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Dead Man’s Hand Preorders and Previews

Dead Man's Hand Preorder and PreviewWe’re into January now, and that’s prime preorder season for Dead Man’s Hand! The preorder window is short, so don’t find yourself alone and bitter in a frost-covered winter—get out and preorder today. You can call your local comic shop and ask them to get you a copy of Dead Man’s Hand from IDW (Diamond Code: Jan150543), or you can print this handy Dead Man’s Hand Preorder Form and drop it by your local comic seller in person.

You’ll already be a winner just for preordering this spectacular collection of Deadlands tales, but you can get even more. Post “I just got dealt the #DeadMansHand” on your social media, e-mail a link to your post to PreOrderPromo@visionarycomics.com, and get a PDF copy of The Kid and a Deadlands Reloaded PDF of your choice (with over 25 available) for free! Be sure to double-check the full details and list of Deadlands PDFs today. Retailers, don’t forget that if you get the most mentions in this contest, you’ll get a complete Visionary library for free!

If you’re hoping for a sneak peek into Dead Man’s Hand, we’re here for you. Visit Visionary’s Spotlight for an extended preview of The Devil’s Six Gun and an interview with David Gallaher and Steve Ellis (author and artist). Hopefully, that’ll keep you happy for a few days, or at least until they add more to the Spotlight next week or until the Dead Men Walking Kickstarter later this month…

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Pinnacle and Savage Worlds Comes to Chupacabracon

ChupacabraConChupacabracon in Austin, Texas, is truly a Savage Worlds event not to be missed. Come on down this weekend, January 9-11, to get your own slice of Texas gaming heaven.

The RPG Guest List includes our own Shane Hensley, Clint Black, Ed Wetterman, and Preston DuBose. You can spot ’em roaming free-range about the show* or catch the Pinnacle Entertainment Group: The Wall of Wonder panel (featuring all four of them) at 4:30 pm Saturday!

But wait, there’s more. There’s a whole passel of licensees headed that way, and the Savage Worlds game selection is a sight to behold. Register today and join us there!

* I hear if we let them forage naturally like that, they’ll taste better if we ever have to carve them up for meat. You know, in case of zombie apocalypse, Famine outbreak, or particularly large company barbecue.

Tommy’s Top Six of 2014 and Birthday Blog Giveaway

Savage Worlds on the WebTommy Brownell of the Most Unread Blog is at it again for the fifth year in a row—he’s picked his Top Six games that he’s reviewed and played over the past year. Savage Worlds made the cut twice: first with our own East Texas University and Degrees of Horror and again with Melior Via’s Accursed setting!

Better yet, you’ve got the chance to win several of the chosen six as prizes! Since it’s the Most Unread Blog’s birthday and he’s such a cool guy, the gifts are going to be for you, including your chance to win the full East Texas University line of PDFs! You have until January 15 to enter the drawing. Just indicate your top three picks and you’re good to go. For full details on the drawing rules as well as the complete list of Tommy’s Top Six, be sure to check out the Most Unread Blog’s Top Six Birthday Blog Giveaway today!

Happy New Year from Pinnacle Entertainment Group!

Happy 2015 from Pinnacle Entertainment GroupAll of us at Pinnacle sincerely hope that you’ve had a great individual year. For those of you who have, congratulations and keep it up! For those of you who haven’t, here’s hoping that the new year brings you better tidings.

Looking back on the year, so much of the bad news and tragedy seemed to have a similar undercurrent—division. And even though many of you probably have nightmares about learning long division, that’s now what I’m talking about. Class divisions, racial divisions, religious divisions—it seemed every cloud had an us-vs-them lining.

This year, make a small gesture to make the world a better place. Bridge a gap. Meet someone new. Try a new setting. Play a game you’ve made fun of in the past but never really gave a fair shake. Will we turn the earth into a Savage Worlds utopia? To be honest, probably not. But we might be able to make our individual little corners of the world better places, with a little more fun and a few more friends. And if we all do that, year after year? Well, it certainly can’t hurt, can it?

