Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5.0-My-Goodness

Wizards of the Coast recently announced that they were releasing Dungeons and Dragons 5.0! A year from now. Wow. They want to "gather input from the fans" (like they haven't heard an earful over the last few years already). What I want to know is - how much product do they plan on selling in the next year? You don't see Wizards doing this with Magic: The Gathering. Why? Because they don't want to go an entire year selling no MtG! Get it right the first time and then build on it- You CAN make money that way!

It happens every time a new version of a RPG is announced - the old one becomes almost invisible on a store's shelves. The same thing happens in video games. When the next platform is announced, sales of the current platform dry up completely. The difference, in this case, is that typically the next edition isn't announced a year in advance.

Wizards continues announcing and releasing new products for 4th edition... but I can't imagine that they'll actually sell any of it. I know if I owned a comics/gaming store I sure wouldn't buy any of that dead product for my shelves.

This whole move just smacks of desperation, frankly. I think it's going to backfire on Wizards in a huge way - they just guaranteed flat sales for an entire year. I'd look for D&D to be in new hands within the next fives years. And you know what that means, don't you? A new edition!

Geek Gear: Ship's Cabins Map Pack

Earlier this month I told you about the Pirate Ship maps available from Paizo Publishing. If you're going to have combat on a ship, don't you think you'd want to go inside that ship as well? Well, thanks to the affordable $13 ship's cabins map pack now you can! Maps include captain's cabin, officer's cabin, sailor's quarters, cargo hold, galley, and bilge! What? No sauna?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Geek Gear: How to Build Castles

This isn't a gaming supplement designed for gamers but rather kids. I saw my nephew playing with the Spanish version of this toy - Como Armar Castillos recently and was intrigued.  How to Build Castles is made by Klutz. Here's the write-up from Amazon:

How to Build Castles comes with a deck of 58 beautifully illustrated laminated leaves, perforated to break into 150 cards in four different shapes. Every card is notched to fit neatly and securely with every other card. Assemble the cards any way you want to create freestanding fantasy fortresses. The book gives specific guidelines for creating walls, floors, roofs, towers, spires, bridges and other architectural elements, along with inspirational photos of some of the zillion variations possible. Altogether, there are enough cards in one deck to build a small village or one satisfyingly towering castle big enough to cover a school desk.

Comes With: 58 perforated leaves that break into 158 building cards, a custom-molded knight figurine

You can get this thing pretty cheap online (check out Amazon... about 8 bucks!). It can be used to build fully 3D buildings for your roleplaying figures to navigate their way through. The knight show comes with the set and is much larger than the typical mini.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comic Book Industry: The Two Ring Circus

I've always known that the comic book industry was a two company business - DC and Marvel. But I guess I expected that to have changed in recent times because of the excellent product being put out by Dark Horse, IDW, and Image. Well, if the top 100 sellers listed in the January are to believed, that just simply isn't the case. In fact, of the top 100 comics only THREE aren't published by Marvel or DC. Ready? Here they are:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 comes in at 64 (yes, that's right - no non-DC/Marvel publisher breaks the top 50)

The Walking Dead comes in at 68

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes in at 97.

That's it! Number 99 is Mr. Terrific by DC and #100 is X-23 by Marvel. So X-23 outsells every non-Marvel/DC comic on the racks except three! That's unbelievable!

How can this be good for the industry? How can this be good for the FANS? Bottom line - it can't be. And to make things worse, I wonder if these two companies are in an actual competition with one another. Fans are notoriously loyal. I know I'm that way. I don't care WHAT DC publishes or how good it is - I'll never read Batman or Superman monthly.

It's amazing that companies like Dark Horse can hang in there month to month. Keep pluggin' away, "underground" comic companies. Your efforts are appreciated!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Marvel Heroes RPG Solicited!

The hotly anticipated Marvel Heroes RPG was finally solicited a few months ago. I can't wait for its release! Margaret Weis is starting to leak details and previews slowly. I can't comment as to how the system will work as a RPG, but visually everything is laid out very nicely, using art directly from the comics the storyline is based on.
The only thing I"m not sure about are the event books. They're each going to have two versions - a basic and a deluxe. But from the descriptions, it's difficult to tell exactly what the difference between the two will be. I've taken a wait-and-see attitude about those books. I'll buy one when I hold both of them in my hands.

