Friday, July 29, 2011

Comic Con, RPGs and Podcasts

Comic Con has come and gone and this year DC seemed to dominate. Not that I'm complaining mind you. I'm a lifelong DC fan, but it did seem odd to see DC as the center of attention. This years Comic Con was actually about comics. Hollywood has dominated the event for the past several years, so it was nice to have an actual comic book company be the big news.

Of course I'm excited about the DC 52 launch this September. Granted I think more than a couple of the books will tank, but over all I'm really jazzed that DC is doing something this bold. I'm also glad that they are already looking at the next wave of books and not just depending on the initial 52 to carry everything. Plus Ryan Choi is not only alive again, but he is The Atom and he's in the Justice League!!! They may not have brought Ted back :-( , but at least they gave us Ryan back. Good job DC.

I've been listening to the DC Comic Con panels on the DC Podcast, (or through itunes) which I highly recommend you download and listen to, and there was really only one time that I got aggravated. Jim, Geoff and all the other DC people were very gracious, even when people asked really dumb questions. However, someone asked a decent question about why the number of female creators has dropped and Didio was a dick to them.

As a listener that really pissed me off. The guy asked a legit question and wanted an intelligent answer and Didio got all snarky and down right rude to the guy. I've heard that Didio was an asshat from other people, but I've never met the guy so I can't say for sure. All I know is that he would have deserved it if the guy that asked the question had caught him after the panel and taught him some manners by putting a boot up his ass.

Didio really did seem to come off as a real jerk. Plus he has a bad habit of talking over the creators. Honestly I don't really care what Didio thinks unless it is something that can't be answered by the creators.  I'd just rather hear what the creators think or have planned for a character. It isn't the Dan Didio Panel at Dan Didio Con for Dan Didio Comics, but that's kind of how he comes off. Again I wasn't there and was only listening to an audio podcast so I can only say how it seemed from the audio. Maybe I would have a different opinion if I had actually been there and seen it. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, but I wasn't impressed with him.

I saw a CBR interview with Quesada @ Comic Con and he was really upbeat and positive about DC's 52 reboot, even though Marvel is again doing their dick move of "tear up DC books and get a Marvel prize". Of course I'm not a big Marvel fan and probably take things like that much more personally than I should. Still he was pretty nice and positive about the whole thing.

In a CBR interview with Todd McFarlane he had nothing positive to say about the DC reboot and from what I hear Mark Waid is pretty anti-DC as well at the moment. It kind of sucks that creators get like that, especially ones I really like, but then I guess if you have a bad experience with an employer you get that way.

Honestly I don't care if they do hate DC and/or Marvel. The way I look at it there are a lot more people reading Marvel and DC books than will ever read their creator owned stuff. People will remember the DC and Marvel characters long after their creator owned stuff is forgotten, even though some of it is pretty damn good.

Since we're on the topics of comics, I'm going to suggest some comics to read. I'm not going to do a whole lot of Marvel and DC stuff, mostly because if you read comics there is a good chance you already read their stuff and are aware of what they offer.

First I am going to recommend The Pound. This is put out by IDW and it's about animal control officers who open their own business in Cleveland and find out that the town if full of monsters. It's a min-series and it isn't the most brilliant of books, but it is a lot of fun. I've read the first 3 issues digitally and I've really enjoyed them. I definitely recommend it.

Second, I'm going to recommend the G.I. Joe books all of which are by IDW. G.I. Joe, Cobra and Snake-eyes are set in the IDW continuity and are really good books. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is set in the same universe as the Marvel Comics series. It actually picks up where the Marvel series left off  and is also very good read. Of the two universes I prefer the IDW one as it is a bit more adult, but Hama is still doing a great job of picking up where he left off on the Marvel series. Try them both and see which one you like best. Maybe you'll do like me and read both.

House of Mystery by Vertigo is another book I really enjoy. It's just a really fun, twisted book and I can't quit reading it. You can get the trades pretty cheap on Amazon.

