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Updated: 1 week 5 days ago

RICH REVIEWS: Top Gear S26 E2

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 15:56


Episode Two
Season 26 Episode 2: Top Gear 

Produced by: Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, Rory Reid with The Stig
Special Guest: Professor Green

Run Time: 1 hr, 1 min, 57 sec
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Comments: Chris does know how to drive fast and still keep control. He also enjoys himself. The cars are amazingly beautiful and they do perform. You do get some facts about each car shown. The race Chris is in is an exciting race around the track. The cars are treated with respect.
The scenery is amazing and so beautiful. Chris and Matt get to drive a small car here as they tour a city and country. The driving leads to something totally unexpected. They end up in a game. Their challenge is exciting as they test the car. They do push it. Then they are off to the Devil’s Staircase. These little cars do take a pounding.
The guest does have fun driving on the track. All the guests on the show compete for the best time on the track.
Adam’s Bridge is where Chris and Matt end up next. Their car ride changes into something you will not be expecting.  They do complete their journey it is a thrilling one.
Matt and Chris are the main ones on this episode. Matt certainly has fun doing his job. He really does seem to enjoy driving.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

STRAVAGANZA MANGA SERIES TO BE RELEASED BY UDON ENTERTAINMENT

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 15:53

A new quest begins! UDON Entertainment is thrilled to announce the release of Akihito Tomi’s epic manga adventure, STRAVAGANZA, scheduled for English language release in August 2019.

A mysterious warrior travels the kingdom of Auroria, battling monstrous creatures and seeking adventure. Few know this warrior’s true identity as the young and inexperienced masked monarch, Queen Vivian! STRAVAGANZA VOLUME 1 chronicles a world where humans are not at the top of the food chain, and the Queen in the Iron Mask must learn to use both her sword and her throne to protect her people from the dangers looming beyond the city walls.

UDON Entertainment will publish STRAVAGANZA in 3 oversized volumes, with each omnibus containing two of the original Japanese volumes. This original manga story will kick off with STRAVAGANZA VOLUME 1 and is recommended for mature readers only. Deadly creatures, fantastic foes, a Queen in an Iron Mask, welcome to Auroria!

STRAVAGANZA VOLUME 1 will be released on August 13, 2019.

STRAVAGANZA VOLUME 1
DETAILS: 368pg, 5.75 x 8.25”, Full Color, Paperback
MSRP: $19.99 USD
RELEASE DATE: August 13, 2019
ISBN: 978-1772941036
DIAMOND ORDER CODE: JAN198667

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Comic Con Africa comes to Cape Town in 2020

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 15:46

11 March 2019, Reed Exhibitions Africa and ReedPOP today announced that as of 2020 the mother city will play host to its very own version of Comic Con. Comic Con Cape Town will be taking place 1 – 3 May 2020 and will have its own line up of talent geared towards the fan base of the city playing to its unique areas of strength and personality.

“With the unprecedented success of the 2018 Comic Con Africa it is the natural next step to bring this format to the city of Cape Town. While the style of this Comic Con will be slightly different to Comic Con Africa, we still expect the same level of entertainment focusing on our key pillars which include film, series, animation, cosplay, comic books and gaming. We are thrilled to be announcing the dates when we will be bringing the Comic Con magic to another South African city,” says managing director Carol Weaving.

As Cape Town is the film capital of South Africa, Comic Con Cape Town will have a stronger focus on films and series. With this in mind, Comic Con Cape Town has formed a strategic partnership with the Cape Town International Animation Festival. This festival is the only dedicated animation festival in Africa and hosts local and international delegates. This festival appeals to those that are creatives, producers and technical artists.

From 2020 onwards the Cape Town International Animation Festival will co-locate with Comic Con Cape Town. This partnership will ensure the longevity of both festivals by bringing together the fans into one venue at the same time. This partnership is aimed at creating a larger following for animation in Africa. As animation plays a big role in both films and series, this partnership is designed to grow the offering for those avid fans.

“The success of Comic Con rests in the ability to create platforms that address the wants and needs of the fans. Partnerships like this simply make sense to bring together two formats in order to grow the level of interest and skills in the animation industry. We are proud of this association and hope to be able to grow both the Cape Town Animation Festival and Comic Con Cape Town through this partnership,” says Weaving.

The talent line-up for Comic Con Cape Town will include both local and international celebrities in the film and series industry as a main focus.

The dates for the event were researched in great detail, the timing of local events need to be considered and the organisers are governed by the global calendar for Cons. When looking for a venue to host Comic Con Cape Town the venue advised the organisers that FanCon would be taking place in June 2020 which meant that hosting Comic Con Cape Town right at the beginning of May over a public holiday would allow adequate time between both events and Reed Exhibitions and Reed Pop are more than happy to collaborate and co-promote any other pop culture event for the good of the industry.

Comic Con Africa will be held from 21 – 24 September 2019, at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg and Comic Con Cape Town will take place 1- 3 May 2020. Comic Con Africa is a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention that features comic books, games, arts, movies, pop culture elements and so much more.

