Arcade Fever

Running Press publishes John Sellers’ non-fictional recap of the video game industry’s early landmark titles, “Arcade Fever” (initially announced as “Arcade Planet”). Focusing almost entirely on coin-op games from the 1970s and 1980s, and illustrated with emulator screen shots and game cabinet artwork, the book is subtitled “The Fan’s Guide to the Golden Age of Video Games”. Its irreverent tone is less scholarly than some of the other books on the same topic published around this time.

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Supercade

MIT Press publishes Van Burnham’s non-fictional history of the video game industry and its products, “Supercade“. Covering developments from Spacewar! and the Magnavox Odyssey through the Playstation era, “Supercade” is a coffee table book lavishly illustrated with emulator screen shots (and some surprisingly low-resolution digital photos and scans) and numerous essays by various authors on arcade and console games of note.

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VWORP!1

VWORP!1theLogBook.com releases its first book, VWORP!1 by Earl Green. Spanning nearly 400 pages, the book covers Doctor Who on TV from 1963 through 2011, with an emphasis on story threads that hold “classic” Who (1963-1989) and “new” Who (2005-present) together. The book makes its “live” debut at the 2012 Oklahoma Video Gaming Exhibition (OVGE) in Tulsa a few days later; an ebook version is released at a later date.

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George Clayton Johnson, writer, dies

Logan's RunWriter George Clayton Johnson, who co-wrote the 1967 novel Logan’s Run with William F. Nolan and wrote episodes of both The Twilight Zone and Star Trek, dies at the age of 86. As part of the legendary “Green Hand” collective of golden-age SF writers, Johnson penned his stories in the company of such fellow southern California writers as Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Richard Matheson, Jerry Sohl, Robert Bloch, and Rod Serling (who paid Johnson for his first produced television work). For The Twilight Zone, Johnson wrote such memorable stories as The Four Of Us Are Dying, A Penny For Your Thoughts and Kick The Can, and for Star Trek he wrote a monster story called The Man Trap, which became that series’ first aired episode. Logan’s Run was adapted into a glitzy big-screen romp – arguably the last major theatrical SF event before the age of Star Wars – in 1976.

Stan Lee, Marvel Comics editor, dies

Stan LeeMarvel Comics’ most famous editor (and arguably its most famous creator, to the chagrin of some of the artists with whom he worked), Stan Lee, dies at the age of 95, several months after announcing that his days of attending conventions and making public appearances were over. Born in 1922, he began working at Timely Publications mere months after the company’s formation, thanks to a family connection with the company’s publisher, and became interim editor of Timely’s comics output in 1941. Timely had already seen success with artist/writer Jack Kirby’s Captain America, and Lee would not really make his mark until after a three-year sabbatical during which he enlisted in the U.S. Army and turned his talents to writing material supporting the war effort. It was during the early 1960s that Lee’s real influence on the company begin to be known, collaborating with Kirby on The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, X-Men, and others, and co-creating The Amazing Spider-Man and Doctor Strange with artist Steve Ditko. Under Lee’s editorship, Marvel led a revolution in interpreting comic book superheroes as complex, multifaceted, and flawed individuals, many of which remained bankable enough properties to lead to Disney’s 2009 acquisition of the company and rapid expansion of movie and TV adaptations of numerous characters and titles.

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