1 - Art Preview 3!

Here he is.  The manliest man of them all!

Adonis, the Roman God of Beauty!

I use Roman Gods in the Zenith Universe for two reasons, the first that the Greek Gods have been done-to-death in comics and because I grew up listening to Wonder Woman say "Merciful Minerva!"


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Vol. 1 - Art Preview 2!

Here she is, the deadliest player in the game.  A former kid-sidekick turned assassin, I give you Nightviper!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Vol. 1 - Art Preview!

So here is the first piece I promised you Damselfly!

More to come as the week progresses.



Anthony and I had a meeting today.  It went well.  We had decided two weeks ago to scrub the previous art and go in a whole new direction, a more "animated" direction.  That doesn't me going in a Timm way, but instead going for a more simplistic yet dynamic direction/style.

About 3 days ago I started to have doubts and began second guessing myself.

Well after seeing all 10 characters pencil sketches (which I will start previewing here and on various boards tonight or tomorrow), of which 6 were done at the table, I can say that this was the smartest choice we made!

Zenith Comics will now have a definite style and look to it which is a really awesome thing.  I say this because for me "branding" has become a very important process for me.  I recognize the strength and the power of it and I look forward to having the Zenith "shield" become something of an association with quality.

Dan House is hard at work on a new front page image for the website as well, which is based on a classic comic cover and will be sure fun.

Also another decision I came to today is this.  While I will be selling villain roster books, I am going to be giving away heroes for free on the website.  Why?  Well with players in your games already playing heroes, what you would need more than MORE heroes would be a hole in the head.  Villains?  Sure.  Absolutely, but to try and sell hero books doesn't sit right with me.

Oh and I will be giving them in BASH, ICONS and M&M3rd variants, which eventually all the villain roster books will be released in as well.

The also I am happy to announce a new member of the Zenith Comics family, Jim Stoner!  Jim has an understanding of building characters that just blows my mind.  As such he has come on-board to the stat blocks for the villains to be in "Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 1", and I hope to keep him for all future volumes as well.

Beyond that my end of it all, the writing, is back on track and I am shooting for a mid-July release of the first book, end of August at the latest.

Oh and the first issue of "Zenith Comics Presents: The Podcast!" got a great response with over 300 downloads!  Issue 2 (interview with Steven Long of HERO games) is in production now and have set a date for the Issue 3 interview with Jeff Grubb.

It's shaping up to be a very Zenith summer!

Monday, May 31, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 9

With John absent from the session, Renzo steps in as the special guest writer :)


Session Notes for the 22nd 0f May 2010

Mike: Max Plastic
Anthony: Monolith
Pat: Dr. Tesla
Robin: Zero G
Renzo: Galvanos?/Kenji
John: Bronco(in absentia)

At the mansion, Monolith wakes startled from a bad dream involving this alleged 3rd subbasement.

Monolith decides it's time to get some answers, so of course he goes straight to 13 year old Kenji.

Monolith asks Kenji about Eve, they get into a frank conversation about Kenji's new AI, as frank as possible considering Kenji is keeping some truth's about Eve to himself(Sterling's little creation who conveniently is duping Stirling himself).

As Monolith and Kenji stroll through the base debating Eve, they happen upon the Lab where Dr. Tesla is having a spirited debate with Tesla himself(another wacko joins the team) a conversation about the 3rd subbasement ensues and how we can take a look without having to tear things apart, Dr. Tesla insists we can make an MRI 10 years before it's time, things don't work out perfectly Dr. T kicks them out. We'll get back to T&T a little later.

Meanwhile outside drunk superman (forgot his name) is BBQing what he lovingly refers to as bourbon squirls. (old family recipe)when Zero G and Max happen upon him and luckily there is enough squirl to be had by all.

Lady A shows up, she asks for help transporting SKULLSMASHER to Belle Isle, Zero G kindly offers his assistance, she explains the whole team will be needed for this of course.

