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October 23, 2012
Coming In February 2013...

That's pretty much all we know right now.

Check here for updates as I get'em.

--Fritz V. Baugh

October 2, 2012
So just what is his name anyway?

Back in the say, we're talking like 1988, I tagged him with the name "Conrad" because I was a dumb teenager and thought "Conrad the Conman" was funny.

Fan fic guru Shiela Paulson called him "Charlie", and the name stuck. Heck, I liked it myself, so much so that when I started writing fan fic and putting the Timeline together for general released, I used it. "Conrad" became an artifact which only appeared as his middle name (and in only one story, to boot).

I'd heard someone asking about the name "Jim Venkman" years ago. It's mentioned on Spook Central under the listing for "Treasure of the Sierra Tamale". But I trusted my memory which said it wasn't in the actual broadcast episode, and even had someone (I won't name names to implicate them in my error) say their recollections matched.

And then the DVDs came out.

I've been waffling on this one for a long time. "Charlie" is a very popular name. People haven't exactly been beating down my door saying "You're wrong about this!" But the Ghostbusters Wiki recently changed their own entries, and I sat down and confirmed that there is, indeed, a mention of the name "Jim" in the aforementioned episode.

I hate being wrong. I hate it when I make an error like this in my research. It reminded me of how a few years back I missed the mention of Janine's sister's name in an episode of EGB.

But most of all, I hate staying wrong. So I got over my combination of foolish pride and laziness, and got to fixing it.

Now, I admit that I still like the name "Charlie" better. And it's mentioned in quite a few places in my stories. "Jim" is relatively obscure, but backed up by canon. But sometimes the simplest solutions are the best:

According to the Timeline, the Fact List, and the fan fic Charlie Takes the Fifth, his full name is now James Charles Venkman.

All the mentions of "Charlie" are still valid, because in the GBOT fan fic continuity, at least, that's what he goes by. But the canonality of "Jim" is now acknowledged.

And "Conrad the Conman" is fully part of the dustbin of history. Well, except for the Apocrypha of "Charlie Takes the Fifth". Just one more ways that version of the story is an artifact of discarded story ideas.

--Fritz V. Baugh

August 28, 2012
On August 16 and 18, Ogre and I attended GenCon. It was the third GenCon for both of us (I went in 2005 and 2011, Al went in 2010-2011) and by far the best. Step one was planning ahead, saving up money, and buying badges ahead of time--just because we live in Indy and can make the decision to attend at the last second, doesn't change the fact that it's cheaper to pay in advance.

Living in Indy also means we don't have to pay for a hotel--we just drive home. We did have to spring for parking, but that wasn't a big problem--the Lucas Oil Stadium lot was open, and all we had to do is walk a block or so. (Well, to be accurate, he had to walk a block, I just rode on my wheel chair).

Day one we went with our friend Vrash and his wife; Vrash had put together an awesome Bane costume, while his wife was sporting green body paint as a really hot Poison Ivy. They got lots of attention, as you might guess

(I took the picture, but it's Vrash's camera. Which is why if you're familiar with my ECTO-1 build you're probably amazed at how nice the picture is compared to the stuff I take on mine. Well, get ready...)

And now, I will horrify you and threaten to utterly break the server by posting a picture Vrash took of me, trying to break into the WhoNA TARDIS prop.


Picture by Vrash

On Saturday, I met up with Vincent Belmont and his girlfriend...I don't know if he'd want me to mention her real name, so I'll use a bit of precendent and call her "Jill"


Picture by OgreBBQ

(Yep. That's my camera again)

A great time was had by all. We demoed a hilarious game from Cryptozoic called Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards and it worked--Vince and I both bought copies. The fact that I somehow ended up winning the game helped a lot (lol).

Some of the crap I bought:

Some stuff from Palladium Books signed by Kevin Simbieda. His system is clunky and outdated, but I played the everloving hell out of Palladium Fantasy and Rifts back in the day. He seems a genuinely nice and enthusiastic guy to boot. Also pictured is Battle Wizards, the new Fantasy Flight Star Wars Beta, and a replica of the magic sword used by one of my favorite anime villains (Sosuke Aizen of Bleach)

My friends and I are currently running (cover your ears, Belmont) a Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition game, so some books were aquired to support that.