To all of you and yours, we wish the very best for a new year filled with health, hope, and happiness!

Dead Men Walking—Stone and the Cackler Together!

Stone and a Hard Place PreviewWhy pick one Harrowed when you can have two? That’s just crazy talk, partner, and we know it!

The third Deadlands Plot Point Campaign is on its way, featuring everyone’s favorite hero-killer, Stone! But we’re going to bump up the “dead factor” and combine him with the long-awaited tale of the Weird West’s oldest and most mysterious Harrowed—teased since the beginning of Deadlands in 1996—the Cackler!

The dead duo will be coming your way in January in a very special combo Kickstarter. Stone will be the headliner in Stone and a Hard Place, the third Deadlands Plot Point Campaign that details the strange locales and odd characters of the American Southwest, provides enhanced rules for the setting, and brings you face-to-face with more abominations and tribulations than a rational man can survive! But even if you survive this encounter with Stone, can you handle the Cackler? He’ll be coming to you in a brand new graphic novel, written by Shane Hensley and illustrated by comics legend Bart Sears. The Cackler graphic novel will also include an exclusive adventure penned by our own Mighty Matt Cutter and a tale called Dead Men Talking about the day Stone and the Cackler met!

The details for the Stone-and-Cackler Kickstarter will be coming soon, but there’s a few bits we can share right now, with it being the season of giving and all. You won’t have to wait on Stone and a Hard Place—PDF materials will release immediately and the hardback orders will be placed as soon as we have the final Kickstarter numbers! The Cackler graphic novel will ship separately as soon as it’s finished, so you can get both as soon as possible. Oh, and there will be cool extras. Lots of cool extras.

Remember, the Dead Men Walking campaign kicks off our march toward the 20th Anniversary of Deadlands! We’ve got lots of surprises planned, and they all start with the Dead Men Walking Kickstarter. Backers will get more than the usual books and bonuses—we’ll also share some of our changes, updates, and future plans as well. It’s always better to know what’s coming out of the Weird West before it just sneaks up on you, amigo—don’t miss that chance!

This is definitely the Kickstarter to watch for all you Deadlands fans out there!

Sellner-Shane Interview Finale and Preorder-Prizes Reminder

The Cackler Graphic NovelIt’s that time of year to bring things to a close, to make sure you’ve finished what you’ve started. In that spirit, here is the second part of the Sellner-Shane interview that we started last week. Get some answers about the Cackler graphic novel and what’s coming next.

And while we’re making sure to finish things up, don’t forget to get your preorders in for Dead Man’s Hand. Get full preorder details and special prize information from last week’s article before you let time get away from you!

 

Interview With Deadlands’ Creator Shane Hensley: Part II

VIS: Welcome Back Gang! As we close out 2014, we wanted to make sure we wrapped this in depth interview between the two top guns of Pinnacle and Visionary! Last time, Visionary’s own CCO C. Edward Sellner, interviewed Deadlands creator Shane Hensley about the game and all the great developments coming at you this coming year. This time, we talk a little more with both about the next phase! Alright gents, last time we just mentioned the coming of THE CACKLER, the next Deadlands Kickstarter Graphic Novel. So, let’s pick up right where we left off. Why now? Why a graphic novel?

SH: We’ve been chasing a live action show as well as the animated show I talked about for almost 20 years at this point. We’re also coming up on the 20th anniversary of Deadlands, and we’ve got some really big plans for the roleplaying game. We also now have a partner in Visionary that really gets what we’re trying to do and has a long-term plan for our comics and fiction.

CES: Well, mostly thanks to such a great partner there! All of us at the studio absolutely love the property, we love the backstory, the richness of the world, and all the great villains. The first round of one-shots was really the highlight of the studio’s history as far as we’re concerned, a chance to really strut what we could do with the right brand.