For more information about Comic Con Africa 2019, please visit: https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/en.html

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Jamie Coville’s King Con 2019 report

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:57

So I went to King Con, a local convention in Kingston, Ontario, Canada that was able to bring in a surprising number of comic book creators, a prose writer, a magician and even a celebrity. The event was held at Sydenham Street United Church and Chalmers United Church as the Kingston Public Library was not yet finished it’s renovations.

As usual I mainly stuck to the comic books portion of the show but I did spent some time watching the magician James Harrison do magic and even teach some simple magic. I took a number of pictures, audio recorded some panels and got to speak with a number of creators which was nice.

I almost never get sketches, but David Lloyd got me to pay for a sketch and I got a nice V for Vendetta from him. David’s sketch also came with a free issue of Aces Weekly, an online comics anthology he puts together. Georgia Webber, Chip Zdarsky, Allison O’Toole & Jason Loo signed their books for me. I got to take pictures of some cosplayers, including several from the 501 Legion, but unfortunately was unable to wait for the cosplay contest as they were running late and I was exhausted.

I did attend but did not record a Group Cosplay Panel which was really well done. I have attended a number of cosplay related panels this was the first one on this particular topic I’ve seen and those on the panel did a great job highlighting the benefits of doing group cosplay. Among the reasons were combining resources, using each others unique skill set and inspiring each other to work on their costumes.

I had a good time at the convention, but I’m looking forward to it being back at the newly renovated library next year.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The Jamie Coville Experience – KING CON: WorkingOn Comic Book Anthologies: Q&A with David Lloyd, Jack Briglio and TomFowler

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:48

Moderated by Adam Pottier, the topics included the difficulties in editing an anthology, slotting in stories when somebody can’t finish the work on time for some reason, creators getting matched up that don’t see eye to eye creatively, what a short story should do, the expanded creative freedom when contributing to a comic anthology, webcomics, writing for a collection and molding stories as an editor.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

The Jamie Coville Experience – KING CON: Writing Nonfiction and Comedy When You Mainly Just Know About Comics: A Talk by Ryan North

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:48


Ryan North spoke about his new Non Fiction book: How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler. He went through various important things that were invented and when they could have been invented, he spoke about other inventions, politics and not getting called a wizard and being killed for inventing stuff in the past.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Mark Heike talks about SUPERBABES #1

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:01

SUPERBABES is the latest title from AC Comics. It features their popular, long-running FEMFORCE characters. Now that the first issue is getting ready to appear in the next issue of Previews, Mark Heike stops by First Comics News to let all our readers know what to expect from Superbabes.

First Comics News: For fans who don’t know about FEMFORCE who is the FEMFORCE?

Mark G. Heike: The FEMFORCE is the first successful team of comic book superheroines. The brainchild of writer/artist/editor/filmmaker (and the man who originated of AC Comics), William Black; Ms. VICTORY, NIGHTVEIL, SHE-CAT, SYNN, TARA, and STARDUST; their friends, supporting characters and guest-stars have been populating the ongoing FEMFORCE quarterly comic book ) since Spring of 1985.

As of 2019, FEMFORCE #185 has just been released from AC COMICS–that’s 185 issues, plus spin-offs, mini-series and one-shots–and still going strong.

After launching AC Comics, one of the first four-color independent comic book publishers in late 1982, growing pains throughout the direct-sales market only a few years later led many publishers to begin casting about for new titles and concepts. Bill decided to re-edit some material he had on hand into a black and white special that would allow him to try out a comic book concept he’d had in mind for years: an ALL-FEMALE team of costumed super-types–and FEMFORCE was born.

It was a common attitude in the comics industry that female characters, especially superheroines wouldn’t sell. Several companies had tried it and failed. Bill’s Paragon line featured far more original superheroines than it did male heroes. Once Bill had AC Comics, when the circumstances seemed appropriate to try something no one else had done, he did it himself. It’s the sort of thing he was probably always destined to do at some point. Bill is not one to be happy with the status quo or to be put off by someone who says “It’ll never work.” He embraces a challenge, and works best when he is bucking the system and “conventional wisdom”.

When the intended “one-shot” FEMFORCE SPECIAL of 1984 proved to be a surprise AC COMICS success, a four-color, ongoing FEMFORCE title immediately went into production, with FEMFORCE #1 issue hitting comic shop shelves in late Spring, 1985. That FEMFORCE ongoing series has been running ever since, though changes in the comic book marketplace have over the years dictated a return to black and white status ( between issues #16-#56), then a return to color (from #57-87), and BACK to black and white since #88. There was an increase in page count up to 80 pages of all-new material since FEMFORCE #150. FEMFORCE is still the ONLY successful, ongoing comic book series that features a team of costumed and super-powered women, still running continuously for 33 years.

1st: Wasn’t the original pitch for FEMFORCE, Bill Black’s plan to make it an all-female Avenger team?

Mark: No. Bill just preferred to draw female characters and was always looking for opportunities to draw more. Bill suggested to Roy Thomas (when he was a writer/editor at Marvel) about trying a team-up of 1950’s Atlas/Marvel heroines like Namora, Jann of the Jungle, etc when they were working on “What If The Avengers Had Been Formed In The 1950’s?”. Roy said, “Nah, it’d never sell.”

It was in no way a “pitch” of any kind, just an idle thought quickly shot down.

1st: SUPERBABES #0 was an experiment. What type of feedback did you get from that?

