THE RETURN OF THE DANK

Catching up

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Two years? Get out of here. That’s right- I’ve been making Dank Zine’s for two years now and to help celebrate making the world Dank I have made a special two-in-one issue which is coming out this week. It’s been a wild ride of ups and downs, especially in the last few months where I have been victim to the vices of the Christmas postal strike in my country. Whatever. The post can’t keep me down and I have been hard at work behind the scenes to ensure that things get fixed, found and sorted. Here are a few things that have been going on since 2019 started.

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Omnigamer’s book, Speed Run Science, is dropping this late April and you can pre-order your copy of the book at Fangamer. I sat down with Omni last month to talk about some of the ups and downs of publishing a book about Speed Running and the interview is featured in the Jan/Feb issue of Dank Zine. You can pre-order the book HERE and features the fantastic artwork by the very talented Kari Fry. I’m personally excited for this book as the design by Tony Kuchar is bang on and the sheer amount of information in this book goes beyond my expectations of what a book on speed running is all about. We all had to wait a while for this one, but as we know good things come to those who wait so make sure you pre-order your copy today to add to your collection.

 

 

Fire Lancer

 

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I have been watching Trap (aka Alex Marshall) tinker away at what I jokingly called “Trap Game” for almost as long as I have known the guy. This winter he finally made an official launch of his game, Fire Lancer, that is available for download HERE. It’s for (of all things) the SwanCrystal/WonderSwanColor. Trap is an amazing guy and has managed to make a fun shoot-em-up with a collective team of equally talented friends so check it out and read up on the interview in the upcoming issue.

DANK ART & DANK LIVING

 

I have been going back and forth between watercolours and digital work depending on where I am working as I am finding myself not in front of my desk as often as I would like in 2019. A lot of heavy life stuff went down as soon as 2019 started so I guess I’ll address what happened.

January was a month-long depression of me going to a lot of funerals, wakes and other unpleasant things that got me thinking hard on my own morality and the things that are important to me. I was also questioning my living arrangements around the end of January as a lot of weirdness was happening around where I live and something very creepy and weird was happening at my building where I live. I would tell you to not sweat it as I was able to find a positive solution in the form of my weeb neighbours who have been super supportive thru this time. They also like anime and make slime and fight each other with tiny plastic swords so that’s awesome.

My long term solution for this is to look towards moving though I have very mixed feelings about this. Setting a huge goal to “escape” is going to take a lot of time, money and hard work and to get there I have taken on more projects to plan this out though I am still unsure where I would go. Lots of things on my mind these days and a good chunk of me doesn’t even want to deal with this negativity. I’d rather just play video games…

…Like SD Snatcher. Yeah after months of struggling with emulation on my Mac I was able to get some help from my chat and got SD Snatcher to work. One of my huge gaming obsessions is Kojima’s Snatcher which was released for the MSX2 computer way back in 1988. SD Snatcher was released in 1989 and is a retelling of the original “unfinished” Snatcher game but with super deformed chibi characters and as a JRPG with interesting battle mechanics.

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OH SHUCKS I DIED!!!

I did a huge feature on SD Snatcher in the January issue of my Dank Zine and got a lot of fun Dank Art from people in the chat. If I could get any of you to play a MSX2 game, PLAY SD SNATCHER. It’s a fun JRPG that has a lot of cool elements and follows a slightly different story to that of the other releases of Snatcher floating around out there. It will get you thinking about the MSX and what that little computer can offer. I’ll make it easy on you and ::cough cough:: post this here if you want to try without bashing your head against your desk trying to get the emulation and language packs to work.

COMING UP

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I have a bunch of wild stories set up for 2019 along with a pile of new content creators who are working hard documenting their own adventures in the gaming community to share in the pages of Dank Zine. Next month I have a story with Kevin DDR and Aperturegrillz who are moving to Japan and who will be documenting the local arcade scene there thru photos and writing exclusively for subscribers. If you have ever dreamed of going to Japan then you will see it thru the eyes of these two Tetris Grand Masters as they discover the beauty which is Japan’s arcade scene.

