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November 13, 2006
Ectozone 3.0

When I started this site 3 1/2 years ago, I knew just about zip about website design, and it showed (look in the Archive Section to see what I mean. One year after opening the site, I announced "Ectozone 2.0", where I organized the site by using tables. It made it state of the art for 1999.

Today, the next step in the Ectozone's evolution--Cascading Style Sheets. Maybe pretty simple ones by the standards of CSS, but they're all mine. Plus a new link bar powered by Javascripts--so the next time Rich Roy moves GBI, I won't have as many out-of-date links (just kiddin' with you, Rich :P) All of this means less clunky codes and easier updates in the future. Want to decorate for Christmas? Bam. One script page changed, every page on the site is red, white, and green.

The Ectozone Message Board is being warped by these codes too. I jumped at the chance to use the same stylesheet ideas to make the main site and the forum actually look a lot more like the same website than ever before.

I had hoped to have the conclusion of "Gemini Rising" ready for this upgrade, but...er, well, it will be done soon.

Within the next few weeks, the Ghostbusters West Coast site should be undergoing a similar makeover.

I hope everyone enjoys the new look. State of the art for 2002.

--Fritz

September 13, 2006
On September 13, 1986, ABC aired the first episode of a cartoon called The Real Ghostbusters. It was based off the hit movie from two years before, Ghostbusters.

It couldn't even call itself Ghostbusters because of an obscure Filmation show in the 1970's, Ghost Busters, and a battle for the name. Columbia got to keep the name, but Filmation retained the rights to do a Ghost Busters cartoon (starring a monkey) to cash in on the name Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray made popular.

Top it off, due to likeness issues, none of the Ghostbusters looked like the movie actors. Ray Stantz became pudgy and redheaded. Venkman became younger looking. Winston lost his mustache. Egon became tall, lanky, and with weird blond hair. Bookish secretary Janine got a bit sexier.

Could this work?

You bet your ass it could.

ABC and DiC studios (the company that actually produced the show) hired sci-fi writer J. Micheal Straczynski to be Story Editor, and he kept the staff from cliche's and formulaic storytelling as much as possible in Saturday Morning TV in 1986. JMS himself wrote several scripts for the show, pointing the way to a greater sense of drama, intensity, and intelligence, a sensability never seen in the Saturday Morning ghetto. It was unprecedented, it was groundbreaking. And it was a ratings smash.

To be sure, it didn't last. ABC hired a bunch of "experts" who clearly don't believe in "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" and ordered the show dumbed down for it's second season. Venkman lost half his IQ, and due to Bill Murray's whining about the voice Lorenzo "Garfield" Music was replaced by a lame Murray impersonation performed by Dave ("That Dumb Guy From Full House"*) Coulier. Even worse was the personality lobotomy performed on Janine, turning a gutsy, abraisive, take-no-crap character into just another meek, passive, perky Mommy Figure. And don't get me started on their insistance on centering the show on mascot ghost Slimer...

Straczynski quit the show because of this. Still, what JMS built was strong enough to last six years on ABC and sixty five episodes of first-run syndication, making it not only the most successful cartoon based off a movie ever, but one of the most successful shows in all of television history based off a movie. It was so successful that a generation of kids grew up confused thinking the movies were based off the show! There are still many people who, to this day, regard The Real Ghostbusters as an equal, or even a greater, part of the Ghostbusters phenomenon as the two movies.

It is as part of this celebration I release my eightieth fan fic, Ghostbusters: Gemini Rising, Part Six; the penultimate (I hope...) chapter of this epic, bringing into focus, once and for all, exactly how I see the movies, the cartoons, and their relationship.

So Happy Birthday, RGB. You may be gone from our TVs, but you're far from forgotten.

--Fritz

*--That description courtesy of The Bondo Bandit :)

July 17, 2006
Ghostbusters Nightsquad was the very first "fan fic" based franchise of Ghostbusters International, and set the standard to which succeeding teams would be held. Their membership over the years has included several of the luminaries of Ghostbusters fan fiction: Vincent Belmont, Ben King, Jeff Chrismer, to say nothing of "The Legend" himself, Nightsquad's leader Bo Holbrook.