And of course some books in the Ars Magica line, another favorite of mine even though I can't get anyone around here to play it because the math's so intimidating. I felt really lucky to find a copy of the Mistridge supplement, all the way from early in 3rd edition; it seemed like somebody may have spilled coffee on it fifteen years ago or something, but I wiped it off with a wet paper towel when I got home and it's fine now.

Definitely looking forward to next year.

--Fritz V. Baugh

June 26, 2012
Coming in November from IDW:

Real Ghostbusters Omnibus, Volume 1

Publication Date: November 6, 2012 | Series: The Real Ghostbusters Forget Egon's rules - the streams have been crossed, the dead have risen, and a free-roaming apparition is part of the gang! It's The Real Ghostbusters, ladies and gentlemen, and in this first volume omnibus collection you can score issues #1-14 of the classic NOW comics series. Be there as Ray, Peter, Egon, and Winston keep doing what they do. After all, they ain't afraid of no ghosts!

Missing some--or all--of those legendary stories by James Van Hise, John Tobias, and others? Or maybe you find reading them on Ectocontainment.com and GBFans not nearly as satisfying as having an actual book in your hands? You've just hit the jackpot!

Issues 1-14 would feature the following stories:

"The Counter Clock Crime" (RGB #1-2) Time travelling criminals in hippie clothes send the Ghostbusters to an alternate dimension. Learn the secret of The Slug and Captain Nemo's lost ship the Nautilus

RGB#3: Venkman gets to wear a hundred pounds of peanut butter to try and stop a swamp monster.

"Ghost Gangsters" (RGB#4) Julio Ramanajaan opens up Ceasar Caldoni's vault, and finds nothing. Or so it seems, as soon enough ectoplasmic gangsters are shooting up New York City. (GBOT fan fic bonus: Julio Ramanajaan recently appeared in Toy Soldiers. Just like Geraldo Rivera, the character he was clearly based on, he works for Fox "News")

"The Werewolf" (RGB#5) Ninjas use a werewolf to rob banks. But as you might expect, there's more to the story.

"Video Nasties" (RGB#6) Continues from "The Werewolf" as strange things start happening at WAKO.

"The Secret Empire" (RGB#7) The Ghost Gangsters are back, and they've got a new ally. Fortunately, so do the Ghostbusters--the Crime Patrol!

"Toad Island" (RGB#8) The Deep Ones are kidnapping tourists. Their motives are very...amorous. The Ghostbusters investigate, and it becomes very personal when Janine becomes a potential fish bride. (Hell no Egon ain't letting that happen)
(GBOT fan fic bonus: The GBWC story Where In The World Is Chelsea Aberdeen? borrows very heavily from this issue)

"The Father Thing Trilogy" (RGB#9-11) The high water mark of the entire series, as a decades-long conspiracy hatched by the demon Astorath and the necromancer Nathaniel Blaque is coming to a head--the fate of the world depends on Astorath's daemonseed, Shannon Phillips. (GBOT fan fic bonus: Nathaniel Blaque has made numerous appearances in Ectozone stories, including Chronicles of Gozer and Toy Soldiers)

"A Cat Named Tarantula" (RGB#12) Evil wizards plot to kidnap a chess-playing cat...the familiar of the Prince of Warlocks. (GBOT fan fic bonus: Phineus Eventide appeared in The Zodiac Imperative)

"Blizzard Queen" (RGB#13) A "missing link" threatens to bury Buffalo with even more snow than it usually gets.

"The Lost And The Lonely" (RGB#14) Ray goes to his junior high reunion, but it's a trap set by the Soul Catcher.

I have all these comics, but I'm planning to get it anyway. Because if this sells, we get Volume 2, which would presumably be issues 15-28. Spike! "Louis is sweet, but he's harmless"! "War at the Earth's Core"! The third acts of Samhain and the Boogieman! Egon and Janine's team up in RGB#28!

--Fritz V. Baugh

May 13, 2012
It's the Ectozone Ninth Anniversary!

Item 1:

Ghostbusters West Coast: Toy Soldiers, Part Two
July 18, 2009--Timeline Year Twenty-Seven
The CEO of the GBWC and the Prince of Los Angeles meet. More bad dreams are going around. Darkness falls on Los Angeles once again.

The bad news is that, with the issues in real life I've been dealing with for the last six months or so, there's not much else of this story done.

The good news is that I think I'll have a different story, a quicker, "easier" one, done relatively soon. (fingers crossed)

Item 2:

Anyone want to guess who this guy might be?