Back at science central Kenji introduces Monolith to Eve they hit it off(Monolith seems concerned).There conversation is interrupted by a call from Doc Titan explaining that whatever it is  that we are doing is causing severe electrical interference with the city and he'll be coming to the mansion within minutes. A few minutes later he shows up, Monolith meets him outside and explains, Doc Titan loves the MRI idea (nerds assemble) Doc and Kenji go Downstairs.

Monolith ever vigilant in his role as second in command debriefs Zero G about Eve and the 2 Tesla's, Zero G seems to be quite relaxed about it all, almost distant. Zero G tells Monolith about this evenings SKULLSMASHER mission and Monolith leaves to join the brain trust downstairs.

Success!!!! thanks to Kenji's apparent genius and everyone else's help of course the MRI is completed in record time. Doc Titan is impressed by Kenji's genius and somewhat perplexed. Which leads to Monolith feeling the need to voice his concerns about Eve to yet someone else and a conversation ensues with Doc Titan.

Time for our meeting with Eagle to help transport SKULLSMASHER, we meet LadyA on the outskirts of the city.

An energy pulse from space shatters the containment unit with SKULLSMAHER in it.

Most of the team gets hit by debris except Gal and Zero G. Dr. T, Max and Monolith go flying off the bridge Zero G stops them from hitting the water.

Before SKULLSMASHER can do anything Dr. T fires off a powerful blast as he realizes SKULLSMASHER is immune to electrical attacks and he laughs it off.
Gal comes in for a double rocket-fist fly-by to no avail.

While SKULLSMASHER is busy laughing at us, LadyA comes in with a masterful pounding giving Monolith an opening to step on SKULLSMASHER, he takes it like a man.

Meanwhile ZeroG goes out to help EAGLE agents in need.

Monolith goes to step on SKULLSMASHER again when he let's loose with an energy blast and gives Monolith a toasty foot shot. SKULLSMASHER now seems annoyed (oh shit!)

Max comes in with a tube toss with the debris from SS's containment tube, ZeroG adds weight to the attack intensifying the hit and they take SS out. Yay! Oops we were wrong...

SS chucks a truck at ZeroG, Gal interposes and goes flying into the river.
Dr. T decides to track were the signal came from and tracks it back to a satellite in space.

Monolith keeps chucking stuff at SS, SS goes from being annoyed to being mad. Thanks Monolith.

Gal decides we haven't pissed SS off enough so he pulls out his energy sword and takes out part of the bridge, surrounding cars and trucks but has no effect on SS. When will this end?

Dr. T'S electrical attacks having no effect he decides to charge into him instead(mad man) IT WORKS!!  SS is out. The resulting impact collapses the bridge Max heroically strings himself up acting as the girders for the bridge, ZeroG realizes this and lightens the load for Max, SS is already backup by this point.

Monolith and SS go at it mano-mano/ Monolith is out, his poor nuts.

ZeroG and Gal go at SS together, SS throws Monolith at them. WTF!!!

Gal moves out of the way, ZeroG gets hit giving Gal a clear shot at SS who is under the water and can't be seen, Gal fires blind and hits. Everyone else is up and ready to fight, we need to take SS DOWN NOW!!!!!

Max creates a vortex under the water clearing a path for the rest of us to see SS. Why does SS have a smile on his face?

ZeroG weakens SS in hopes of wrapping this up, SS has other plans and ground pounds the river bed causing a tsunami to emanate from him out (there are millions of people in Capitol City).

Gal closes the distance and super seizure eyes SS, ZeroG with a wave of his arms stops the tsunami and collapses it back onto SS and takes him out. Yay!!!

The side of Belle Isle opens up and there is the brightest flash of light, a super from the golden age called Atomicles is standing there waiting for Dr.T to teleport SS to Belle Isle. The doors close.