If you are big into fighting games, Game Goon Giby is now on board writing from his experiences at all the exciting tournaments coming up. It’s going to be a rare behind the scene look of what is going on with the games, the people and how events like these happen and I am overly excited to be featuring these stories.

We are also looking into making a DANK BBS for my fam who’s into the old days of computers so if you want to come and post on our BBS and play Food Fight then you gotta keep checking in and seeing what we come up with.

I’m also looking at that flippin’ Dead Flip guy and what that pinhead pinballer in Chicago is up to cause he’s always working on so many crazy projects that even he can’t keep up with all of them.

KEEP US DOING DANK THINGS! Back the Zine and keep the writers writing, the artists drawing and help make the retro community special. We want to go to your event, we want to play the Dank Games, we want to make physical things that you can hold in your hands and enjoy that speak to the stuff that you love. Back the zine and be part of the Fam and help make things DANK in 2019.

 

 

 

Patreon Announcement

As many of you already know, Patreon is making a bunch of changes to its services as of recently. These changes might affect how some people are backing my Zine and because of the concern of the most recent changes to Patreon I have decided to give people more options on how to get a copy of my Zine and how they can be part if it.

Currently I rely on Subscriptions/Pre-Orders for my Zine to offset the cost of printing and shipping for each issue. I am looking into having online subscriptions via Paypal as well as making huge changes to my online shop to make getting back issues quicker.

It will take me a few weeks to implement the new changes to my blog to accept this new way to subscribe so I ask my Patreon backers to be patient while I make these adjustments. I will state that I am not leaving Patreon as of yet, but merely giving my backers a choice to use the platform or to start supporting me 100% directly thru another option.

These are changes I knew I would need to make as my Zine grew over time. However, with the recent changes to Patreon I feel that I owe my subscribers a choice since many of them signed up to Patreon only to back this project. I want to make it clear that I am thankful for everyone’s support and often when things happen that we all don’t agree with that you can either accept it or change.

Change doesn’t happen overnight and making a huge jump to direct subscriptions will take me some time so I do ask that my backers are patient while I take these needed steps to being fully independent.

As soon as I have the new subscription services up I will post it on my blog so everyone can choose how to back me going forwards. Patreon was an amazing service when I first started up and I am thankful that services like it are around to help artists and makers everywhere support their projects. If you choose to use my direct service or stay with Patreon that is up to individual choice, all I ask is that you keep supporting me and the Zine.

Thank you,

AnnK

Closing out a Month

Dank Work

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Making Dank is what I am all about these days and I am happy to announce that I am accepting submissions for creative content! If you want to join the fam and think you have what it takes to have your work featured in my Dank Zine you may submit it here at dankzine@agentannk.com

I am looking for content that is about retro gaming, streams, and the gaming collecting community. It’s not just limited to writers, I am looking for artists as well who want to make Dank Art and be featured in the Zine or on my blog. Please end me an email and attach an example of your work to get the ball rolling.

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BBH had a great week returning with his championship belt from the tournament he just won, as well as visiting the Portland Retro Gaming Expo over the weekend. I’m sure he’s going to talk about all the cool stuff there including this strange and new Space Harrier type game he got to try out at the expo. If only my budget would allow me more chances for travel so I could check out events like that then I’d be there myself front and centre. Hopefully BBH got some photos and will show them off during the Monday roulette stream.

Macaw45 had an emergency unboxing video as he got a bunch of new auction wins arrive at his place and whenever he gets a cool delivery such as this he’s gotta share it with his community. There was a bunch of Japanese Windows 95 games as well as few other neat things that he got to show off. The Dracula Sega CD game was a surprise being that I never thought Macaw would subject himself to the torture witch is Dracula on Sega CD, but he did manage to play the game right up to the boss where thru means of the emulation or the game itself it kept glitching out. This sums up Dracula for Sega CD as a whole.