Mark: SUPERBABES #0 was released as a retailer incentive. The most important “feedback” we got on it (which was what we needed from that venture) was that we could DO it–we were able to work out the kinks and “test-fly” a color book, on time (meeting Diamond deadlines), at a quality level and a cost that was sustainable.

1st: Was there any difficulty from hardcore FemForce fans having trouble getting a copy?

Mark: SUPERBABES #0 was a RETAILER INCENTIVE. We knew (from having done other retailer-incentive promo books ) that not a lot of copies WOULD get into the hands of fans. Most people who buy comics through comic shops don’t really have a clear idea how the process works, getting a book through Diamond, onto comic shop racks, and into their hands–and really, why should they?

We started early (in our FEMFORCE editorials) and explained in detail HOW our regular readers who REALLY wanted a copy could get one, realizing all along that there would probably be a lot more folks who wanted them than would get them. SUPERBABES #0 was about getting RETAILERS used to the idea of AC going back to color books, testing out the production process, creating a marketing tool and process to launch the ongoing series and generally get us ALL ready for the time that it would be ready to go.

1st: SUPERBABES #0 said it was continuing into SUPERBABES #1 do you have to read the zero issue to know what’s going on in #1?

Mark: No. There were eight pages of new material of the “Headhunter’s Wake” storyline that will now be reprinted in SUPERBABES #1, along with the rest of that story. SUPERBABES #0 also had some additional material that will not be reprinted in SUPERBABES #1 or anywhere else.

1st: Why do the zero issue and the first if you have the same cover?

Mark: Originally we had planned to make a bigger “splash” with SUPERBABES #0, but behind the scenes, production complications occurred to cement the retailer incentive aspect and negated the promotional aspect of the book. Retailer incentive books are only listed by Diamond on the retailer order form as a line of copy; no artwork. The only place someone would have seen it outside of SUPERBABES #0 was in ads and promotional places online like this. We also got lots of positive comments from people who saw it in our house ads as ”AC Comics–Clawing Our Way Back to the Top!”. In the end, rather than go with a different cover on #1, we opted to reuse it here.

1st: SUPERBABES is half the price of FEMFORCE with half the pages but full color. Doesn’t color add to the cost of the production?

Mark: It is a completely accurate statement to say (all things being equal) “color printing is more expensive than black and white printing”. But of course, all things are NOT equal. Sometimes it’s a question of moving costs around, as opposed to adding or subtracting them.

If you start with the obvious fact that cutting OUT the resources involved in putting an addition 48 black and white pages into a book (the difference between an 80-page FEMFORCE format and the 32-page SUPERBABES package.) allows you to put more dollars into the color aspect. Then, factor in that the SUPERBABES #0 venture showed us that, if we HAVE to, we can handle the color labor in-house, and cut that cost out as well.

When you figure things that way, the actual cost of color printing versus what we have to lay out to do the 80-page B & W isn’t very different. There are other “cost” factors beyond dollars to consider, as well. Over the last nine-plus years, we’ve now done 35 consecutive 80-page FEMFORCE issues. That’s a LOT of material to generate; it’s really pretty nutty. No one else in comics has ever done that, as far as we know. The pressure in keeping up with that sort of volume on a quarterly basis is tremendous. It’s driving us nutty. On top of that, we are forced to make A LOT of compromises to stay on schedule. That affects the quality of the final product, sometimes way too much.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m extremely proud of the books we’ve done– considering the time we have to do them in and the amount of pages we have to fill. There is always that “considering” proviso, though. The plain fact is, we think we can produce much BETTER comic books if all we have to fill is 32 pages to complete a book!

Better stories, better art, more manageably on time, less stress not JUST on editors Mark and Stephanie, but on our hard-working creators as well. If we can spread the material we used to have to put into ONE FEMFORCE issue into 2 1/2 SUPERBABES books, the books will be better and we on the creative side will perhaps live a little longer.

1st: Will every issue of SUPERBABES have a FEMFORCE story?

Mark: Unequivocally yes. Some issue will end up with more non-FEMFORCE stories, some less; but there will ALWAYS be at least one FEMFORCE adventure in every SUPERBABES.

1st: You said if SUPERBABES is successful there will be more color comics coming from AC in the future. What sales level are you looking for to consider it successful?

Mark: Enough copies to be able to keep going. Like most publishers I know of, AC has never wanted to talk circulation “numbers”, and we’re not about to start now. For our color line to succeed, SUPERBABES does need to sell more than FEMFORCE to meet Diamond’s minimum sales performance levels, but not that MUCH more. Since we like to think that a color package is more palatable in the marketplace, and the new format is substantially cheaper (albeit with fewer story pages), we feel we have a pretty good shot at it, since the new format should be more in line with what the rest of the market is producing.

