Thursday, June 28, 2012

On a personal note...

Oops. I disappeared there for a day or two.

Life is happening to me right now in a potentially good way, but it's making things hectic and creating a lot of running around. I'll get back on schedule as soon as possible.

How are you?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

5 things I learned from a second look at Mirror Mirror



In honor of Mirror Mirror's DVD release today (I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it), here are five observations I made after re-watching it.


SPOILERS FOR MIRROR MIRROR BELOW
  1. The movie gently subverts fairy tales through the prince. He begins the movie with sort of classic, fairy tale motivations and attitudes: he travels for no other reason than seeking adventure and he's very traditional in his attitude about the dwarves and women. It takes him longer than the other characters to let go of those ideas, but by the end he's fully comfortable with Snow White's being active in her own story. 
  2. Though Julia Roberts does a lot of hamming in this movie, she's obviously having a great time doing it and it's hard to dislike her for that.
  3. Someone needs to make an action movie starring Martin Klebba. Seriously. Please. And for God's sake don't make the title a pun about his size.
  4. Sean Bean is wonderfully humble and awestruck as the king. Most actors would have played him as fully confident and comfortable in retaking his throne at the end of the movie, but not Bean. He's awed by his daughter and her companions and subtly, but visibly embarrassed by his involuntary role in Snow's troubles.
  5. I could watch Lily Collins and the cast dance Bollywood style to "I Believe" all day long.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Artist Alley Comics post-Heroes tease



Jason and I didn't get to go to Heroes this past weekend, but reports from some of the guys who did are that it went very well. It's not my place to spill details yet, but there's already another creator - whom I'm a big fan of - who's interested in joining Artist Alley Comics. There are also some exciting things are in the works for an upcoming convention this autumn. I'll say more when I'm allowed to share, but in the meantime, please go check out some free comics if you haven't already!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Get your Kill All Monsters! Artist Alley Comics is LIVE! [UPDATED]



It's finally here! The Artist Alley Comics site is up and running and ready for sampling! You can get the color version of the sampler issue as well as the first issues of Richard Case's Annie Ammo, Craig Rousseau and Rich Woodall's Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl, Kelly Yates' MonstHer, and of course Kill All Monsters! by me and Jason Copland. Other titles like Chris Kemple's Red Vengeance and Randy Green's Dollz will appear later. [UPDATE: I don't know what's wrong with me. Red Vengeance is up NOW.]

I forget if I've mentioned this before, but Jason and I are splitting Kill All Monsters! into issues with each chapter being a complete issue. We'll release an issue a month until the whole thing is done, which should be about a year from now. So, for those of you who've already read the webcomic version, some of this will be familiar for a while. A big difference will be that you'll get to own the comic as a PDF. but that's not the only difference. In some of the early issues, we'll be adding pages here and there to flesh out the story a bit more, so there'll be new material too. And of course, before you know it we'll be into all-new territory with never-before-seen story.

It's all very exciting and I hope you'll check it out as well as the other comics. There's some fantastic talent in this group that's absolutely humbling to be around, and the plan is to add more and more creators and awesome comics as we go. The first issues and the sampler are all free and future issues are going to be super affordable, so please go take a look.

Uko Smith draws a mean jungle team



Remember that project that Jess Hickman, Uko Smith, and I came up with after SpringCon last month? Well, Uko's been doing some thinking about it too and it inspired him to draw this. I've started making some inquiries about how to pull off what we have in mind, so stayed tuned for more info.

In the meantime, if you wanna see more of Uko's work, I can hook you up.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 6 Greatest Roles of Kurt Russell

This week's assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers is stunningly beautiful in its simplicity:

Kurt Russell

Since the field's wide open, I'm going with a pictorial trip through the man's greatest roles. Probably not any surprises here, but my aim is to celebrate, not educate. Let me know in the comments if I missed something.

In chronological order:

1. Snake Plissken (Escape from New York, Escape from L.A.)



2. R.J. MacReady (The Thing)



3. Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China)



4. Wyatt Earp (Tombstone)



5. Col. Jack O'Neil (Stargate)



6. Michael Zane (3000 Miles to Graceland)



Honorable mention: The jungle boy on that one episode of Gilligan's Island.