There was a whole week where Macaw was exploring FMV Sega CD games, so hopefully he will someday replay those or explore more of the Sega CD library on a future bird stream.

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Gracious IV @Aqy

Aquas is getting ready for GDQ by punishing himself with his practice streams of Contra III along with Batrider for the 1CC Marathon taking place in November. You can check out the trailer here. The 1CC Marathon is a fun weekend where streamers in the arcade scene can get together and go for those 1 Credit Clears and beat the game on one “quarter”. I took part in the event last year with Sega Marine Fishing where I managed to not just 1CC the game, but did it under 15 minutes. I’m sure someone’s done it faster. Anyway, get over to Aqy’s channel and if you are a sub or a fan so try to donate money to his GDQ fund so he can fly out this January and take part in the event.

Ultimoice is making more progress in Speedrunning Mother 2 and after a bunch of resets I got to see him complete a decent run this past Sunday. I am not 100% sure if that was his PB for Mother 2 as it was very early in the morning (what am I doing awake this early in the morning?), but I will say congratulations to Ultimoice as he does put on an impressive run of the game. If you love Earthbound half as much as I do then you definitely want to follow him as he’s going to be going for the World Record in Mother 2 soon. Ultimoice was quick to pick up that I will try my hardest to make Dank Art that is relevant to what’s going on in the current game, so this weeks collections is a whole bunch of stuff that seems to slow him down in those awkward Mother 2 situations.

Streaming

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Goati managed to scrub-save the final boss in Fantastic Pinball last week so its official on what conditions need to happen in order to open the boss room. The boss itself has several stages of awesomeness as Goati showed off here in this clip. I’m still playing the entire game as I am a HUGE pinball fan, however I have moved onto a new game to feature on my weekends and that is Sonic Spinball

 

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Sonic Spinball came out in between of Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 to fill a void that the Casino Zone left you with after you defeated the boss. It’s interesting mechanic is that you have to manipulate Sonic as he’s spinning as a little pinball to hit the targets and collect the chaos emeralds while you go after Dr Robitnik. It also features characters from the Saturday morning Sonic Cartoon, not to be confused with the Sonic cartoon where his siblings form a rock band or the horrible The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

I was the biggest Sonic fan as a little girl and naturally I had all the Archie comics, books, guides and anything else I could get my hands on. When I found out that they were making a cartoon featuring Sonic I was excited and couldn’t stop talking about it. I always thought that the Saturday morning cartoon was the only Sonic show on TV until I started to have medical problems. I had to start waking up at 5am in the morning to take medication hours before eating which made me scan the TV Guide looking for something to watch at 5am and low and behold The Adventures of Sonic their Hedgehog was there!

If you are wondering why someone would put this Sonic Show on at 5am in the morning it’s because that’s the only time slot that would ensure no one would be able to watch it. It’s that bad. The animation is OK from time to time but the world could have been a better place without this incarnation of Sonic. I think this is also where the stupid Chilli Dog obsession came from. Oh well, if you like Sonic then tune in on Sundays when I am going to play thru Sonic Spinball and share with you not only my love of Pinball but Sonic as well.

Fall

Greg & I checked out Mill Pond in our town this past Sunday to take in the colours of the season. It was 30 degrees outside! I have photos of us walking the pond from last year in our full winter coats. If you live somewhere that doesn’t have such a glorious splendour of colours in fall please enjoy the few that I have posted here!

This Tuesday feels like a Monday

DANK ART

Every now and then I do some amazing Dank Art’s that just stand out more to me than others and that goes for the Riot City Dank Art I made for Macaw45’s stream on Friday of last week. Usually great Dank Art like this happens when I am in a great art mode or when I have done so much work I can just power out effort like it’s nothing. I need to bank in a lot of drawing time to get to that level, but it’s something I strive for when I do make Dank Art. I want to be in that zone as much as I can be and the only way I can get there is if I spend hours perfecting my skills. It’s a lot like when an athlete trains to always stay in top form or why speedrunners need to constantly be trying runs of the same game over and over to keep up the consistency.