Captain America and Bucky, Captain America and Alpha Flight but this should come as no surprise. Cap and Alpha Flight are the only Marvel books I read on a monthly basis. Unless of course they bring back Iron Fist. They are really good books and I highly recommend them.

Showcase presents... I love these trades. Where else can you get up to 25 issues of a comic book series for under $20 (some are under $10 if you use Amazon). Sure they are black and white, but they reprint some classic books and allow you to read some great stories for next to nothing. I buy these every chance I get and enjoy the hell out of them. I highly recommend them.

Lastly I recommend picking up the Captain Canuck Vol 1 and Vol. 2 trades. CC may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I've always enjoyed the character. Or you can pre-order the Complete Edition and get all 15 of the original issues, the summer special and the newspaper strip. I've already got mine pre-ordered.

Lastly I have to give some recognition to Discount Comic Book Service. I've just placed my first order with them, but I have heard nothing but positive things about them and so far the customer service has been great. The prices are amazing and I suggest you check them out.

This year's Comic Con also gave us the teaser trailers for the Amazing Spider-man, Avengers, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. All movies that I'm eager to see. Well actually I'm not too keen on seeing the origin of Spider-man again, but I will watch it and I definitely want to see the other movies.

The Raimi Spider-man is just a decade old, it's too soon for a complete reboot. The origin movie is still too fresh in our minds. Just like a James Bond movies, I would have been completely OK with them simply casting new people and making another movie in the series, even if they didn't call it Spider-man 4. But I really don't want another origin movie. I have the feeling they are going to do the same thing with Batman once the Nolan Trilogy finishes. I don't want more reboots, just recast and keep going!!

Walking Dead season 2 also had a long trailer, which shows them finally making it to the farm. Granted there were some changes to the story that I like better in the comic, but over all season 1 of the show was great. I only hope season 2 is half as good. I have a friend who has never read a comic book(seriously, he had to ask me how to read one), but loves the show. So I let him read my trades of the series. He likes the comic better too and wishes they had kept more of the comic in the show, but he still loves the show. 

As for RPGs, I'm a very disappointed that Exile Game Studios won't have Revelations of Mars, a sourcebook for the awesome Hollow Earth Expedition game, ready by Gen Con. I was really looking forward to getting that book.

My group no longer wanted to play 2e AD&D and made me start running a Pathfinder game once again. My group has grown from 3 to 6 players with only two people (me and 1 player) who are over 17. It's kind of odd to be running a game for a group made up mostly of kids. Two of which are girls (niece and daughter). It's going pretty good, but I have to run a real battle heavy, plot-lite game, with heavy miniatures use, which is something that is not normally my style.  So it is kind of a learning experience for me. I've done one shots like this over the years when I just needed a quick game, but this is a whole campaign. It is a little different experience.

I'm still trying to talk them into letting me run something different, but it doesn't look good. A couple of players want me to run a supers game, I suggested a post-apocalyptic game or even a G.I. Joe vs monsters game (1 player liked this), but I can't get everyone on the same page. One player absolutely refuses to play anything but Pathfinder and due to the circumstance of the group it is an all or nothing situation. I can't even get them to play 4e! You would think a group that loves battle so much would be thrilled to go back to 4e, but nope. So we are sticking with Pathfinder.

I also have some podcasts that I've been listening to recently and I want to recommend them.
Raging Bullets, "A DC comics fan podcast" is a really good and show that I thoroughly enjoy. When it comes to strictly comic book podcasts, this one and Backroom Comics are my first two choices.  When it comes to video podcasts I go with Exploring the Multiverse.

Last but not least is Star Joes  " A podcast dedicated to Star Wars, G.I. Joe, and everything in between. We talk about Comics, Movies, TV Shows, and Toys…lots of Toys…". It's a really fun show if you love '80s comics and toys like G.I. Joe, Transformers, TMNT, Voltron, etc.

These are the shows I've added to my normal rotation of The Nut Gallery, Tekzilla, Hak5, The Tome and 3.5 Private Sanctuary.