Monday, August 27, 2012

Notable quotable

I found this fragment in my files. I have no idea who said this, and I am sure I kept it for the Mike Sekowsky love at the end. Here it is:

Manhunter 2070 is the type of property that is really ripe for a revamp and reintroduction today, especially as a Vertigo or Wildstorm title. Starker is the kind of character I would love to see Grant Morrison or Mark Millar warp in their own inimitable styles. Unfortunately, I'm sure Manhunter 2070 is pretty far down on the list of "things to do" by most any creator nowadays. Which, I suppose, is a good thing - how does any artist nowadays follow up Mike Sekowsky?

Who indeed? Could it be.... I don't know... Buster Moody?

Too bad it's not real, and just part of the Relaunched series of wonderful speculations.

But I still wonder where that quote is from...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Two-buck luck

So, in the Value Village they have a wall of plastic-bagged toys for $1.99 each, each bag usually containing a handful of happy meal figures, Matchbox-type cars, and other odds-and-ends randomly tossed together; I've often perused the different collections with a half-thought to do some sort of art project, photo dioramas or stop-motion movies, highlighting the odd juxtapositions that come from this packaging method. I also check this wall out every time we hit the store because once in a while there is an overlooked gem in with the plastic dross; I have blogged about this phenomenon before. Today provided two Scores (that's VV talk) of this variety.

First, in a bag with a crappy banana-man giveaway from Orange Julius were these two guys:

The figures are not articulated at all, but they are way bigger than toy-soldier size. They caught my eye because the one looked to be from the Bronze Age or Classical Greece and the other from perhaps the Roman period, not eras usually associated with action figures.

When I got them home and had a chance to look at them more closely, I saw that the guy at top with the sickle (that's not a melted sword) and shield has JOSHUA written in tiny letters on his butt. You can see the horn hanging by his hip. The guy on the bottom with the spear and helmet also has a butt-stamp: it's harder to read, but I'm pretty sure it's JUDAS.

I am also pretty sure that these are (in)action figures of Joshua, Moses's apprentice and later leader of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, and Judas Maccabeus (or Judah Maccabee), the Jewish revolutionary and warrior of the second-century BCE whose exploits include the source of the Hanukkah holiday.

Coolness confirmed.

I did some searching for Joshua, Judas/Judah, Jewish warriors, Hebrew action figures, and similar search terms in various combinations, but came up with bupkis. Either these things are rare and obscure, or my google-fu is weak.

In any case, they're pretty fierce dudes. Check it out:

These guys are not messing around.

So, that find alone would have made for a successful trip to the wall, but as I was taking the bag, something on a lower peg caught my eye. And there, nestled in a bag along with a Pokemon, a pig, and one of those wooden ball-and-cup deals was this:


That's right - an actual 2009 Wizards of the Coast Beholder Eye Tyrant mini for Dungeons and Dragons. These bad boys go on eBay for like twenty bucks.

Not that I'd ever pay that much.

Not as long as there's Value Village.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All about the minis

My RPG buddy John has said more than once that I am "all about the minis." And I guess I can't deny it: I have amassed a pretty significant collection of miniature figures for use in D&D or Pathfinder or whatnot.  As a DM, I have been accused of (and have not denied) designing encounters just so I could use some cool new minis. As I player, I have been known to replace the random and/or inappropriate figs the DM has placed on the board with (IMHO) better representations of the non-player characters. What can I tell you? Minis are fun.

So, I was visiting a friend recently and she asked if I wanted some minis. Of course I did - how can you have too many minis? - but I was nonplussed. My friend was a civilian, not a gamer, and had only played in one D&D campaign - a game I ran for three couples, all noobs. How did she come into minis that she was willing to give over to me?

She explained that she and a friend had gotten together to paint some minis as a project. I usually buy mass-produced colored plastic minis, but the tradition of buying lead, pewter, or other metal figures and painting your own goes way back and crosses over into war-gamers and history buffs in general. She and her pal had been approaching this merely from the crafting angle, wanting a precision painting exercise to work through.

I said sure, bring the minis on. Here's what she produced with a smile:

Wow. Little mice, dressed in politically incorrect, historically inaccurate, stereotypical Pilgrim and Indian Thanksgiving figures. I was stunned. Take a close look.

 Boy pilgrim mouse with blunderbuss.

 Girl pilgrim mouse with pumpkins.

Boy (?) Indian mouse with acorn.
(Raising the question of scale: 
if these creatures are mouse-sized, what's up with the pumpkins, 
and if they are human-sized, is that a gigantic acorn?)

I had to admit, the painting was done very well; nonetheless, these were not exactly the minis I was expecting. D&D usually features orcs, goblins, skeletons, zombies, and the like, and I'm not sure how these... characters... would fit in. I am so giving them to my current DM and demand that they show up in his grim 'n' gritty gameworld.

Actually, my friend did have another mini that she had painted which will fit fight in:

This murder of crows is totally cool. Notwithstanding the skeletal remains at the bottom, I can easily see using this as a swarm moving across the battle board.

So, thanks, Kristen!

Oh, and while we're on the subject of minis, here's the swag that was given out at Geek Girl Con for playing a D&D encounter:

That's an Ogre Pulverizer, don't you know.  I think I know who his next victims might be...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Geek Girl Con 2012

This weekend is Seattle was is (it's still going on) Geek Girl Con 2012.  I wrote about this event last year, when I attended the inaugural event; the con has already picked up a head of steam, grown in size and depth, and moved to a bigger and better location. GGC is ahead of the curve and well on its way to becoming a Big Thing®, and I'll be able to say I was there Back In The Day.

I can't go today and so could only attend yesterday's session, and I didn't even get to stay around for the Con-Cert, which included one of my favorite alt-nerd sister acts, The Doubleclicks, always one of the biggest draws (for me) at any geek event. But even though I could only attend for a brief time, I got the same great feeling of inclusion, community, and creativity that I felt last year - this really is a special kind of event and one of the few occasions that makes me wish I had a daughter, if only so I could bring her here.

I made a smartphone video again, this time focusing on the cosplay and crossplay. I hope Angela & Aubrey don't mind that I used their music for the background.