Advanced Readings in D&D: Fred Saberhagen
Oh, man, as JohnnyMac points out, it appears that I have flip-flopped the East and the West. (And this is a book I read twice, so my mistake is doubly-careless.) Okay, just read all "East" references as "West" and vice-versa! There is nothing inherently Eastern or Western about each of the factions, which is what threw me, but I should have remembered that we Americans were the Western World with our Ardneh and our heroic Rolfs and the "evil" East had a nuclear bomb demon. Because: Cold War fantasy fiction! Sorry about the compass switcheroo!
Advanced Readings in D&D: Gardner Fox
One of the things I like about Goodman Games' Dungeon Crawl Classics system -- and I like a LOT about it -- is that there's no such thing as a Longsword +1. Every magic sword is a BIG DEAL, with a name and a personality and it is not something to be trifled with!
Advanced Readings in D&D: L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt
Silly accents ARE the best. In games. And in life. Not so much in novels.
Advanced Readings in D&D: L. Sprague de Camp
The more of these rereads we do, the more attractive Poul Anderson becomes.
Advanced Readings in D&D: Roger Zelazny
auspex -- Amber is presented as a shadow world throughout the entire book -- a parallel reality that intersects with the "real world" or vice versa. So...what am I missing? Where in the first book does it present Amber as anything other than that?
Advanced Readings in D&D: Jack Vance
Also, Gygax protege and all-around smart guy Jeff Talanian created the "Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea" game built atop the D&D rules system and that's heavily based on Ashton Smith's tone and setting details and it was just nominated for a bunch of awards. (And, if you're interested, and on Google +, I'm running an online game of it that still has some openings -- a one-shot scheduled for 8:00 PM EDT on Sunday night -- let me know if you want to join in!)
Advanced Readings in D&D: Jack Vance
From what I've heard, Gygax had never read CAS until after D&D was already developed (Rob Kuntz introduced him to Ashton Smith's works), and Gygax just didn't find the writing much to his liking. So that's why it wasn't in Appendix N -- Gygax hadn't read the guy prior to D&D and he didn't like the prose. But the content of the CAS stuff does feel pretty heavily D&Dish!
A Spotter’s Guide to Kaiju: Seven Predecessors of the Creatures in Pacific Rim
Yeah! This is the kind of post I've been waiting for after walking out into the sunlight following some Pacific Rim action! The apocalypse? Cancelled.
Advanced Readings in D&D: Poul Anderson
Mordicai and I read this Poul Anderson book and had our discussion a while back (sorry to spoil the behind-the-scenes illusion that we write these "live" -- we don't), and now that I've read a whole lot more of the authors in Appendix N, Poul Anderson actually ends up as one of my favorites. "Three Hearts and Three Lions" might even be in my Top 10 Appendix N selections. I was too hard on the book! I didn't know what I was yet to encounter.
The Great Alan Moore Reread: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Part Two
Boy, you guys are harsh on this ALAN MOORE MASTERPIECE. (How can you not love the opening chapter??? Martians!) And, roblewmac, I will be doing Albion after all. I replaced a planned (and ill-advised) second Lost Girls installment with an Albion reread. So for everyone following along, it goes like this: League Black Dossier League Century Lost Girls Albion Neonomicon The Alan Moore Legacy My All-Time Alan Moore Top Ten And then...silence. Except for everything else I have brewing with Tor!
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Youngblood and Glory
Because it's a secret! (No, it's available if you click on the Alan Moore Reread tag. It just doesn't show up under the series menu for some reason. I let the Tor crew know about that glitch.)
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Supreme Part 1
Confess away! Jeff -- Yes, I screwed that up! Lana Lang it is! Jeff and jman -- I know Moore's final issue was published this year -- I will talk about it in part 3 of this Supreme reread -- but it certainly remains an unfinished story. According to the reports I've read, Moore was brought on to write through issue #64, and he only completed up through issue #63 before moving on to America's Best Comics. So we never got to see how Moore would have wrapped up his cliffhanger from this year's #63.