Macaw also played thru a bunch of Sega CD FMV games as well on Monday morning and did an entire playthru of Masked Rider which I have never seen before as well as muddling around with a few others including Time Gal. I am a huge fan of Time Gal and that game alone sold me on a Sega CD as a kid (though I never did save up my money for one). Today the Sega CD is the bastard of collection as I own the least amount of games for it. Sega CD games are hard to come by and demand insane prices for most of the good games online so often I stick to emulating the games I want to play. It’s a shame because the system was never very popular in my country yet I was obsessed with it as a small child. I do own a copy of Shining Force CD which is quite possibly the best collector game for the system, but key titles such as Time Gal and Snatcher will forever elude me for their scarcity and high listed prices.

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BEAT EM UP Fighters History Dynamite @Murphagator 
I think Fighters History Dynamite is quickly turning into one of my more fave fighting games as everyone is picking it up and having fun rediscovering it again. I think Murph owns the actual arcade board for this as well so it’s even more interesting when he streams it. Fighting games & me have a very strange and sorted history as I was always the one who wanted to go after games like these though I never had any friends who were totally into them. Everyone played Street Fighter II and I had a few friends who were into Mortal Kombat, but outside of those games no one else in my circle was willing to go that far for fighters. I’m not a pro but I LOVE two player games no matter what they are. Even if you have one friend who totally sucks at games theres nothing like a fighting game that you can pick up and start playing right there in the room. I once had a crazy Street Fighter birthday party where all we did was play Street Fighter for hours eating cake and drinking beers until 3am and everyone had a great time even if they didn’t know all the combos and buttons. The only negative thing about most two person fighter games is after 3 rounds thats it and if you have a friend who is really bad at playing them they might feel a bit cheated when their turn comes up. This is why I really like Beatem’ups as I find that first time players can usually just pick them up & take their time getting used to things as they make progress in the game. Not all my friends are the best at games, but they are good enough friends that they will try something outside of their comfort zone just to make me happy.

 

LordBBH has surpassed 1100 games now on his Monday Mame Roulette streams and announced on Monday that his Viewers Choice Extravaganza will take place this Saturday, the Passover/Easter long weekend. Nothing like a moving holiday to really mess up your fun! Since my family isn’t very religious and my parents are retired I was able to move our family lunch to Friday so I’ll have all the time to paint Dank Art on Saturday. You might be thinking that’s a bit much but for me it isn’t. My family is very laid back and I’m the product of my father so when he asked why I wanted to move it I told him I was making Dank Art & the old guy just laughed and said “I understand.” My dad is probably the only man in my life to really get that about me as he’s seen me do it time and time again over the years he’s raised me.
Now with BBH surpassing 1100 games in Mame you’re probably wondering if he’s ever going to run out of games at this rate. Not on your life because there are THOUSANDS of games ripped for Mame and it’s going to take him a long dang time to get thru them all. Sure the cheesecake-porn arcade games are kinda mediocre and really over glorified gambling games, but they are a game and they were created with a purpose to take your quarters just like every other arcade game out there. In Canada we used to have soft-core porn movies play on stations such as City TV & the french stations after a certain time when I was a kid growing up. We’d call these “Blue Movies” or “Baby Blue” for some strange reason- but mainly because thats what the intro for them was called. I wasn’t alive in the 70’s at all, but I do remember that on channel 07 you’d see a lot of brief nudity and adult behaviour after 11pm at night. Don’t act like you didn’t know cause I always knew this but played dumb at recess when kids would talk about the totally naked people and F-Bombs that were dropped on the TV last night. I remember how sad some kids were when they said they were not allowed to watch TV at all and how we just made up TV shows and over-glorified all the violence and sex we saw just to watch them go “Gosh really?? Wo-o-o-ah.”
I guess it depends on your upbringing how you see sex and what you deem appropriate or not- I had a very laid back up bringing but I think my parents were totally cool with me watching sexy stuff on TV & in movies with the hopes that I would get most of my information from that & not bug them about having that talk later when I’m 13. FYI when I turned 11 my dad started buying me every damn video game in the discount bin he could for me as “IT KEEPS HER HOME WHERE I CAN SEE HER” as he would shout. Good play, dad, good play.
Don’t believe me when I say City TV used to air porn? Here’s the intro from the 70’s I found online.

