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jerellis1

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  1. jerellis1

    Doctor Who

    Not that you'll ever hear me say "should of" myself, but - even speaking as an English teacher and an author - I'm a lot more relaxed about this kind of thing than I used to be. Languages always change and evolve over time, often simply due to a commonly-made error like this one. Eventually "should of" will become so commonplace that its place in the vernacular will just be accepted as grammatically okay, and a few decades or centuries from now nobody will care or even know that it was once frowned upon by English teachers and Doctor Who fans. Anyway, loved the opening episode, JW is great, the assistants are all good, the music at the end made my evening and I can't wait for next week's story.
  2. jerellis1

    Rambo: Last Blood

    I love Rocky IV though. I'm well aware it's not the best Rocky, but I think it's probably still my favourite Rocky regardless. I was 12 when I first saw it in the cinema and it did something permanent to me. Poimanent actually.
  3. jerellis1

    Rambo: Last Blood

    You should definitely watch Creed - you won’t regret it. And I’m happy to test-watch Creed II for you next month and report back to let you know if you should go for that one too. The Rambo sequels are all amazing though, even though they’re a far cry from First Blood. Plus I’ve got a feeling Rambo V might be just the Rambo you’re looking for.
  4. jerellis1

    Rambo: Last Blood

    That’s brilliant. Unexpected, and all the better for it.
  5. I have a handful of copies (about 30... so that's six handfuls I suppose) of the very rare, very beautiful and very shiny hardcover limited edition of The 8-Bit Book - 1981 to 199x available, priced at £29.99 a pop plus p&p. To nab one of these last remaining copies while you can, head over to Golem Books, scroll to the foot of the page, gasp in astonishment that it's really true, click on the PayPal link corresponding to your country, confirm your order and leave the rest to me! ---> https://jerellis1.wixsite.com/golembooks
  6. Thanks for this Ste. I accept every word of what you've written, and I've also responded to the blog as follows: Hi Ste,