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Mr. Majestic, Voodoo, and Deathblow
NEXT: Supreme! (I don't know where the blurb went!) Yes, no Fire From Heaven from me!
Point/Counterpoint: ThunderCats
The Thundercats was better than all of its 80s contemporaries, in pacing and internal mythology. Plus, the head writer was the same guy who made comic book magic with this: Sorry, Ryan. Bridget is just totally right on this one.
The Great Alan Moore Reread: The Ballad of Halo Jones
Also! I love the Halo Jones defenders! Speak your case. Explain what I'm missing. I love the passion and debate! (Though I probably will just read and think, "oh.")
The Great Alan Moore Reread: The Ballad of Halo Jones
Jeff, you realize I will forever be unable to see that Promethea is just Halo Jones with better art? I am trying to push it away... but it is now there, forever, in my brain. Now I can't even look forward to that reread! (Actually, I do think you're right about the parallels. For sure. But Promethea is not a great story anyway. It's an essay that just has a faux-narrative to trick the reader into thinking it's a story at first. It has a different agenda than Halo Jones, but the plot structure has similar beats! Yes.)
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Green Arrow, Vigilante, and Omega Men
Holy smokes, I can't believe I missed that. (Um, yes, it it exponentially more disturbing now that I'm actually paying attention to that last panel. Thanks for the raised awareness...I guess!) Ha!
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Watchmen, Part 1
Yeah, as you'll see over the next few weeks, I don't think the story in "Watchmen" is particularly strong. But with all great films/novels/comics, the HOW is more important than the WHAT anyway. Or, just as important, and done better by Moore and Gibbons than almost anywhere else. Okay, the "Watchmen" movie. I don't hate it, but I do have some things to say about it by the time part 4 of this Watchmen reread rolls around. And even though I don't hate it, I do think it's a terrible movie. The basic reasons why? 1. Adrian Veidt is a smarmy villain from the MINUTE we meet him in the film. That's a complete mischaracterization and undermines the mystery story. 2. The wigs are embarassingly, distractingly bad, for a movie with such high production values. And I never notice stuff like that. I couldn't not notice the terrible wigs in this movie. 3. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons grounded their hermetic, artificial, virtuoso storytelling within a framework of real emotion and humanity. Snyder's movie version is artificial from beginning to end, and hollow. 4. The music. It's like reading Watchmen while someone yells at you from over your shoulder pointing to all the cool parts of the comic.
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Swamp Thing Part 1
I may (or may not) talk about this in future installments of the Swamp Thing reread, but as I was reading it, I couldn't help but think of how much Gaiman's Sandman (which was hugely important to me as a teenager -- through college) is pattered exactly after the first two years of Moore's Swamp Thing, from the superhero appearances within the first eight issues through the descent into hell and return and even the early horror emphasis giving way to something else entirely. Yeah, Gaiman's Sandman is still a fascinating, worthwhile series, but it is also Swamp Thing, Jr in many respects.
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Marvelman/Miracleman, Part 2
Nice point Eli! I didn't even catch the significance of that moment, but you're absolutely correct.
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Marvelman/Miracleman, Part 2
Yeah, it's not a complete reread, but I am going to cover all the big stuff and some of the ancillary work (like his Star Wars shorts, and some of the lesser DC bits). Zeta -- I'm not going to summarize everything, but I will do my best to make sure that you get the important info. And the stuff about the baby will be addressed later, so you'll get caught up. I'd rather prioritizer my reaction/analysis/evaluation in these posts than simply retelling plot points. And once I get to V for Vendetta, I hope everyone can start reading along, since there will be a nice stretch of stuff that's easily available (V and the Captain Britain stories, for example). Thanks everyone!
The Great Alan Moore Reread: Marvelman/Miracleman, Part 1
I will include DR & Quinch and Halo Jones, but I warn you now: I have read them and I can't imagine my reread will lead to ANY thoughts that place them near the top of the Alan Moore Greatest Hits list. I'll say this: Halo Jones is even inferior to his work on Awesome Comics. That is not me trolling, either.
