J. M. DeSantis's Blog & News

J. M. DeSantis

Become a Gentleman Cthulhu Supporter: And Have Your Name in Print for the World to See!

Get Your Name in Gentleman Cthulhu volume 2

The second collection of Gentleman Cthulhu comics (from gentlemancthulhu.com) is releasing late this summer and you can have your name included in the next volume! During the month of June, anyone who becomes a supporter of my Patreon page (at $3.00 or above) will have their name listed in Gentleman Cthulhu: Year Two (working title) and receive an exclusive, Patreon-only digital copy of the collection before it goes to print (print copies are available for $5.00 supporters and above). Just click the link below to become a supporter!

J. M. DeSantis on Patreon
J. M. DeSantis Patreon button
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Though, if you’re interested in more information before you decide (including non-Patreon support), read on. (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Early Thoughts on NetFlix’s Castlevania Series

J. M. DeSantis's Thoughts on Netflix's Castlevania trailer

Back in February, a number of websites began publishing information about a new Netflix series based on the Castlevania franchise. Then, just yesterday, the first trailer was released. It’s no secret that the Castlevania series has been a major influence on my work. It’s the first video game series that I felt was “mine”, in that I discovered it for myself; I started with the very first Castlevania in 1986–though it probably wasn’t until 1987 or 88 that I played it (games had a longer shelf-life back then)–and it featured all of the things I loved best: horror elements, a massive castle, spooky music (I love that word) and Dracula! So with all of that, you’d think I’d be excited to know a screen adaptation of the games is finally happening. (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

AACPL Comic Con Thank You

J. M. DeSantis AACPL Comic Con Thank You

I just wanted to quickly take the time to thank the Odenton Library for inviting myself and my other Rosarium Publishing compatriots to the AAPCL (Anne Arundel County Public Library) Comic Con this past Saturday (and my thanks too to Bill Campbell for asking me to be a part of Rosarium’s presence there). It was a small show, but sometimes those are the most fun and relaxing. Plus, I always enjoy speaking on panels, and as per the encouragement of my publisher, I’m trying to speak on more of them going forward. (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Comics Panel this Weekend at the AAPCL CC

J. M. DeSantis at the AAPCL Comic Con 2017

Just a brief reminder that I’m speaking on a panel with other members of Rosarium Publishing at the AAPCL (Anne Arundel Public County Library) Comic Con this Saturday. The panel is called Diversity in Children’s Comics and will also feature Micheline Hess (Malice in Ovenland) and Bizhan Khodabanden (The Little Black Fish), and it will be moderated by none other than Rosarium Publishing’s fearless leader (and writer of the recent viral–though long-ago-written–letter to DC Comics about diversity), Bill Campbell. (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Initial Thoughts on the Recent Hellboy Movie Announcement

J. M. DeSantis Blog: New Hellboy Movie

Mike Mignola is on the short list of creators whose work inspired me to get back into comics. After years of being sick of Marvel and DC (especially after Marvel’s Onslaught thing and the whole Amalgam deal in the 1990s), I stopped reading comics for a long time, and I make no secret of my complete lack of interest in the “mythology” of superheroes (can I write that word?). Then, in college, I was introduced to Mignola and other creators (such as Alan Moore) who offered an alternative to what comics could be about. And though it took a bit to get used to Mignola’s style, once I read Hellboy I was instantly hooked. It was equal turns dark and humourous and was inspired by much of the same source material which I myself enjoy. So when Mike Mignola announced through his social media networks that a new Hellboy film was in the works, you figured I’d be ecstatic.  (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Borne from the Soul: Demon’s Souls

Borne from the Soul: Demon's Souls

It was my brother, Brian, who first introduced me to the Souls series. As I recall, I was going through a difficult time and Brian was looking for difficult games. We had been gamers our entire lives and he decided that he only wanted to play games that offered him the utmost challenge, so experienced did he consider himself. So, like a samurai choosing to fight armies with a wood sword, every game he played was on the highest difficulty, and he hated having to play a game once on Hard just to get the even harder difficulty. And then he found it, a game so hard the only difficulty setting was constant death. And when he found it, my dear brother wanted me to revel in his new-found outlet for his masochism. (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Convention Season 2017

I’m taking a break from writing about Dark Souls (and other related games) this week, to give you all a little update on my convention schedule for this year. Currently, there are a few unconfirmed appearances (and one which I haven’t decided upon just yet), but the months are starting to fill in (admittedly, I’m not the most active con-exhibitor, usually averaging about one a month or month-and-a-half each year). True, I already exhibited at No Such Con in February so this may seem a bit late to be listing what’s coming in 2017, but I don’t usually attend cons in the winter. Now spring is officially here, and I already have an event coming up in May!  (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Soul Long: The End of Dark Souls

Soul Long: The End of Dark Souls

It’s a bitter sweet moment. On one hand I feel that all stories must have an ending, even when I wish they would never end–I’m not much for on-going series. On the other, the Soulsborne games (that is Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne and the Dark Souls series) have been a singular source of entertainment and inspiration for me for the past eight years. With the recent release of the final Dark Souls III DLC, The Ringed City, From Software has brought an end to the Dark Souls story and possibly an end to an era in gaming. (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Borne from the Soul: The Value of Dark Souls’ Game Play

Borne from the Soul: The Value of Dark Soul's Game Play

Yesterday the final DLC for Dark Souls III, The Ringed City became available; however, as I haven’t had the chance to delve into it heavily, instead of a review I offer the final part in the trilogy of writing pieces on what the experience of playing these games offers to everyone but especially creators.

I understand that game play and design is a sort of broad topic to tackle with any game. Though in this particular context I mean as it pertains to the experience Dark Souls and the related titles of the Soulsborne series create. In truth, and with any well designed game, the way you play the game, the way you explore it is as essential to the player experience as the graphics and the story. In the best designed games, game play and design are the story. Because, after all, experience becomes story in the end, does it not?  (Read more…)

J. M. DeSantis

Borne from the Soul: Storytelling in Dark Souls

Borne from the Soul: Storytelling in Dark Souls

J. R. R. Tolkien once wrote in a letter to a fan, “Part of the attraction of The L. R. [Lord of the Rings] is, I think, due to the glimpses of a large history in the background: an attraction like that of viewing far off an unvisited island, or seeing the towers of a distant city gleaming in a sunlit mist. To go there is to destroy the magic, unless new unattainable vistas are again revealed” (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien; letter #247, bottom pg 333).

It’s for this same reason, I believe, George R. R. Martin insists on not presenting a factual history of his Song of Ice and Fire series (The World of Ice and Fire being told from the perspective of a character in that world; vulture.com/2014/11/George-rr-martin-new-book.html). It’s partly why, in my opinion, the second trilogy of Star Wars films was so unsuccessful (aside from the obvious storytelling faults). The rumours I heard about the Clone Wars had built up a story in my imagination greater than anything George Lucas could have presented to me.

Sometimes that little bit of unknown information can be infinitely more enticing than the fully revealed truth. It’s what makes history so intriguing. We can never know all of the answers for a certainty. It’s this precise device which draws players into the stories of the Dark Souls games and their related titles (collectively called the Soulsborne series), and it’s the way the stories are presented which creates such an immersive experience for the player. (Read more…)