Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Archive: April 2008

First Reads of the Week: April 3

First Reads of the Week: April 17

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

ACTION COMICS #864
AIR GEAR GN VOL 08 (MR)
AVENGERS INITIATIVE #12
BLACK SUMMER #6 (MR)
BLUE BEETLE #26
BPRD TP VOL 08 KILLING GROUND
DAREDEVIL BLOOD OF THE TARANTULA
DC UNIVERSE ZERO
FACTS I/T CASE O/T DEPARTURE OF MISS FINCH HC
GLAMOURPUSS #1 COMICS ED
GLAMOURPUSS #1 FASHION ED
GREEN LANTERN #30
IMMORTAL IRON FIST #14
JACK OF FABLES #22 (MR)
JSA CLASSIFIED #37
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #41
MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #8
NEW AVENGERS #40 SI
NEW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SEASON ZERO #7
NEW WARRIORS #11
ORDER #10
STAR WARS REBELLION #13 SMALL VICTORIES PART 3
TEEN TITANS #58
TEEN TITANS YEAR ONE #4 (OF 6)
THOR AGES OF THUNDER
ULTIMATE HUMAN #4 (OF 4)
ULTIMATE X-MEN #93
WIZARD MAGAZINE #200 PLATINUM
X-MEN LEGACY #210 DWS

Click here for the complete list!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Criticalus Hiticus

You can find the weirdest things on the internet.

Clocking in at almost $18,000 and as such possibly the most expensive d20 in existence, this glass polyhedral die dates back to Egypt in the 2nd century AD, while that country was under the rule of the Roman Empire.

No, seriously. Read it yourself if you don't believe me.

So, uh... which one do you think is the '20'?

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Where the Heck is Azerbaijan?

Boardgame Review: 10 Days in Asia

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to pick up one of the recent releases in Out of the Box's "10 Days" series of travel-themed boardgames, 10 Days in Asia. At the time, I thought -- "At last! A game I can actually get my girlfriend to play!" The game appeared to have all the right ingredients... nice non-threatening game pieces (no ogre or demon miniatures to be seen), a recognizable real-world gameboard (a map of Asia, in case you hadn't guessed), and a choice of subject matter anyone can get behind -- after all, who doesn't like to travel? Yet, little did I know, I had fallen for OOTB's slow-pitch marketing style and purchased a deceptively challenging little game.

The game starts like Scrabble, with players being issued 10 random tiles and little racks to keep them all in order. The tiles offer both destinations (colour-coded to match the map on the board) and means of travel (trains, planes, and boats, which are also colour-coded according to which countries they service). Once you place a tile on your rack, it's stuck there -- swapping them around is not allowed. You can, however, replace one of your tiles with one from the draw deck, or with one of the tiles off the top of the discard pile. The challenge is to complete a 10-tile chain -- connected by rail, plane, ship or foot -- before any of your opponents do... which is a lot harder than it sounds!

The game turned out to be really challenging in the first half -- while the players are just trying to make sense of the frustratingly garbled mess of tiles in front of them -- and fast-paced in the last half, as players scramble for the last tile or two that will complete their journey. I wound up liking the game a lot more than I thought I would (and certainly more than my girlfriend did), and am already looking at the other tie-in "10 Days" games... I mean, who wouldn't want to throw in Africa or Europe and try for, say, 20 Days in the Eastern Hemisphere?

The "10 Days" game series has already earned buckets of awards, including a gold star from the brainiacs at Mensa. Give it a shot... at the very least, 10 Days in Asia will help you brush up on your geography... and then maybe you'll know where Azerbaijan is, too. ;)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

First Reads of the Week!

Hulk #3
The new Abomination -- preferring to call himself A-Bomb -- goes toe to toe with the Red Hulk in the latest installment of Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness' reworking of the Hulk's status quo. This issue is long on gamma-powered fistfights and short on answers, but what we do learn is interesting... and it's great to see the Green Goliath back in the pages of his own book again (even though he seems to have inexplicably lost one or two hundred IQ points since we last saw him).

Good Hulk Green! Bad Hulk Red! A-Bomb Bulletproof! Rraagh!

Star Wars: Dark Times #10

The final chapter in the second arc for Dark Horse's exploration of the bleak years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope hits in Dark Times #10... and to be perfectly honest, I'm glad to see this one finish. While the script by Mick Harrison has been top-notch, following former Seperatist Bomo Greenbark as he tries to put the pieces of his life back together on board the smuggler vessel Uhumele, the art over the course of this arc has run the gamut from tolerably mediocre to eye-gougingly awful... thank goodness Star Wars art maestro Doug Wheatley returns to this great title with isuue #11!

Star Trek The Next Generation: Intelligence Gathering #4
After three Pakled ships launch a bizarre attack on the Enterprise-D, Captain Picard and his crew track the vessels' warp trails to their point of origin -- but whoever set the Pakleds off on a murderous rampage isn't caught unprepared. Soon Picard is defending his ship against his own away team, as Counsellor Troi, Ensign Ro and Doctor Crusher all fall under the power of an unknown and very hostile intelligence...

