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Reload the Canons!

This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.

Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Special Release: My Superpower is Manpain!

The first Storming the Ivory Tower article collection is ready for release!

Featuring revised versions of my articles on The Dark Knight Rises (Shadow of the Bat), Arrow (Liberal from a Distance and Love Me I'm a Liberal), and Grant Ward (Everybody Hates Grant Ward), My Superpower is Manpain! explores the idea of the male superhero and his power to warp the narrative and the ethics of a story around himself.

In addition to these updated versions of past articles, now with new illustrations, the collection also includes an all new, exclusive article entitled Hugging the Joker, which grapples with the theme and legacy of Alan Moore's famous Batman comic The Killing Joke.

While the full collection in lovely PDF form is being released only to $5 backers on my Patreon, you can gain access to parts of the content:

You get to read the full draft text of the collection, including the bonus article, Hugging the Joker! If you want to read the document but can't afford the nice ebook version, this is your tier.

Want to see the various images I produced for this work? This is the tier for you. I plan to also put together some wallpapers based on the internal images, so keep an eye out for that.

The Podcast Tier! I record audio versions of my articles before I write them. The older pieces are from before I started doing this, but there is a full audio draft of Hugging the Joker available to $3 subscribers.

You get to read the full, finalized, typo free, illustrated version of the document, in lovely PDF form! And, of course, you'll get to read the article collections that will follow!

Don't have enough to contribute to these tiers? You can still guide Storming the Ivory Tower by commenting on my ongoing list of future articles, which I have updated to include ideas for future article collections. You'll also be the first to know the title and content of the next collection.


Q: Will the next one take as long to produce as this one did? Why did this one take so long?

A: God I hope not. It took so long because this stuff is all a lot harder than I expected, and learning new programs, dealing with literal and computer viruses, and mental health problems all suck. I learned a lot in this process and I think I might be able to produce the next collection much more rapidly. I'm aiming for three months, but I'd love to get it out in just two.

Q: What kind of permissions do we have for this collection?

A: I'm releasing this under a CC BY-NC-SA license, which means you can pretty much do whatever you want with it, except resell it, or use it to produce something for sale or something that isn't under a similarly open license. If you want to share it around, that's your choice.

Q: So then why put it behind a paywall? Isn't that kinda dumb?

A: I don't think so. If people want to share it, that's up to them. But I think this subscription tier, which tends to be about $6 a month, given that it's only $2 more than the next tier down, is a fair amount of money for the work I did on this project (if anything, it's probably far below minimum wage!) and I want to basically signal that this is what this project is worth to me.

I see that as separate from the rights of the end user to do what they want with the document that they paid for.

And hey, it promotes the good values of hard work and cooperation: you have to do the work of finding a download of the doc, and you have to cooperate with someone to get them to put the doc on the pirate bay or whatever for you! I like to think that I'm promoting good social values.

Q: I can't afford the weekly subscription but I want to read it! I don't care about the other lower tiers.

A: I'm not sure how to handle this exactly but if you're interested, shoot me an email at and I'll see if we can work something out.

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