Feb 022013
 

Andy Diggle and Jock, the superstar creative team behind Green Arrow Year One and The Losers (which is a thousand times better than the film, by the way), lend their talents to a new creator owned series from Image Comics this Wednesday.  Blending political thrillers, Clerks, and gritty noir storytelling, Snapshot is a four issue miniseries bound to thrill you more than once.  When an lifelong nerd employee of a comic store (this is sounding familiar…) finds a cellphone full of grisly images of someone’s murder, he has no other option than to run as fast and as far as he can.  But it’s never that easy is it?  If you’ve been enjoying the sketchy, moody artwork of Jock in the Batman back-up stories or in Scott Snyder’s previous Detective Comics run, The Black Mirror, then Snapshot is your cup of tea.

Sorcery receives a modern update in Top Cow‘s Son of Merlin miniseries.

Building off of the classic Arthurian figures of myth, Son of Merlin picks up when a respected professor of science finds out he’s actually the descendant of the famous wizard, Merlin.  And, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but science and magic don’t exactly see eye-to-eye.  However, before the good doctor can think through his new predicament, he’s being hounded by the immortal Morgan le Fay.  But there’s a whole secret underground society of ancient magic users that might just be willing to come to his aid.  Drawn in the gorgeous, expressive tradition of the famous Top Cow books to come before it like Fathom, Charismagic, and Witchblade, Son of Merlin will cast its spell over you.

I say, my dear Watson, the zombie is a foot!

Though not strictly a Sherlock Holmes versus zombies story, The New Deadwardians is about the closest to it you’ll ever get.  Written by cult favorite author and comic legend Dan Abnett, this post-Victorian England horror/mystery yarn takes places in an alternate reality where, after a zombie infection spread throughout the population, the majority of the remaining English citizens had to submit to becoming vampires in order to fight them off.  Now, it’s the vampires who’ve becoming the upper-class aristocracy while the zombie population are cordoned off on the outskirts of town.  Chief Inspector Suttle, a forever young himself, is tasked with solving a grisly crime, the first in nearly a decade, during a growing zombie uprising.  It’s all elementary from there.

Love is in air for the DC Universe this Wednesday.

To celebrate Valentine’s Day a week early, DC releases its most romantic anthology yet, the Young Romance DC New 52 Special.  Containing six unique stories of famous DC couples like Aquaman and Mera, Midnighter and Apollo, and Catwoman and Batman spending their special day together in the only way superpowered crime fighters can, as well as stories of Wonder Woman, Dick Grayson, and others coming to terms with the relationships they’ve entered into.  Each of the stories is written and drawn by a talented creator, like Andy Diggle, Gene Ha, Ann Nocenti, Kyle Higgins, Becky Cloonan, and Peter Milligan.  And for those old school romantics, the issue comes with usable Valentine’s Day cards.  Oh, amore!

Jul 282012
 

When you step outside these days you may assume we’ve made a deal with Hell to lease out some reality, but, all signs aside, that’s not actually the case. However, in Absalom: Ghosts of London, it is. Pulled from the ever-present 2000 AD Magazine (one of the longest running comics in history), Absalom is a supernatural cop book that blends the likes of Hellboy, Hellblazer, and Captain Britain in a world where London has signed a peace treaty with the underworld.

However, Absalom, an immortal, elderly cop doesn’t make friends with demons easily.

If you’re anything like me, you read Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Immortal Iron Fist four years ago and then sobbed tears of sarrow when it was put on hiatus. Sadly, that “hiatus” turned into a cancellation, while Fraction and Aja moved onto other projects. Well, it may not be Iron Fist, but the new Hawkeye series is as close as can be. With a slick, seventies espionage vibe and inventive visuals, this Hawkeye book will be perfect for long-time fans of the character as well as those who found out about him from the Avengers movie.

Here’s a little secret: the best books being published right now are coming from Image comics.  With series like Prophet, Saga, Manhattan Projects, and Revival, there’s no doubt the publisher has some quality works under their belt. And, this Wednesday, their adding a couple of other great reads to their repertoire.