I can only hope that Margaret Weis Productions doesn't blow it. The last thing we need is another unplayable Marvel RPG.

Marvel Media Mania: Dr. Strange (1978)

Dr. Strange is a pilot for a failed TV series that originally aired in 1978.
For this pilot, the origins of Dr. Strange are completely reworked. He's not a surgeon - he's a psychiatrist. He doesn't have an accident that scars his hands, Mordo doesn't make an appearance, and the "Ancient One" doesn't live in an isolated monastery. Instead, the "old man," Thomas Lindmer, lives in the city and has had contacts with Strange's dead father as evidenced by the ring Strange wears. It's actually difficult to tell who anybody is suppose to be. I assumed the "old man" was the Ancient One but I don't believe he's ever called that directly. The character of Clea is simply called, "the girl" for most of the movie so when they finally get around to saying her name you wonder who they're talking about. Strange himself comes across as smug because he always wears a smirk on his face. He's not a likable or even a sympathetic character.

Perhaps the worst thing about this pilot is how slow it is. You really don't see any sorcery until about 50 minutes into this 90 minute film. When you're tuning in to a Dr. Strange film you want to see magical combat and cosmic mysteries. Instead what you're given is a very boring episode of E.R. When magic is used it usually manifests itself in ordinary ways such as manipulating animals and people to do certain things.

But when magic requires special effects they are predictably horrible. I can forgive this because it is 1978 but the sock-puppet demon lord is quite laughable. The "old man" character clearly rips off the Jedi Mind Trick from Star Wars which was released the year prior. Likewise, the journey to the Astral Plane looked like it was ripped off from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Much of the plot doesn't make much sense and the writers seem to rely on the catch-all, "Well, that's just how magic works," far too often.

At one point Dr. Strange picks up a Hulk comic and smiles. It's a nice nod to the 1977 live-action The Incredible Hulk show that surely paved the way for Dr. Strange's own pilot. But clearly the creators of Dr. Strange didn't learn any lessons by watching the Hulk show.

1LR Review - 6 out of 20 - It's a Failure!

Brett Stoner Retires From Comic Store West

Brett Stoner, part owner, of Comic Store West retired today. I couldn't let the occasion pass without stopping in to his retirement party and grabbing some cake. Brett has been in the comics industry for 25 years now. That's quite a feat given the fact that the majority of comic book stores go out of business in the first five years. I'll miss seeing Brett's welcoming face behind the counter at CSW. Brett was always willing to discuss or debate whatever hot topic I had on my mind and I appreciate that. Furthermore, Brett is responsible for the formation of the Keystone Gaming Society, of which I am a member. CSW isn't without hope for the future, however - Brett leaves the store in the capable hands of Brian Waltersdorff and Joe Miller with Scott as the manager.

Superman isn't really sad... he just uses any excuse  to cuddle with  Wonder Woman.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Geek Gear: Lightsaber Chopsticks

Alright, now this is just awesome. Lightsaber chopsticks. If that doesn't hook you, what else can I say?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What's Up With Lone Wolf Multiplayer: Stornlands, Mongoose?

Alright, I'm okay with small delays in product releases, especially if the end product is worth it. But Mongoose is really pushing it with their Stornlands book. I think this product was suppose to be out in August of 2012 and, as far as I know, it hasn't been released yet (I have a standing order in at Comic Store West).
   
Mongoose announced that the book would be split into two books... poor planning on their part but fine, whatever. I understand that would push it back a little. But to rub salt in the wound, Mongoose solicited the second Stornlands book before the first shipped! Why don't they get the first book out the door before worrying about pushing the second one?
Stornlands II

Star Trek: Fleet Captains - Gaming Notes

Awhile back, Sam, John, my son Ben and I played Star Trek: Fleet Captains. This is a $100 game but I've got to say - I just didn't think it was worth the money. There are way too many completely random elements to the game and tons of little modifiers and counters to keep track of. Ultimately, it wasn't very fun. Not to say I didn't win! I know I'm doing well at a board game when Sam gets mad at me and says, "I've never seen anyone do that before!"
So, needless to say, I assembled my federation vessels into a massive fleet and systematically wiped his Klingon ships off the map, even hunting them down and destroying them after they cowardly tried to cloak and flee. The lamentations of Klingon women are particularly sweet!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stephen King Has Road Rage


Yes, Stephen King has Road Rage and I'm happy about it! I can't wait to read the comic book adaptation of Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill's (AKA Joseph King) story, Road Rage coming out next month by IDW! Previously this story was only available on audiobook and it is the first collaboration between King and Hill. Apparently there is gooing to be four issues (a SMALL King limited series for a change!).