SH: The first foray into our comics had some tremendous talent, one of which was Bart Sears. When Chuck Sellner of Visionary asked if I’d like to finally tell the story of the Cackler with Bart, there was no way I could say no.

VIS: What’s it been like working with Bart and Visionary?

SH: I’ve been reading comics for over 40 years…since I could read…so getting to write a real meaty book like this is a treat all on its own. Chuck Sellner (and Brand Manager Matt Cutter) have really helped me hone whatever skill I might have and I think people will love the end result of what is truly a team effort. That was before I saw Bart’s art—particularly the initial shot of the Cackler, and later his crew. It’s been the screen saver on my computer for over a month now! But it goes beyond just cool characters. Bart took the first few pages of the script we wrote and made a few changes—changes we all instantly agreed were even better. He truly is a natural and visual storyteller, and if fans like the book that eventually sits in their hands, it will be first because of the great editing and advice by Matt and Chuck, and by Bart’s eye for making those words flow into the visual medium.

VIS: And how about your end Chuck? What’s it like working with Shane and Bart on this book?

CES: Shane is one of the greatest guys I’ve ever known. He’s a top notch creator, and really gets the process. This is his world, his story, but his willingness to let the comic guys help craft the final product says a lot. And of course, Bart is one of my idols in comics. I’ve loved his art since forever, and as great as it was having him on Death Was Silent, working directly with him, and coloring his art is a new high mark in my own career.

VIS: Where does Deadlands go from here?

SH: There is so much on the horizon. In addition to the Dead Man’s Hand direct edition and the Cackler from Visionary, this year sees the release of the novels from Tor, written by New York Times Bestselling Authors Jonathan Maberry, Jeff Marriotte, and Seanan McGuire—we’re SUPER excited about that. We’re also gearing up for the 20th anniversary and a brand new surprise and direction for the game—some of which stems directly from the tale of the Cackler. There’s support for our Deadlands spinoffs Hell on Earth and Noir, and re-release of the original “Deadlands in Space,” Lost Colony. And there’s a whole new Deadlands setting coming in the next few years as well we think people will really go nuts for. And if we’re lucky, we’ll have another crack at that television show or feature we’ve been chasing so long.

Santa Shane Giveaways and Dead Man’s Hand Preorders

Dead Man's Hand Preview CoverSay, you’re a smart cookie. Look at you. You follow the Pinnacle news, you play good games, and you get what you want out of life. I can tell. You’re way too smart to miss out on Dead Man’s Hand. It’s the first original collection of the Deadlands comics series produced by Visionary comics and IDW, and it includes all the original comics (Devil’s Six Gun, Massacre at Redwing, Death Was Silent, and Black Water), two new stories (Vengeful by Deadlands creator Shane Hensley and What a Man’s Gotta Do  by Deadlands Big Bug Matt Cutter), and the first-anywhere sneak peek at Ghostwalkers, next year’s Tor novel from New York Times’ best-selling author Jonathan Maberry!

So, what you’ve got to do is go by your local retailer and preorder Dead Man’s Hand as soon as you can. It’s in the January Previews Catalog, just waitin’ for you to stake your claim. But hurry, because you gotta’ get in those orders in January—maybe even early January depending on your store!

And we’re going to make it real easy if you’ve never done this before. Download a Dead Man’s Hand Preorder Form, fill it out, and hand it directly to your retailer. If they need anything else, they’ll ask you and write it in the handy space we left for ’em. Gotta’ keep the shopkeepers happy, you know. You can also preorder Dead Man’s Hand on-line with the order code JAN150543, too. And if you’re overseas and having trouble, you can always preorder Dead Man’s Hand from Forbidden Planet UK.

As a tip of ol’ Santa Shane’s hat to you, here’s more reason to reserve now. After you pre-order, post “I just got dealt the #DeadMansHand at (name of your retailer)” on your favorite social media site. Heck, include a pic if you like. Then email a link to your post to PreOrderPromo@visionarycomics.com. You’ll get a return email with links to a free PDF of Deadlands: The Kid! And that ain’t all—tell us which Deadlands Reloaded book you’d like, and you’ll get a free PDF of that too! Yep, two books free just for ordering one. It must be the holidays!