Item 3:

As promised, the New Timeline has been updated. Issues 1-8 of IDW's comic series have been added.

I tried to not get too wacky with speculation, but check 1956 for me suggesting a new level of injokiness to a character recently introduced.

Item 4:

Mattel Confirms End of Action Figure Line

It was pretty much a given, once Mattel announced that they were canceling Club Ecto, the subscription based service that provided fans with first crack at unique figures, but Scott “ToyGuru” Neitlich, Mattel’s brand manager in charge of the license, confirmed a lot more details today, outlining exactly why the line was shut down. You ready…?

There aren’t enough of us.

Toyguru: After we did not receive enough sub holders in 2012, we could not get additional development resources for more figures so we move the most fan demanded figure that was already in development to the SDCC slot. Fans really do vote with their purchase and the sub not selling was a big red flag that we don’t have enough customers for the 6? GB line right now.

Mattel was already worried about the line when sales of the figures showed that the main interest was in the original four busters, and of those, Peter was the most popular. None of them – the later figures (which would be of more interest to more serious fans) were worse – sold anywhere near the numbers of Mattel’s best two licenses, Masters of the Universe and DC Universe.

Not all bad news, though:

Mattel still holds the license and is still looking at their best prospects with it – presumably the props – and has confirmed they are still looking at new products for 2013. As well they, like a lot of license holders one imagines, have high hopes for the announcement of a third movie, in which case Mattel would have lot’s more development resources available. Stay tuned.

I personally wonder if, when Mattel signed the contracts--what, four or five years ago?--they thought they were only a couple of years away from a movie they could merchandise the everloving shit out of; the figures they released were supposed to be the warm-up for the GB3 cash machine. But of course GB3 never makes it out of "They'll maybe start filming sometime next year" for the last four years, and the line remains a niche seller.

I dunno...I admit that I didn't buy too many because the cartoon is really my first love in the GB franchise, and there wasn't a lot aimed at that market. Yeah, there probably isn't one, which is sad considering the show was one of the biggest hits in the 80's. I bought up all the Retro Action stuff, and no doubt would have been there with everyone else braving the White Screen of Death on Mattel's server for RGB figures of the quality of the 6 inch movie line. I did get the GB2 set, and it was damn awesome--I can't understand why anyone who prefers the movie versions of the characters didn't snap that stuff up.

I don't know. I think back to the 80's and Kenner pretty much had a similar problem: you had people complaining about all the weird variants of the four to six (depending on the set) main characters but those being the stuff that sold the best. They at least had a top-rated cartoon to drive sales, though.

I'm sad to see it come to this, but I'm really not surprised.

--Fritz V. Baugh

May 1, 2012
So, IDW just released the eighth issue of their ongoing series...

I guess I better get to this or all of my "fans" will wonder what's wrong with me:

We start off with what seems like a routine bust at a nursing home. It's the kind of case that ABC wouldn't let the Ghostbusters take--they shied away from any mention of ghosts that were dead people, and with an exception or two (ie Al Capone in "Partners In Slime") they were all monstrous and extradimensional. Class 5 and 7 entities, if you will.

Well, not this time--it's actually a somewhat sympathetic old lady who goes off the deep end when Egon and Winston say they're not her son--she's not on the Other Side because he never came to visit her. Then things get a bit scary--remember how Slimer was hard to catch way back in #1-2? Yeah. It happens again with the old lady. Egon can't take his hands off the thrower to set the trap--fortunately, Ray and Venkman show up just in time for Ray to finish the job.Winston is a little sad ("If her son had shown up, she'd a been at peace."), Venkman continues criticizing the decor, and Egon is brooding: with Idulnas gone, this PKE surge shouldn't be happening.

But it is. Ray asks why. And then Egon Spengler says the one thing you don't want Egon Spengler saying: "I don't know"

Intent on finding out, Egon works himself raw with little sleep over the next three days (fortunately, his "polyphasic schedule" is helping). Winston and Venkman are concerned--and, in one of Dan Schoening's many call-backs to the cartoons, they do so while wearing pajamas seen in the show. Finally admitting he's at a dead end, Egon goes to the gym at Delgado's Gym (You'll recall it's next to the Casey J's, who's bouncer you really really don't want to mess with), and he steps out just in time for most of the entire Melnitz family to come strolling by. Mom, Dad, sister Doris, Brother (in law?), Grandma, and Janine herself, of course. Everybody but her nephew Victor, it looks like.