What's your favorite Kurt Russell role?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Does Prometheus make any sense?



After I watched Prometheus I tweeted that it's a beautiful-looking film with some great performances, but that it works neither as a good sci-fi movie nor as an Alien tie-in. I want to backpedal on that a little bit by making some observations about the film's themes and the questions it raises.

MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW

The central mystery of the movie is the motivation of the Engineers for creating human life. As the film opens, anthropologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) are tracking down ancient sites that point to the stars as the origin of humanity (a la Chariots of the Gods and - I guess - Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). They convince the Weyland Corporation to fund an expedition into space so that they can  meet their makers.

If I were to spend any time at all picking at the many, many plot holes, weird motivations, and stupid characters in Prometheus, it would add a gazillion words to this post, so I'm not going to do that. Not when Red Letter Media (thanks, Snell!) has already done that so very well. I'm going to stick to very big-picture stuff, because that's where the movie is worth discussing.



Once the scientists reach the world indicated by Earth's most ancient cultures, they learn that the Engineers (as Shaw calls our alien creators) decided to kill us off and start over. Why they decided that becomes the new, burning question of the film, especially for Shaw. My burning question as I was walking out of the theater, was whether or not Prometheus ever so much as tried to answer its burning question. A lot of people think, "No." But after thinking about it some more, I'm not so sure.

There are a few lines in the film that are keys to unlocking the mystery. The first one I want to point out is a conversation between Holloway and David (Michael Fassbender), the android created by Peter Weyland, current head of Weyland Corp. Holloway is devastated by the discovery that the Engineers are all dead, so David asks the scientist what he hoped to achieve on the mission, Holloway repeats the initial mystery of the film: to learn "why they even made us in the first place."

David replies, "Why do you think your people made me?"

Without giving it any real thought, Holloway answers, "We made you because we could."

David's response to that is important. "Can you imagine how disappointing it would be for you to hear the same thing from your creator?"



I imagine that Weyland had a deeper reason for creating David than just "because he could," but Holloway's attitude about the question is telling. People do create "just because they can." We doodle. We sketch. We toss our art in the garbage when we're not completely happy with it. Holloway sees no real value in David and doesn't even think his question about his own origins is even worth considering.

So, what if the Engineers felt the same way about us?

There's some Internet buzz about abandoned plans for Prometheus to suggest that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was the event that triggered the Engineer's displeasure with humanity (because Jesus was himself an emissary of the Engineers, you see). There's still an artifact of that idea in the movie when the scientists notice that the event that killed the Engineers happened 2000 years ago ("give or take"). It's possible that idea was abandoned because it makes more sense for the Engineers to not have a reason to destroy humanity. We're just an abandoned canvass that needs to be painted over to make room for something new.

As Weyland executive Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) observes at one point, "A king has his reign, and then he dies. It's inevitable." She's not talking about humanity, but the similarities between the various creators/creatures in the film are obvious. The Engineers and humanity are just like Weyland and his android. Or Weyland and his daughter. As sloppy and anticlimactic as the revelation is that Vickers is Weyland's daughter, it's important for us to know what that relationship really is. Weyland created Vickers and at some point, it's his job to get out of the way so that she can have her time.



Her comment mirrors the one that David made earlier about everyone's wanting to kill their parents. That's a horrible thing to say and I don't even think it's true, but it fits the theme that Prometheus is exploring. The creation supplants the creator.

That's why he's so nonchalant about killing Holloway. That's why Vickers is so angry about Weyland's extending his life. That's why the Engineer freaks out when he wakes up and finds humanity standing over him. Especially when humanity - like the mythological Prometheus - has stolen fire from the gods and created their own life in David. The creators, whether they're the Engineers or Weyland, aren't ready to give up their spot, so they're fighting for it. Weyland's fighting by coming on this expedition. The Engineer fights by renewing his efforts to destroy humanity (now out of survival instead of apathy).

