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APEX Kickstarter Launch Date Revisited

Hello everybody! I know that we announced the hard launch date for the Kickstarter for APEX: Collected Edition yesterday. When we announced that, we felt pretty sure we were ready to roll, but we had a significant amount of feedback on the campaign. Because of how the...

APEX Kickstarter Launch Date!

Okay folks! We finally have news. We're planning to launch the APEX: Collected Edition on Tuesday, December 10th. Here's a preview of the campaign that you can check out before launch!...

Final 20 Hours of The Jötunn War Issue 02 Kickstarter!

The Jötunn War Issue 02 just reached it's primary funding goal on Kickstarter! We're now at the final 20 hours of the campaign and we're hoping to raise funds for issue three! Thank you all so much for your continued support! The Jötunn War is a FOUR ISSUE graphic...

Apex Kickstarter Update

Hello everybody! A quick update on the status of the upcoming Apex Theropod: Deckbuilding Game Collected Edition Kickstarter. We had expected to launch the Kickstarter last week, but it took a little longer than we anticipated to get all the details in from the...

Outland Stock Art on Patreon

Hello folks! We just launched a stock art initiative on Patreon! Outland Entertainment has provided thousands of images to publishers over the years, ranging from black/white quarter page illustration to full color covers, interior artwork, and graphic design. Over...

Outland Entertainment Partners with KickCTRL

Hello folks! I know that things have been a bit quiet most of the last year, but things have been grinding along! We've been looking into ways to correct some of our past mistakes, namely, the extreme mismanagement of our crowdfunding campaigns. We KNOW we have really...

Apex Theropod Collected Edition Kickstarter

Hello everybody! We just wanted to share the news that the Apex Theropod: Deck Building Game will be launching on Kickstarter next week. Right now, we're planning to call this the "Collected Edition." This version of the game includes a new box with all new box...

Ian Stuart Sharpe on the Jotunn War Cover Process

One of the ideas that fascinates me most as an author are the symbols we use throughout history. For example, the cover of the latest issue of the Jötunn War is a pastiche of a well known WWI poster. We have subverted the Army Air Service American Eagle and added in a...

The Santa Myth…

...And Why Pit Such a Cheery Legend Against the Horror of Zombies? by John Mayer Although this very question sounds paradoxical, the horror genre has always been at its best when it injects the shocking, the gruesome, the profane, the unknown, the ugly with the...

Storytime with Ian: Who are the Jötnar?

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. See, that’s where the Christianity has it all wrong. All good Vikings knew the real story of how it all really began. The same way it will all end. With giants. Ginnungagap was the great emptiness before there...
APEX Kickstarter Launch Date Revisited

APEX Kickstarter Launch Date Revisited

Hello everybody!

I know that we announced the hard launch date for the Kickstarter for APEX: Collected Edition yesterday.

When we announced that, we felt pretty sure we were ready to roll, but we had a significant amount of feedback on the campaign. Because of how the first two campaigns were run and the fact that not everything was delivered on time or at all, we are being extremely cautious about launching this project before everything is locked down.

There is no doubt that some of you are frustrated with the continued delays and we apologize for that – but we have to make sure that what we offer is not only the best possible product for you, but that we will get it to you in a timely manner and at the best rate possible.

To that end, we’ve adjusted a lot of the campaign based on feedback, which has required that we get new quotes on a few items. That said, we’re really, REALLY, close. We just want to make sure that everything is locked down before we press the launch button.

Again, we apologize for the continued delays.

In the meantime, please feel free to continue to comment and make suggestions! We’re taking all comments into consideration!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/apexdeckbuildinggame/795323121?ref=ag6cpc&token=0a9bf845

Thank you!

APEX Kickstarter Launch Date Revisited

APEX Kickstarter Launch Date!

Okay folks!

We finally have news. We’re planning to launch the APEX: Collected Edition on Tuesday, December 10th. Here’s a preview of the campaign that you can check out before launch!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/apexdeckbuildinggame/795323121?ref=ag6cpc&token=0a9bf845

This is a hard date – we have everything we need to launch. Thank you for being patient with us!

And by all means, let us know your thoughts!

Apex Kickstarter Update

Apex Kickstarter Update

Hello everybody!