Oh, yeah. And Roger.

Way back in #1, we found out Janine was dating some guy named "Roger" off-camera. A few odd theories went around--a popular one was that "Roger" was just Egon using an assumed name to keep what they were doing secret from Venkman and the others because Venkman would tease them--but this issue we finally meet the guy.

I really hate to sound like I'm gloating, but Ghostdiva and I almost called it:

Ghostdiva Wrote
(I even thought they might make him look more like RGB Egon for kicks.)
Fritz Wrote
Since you said it, yeah, that's the theory I had that's still seems possible. Consider:

Dan Schoening is an obvious fan of the cartoon, and massively enjoys putting in call-backs to it. Janine dating a guy who looks like RGB Egon would be a huge one.

The latest Janine is a meld of GB1 Janine and RGB Season 1 Janine visually (and who can blame them? Those are the best versions of the character). It would make a weird kind of sense to have her torn between the two matching versions of Egon.

Erik Burnham:I expect a piece of the internet to break off when he shows up.
I seem to recall him or Dan saying something similar about #5, which ended up featuring the IDW premiere of Kylie Griffin

Erik Burnham:I think Roger's appearance will shake up the J+E fans.

There are more than one way to parse the word "appearance" you know...

Erik Burnham:Egon and Roger could be the Betty & Veronica to Janine's Archie!

A redhead as hypotenuse in a triangle between a brunette and a blond? That would fit.

Well, okay, it was Extreme Ghostbusters Egon instead of Real Ghostbusters Egon, which does sort of match the assumed time frame (sometime post-1992 to as late as ~1994/1995; he even wears a "New York University" sweater, which is one of the names given to the place Egon worked between RGB and EGB), but I still did a little fist pump. Roger's automatically far more Janine's type than Louis Tully ever was. What's up with his name, though? Why did Erik Burnham name him after former Washington Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh? Is he an athlete or something?*

Er...anyway...

Egon's so stressed and raw from the whole paranormal situation I like to think him blurting out "I don't have time for this" has multiple meanings. After he's been "snippy" and written a book that seems to have made Janine "aggressive" he ducks out of the potential conflict--I just hear LaMarche saying that "I don't have time for this" line in the same tone of voice he used to say "And what's that? Your jalopy?" in "Robo Buster". (Actually, Maurice LaMarche, in my head, voices two of the three characters in that scene) Janine's basically dating his fetch. I mean, that's gotta creep him out.

Read the rest of the snarky commentary on the Ectozone Message Board.

*--Well, duh, of course I know where he really got that name. I get a huge kick out of the vast irony of it: name Egon's new rival after one of Egon's biggest fans. I eagerly await Venkman getting a postcard from Dana saying she's dating a man named Steve Collins, or Ray hearing Elaine Fuhrman has married Jack Nielson, or Tiyah Clark dumping Winston for Larry Reilly. Maybe the new "Ghost Busters' team that Ron "Jake Kong" Alexander is former will be similarly named. Let's go Ghost Busters! Larry Benjamin!!! Curly Quick!!! Shemp Stewart!!! Moe Holbrook!!! :lol:

--Fritz V. Baugh

April 25, 2012
After too long a wait

Ghostbusters West Coast: Toy Soldiers, Part Two
July 17, 2009--Timeline Year Twenty-Seven
This time it's Jason having bad dreams. Mike is reaquainted with someone he doesn't like very much anymore. Dr. Venkman is coming to town. Oh, and there's another dead body...

I'm starting to feel a little bit of a writing groove again, but I can't promise all that much. The next chapter of this story is done, and won't suffer the delay this one did, I promise you that with a fair amount of certainty. We'll see how things go after that--"Toy Soldiers" part three will be posted on May 13 (for the Ectozone 9th anniversary)

There's also all sorts of neat stuff going on in the IDW comic, especially something quite fascinating in #8. I'd hoped to address it on this update too, but my shop is getting it a week later than everyone else. Check back Monday (April 30)

--Fritz V. Baugh

March 26, 2012
IDW's new Ghostbusters ongoing series is up for a number of Comic Buyers' Guide Awards:

CGB Awards 2012 Nominees

This series has been pretty damn awesome so far, and I think it's a good sign of good things to come that so many from it's team were even nominated.