The major themes of Prometheus do make sense and there's evidence that the film is actually thinking about them. Shaw's religious beliefs are an attempt to bring God into the creator/creature discussion, though the movie fails to do that in an interesting way. There's even a hint at the Engineer's own religious beliefs by way of a mural depicting what looks like a xenomorph in a Christ-like pose. Do the Engineers worship the xenomorphs? (I don't think that the final scene in the movie is good evidence that the events of Prometheus are responsible for creating the xenomorphs.) Do they worship death itself? It's arguable that the xenomorphs are symbols for death. It also makes sense that the Engineers respect death as much as life since each makes the other possible.



That raises another thought. If the death of humanity paves the way for a new creation, what is that creation? I spent most of the movie thinking it was the xenomorphs, but I don't think so now. The xenomorphs and other monsters in Prometheus are the agents of change. They represent the death that has to occur so that the old king can step down and the new king can take his place. We don't know what the Engineers planned as the new king, but has David spoiled their plans and stepped into that role?

There's a lot to think about and I'm interested in seeing the movie again. It still has a lot of problems that I can't overlook, but I'm curious to see if a second viewing supports my theories about the movie's themes. And if it does, will that lessen the impact of its flaws? I still don't think Prometheus is a great science fiction film, but there's enough there that I'm comfortable calling it a good one. And it does tie in well with the rest of the Alien series, not only for the symbolism of the xenomorphs as the death of humanity, but also for offering the androids as a potential replacement (which supports Ripley's deep distrust of them).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Is this racist? | Airboy hates cephalopods



I debated using this cover for an Everyone Hates Cephalopods post. My first reaction was that it's a racist caricature and that I shouldn't. Not that I never feature racist imagery on this blog, but when I do it's always in the context of trying to learn from it. The cephalopods posts are just for fun, so I don't want to just throw out an offensive image in that context without commenting on it.

The more I look at it though, the more I wonder if this is racist. The human head on the octopus is relatively realistic and doesn't have the exaggerations that usually appear in World War II depictions of Japanese people. Also, the Rising Sun symbol on the octopus' back implies that it represents an entire political entity; not a stereotyped individual. In other words, it's depicting Japan as a dangerous, frightening enemy with a long reach, but one that Airboy (and, by association, the Allies) is prevailing against.

I understand that my own race can get in the way of my interpreting these things though, so that's why I throw the question out to you. Is this a racist image, an accurate depiction of WWII events, or both?

[Image from Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Friday, June 15, 2012

Abe Sapien hates cephalopods



One more. I'd hoped to close out the week with something more substantial, but it's just been one of those weeks. This one's by Ryan Sook, via Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool.

Incidentally, I started watching Hellboy with David this week. In between classic Disney movies (we're prepping for a trip to Walt Disney World in the fall), I've been sneaking in movies about Nazis gathering occult artifacts. He loved Captain America and Raiders of the Lost Ark; hopefully he'll dig Hellboy too. He seems to like it so far and is really curious about Abe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Chef Zombi hates cephalopods



I'm feeling a little overwhelmed this week, so we'll do two cephalopod posts to take some of the pressure off. This one was submitted by Adventureblog reader Jorge. You can learn more about Chef Zombi and the Cooking with Monsters series at their official website.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The LXB adds to my list of favorite films



I'm going to take the week off from the LXB (I'm unqualified to talk about reality TV treasure hunters), but won't let that keep me from pointing out that last week's Top Ten Movies assignment was super popular and successful.

I especially love the themed lists that three of the members came up with, so I'll list those first.

But, as predicted, there were lots of movies that could easily have gone on my own list.
  • Pee Wee's Big AdventureSummer School, Back to the Future, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off [Flashlights Are Something to Eat]
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Life With Fandom]
  • Can't Buy Me Love and The Avengers (I debated including The Avengers on my list, but decided I needed some distance from it to give it an objective ranking. I'm glad to see not everyone was that shy, because my feeling is that it deserves to be there.) [Random Toy Reviews]
  • Terminator, Die Hard, and First Blood [Movie Hodge Podge]
  • This is Spinal Tap [That Figures, who gets bonus points for also picking Night of the Demon.]
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Aliens, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Batman (1966) [My pal Erik Johnson]
  • The Crow [Jason Vorhees]
  • Lean On Me [Team Hellions]

Some of those were picked by multiple bloggers, so I linked to the one I saw first. Seriously, the LXB roll call on this one is full of great films, so if you're looking to kill some time, you should check them all out.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Epiphany: On the selling of souls

I'm reading Shannon Wheeler's Too Much Coffee Man: Cutie Island and early in the book, TMCM sells his soul in order to have his book be successful.

