Bootstraps, engaged!

This post should start with a quote.

-Tone Milazzo

If you’re a subscriber wondering why you didn’t receive this post by email, my MailerLite account expired- use it or lose it terms of service. Just as well, the mailing list made posting twice the work. I’m falling back on the Jetpack mailer integrated into WordPress. One less login to keep track of, and I get a moment to fix typos after I hit ‘submit.’

Also gone is my Twitter presence. The account is still up to prevent some identity thief from poaching my persona, but I’ve been much happier of Mastodon for technology and table-top role-playing games, and Bluesky for everything else.

Mastodon is smarter, BlueSky more popular, the eternal dichotomy.

ESPionage the Role-Playing Game of Psychics and Spies

The editor finished with the document, but there’s been a couple of complications; Evil Hat closing their submissions and the backlash of anyone who touches an AI tool.

Crowdfunding is my most likely path to publication, but I won’t be able to use the assets I generated for the beta edition. The anti-AI hostility is so high I’ll have to scrub all the work I did or they’ll buy me a ticket on the express train to cancel town. I still feel these tools have their place in the prototyping and the results fall under fair use. But there’s no reasoning with the Internet.

Unless it’s on my ESPionage Discord, where I am a god.

The Final 5

Since crowdfunding is on the horizon and that’s where comics live, I’m also writing a short comic series, The Final 5.

There are many tales of superheroes who save the world. This isn’t one of them. When the world’s greatest superhero is killed, his body begins a chain reaction that dooms planet Earth. In this story where Death of Superman meet On the Beach, The Final 5 follows his widow, the dilettante crime-fighter’s sidekick, the alien robot observer, the criminal turned influencer, and the young sorceress as they use their last day to settle business.

Music Plug

I’ve been listening to a lot of Synthwave lately. Music inspired by video game and movie soundtracks of the 80s. It’s a familiar soundtrack to write too. Yota’s Room 412 takes the full synthwave sound and combines it with lyrics, coming back around to New Wave again.


In Band of Blades, you play a company of mercenaries escaping undead army, doing whatever they can to survive, crossing the territories of doomed cities and villages. You play at three levels- the Specialists who most resemble a player character group, the Rookies, who fill out the missions since there’s never enough Specialists, and the Command officers, who make the hard choices of strategy and logistics.

It’s the logistics and morale that make Band really feel like a military operation. We ran the whole campaign, barely making it to safety at the end and even when we succeeded it felt like we made it by the skin of our teeth.

Comic Plug

Finally finished this story I started reading in high school. The original Mage comic, subtitled The Hero Discovered, was a re-skinning of King Arthur as Kevin Matchstick, where Excalibur is a baseball bat and the Hero follows the Hero’s Journey, but keeps cycling back to Refusal of the Call.

The second story, The Hero Defined, pairs Kevin with Kirby, an avatar of Heracles and gets into the culture of these supernatural hunters. A re-skinning of Gilgamesh.

The third story, The Hero Denied. didn’t lift its plot from any myth that I could see. The opening scene hangs a point on the break from myth, with Kevin running into a hunter from the next generation who eschews any connection to myth. Allowing [author] to take Kevin and his family in a new direction, one where his witch-wife is just as potent and effective as the hero.

Book Plug

I read Cory Doctorow’s The Internet Con and Douglas Rushkoff’s Survival of the Richest back-to-back in that order. The Internet Con left me feeling a little better about the future, Survival of the Richest left me feeling a whole lot worse.

Depressing as it was, Survival gave me the final piece of world-building I needed for The Final 5.

Podcast Plug

52 Pickup is an issue-by-issue discussion of 52, “the greatest comic book series you never heard of.” 52, the weekly, year-long experiment written by four of the greatest writers in the comic’s space at the height of their game. It’s nice to see an appreciation for this title and DC comics from the era.

Tech Plug

I’m in the process of de-googling my life, removing my dependency on Big Tech and their services. When the service if free then the user is the product, and I’m tired of making money for the technocrats who are undermining our democracy.

I’ve been using Linux desktop for years, so it’s been easy to abandon Microsoft Windows outside of work. But the phone is a different story. Linux phones aren’t viable, especially since I need apps for the day job. Fortunately, there’s GraphineOS, a fork of the Android code base built without any of Google’s code.

It allows multiple, sequestered profiles so I can keep all my work apps hidden away on their own little world while my main profile is 95% open-source. Keeping Gary Google and Johnny Microsoft out of my business. And you can do the installation over the web.

This is a new blog format for me, with an emphasis on plugging media and technology I find interesting. Longer posts, but on a quarterly schedule. If this appeals to you and you don’t want to miss out on a single post from The Tone Report-

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