Sunday, August 13, 2006

Looking To The Stars - Gazing On The Internet

A short column this week, as I have been heavily occupied with, in no particular order, job interviews, projects at work and the prep work for two interviews that I think you will all enjoy very soon.

So since I have little time to prepare something for you all to enjoy reading this week, let me talk, in brief, about some things that I have enjoyed reading recently and I think you will too.

First of all, The Dabel Brothers are already taking pre-orders on the first trade-paperback collection of their adaptation of Raymond Feist’s Magician. This was one of my favorite books as a teenager and the comic, supervised by Feist himself with a script by Red Sonja scribe Mike Oeming is a real winner. I understand the first two issues have sold out in many areas, so I encourage you all to order now.

One thing you WON’T have to order, seeing as how it is freely available upon the web is a nice little web-comic I discovered called Sorcery 101. Now, they don’t need my help promoting themselves as they just made the leap to Keenspot after being self-hosted since May of last year. But for what it is worth as an ex-Vampire: The Masquerade player, I’ve never seen anything that quite captures the feel of that world in quite so real a fashion as this comic. Which may say a bit about who I played with as this comic is very much a fantastic comedy.

That’s fantastic as in fantasy, not fantastic as in good, though it is good so both meanings do apply.

The plot, such as it is, centers upon Danny, a schoolteacher and aspiring sorcerer. His life is complicated by, in no particular order, his werewolf best friend Brad, Brad’s demon-hunting wife Ally, his vampire magic teacher Pat and Seth; a very powerful and very alcoholic vampire who Danny has been blood-bonded (or ghouled, to use the World of Darkness terminology) to.

If you have a fondness for films such as Fright Night or Once Bitten… well, I think that’s very sad. But if you like seeing the supernatural dealt with in a stunning hilarious way, then I think you’ll like Sorcery 101.

This is Seth. NOT Neil Gaiman. Really.

Finally, let me point you toward The Absorbascon. A rather neat little blog that has a number of interesting essays on topics as wide and varied as…

* Why The Dibnys Are a symbol of the Seven Deadly Sins

* Reasons to read Manhunter (if you don’t get enough from the staff here)

* *Several essays on the differences between DC and Marvel Comics; re: Greek vs. Norse Myths

My favorite feature though, so far, is a number of custom “non-legal” HeroClix bystander pogs. For those of you who don’t play HeroClix (the best superhero miniatures game of all time!), bystander pogs are little cardboard pieces that represent minor characters in a battle, compared to the sculpted plastic pieces used to represent superheroes and supervillains. Usually they represent characters that aren’t “big” enough to rate a plastic figure, such as Harvey Bullock or L-Ron or civilians who need to be rescued (Aunt May and Silver Sable).

Some of them are funny if useless, such as a pog for Hal Jordan’s pet alien starfish Itty. Some are just twisted, such as a pog for Lois Lane’s slimness-challenged roommate Marsha Mallow. But my favorites so far have to be the series of writer pogs that allow you to put your favorite (or least favorite) writers on the battlefield to direct their heroes or be slaughtered mercilessly.

And just to show off how wonderful this idea is; here are the stats and pictures for my favorite and least favorite writer (of the ones done so far, at least) respectively.

Rules for using Gail Simone

1. All villains (on any team) adjacent to Gail Simone add +1 to their Attacks.

2. Villains (on any team )cannot attack Gail Simone.

3. When next to Gail Simone, Dr. Psycho gets +2 on uses of his Mind Control power.

Rules For Using Judd Winick

1. Judd Winick has the “Poison” power, but only toward figures with the Outsiders Team Ability as well as Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) and Kyle Rayner.

2. Normally, a flying hero can carry most other characters. Judd Winick may be only be carried by another writer.

3. Judd Winick has no ranged attacks, but does have a damage of 1. That means Judd can do damage to characters, but only when allowed anywhere near them.

Most of the articles are more the speed of your average comic fan though, but there’s enough variety to keep things interesting for everyone, even if the site does tend to lean toward DC Comics in what is discussed. Still, I like it. And I think you all will too.

Tune in next week. Same Matt time. Same Matt website.

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