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Game Review: Tak: A Beautiful Game
NeverWanderer   |  

Tak: A Beautiful Game

Tak is an “abstract strategy” board game in the traditions of Chess and Go, based on a fictional game mentioned in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicle novel series. It was developed by James Ernest and Rothfuss for Cheapass Games, and is right now enjoying the home stretch of a massively successful Kickstarter campaign.

It should come as no surprise that the game surpassed its $50,000 funding goal almost instantly, currently topping off at more than ten times that number. A legion of loyal fans clamors for anything even peripherally related to Rothfuss’s epic fantasy saga about a multi-talented liar who falls backwards into legend status on the road to avenging his family’s murder.

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Interview: ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 Composer John Paesano
NeverWanderer   |  

Composer John Paesano

Last year, Marvel’s Daredevil surprised audiences, surpassing even the highest expectations of jaded comic fans and skeptical TV critics alike. All were blown away by its realistic, nuanced approach to the superhero vigilante serial drama, bolstered by a roster of amazing performances, pitch-perfect writing, and action choreography that could stand toe-to-toe with any big budget film. Still, one of the most notable and memorable aspects of the series was something many viewers take for granted (and most TV dramas these days all but forego) — the opening credit sequence.

Written by award-winning DreamWorks Dragons and Maze Runner film composer, John Paesano, that haunting opening theme was only the first hint of what the show had in store. Pulsing, rhythmic, tonal, yet brimming with emotion, Paesano’s Daredevil score stands apart in a world filled with brassy superhero anthems.

On the verge of the second season release, I had the privilege of talking with John over the phone about his return to Daredevil in season 2, his early experiences as a fledgling composer, his creative process, and geeky obsessions.

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NeverRants: ‘The Incredibles’ Is NOT A Fantastic Four Movie
NeverWanderer   |  

The Incredibles Image Header

A new Fantastic Four movie was just released from Fox. This… is not about that movie. This is about the way we fans talk about Fantastic Four movies, and how we may, in fact, be getting it wrong.

I’ve seen it happen enough to be a foregone conclusion: when discussing Marvel comics on film, if you bring up the Fantastic Four, somebody will return volley with, “If you want to see a perfect Fantastic Four movie, go watch The Incredibles.” I’ve done it myself — MANY times — and that particular refrain got louder and more frequent the closer we got to the release of the latest Fox effort. But, hearing some variation of that statement repeated so often kinda got me wondering… are we actually right about that?

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What Form Will TV’s New Hulk Take?
NeverWanderer   |  

With the news last month of a live-action Hulk television series in development over at ABC, many questions are swimming through the minds of fans.

Will it be in continuity with the Marvel films?

Will any of the film actors commit to a television series?

Who will play Banner?

For myself, the first question that sprung to mind was, “How are they going to do the Hulk effects?” I’ve made no secret of my long-standing love affair with the not-so-jolly green giant, and of all the creative hoops the studio and show-runner will eventually have to jump through, the one that weighs most heavily on my mind as a fan is what the beast will actually look like on the small screen.

It might surprise some to learn that the Hulk is one of the few characters to have been brought to life through almost every school of visual effects there is.

Behind the cut, we’ll take a look at those different incarnations and speculate on their potential for the new television series.

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NeverRants: Destroying Comics For Fun And Profit
NeverWanderer   |  

NeverWanderer Presents: NeverRantsI spotted this little tidbit on Bleeding Cool and was compelled to write something.

Ted vanLiew, owners of Superworld Comics Superworld Comics is a store in Massachusetts that specializes in bronze, silver, and golden age comics and original comic art. On their YouTube channel, they have a feature called “Trash-A-Comic.” The title is pretty self-explanatory. Every episode, they destroy a comic book from their back-stock in what they insist are fun and creative ways for, one can only assume, the entertainment of their customers.

Because comic book fans — especially collectors of mint and slabbed comics — LOVE seeing those books destroyed.

In their first episode, they shot an issue of Classics Illustrated: Kidnapped to pieces with a paint gun.

In their second episode, they fed a near-mint issue of Dazzler to a couple of pigs before having it pecked by chickens.

In their third episode, they ripped an issue of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories in half, put it in a blender, turned it into a smoothie, and drank it while toasting, “Here’s to the end of another worthless comic.”

In their fourth episode, they rolled over a CGC slabbed issue of Shazam with a steam shovel and fed it into a wood chipper.

Laughing all the way.

