Ghosthead launches comic

Troy “Netsolo” Benjamin, head honcho at Ghostbusters HQ, has been working in his basement laboratory to produce a comic – and now that comic’s time has come. Illustrated by fellow HQ barfly, Chris “Spade” Enterline, Still Playing With Comics #1 is currently being solicited in the August Previews Catalog. Run to your local comic shop and bug them about it – if your shop is anything like mine, you’ve probably got until mid-month to get your order in.

Grats Troy – October can’t get here soon enough!

Mystery prop for sale.

This hardhat, sporting a Ghostbusters decal, has turned up on eBay. The seller says the item was given to them by an ex-Columbia employee, but even they aren’t sure what it was used for. The initial conclusion is that the item is set equipment, only, the item is apparently artificially distressed – this would suggest then that the item might have been a prop… only, no hard hats appear anyplace obvious in the first film (the second film has hard hats, but they don’t have any logos.)

There’s nothing obvious to suggest the seller’s story is false, but it’s hard to gauge the authenticity of the item (and it’s worth.) If you’re reading this before 11AM East coast time, you might still have time to jump into the final bidding.

Smith directs supernatural pilot, Reaper.

reaper - fall 2007 on CW
Every time a favorite show rides off into the sunset, I think, “Now what the hell am I going to watch?” But then someone decides to make a show I’ve been dying to see for, like, ever – I just didn’t know it. The new kid on that particular block is Reaper, stepping up on September 25th on The CW (which we can actually get in Canada!) Check out the extended trailer for the show pilot (directed by Kevin Smith), and tell me it doesn’t say, “Ghostheads stop here.”

ExorSystems ™ preview… I don’t have one.

BUT! That’s not to say I’m not enjoying the copy the designers sent me. I’m still in the read-it-over stage, and while I haven’t had a chance to pull a group together to try it out (not a lot of free time these days), the full core rulebook confirms everything I suspected and dug in the free sample guide.

Also, I stumbled upon the DA gallery for the Game’s illustrations. Very cool, particularly the equipment profiles.

Anyone familiar with d20 gaming will have no problem jumping into this, and it looks like a good gateway game for anyone not familiar with the world’s single most prevalent RPG system. Check it out!

Big thanks to Octavirate for letting me get a hands-on look at the full game!

Ghostbuster song roots found?

Typically when asked to put Ray Parker Jr’s Ghostbusters theme into a genre, people put it in “80s”, “novelty”, or simply Rock. Which are all correct, but in a very general (and slightly derogatory way.) The similarity of the baselines in Ghostbusters and Huey Lewis’ I Want A New Drug was enough to take the matter to court, and inevitably that helped cement Ghostbusters as an 80s rock track.

But what if Ghostbusters had much older, better established roots? What if Huey Lewis had his day in court when in actuality Parker’s inspiration was, at least in part, much older?

Amateur musicologist Dane dropped me a line and a link to a 1969 recording of Save Me, by Ghana musical group, E T Mensah and his Tempos. The similarities in the overall structure of the song, not simply the base (which alternates between eerily Ghostbusters like, and more African) are very striking. Even the lyrical shape is familiar. And as Dane puts it, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine a young Parker (who would formally start his career in music five years after the Save Me recording) having heard the track. And even more likely that he was familiar with the American/African fusion called Highlife (a musical form started in the 20s.)

This isn’t to say Parker Jr. ripped off another track – music is filled with reinterpreting styles that have come before, and it’s easy to hear all the ways Ghostbusters is different. But it puts a little bit of shine back into the world’s most famous movie theme, to think that it was the 80s child of a 60 year-old excuse to get up and boogie.

Have a listen for yourself and tell us what YOU think.

Cheers Dane – good ears!