Think Tank is up first. Brain power is on display in this new series about a genius, mass murder doctor, David Loren, who’s trying to out think the government agency who’s employed him as a weapons builder for years. Can he do it? Will he be killled? Will he cause a ton of destruction? Yes.

Organs. Not the musical kind, but the you-need-them-to-live kind are the key to the other new Image book, Harvest. This five issue miniseries is a race against time for Dr. Ben Dane as he tries to reclaim organs already put into people in order to escape his own death. Beautiful artwork from newcomer Colin Lorimer tells the tale in the most gruesome, yet gorgeous manner.

Jul 012011
 

These posts are starting to be dominated by the Doctor!  Can’t say that’s a bad thing, though.

Something else that is most definitely not a bad thing is the new Doctor Who TPB, Ripper.  This collection contains the first four issues of the newest Doctor Who ongoing series, which introduced Matt Smith’s Doctor into the comics.  In these initial issues, the Doctor deals with uncovering the true identity of Jack the Ripper and helping Inspector Abilene catch the culprit.  Tony Lee, the author, has an excellent grasp on the voices of the Doctor, Rory, and Amy, so it feels like you’re reading an episode of the show.

I doubt anyone reading this likes comics (those things are for kids, right?), but we’ll push our luck and talk about a couple more new ones on here.  The first being a dark Japanese samurai graphic novel called The Last Ninja.  At base a revenge story, The Last Ninja follows Kenji, a wannabe ninja, from childhood to adulthood as he seeks vengeance on the corrupt government.  After the death of his grandfather, a trained ninja, Kenji seeks training and revenge against the government agents who killed his grandpa.

One more, if you please.  Mysterious Ways mixes the comic and video gaming worlds as Jason Rubin of Iron Saint and Crash Bandicoot fame teams with Top Cow to produce a dark mystery book about the hunt for a serial killer.  An ex-cop becomes tied to a series of murders which then leads him into being chased by the FBI.  Funny how that happens, right?  The mysterious part?  Magic.  Come on, what else?

Oh, okay, since you’re begging, one more.  Reprinted from the classic French serials is the first volume of comics master Jacques Tardi‘s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec.  Some of the more worldly folks out there may have seen the Luc Besson film from last year based on this wild material.  I say wild, because not only do Adele’s adventures take place in an alternate reality 20th century Europe, but there’s a pterodactyl, too!  Basically, Adele is a writer he gets into crazy, sci-fi adventures dealing with mummies, mad scientists, and, as stated, dinosaurs.  The art is obviously terrific as Tardi is legendary in the industry.

Okay, enough comics.  How about some oddly deformed little superhero people?

Yes, tonight we end with two new sets of vinyl offerings from both Marvel and DC.  First up, is the first set of DC Mez-Itz.  These chunky little guys come two to a pack (paired in hero/villain combinations) and contain some of the greatest DC characters including Batman, Joker, Superman, and Green Lantern.  Look at the pictures to the left and marvel.

Speaking of a transition, Marvel also has some large headed vinyl dudes releasing this week.  They include the Pop Vinyl versions of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and two Thor Movie figures (Thor and Loki).  Feast your eyes on the two pictures below.  FEEEEEAAAASSSSST!

Mar 192011
 

Yeeehawww, cowpokes (an’ cowpokettes)!  ‘Day’s first post gonna be ’bout that rip roarin’ game some folks call Dakota.  Actually all folks call it Dakota, that bein’ its name.

As much as it would please me to do so, I’ll cut the western speak for the rest of today’s entry.  Yes, Dakota (that name again is Mr. Plow) is our first highlight today.  In this western-themed boardgame, gamers choose to control either settlers or native Americans.  This, officially, three to five player game (which, supposedly, can be played by two people just fine) involves resource control and management as the groups move horizontally across plains, mountains, forests, and other geographical locals.  Dakota is bound to lasso you in if you’re someone who fancies the likes of Agricola and/or Settlers of America.

