May 032013
 

Life is full of tough questions.  Paper or plastic?  With or without cheese?  Red pill or blue pill?

Pig or dog?

The correct answer to the latter question is actually both.  And, luckily, when you buy a copy of Pick-a-Dog and Pick-a-Pig you get both.  When combined with each other, these games go from 2-5 players to 6-8 players, blending matching and dexterity games together no matter which version you play.  A grid of cards sits in the center of the table, each with five attributes noted on them.  Players also have a single card in their hand.  Once the game has begun, everyone tries to grab a card with at least four similar attributes, adding it to their hand and continuing from there.  The game stops when one player has no more cards to grab.  As one can imagine this game plays well with family members or friends plus a bottle of scotch.

Is your tower protected?

Not exactly a new game, but one we’ve just gotten back in stock, Batt’l Kha’os is a tile laying game with some fighty bits thrown in.  Players attempt to take control of various tower tiles laid across the table by placing their own army tiles around it.  Each tile intersection point is then totaled up for the amount of humans vs. orcs and whoever has the most takes the corner.  Once all four corners around a tower are calculated, whoever has the most corners (orcs or humans) takes control of the tower.  Though it leaves some letters out of its title, Batt’l Kha’os combines the best of Carcassonne and Pocket Battles.

Nathan Fillion has charmed television, comics, and cinema, but now he’s setting his sights on the world of board gaming. Castle:  The Detective Card Game transformers the comedy and mystery of the hit television series into a clue solving card game.  Players take control of a key character from the show in order to piece together the clues and figure out who the murderer is.  Players can choose to compete in episode mode, finding only one killer to win the game, or season mode, playing through a range of episodes and murderers to see who has solved the most by the end.

In the middle of all this complicated gaming hooha, let me throw in a quick shout-out to the newest Data Pack for the Netrunner LCG from Fantasy Flight.  Humanity’s Shadow includes the standard assortment of sixty new cards to be incorporated into the base game.  Download them into your hand right now.

Tear down your quarantine signs, put aside your rifles, and lay down your machetes, and come out of your reinforced basements because it’s time for the first Zombicide expansion to arrive.  Although, as this expansion, Walk of the Dead (see what they did there?), contains twenty-four additional zombie miniatures, you may still want to guard your brain.  There are also twelve spawn cards include so that these figures can be introduced into the game.  Stay close, lock and load, and make sure to wear a helmet.

Ahoy, maties, it be Catan: Pirates and Explorers!

The newest expansion for the hit Catan game series, Pirates and Explorers, like Cities and Knights, Seafarers, and Traders and Barbarians before it, adds new mechanics to the already popular ones from Settlers of Catan.  Bridging the gap between Catan and Seafarers, Pirates and Explorers starts players out on one island, searching for resources and settlers to build and pilot a sailing vessel to another island.  Once there, players discover a range of new resources to continue building and growing.  This version of the game comes packed with five original scenarios to keep the gameplay fresh and original.

And, because of time and all that stuff, the last three items tonight will be presented in image only.  They do say pictures speak louder than words, right?

Okay, maybe a few words.

There’s Ugg-Tect, a cooperative game where players have to act like cavemen while instructing each other on how to build a prehistoric building.  There are also inflatable clubs included.

Two RPG softcovers also release this weekend.

One, for Call of Cthulhu (Atomic-Age Cthulhu), providing a 50s era setting for Cthulhuian mystery and murder with a nuclear backdrop.

And, two, the newest addition to the Only War Warhammer 40K RPG, Hammer of the Emperor.

Feb 232013
 

Hey, everyone, come on, grab your friends!  We’ll go to very distant lands!

Jake and Finn have stopped playing with BMO and are back for a second round of Adventure Time trade paperback mathematics!  Adventure Time volume two collects issues five through nine of the series that’s sweeter than Peppermint Butler.  Within these flippin’ sweet pages are stories of Finn and Jake turning into robots, traveling in Princess Bubblegum’s time machine, and laying some smack down on the Ice King.  Make your kids (or, hell, yourself) happy and pick it up!

Liches and zombies need not apply.

Scott Snyder just finished what is sure to become a classic Joker story in the main Batman series, but, before he made a name for himself, Snyder wrote one of the creepiest runs of Detective Comics ever.  Set during the period of time where Dick Grayson was Batman, this extended run has an entirely different tone from other Batman books as Grayson is all about the sarcasm and acrobatics, both brought to life by Jock’s expressive pencils.  Faced with a complicated murder mystery to solve, Grayson must team-up with Commissioner Gordon to crack the case.  Not only do Gordon and Grayson share sleuthing duties, but the story is also evenly split between them.  Gordon must deal with the arrival of his prodigal son, James, Jr., who may or may not be entirely sane.  Snyder is incredibly dept at pacing horror and suspense on the page, a talent uses handily during many of Gordon and James, Jr.’s scenes together.  Just remember to watch out for that water running under the bathroom door.

One thing you will certainly not find in Image Comics Five Weapons miniseries is a sorting hat.

That just makes it all the more important to choose wisely when you’re enrolling in The School of Five Weapons, because the weapon you choose will define the rest of your life.  Knives, staves, archery, exotics, and guns may be deadly, but they have nothing on the brain of Tyler, the most recent arrival to the premiere assassin school.  Join Jimmie Robinson (Bomb Queen), handling both art and writing duties, as he leads you through the halls of the deadliest high school in the country.  