They're up against some industry heavyweights, so every vote counts.*


Illustration by Dan Schoening. Man, the only way the comic would be even cooler is if he got to draw the Ghostbusters like that

--Fritz V. Baugh

*--Note, "Every Vote Counts" assumes Diebold is not doing the counting. If so, expect George W. Bush to sweep all categories.

March 19, 2012
Item 1:

Well, looks like Tokelau has redone the .tk program. It's become a paid domain system like everyone else. Thusly, previously held domains like gbtimeline.tk and gbcomm.tk are no longer working, and never will again unless I want to pony up about $20 a year each for them.

I think I'd replaced most links onsite and on gbwc.net with links to Ectozone.com/gbtimeline all ready, but if there are any stragglers I'll be looking for them and changing them in upcoming weeks.

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew if they had that bookmarked what happened.

Item 2:

Speaking of the Timeline, I know I said I'd update the New Timeline after IDW's first story arc, and it didn't work out that way. Right now, I'm hoping to get it up to date after #8 comes out. It may be something I have ready to upload on May 13, and the Ectozone's ninth anniversary

Item 3:

I know I sound like a broken record, but profuse apologies for the lack of new fan fic material. I don't have much of any excuse, especially with two chapters of "Toy Soldiers" "in the can" as it were. I had some medical issues at the beginning of December that slowed me down, then a family member had some more serious ones right around that same time, and keeping the web site up to date and preparing even already-done stories for release just sort of fell off my priorities list. Since you're reading this, it means the funk is starting to lift at least a little bit, and I hope to have better news soon.

But hey, since IDW's comic has been so damn good, any "need" for my ramblings is diminished.

--Fritz V. Baugh

January 1, 2012
From Paul Rudoff of Spook Central

For most of the 2000s, Chris Buchner ran two sites: the NYGB Tourguide and the NYGB ComicGuide. The former focused on the New York City filming locations from both movies, while the latter focused on all of the Ghostbusters comic books ever published. When I say "all" I mean ALL! All of NOW's books, all of 88MPH's books, all of Marvel books released in the UK (and their derivatives), and even all of First's Filmation books! Not only did the site cover all of the issues, it even went very in-depth with each one, giving you the credits, story synopses, trivia, bloopers, character photos, and more!

Unfortunately, on October 31, 2008, AOL shutdown their AOL Hometown web hosting service, and thus both sites left the internet, along with other AOL members' websites. Luckily for the Ghostbusters Online Community, I had saved copies of both sites. With Chris' permission, I've incorporated a lot of the Tourguide information into Spook Central's Filming Locations pages, though you can find some archived copies of the original site on the Internet Archive.

A few days before the shutdown, on October 28, 2008, I downloaded all of the ComicGuide files. Due to the way AOL handled their web hosting service, the site was actually split across a few different user accounts. I attempted to merge all of the download files into one computer folder... and let's just say that the results weren't pretty. Because there were a lot of files with the same names, they couldn't all be put into one folder "as is". I had to rename almost all of the files, which also meant that I would have to go in and edit every html file so that all of the new file names are referenced in links and the such. I didn't have the time to do the task, so the files sat untouched on my hard drive for a few years.

Around this time last year I saw a post by Fritz Baugh on the GB Fans forum where he mentioned the ComicGuide site by name and lamented over the loss of the invaluable information it contained. Seeing that he had an interest in the site, I contacted him to see if he'd also be interested in fixing up all of the files I saved a few years prior, with the intention of making it all available to the public again. I figured that he'd turn me down, as the files required a lot of work, and it would be a very tedious task. Surprisingly, and much to his credit, he accepted my offer.

So, now, three years and two months after AOL took it down, I am proud to present... The Resurrected NYGB ComicGuide (last updated September 10, 2008, archived October 28, 2008). FYI: Don't expect to find any of IDW's books on the site, as they all came out after the site went into hibernation.

MAJOR THANKS to Chris Buchner for creating the site and giving me permission to host the old copy here on Spook Central, and especially to Fritz Baugh for doing the time-consuming and labor-intensive task of fixing up all of the files and making the site whole again.

So go take a look at the all-new archived version of The NYGB Comicguide

This is so awesome. As a small fringe benefit, the next time I start ranting about the recent overreliance on Gozer I can link them to exactly what that could lead to

--Fritz V. Baugh

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