Saturday, August 30, 2008

Which Earth is this anyway?

Well, the folks at MTV wasted no time in spoiling whatever glory I might have felt from being among the Comic Blog Elite.

They sent an email to the CBE folks trawling for "young people obsessed with a pop culture phenomenon", to convince them "this was their chance to be heard" on some new freak-show designed to make their viewers feel better because at least they aren't, you know, that guy who dresses up like a Klingon.

On the one hand, this is great validation for CBE. On the other hand, it's still demeaning that producers looking for obsessed fanboy freaks to make fun of go straight to comic book bloggers. It was so upsetting, in fact, that I spent my entire evening last night bitching about it to my life-sized mannequin of Vibe, ruining an otherwise lovely candlelit dinner for two.

Of course, among our own little troop, it's easy to admit that our fondness for comics has colored our worldview. Heck, that's part of their purpose!

But, sometimes -- admit it -- you can forget for a second just which Earth you're on...

The other day, I glanced at some text in an ad for a certain backpack line named Velocity 9, and, before I could realized what it was, my first thought was

"Great Rao, Vandal Savage's drug cartel has reached Earth-Prime!"

How embarrassing.

I remember another from quite a few years ago. A distraught friend call me on the phone to break the news to me: "Princess Diana is dead!" I replied, "Um, yeah, sure. I know that already, Michael. But don't worry, she'll be back within a year or so, I'm certain."

So, I've shared some of MY "Which Earth is this, anyway?" moments with you. Now, it's your turn. When have you suddenly caught yourself confused or miscommunicating because your head's just a bit too close to the staples in your comics?

Friday, August 29, 2008

How Tough is the Shield?


So tough he eats hand-grenades for breakfast.
Every morning.


So tough he beats sharks.
With chains.


So tough he sets himself on fire.
Unafraid to flame in public.


So tough that his best friend is
J. Edgar Hoover.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ESCAPE FROM ARKHAM

Well, I was going to post about the Shield again today.

But THIS, I believe, takes priority (at least, for some of us).

I've known this for a while, but was sworn to secrecy. Now that it's been leaked by others elsewhere, there's no real point in trying to keep quiet...

THE LIST OF THE FIGURES IN THE NEXT DC HEROCLIX SET, "ARKHAM ASYLUM":

001 WHITE MARTIAN (generic)
002 MANHUNTER (As in "No Man Escapes The")
003 MULTIPLEX
004 THE QUESTION (Renee Montoya)
005 FLORONIC MAN
006 GOTHAM CITY DETECTIVE
007 TWO-FACE
008 STREET THUG
009 KID DEVIL
010 GORILLA GRODD
011 THE RIDDLER
012 AMANDA WALLER
013 HUMAN BOMB
014 SCANDAL SAVAGE
015 PLASMUS
016 BATMAN
017 MAN-BAT ASSASSIN
018 SOLOMON GRUNDY
019 LASHINA
020 ANARKY
021 MISS MARTIAN
022 HITMAN
023 WONDER WOMAN (Diana Prince)
024 COUNT VERTIGO
025 JOHNNY SORROW
026 NIGHTSHADE
027 FIREFLY
028 ARKILLO
029 PER DEGATON
030 AMON SUR
031 CAPTAIN GORDON
032 LIGHTNING LORD
033 THINKER
034 ROBIN
035 GHOST FOX KILLER
036 ZOOM
037 ELEMENT LAD
038 PENGUIN
039 COSMIC KING
040 DOCTOR DESTINY
041 FRANKENSTEIN (from 7 Soldiers)
042 VENTRILOQUIST (w/Scarface)
043 CALCULATOR
044 YELLOW LANTERN (Bizarro)
045 CIRCE
046 LYSSA DRAK
047 ULTRA-HUMANITE
048 BIZARRO #1
049 BLACK MANTA
050 METRON
051 MAD HATTER
052 BATGIRL
053 THE TOP
054 DESPERO
055 SABBAC
056 THE FLASH (Jay Garrick)
057 SATURN QUEEN
058 CHANG TZU (aka Egg Fu)
059 THE JOKER
060 SUPERMAN PRIME
BITB Clix: 061 THE CLOWN PRINCE OF CRIME - Joker escaping Arkham Asylum

LE's
101. Crispus Allen (as Spectre)


PRIZES: "No Man's Land" Event dial prize for Winner, Fellowship and Envoy, as well as an exclusive "Bizarro World" BFC card and "The Asylum" map for all players (up to 16)!

Naturally, I have a lot to say about this.

But I'd prefer to save it for your own comments...