Just don’t call it Harry Potter with guns.

Talking raccoons make every comic better.

Brian Michael Bendis got to sample the Guardians of the Galaxy in his recent run on Avengers Assemble, but now he launches deep into the stars with the beginning of another ongoing Guardians of the Galaxy series.  The first point one issue details the origins of Starlord, the boy from Earth who grows-up to lead the meanest bunch of space police in the universe.  With crisp, detailed artwork from Steve McNiven (Civil War), the addition of Iron Man, and the eminent Marvel Studios film adaptation the only reason to skip this book is if you’re off planet.

Oct 132012
 

Point one is usually considered an unimportant amount. But not this coming Wednesday.

Marvel NOW! Point One is extremely important for those who’ve got an interest in the forthcoming Marvel NOW! refresh! This over-sized issue will contain original short stories previewing and leading into future Marvel NOW! titles, including FF, Young Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, and Cable & X-Force. That means stories by the likes of Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction, Mike Allred, and Dennis Hopeless.

Wait, did I say Dennis Hopeless? Yes, former Pulp Fiction employee (like you didn’t already know), Dennis Hopeless. Dennis’ story is absolutely key to understanding his future Cable & X-Force series. It will show how Cable brought the, currently insane, Forge onto the team. Check the issue out for a great preview of upcoming titles. And don’t forget the Scottie Young baby variant!

Speaking of Scottie Young and babies (which seem to be utterly linked these days), A-Babies vs. X-Babies also drops this Wednesday. If you were one of the many who wished Cyclops and Captain America would stop acting like babies during Avengers vs. X-Men, this…is probably not the issue for you. However, if you love cute Marvel parody books lampooning the ridiculousness of giant crossover events, this IS the book for you. And you don’t even have to worry about a baby variant because the whole book is full’a babies!

Nathan Edmondson is one of those up-and-coming young comic writers you always hear about. He’s written great espionage series like Who is Jake Ellis?, Dancer, and Grifter, but now he’s turning his talents to Ultimate Comics Iron Man. This four issue miniseries will delve deep into the history of the Ultimate Universe’s version of the iron avenger, revealing his secrets for donning the armor in the first place. Oh, and did someone say Ultimate Mandarin? Followers of The Ultimates should give this miniseries more than a cursory glance.

It’s a known fact that everyone who reads the engrossing Morning Glories series has said, at one time or another, “I’d love to see this cover artist do interiors!” Well, that has finally happened. Mind the Gap is written by Jim McCann and, more importantly, drawn by Rodin Esquejo, the phenomenal cover artist for Morning Glories. Enough about Morning Glories, though, because Mind the Gap more than stands on its own. Not quite a murder mystery, this coma mystery centers around a sketchy cast of characters, all of which have their own motives for placing the lead character into a coma. But don’t count her out just because she’s unconscious, from her own mindscape she attempts to piece her memories together to catch the culprit. Just like Saga, Prophet, and, yes, Morning Glories before it, this first volume of Mind the Gap (the first six issues) is only $9.99! You can’t beat it!

Jul 212012
 

The Justice League New 52 Batman action figure brought the darkest night a few months ago, but now it’s time for the brightest day as the Green Lantern figure from this series ships this Wednesday. Sculpted off of Hal Jordan‘s new costume, the figure presents all of Jim Lee’s detailed pencil work in one stunning figure. If you’re planning to collect the entire team, this is a must grab!

What do you get when you cross Serenity, Doctor Who, Astonishing X-Men, and Greg Pak? Actually, it’s an unfair question because the comic I’m talking about doesn’t come out until Wednesday, but if you’re up on your X-Men news, you’ll know the answer is X-Treme X-Men. This new ongoing series by Planet Hulk writer Greg Pak follows a trio of alternate reality versions of Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Nightcrawler. So, come join Captain Howlett, Emmeline Frost, and Kid Nightcrawler as they jump from dimension to dimension tracking down lost X-Men and trouble as they go. Oh, and for those collectors out there, we will be getting the limited Salvador Larroca variant cover, which you can admire to your right.

Finishing out the night we’ve got two new works from up-and-coming comic superstar Jeff Lemire. Lemire is garnering much deserved acclaim for his work on DC‘s Animal Man and Frankenstein series as well as his post-apocalyptic road story, Sweet Tooth, so when he’s got a new one-shot story for DC coming out this Wednesday, you should take notice. National Comics Kid Eternity is the launching point for a new stand-alone series set to re-introduce forgotten DC characters. This first issue, drawn by Cully Hamner (RED), introduces Kid Eternity, a medical examiner who has to solve a murder mystery in twenty-four hours. A great story in a one-and-done package, folks.

Lemire’s newest graphic novel also drops this week. The Underwater Welder follows in the footsteps of Lemire’s other meditative graphic novel work (The Nobody, Lost Dogs) as it follows a professional diver and expecting father who is coming to terms with the burgeoning pressures of becoming a father. The further he drifts downward to the ocean floor the more he forgets his wife and future son…until something supernatural occurs. Written and drawn by Lemire in his recognizable concise, sketchy style, The Underwater Welder is receive buzz as one of the best pieces of comic art this year.