The two biggest NEGATIVES we have tended to hear about our books over the years is “They’re BLACK AND WHITE and COST TOO MUCH.” If we’ve addressed both of those complaints with SUPERBABES and other future color books, we hope that will leave more readers open to buying them.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

FASTLANE results

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 06:35

PRESHOW

Xavier Woods & Big E def. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev

FASTLANE

TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

The Usos def. Miz & Shane McMahon

WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Asuka (c) def. Mandy Rose

The Bar def. Kofi Kingston

TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

The Revival (C) def. Bobby Roode & Chad Gable and Ricochet & Aleister Black

US CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Samoa Joe (c) def. R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Andrade

WOMEN’S TAG-TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Sasha Banks & Bayley (c) def. Nia Jax & Tamina

HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

Daniel Bryan (c) def. Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali

WOMEN’S QUALIFYING MATCH

Becky Lynch def. Charlotte by DQ

The Shield def. Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

BETTY & VERONICA #4 unlettered preview

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 03:34


BETTY & VERONICA #4 (of 5)
“SPRING,” pt. 4: The most important event in any high schooler’s life is here—the Senior Prom. And B&V are still keeping an important secret from one another. Will the big dance lead to a blowout that has the two girls finally confront each other or will they stay quiet until graduation?
Script: Jamie Lee Rotante
Art: Sandra Lanz, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Cover: Sandra Lanz
Variant Covers: Derek Charm, Emanuela Lupacchino
On Sale Date: 4/3
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

GUNNING FOR HITS #3 under Review

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 00:34
Back for more! You can read my review of Gunning for Hits issue #1 and issue #2. Behind every fake smile is a deeper story. Gunning for Hits #3 is where the deeper story begins as men in declining power plot to gain back what they have lost. Woe to those he uses as his tools to achieve his goal. In Gunning for Hits, as much as the real world, everyone is plotting and manipulating to either gain new power or regain back what they have lost. You can get lost in a web of conceit and duplicity where the worm turns so many times you have no idea whom it is turning for.   Another lyric symbolism that could reflect the feel of this issue is from the Dead Boys! (Jeff uses Guns and Roses excellent and excellently chosen “Out to Get Me”)   Dead Boys High Tension Wire “Been living too fast Got my head on full throttle As I scream and scour In the bottom of a bottle Can’t stand up honey Got my tongue on the floor Living out a dream About the third world war Time warp baby That’s where I live Time warp honey Something’s gotta give Feeling tonight like my Brain is on fire Don’t touch me tonight I’m a high tension wire”   One can’t predict the futures not taken. And in Gunning for Hits, I think it is the past that will take the present for a detour and shake things up.   Everyone is hiding secrets. In this third issue, we start finding out some. And each of the player’s secrets are buried in the past and surely will uproot future issues.   Jeff’s back matter is as always interesting. I know how some of what Jeff writes about is written. I managed bands during the ’90s. One band, in particular, I managed to get into a meeting with the owner of an umbrella of 5 mid-sized labels. The band failed to show up. Sad but true, with emphasis on sad and true.   The majority of the bands I managed were their own worst enemy. Whatever success could have come their way didn’t as a result. As a manager, I reached only a certain level in the hierarchy of Jeffs tell-tale of the industry. I can only personally relate to the first part of what he wrote about. I can, though, point to people I know who can relate to the rest.   Bands who make it through success intact, friends, and better for the worse are rare. It will be interesting to see where Stunted Growth end up in thier goal of Gunning for Hits! Jeff continues to hit on the truth of the industry. So much so, I’m left wondering how much of the fiction of a mirror of reality to which Jeff himself lived.   Gunning for Hits Music Thriller Issue THREE Written by Jeff Rougvie and features art from Moritat. Casey Silver on colors and lettering. Published by Image Comics. On Sale Mar 13, 2019

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Wayne’s Worlds: Happy Anniversary, Marvel and IDW!

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 19:39

Turns out 2019 is a big anniversary year for at least two comics companies—Marvel and IDW!

20 YEARS OF IDW

IDW is throwing a party for it’s 20th year of creating great reading by printing classic titles from its history, including:

  • Locke & Key Master Edition, Vol. 1
  • Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter
  • Zombies vs. Robots Omnibus
  • 30 Days of Night

I’m sure release dates will be coming soon!

Personally, I always appreciate IDW’s ability to work with franchises who haven’t always played well with others. Most recently, they started a Marvel line for younger readers. Seems to be doing well, too!

MARVEL TURNS 80

The House of Ideas continues to rule the roost when it comes to the comics industry, and have plans on how to celebrate 80 years of “marvel”-ous storytelling.

One of the events taking place includes a “A decade-by-decade celebration of the stories that defined the Marvel Universe, starting January 2019!”

According to a recent news release:

>>Starting in January, readers will be able to explore a different decade of Marvel each month with the brand-new eight-volume DECADES collection series, featuring some of comic’s most iconic characters, themes and stories from each magnificent Marvel era. From the 1940s to the 2010s, fans can relive the formative journeys of their fan-favorite Super Heroes like the Human Torch, Captain America, Spider-Man, and more!

“After almost 80 years, our fans have continued to embrace Marvel’s characters as their own, following their adventures through decades of thrilling stories,” said Marvel Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski. “To honor and celebrate this legacy, we can’t wait to share some new and exciting projects for the world to experience the history of the Marvel Universe – through comic books, video games, toys, blockbuster films, television shows and more.”<<

According to that news release, several “Marvel in the Decades” volumes are coming out, including:

  • DECADES: MARVEL IN THE ’40S – THE HUMAN TORCH VS. THE SUB-MARINER TPB
  • DECADES: MARVEL IN THE ’50S – CAPTAIN AMERICA STRIKES! TPB
  • DECADES: MARVEL IN THE ’60S – SPIDER-MAN MEETS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE TPB
  • DECADES: MARVEL IN THE ’70S – LEGION OF MONSTERS TPB

Probably one of the most interesting things in these collections will be that each DECADES collection will also include a decade-by-decade commentary chronicling the evolution of the Marvel Universe and the world that inspired it.