ZeroG goes up to LEO following Dr.T's find as he gets close to the satellite he sees a black rook on the side of the satellite just before it blows up.

The next morning back at the mansion Major King comes to visit. He is going to debrief us on classified information about an organization called the Citadel.

We find out about a man named Lord Sovereign and the Citadel’s agenda to change the world order, also there apparent association with the Metal Militia. We are asked to forget about Atomicles.

Major King leaves w decide it s time to test our MRI, low and behold Monolith is not insane. There is what seems to be a 3rd subbasement...........

The End

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Would You Like To See Here?

As I don't update my blog very often I turn to you all and ask, what would you like to see here?

Give me your ideas, throw me your suggestions, sent me your death threats... etc ;)


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Steve Long Interview

Hey all,

I am interviewing Steve Long of Hero Games this Sunday.

Anyone got any questions for him?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 8

Session Notes: Sentinels (BASH) - Session 8 - May 8/10

Anthony - Monolith
Mike - Max Plastic
Robin - 0G
Renzo - Kenji/Gal
Pat - Doc Tesla
John - Bronco

The trial of the century begins. A special tribunal lead by the Supreme Court Chief Justice has been called by the President. Very tight lid on the case. 0G has been having issues getting a lawyer to defend someone on trial for high treason and attempted assassination of the President. Then a lawyer arrives at his digs in the Belle Isle isolation block. His name is Jack Kane, and he feels everyone is entitled to a defense. But he thinks 0G's case sucks. He suggests 0G pleads guilty and throws himself on the mercy of the court. 0G concurs and asks to see Monolith before the trial. Really? The convicted criminal on the team? OK.

Monolith arrives to have the probably no-so-private conversation. 0G's not optimistic, but doesn't mention his intention to plead guilty.

Meanwhile the government wants Gal's hardware and recordings from the event in DC. Kenji and Eve discuss. They create a mock hard drive to fool the Man. Kenji hands over the fake.

The trial begins. 0G pleads guilty. Lady A calls Monolith to inform him. Monolith freaks. Kenji suggests we take Garth Stirling up on his offer of a lawyer. A team meeting is called. Still no Angel. Lady A strolls in and announces she's been fired. A group called Strikeforce USA has been assigned presidential detail, superseding the Secret Service.

Garrison suggests we go bust him out. Kenji objects. Just in time to help out Tori calls a press conference to quit up and join up with Garth. Very nice of her. Then Stirling himself hacks his way through Kenji's firewall and interrupts our meeting. He offers help and security information about 0G's impending transfer to Strikeforce USA's secret location. Lady A points out this is a loophole and we should break him out now.  Monolith wants to go. Kenji's down with whatever Lady A suggests we do. Max still thinks UFO is the key to this mess and exonerating 0G, negating the whole break-him-out-of-jail thing.

So Max and Bronco are going to stay behind while Kenji breaks into NATO's satellites, the rest are headed to Belle Isle.

Meanwhile, in 0G's cell... The guard bringing dinner zones out and Van Jove cones to have another chat with 0G. He berates him for pleading guilty and reminds him of his (Van Jove) intention to kill The Angel in a really painful way before he hunkers down to help 0G escape but walking him out the front door, using the guard as a cover. 0G disables the nullifiers, puts them on and they head off.

Just as they're ready to head out, in comes Strikeforce USA from one direction, and the Blue Jay from the other. 0G wrecks the landing pad, preventing either side from having access. Strikeforce USA members come in flying and a fray breaks out. Some flying spangler zaps 0G with an energy bolt. Some bug guy named Rushmore enters the fray as well, and Monolith joins in on the fun. Strikeforce USA kicks much ass, aided by the impression that they're in the right. It's Americana, Rushmore and American Eagle. They fly their shuttle at ours. Both crash into each other. The shuttle on shuttle action breaks both vehicles entirely. Steel Patriot escapes their shuttle and Lady A escapes ours as they crash. 3rd shuttle destroyed by the Sentinels in as many issues.