 

That's not the epiphany. It's actually sort of an obvious observation (we've all talked about people "selling their souls" to the corporate world), though Wheeler makes it in a very clever and profound way. He caught me off-guard by first presenting a story in which TMCM sells his soul to a literal demon, then waits until the last minute to explain what that symbolizes (or that it actually symbolizes anything).

Even though I mentioned the corporate world above, this isn't to equate all corporate jobs with demonic servitude. I've had corporate jobs (and have one now) that have brought me a lot of satisfaction and joy. Notice that TMCM never says what kind of job he has that he hates, because that's not important. It's the fact that he hates it and has sold out to it in the hope of getting what he thinks he wants. He's betrayed himself and so, sold his soul.

The epiphany that this all led to is the idea that demons are actually representations of our own self-destructive tendencies. In popular culture, demons are the manifestation of ultimate evil and evil is best defined as ultimate selfishness. Selfishness, when allowed enough freedom, is extremely harmful, not only to other people, but also to the person who's being selfish. It destroys relationships and fails to compensate with anything truly meaningful.

Seen that way, selling one's soul to the Devil is simply a metaphor for selling out to your own selfishness. "This is what I want and I'm willing to do anything to get it no matter whom it hurts, including me." It's a bad bargain that never pays off.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Writing Update | The Neal McDonough story



I'm just about finished with that jungle girl story I told you about and after that I've got to work on one for a character I can't talk about, but would be played brilliantly by Neal McDonough if someone were ever to do a movie version.

I'm sorry that's all I have today. Still cramming for the Neal McDonough story (as I'm now thinking of it) by reading the character's original adventures. After that I've got two more pulp stories and a short comic for a suspense anthology to write. I love being busy; the challenge is to keep it all organized. Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Gavin Black hates cephalopods



Submitted by an Adventureblog reader who wishes to remain anonymous. By all means, you guys, please send me cool submissions when you find them. I'll be happy to give you credit or respect your privacy, whichever you prefer. I've got about six months worth of these queued up at the moment, so it may take a while, but I will get to yours.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

This Looks Good | Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm



I'm cramming for a last-minute writing assignment, so instead of a real post today, take a look at what showed up in my email yesterday. If you've been reading me on Robot 6, you probably know how crazy I am for BOOM!'s Planet of the Apes comics. They're not just excellent Planet of the Apes stories, they're some of my favorite comics period. I don't know what Cataclysm is, but I'm thrilled just looking at this.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

LXB | My Ten Favorite Movies

This week's League of Extraordinary Bloggers assignment is simple, but difficult. Inspired by summer blockbuster season, Brian asks, "What are your Top Ten Movies?"

I'm always nervous about making these kinds of lists. My Top Two rarely change (though I do swap them back and forth and I've recently redefined how I think of one of them), but the rest of the list is hugely dependent on a) my ability to remember all the movies I love and b) my feelings about those movies at the exact moment I'm making the list.

So, with the major caveat that this is my list for right this very second, here we go. I'll look forward to reading the rest of the League's answers so that I can kick myself for not thinking of some of their movies. I'm already trying to figure out if Breakfast Club or The Lost Boys should depose any of the films on this list.

10. Dr. No



It's really tough to pick a favorite James Bond movie. I narrowed it down to this one and Casino Royale, but From Russia With Love, Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only, and The Living Daylights were also tempting. In the end, I went with Dr. No because it's the first. When I watch it, I'm not just thrilling to Sean Connery, Jack Lord (my favorite Felix), and Ursula Andress in the tropics; I'm thrilling to the knowledge that I'm going to watch the rest of the series as soon as I finish it.

9. Night of the Demon



For my full thoughts on this horror masterpiece, check out the guest post I wrote on That F'ing Monkey. The short version is that it's an awesome mash-up between horror (both supernatural and psychological) and film noir by one of the masters of both genres.