A quick update on the status of the upcoming Apex Theropod: Deckbuilding Game Collected Edition Kickstarter.

We had expected to launch the Kickstarter last week, but it took a little longer than we anticipated to get all the details in from the printer. We want to make sure we’re doing this absolutely right so we can deliver as soon after the campaign as possible. The only way to do this is to make sure that everything we can possibly consider in terms of cost of printing and shipping is as close to accurate as possible.

Right now, we’re expecting the remaining details from the printer to arrive early next week and depending on that info, we’ll move forward accordingly.

Our goal is to launch within the next several weeks and we’ll keep you all updated as we find out more news.

Thanks!

Ian Stuart Sharpe on the Jotunn War Cover Process

Ian Stuart Sharpe on the Jotunn War Cover Process

One of the ideas that fascinates me most as an author are the symbols we use throughout history.

For example, the cover of the latest issue of the Jötunn War is a pastiche of a well known WWI poster. We have subverted the Army Air Service American Eagle and added in a raven, very much a Norse symbol.

Because the whole premise of the Vikingverse is that the Norse never Christianised – and in my alternate history, even conquered Rome – it is the Raven banner and not the eagle that flutters proudly across the Norse Empire. Same idea, different reality!

You might wonder why artists and propagandists were so keen on the eagles in the first place….

The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on the American continent. But the eagle as a heraldic device goes further back. The Reichsadler (German “Imperial Eagle”, also featured in the original) is derived from the Roman eagle standard, used by the Holy Roman Emperors and in modern coats of arms of Germany, including those of the Second German Empire (1871–1918) and the Third Reich (Nazi Germany, 1933–1945).

It was meant to embody the reference to the Roman tradition similar to the double-headed eagle used by the Palaiologi emperors of the Byzantine Empire or the tsars of Russia. It’s all about power and legitimacy.

But we all know history is rewritten by the victors, and in my setting that means Vikings! So, go and tell people to buy up War Bonds/make a Kickstarter pledge.

The Empire needs YOU!

Ian Stuart Sharpe

Storytime with Ian: Who are the Jötnar?

Storytime with Ian: Who are the Jötnar?

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”.

See, that’s where the Christianity has it all wrong. All good Vikings knew the real story of how it all really began. The same way it will all end.

With giants.

Ginnungagap was the great emptiness before there was the world, flanked by two inhospitable realms. There was Muspelheim, crossed by endless rivers of boiling poison and vast lakes of fire; and Niflheim, where icy volcanoes spewed forth frozen mists and arctic waters. Sparks and smoke met layers of rime and frost in the yawning void and from them came the first being.

A Jötunn, Ymir, appeared in the melting ice. From his sweat, the first Jötnar were born. Ymir fed on the milk of the primeval cow Auðumbla, also born of the meltwater. She licked the blocks of salty ice, releasing Búri, who was large, powerful, and beautiful to behold.

In time, Búri’s son Borr had three sons: the gods Óðinn, Vili, and Vé. The three sons of Borr had no use for Ymir and his growing family of cruel and brutish giants, so they attacked and killed him. So much blood flowed from the body that it drowned all the other giants except for two—Bergelmir and his wife escaped. They stole away in a hollowed-out tree trunk, a makeshift boat floating on the sea of gore to safety, to a land they named Jötunheim, home of the giants.

From Ymir’s body, the brothers made the world of humans: his blood, the seas and lakes, his flesh, the earth, his bones, the mountains and his teeth the rocks. From his skull, they made the dome of the sky, setting a dwarf at each of the four corners to hold it high above the earth. They protected the world from the Jötnar with a wall made from Ymir’s eyebrows. Next, they caused time to exist and placed the orbs of the sun and moon in chariots which were to circle around the sky.

Finally, the three brothers built their own realm. Ásgarð, a mighty stronghold, with green plains and shining palaces high over Miðgarð. They built the rainbow bridge Bifröst to link the realms. The Æsir, the guardians of men, crossed over the bridge and settled in Ásgarð.

There the gods would dwell, ever vigilant, until Ragnarok, the long-heralded last battle, where the monstrous Jötnar set about destroying the entire cosmos. Fenrir, the great wolf, consumes the world so swiftly that even the sun is dragged from its zenith and into the beast’s stomach.

