Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quick comic recommendations and reviews

There are a lot of really great comics out there and with the changes at Marvel & DC there is a lot to be excited about for comic book fans.
Here are a few of the books that I've been enjoying, or not, over the past few months. Oddly enough I've also been buying more books digitally. As a matter of fact all of these books are ones I have been reading in the digital format exclusively.  I'm still reading my print monthlies and I won't be giving them up, but there are some books that I'm okay with not buying in the printed format. Digital isn't all bad and I'm really liking Comixology's app.

The Pound (IDW): This is not the greatest book, but it is a lot of fun. Two former animal control officers, and their werewolf buddy are all that stands between the citizens of Cleveland and the monsters that are hiding in plain sight. I'd like to see this as an ongoing. I'd definitely recommend picking this up in trade.

Witch Doctor (Skybound/Image):  I am loving this book. They describe this as "House M.D. meets Fringe" and I'd say that's a pretty fair assessment. For fans of the weird/horror genre this book is a must buy as far as I'm concerned. While I'm still waiting for the remainder of my new 52 books to get here, this book takes the top spot as my pick of the month.

Hawk & Dove (DC): I, like many others, have my issues with Rob Liefeld, but for the most part I like his art. Is it perfect, no, some would say it isn't even very good, but I think his style is fun and I like it.
I'll be honest, I've never been a Hawk & Dove fan, so he was actually the only reason I gave H&D a try. I read the series back when Liefeld did it originally, I disliked it then and I'm not enjoying it now.
I'm sure that there are fans of H&D out there and for them this book may be worth it, but for me this was one of the weakest DC books I've read in the past few years. Unfortunately even figthing zombies on an airplane couldn't save this book, and I'm still a zombie fan. I tried the first issue, but I won't be back.
I see a quick death for this title.

Batwing(DC): I was kind of surprised by this book. It wasn't great, it was actually very mediocre, but it was enjoyable. We see so little of the heroes from other countries and in this issue we are not only introduced to the Batman of Africa, but to the idea that there was an actual team of heroes at some point. Granted I've heard some complain that Batwing can't patrol the whole continent and should be confined to a single country, but how many times have we seen Batman operating in other countries? As a matter of fact he makes a quick appearance in this issue. So the idea of a hero that operates on an entire continent is not too far fetched.
While I do like the book, I doubt that I'll buy any more issues. To be honest if it wasn't for the fact that my comics budget is stretched too thin as it is, I'd add this to my pull list. So my decision to not follow this book is not based on the quality. The art was great and the story was passable. A little disappointing for a premier issue, but definitely not a waste of time or money.
For a new reader or those that are screaming for more diversity this book should be a welcome addition to the DCU, and it is an enjoyable read. Being a Batman book affords this title a longer lifespan than many of the other New 52 books, but I doubt that the book will last too long. After all many of the people who like to cry about diversity are the same people who will bitch and complain on the internet regardless of what DC does. Unfortunately, those people don't really have any intention of supporting the titles they supposedly champion, they just like the attention that whining can provide. That's too bad because this book could

So far the two DC books I've mentioned in this post are the only two of the New 52 that I've read. I'm a bit disappointed, and perhaps I hyped it up too much, but I really did expect DC to go all out for the relaunch. I thought they would only put out the best of the best of the best, but these two books were definitely not up to that level. I've heard really great reviews of some of the higher profile books, which is not surprising, but I really thought DC would try a little harder, this time, with the lower profile books. Hopefully, this is just a case of expectations that are just a bit too high on my part.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My current games

The last game I ran was a d20 Modern, CoC d20 and Monte Cook's World of Darkness hybrid. The PC's were a team of ghost hunters, just like on TV, that ended up investigating an abandoned psychiatric hospital that is infested with ghost, demons and other ghoulies. Sure it isn't the most original of ideas, but it was a lot of fun and went very well.

My player's consisted of one long time player, his daughter, my daughter, one of my regular teen players and his girlfriend. It was the girlfriend's first time playing and I am happy to report that not only did everyone have a good time, but I think I ran a damn fine game. In the past few years I've been really fortunate, depending on your perspective, because I have had a lot of players that have never played a table top rpg before. Considering that we don't have a FLGS I think it is pretty great that I've seen 8 new players in the past few years. Not just new to my table but new to the entire experience. That's pretty cool.

Despite many years of GMing I continue to learn about not only the experience, but myself. Every "great" game I've ran for the past few years has been non-fantasy. Sure I love my 3e/Pathfinder, I like 4e and I'm even fond of several other fantasy games, but I'm just not having fun running fantasy and haven't been for quite a while. Running a fantasy game feels like a chore, like work. I'm just burned out on fantasy and don't even enjoy reading or watching S&W fantasy at the moment.

All of the games that get me excited, make me want to play are all non-fantasy. I have quiet a few games that I am really excited about playing like Mutant Epoch, Mutants & Masterminds 3e/DC Adventures, Hollow Earth Expedition, Buffy tVS, and all of my d20 Modern/CoC/MCWoD books.

I've got a game coming up and this time I'm considering running either M&M3e or Buffy. I'm wanting to try my hand at running a supers game, so I'm leaning heavily towards M&M. Before we go on winter hiatus I'm going to try to run a post-apocalyptic game. Assuming the the players are okay with it. Now that they've decided to leave the "I only play fantasy" player out of the group for a bit everyone else is eager to try something new. That's fine by me.