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I like the fact he mentions his style is the fight to the death.

At least in my experience, the suburban punk/anime crossover was already extant in June of '86. In the early '80s, I had started going to C/FO meetings, and would hang out with the only two people who were even close to my age. One of them was a skater, yes, sporting the Misfits and Samhain shirts (I have a drawing I made of him somewhere in his Samhain T-shirt). I knew about punk, but he introduced me to speedmetal and hardcore as well. Much debating of the letters column in RIP went down. I've always liked the idea of taking anime off the couch and putting it into motion, which is why I loved to see skaters, and later ravers, get into it.

Man, am I SO MUCH the polar opposite of that whole thing. Button down shirt, short hair, listens to the Beatles and Duran-Duran and SHUT UP IT WAS THE 80s, OK?! and of course Star Trek.

I think my problem, in the past when I derided the 'sk8 punk' segment of anime fandom, is that the kids I see today don't have that deep appreciation, that depth and all that crap, you know? Shallow seeming, "it's something to do and the 'rents can't stand it maaaaaan" instead of the more passion I read there.

I imagine Danzig getting ahold of that Aoshima blue Arcadia toy and going "bitchin'".

Getto Robo? Is that the one piloted by Bushwick Bill?

If you haven't already seen it, this is highly relevant to "otakuism in music":

The connection between Punk Rock culture and Manga/Anime/Ota culture was present and accounted for in LA during the '80s and '90s. Remember, this was when a bunch of Asian-American hipsters founded a magazine called Giant Robot,


and another group founded Yolk.


Both have their origins in LA, during the LA Hardcore scene. Everyone forgets how important LA was. The history that people get from MTV Networks and bullshit like that is that punk started in New York, went over the Pond to London, then eventually wound up in Seattle. What's in between that, dumbasses???

(cue Final Jeopardy music)

LA. OC. SF. California. Black Flag and SST Records. The Minutemen and New Alliance. The Dead Kennedys and Alternative Tentacles. Thrasher. Maximum Rock N' Roll. A whole series of chapters of the scene has been wiped out.

Yes, I'm passionate about this, because I was there, dammit. I met my husband through the scene. I made all kinds of friends through the scene, I learned about paper-and-pencil FRP gaming through the scene (yes, punks played D&D and Traveller, imagine that!) and I got to learn about the new generation of anime throug the scene.

Geeks and Punks were one nation way back when. We were all rejects and that made us stick together. And the connection, although a bit more muted now than it used to be, is still there.

An-Ota-rchy 4 U 2, dudes.

You're totally leaving out Victoria, B.C., home of my AKIRA-reading soundtrack, Dayglo Abortions. Plus, everyone knows punk really began in Berkeley in 1994, with the release of Green Day's "Dookie."

Good GOD in heaven, another Traveller player.

Three small black books in a black box old skool, right? Endless hours rolling characters and trying to get a good mix, being frustrated by some of the limitations of armor classifications, playing fast and loose with the combat rules because they needed to be better and BLACK 6 sided dice with the Imperial sunburst, BABY YEAH!

Good times. I miss GDW and the stuff they did at their peak, the Traveller magazine, the work the Kieth brothers did, all that stuff. During my last bad time I sold off my copy of Azanti High Lightning and I regret it constantly.

Good times.

I have the somewhat perverse habit of buying gaming supplements to read, even though I haven't actually played a RPG since...not since the 1980s, I don't think (as you know, I first saw anime in Japanese at a gaming con--next Tuesday is the 25th anniversary). The GURPS TRAVELLER "Alien Races" books 1, 2, and 3 are really first-class, and I could recommend them to anyone who admired the original game.

The first time I ever got compensated for writing was when I was ten, doing two bits of ad copy for Martian Metals' line of 15mm TRAVELLER minatures, that ran in DRAGON magazine, on one occasion on the back cover. I was paid in lead and not silver, but at least it was nicely molded in the shape of an air/raft and misc. downport riff-raff.

The ultra-clean cover designs of the original TRAVELLER books were daring, and are still to be admired--going against the look of RPGs in general and certainly looking nothing like a STAR WARS poster (although the content of the GURPS books are good, compare their blaster-firing covers with the minimalist look of the originals). As an editor, I now look back in them on an new way--and still get reminded by my spell checker that "Traveller" with two "l"s is the British spelling.