Later this year, Marvel will release a series of curated 80th Anniversary merchandise inspired by Marvel’s signature art and storytelling that have defined Super Hero fans for generations. Products will include retailer exclusive collectibles, fashion and apparel, accessories, specialty products, and limited-edition toys, such as exciting new products from Hasbro, Funko and more! More details and collaborations will be announced in the coming weeks and throughout the year – with a special sweet collaboration with Ample Hills Creamery later in July!

Special variant covers by Phil Noto are coming as well! Should be a “Marvel”-ous year!

CELEBRATING LONGEVITY

I applaud both companies for being the successes they are for as long as they have so far. Let’s face it—some comics companies have faded into the woodwork, far before their time, in my opinion. To see others do well encourages those “new kids on the block” who are trying to also be successful in the industry.

It’s also interesting because, as I mentioned previously, these two companies have begun to work with each other. That’s encouraging to me because, as much as I think competition brings out the best in many of us, there are times when cooperation is called for as well.

This is one of those times.

The best in the industry that I know of devote some time each week to reading what others are creating and share what they have found. I pay attention to those recommendations because I’ve often found some great reading from those social media encounters.

That’s something I hope we can count on continuing to happen for years to come.

You know, I still fondly remember the days when Marvel and DC crossed over. Those were fun books, and the fan in me still cherishes them. The JLA/Avengers by Kurt Busiek and George Perez was an instant classic that has a prominent place on my bookshelf!

I recently enjoyed the Batman/TMNT crossovers a lot as well. Seeing two high-power franchises interact was a LOT of fun. Star Trek/Transformers has been a hoot!

Could the future hold more of those for us? I sure hope so!

I’m one of those people who doesn’t believe that one company completely dominating the industry is a good thing, on the other hand. I pick and choose, searching diligently to find the good stuff no matter who is publishing it.

I hope 2019 is just the beginning of a lot of wonderful anniversary celebrations, with many more to come in the years ahead! That’s good for the industry and good for fans!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Calvin’s Commentaries: Trinity

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 09:42

I have to say out of the mail wrapping I was immediately impressed by the packaging for the new game Trinity.

It comes in a zippered pouch about the size of a hotdog bun, complete with a small mountaineering snap ring so you can fasten into a be;t loop, or on a pack and take the game anywhere.

Inside is more simple goodness. The board is made of mousepad material, so rolls up neatly.

The main pieces are glass beads, so if you lose one replacing it is easy.

The rule sheet is concise, well-illustrated, and should have you playing in a matter of minutes.

The game plays quickly, with that, ‘let’s try that again’ element, although it might not have that play everyday depth, although Xs and Os have held gamers interests for far longer than I’d have dreamed.

Oh, and yes this is an abstract strategy game so I like it on principle.

It was able to interview Ankur Gupta who along with Kayla Gupta designed Trinity. Not surprisingly he has long held an interest in abstract strategy games.

“My grandfather and father were always big chess fans so naturally, they would always want to play chess with me,” he explained. “I enjoyed the strategy of it, but could rarely win due to how skilled they were. Since most of my friends were intimidated by chess’ complexity, I was not able to play it as much as I wanted. However, the strategy involved in playing chess led me to really enjoy turn-based strategy games that were simple to get into, such as the Civilization video game series. These were games my friends would play with me because a complete novice could play as well as a seasoned expert.

“In more recent years, I’ve started to gain an appreciation of classic abstract strategy games such as go, Viking Chess, and Mahjongg. As my general interest in board games continued to grow, I discovered new classics such as Hive and Onitama.

“What truly interested me was how timeless these games have become.

“What was the germ of an idea which led to the game’s creation?

“After attending a Protospiel event in the area and seeing the inner workings of board game design, I went to bed one night thinking of a way to create a simple strategy game that used positional tactics with hexagons.

“About 10 minutes later, I had the idea for the initial concept for Trinity and wrote it down immediately.”

So what was Ankur trying to achieve with the game?

“I wanted to boil down what I loved about chess and Civilization into something that could scratch that strategy itch for anyone who had about half an hour to spare,” he said.

“Whenever we went backpacking or camping, we couldn’t bring our favorite strategy games but still wanted to play something engaging so our goal from the get-go was to design for portability as well.”

While the game is simplicity in game form, it still took time for Trinity to take shape.

“It took about nine months to develop from initial concept to the final version,” said Ankur. “The initial concept actually took us about 90 percent of the way there, but that last 10 percent required a considerable amount of playtesting and fine tuning to get it just right.”

So what was the most difficult aspect of designing the game?

“The most difficult aspect of designing the game was probably the balance,” said Ankur. “The initial version worked well in most scenarios unless you had a very experienced player versus a novice. In that case, the expert would get the lead and maintain it without a way for the newcomer to come back.