The Jötnar have a pivotal role in Norse mythology. To the men of the North, the Jötnar had the power of oncoming storms, roaring volcanoes, and the clamorous oceans – in some sense, they were the personification of the merciless and indifferent power of Nature. They were the sires of the gods, their spouses and lovers, their constant foes and their inevitable doom.

And while the Jötnar are described as a race of beings distinct from the gods – as well as other creatures such as humans, elves, and dwarves – they are somewhat ambiguously described, both in their physique and their character. Some jötnar, such as Skrymir (who is known also as Útgarða-Loki), are depicted as being of an immense size, thus giving rise to the translation of the word ‘jötunn’ into English as ‘giant’.

Some jötnar, such as Skaði, were said to be extremely beautiful – in the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál, Odin mentions the “ancient courts” of Þrymheimr, noting that the jötunn Þjazi once lived there, and that now his daughter Skaði does. Odin refers to Skaði as “the shining bride of the gods” and in some tales, the pair go on to marry and give birth to nations of kings. Some scholars go so far as to suggest that Scandinavia may be related to the name Skaði (potentially meaning ‘Skaði’s island’).

Other Jötnar were hideous. It is told in Snorri Sturluson’s Gylfaginning that at Baldr’s funeral his wife Nanna died of grief and was placed alongside him on his pyre. Hringhorni, Baldr’s ship, was the largest of all such vessels and was to serve as the god’s funeral ship. No one, however, could seem to launch the boat out to sea. The gods then enlisted the help of Hyrrokkin, who came from Jötunheimr, arriving on a giant wolf with vipers as reins. When she dismounted, Odin summoned four berserks to look after the animal but they were unable to control it without first rendering it unconscious. With her seismic strength, the giantess rolled the boat into the water.

In the Vikingverse, these stories and characters are more than just ancient myth. In the way that the Bible forms the daily bread of many devout Christians, the Jötnar are part of the fabric of society and its belief system.

Let me give you an example:

We were all recently horrified by the fire at Notre Dame. Social media was full of people’s personal memories, their own connection with the great stone cathedral and all and relics. We felt all felt a sense of profound loss.

All of a sudden, the Gargoyles on the roof were suddenly leering out of memory, all across the internet. Not bad for a beast used by the Catholic Church to illustrate evil.

French legend tells of St. Romanus, bishop of Rouen, who delivered the country from a monster called Gargouille. La Gargouille is said to have been the typical dragon with bat-like wings, a long neck, and the ability to breathe fire from its mouth. Multiple versions of the story are given, either that St. Romanus subdued the creature with a crucifix, or he captured the creature with the help of the only volunteer, a condemned man. In each, the monster is led back to Rouen and burned, but its head and neck would not burn due to being tempered by its own fire breath. The head was then mounted on the walls of the newly built church to scare off evil spirits and used for protection.

The parallels with the Jötnar are clear. Primeval, indefatigable titans who tread heavily in our nightmares, the bane of Christianity.  Demons to be defeated and cast into the Abyss. Trophies to be mounted on the wall of our proud monuments.

Now imagine a world were Christianity had been put to the Viking sword, where there was no Mother Church left to determine who was a saint and who was a sinner, no Catholic priests to stem the pagan tide and contain the wild, untrammelled beliefs of the Northerners. Forget Armageddon, Hellfire and the Antichrist. The world doesn’t end with a bang, or a whimper. It ends with a horde of unstoppable Jötnar.

If you want a truly terrifying End of Days, embrace your inner Viking and help Kickstart the Jötunn War.

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ABOUT VIKINGVERSE

The Vikingverse is the alternate universe that results when Odin escapes his doom at Ragnarok; a parallel timeline where Vikings rule seas and stars and the storied heroes of mankind emerge in new and brutal guises drawn from the sagas. Hang on tightly, ’cause the Free World just got thrown to the wolves and the meek shan’t inherit this Earth.

ABOUT IAN STUART SHARPE

Ian Stuart Sharpe was born in London, UK, and now lives in British Columbia, Canada. Having worked for the BBC, IMG, Atari and Electronic Arts, he is now CEO of a tech start up. As a child he discovered his love of books, sci-fi and sagas: devouring the works of Douglas Adams, J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, and George MacDonald Fraser alongside Snorri Sturluson and Sigvat the Skald. He once won a prize at school for Outstanding Progress and chose a dictionary as his reward, secretly wishing it had been an Old Norse phrasebook. The All Father Paradox is his first novel.

