Who says print is dead? In 2669, Major Todd "Maniac" Marshall, eternal teenager, still has a stash of printed pornography in his locker. When you chat with him in the barracks during the Blackmane series he takes a break from reading an issue of 'Playpen' magazine to tease Blair about flirting with Rachel. Is Playpen something created for Wing Commander III or is it the real 1980s magazine it appears to be? (And if the former is the case, why didn't they use the already-established Playboy parody "Plaything (tm)" from Privateer?)
Long story short: it's not real AND it wasn't created by the prop department. There are often legal issues involved with showing real products on television and in film. Take a close look at any popular sitcom and you'll find that what look like real groceries, magazines, books and posters are actually careful knockoffs that resemble (but are legally distinct from) familiar items. These fake products come from a company called Earl Hays Press, which has been keeping a ready stash of designs capable of suiting any production for over a century. In the case of magazines, productions can choose from a variety of already designed front and back covers and can even add real-looking prefab text if the interior needs to be shown. In Maniac's case, the Playpen he's holding's cover is a combination of the 1994 versions of MM-91 ("Centerfold of the Year Bobbi Brenner Reveals All") and MBA-32, an advertisement for "Nature's Champagne."
Issues of 'Playpen' appear in dozens and dozens of television and film productions from seaQuest DSV to The Partridge Family. In fact, Maniac's exact issue had a highly visible role in a 1998 episode of Friends. Hard to imagine it survived 671 years and made it from New York to the front lines of the Vega Sector! For more information on prop magazines and other items, you can find a catalog of Earl Hays Press' current offerings here which makes for a fascinating study!
Watch the French Resistance Achieve Victory Against the Kilrathi
DocteurJ is back with another extensive stream and commentary on the Wing Commander series. In this episode, he's flying the final mission of Wing Commander 3 to cap off his summertime playthrough of the game. As you're already aware if you skipped ahead and pressed play, DocteurJ is helping make sure Wing Commander fandom lives on in the French gaming community. (2018-11-16)
Japanese Advertisements Highlight Intriguing Ports
Here's a couple of really cool Japanese advertisements that LOAF recently came across. As is common in the country, they're chock full of text and liberal with the exclamation marks. The first is a small embedded ad for the Mega CD port of Wing Commander 1, which was the only version that got full speech as it was transferred to the disc-based format. (2018-11-15)
Art Portfolio One Step Closer to Production
Mike Winterbauer reports that he's finished putting together the dedication page in his Wing Commander Art Portfolio with all of the project backers who pledged at the appropriate $25+ Book threshold. For a limited time between now and when the material soon goes to print, he's put out a call for anyone who missed the end of the campaign and wanted to upgrade to be included. If so, send Mike a message. (2018-11-14)
Flying Pancake Complements Two-for-One Salthi
DefianceIndustries has moved over to Kilrathi ships as he fills out his WC1 fleet, and the first two fliers are the Dralthi and Salthi. We've seen a hundred Dralthi variants over the years, and they just never get old. This one is as gorgeous as we've ever seen, so it's just a treat. (2018-11-13)
Check Out the Original Secret Missions
Here's a really cool find that LOAF recently came across. From the outside, it might look like a nifty WC1 Special Edition autographed by Chris Roberts, but it's what's inside that's pretty rare! The set was originally purchased directly from Origin in 1990, and the included Secret Missions were special mailed in a WC branded envelope instead of the standard slim black box. (2018-11-12)