It was a very stressful day, the prelude to a week that promises – you guessed it – even more stressful. But not everything was bad, and as a recipe of my own devising was broiling in the slow cooker, I was finally able to get to the bottom of the first season of Black Lagoon. That’s a good way to wash away some stress.
I found out about Black Lagoon a few years back, as I was doing a research on the classic Universal monster, the Gill Man, aka The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Google searches being what they are, I stumbled on this thing called Black Lagoon… Japanese anime. Does it feature a Creature? No, it looks like straight action. Straight action anime, references to a movie I like… let’s check it out.
Letters of Marque are a staple of historical adventure and pirate-oriented fiction: be it in the Spanish Main or at large into the stardust-strewn Orion’s Arm, no matter if you command a sailing ship or motor launch or a starship, a Letter of Marque is what you need to be on the safe side. At least, on one safe side, at least.
The handbook definition is as follows:
Letters of marque and reprisal are commissions or warrants issued to someone to commit what would otherwise be acts of piracy. They will normally contain the following first three elements, unless they imply or refer to a declaration of war to define the enemies, and may optionally contain the remainder:
Names person, authorizes him to pass beyond borders with forces under his command.
Specifies nationality of targets for action.
Authorizes seizure or destruction of assets or personnel of target nationality.
Describes offense for which commission is issued as reprisal.
Restriction on time, manner, place, or amount of reprisal.
And that’s what I’ve been doing this afternoon, contrary to my plans – no, I don’t mean committing what would otherwise be acts of piracy(although it would be fun). I mean I spent part of the afternoon putting together a Letter of Marque issued by the Honourable East India Company to characters and players in my Hope & Glory roleplaying game – as in my universe John Company has become a sort of corporate state, they have a right to issue such documents. To airships. Because we like sky privateers.
The letter is part of a special treat for some of our fans, and part of the current Kickstarter to release an Italian language edition of the game. And who knows, might turn into a hook for future adventures. It was also a nice opportunity to do the sort of research that makes this writing thing quite fun.
Today is the International Talk Like a Pirate Day, or so they tell me.
And what best way to celebrate this jolly occurrence but with a nice gallery of pirate pictures?
I always loved Don Maitz’s art… and he’s a specialist in pirates.
So here goes!
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And I also have a pinboard filled with Maitz’s pirate pics, if you want more!
Today something special – the first episode of the Terry and the Pirates serial, from 1940, featuring the delightful Sheila Darcy as the Dragon Lady.
I wrote about Darcy in the past, but I realized I never provided a sample of the serial in which I discovered her beauty.
You can find the whole serial on Youtube, both as single episodes and in handy chunks of seven or eight chapters bundled together.
This does not really match the comics, but it’s still a nice period entertainment.
It started with the wonderful – and costly! – reprints of Milton Caniff‘s Terry & the Pirates strips.
A classic of exotic adventure, a masterpiece of comic art.
Considering the extravagant price tags observed in the local “friendly” comicbooks store, I was thrawling through the web looking for cheaper deals.
The web being what it is, I soon found the Columbia Terry & the Pirates serial from 1940 – which is available in streaming through YouTube.