Rage on!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Geek gear: Star Wars Ice Cube Trays

There have been some Star Wars ice cube trays for awhile but this was the first time I came across the Millennium Falcon and X-Wing ones. Perhaps not as cool as the Han-Frozen-in-Carbonite, but still pretty cool.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Great Gatsby: The Video Game!

You know, sometimes even reading the CliffsNotes is too much effort. Rejoice, high schoolers everwhere! I present to you: The Great Gatsby: The Video Game! How do you turn a literary classic into an 8-bit video game? Who knows. WHY would be a better question. Check it out at http://greatgatsbygame.com/. Below is a screenshot:

In the first level of the Great Gatsby video game, Nick has to battle martini-carrying butlers and beer-swigging party guests.

What's crazy is that this isn't the first Great Gatsby video game! THIS is:


You could play these games and try to pass the test in class but I strongly suggest you actually read the book. It really is a classic for a reason, you know.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Funny Geek Video... Keep Dreaming Brother!

Squedge must be hard to please because his standards for a girlfriend seem a little... specific. Awesome, but specific. Enjoy, my geek brethern.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Man Thing

Man-Thing is a 2005 direct-to-DVD movie (it is listed as having a box office total of $143,615 but it certainly wasn't released across the nation into movie theaters). It's budget was a measly $7.5 million. Let's cut right to the chase on this one: We might be getting the worst Marvel media project out of the way early on in Marvel Media Mania. Because this thing is a real stinker.

First of all, Man-Thing barely appears in this film. His total screen time is less than five minutes. An oil pump and a dream catcher have more screen time. Seriously. Man-Thing first appears at 42:30 in the film and then we only see his hand. Now I understand hiding the monster to build up suspense but this film isn't suspenseful or scary. Man-Thing is actually the "bad guy" of the film as he is a mass murdered randomly killing humans who wander into the swamp. Why? To push a liberal anti-corporation, pro-environmental agenda. Man-Thing himself looks okay except for the fact that he's an obvious CGI.

This is perhaps the most "mature" Marvel film as well as it is the only one I can think of with frontal nudity, strong swearing throughout, and bloody gore.

Perhaps the biggest problem with this film is the sheer boredom it induces. There are two LONG swamp sequences that are nothing but character travelling in the swamp at night. These sequences actually quite difficult to stay awake during. The plot is slow and there's little character development. I watched this movie twice and I was still confused when they mentioned the name of another character. In the end you just don't care about any of the characters - not even the main character, Kyle Williams, the new sheriff. He moved by Bywater for a job but we never find out anything about his character other than he's a cop.

The best line of the film comes in the first minutes. The new sheriff asks, "Why do they call it Bywater?" His guide replies in a thick southern drawl, "Because it's by the water." That's as good as it gets in this movie.

1LR Review - 3 out of 20 - A Total Failure!

Friday, January 20, 2012

IDW - Decision 2012 Comics Publishing Announcement

1LR previously reported about IDW's "Decision 2012" comic book series. They were only going to publish books that had over 1,500 preorders. Only four of the candidates managed to reach this number - Barack obama, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, and Michele Bachman. Correction - THREE candidates since Sarah Palin isn't even a candidate.

Surprisingly, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney didn't make the cut. I wonder what that says about support for these candidates?

IDW will later announce who the Republican "comic book primary" winner is and then announce the overall winner.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Super Crossover: Infestation 2

There are crossover events and then their are SUPER Crossover events! If somebody told me that there would be a crossover that involved Dungeons and Dragons, 30 Days of Night, G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lovecraft, Danger Girl, Groom lake, Weekly World News, and Transformers I would have said you're crazy. But that's exactly what's going to happen in Infestation 2, the follow up to IDW's first Invasion Super-Crossover. I have no idea if it will be any good or not but you've got to step back and appreciate the sheer scale of this crossover event.
What's surprising is that the crossover will only have thirteen total issues. Maybe Marvel and DC should take some notes in how to make an event financially accessible to the ordinary fans.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Geek Gear: Star Trek Enterprise Bottle Opener

Similar in design to the Enterprise pizza cutter, the Star Trek: U.S.S> Enterprise Bottle Opener is another innovative use of the Enterprise design. This is the kind of thing that you might get even if you're not a Star Trek fan.  Doesn't it just look like a stylish and sturdy bottle opener?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Geek Gear: Marvel Hero Aprons

So I showed you the cool DC hero aprons awhile back. Now take a look at the Marvel Hero Aprons... just as well designed, only with cooler characters.