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New Friends Every Day @Clover&sealife 
Happy Birthday to Clover & Sealife! I made you this beautiful Dank Art to make you smile and to tell you how special you are. My boss thinks you make the best music and I have been 100% behind your adventures in music since the very beginning. Remember when you wanted to DJ at our cabin in Lake George all those years ago and we needed an extension cord? I yanked that crap so fast out of the public arcade room causing 5 machines to be “Out of Order” that weekend cause I wanted to dance to your grooves. It was a tiny thing, but we danced and danced and had so much fun and I’ll never forget it. Please go get some chiptunes in your rotation and cast your lucky clovers into the sea HERE

 

ADVENTURES IN THE SIX

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I would get dragged around Toronto as a little kid by my father as he’d be on the hunt for his classical music. I have these very early memories of going into these tiny record stores that were nothing but bins of wax with a few posters on the wall. All the buildings were old, stone and decaying all around us and you felt safe. Toronto used to be like that for me.

These days they are tearing down most of what I liked about Toronto. The music shops are almost all gone and huge lots of buildings are being knocked over to make way for condos. Union station has been under construction for over two years now which has been a huge problem when I come in for visits. Nothing stays the same and it’s weird mulling around when things are in this weird change transition all around me. All the old comic book stores, record shops and arcades I used to frequent as a kid are being bought and sold for condos.

I wanted to go check out a different retro game shop when I was downtown but it seems as if the one place I wanted to see was closed on Sundays, so Sarah & I walked over to that place we visited in January instead. I am glad I did as they made changes to the store from the last time I was there and now when you walk in they have a beautiful glass display case with all the systems they sell. They also had a LOT of Turbo Graphix 16 consoles and PC Engine’s there. I thought 2016 I had never seen so many TG16’s but thats already surpassed what I have seen recently in resell shops alone. Someone also offloaded a bunch of very rare Nintendo handheld Game & Watch stuff which was very interesting to me as I never had seen some of those in the wild before. Some were going for $500+ which is cool but way out of my price range.

We walked over 16km’s that day all over my old stomping grounds and passing by places I used to work, old apartments of past friends, rotting buildings and strange people. I got Sarah a copy of my new Dank Zine and she was very excited when she was looking thru it. I told her everyone who’s seen it made a huge smile when looking thru it, so I guess I am doing something right. It’s always a great time when you get together with your best friend.

IMG_0344I also picked up a copy of McKids! Expect some crazy streams of this to happen soon and let’s see how far I’ll get :p

Robocop, PC 98 Shmups & Board Games

I was a bit more exposed to Pinball as a child since a lot of video stores brought in the licenced title machines as part of a promotional tie-in. Newer pinball machines always seemed to charge $1 and many were set with the new $2 coin slots which I always thought was cruel.

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Your Move, Creep! Robocop Pinball Adventures! @Dead_Flip

I had the pleasure of meeting Dead Flip at the Arcade Superplay last October at Twitch Headquarters in San Francisco. Dead Flip is from the Chicago area and often streams with his Pinball buddies either at his place or on location to one of the many bars and arcades that will feature wild and crazy pinball machines. Here is a shot of the Robocop machine he was playing live on location this week on his stream:maxresdefaultpinball.jpg This machine came out in 1989 and though I haven’t seen it personally I will say its a great looking machine. I tend to favour the older looking tables because I enjoy that classic feel and look of them. They all have a slight gritty comic book feel to them which is something I can identify with. I’m not a good player, but I do enjoy Pinball games and they are one of my favourite things to photograph. I’m always trying to scope out Pinball places or public machines to get their photograph and collecting a bunch of work for a book would be an adventurous project.