8. Atlantis: The Lost Empire



Contains just about everything I want in an adventure movie. Undersea adventure, a lost civilization, weird technology, an eccentric billionaire, a stunning femme fatale, a jungle girl, Mike Mignola designs, a giant submarine, a diverse ensemble of complicated adventurers, and humor that works no matter how many times I watch it.

7. Pirates of the Caribbean (the initial trilogy)



I'm cheating by cramming three movies into one entry. I know that. I'm going to do it again later in the list, but that trilogy was at least always a trilogy and it stopped when the story was complete. I can't say that about the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films. The Curse of the Black Pearl is a standalone film that became part of a trilogy when it turned out to be successful. And when the trilogy ended, the series continued. It feels haphazard to just pick the first three movies in a four (so far) movie series and try to make one entry out of them.

And yet, those three movies are undeniably a complete story. The fourth one starts something new and doesn't get to hold onto the coattails of the first three, but I'm counting the saga of Elizabeth Swann and Jack Turner as a single tale.

6. Raiders of the Lost Ark



Much like what happened with another popular series from my childhood, I've recently accepted that I'm not an Indiana Jones fan; I'm a Raiders of the Lost Ark fan. I do like those other movies, even Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, but I don't love them like I do Raiders. All of them have one element or another that I don't care for, but I love pretty much everything about that first one.

5. Love Actually



It really is just about perfect. The only stories that don't completely work for me are Laura Linney's and Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson's, but only because they're painful. They're also completely honest and vital to exploring the film's central theme, so I'm really not dinging it for including them. And otherwise, it has some of my favorite actors playing my favorite kinds of characters that they play in a funny, heart-warming, Christmas movie with a great soundtrack. And it makes me cry. That, it turns out, is an easy way to get on my Top Five.

4. Finding Neverland



Another movie that makes me cry. I explained why a couple of years ago and why at one point I had this in my Number One spot. It could easily be there again. It probably wouldn't take anything more than my watching it more recently than some of these others. Most of these rankings are dependent on how recently I've seen or thought about each individual film.

3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy



I haven't written much about The Lord of the Rings, either the novels or the films. I don't know why that is; the films are some of my favorites because of how well they communicate the novels' most powerful themes. Much more than just Good vs Evil, Lord of the Rings is about faithfulness, redemption, friendship, loyalty, overcoming prejudice, fighting for justice, and seeing the value of the unvalued. It's that last theme - particularly in the scene where the entire nation of Gondor bows before four, small, humble Hobbits - that makes me blubber every time I watch it.

2. Casablanca



I've written about this a couple of times: once in trying to pick a favorite character and again just gushing about the whole movie. It's a heart-wrenching, exciting, hilarioius, absolutely captivating film.

1. Star Wars



I've written about this one most recently, which may explain why it's at Number One for now. It's been slowly moving down the list over the years, but that's because - similar to Pirates and Lord of the Rings - I insisted on making one entry of the entire saga. Now that I've pruned my affection down to just the first film, Star Wars zooms back to the top again. Though it doesn't make me cry, there really is no other movie I love more or is as influential on my life.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Ghost Story, Or, I'm not THAT kind of pirate



A couple of years ago I wrote a post about an episode of the '70s horror anthology TV show Ghost Story that (pardon the pun) haunted me for a long time as a kid. I wrote about it because I'd finally found a place to buy a bootleg copy of the episode and was nervous about revisiting it 38 years later.

I meant to follow that post up with a review of the actual episode and my experience watching it, but frankly, it was underwhelming. It's still a creepy show, but I was far more thrilled to be revisiting a lost piece of my childhood than I was reminded of those old fears.

The reason I'm even bringing it up now is because of a different topic: bootlegs and piracy. I said at the time that if Ghost Story episodes were available commercially I'd buy them that way instead, which applies to everything I have bootleg copies of: stuff like The Star Wars Holiday Special and Song of the South. Usually I never have to make good on that promise, but Warner Brothers Archives has now released Ghost Story (aka Circle of Fear): The Complete Series. My copy is on its way and maybe this time I'll actually write about it after I've seen it.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Real Pirates: The Exhibit



Last Saturday was a pirate-filled day. I took David to karate and read Polly and the Pirates while he practiced. Then we rushed home to pick up Diane and head out to Pippi Longstocking (who's father is a pirate) at the Children's Theatre Company. That night we watched Blackbeard's Ghost and started a game of Sword and Skull.