0G tries to tell Lady A about Van Jove. Nothing comes out.

Steel Patriot strafes the area. The fray continues, makes the news. Kenji spots the story and informs Bronco and Max before going back to his hacking.

Monolith and Lady A finally triumph with 0G's help as, meanwhile, Kenji has successfully broken into NATO.

He tracks the irregular radiation to Arizona. He radios the team. 0G drags the lot to the HQ, with Steel Patriot in pursuit. Garrison comes out to meet the Strikeforcer and annihilates the Patriot's armour.

Kenji grabs up his portable unit and mentions Eve out loud in front of Bronco.

They plan to head to Arizona. 0G rather surprisingly gravity shifts the entire team to Arizona.

So Doc Tesla... Out in the desert, stealing stuff from airplane graveyards. And conducting experiments. He spots a big spike on his meters. He suits up and heads out to see the Sentinels appear in his backyard electrical field spot. 0G puts up a shield and Lady A makes nice with the strangely dressed desert man. Fields and shields are shut down and a full conversation begins. Spikes are identified as coming from around that Native Reservation over there. Bronco gets tired of waiting for more than five seconds and takes off. Lady A, Max and 0G follow, Little Dove in the lead flying. She catches up, but veers to the res to check on people who are reportedly sick. The team catches up further upriver, just as the Earth itself is trying to attack Bronco.  They enter the fray and radio Monolith about this new development. Doc Tesla offers to get Monolith there. Then teleports him, bringing on a 'What the Hell...?!' from Monolith upon arrival.

Bronco breaks free as Gal's coming in hot. His Geiger counter's going crazy. Plants are attacking, too. 0G tries to fight the plants, finds the roots go deep, and deduces the villains must be underground. Bronco, hearing mentioned they might be underground, solves the questioning by groundpounding the shit out of the local terrain. He causes a full-scale cave in.

0G catches Bronco before he falls in with the avalanche of landscape. Max, spotting an opportunity, Flattens the newly revealed Flora in one shot. Monolith stomps Obelisk. Doc Tesla kazarks Uranium. Hard.

Uranium declares his newly found desire to kill Doc Tesla. For that declaration, he earns another kazark. Just as hard. Third time's the charm when backed up by Galvanos jumping in with his giant sword to fell Uranium with a massive hit. 0G locks them all in a forcefield and detente is reached. EAGLE is called.

The lot of us head back to DC. As we land 0G hears Van Jove say in his (0G's) head that we owe him. Once we touch down UFO spontaneously and gregariously confesses their crimes.

Being now all squared with the law, we head back to HQ, with Doc Tesla in tow. Garrison's bar-b-qing when we get back. Introductions are made all around. And he's drunk.

After dinner 0G hears, then astrally sees Van Jove. Walter reminds him that real threats are coming, and he should start getting really ready...


Monday, May 17, 2010

I Made A Favicon!

I know, I know, hardly news... but for me it was really awesome and cool!

Head to the Zenith Comics website to see it :)


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Zenith Comics to be Super Powered by M&M!

With this announcement by Green Ronin yesterday I have decided to hold off on making the Zenith Comics Presents line available for Mutants & Masterminds until 3rd Edition is out.

The reason has a lot to do with the fact that they will be ending the Superlink program for sure, but also because I like the attitude they are taking towards this entire 3rd edition business.

Green Ronin has always been a classy company from day one that understands the community of hobby publishers very well.

I will be looking forward to producing material for use with their flagship system, as well as for my primary choice BASH!

As a side note, don't forget that I plan to also make the material available for ICONS from Adamant Entertainment.  So that means if you are into Supers roleplaying, Zenith Comics will have you covered!

Still not word on Villains & Vigilantes support though as I have had no luck in contacting them. :(

For those who were wondering about Hero/Champions versions of Zenith Comics, at this time I have to say no solely due to their licensing deal.  It just doesn't sit right with me.