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‘A Game of Thrones’ vs. ‘The Walking Dead’: TV’s Latest One-Two Genre Punch
NeverWanderer   |  

The Walking Dead and A Game of Thrones cover artGeek shows have gotten more recognition in recent years than they ever did in the past. Once upon a time the height of genre television was the Star Trek franchise, which, while always intelligent and ambitious, was still shunted by society into that niche of fandom reserved for the obsessive and the dateless. Thankfully, with the success of shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and True Blood (and we’ll just ignore the unjust deaths of shows like Firefly, Dollhouse, and The Sarah Connor Chronicles for the moment), genre television seems to have entered into a new golden age, much like comic book movies did ten years ago.

Two of the most recent — and, it could be argued, most anticipated — such shows share a unique mission statement, despite their vastly differing subject matter. Both are adaptations of decidedly adult material, from mediums often given the short shrift in live-action television. Both will attempt to subvert genres that come heavily burdened with the preconceived notions of the common audience. And both feature a surprising pedigree of creators who are dedicated to their success. Those two upcoming shows are AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s A Game Of Thrones.

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Comic Review: ‘Dusk’ Vol. 1
NeverWanderer   |  

DuskDusk Vol. 1
Written by David Doub
Pencils by Maki Naro, Jerry Gonzales, Franc Czuba
Inks by Chris Scott, Jerry Gonzales
Letters by Jaymes Reed

A newly turned vampire must resist his own unnatural urges in order to save his wife’s life. A chance encounter with a private investigator leads to a reunion between a vampire hunter and the husband she’d almost forgotten. A teen’s mystical dalliances place a curse on his school that few, if any, may survive.

These are the tales of Dusk, David Doub’s independently published Gothic horror comic. Collected in this trade paperback volume are the first four issues of the black & white series, created and written by Doub, illustrated by Maki Naro, Jerry Gonzales, Franc Czuba, and Chris Scott, and lettered by Jaymes Reed.

This was a difficult review for me to pin down. Typically, I have a prevailing feeling after finishing a given book that will guide me through the process of writing about it, but in this case, I was left very much in limbo. I have negative things to say, yet I can’t bring myself to give a wholly bad review. I have positive things to say, yet I’d be remiss if I just fluffed it and went on my way. So, I’m going to try something new…

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Global Geekery: ‘Bizarre New World’ Puts ‘Advanced Light Weaponry’ In Iraq
NeverWanderer   |  

Bizarre New World: Father/Son momentThis fun little story does our geeky hearts proud, and comes to us from Bizarre New World creator, Skipper Martin.

Towards the beginning of 2008, Skipper ran a contest on his website in conjunction with the release of a recent BNW story, Population Explosion. The winner of the contest would receive a custom-built light saber from Advanced Light Weaponry (a prize that made perfect sense in the context of the book).

The winner, Frank Wilson, was chosen, and the saber was shipped to him in Texas, with a request that he send back a picture of himself holding the saber to be posted on the website. It wasn’t until a year later that Skipper finally received the picture, along with an explanation of the delay…

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SDCC 08: Memoirs of a Comic-Con Virgin
NeverWanderer   |  

Geeks of Doom Invade SDCC 2008Long-time GoD contributor and San Diego Comic-Con ’08 correspondent Neverwanderer gives the play by play of his very first San Diego Comic-Con experience this past July.

“The San Diego Convention Center is so huge that if you were to stand at one end of the exhibit hall and face the room, you couldn’t see the other end because of the curvature of the Earth.”
-William O’Neil, Co-Creator of Violent Messiahs

“NO! I’m not going to ‘sand eggo.’ I get twitchy just thinking about SDCC! I’ll be home watching the Sex & the City movie.”
-Brian Michael Bendis, Writer of Secret Invasion, among many, many others…

“Nerd Prom! NERD PROM!!!”
-Comic-Con Attendee

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SDCC 08: Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski
NeverWanderer   |  

Geeks of Doom Invade SDCC 2008

“If you ever have an opportunity to see J.M. Straczynski speak live, do it.”

Seems like you can’t read a single article regarding the man’s work without having this piece of advice thrown your way. Indeed, the creator of hit sci-fi show Babylon 5 and prolific writer of such comic titles as Amazing Spider-Man, Supreme Power, and The Mighty Thor has built himself a reputation as not only a groundbreaking creative force, but an entertaining public speaker as well! 

This fact made my decision to attend his “Spotlight on…” panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con all the easier.

I’d sat through two panels before his (one of which — the Grant Morrison/Gerard Way affair — can be read about here), both of which had that sort of low-calorie rock concert feel to them. You know what I’m talking about… a room the size of a school auditorium… a small stage upon which sits a few long tables and a row of chairs… the lights go dim and the deep-throated announcer welcomes you to the show and introduces the guest(s) of honor… moderate applause fills the room as the speakers mount the stage, waving to the crowd… and then sit down and sip from their plastic cups of water. It’s the Diet Coke of venues.

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