Name’s Ripper.  Jack T. Ripper.  Letters From Whitechapel (a game akin to Fury of Dracula and Van Helsing) pits cops against serial killer, singular, in this historically accurate recreation of the Whitechapel murders of 1988.  One player will be chosen to control good ‘ole Jack while everyone else plays the coppers, hot on his trail.  The goals are obvious:  Jack has to kill five victims (street wanders who automatically move about the game board) and the police have to stop him before he does.  As I mentioned, if you’re a fan of Fury of Dracula or Van Helsing, a lover of history, someone who read and enjoyed Alan Moore’s From Hell, or just hate prostitutes, Letters from Whitechapel offers a solid two hours of sleuthing and stabbing.

Don’t know about you, but whenever murder in London comes up, Gnome conversation isn’t far off.  Okay, that’s not true at all.  Sue me, I needed a transition.

Oh Gnome You Don’t takes players deep into the secretive, and underhanded, world of Gnomes.  Taking control of their selected G-man, gamers move their little guys about the board, digging for gems and trading items.  Ah, but it wouldn’t be a game about Gnomes without a little mischief.  Players are also allowed to set traps, fight, and play tricks on their opponents in an effort to stop them from obtaining resources.  Simple to learn and redonkulous to play, Oh Gnome is an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half with some buddies.

Earth Reborn is a game that’s worth its price tag!  One lift of its massive box and you’ll realize it is stocked full of pieces and parts.  Not only does it include twelve sweet lookin’ miniatures, cards, dice, tiles, cloth bag, tokens, and so forth, but it is extreme re-playability!  The rule book is set up in a unique nine scenario walk-through that allows you to play as you learn.  Along with that, the game board comes as a set of puzzle pieces that can be assembled as you desire.  And, if you haven’t had enough randomization already, the game offers a system of play known as S.A.G.S (Scenario Auto-Generating System) that automatically creates unique scenarios each time you sit down to play.  Apocalyptic future warfare has never looked this sweet.

Finally, a little bit of restock information.  Magic the Gathering Archenemy Decks have returned.  Made to be a standalone game that pits up to four players against one archenemy, each box contains twenty archenemy cards as well as a regular sixty card deck.  Pulp has all four (that’s white/blue/black, red/green, black/red, and green/white), but is only selling them as a group.  Hurry, hurry, they may vanish quickly.

Mar 052011
 

GOJIRA! RUN, RUN!  Wait.  ALIENS!  RUN, RUN!

If you find yourself in a similar situation of being caught between a giant dinosaur and a hard space ship, you might be playing Ticket to Ride with the new Alvin & Dexter Expansion.  Being an alien and a dinosaur, respectively, what these two fellas add to the game are chances to mess with your opponents.  They are playable with any version of Ticket to Ride, also.  But what do they actually do?  Well, at the start of the game the last two players to go randomly place them on cities.  Whatever cities these monsters are destroying are not available to be built through; makes for a good way to block opposing players.  If you love the Ticket to Ride series, like we do, I’m sure, also like us, you’d think it rocks to have giant monsters stomping all over the board.

Last week we scoped out the zombie restaurant business by looking at Give Me the Brain.  This week, and another restock, brings us Lord of the Fries, Steve Jackson’s companion game to Give Me the Brain.  Same theme, different rules, though.  This time around,  players are zombie chefs attempting to complete disgusting cuisine at various undead eating establishments.  Attempting to beat the clock, players hustle to assemble items listed on menus with ingredients like “cow meat”, “sauce” and “drink”.  Think Wasabi with zombies.

London is calling.  Calling you to play London.  Yes, the game is called London (not the most original name, but apt) and it follows that particular city through an extended period of time as it recovers from the Great Fire of 1666.  Basically a resource game, London involves players balancing and controlling workers, money, businesses, and building materials as you work to restore the city.  But not only are you handling resources, you also have to balance workers and the poor to help assist the city in the rebuilding process.

Arriving from “ole reliable” Z-Man games is Hansa Teutonica.  A solid bidding/bartering/trading game, Hansa has gamers taking on the role of merchants in medieval Germany working to build prominence by improving their trading skills.  With improved skills come more actions, higher income, new privileges, and improved prestige which, in turn, improves your chances of besting the other players.  If you’re into games like Samarkand and Chinatown, this should tickle your fancy.