Santa VS Zombies Press Release

Santa VS Zombies Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Nix

gwen@outlandentertainment.com

SANTA VS ZOMBIES, ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL, LAUNCHES ON KICKSTARTER

 Adventurous world full of Christmas cheer and gore to launch April 9, 2019

 

TOPEKA, KANSAS (April 11, 2019)—A new graphic novel from Koji Steven Sakai and John Mayer called Santa VS Zombies launched on Kickstarter on April 9, 2019. This sixty-page graphic novel follows a burned-out Santa Claus who reluctantly embarks on his last chimney crawl only to find his world turned upside down by a zombie apocalypse. With the help of a crew of children and a single mother, Santa rediscovers his Christmas spirit while saving the world.

“Santa VS Zombies combines two of my favorite things…Santa and zombies,” explained co-creator Koji Steven Sakai. “If every day was a zombie Christmas I’d be happy.” Sakai’s love for zombies is evident in his prose fiction, including his debut novel Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies. Sakai is a comics veteran, and his graphic novel, 442, which follows an entirely Japanese-American regiment during World War II, was released in 2017.

“I was always the rebel as a kid, so I never pictured Santa as all cuddly, warm, and fuzzy,” said co-creator John Mayer, who has previously written novels and nonfiction. “I knew there was a guy under there who could kick some ass—I mean, he lived all those centuries—that had to take some BAD…This is my Santa!”

The Kickstarter will support printing of the graphic novel. Other stretch goals, when met, will increase the quality of the book from cover gloss finish to French fold covers and as well as hardcover editions. The Kickstarter can be supported at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/327474418/santa-vs-zombies

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ABOUT SANTA VS ZOMBIES

Meet Santa. He’s having a mid-life crisis. He hates his job and wishes he was doing anything else other than being Santa. He’s just going through the motions and that’s why he doesn’t notice the zombie apocalypse until it’s almost two late. Saved by two kids, he at first tries to get back to the North Pole only to discover that his reindeer have been eaten. On the run and just trying to survive, Santa befriends the kids and falls in love with their recently-divorced mother. Soon Santa rediscovers his Christmas spirit and does everything he can to save Christmas for the kids—even if it means his own death.

ABOUT KOJI STEVEN SAKAI

Koji Steven Sakai is the founder of Little Nalu Pictures LLC and the CEO of CHOPSO (www.CHOPSO.com), the first Asian English streaming video service. He has written five feature films that have been produced, including the indie hit, The People I’ve Slept With. He also produced three feature films, a one-hour comedy special currently on Netflix, and Comedy InvAsian, a live and filmed series featuring the nation’s top Asian American comedians. Koji’s debut novel, Romeo & Juliet Vs. Zombies, was released in paperback in 2015 and in audiobook in 2016; his graphic novel, 442, came out in 2017. In addition, he is currently an adjunct professor in screenwriting at International Technological University in San Jose.

ABOUT JOHN MAYER

 John Mayer is a well-published author both in fiction and non-fiction with three previous novels, two screenplays and a performed stage play. With over twenty non-fiction books published. His latest, Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, which was published by Healthy Learning, one of the world’s foremost publishers of instructional materials for health/wellness, fitness, exercise, sports medicine, and camp professionals.

Mayer’s day job as a clinical psychologist specializing in violent behavior has him consulting to law enforcement regularly. His 10,000 Twitter followers (@DrJohnMayer) (@jemayerbooks) look to his daily tweets for advice on psychological issues. He is an associate staff psychologist for Doctor on Demand (doctorondemand.com ) as well as a provider (Telemedicine) on DoctoronDemand.

Mayer is also a writer for a cable TV series, The System, that is currently in production with the pilot episode completed.

ABOUT OUTLAND ENTERTAINMENT

Outland Entertainment was founded as a creative services company in 2008 by Jeremy Mohler. Since then, Outland has worked for a wide variety of clients across the world. Outland specializes in assembling creative teams and managing projects. Contact them via their site form or go to www.outlandentertainment.com. For more information, contact Jeremy Mohler at jeremy@outlandentertainment.com.