Marvel® Apron

Monday, January 16, 2012

King of Toyko - Gaming Notes #5

I just can't get enough of King of Tokyo. After wrapping Star Wars D6 the other night, we had a few minutes so out came this great game.

I was the Alienoid (my second favorite character)
The Bryan was Cyber Bunny
Dave was the Kraken
and Sam was Gigazaur

Honestly, it was a pretty domesticated game. Much different from the other games I've played, perhaps because only four players played, not more.

Bryan set the pace early by gaining points by the bucketload on his first turn and continuing to pile them on turn after turn. I played the typical elimination-style play with little effect.

Ultimately, nobody was eliminated at all and Bryan rolled an amazing five threes in one round to win the game by points. I was impressed! But the horrible part was that he didn't even let us have a rematch, deciding to walk away the winner!

Oh well, I'm always happy to see the Cyber Bunny win...
 

Barats and Bareta

Barats and Bareta = comedic gold!

This pair of filmmakers hit it big when their "Cubical Wars" video went viral. They crank out videos at an amazing rate. They literally have scores of videos cataloged. They don't shy away from any subject their - they're equally likely to make fun of religion, themselves (usually implying awkward homosexuality), video gamers, basketball, or office life. When I watch these videos I get the idea that these guys grew up just like me - playing Nintendo, DnD, and going to church. Check them out on YouTube (where almost every video has hundreds of thousands of views) or at www.baratsandbareta.com.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Some of '83 - Geek Song Video

Yet another awesome Squedge video... 100% geek life in song form. Does this guy have a CD? If so, I want it!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Marvel Anime: Blade

Blade: Anime is a part of the Marvel Anime series by Madhouse. It is one of four series produced where Marvel characters are reimaged with an anime feel (Iron Man, X-Men, and Wolverine are the other three). It was released in Japan in 2010 and internationally in 2011. There were 12 episodes.
Marvel Anime: Blade
The storyline of Blade: Anime is a familiar one: Blade is hunting vampires, the leader of which is Deacon Frost. Deacon Frost killed Blade's mother, causing Blade to be born a Daywalker (Vampire without the weakness to daylight). Blade himself looks very much like the Wesley Snipes movie counterpart.

But the similarities stop there. This series has a very "anime" feel (of course) which means lots and lots of back to back action sequences with very little meaning attached to them. Some of the action is okay but scenes are often so dark or the camera is so busy doing pans and close-ups it is hard to follow exactly what's going on. Sometimes "stop action" sequences almost reminded me of a motion comic which was pretty cool.

The Japanese take on vampires is a very... "loose" interpretation. Certainly fans of traditional vampire lore will be left scratching their heads. For example, in one sequence a vampire transforms into a thing that looks like a werewolf but fights underwater called a "Suikou." Deacon's "sons" are weird humanoid creatures without eyes and a huge gaping maws filled with razor sharp teeth. Vampires have yellow eyes... something that one would think would be a dead giveaway. None of this is ever explained... maybe it would make sense if I was Japanese. Anyway, Frost leads a vampire organization called, "Existence." Vampires don't seem too concerned with being secretive.

I'd say this series definitely goes for style over substance. The style wears thin after about two episodes, however. The fight sequences blur together into one big mental smear. While the art is competent the character designs were pretty much standard-issue anime.

1LR Review - 9 out of 20 - It's a Miss!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Geek Gear: Star Wars Back Buddies

Now I can't say I'd be caught dead wearing on of these things to school if I was a student, but the Star Wars Back Buddies are awesome in concept and design. Who wouldn't want a backpack in the shape of Yoda or Boba Fett's rocket pack?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kevin Keller #1

Kevin Keller #1
Archie Comics will official give Kevin Keller, Archie's gay friend, his own ongoing series, launching with Kevin Keller #1. How does Kevin Keller get his own title when Reggie, Moose, and Dilton, all popular characters with long histories, don't have their own series?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bone: Quest for the Spark #2 (Novel)

Bone #2 (novel)
I love the Bone graphic novels. Recently, Cartoon Books published an actual Bone novel called Quest for the Spark. #2 has been solicited... I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gear Gear: Table of Catan

This idea was sent in from John C...