After the play though, we went to the Science Museum of Minnesota to check out the Real Pirates exhibit. I've uploaded the photos to Flickr, so you can get an overview of the show there. They don't allow flash photography, so I apologize for the graininess of the pictures. I figure I can go into more detail here though than I can in the brief descriptions Flickr allows, so here are my impressions of the exhibit.

It's an impressive display. I wasn't convinced that I was going to love it before we went in. Back in January, we took a trip to North Carolina to see some of Blackbeard's old haunts (which reminds me that I need to get those pictures uploaded too) and visited the museum where the remains of the Queen Anne's Revenge are displayed. After seeing that, I didn't think I could get excited about the Whydah Gally, a ship I've never heard of. What the exhibit lacks in notoriety though, it more than makes up for in completeness.

The traveling exhibits that come to the Science Museum are always well-organized and tell a story. The exhibit begins with a short, but mandatory film that outlines the history of the Whydah, a slave ship named after the British colony in Africa from which it got its cargo, and ends by recounting its sinking and eventual discovery. As the narrator is still talking about the surviving bell that marked the wreck, the movie screen slides up dramatically to reveal the bell - still submerged in salt water - and the first room.

From there, Real Pirates has a couple of rooms devoted to the slave trade. It covers the African chiefs who sold members of their rival tribes to the European coastal colonies. It talks about the conditions on the famous Middle Passage between Africa and the Caribbean, even showing some of the manacles used in that journey. It was a harrowing part of the exhibit. They also explain why slave ships converted into perfect pirate ships when captured. They were fast, well-armed, and had lots of cargo space to hold treasure and crew.

From there, the exhibit moves to the Caribbean and a brief history of piracy in general. It talks about the economic, political, and social conditions that made piracy attractive to so many people. There's a brief mention of women like Anne Bonny and Mary Read, but more focus is given to children and racial diversity, since those groups were actually represented on the Whydah.

Next, Real Pirates outlines the early career of Sam Bellamy, the captain of the Whydah and then goes into detail about pirate raids and the process of taking a ship. There are even role-players who roam the exhibit and stay in character as they talk about what it's like to be a pirate.

After that, the exhibit turns to the Whydah itself, with a model of the ship and portraits of some of the crew members. Then there are interactive displays that let visitors spot worthy prizes through telescopes, practice knot-tying, and hoist the Jolly Roger.

There's a life-size (or close to it) replica of the Whydah to roam through before you come to the treasure room, where you can touch coins raised from the wreck and see an impressive treasure chest filled with actual pirate loot. There are separate displays for gold, silver, and other jewelry and coins.

The exhibit then turns to the wreck of the Whydah in a storm and the deaths of most of its crew, but that's not the end of the show. It talks about the trial of the survivors and then goes into detail about the discovery of the wreck and the experiences of the people who raised it. By the end, my mind was filled with information, so I admit that I was skimming past everything after the trial. (I'd already gotten a primer on wreck exploration at the Queen Anne exhibit anyway.) I did learn about a couple of Blackbeard connections though.

After the trial, Blackbeard protested the survivors' death sentence by threatening to burn Boston to the ground. He never did, of course, but he did sink some ships around there. There was also an earlier link in Sam Bellamy's career when he disagreed with a captain he'd teamed up with. Bellamy had no qualms about attacking English vessels, but the other captain did and severed the partnership. Edward Teach was one of the men who left with the other captain, but apparently (and surprisingly) he didn't hold a grudge.

I learned a lot more than I thought I would. I'm no expert on pirates, but I know quite a bit and was surprised at how much I didn't understand about how crews were organized or how boarding parties worked. But even if I hadn't learned a single, new fact, it would be worth the visit for the treasure room alone, much less the other highlights like the life-size pirate ship and the knot-tying. It's a great exhibit no matter what your level of expertise is.

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