Battlore adds a new expansion this week with Code of Chivalry.  It’s raining humans with this set, as it combines all the previously released human units with foot and mounted versions of Knight Long Swordsmen.  Many and varied cards are also included, including the inclusion of summary, specialist, and deployment cards.  Four new adventures are also jammed into this box of glorious-ness.

Put your fedora on, ladies and gents, Cargo Noir has slinked into the room.  Created by the same dapper fella who laid some scribbles down on Mare Nostrum and Mystery Express, Cargo Noir hunkered down in the dark, smoke-filled corner of trading games.  Anywheres between two and five wiseguys can swindle and swap in ports of call from Rotterdam to Bombay, dealing in contraband and other hush-hush products.  Once you’ve sided with a family, players race against their opponents for a prime spot at various ports from around the globe and then commence bidding for the goods they desire.

Le Havre is a involved game.  If you’ve played Agricola (made by the same folks) you know how strategic and diverse the game play can be.  Le Havre, the town, only contains a finite amount of buildings and ships, so players race to control, alter, and purchase resources in the hopes of completing these buildings and ships.  Buildings, once finished, can be entered by any player (though non-owners must pay to do so) and the kilns, furnaces, and other equipment inside can be used to alter resources.  And so it goes, in the city of Le Havre.  Or is it?  Pick up the Le Grand Hameau booster pack we have in stock and you add 30 new buildings to the game.

The commies are no longer coming, they’ve arrived.  Tide of Iron: Fury of the Bear is an expansion to the base Tide of Iron boardgame, but what an expansion it is.  This hefty box (could be a dumbbell for how weighty it is) contains, deep breath, 90 plastic figures, armor, AT-guns, eight scenarios (including winter and summer), 55 new cards (including new sabotage cards), and new munitions specializations for vehicles.  Whew.

Weird coincidence on this next one, I just watched the original Dracula for the first time this week.  Crickets?  Okay, that was pointless.  Anyway, Van Helsing is a new co-op game where players team up to battle the Count in his own castle.  Each player controls a specific character, similar to Last Night on Earth.  Sounds like Fury of Dracula on a smaller scale.  Equipment and armor is hidden around the building, though, so grab it when you can because Dracula can show up out of nowhere.

Trollhalla, another dandy from Z-man, is the first true kid’s game we’ve had on here in a bit.  Colorful cartoony artwork adorns a game board displaying, wait for it, Trollhalla.  Each player (2-4) carefully chooses where to place their trolls, in boats or in the sea.  The sea trolls tell the boat trolls which islands to go to and pass out action cards while the boat trolls go to the islands an pillage their massive hearts out.  Simple, lively fun for families and friends.

You’ve wanted to be a superhero before, right?  Come on, admit it.  Well, you have two options.  Make a costume out of a bathrobe and patrol the city in your Ford Focus or purchase Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition.  In this beautiful book you will find all the stats, skills, powers, setting, and adventures that you need to run a D20 based game.  And thanks to the new upgrade, new players can learn faster than ever before.  Seriously, the bathrobe thing will turn out badly.  Go with the book.

Thunderstone:  Dragonspire lands with a powerful smash this weekend.  Within its fortified box sides are 500 new cards, new settings, new rules, and a whole new game to be played.  Yes, you can use this expansion for stand alone play or combine it with any of the previous Thunderstone releases.  Now is the time to crawl in the dungeon.

Right now, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “how long have I been reading this thing?  When will it end?”.  Well…NOW!

mansions of madness

Sort of.  Mansions of Madness is finally out this week and we have got to talk about it.  We’ve run demos of the game here at Pulp two Sundays in a row (Sunday game night, folks.  It’s the place to be) and players have walked away satisfied.  Combining elements of roleplaying, boardgaming, and Lovercraftian horror, Mansions delivers an experience similar to Arkham Horror or Betrayal at House on the Hill.  Players band together to explore the mansion in one of the pre-designed story settings.  Monsters and items involved are dependent on which story is chosen, so replay value is high.  To complete the adventure, players are tasked to battle creatures, solve puzzles, and locate items while rolling dice and keeping their health and sanity in check.  As the game is released from Fantasy Flight, the miniatures contained within (24 of’em) are highly detailed just as the board is beautifully designed.