The run up to the San Diego Comic Con is starting in earnest and, as always, it’s leading me to seriously consider muting a good chunk of the internet for the weekend. I have an unusual relationship with the Con and what it does to my profession for ten days. This year I feel confident enough to not only talk about that, but actually do something about it.
I have a con schedule this year! There are definitely three on the slate so far this year and I’ll be doing press stuff at another couple. These though involve me doing things where I actually stand up and talk about stuff to people.
Thor is now a woman and Marvel have been very, very clear that this is not Thor Girl, Lady Thor, Thorella or the Vice Countess Thorkov. This is Thor. God of Thunder. Who’s a woman now. Most people’s reaction so far has been welcoming. Other people have reacted the same way they always do whenever anything changes in comics; as though nothing has ever changed in comics before.
In two days, Slingers 4: Where Gods Cannot See will be published. Written by Matt Wallace, one of my favorite people as well as one of my favorite authors, it’s defined by the same twin proficiencies as the rest of his work a tremendous and instinctive grasp of martial violence and the wounds it leaves and, more importantly, character. Matt writes people like no author I know. His characters are brilliant, flawed, normal people who work through the damage life deals them and never let it define their actions. He writes people, diverse in every way and the cast of Slingersis the best example of this to date. A five volume series about the world’s last, and most popular, combat sport, it’s rounding the corner into the penultimate volume this week. I’ve reviewed both the first two volumes, interviewed Matt and have a review of volume 3 on deck shortly.
But I’ve never done a fan post. An honest to God, fan squee theory post before.
That changes today.
So, below the cut are huge spoilers for the first three books. Go no further unless you’ve read the books and if you haven’t? They’re right here.
Transistor is a game whose mechanics are built around violent, loud close quarters combat. As Red, you have access to a growing amount of abilities for the Transistor, the AI/Sword artefact you inherit as the game opens. It’s brilliantly handled combat too; the Transistor giving you a chance to plan out your moves and attacks as time slows around you. It reminded me of the combat system in X-Com:The Bureau, but more fluid and graceful. After all, this is a game where throwing and catching the Transistor with a flourish is one of the first things you learn.
But the combat is, for me, a bassline. What happens around it is far more interesting.
Transformers: Age of Extinction is a critic proof movie. We get one once every 18 months or so, a film that is loudly reviled by basically everybody and yet still rakes in vast amounts of money. It’s a virtuous circle of snark; critics get to rail against the unstoppable juggernaut, the juggernaut gets to rampage across the Box Office for a few weeks, the trademarks get serviced and most people get paid. It’s not a good system, or even a practical one, but it’s the one we have and blockbusters like Age of Extinction show off every single one of its flaws.
I saw it last week. It’s mostly awful. But that, weirdly, is also a good thing.
‘Into the Shadows’ takes its title as its structure. The entire episode is nothing but Craven stepping further and further out of his established routines and, in doing so, discovering even more about his daughter and what she’s been hiding.
NOTE: Actual job does not involve exchanging phaser fire with angry 1960s trashcan/antenna hybrids. Also, being a white dude in whatever time period you call home, is not a requirement.
SERIOUS NOTE: This post will be changed and modified as more details become available.
Convention Season for the year is almost upon us. This year mine’s a doozy too. I’m on a couple of panels at 9 Worlds, doing 1.5 things at LonCon and will at the very least be outside Edge Lit eating a panini and chatting to people in a couple of weeks. I’m also, in September, going to be in York at FantasyCon. In fact, that’s the convention where I’m going to be busiest because, along with Marguerite, I’m going to be running the Redcoats.
Eighteen months ago I wrote the 6th Doctor sourcebook for the official Doctor Who RPG. It was GREAT. I full-on Stockholm Syndrom’ed on 6th’s time in the TARDIS. So much so I now legitimately think he’s great and wrote a book to prove that. One I got paid for!
Plus, there’s an Appendix in there which was so much fun to write. It breaks down the 6th Doctor’s run as though the Time War were happening in the background, showing you how to use elements of each story to create a campaign based entirely in and around the Time War and it’s consequences whilst still featuring the 6th Doctor’s run in all it’s wonderful, ghastly ’80s splendour.