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Macaw played some interesting games from this anime-style Shmup for the PC98 called Vermillion which he quickly touched on in a previous stream a year ago. The only things I can remember from this game is the crazy pixel art where one of the girls flips you the bird just as the game starts and as you play the game a little box with one of their faces pops up and she stands there yelling at you. He also featured Last Action Hero for the SNES one day and actually finished it. I’ve never had the pleasure to play Last Action Hero myself, though I do remember seeing this game around before and I do know of its brand of torture.
As a kid, I was obsessed with making game board style comics as I was greatly influenced by Matt Groening’s work in “Life in Hell” which I somehow had access to. It was almost a play or nod towards when Family Circus would do these giant comic strips that were just one board with a bunch of situational jokes. I really liked that large visual idea and I find myself going back to it often when I’m using humour.
Most of the ideas for the bird bingo came from the chat, so this was a bit of a “group effort” if you want to call it that.img_8984Here is an example of Life in Hell and one of those Family Circus Comics so you have a reference to work from.

Besides Bird Bingo, Friday night was also Puri’s Birthday and I made him awesome Alundra Dank Art
img_9023I used a lighter stock Watercolour grade paper here as it’s perfect for little Dank Sketches like these. I’ve always tried to max out my paper even when I was a kid, so I tend to buy oversized paper and then tear it into smaller corners to get the most out of my supplies.

Streaming Board games

screenshot-2017-03-03-10-56-52There was a time when I was a very young kid that I asked for nothing but board games for Christmas gifts. Usually from my extended family that wouldn’t understand that I hated things like Barbie’s and babydolls and generally most girl toys. My dad was always up for a good afternoon playing games with me but trying to get my mom and brother to play with us was always a chore. They’d give in eventually and I would be super excited to be “the Game Master” who’d be in charge of all the rules, the bank (if there was a bank or dealer or someone who needed to be awake enough to keep the rules constant).

Jones in the Fast Lane is a fun board game style game by one of my all time fave old school publishers Sierra that showcases their own brand of humour. You play as one of 4 characters and circle the board using up time as you go to school, get a job, pay rent,  You should try this out not just because it’s weird but because you can play it one player or with up to 4 persons

You can check out the vod here and also check out me playing Oregon Trail after winning the game!

Don’t Forget- You are Here Forever

BBH Extravaganza Leftovers

The Extravaganza kept rolling into this week on LordBBH’s channel and I made a lot of Dank Art to go along with some of the games played by BBH. One of the more shocking things I noticed was that the Athena Dank Art got over 50 likes on my twitter feed and for a notoriously bad game I would have assumed it wouldn’t get likes at all. Then again, there must be a bunch of people out there who can’t shake the impression that game left on them after playing it. Out of all of these, my two pick faves are the Bizerk piece and the Flintstone one (which just sold yay!). The Flintstone piece is actually a throwback to a seriously dangerous moment from my childhood when I was two years old and accidentally ate an entire bottle of Flintstone Vitamins when my mother was sleeping simply because they looked and tasted like candy. I got very sick & died.

OK, that’s a lie. I didn’t die but I did get raced to the hospital where they pumped my stomach. Probably not my best moment in life, but my family sure as Hell won’t let me forget it. Whenever I see Flintstone’s now I associate them with overdosing.

You can watch the vod’s here which are broken up into 9 pieces that covers over the several days of Viewers Choice stuff. Make sure you check it out if you missed it.

 

I’m also making far too much art and doing far too many cool things in my week so expect more blog entries as things happen! I can’t promise you daily posts, but I will be trying to share more with what I am doing more frequently in the week rather then these huge blogs summaries.