Cheers and stay tuned for more previews of the art from "Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 1" this week.  Brought to you in living colour no less!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Zenith Comics Presents: The Podcast - Episode 1

Hey everyone.

While the webpage is being worked on (and is not ready yet) I have decided to at least put up the first episode of Zenith Comics Presents: The Podcast for everyone to listen to.  The first guest is none other than Jeff Dee, of Villains & Vigilantes fame.

The webpage will be coming soon.

Take a listen and feedback is always welcomed.


Friday, May 7, 2010

New Logo Bliss :)

Above you see a new logo for the site, by none other than Dan Houser!

The two characters leaning on that Zenith Comics shield are none other than Lady America on your right and Gyro on your left.

While this is a temp logo (I still have tweaks to do on the lettering) I thought it would be fun to share it with you right away.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

John's Notes - The Sentinels - Session 7

Session Notes - Sentinels Session 7 - April 24, 2010

Renzo - Kenji/Gal
Mike - Max Plastic
Anthony - Monolith
John - Bronco

So the team leader's in jail, but at least President Ronnie is still in our corner.

The investigation continues, we keep our heads down.

Starbird's been hanging out, acting odd.

Little Dove also still hanging out. No recent visions.

Stirling offers a great high-priced lawyer. We turn him down.

Eve has been helping Kenji with the defensive stuff for the now public HQ. Very helpful.

Garrison's a little crusty about everyone being underfoot.

Day 3... brainstorming team meeting. Then an explosion.

Guys invade in metal suits. Bronco dives into the fray to protect Little Dove. Gets taken down by combined fire.

*click* "Max Plastic...?"

*click* "Oh he sucks."

*click* "OH @#$%*!!!"

As Max Plastic takes three of them out of the room and on to the lawn. Follows them out to finish his takedowns.

3 flyers coming in on a strafing run. They tag Max Plastic, but not out.

Gal, Monolith and Starbird enter the fray.

The Metal Militia continues taking the fight to us, with missiles. The fray starts turning to the heroes and the Militia 'bodyslide''s out. An odd detente.

Eve and Kenji discuss the upgrades. Eve just wants total control and she can totally improve Galvanos. So he gives her the keys to the kingdom, but not the Gal suit.

Bronco and Little Dove get it on. Monolith and Starbird conversate. They bring Gal in on the conversation as he, through Eve, seems to have lots of information all of a sudden. Monolith wants to pursue UFO and the Metal Militia. He calls Lady A (on Presidential Detail) to see if she has a contact who can help. Lasseter King calls back. They discuss.

Eve wants to break international banking laws to dig deeper. Kenji convinces her otherwise.

Major King informs Monolith of the impending court proceedings after stonewalling him on meaningful information.

Monolith and Max continue the discussion. There's also 8 robots working in the yard.

Kenji tries to stay up and watch what Eve's doing, eventually falls asleep.

Next morning the grounds look lovely and rebuilt.

The robots are wearing clothes today. Monolith goes looking for Kenji. Finds him in front of a bank of security monitors. He sends Kenji to the showers and starts digging into the system. Finds there are 20 bots on the base. Goes deeper.

Finds a blank spot on the map. Curious, he goes for a stroll there.

He finds a big vault door and no cameras. He goes back for the elevator. Waits a while. Gets tired of waiting and grows bigger. Then rips the doors apart as he smells something eggy. Then he wakes up in his bed.

First thing is to call Kenji. He has no knowledge of Sub Basement 3. They meet at the elevator. No button. Odd. Max catches up and joins in the investigation. They head to SB2, the hanger deck. Max pours himself under the elevator and hits the floor quickly. No further space under the elevator.

The whole team gathers and investigates the missing floor, and the bottom of the elevator, right where it's supposed to be according to everyone by Monolith. He retells the story of the vault door. As Max is investigating further, the perimeter alarms go off. We rush to the grounds to find le Renard Roux tangled in tentacles on the lawn. We let him loose.