 Thanks very much for taking the time to write this blog entry. For anyone who is reading about this for the first time, I’m Jerry Ellis, the author of the books in question, and I’d like to respond to Ste’s excellent and valid comments in this format, as it will enable me to clarify a few things that it wasn’t possible to do on Twitter yesterday - I hope that’s okay. First, let me take care of the single most important thing here once more, and that is to apologise to Ste, and indeed to anybody else who has found themselves upset, angered or inconvenienced in any way over my attempted use of Ste’s Ghosts ’n Goblins loading screen. I didn’t realise it before, but I certainly do now, that it was completely wrong to do so, and I will absolutely guarantee that I will not be going ahead with this cover, nor with any similar cover style, either for this book or for any of my future projects. Next, I just would like to explain one or two other aspects of this, which will hopefully shed more light on why I chose to go ahead with this idea in the first place (and also go some way towards reassuring people that I’m really not out to undermine, exploit, steal from or in any way upset anybody, be they from the games industry back in the day, or any other background!) When I wrote my first book, The 8-Bit Book - 1981 to 199x, back in 2008, I had some ideas for future books that I really wanted to tackle one day, namely The Book of the Game of the Film and Arcade Imperfect. It took me a long time to get around to doing it, but finally around four years ago I was able to get started. Right from the beginning, I envisaged the Rambo pic that ended up on the cover of TBOTGOTF, not because I thought it would help me sell thousands of copies, but because that was one of my absolute favourite games when I was 11 years old, and the thought of seeing it revived and displayed proudly on the front of a book of this kind excited me. I spent so much time - so, so much time - working on the cover, trying to get it to look just right, and I was so proud of the way it turned out. But I never, ever, in a million years imagined that anyone would think for a moment that the main picture itself was my own work, or that I was even attempting so suggest it might be. The use of the Rambo and Ocean font styles to show the title of the book and the ‘by Jerry Ellis’ part was purely my way of staying true to those designs, and it never for a second occurred to me that anyone would think that by writing ‘by Jerry Ellis’ anyone would assume anything other than that I was referring only to the book itself. In fact, more than a year since I first showed the completed image to anyone, not one person has suggested as much, at least not until yesterday. Incidentally, I understand now why some people thought I was trying to do that yesterday; a couple of weeks ago someone on Twitter asked if I’d designed the covers, and I said that I had, and that I’d also mocked up an idea with a Space Harrier theme; but I totally, 100% assumed he meant had I done the work on modifying the images myself, rather than had I designed those loading screens myself back in the ‘80s! In fact I’m still absolutely certain about this, and perhaps the poster in question will be able to confirm this. Either way, I never imagined anyone could possibly think that I had designed the loading screens that were, and still are, so utterly familiar and beloved by anyone with even a passing interest in 8-bit computer games, or that I would even have the nerve to want to pretend that I had. But if I misjudged this in any way, I apologise sincerely, repeatedly and unreservedly. This next point is important. Once I’d finished the Rambo-styled cover for TBOTGOTF, I did attempt to get approval before using it. I was a bit foggy about this yesterday as it was all a bit chaotic, but after casting my mind back (and checking through my e-mails, forum discussions and Messenger communications very carefully) I recalled that I was actually unable to find any contact details for Mr. Wahid, and so I contacted a number of well-known and knowledgable people from the industry to ask their opinions and advice, including one high-profile former Ocean Software employee. All of them - without exception - assured me that the image I’d come up with should be absolutely fine to use, and not to worry about it as it wouldn’t be a problem. It’s so important that people recognise and understand this, as I want everyone to know that I consider myself to be a careful and honest person, and that I would never risk my integrity (or indeed any more serious repercussions) by doing something even slightly risky. So it was with the blessing and encouragement of these people that I proceeded. Also very important: I’m definitely not trying to pass the buck here, not one little bit - I just need people to be able to see this from the perspective I had on it last year, and to know that having checked with authorities (whose knowledge I knew to be far greater than my own) that I felt certain that I was not doing anything wrong or exploitative. With regard to the financial side of things, let me just say that I would have absolutely no problem whatsoever paying for any image to be used in this way. I asked Ste immediately yesterday when all of this blew up if I could possibly pay him to use the image, but I completely respect that fact that he still decided he would rather I didn’t go ahead with it, irrespective of whether or not a payment could be made, and that’s completely fine by me. I have this morning contacted an artist to ask if I can commission three images to be used as covers for my books; one for Arcade Imperfect, one to replace the existing cover for The Book of the Game of the Film (from this moment I will never print another copy of this book with the Rambo cover), and one for any possible future reprints of my first book, The 8-Bit Book - 1981 to 199x. I have absolutely no hesitation paying for this, just as I would have had absolutely no hesitation paying to use the loading screens in question, had I known it was expected or even that it was possible somehow. As I said, these books were never meant to be about cutting corners or pinching others’ material to make or save a few extra quid; they’re my lengthy love letter to the best years of my childhood, and my own attempt to make a unique contribution that will last and be enjoyed by others just like me. Yesterday was a tough learning experience for me, but learn from it I have, and I will not make the same mistake again. I apologise once more to Ste, and I hope he will know that I have nothing but respect and fondness for him, and for all those whose work shaped my younger years and left so indelible an impression on my young mind that I feel compelled to spend so much time writing about it all thirty years later. Jerry Ellis, 28/09/18.
  7. Cheers! It's been a steep and painful learning curve but I totally get the picture now ('scuse the pun, sort of). It was never my intention to purloin anything and pass if off as my own work - that's absolutely the last thing I wanted to do. I just thought that styling the books in this way was like the ultimate tribute to the games I adored back in the day, a perfect and logical fit for the content, and that it would be seen that way by anyone else who was also an 8-bit gamer in the '80s, or by anyone who worked on the games originally, should they happen to come across the books at any point. It's so confusing and it's difficult to know just what's acceptable and what's not. Without naming any names, I did speak to quite a few people from the industry last year to ask for advice on precisely this issue, including a former Ocean employee with quite a high profile, and they all assured me that using images in the way I had planned to would be fine, and not to worry. However, as of last night, I now have a very different understanding of all this, and from now on I won't be using any existing image - tweaked or untweaked - for the covers, and I will absolutely not be theming Arcade Imperfect (if I ever finish it now) in the Amstrad GnG style.
  8. I know, but I messaged Ste directly straight after that and asked if I could offer him a fee or a percentage to use the image - in his follow-up tweet to the one you just posted he indicated that images shouldn’t be used in this way unless a royalty was being paid, which seemed to me that he might be open to the idea after all if there was a fee involved, and I’m more than happy to do that, so I wrote to him straight away and asked. Not heard back yet though, and tbh this has been such a dispiriting afternoon and evening that I’m not only giving up on the idea of being able to use the image for the cover, but I also don’t really feel much like carrying on with the book right now, so I may park it for a while and concentrate on something else. That might sound like a bit of an overreaction but seriously, I feel so awful about this and the thought of battling through the next 200 pages after the kicking I’ve taken today doesn’t really feel like a lot of fun now. Hopefully it’ll pass in a couple of days or so and I’ll be able to get back into it, fingers crossed but I could certainly use a break in life right about now. It’s not been the best year.
  9. TBH I wouldn't want to get out of it by just saying it was just a mistake, no matter how honest - it's more that I genuinely didn't expect it would be a problem. I didn't know that was Ste's sig in the original image, and the 'by Jerry Ellis' part was in no way intended to suggest I'd created the artwork myself - it was clearly referring only to the book itself (most people on Twitter this evening seem to have been outraged more than anything else at the idea that I was claiming the image to be my own by putting my name on it, not stopping to consider that it wouldn't make much sense if I used the unaltered loading screen image as the cover for the book with only the words "Ghosts 'n Goblins" and "Elite" on it!) It never crossed my mind that anyone would think otherwise, as that image is so well-known by every self-respecting retro gamer that I couldn't (and still can't) imagine anyone seeing the cover of the book and saying, wow, I never knew author Jerry Ellis also did the loading screen for the Amstrad version of Ghosts 'n Goblins when he was eleven years old, what a creative genius that guy is! Aaaanyway, I've done my best to explain all this on Twitter and to offer up genuine apologies to all who've been upset by it. It has definitely taken the wind out of my sails a bit this evening - not felt this much stress in my life since I was still teaching! But it's all part of the learning process and I'll know better from now on. Damn shame if Ste doesn't approve it now though, as the cover (and the whole visual theme of the book, which is currently based on the Amstrad version of GnG, just as The Book of the Game of the Film had the C64 Rambo look throughout) would look so great in print. And I'm happy to pay for it! But hopefully something can be worked out between now and when the book is ready to publish, and if not, then I'll figure something else out for sure.
  10. Thanks all - I've just seen this and written to Ste's brother, and I'll contact Ste now to apologise and see what, if anything, can be done. And to anyone else who may have been upset by my attempt to use this image, I also apologise unreservedly!
  11. jerellis1

    Rambo: Last Blood

  12. jerellis1

    Favourite acting performance of all time

    Great thread. Made even greater with this: (for John Cazale)
  13. Chris Wilkins with a sneak preview of the new Zzap! 64 annual last night...
  14. My tribute to my mum, Janet (who proofread The Book of the Game of the Film), which I've included in the new paperback editions of the book:
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