I'm a huge Settlers of Catan fan so when John C sent me this link (tableofcatan.com) I couldn't resist checking it out.

Table of Catan!
The Table of Catan is a table with the catan game board build into the table. Sounds pretty cool but... who would buy this? The oak table retails for just under $400. That's a lot of Catan! Doesn't a card table for $10 work just as well? I mean, it might be cool to have if you're super rich but I could think of plenty of ways to spend $400 that don't involve a table specifically designed to play a $40 game on. What about Seafarers or Cities and Knights (or other variants)? They don't fit nicely into this table, apparently.

Good idea, but I wonder how many of these they've actually sold. You've got to REALLY, REALLY love Catan to purchase this table. So, John, invite me over when you buy one so I can play on it.

Gaming Notes: AD&D 1e (OSRIC) #1

In grand 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons tradition, the party assembled in a tavern.
Also in grand 1e D&D tradition, two of our players forgot their character sheets! D'oh, Sam and John! We pressed on, undeterred.

The small village is called Rashtan and the paladin, Mathias Masterson, met a ranger, barbarian, and druid in the tavern. Mathias was sent from his order to find if there is an ancient city in the Forest of Spines (which is nearby Rashtan) and also to find out if the rumors of a new type of goblin thought to be in the area are true.

In conversation in the tavern, we discovered that the town was having a little of its own trouble. Petty thefts had been happening and two villagers had gone missing. A local, Jacobi, of course attracted by Mathias's shining personality, offered to assist us.

The party initially set out, asking questions here and there. We encounter the Sheriff, whom I have much respect for. Our searching came to naught until the ranger thought to look into the city's well, which was reported to be haunted.

Down the well we found a passage. We fought some dreadful rats and then a large toad. How curious! I wonder where this passage could lead?

10,000 Pageviews!

Well, to say that I've been away for a bit is an understatement... since my computer blew up I've barely been able to keep tabs on this site! But no fear - the new computer has been ordered and will arrive next week! I'm back, baby!

SOMETIME in the last few weeks, 1LR hit 10,000 pageviews. WOW! Thanks, folks, for continuing to check 1LR out! Everyone working here is humbled at the honor of having you read our words!
1LR (current) - 11,650
KGS - 16,396

Monday, January 9, 2012

Geek Gear: Mega Man 8 Bit Keychains

Everyone loves Mega Man!
The original Red Bull
I'm an old school fan of the original Nintendo. I have many fond memories of Mega Man and these keychains just bring them all flooding back. I think the 8 bit style is actually artistically valid. There's a certain simplicity in design when something is draw in 8 bit graphics. Check 'em out!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

BEST GAME EVER! - Another Brilliant Geek Song

Yet another genius geek song from Squedge... Give this guy some love and send this link around to all of your friends in the know... for the brilliance of this song his view total is pathetic. Keep 'em coming, Squedge!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Marvel Media Mania: Blade: The Series

Blade: The Series originally aired starting in 2007 on Spike TV. There was only one season of Blade that contained 12 episodes. The previously reviewed Blade: House of Chthon was the two-hour pilot episode for this series. The only way this series is in continuity with the Blade movies is if it happens prior to Blade: Trinity due to the fact that all the vampires die in Blade: Trinity. Stylistically and visually the series is very similar to the movies.


I went into Blade: The Series with low expectations. Honestly, I wasn't even going to watch all twelve episodes - watch the first few, perhaps the last episode, and then review it. But I got hooked. It's surprisingly good! I'm guessing this has a lot to do with Geoff Johns, famed comic book writer, being tapped as the lead creative force behind the show.

The action picks up right from the plotlines of the pilot. A large portion of the series is focused around Krista, who worked with Blade but was turned into a vampire in the pilot. One of the great things about a TV show compared to a movie is that there's all kinds of time to explore the backstories and personalities of the supporting cast. Marcus Van Sciver, Krista, Shen, Chase, and Charlotte are the main characters and their individual stories are woven together. In some ways, it's almost like Blade is a secondary character in his own series. Krista is really the main character as she struggles to maintain her humanity. 