“We found this discouraged many players and was the impetus for adding the element of the dead space tile (a turn option that shrinks the play area). Even with that addition, it took a few iterations of how to use the dead space tiles to get it to where the game is today.

“The rules were another challenge because we wanted it to be simple and fit in a very small rulebook. The idea was that it would be simple enough for someone to throw away the rulebook after a while and just play from memory, even after a long time of not playing. Simplifying the rules to cover every scenario took a bit of work and a lot of playtesting to make sure players understood what was said.”

As a designer, it is always interesting to know what they themselves like most about their creation.

“We think the simplicity of learning the game is the best element,” said Ankur. “Many times, we’ve heard players say that the game is surprisingly complex after they play it the first time. They come in thinking they can master it because there isn’t much to the rules, but then find they have to think several moves ahead in order to actually win. This feeling of mastery being right around the corner is what keeps players coming back and playing the game over again.”

Check this fun little travel companion game out at www.polaris.games



Categories: Comic Book Blogs

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #1 unlettered preview

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 05:00

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH #1 (OF 5)

BRAND NEW SERIES! Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!

Script: Kelly Thompson
Art: Veronica Fish, Andy Fish, Jack Morelli
Cover: Veronica Fish
Variant Covers: Stephanie Buscema, Adam Hughes, Victor Ibanez, Sandra Lanz
On Sale Date: 3/27
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

MARVEL RETURNS TO WONDERCON WITH AN EXCITING LINE-UP OF NEW AND RETURNING SERIES

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:51

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger Panel Will Be Mayhem On Friday, March 29th

 

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Returns With An Exclusive Premiere Of Season Six On Saturday, March 30th

 

Join Us For Marvel Animation’s World Premiere Of Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron On Sunday, March 31st

 

Los Angeles, CA (March 1, 2019) – Marvel Television returns to WonderCon in Anaheim with the fan-favorites Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, and Legion. Making its WonderCon debut, Marvel Rising will showcase the world premiere of its newest animated special Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron before it premieres on Wednesday, April 3rd on Marvel HQ. Join us for these not to be missed panels with the popular cast and creators, featuring premieres of never-before-seen footage, exclusive signings, and a few fun surprises along the way – all starting Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31.

 

Full schedule below. Jump in on the conversation by using #MarvelWonderCon:

 

MARVEL TELEVISION AND ANIMATION SCHEDULE:

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 29th

 

MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER – EXCLUSIVE SIGNING – 3:00PM

Marvel and Freeform will be hosting an exclusive autograph signing with series stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Emma Lahana, executive producer/showrunner Joe Pokaski, and executive producer and Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb from the critically-acclaimed series Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.

 

MARVEL’S CLOAK & DAGGER PANEL

Anaheim Convention Center, March 29, 2019 – 4:45PM – North 200A

 

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger is back for an exciting second season with a must-see panel featuring series stars Olivia Holt, Aubrey Joseph, Emma Lahana, executive producer/showrunner Joe Pokaski, and moderated by executive producer and Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb. Be the first to see an extended sneak peek of season two before the series premieres on Thursday, April 4th on Freeform! It’s going to be mayhem!

 

*Talent is subject to change.

 

LEGION PANEL

Anaheim Convention Center, March 29, 2019 – 6:00PM – North 200A

Legion, based on the Marvel Comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, tells the story of David Haller, a man who believed himself schizophrenic only to discover that he may actually be the most powerful mutant the world has ever seen. Join the producers and cast for a conversation about what fans can look forward to in the upcoming third season premiering on FX in June 2019.

SATURDAY, MARCH 30th

 

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – EXCLUSIVE SIGNING – 11:15AM

Marvel will be hosting an exclusive autograph signing with series stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, and Jeff Ward, along with executive producers Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeff Bell, and Jeph Loeb from the fan-favorite series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

 

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. PANEL

Anaheim Convention Center, March 30, 2019 – 1:45PM – Arena

 

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is returning to Anaheim with a show-stopping panel. Be the first to experience the premiere episode of the highly-anticipated sixth season together with some of your favorite stars including Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, and Jeff Ward, along with executive producers Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, Jeff Bell, and Jeph Loeb.  After the exclusive screening, join the cast and producers and catch up on all things Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  with a fun and lively Q&A that you won’t want to miss. This action-packed series from Marvel Television will return in May 2019 on ABC.

 

*Talent is subject to change.

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 31ST

 

MARVEL ANIMATION PRESENTS: MARVEL RISING: HEART OF IRON – WORLD PREMIERE

Anaheim Convention Center, March 31, 2019 – 11:45AM – North 200A

 

Join our Squirrel Girl Milana Vayntrub, our Ms. Marvel Kathreen Khavari, our Inferno Tyler Posey, and our Hala Ming-Na Wen, along with Cort Lane (SVP, Animation and Family Entertainment) and Marsha Griffin (VP, Animation Current Series and Development), for an action-packed panel moderated by Kristin Cruz that will showcase the world premiere of the brand-new animated special Marvel Rising: Heart of IronMarvel Rising: Heart of Iron will introduce Riri Williams a.k.a. Ironheart to the Marvel Rising universe, voiced by Sofia Wylie (“Andi Mack”), in an epic adventure that sees Ironheart teaming up with the Secret Warriors to face-off against Hala the Accuser in their epic penultimate battle! Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron will premiere on Wednesday, April 3rd on Marvel HQ.