The Great Alan Moore Reread: It Begins
I DO have plans to write about Skizz. I do not have any plans to write about Moore's prose, like Voice of the Fire. I could be convinced, though. Maybe.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Wonder Woman
Other people have told me they don't like that cover art either. What's not to like? It's a strong cover image.
The New DC: The Big Picture and Digital Distribution
I've gone heavy duty on iPad comics reading, and it just wasn't for me. Though if I didn't have a comic shop within an hour's drive, I would probably be much more likely to switch to digital, to be honest. But when offered the chance, I'd gladly choose print over digital. No contest. (And, I reiterate, you don't really own the comics you think you're downloading from Comixology. There's no way to transfer the files to another kind of reading app. And Comixology can lock your purchases if they no longer want you to read them. That is a big deal.)
The New DC: The Big Picture and Digital Distribution
coryj -- Illegally downloading doesn't mean that the comics are free. That's like saying that the items in my local convenience store are all free because I can just walk out with them without paying and the busy clerk isn't likely to chase after me. Free? Nope. (But, they sure aren't worth 3 or 4 bucks each, I agree.) Carlos -- I see your point about the value-per-minute. But I've long since moved past that kind of thinking, because I like comics more than anything else. So a 5 minute enjoyable comic is far better for me than a one hour enjoyable television show. Plus, I get to have 55 minutes left to do other things, whether that's reading more comics or pursuing other interests. montsamu -- I'm interested in Miles Morales, too, but there are at least six or seven new DC titles that will be substantially better than another Bendis take on the Spider-Man world. Don't discount Snyder, Cornell, Morrison, Lemire, or Azzarello. DKT -- yup the Vertigo titles are unaffected by the DC relaunch (other than a planned China Mieville Swamp Thing series being scrapped -- and THAT would have been interesting to see). Rumors have it that Vertigo may actually have some life in it, and may be expanding a bit in the next year now that things at DC Entertainment have settled in a bit. Or maybe it will be completely eliminated. Who knows.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Teen Titans
Based on what Lobdell has been saying, these are new takes on Bart and Cassie. Bart is like a superspeed thief, or something. And Cassie is...I don't know. Something more aggressive than her previous incarnation.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Stormwatch
Yes, everything is in the same universe. That's one of the purposes of the relaunch. (Except there are 51 other parallel universes. That aren't mentioned in the relaunch. But they will begin to play a role soon, starting with a new JSA series set on Earth 2, and Grant Morrison's tour through the parallel universes in next summer's Multiversity! Yup!)
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Superboy
Batman Inc. #8 was the worst Grant Morrison comic since his short stint on Spawn. And, man, it was the worst-looking comic maybe ever. Yeesh.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Superboy
Hmm, Scavenger, I'm not sure how it's a prejudice if I'm talking specifically about things I have read in the past and my evaluation of their quality. Sure, I am "prejudging" these fall comics, but that's the whole point of these posts, and they aren't based on any particular agenda on my part. Plus, Generation X is hardly considered a classic. If anything, it's known as a Bachalo showcase, and that's about it.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Suicide Squad
Oh--and it turns out that Marco Rudy will ONLY be drawing issue #1 (if even all of that issue). So even less reason to check it out.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Static Shock
Editorial/production interference. See:
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Legion Lost
Yeah, Jon, you're right, although I was thinking something like this, though I didn't articulate it in the post: "With Levitz writing the main Legion series, I can't imagine that Nicieza will make any radical changes to the characters here, because Levitz will want them back at some point." That may not be true at all, but with Levitz still doing Legion, anyone else using the characters feel like temporary guardians to me.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Green Lantern Corps
GLC does have better one-issue narratives (even while keeping up with the bigger plotlines), but GL has better spectacle. (And I would say it's a matter of taste, but Mankhe is measurably better than Pasarin at every part of the job. Except making people look glossy.)