Things That Made Me Happy

in my comics this week.

  • Hawkman's expository soliloquy.
  • Brainiac 5 doing, well, what only Brainiac 5 can do.
  • The perfectly logical explanation of why Superman (et al.) are better than their anti-matter countparts.
  • How can anyone not be able to tell the difference between the waltz and the cha-cha?
  • Hey, looks like Gog took the same classes on Divine Retribution that the Spectre took.
  • "I'll walk with Gog"; that would make a great song title!
  • That is almost exactly how a dog thinks.
  • What Geoff did with Lance. As ALWAYS, Geoff's plan seems obvious in retrospect, but you never, ever, ever see it coming!
  • "Ding-dang".
  • The Lyapunov terminus boundary. In a frickin' comic book.
  • Of course; that's who Enigma is.
  • I don't know who Wonderdog is, but I feel I owe him a great debt of gratitude.
  • The magic wand joke in Spider-Man. Nice one.
  • How to represent "helium voice" in a word balloon.
  • Thank you, Robin, for not acting like there's nothing else going on in your other books.
  • You know, I'd want a dog like that... if I didn't already have one.
  • "Yes, I know my own name, thank you." Occasional real-world reactions to expository exclamations can be refreshing!
  • Oh, grife, Kin'thea is falling for the charms of Garth, and I think I am, too.
  • The ending to Teen Titans Year One is... odd. Disturbingly.
  • Ultraman is still a moron.
  • The pantry at Legion HQ is unusually ... well stocked.
  • Well, really, the only good thing I can say about that is: I got to see Geo-Force's throat get slit.
  • Aqualad's showercap. Particularly since it took me a full minute before I asked myself, "Why is he wearing a showercap?"
  • Okay, I shouldn't find "Anti-venom" brilliant; but I do anyway.
  • "Shut up. No questions. Do as I say." Really; how can you not love that man?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Big Monkey Heroclix Token Postcard


Ah, now this one I'm proud of. It's not just decorative, it's functional (that is, if you play Heroclix).


This is an oversized Big Monkey postcard, with 15 tokens you can cut out and use in your Heroclix games! They are designed to go with my new full-size Heroclix map of the Big Monkey store in the District (you'll see that later, I promise, once it's available to buy from Xion Games).

All these tokens are people and things you might find at Big Monkey.

The Light Objects (in yellow) include:
  • Spinner racks, with some loose comics nearby that you just might recognize;
  • a Heroclix table, with my own "Iceberg Lounge" map on it;
  • our famous sale table, where fortunes have been won and lost;
  • and our beloved Civilian Bench, where the comic book pilgrims deposit their significant others while they pay their respects at the Big Monkey. It's the Wailing Wall of comic books, and if you look closely you can see a girlfriend lying on it unconscious, overwhelmed by the rarefied atmosphere of high-level comic book discussion at Big Monkey.

The Heavy Objects (in red) include:

  • Bookcases, spilling over with quality trades and hardcovers;
  • A file cabinet, container of sub files; "the perfect container, the container of all our hopes for the future";
  • The picnic table (it goes outside on the rooftop deck behind the store);
  • and the safe, where fortunes are stored and hopefully not lost.

The Special Objects (in blue) include the Absolute Edition and the Rare Issue. Either may be picked up by any figure in the game.

The Absolute Edition grants whoever carries it Deflection, because it's thick enough to deflect mere bullets and blasts of ill-defined energy. If an attack against the holder of the Absolute Edition succeeds, the Absolute Edition absorbs one click of the damage and is removed from play.

The Rare Issue grants whoever carries it immunity from long-range attacks, because no comic book character would risk harming a rare issue. If a close combat attack against the holder of the Rare Issue succeeds, the attacker takes the Rare Issue as his own. The Rare Issue cannot be destroyed; it's been bagged and boarded, you see.

The Big Monkey Bystanders (in brown) include:
  • The Customer, as portrayed by the charming Lauren Martella, head of the Big Monkey Women's Discussion Group;
  • The Player, as portrayed by the avuncular Tom Price, Wizkids Envoy and host of the on-going Big Monkey Heroclix tournament series;
  • The Staff, as portrayed by the angelic James Rambo, host of our fortnightly Crime Alley Cinema night.
All these bystanders have the Big Monkey Team Ability: no figure may attack them if they have the opportunity to attack some other figure instead. This should keep them on the board a good deal longer than your average meatshield.

It'll be a while before I get them back from the printer, but when I do, maybe I can mail you one (for a modest PayPal fee to cover expenses).