Are games art, antiques, and collectibles? Why not!
On the Table
It dawned on me the other day that I’ve been sort of lax about promoting my WorthPoint articles, which focus more on appealing to non-hobbyists and introducing them to board games as collectibles. So for this week’s Cracked LCD, I’m totally copping out and using it to link to my WorthPoint articles. But the upshot is that you get four articles out of me this week, and I’m not asking you for a dime. No High Scores has ‘em. Take your pick between post-9/11, the election, Elvis, or the Olympics. I’ve also got a piece on Storage Treasures, the company that produces that Storage Wars TV show, about finding games in abandoned storage lockers..
Playing X-Wing of course. Had a great game the other night, 100 points with two rebel shuttles making a break through an asteroid field escorted by Luke and a Red Squadron scrub and two Gold Squadron Y-Wings. Vader, Marek Steele, and a flight of TIEs ambushed. Turned into a bloodbath right in the middle of the board. Vader got completely shut down by the Y-Wings and Luke killed him. And get this- Vader is Luke’s FATHER. Luke bought it right before one of the shuttles went down and it wound up with that lone Red Squadron X-Wing (whom we dubbed Porkins) holding it down and the one shuttle crossing the finish line with one hull point remaining. It was funny because at the other table, they were playing Princes of the Renaissance and they kept coming over to ours to watch. I don’t think they finished their game.
On the Consoles
I reviewed Forza Horizon for NHS, I’d really like it if it weren’t a $60 retail game packed to the gills with microtransactions and terrible dubstep. Racing is HOT. Cars are HOT. Events are HOT. But you’re seriously going to charge me $10,000 of in-game money…or $1 on my actual credit card…to _fast travel_? Fuck you, game! At least my beloved Vauxhall Exige in in the game and I don't have to spend spacebucks or whatever to get it.
Still completing adoring Dishonored, XCOM was shipped by Gamefly this morning so I should have it this weekend. Man, for all those months with nothing good to play…Halo 4 in two weeks, Wii U in a month...
Tempted by Alien Frontiers and Dominant Species, but I dunno. For some reason, I’m not that compelled to get either right now. Was really more interested in Carmageddon, but I forgot to download it while it was free.
On the Comic Shelf
Hey, I read some comics this week.
The book of the week, by far, is one my pal Kristoff mentioned at the Hellfire Club Sunday night. Requiem: Chevalier Vampire. It’s written by Pat Mills (lots of 2000ad stuff including Slaine) and it’s drawn by Oliver Ledroit. So it’s this mix of British-style SF/fantasy and Eurocomics artwork. And it is absolutely fucking insane. When I saw the cover, I thought “nah…too 1990s goth”. But I had no idea how bonkers this book was going to be.
It starts on the Eastern Front, and the main character is a Nazi soldier in love with a Jewish woman. He gets shot in the head and goes to Hell, which is kind of this big planet called Resurrection. He gets ambushed by looting zombies, looking for Earth artifacts since they’re illegal and valuable. A giant floating skull, which is a kind of vampire aircraft, shows up and kills them all. Turns out that Heinrich resurrected as a vampire, who are kind of at the top of the pecking order in Hell’s caste system. So he gets taken off to meet this vampire infant and that makes him into a vampire knight with a wicked metal skull mask. This is all before flying vampire battleships get attacked by virgin pirates, who were crooked nuns in their Earth lives, over London sometime in the 23rd century.
The artwork is incredible, it is Baroque with a super-capital B. It’s like a cross between death metal album cover art, 2000ad absurdity, and Warhammer 40k. It’s ultra-satanic, too. Upside crosses and pentagrams everywhere. It’s not without a healthy dose of over-the-top humor, though. The writing isn’t necessarily Great Comics Writing, but it’s fun, ridiculous, and satirical. I gotta buy all of these…it was originally published in that Metal Hurlant revival back in the early 2000s.
I mean, seriously. Look at this. A vampire triplane fighting a dragon.
I’ve also completely fallen in love with Jodorowsky and Jimenez’s Metabarons. It’s the same universe as The Incal, and it’s about the super-warriors that are in that book. It’s extremely cool, very Dune-influenced space opera. Some really crazy stuff happens in it, like when a falling woman is shot with a dart filled with anti-gravity oil to keep her from falling and she winds up giving birth to her child while she’s floating. The artwork is some of the best I’ve ever seen in a comic, epic in scale and very painterly. I preordered the hardcover collection.
Started on Judge Dredd, the Judge Child Quest. It’s great, of course, because it’s classic Dredd. It’s kind of odd to be reading short-form stories like this after so much long-form stuff. I’ve got the Complete Case Files books, 4 and 5. TONS of Dredd.
And I started on Akira. I read some of the old Epic books many years ago, around when Akira-mania was hitting. I don’t know that I actually appreciated them as much 20-odd years ago. These books are amazing, head and shoulders above pretty much all other Manga. Otomo’s depiction of action and kineticism is among the best in the comics business- the first book is like a freaking freight train barreling toward Armageddon. And it’s just the first book. Definitely richer and more coherent than the movie.
Also read Hulk: Gray, which I liked. Enjoyed that Loeb & Sale treated Hulk like a Universal monster. But it only took about 20 minutes to read all six issues. I’m going to look at Daredevil: Yellow and Spider-Man: Blue this week at some point. Re-read Spider-Man: Kraven’s Last Hunt and laughed at how silly it is…how dark and daring it seemed in 1987. Fables 1-5 were OK, I understand they’re not very representative of the rest of the series. I thought it was cute, but I wasn’t blown away by it.
On the Screen
Nightmare Before Christmas. Again and again. I’ve persuaded him to mix it up with Coraline and The Corpse Bride, at least.
If you’ve got Netflix, have I got good news for you. At least if you like gothic horror, Italian style. Apparently, they just got most of the major Mario Bava films including Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, Kill Baby, Kill, Baron Blood, and Lisa and the Devil. Those are the ones you should watch first, then maybe get crazy with Bay of Blood (a strange eco-slasher film) and Knives of the Avengers (a Viking movie). Bava was one of the best, and Black Sunday in particular stands as one of the best horror movies ever made. The beginning alone is just mind-blowingly, stupefying incredible. The black and white photography is exquisite, and Barbara Steele is one of the eeriest women ever on screen.
Watched part of The Big Lebowski last night. I really don’t get it. It’s a funny movie, but the whole cult thing…just do not understand it at all. It’s really one of the Coens’ least successful films, overall.
This is Halloween, Halloween, Halloween…AGAIN!
I’ve managed to sneak in some Talking Heads…mostly “Fear of Music” and “Remain in Light” with a couple of diversions into “Stop Making Sense”, which is one of the great live albums of all time. We’ve discussed it here before- it’s compelling to hear Byrne and co. acting like a big-time rock band, and the songs have a spark of energy that the records willfully exclude in their precise, studio-bound execution.
Man, “Remain in Light” is such a great record. I can’t believe that there was a period of my life when I said “I hate the Talking Heads!”