We’re not forgettin’ the retailers, either. Whichever store gets the most posts wins a complete Visionary Comics’ print library! That’s two copies of each of our trade collections, including both volumes of Headlocked, Frog Princess, both volumes of Visions, limited collector’s exclusive edition of Dead Man’s Hand, and our Kickstarter exclusive volume Deadlands: Raven. We’ll even throw in a copy of our next exclusive volume, The Cackler, when it releases! As a final bonus, you’ll get an autographed collector’s pack of the original one-shots, including signatures by most of the creators. That’s over $300 worth of collectible comics! So, keep the forms handy, tell folks about the promotions, and make sure all your horror-western fans know about Dead Man’s Hand! They’ll thank you for it!

Santa Shane Speaks with Sellner

Cackler Preview PieceVisionary’s C. Edward Sellner interviewed our own Shane Hensley for their website, and we thought you might be interested in what ol’ Shane had to say, too.

Interview With Santa Shane Hensley!

He may not actually be Kris Kringle, but this year Deadlands creator Shane Hensley is in a pretty joyous mood. As we ramp up the 20th Anniversary celebration, there’s lots of excitement and we thought it would be a good time for the two head honchos, from Pinnacle and Visionary, to dig a little more into Deadlands lore, and dish some more details on what’s coming up from the Pinnacle / Visionary Partnership!

CES: Alright Shanester, let’s start at the beginning for all the newbies. What’s Deadlands all about?

SH: Deadlands is a Weird Western where the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, known as the Reckoners, are trying to bring about a Hell on Earth so they can walk upon it in the flesh. They do this by nurturing fear to drench the earth in dark, supernatural energy that can sustain their physical manifestation.

That’s the “meta level” and the back story that ties all the various Deadlands games together—the original Weird Western, the post-apocalyptic “Wasted” West” of Hell on Earth, Deadlands Noir, and Deadlands Lost Colony—which takes place on the far fringes of space.

CES: Sounds like real fun at your holiday party.

SH: Characters in the property rarely know any of this though. They’re focused on more local events and what’s right in front of their faces. Our heroes are usually concerned with the dead coming back to life or the haunt that lives in the old Jenkins’ place.

CES: I could see that.

SH: But by defeating even these local terrors, they’re slowly—bit by bit—battling the Reckoners as well. Besides lightning-fast gunslingers, brave Indian warriors, and other standards in the Weird West, Deadlands also has a number of “arcane backgrounds,” characters who have developed supernatural powers to fight the good fight. Hucksters make dark bargains for power, hurling playing cards charged with energy or casting other “hexes” and spells. Mad scientists use a super fuel called “ghost rock” to power infernal gizmos and weapons. Shamans channel power from nature spirits, and the blessed draw spiritual magic directly from the distant but always present powers of good.

Most importantly, in the world of Deadlands, those with particularly strong wills can come back from the dead—hence the name. The price is high though—the “Harrowed” crawl out of their graves by way of “manitous,” evil spirits that vie for control of their host. Those Harrowed who maintain “dominion” over their demonic rider can quickly develop additional supernatural powers as well.

CES: So, nice mix of Western, Horror, Mystical, and Steampunk. One reason we did the four one-shots originally, with each issue leaning more or less toward one of those foundational elements. Fantastic! How did this all come about? What made you create Deadlands?

SH: The original inspiration came from a Brom / White Wolf painting that was later used for their Vampire the Masquerade game. The book was Necropolis: Atlanta, and it featured a vampire with his crossed guns in front of a tattered rebel flag. (I originally saw it as the cover of their magazine though and didn’t realize he was a vampire.) I saw it at a convention (GenCon), and had a 16 hour drive home afterwards, through the long, dark night. I couldn’t get that image of the undead “cowboy” out of my head. I kept wondering “What was so important in life that he crawled up out of his grave for?”

