Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Want To Live In Los Angeles. Not The One In Los Angeles.

During my creative downtime, I've been doing a lot of reading.  Last week, I finished up Aloha From Hell, the latest volume of Richard Kadrey's "Sandman Slim" series.  It's hardcore Urban Fantasy on a Crank binge.  It's like In Nomine and Unknown Armies had an orgy with Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and The Germs, and the unholy spawn was born in a grindhouse theater.

In other words, very much NOT on the Paranormal Romance side of the Urban Fantasy street.  One of the things I love about the series is the way Los Angeles is as much a character as any of the people.  Or monsters, for that matter.

LA inhabits a strange place in my brain, fellow gamer, almost a mythic or religious place.  I was born there (well, Glendale, actually, but like Kadrey says, "Los Angeles isn't a city, it's an archipelago," and Glendale counts as LA from a thousand miles away).  Though a native Angelino, I have zero memories of the place, since my parents moved to Texas as soon as I was old enough to travel.

In the ensuing fortymumble years, I've spent less than seventy two hours in the city of my birth.  Two days when I was nine (we went to Disneyland), and about five or six hours in 1985 when me and some buddies drove up the coast from Comic Con (a story in and of itself).  So, apart from that, everything I know about Los Angeles comes from books, music, TV, and movies.

In other words, I know nothing and everything about the place. Sounds like the perfect starting point for a campaign setting.  We gamers spend a lot of time creating our fictional places.  To my mind, LA is the most fictitious place on the planet.  No offense to my friends who live there, but it just seems slightly unreal to me.  I'm at a point now where I actually don't want to visit out there, just because the reality would interfere with the thing that lives in my head, a weird mash-up of "Repo Man," "Dragnet," LA Confidential, "To Live and Die in LA," "The Terminator," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Rock 'n Roll High School," "Valley Girl," "The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization," "The Runaways," "Runaways" (the comic book), and every song recorded by X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, The Weirdos, The Misfits, Suicidal Tendencies, DKs, Bad Religion, Public Enemy, NWA, and Missing Persons.

Yeah, it's a weird, messed-up place.  It seems I should set a game there.

And now, in honor of the this post's title, here's a message from Frank Black:


  1. "Brain L.A." really does sound like a cool place to visit.

  2. I live in los angeles - and like you I was born here - but I wish I lived in the other los angeles, too.

  3. [Coastal Loyalist Pendantry] Public Enemy is from NYC, yo. [/Coastal Loyalist Pendantry]

  4. You're hella right, G. Not the first time I've made that mistake, either. I don't know why, but I never think of them as a NYC band. Clearly, it's a programming error.