After several guest appearances (ie "Chronicles of Gozer" and "Where In The World Is Chelsea Aberdeen?) and one aborted attempt to rework the Nightsquad origin (I never finished due to my hospitalization in 2004, though Bo and Adam Bestler put together a workable revision based on the concepts I'd discussed with Bo) Bo finally handed me an opportunity I couldn't help but jump at: revision of the turning point Nightsquad story "All Hell Breaks Loose"

It was a little intimidating to be reworking such a great story (Kingpin was involved in the previous version) but at the same time it was fun to do some hammering out of Nightsquad's still somewhat complicated continuity (Sometimes I swear Bo's nickname should be "Hawkman" and Nightsquad should be "The Legion of Super Heroes". So I guess you might say I got to be Superboy Prime and take a few punches at it). And I definitely got to feel perhaps too clever with myself by solving one of the sticky continuity problems of the earlier version by taking advantage of an obscure (and admittedly not-well-regarded) story Now Comics did in their Real Ghostbusters 3-D Annual.

But I guess you'll have to judge for yourself how well this all worked.

Ghostbusters Nightsquad: All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One

--Fritz V. Baugh
GBI Historian

May 13, 2006
Today celebrates three years since the Ectozone was opened on May 13, 2003. And like many years, I have a new story to put out to celebrate it...

Back in January I released Ghostbusters: Forever, the story of the long overdue wedding between Egon Spengler and Janine Melnitz. Well, if you've read some of the GBWC stories, or such fan fics as Future Shocks then you know what the logical next step is...

Less than a year after finally getting married, Egon and Janine Spengler recieve the news that their relationship is about to advance another step--to parenthood.

The stage is set. On June 13, 1999...everything changes.

Ghostbusters: Gemini Rising

I hope everyone enjoys this important event in the lives of the characters we love so much.

Fritz V. Baugh

January 26, 2006

Longtime readers know this already--but as many things as I like about Ghostbusters, if I had to pick one single element that grabbed my attention, it was the weird budding romance between Egon Spengler and Janine Melnitz. It led to some touching scenes in the first movie, and the writers of the animated series--most notably J. Micheal Straczynski, Micheal Reeves, and Richard Mueller---took it and ran with it, deepening and defining them into possibly my favorite couple in popular fiction.

Well, to the consternation of fans everywhere, Harold Ramis disowned the idea and created the gut-churningly dumb Janine/Louis Tully romance in the sequel. An idea that was, in turn, disowned by Straczynski, comic writer James Van Hise, the producers of Extreme Ghostbusters, and even later licensees such as the 88MPH mini-series. Not to mention a vast majority of the writers of fan fiction that have helped keep the flame burning in the years since. (The iBooks novel The Return was the sole exception, but even they, intentionally or not, had some material that could be construed as pro-Egon/Janine).

Well, after exploring the very beginning of their relationship in Fateful Opportunity, it's highs in The Zodiac Imperative, it's fall in As Dreams Fade, and it's rebirth in Dreams Reborn, it is time for the event so many have waited for.

After fifteen years (or twenty two, depending on how you look at it) of confusion, denial, reversal, and dark moments of dispair, the long-awaited day has come for one brilliant physicist and one spirited secretary to celebrate the love that bind their souls together.

At long last, the wedding of Professor Egon Spengler and Ms. Janine Melnitz.

January 1, 2006
I wrote at the end of 2004:

I'm glad 2004 is over.

Last year sucked.

2005 wasn't much better. There were bright moments--from the personal moments such as the birth my niece, to larger events like some signs of awakening in the American media and public to the collosal clusterf*** the country's been undergoing since Selection 2000--but it's been mostly about pain, dispair, and more pain and dispair. I wouldn't wish the last two years of my life on my worst enemy.

Anyway, on to cheerier things...

I've finally gone ahead and unvieled the fan fic and GBI oriented version of the Timeline. In the GBI Timeline all the stuff that's "conjecture" in the "regular" Timeline is canon fact, as well as things from the fan fics written by Rosey Collins, Ben King, Iain Bennett, Vincent Belmont, myself, and numerous others

Along with that I added a new page to GBNY, one devoted to the most important wholly inanimate character of the Ghostbusters universe, the ECTO-1. It sets out my interpretation of the ECTO-1/ECTO-1A conundrum, and presents a new piece of artwork depicting the "present day" vehicle as I picture it in my mind; it's essentially the ECTO-1A with the original logo and some of the promotional stuff removed, similar to some ideas out there (for example, "ECTO-1" the member of the GB Community, who redesigned the vehicle for this "Ghostbusters 2.5")

Please let my hopes for a good year come true this time...

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