Slowly, all the ideas began to take form. I eventually put the game together for my home group. Everyone seemed to love it, so I decided to do it for real.

 

CES: And everything grew from there?

SH: Yes. We were very fortunate. At first we were told that Westerns don’t sell, so we planned on a small print run, then we’d blow the world up and let the bad guys win—a story that would be told in the post-apocalyptic sequel, Hell on Earth. We did that, but as Deadlands proved successful we made it official that the Reckoners cheated…Hell on Earth wasn’t inevitable. Exactly how that works is best left to the books themselves, but we think it’s a pretty cool story. Short version? The Reckoners do lose and Hell on Earth is avoided—but then they cheat. At least in the official timeline.

CES: Sounds like a world and setting that would appeal to comics fans on multiple levels. You got your genre points, you got your epic backstory, you got your whole worlds of characters and even your own twisted timelines and alternate futures. We should do Deadlands comics! Oh, wait…

CES: Now…tell us about the Cackler.

SH: In college, I ran one of my favorite Dungeons & Dragons® campaign settings, Dark Sun. One of the villains was an albino elf with long, stringy hair and round, rose-colored sunglasses who giggled after he insulted the heroes. I did the laugh when I ran the games and my players hated that guy. It stuck with me years later when we created Deadlands.

We had always planned on Deadlands being a property, not just a roleplaying game, and one of the things we were excited about was pitching an animated series—something like HBO’s Spawn. We didn’t know it was going to be so short-lived at the time, of course, but we thought a dark, adult-oriented animated show would be a fantastic way to explore the Weird West. I did a treatment for it and knew that my villain would be my giggling fiend from so many years earlier. “The Giggler” didn’t sound particularly menacing, so I called him “the Cackler.”

Since we wanted this to be an animated series, I wanted the Cackler’s origin to be something that was unveiled over a long season, and when people found out—when they deciphered all the clues—the payoff would be worth it. That meant he had to come from a story we either set the groundwork for or was a story most people already knew. The albino angle stuck with me hard and I knew exactly who he was. Who he was defined what he was doing. What he was doing had the ability to change the world of Deadlands.

And just like with the Reckoners and Hell on Earth, I knew I wasn’t afraid to let the bad guys win. You’ll have to read the graphic novel to find out exactly what that means.

CES: Speaking of which, we got our first full-color tease from that, with art from legendary Bart Sears!

CES: Now, that’s just to whet your whistle! We’ll run the second half of this here interview next week amigos! And start looking for regular little teasers of art from the upcoming Kickstarter campaign! Bart is KILLING this! So, Shane, you gonna “HoHoHo” for us?

SH: No.

Shop the Shane Hensley Spotlight Sale on DriveThruRPG

Shane Hensley Spotlight Sale on DriveThruRPGFor a limited time, DriveThruRPG is focusing on the works of our own illustrious leader with the Shane Hensley Spotlight Sale. This your chance to check out a wide variety of Shane’s work at deep discounts! In addition to the Savage Worlds and Deadlands fiction you’d expect, there’s also quite a bit of Dungeons and Dragons Second Edition material, Earthdawn, Army of Darkness, and countless other gems from Shane’s prolific past.

Don’t delay, though—nothing can stand in the spotlight forever! Check out the Shane Hensley Spotlight Sale today!

Savage Worlds Stocking Stuffers!

Savage Worlds Stocking StuffersNeed some last-minute gifts for those gamer friends of yours? The internet can be your friend in these hectic holiday times.

DriveThruRPG has a whole sleigh full of Savage Worlds products for $5 or less, including the just-released 5 Magic Items: Staves.

You can also get all your Pinnacle favorites directly from the Pinnacle Web Store—and we sell Pinnacle Gift Certificates in whatever denomination you want, too! Stock up early and make sure you’ve got something for everyone!