 

*Talent is subject to change.

 

MARVEL RISING: HEART OF IRON – EXCLUSIVE SIGNING – 2:30PM

Marvel will be hosting an exclusive autograph signing with series stars Tyler Posey, Ming-Na Wen, Milana Vayntrub, Kathreen Khavari, and surprise guests for the brand-new animated series, Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron.

 

Please note that all signings will be added to the WonderCon online Exclusives Portal on March 7th and at that time WonderCon Anaheim badge holders can log-in and create a list of exclusive signings they’d be interested in attending. On March 19th, WonderCon attendees will be selected at random and receive an email confirmation with more details.

 

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger season two will premiere on Freeform on Thursday, April 4th at 8|7c. Legion season three will premiere on FX in June 2019. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns this May 2019 on ABC. Marvel Rising: Heart of Iron will premiere on Wednesday, April 3rd on Marvel HQ.

 

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger is produced by Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios. Legion is produced by FX Productions and Marvel Television, with FXP handling the physical production. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

WAR OF THE REALMS: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY Releases New Cover Art!

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:39

New York, NY—March 1, 2019—On April 10th, the McElroy Brothers (joined by interior artist Andre Lima Araujo and cover artist Valerio Schiti) dive into War of the Realms with JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, a five-issue limited series that takes Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), Wonder Man, and Balder The Brave on an epic quest to save Thor!

 

Today, Marvel is excited to release two new variant covers for WAR OF THE REALMS: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY by superstar artists Joe Quinones & Matthew Wilson (issue #1) and Rahzzah (Issue #2).

 

 

WAR OF THE REALMS: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #1 (of 5)

Written by THE MCELROYS

Art by ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO

Cover by VALERIO SCHITI

 

 

 

WAR OF THE REALMS: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #2 (of 5)

Written by THE MCELROYS

Art by ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO

Cover by VALERIO SCHITI

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Marvel Releases New WAR OF THE REALMS #1 Cover Art from Olivier Coipel!

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:36

New York, NY—March 1, 2019— The War Of The Realms is coming…and no corner of the Marvel Universe will be untouched! Today, Marvel is excited to release a stunning variant cover from superstar artist Olivier Coipel, with colors by Matthew Wilson!

 

This April, all hell will break loose as Marvel’s epic event from the award-winning creative team of Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson usher in an event of unparalleled scale! Plus, don’t miss a special midnight release of WAR OF THE REALMS #1 for retailers – be sure to check Marvel mailers for details!

 

 

 

WAR OF THE REALMS #1 (of 6)

Written by JASON AARON

Art by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS & MATTHEW WILSON

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Join Marvel Comics At SXSW!

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:34

New York, NY—March 1, 2019—At this year’s SXSW®, join Marvel for a special panel that celebrates the history and far-reaching influence of the Marvel Comics Universe!

 

On Friday, March 8th, Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada will lead an interactive discussion about the history and landscape of Marvel Comics. Titled Marvel: From Comics To Screens, the hour-long panel will look at how some of Marvel’s most iconic characters and storylines have contributed to the games, movies, and television series that are so renowned among popular culture. Everything starts with an idea – and Marvel Comics is the spark that lights the fire!

 

The full panel descriptor can be seen below:

 

Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and Chief Creative Officer + fan-favorite writer/artist Joe Quesada lead an interactive discussion on the unprecedented vast creative landscape and content factory that is MARVEL COMICS.  Marvel’s characters have achieved international renown, and now the movies, television series, and games of the Marvel Universe are the most popular in the world  – but everything starts with an idea, and Marvel Comics is the spark that lights the fire. Heroes and villains were teamed together in an epic challenge against each other in the first ever Marvel limited series Contest of Champions in 1982 before it became one of the most successful and popular mobile games of all time.  The Guardians of the Galaxy as they were seen in the 2014 film assembled for the first time in 2007’s Guardians of the Galaxy comic book.  Iron Man and Captain America had their first Civil War in the pages of the Marvel Comics series of the same name in 2006.  Cloak & Dagger first came together in a 1982 issue of the Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man comic book.  Are the next breakout stories of film, television, and gaming happening in the pages of Marvel Comics right now?  Hear from two of the Marvel Comics’ biggest story-crafters on what it’s like to lead the way in the Marvel Universe!

 

The panel will take place from 3:30pm-4:30pm in Room 12AB on the fourth floor of the Austin Convention Center.

 

This March, Make Yours Marvel at SXSW®!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Marvel Releases New WAR OF THE REALMS #1 Cover Art from Giuseppe Camuncoli!

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:30

New York, NY—March 1, 2019— The War Of The Realms is coming…and no corner of the Marvel Universe will be untouched! Today, Marvel is excited to release the first piece of a stunning Connecting Realm variant cover from superstar artist Guiseppe Camuncoli!

 

This April, all hell will break loose as Marvel’s epic event from the award-winning creative team of Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson usher in an event of unparalleled scale! Plus, don’t miss a special midnight release of WAR OF THE REALMS #1 for retailers – be sure to check Marvel mailers for details!