Well, crap in a hat, Carl, you're who I thank for WANTING to buy those minatures. I recall seeing those ads and making sure to stock them when I was game buyer for a small hobby/craft store.

And I wasn't let down when the product came into the store either. I still have all the figures I bought, including the Aslan figs.

Martian Metals also did Ogre minatures for Steve Jackson games, didn't they? then some horrible fire and *poof* out of business.

Connections, connections.

My favorite version of Traveller was the hardback black book that had all the content from the first four books. Much more convenient than the little black books, however, much harder to find and commands scary prices on eBay.

It's funny, if someone created an unholy amalgam of old school Traveller (not D20 Traveller, not GURPS Traveller, D6 Traveller) and the Tri-Stat (BESM) system you'd probably compensate for each system's weaknesses.

I have precisely NONE of my old figures, dammit. Too bad, I had some cool ones, including some that helped me come up with interesting NPCs that I would weave into the games I'd run.

Kieth brothers as in Sam Kieth as in "The Maxx," Steve?

Heh, another memory: our early-'80s games were set in a universe not entirely unlike the Star Wars universe. We had rules for "energy blades" and "planetbusters" and extended psionics into Jedi powers. When the "official" SW game came out, I remember thinking "damn, how lame, these rules are hideously elaborate." Even with the Lucas imprimatur nothing could match our cobbled-together SW Universe extensions of the old Traveller rules.

Why the hell did everyone go to more and more complex rules? That's what I liked about Tri-Stat...clean, simple, plenty of room for improvisational storytelling rather than constantly rolling dice and tapping calculator keys. That was also the beauty of Traveller. Simplicity. That's what I hate about D20 rules. Yeah, it's all Open Source and freely available, but damn, man...if you play it the way they are designed, there's no room for the actual game.

Oh yeah, Guardians of Order...they have gone to that Valhalla where GDW went. Tri-Stat is officially dead. However, Marc Miller is working on a new version of Traveller, Traveller^5. http://www.traveller5.com/

I think we're perhaps going a bit too far in our present direction.

The First Hardcover is commanding insane prices? Well, they can't have MINE!

I might be mis-remembering when I said 'Kieth Brothers', there were two guys who did a LOT of early stuff, early supplimental stuff, and I thought one of them was William H. Keith, who went on to do a bunch of Battletech stuff including fiction.

I didn't want more complex gameplay with Traveller, I just recall the early rules were a bit unbalanced at times, like with the Snub Pistol which had a range of, IIRC, 'sure death' to one foot later 'utterly useless'.

In no way would I want a system like some people I knew came up with that went "roll to hit...OK, roll to part of body hit..Ok, roll for amount of damage...OK, roll for blood loss..."

Hasn't Miller been working on a new Traveller for, like, 15 years now? :)

Carl! Shame! One can NEVER go too far afield in a discussion! Roll Vs. your Status stat and apply +2 for Otakuhood!

Oh, crap...Otaku Traveller..help me...

Great find, Patrick! I was already thinking of writing something about punk / anime cultural crossover in my PhD dissertation (about the history and experience of transnational anime in the US) as it was part of my own experience in high school and college. Would anyone with punk and anime background be interested in being interviewed later for my work in progress?

Have you ever seen Buckethead or heard his music? I'm sure you have. That's an interesting thing he has been doing for the last ten or fifteen years. Big into Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot (which I ended up buying the entire set of episodes a couple of years ago). Buckethead is a guy named Brian who grew up very close to Disneyland and got a job there as a kid...is heavily influenced by Japanese monster movies and tv shows like we are. He has a song called Giant Robot which starts out as the theme to Johnny Sokko. It's badass. Praxis was a great band of his with Bernie Worrell (from Parliament) , Bootsy Collins, etc. Of course he's pals with Les Claypool, hence his band Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains (C2B3). I went to their show a year ago. They had an opening act named Gabby LaLa. She was awesome. Played a theremin, a sitar, that tiny piano and guitar. She was super hot.


By the way, I just wrote to your brother at the Bee. I think we have a 20 year reunion coming up this summer. Of course nobody has contacted anyone so I'm not sure it's going down. But he wrote a nice article in the Bee about the Grammys, and I told him so.

I love the stuff you are doing over there. In so many ways I am envious. Enjoy.


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