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Green Lantern Corps
Hey lenny, I can see where you're coming from. Honestly, if Manhke hadn't been drawing the GL series for the past year or two, I might even feel the same way, but his art kicks the main series several notches about the GLC comic. He's one of the best guys working today.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: The Fury of Firestorm
(Also -- DC and Marvel and every other Direct Market publisher bases their ENTIRE output on retailers speculating on whether or not a comic will be worth reading based on less information that I'm using here. They get a blurb, a creative team list, and a cover, and some of that isn't even accurate, and then retailers pre-order based on that. That's comics.)
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: The Fury of Firestorm
Vic -- it's based on what we know. Would a "Summer Movie Guide" based on the directors and actors and screenplay concepts be unfair? Your comment doesn't make any sense.
Sarah Michelle Gellar Is Back on TV!
I actually saw the full Ringer pilot via a dvd screener last weekend. It's a cheesy miniseries premise at best. Schlocky overdramatics, if that's what you're into. (It does sport a noticeably older cast than most CW shows, though. I wouldn't say "better" cast, just older.)
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Batman and Robin
I'm as big of a fan of Grant Morrison as you'll ever see, and I don't see how it makes any sense to ignore possibly good comics just because Morrison's plans got changed by DC corporate. Plus, Batman Inc is returning in 2012, AND the Batmen-around-the-world idea is still in the New DCU, hence Batwing. coryj -- you are right about Marvel ignoring his X-Men seeds, though. But guys like Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen are starting to bring some of those ideas back in, which is nice. Way too late, but nice.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Batman and Robin
Actually, DC already has a built-in explanation (which fits the current continuity and will fit just as well in the New DCU): Damian was aged at an accelerated rate, thanks to SCIENCE! True fact. Is Batman super-paranoid? I don't see evidence of that. Super-anticipatory, sure. Super-cautious? Yup. So he is unlikely to be surprised by anything long-term from Damian. Because he's Batman. He's twenty steps ahead of everyone, including fallen gods from outer space who sent avatars back through time to destroy him before he's ever born. I think he doesn't have much to fear from Damian.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Blue Beetle
"Nova meets...Nova" is a funny line, come on! You didn't even crack a smile at it? No? And, yes, I, too hope that the series doesn't bog down in social issues at the expense of actual stories (including the Reyes family and friends!).
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Blackhawks
AND again, soon after I submitted this post, the October DC solicitations reveal that Lashley is replaced by Graham Nolan on issue #2. I prefer Nolan, but I don't know if he's just filling in for an issue or taking over as a regular artist.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Batman: The Dark Knight
After I submitted this entry, it was announced that Paul Jenkins will be scripting this series with Finch. So Finch WILL be getting plenty of writing help after all.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Batgirl
Hey John -- I, of course, never actually wrote that Gail's work is "bad." But out of curiousity, what do you like about her comics? Because I have tried, and I cannot see the appeal.
Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Red Hood and the Outlaws
Lobdell called him Roy Harper in interviews, tokengirl. It's definitely a youthful look for him, though. Nicoclaws, I might buy that his X-Men run was readable, but "great"? His X-Men run isn't as close to as strong as Morrison's, or even Whedon's, or Claremont's, or Arnold Drake's. It's mid-level X-Men. I did like some bits of Age of Apocalypse, but it doesn't really hold together in the end, does it?
Such a Man is Blackhawk: Then and Now
Will -- Captain Confederacy -- Shetterly? I read the heck out of that comic in the 1980s. I think there's a big difference between explicitly racist images (and portrayals and nicknames) and hyper-sexuality with characters who are misogynistic, don't you? Is Chaykin a misogynist because his characters are? Because his character have oral sex? I don't buy that. I mean, he MAY be misogynist, but you can't use Blackhawk as a definitive example, I don't think. Maybe you can. I'd like to hear the argument with some more specifics.
Not Your Father’s d6: A Look at 6 SFF Dice Games and Other Dicey Things
This is my favorite post of the week! Now I am nostalgic for these dice games that I've never played. (Well, I've played Dragon Dice and that Marvel Super-Hero dice game where the little guys are INSIDE the dice.)

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