 

 

WAR OF THE REALMS #1 (of 6)

Written by JASON AARON

Art by RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS & MATTHEW WILSON

 

WAR OF THE REALMS 1 CAMUNCOLI CONNECTING REALM VARIANT (JAN190877)

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Your First Look at the Dream Team in THE AVANT-GUARDS #3

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:27

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 1, 2019) – BOOM! Studios revealed a first look at THE AVANT-GUARDS #3, a new chapter in the twelve-issue series from writer Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl) and artist Noah Hayes (Wet Hot American Summer) about a ragtag group of friends who band together to build the first ever basketball team at their historic woman’s art college, available in stores March 2019.

The Avant-Guards’ efforts have paid off, and with the addition of new transfer student and former basketball star, Charlie Bravo, they are finally an official basketball team. But just because they’ve got the right number of players and a spot in the league doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to compete on the court, and their first game is only a few days away! Liv and Charlie will have to scramble to train their fellow art school misfits to work together and trust each other in time to face their first opponents of the season… The Cuddly Retrievers of the American Institute of Veterinary Curiosities!

THE AVANT GUARDS #3 features a main cover by Hayes and a variant cover by Cara McGee (Black Canary: Ignite, Dodge City).

“Every person on the Avant-Guards is unique and brings a different skill or perspective to the team but in the end, they’re all there for the same reasons: to play basketball and make friends.” said Shannon Watters, Senior Editor, BOOM! Studios. “Carly and Noah do a fantastic job of capturing all the fun, frustration, and drama of a group of very different people learning to become a team in order to tackle whatever situations might arise together.”

THE AVANT-GUARDS is the latest release from BOOM! Studios’ award-winning BOOM! Box imprint, home to groundbreaking original series such as Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn Allen, and Noelle Stevenson; Giant Days by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin; Misfit City by Kiwi Smith, Kurt Lustgarten, and Naomi Franquiz; Fence by C.S. Pacat and Johanna The Mad; and Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams.

Print copies of THE AVANT-GUARDS #3 will be available for sale on March 27, 2019 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers like comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and the BOOM! Studios app.

For continuing news on THE AVANT-GUARDS and more from BOOM! Studios, stay tuned to  www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter.




Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Valiant Entertainment and A Sound of Thunder Unveil PUNK MAMBO #1 Exclusive Covers

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 04:24

Trav Hart’s illustration pays homage to Iron Maiden album cover art by Derek Riggs

  
PUNK MAMBO #1 Exclusive A Sound of Thunder Variant Covers by Trav Hart

New York, NY (March 1, 2019) – Comics publisher Valiant Entertainment and metal band A Sound of Thunder are teaming up to offer collectible comics paying homage to classic Iron Maiden cover art.

The special editions of the debut issue of Valiant’s upcoming title PUNK MAMBO comic feature exclusive cover artwork by Trav Hart that pays homage to the classic album cover of Maiden’s 1980 single, “Sanctuary,” by artist Derek Riggs.

The PUNK MAMBO #1 Iron Maiden Homage Variants will be available in two limited editions:

– Full-Color Variant (Limited to 300 copies)
– Black-and-White Variant (Limited to 100 copies)

Both versions are available exclusively through A Sound of Thunder’s current Kickstarter campaign. Visit the campaign at the following link for more information: http://kck.st/2Eff4Uv

From celebrated writer Cullen Bunn (Venom) and badass artist Adam Gorham (Black Panther) comes the hilariously horrifying PUNK MAMBO, about a hard-living voodoo priestess who grew up in London, relocates to the Bayou, and becomes a mystical mercenary for hire. In her first-ever solo comic book series, Punk Mambo investigates a series of abductions in the New Orleans Gutter Punk scene, stumbling upon a deadlier mystery that takes her to the haunted shores of Haiti. PUNK MAMBO #1 debuts in comic shops from Valiant Entertainment on Wednesday, April 24th with covers by Dan Brereton (Nocturnals), Zu Orzu (X-O Manowar), Cris Delara (Aspen Visions: Fathom: Spinning Our Fate), and interior artist Gorham.

In addition, fans who pre-order all five issues of the PUNK MAMBO series at their local comic shop by April 1st will receive a special code to download a digital file of A Sound of Thunder’s “Punk Mambo” track for free. The code will appear in the Pre-order Edition of PUNK MAMBO #1. To find the comic shop nearest you, visit http://comicshoplocator.com.

About A Sound of Thunder

A Sound of Thunder is an American heavy metal band established in 2009. The Billboard-charting group was an early pioneer of crowd-funding and has out-funded major label competitors with the support of their loyal fan-base known as the “Legion of Thunder”. For their fifth album in 2015, the band partnered with Valiant Entertainment to issue Tales from the Deadside, a concept album based on Valiant’s Shadowman comic series. In 2017 the band scored a Top 40 hit in Europe and won an Independent Music Award for their rendition of the Catalonian national anthem “Els Segadors.”

A Sound of Thunder
Kickstarter: http://kck.st/2Eff4Uv
Web: www.asoundofthunderband.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/asoundofthunder
Instagram: www.instagram.com/asotband
Twitter: www.twitter.com/asotband

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

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