The series breaks some new ground for vampires as well. A vampire rip out his own fang to cut his way free. Krista must undergo a "sweat-lodge" ritual in which she is completely submerged in a pool of blood. Krista turns her own mother to save her from cancer. There's a vampire restaurant where vampires get to pick out their human meal like lobsters in a tank. Vampire ash is used as an ingredient in street drugs, turning users into vampire-want-to-be's called "Ashers" for an hour or two. I particularly liked the parallel that was drawn between returning from war as a veteran and adjusting to vampirism. I also liked the vampire "child" Charlotte and seeing the colonial indian vampires.

There are a few plotlines that get lost along the way. What ever happened to the cop that Krista turned and then was hunting? What about the agent that was learning about vampires? Nothing ever comes of these storylines. 

Then again, at times a very, very minor character shows up out of the blue and we're suppose to remember them from eight episodes earlier. For example, the agent shows up at a lady's house in episode 11 (I think) and we haven't seen her since episode 1! You're left wondering - who is this lady? 

And, of course, we're given plenty of Blade action. We find out that Blade actually ran with a vampire gang called "Bad Blood" as a youth. We get references with Whistler and even see him as a youth and discover how he hurt his knee. 

I think my favorite character may have been Shen, though. He's Blade's assistant and he's got real personality.  At one point, to make a distraction in a casino, he jumps up on the casino table and starts shouting, "I am Godzilla!" The series, although heavy in tone, is littered with little humorous moments or when they play against expectations. Like when Blade goes to confront a doctor who is working with the vampires. He kicks open the door only to see... a room full of pregnant women. Hilarious!

I wish the series had a more satisfying ending, however. You can tell the creators of the show really thought they'd get a second season. The main plotline of the first season wraps up nicely but the last scene is a real teaser. Sigh. I suppose it fits with the old Hollywood mantra, "Leave them wanting more!"

1LR Review - 15 out of 20 - It's a Hit!

D&D1e (OSRIC) Gaming Notes: Worst Party Ever?

So, if you've ever played 1st Edition Dungeons and Dragons you know that you've got to build your party very carefully. If you have four members in your party you should have a fighter, cleric, magic user, and thief because each of these classes bring a unique skill to the party.

Well, when we created our party the other week we ended up with... none of those. Seriously. INSTEAD, we have a Paladin, Barbarian, Druid, and Ranger (all human).

So there's no detecting or disabiling traps. There's no detect magic. There's no healing. We have a couple of meat shields and a ranged attack but without someone to heal them what good will they be?

This might be an interesting campaign... I think I'll start generating my backup character already.

I'm the paladin. One highlight for me? I'm the only party member with a natural 18 statistic! SWEET!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pick-A-Plot: You are a Cat! GN

I choose... to sleep in the sun.
When I was a kid I was a big fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure books (okay, let me be honest - I'm still a big fan).

The recently announced You are a Cat! Pick-a-Plot book is unique because it is actually a graphic novel/choose your own adventure hybrid!


While that alone is genius, what's even more genius are the fake adds included in this book for future Pick-A-Plot books that will never actually be published such as You Are a Cult Leader!, You Are Homeless, and You Are Obsessed With Johnny Depp!.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Geek Gear: Gamemastery Flip-Mat: Pirate Ship

I ran a Dungeons and Dragons campaign a number of years back in which the PCs were all pirates. I found combat aboard a ship to be extremely frustrating. The rules of DnD break down when you have a swarm of sea creatures crawling all over a (relatively) small area. Likewise when battling a gigantic sea creature like a Kraken!

So when I saw that Paizo Publishing solicited a Pirate Ship game mat, I was pumped! One side has ships next to each other for ship-to-ship combat, the other has the different decks in a ship. What's even better is that you can write on it with erasable marker. All this for $13! Now that's cool!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stan Lee's Secrets Behind the Comics SC

Stan Lee origianlly published this book in 1947. It's being reprinted by Pure Imagination Publihsing. I'd like to take a peek at this legendary book but the new printing has a price point of $20.00... oddly, it appears that the cover will be unaltered even though it says "PRICE $1" on it.
Secrets Behind the Comics by Stan Lee #1947

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Julian Smith - Funny Videos

Julian Smith produces a new funny video every week. He has a wickedly keen sense of humor! Some of his songs are truly Weird Al worthy. Check 'em out!



