Sunday, August 16, 2009

Let's Catch Up, Shall We? Dumpster Diving and Other Crap.

Hi!!! I am SO glad you are here. So much has happened since I have been busy with real-world affairs. For example, I have been doing a lot of traveling lately. China is beautiful in the summer. So is Omaha.


Dungeons & Dragons. The mere mention of the gaming behemoth will usually illicit multiple reactions.

"D&D? You better hope for a saving throw because I am going to shove you down a flight of stairs, nerd!"

"D&D? I like (insert favorite edition here) and if you don't, you are utterly stupid."

"D&D? Isn't that a Satanic game?"

I could go on, lucky for you I choose not to. Back in 2001, a D&D story came out entitled "In the Shadow of Dragons". I bought the first 4 issues, and either forgot about it, or my comic store hosed me by not putting issues 5-8 in my pull file. It was only 8 issues, so I figured it'd be a fun thing to read.

See, WAY back in the day, I played some D&D, and do not remember 99% of the game mechanics, other than the usage of dice, magic missiles, the employment of levels, etc. I'm talking early 80's here, and now that dementia has set in, you're lucky I remember anything at all.

The series was written by Jay Donovan, penciled and inked by a number of dudes. Notably, a few of the issues were inked by Andy Brase. This guy is a PHENOMENAL artist. Holy crap, what I would give to see him doing a big horror comic. I have a piece of his on my wall behind me, actually.

The story follows a bunch of people...a few humans, an elf, a dwarf (of course), and some blue dragons. Dragons = bad, the rest of the characters are presumably good. There is a fairly predictable plot twist in this story, and a mix of great, and goofy-ass dialogue. This is why I am disappointed in this series. I feel like we were reading a recounted D&D campaign that some guys went through back in the day. Why do I feel like that? Well, the characters were really built up in the beginning of the series, and turned out to be pretty douche-like in their execution of the adventure. The big exception here is Kiernan Ornarus. He was scripted very well throughout the story.

In regards to the art, why wasn't there a consistent art team on the series? Never was the art bad, in fact, it was quite good, but due to the musical chairs being played, it didn't have a consistent flow. Still, pretty pictures, nonetheless. However, issue #6 features a purple dragon. THEY WERE BLUE, it's pretty simple, really. I half-expected Prince to be in the issue.

Anyway, 2 out of 5 20-sided dice.

On to other miscellaneous stuff.

Blackest Night continues to be a great story so far. Green Lantern has been a roller-coaster ride since the Sinestro Corps war, and it doesn't look like things are slowing down. Great stuff, and will have more detailed reviews as the weeks continue.

Magic the Gathering. My very first exposure to this was a veritable plethora of sweaty dudes playing in a comic shop, and I thought "I don't understand that f-ing game, whatever." Then my friend Marcus exposed me to it on the original xBox in this cool fighting game. Sadly, I never really "got it" when playing, as he would mop the floor with me and I felt like I was a Palestinian militant locked in an Israeli jail...helpless and tortured.

Then the xbox 360's arcade game, which is basically the actual card game online. It's like crack, it's so addictive. It's also fun, which I do not know whether crack is fun or not, so I didn't want to extend the analogy. This game is so fun, that I have actual cards, thanks to Marcus, as well as my wallet. My wife even played and enjoyed it. Perhaps she pretended, but I'll take it.

Anyway, That's the update, more in a few days. We will dive in deeper to Blackest Night, and talk about some comic-related movies.