Today on the Friday Six: Creativity games, Primates, Kids Read Comics, Lansing Beer Week, mojito recipes, Should I Work For Free?, and babies (not mine).

friday six clattertron

And seven is RIGHT OUT

[ ] I came across Scott McCloud’s Story Machine the other day. I like the concept: you roll a four-sided die (a d4 to use the correct vernacular), and head North, South, East, or West to an icon on the ‘map.’

From McCloud’s Story Machine page (where you can download the map):

Rather than generating stories from scratch, it’s just for unlocking imaginations by stimulating unpredictable turns of thought. Writers and artists are very habit-driven, so this is one way of breaking those habits (the 24-hour comic is another). There’s no fixed meaning for each symbol, just whatever comes to mind: a plot turn, a character moment, a setting, a mood, an object… it’s up to you.

I like games or exercises which make me use my imagination—and McCloud is spot on about creatives and habits.

McCloud’s Story Machine reminded me of a similar game called Rory’s Story Cubes. Players roll a set of dice with different symbols and make up a story (as I recall, the rules are open to interpretation). I bought a couple sets this week, the basic set and Voyages.

story cubes

Roll ‘em and tell a story. Image via Amazon.

[ ] This handy flow chart by Jessica Hische answers the question every creative faces: Should I work for free? (pointed to by Khalid of Eat Pomegranate Photography).

[ ] I went to a signing at the Eastwood Schuler Books for Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks’ Primates on Tuesday, a non-fiction graphic novel about Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. Ottaviani, the writer and a Michigan native, gave a presentation about the three researchers, followed by a Q & A.

primates graphic novel

Primates. Image via Amazon.

I love the art work by Maris Wicks, and I read the book cover to cover in about an hour. Highly recommend. While at the event, I met another local comic writer, Dan Mishkin. He co-created the comics Amethyst, Blue Devil, and Creeps. Dan’s latest project is the Without Sin storyline for Legends of the Dark Knight. It is a digital only story available through comiXology and Amazon–check it out!

AND, better still–Dan told me about the Kids Read Comics event this weekend in Ann Arbor! This is a free event with a bunch of guests. If you are in the area this weekend, stop on by.

[ ] Lansing Beer Week starts this weekend, which as the name implies, is a week full of Michigan beer related events. Two events caught my attention: Women of Craft Beer and the New Holland Beer & Bacon Pairing. I don’t know how many, if any, events I’ll be able to make, but those two sound like a lot of fun. There is a variety of events, so check the Lansing Beer Week calendar.

[ ] A belated congrats to comic pal Ryan Claytor and his wife Candace on the birth of their son, Owen. Knowing Ryan, I’m sure Owen will be playing pinball before he can walk.

[ ] Katie of Domestic Slice has several mojito recipes which look very tasty. Summer is here in Michigan (FINALLY), which means time spent on the patio sipping adult beverages (responsibly). I enjoy a well-made mojito, and similar drinks.

Comment Commandos: Do you have a favorite Summer beverage?

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geek living in Michigan.
Follow him on Twitter, @danieljhogan. Follow Clattertron on Facebook too.