He wants to rejoin the team, and has a file to share from the Masonic Knight. It shows the Cayman Islands Support Group paid for the Metal Militia's attack.

Kenji, meanwhile, suspects Monolith is going crazy.

Monolith wants to dig further into the banking. Kenji's still worried about the legality. Monolith promises to ask nicely at first.

The meeting breaks, the boys start boy talking. Renard puts his foot in his mouth about Kenji in his chair. Kenji gets a call about a big fire. We pile into the rebuilt Blue Jay. The ship gets radiation readings as we approach the big forest fire.

Then the proximity alarm sounds. Then we get hit. Monolith loses control. We crash.

Big monster hands rip open the ship. Renard identifies Red Guard and Morningstar. Starbird declares they're here for her. A fray beings in earnest. Lots of loose energy being thrown around by the Russians.
Bronco launches debris at the flyers. Morningstar zaps Monolith as Bronco continues to launch parts of the ship at them. The parts fly right through her.

Gal ties the super seizure eyes on her, fails. Renard gets tagged by White Wolf, entering the scene. Also coming in and heading for Bronco is Malotok. He's a wrestling fan, and expresses his respect and honour in fighting Bronco. They throw down.

He's airborne, be's a danger to us, he's Galvanos. He's being attacked by Red Guard.

Max starts elastic launching debris, too. Renard opens up Wolf's midsection. Wolf returns the favour and slaughters Roux. Starbird hits him in retaliation, almost flattening Wolf. Hammer goes for Gal with an open opportunity, and hits him - hard.

Little Dove slips in and heals Monolith. Bronco comes back in the fight and continues to whale on Malotok. He continues to be good-natured about being pounded by the big Indian.

Bronco dodges a big gold palmslap from the air. Monolith throws Max Plastic at Red Guard. Max balls up and bounces Guard into the middle of next month. Then there's a growl, and Roux is all werefoxey. And he seems to be berserk.

Monolith tags Malotok as the fray continues. Wolf does all wolfman and the fur really starts to fly. Malotok misses. Monolith and Bronco combine. A super clothesline from hell off the ropes of Max Plastic and flattens Malotok.

Max springs at Morningstar and tags her on the way through. They teleport out, and we're left with a crazy Werefox. He goes for Dove. Bronco gets in the way and takes heavy hits instead of her. She heals back some of Bronco's damage. He slashes Gal while dodging Monolith. Dove chills him out on the second try with some Indian mind trick. He revers and the fray is fully over.

EAGLE arrives just in the nick of time to miss everything. We're debriefed and cut loose. Starbird carries us back to the base in the shell of the wrecked Blue Jay. Again.

Back at the base Starbird reveals her origin as a MiG pilot opposite the American pilot who became Gyro. She says there were others kidnapped by aliens. Like Wilder and the rest of UFO. Aliens are building supers for some unknown reason.

She offers to leave to stop drawing undue attention to us. We giver her a communicator, and she departs.

We get a call from the DA to say we're due in court tomorrow morning.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Updates Mania!

So just got back from another art meeting for "Zenith Comics Presents: Public Enemies Volume 1" and we are now up to colour and cover discussions. So that's awesome!

Gonna go with an exclusive distribution via and their POD service as well I think.

Look for a June release at this point.

Also recorded the first edition of the Earth Alpha Podcast on Sunday, wherein I interviewed Jeff Dee (of Living Legends/Villains & Vigilantes fame). Should have that all edited and up for download next week if all goes according to plan.

And last but not least, been looking for a way to export this blog to my webpage and it isn't going well. This means I may move the blog over there to a WordPress based blog and only post update links here moving forward.

We shall see.

Otherwise, things are looking good, spring has sprung (despite 4 inches of snow yesterday that is all but gone today) and the Zenith Universe is in full swing.