Monday, January 2, 2012

Who Would Win: Han Solo Vs. Indiana Jones

Harrison Ford famously brought to life two iconic characters on the silver screen: Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Both are beloved by fans and some may see many similarities between the two. Fans may even argue that Han Solo was the soul of the original Star Wars films. But, today we ask a question that I've never seen asked before: If Han Solo and Indiana Jones were to meet and fight one another, who would win?

Please note, for the purposes of this contest we're assuming that Han somehow makes his way to 1930's Earth. We're stripping Han Solo of the Millennium Falcon and sidekick Chewbacca. Likewise, Indie will not have any of his various assistants. Both men will be given their standard gear they carry - a blaster for Han, a whip and six shooter for Indie. Both men are after the same priceless artifact, Han to sell it for profit, Indie to collect it for a museum.

First, let's look at the contestants:

Han Solo
According to Wookieepedia, the essential online tome of all things Star Wars, Han Solo is a 1.8 meters tall human male. An orphan, Han learned survival the hard way on the streets. He eventually received military training as a pilot. Over the years he's been in many a physical scrap. Despite what the Special Editions would have you believe, Han doesn't hesitate to fight dirty and shoot first when his fat is in the fire. He's a fair shot with his blaster pistol and has a keen tactical mind.
Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones, Jr. Ph.D.
Physically, Indiana Jones is a nearly exact match for Han Solo. His early years were one adventure after another as he traveled the globe with his parents. Indy received formal combat training when he joined the Belgian army during World War I. As a part of his adventuring career Indy overcomes tremendous odds by using his ingenuity and tenacious will. In physical combat Indy uses his superior intellect and perseverance to overcome his opponent.
THE ACTION
Indy and Han enter the large underground tomb from opposite sides at the same moment. In an instant, they both see one another and their goal - the priceless statuette. Not expecting company, Han's first instinct is to lay down a little cover fire as he retreats. Indiana has studied the map of this room well and, suspecting that Han is a Nazi agent, pulls a nearby lever, dropping gates that block all exits to stop Nazi reinforcements from entering and also blocking Han's escape. Han quickly ducks behind a statue and, assuming that Indy is a bounty hunter, yells out, "Tell Jabba the Hut that I'll have the money I own his just as soon as I sell that artifact!" Not understanding, Indiana yells back, "I'll be taking it with me, if  you don't mind! Jabba the Hun will have to do without his prize!"

The two strategically move around the room from cover to cover. Han fires several times but doesn't hit."The Nazis have unlocked advanced technology!" Indiana thinks about Han's blaster pistol. Han, realizing that the close quarters crowded with pillars and statues doesn't work well with his blaster, hides in a shadowy alcove and waits for Indy to pass by. Pressing his blaster into Indy's back, Han smiles and says, "Gotcha! Don't make any fast moves!" Han reaches to take Indy's pistol but just as Han looks down to see where Indy's weapon is, Indy observes his distracted opponent in the shiny surface of the golden statuette and throws a mighty blow into Han's gut causing him to lose his blaster. Quickly recovering, Han tackles Indiana Jones and the two roll across the floor. Han gains the upper hand, pinning Indy down and landing several vicious blows. It looks hopeless until Indy throws a handful of tomb sand and dust into Han's face and bucks him off.

Indiana Jones quickly whips the statuette off its perch and quickly puts it in his satchel.  Immediately the tiles of the floor begin to fall away into a vast nothingness. Indiana whips a hanging lantern and swings for the exit but Han, who is quickly regaining his sight from the dust, picks up and fires his blaster, narrowly missing Indiana but cutting the strap on his satchel. Han deftly snatches the statuette from the air as his begins to climb the walls toward a ledge high above where he now sees another exit. Indiana Jones sees this and swings around on his whip, knocking Han from the wall with both feet. Han tumbles into the abyss, seemingly forever lost, and Indy watches helplessly as the statuette is caught on a ledge far below him and covered with the debris raining down. Indiana Jones climbs out of the tomb alive, victorious over his adversary but without his prize.



And the winner is.... Indiana Jones! Disagree? Let me know how YOU think this epic fight would go!

Sunday, January 1, 2012