The writing team of Scott & David Tipton continue to deliver solid TNG stories with this miniseries; they have the characters and dialogue down pat, and the plot is easy to imagine as the seed of an actual episode. If you're looking for an old-school TNG fix, then this is the book for you.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

BATMAN #675
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 1
DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #8 (OF 8)
FABLES #72 (MR)
HULK #3
HULK VS HERCULES WHEN TITANS COLLIDE
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #20
MICE TEMPLAR #4
MIGHTY AVENGERS #12 SII
MS MARVEL #26 SII
NEW EXILES #5
NORTHLANDERS #5 (MR)
SHADOWPACT #24
SHE-HULK 2 #28
SPAWN #177
SPIRIT #16
STAR TREK NEW FRONTIER #2
STAR WARS DARK TIMES #10
STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF OLD REPUBLIC #27
STAR WARS LEGACY #22
SUPERMAN BATMAN #47
SUPERNATURAL RISING SON #1 (OF 6)
TALES FROM WONDERLAND QUEEN OF HEARTS #1 (MR)
THOR #8
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT GRIMLOCK
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #53
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #121
UNCANNY X-MEN #497 DWS
WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS #2
WORMWOOD CALAMARI RISING #4
X-FORCE #3 DWS
YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #4 (OF 6)

Click here for the complete list!


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Even More Melacholy...


Just days after the announcement that Yen Press had secured the English translation and Western publication rights to Japanese anime/manga/novel phenomenon The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Yen's sister company Little Brown Books for Young Readers has let us know that they've squared away the rest of the license. That's right, sports fans... Melancholy's original media incarnation -- as a series of light novels -- will be translated and on the shelves in North America in time for a 2009 release.

Just imagine... now you will be able to watch your Haruhi DVDs while listening to Haruhi CD soundtracks and switching between reading Haruhi novels and Haruhi manga... all at once! I get a little nauseous just thinking about it.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

The Monsterpocalypse Is Upon Us!

Privateer Press has thrown the master switch for the new website monsterpocalypsegame.com, our first real online source of reliable news for the upcoming giant-monster-themed collectible miniatures game. Featuring faction previews, in-game photos, news on the upcoming comic book limited series, free figures and more -- this is the site gamers have been waiting for!

Why are you still reading this? Go now... go often!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: Manga on the Way


After an inexplicable delay, the license for the English translation and distribution of the manga version of the ridiculously popular anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has been announced... and, surprisingly, it's not going to one of the bigger publishing houses like Viz or Tokyopop, but to relative industry bit-player Yen Press.

It's already been a circuitous journey for the property -- the original Japanese novels found massive success as a bizarre TV anime series before thundering onto the best-seller charts in a new manga incarnation (with sales clocking in at 1 1/2 million copiesz and counting). Over the last couple of years, the award-winning property has quickly become the #1 license in Japan, spawning an army of tie-in products and, virus-like, beginning to creep into other media along the way (the otherwise completely unrelated video game series Phoenix Wright: Ace Attourney being the most obvious example). And with the manga finally ready to make the journey across the Pacific Ocean to your friendly local Canadian comic book shop -- can a multitude of Haruhi goodies be far behind? Better start saving now...

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Reads of the Week!


RED SONJA # 32
Red Sonja continues her journey down the River Styx in the company of Charon the Boatman in the latest stand-alone chapter in a five-part series. This time, Charon shows Sonja how her life might have turned out if her parents hadn't been killed all those years ago... and it's definitely not all sweetness and light. This what-if chapter is the newest installment in the current arc of independent stories, each one featuring a different creative team; this time, it's writer Joshua Ortega and the very capable artist Fabiano Neves stepping up to the plate. After the long multi-issue story-arcs of the past few years, it's fantastic to be able to jump in on a self-contained Red Sonja story -- I just hope I enjoy the new creative team that comes on board after the next few issues as much as I have been liking the fill-ins!

STAR TREK: THE ENTERPRISE EXPERIMENT #1

After famously making off with a Romulan cloaking device in the classic episode "The Enterprise Incident", Starfleet has begun experimenting with the new technology... but unfortunately for the crew of the Enterprise, things don't go exactly as planned! Captain Kirk and Commander Spock, returning from a brief trip to Starbase K-7 in a shuttlecraft, find the Enterprise trapped in a cloaked state and deserted... so what happened to her crew?

Legendary Original Series and Next Gen Star Trek writer DC Fontana comes to comics for the first time with part one of IDW's Star Trek: The Enterprise Experiment. Paired with veteran Star Trek artist Gordon Purcell, Fontana gives us a script that could easily have found a home alongside any episode of the original series -- which makes a welcome change from the recent, massively disappointing "Year Four" comics from IDW. We can only hope that Fontana & Purcell stick around for the long haul!

WORLDS OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS #1
Devil's Due relaunches the best-selling fantasy comic series Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance Chronicles under a new joint banner with Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons #1. Clocking in at 48 pages, this puppy will be sure to keep you busy for a while... and while the Dragonlance story, featuring an encounter between Palin Majere and his formidable uncle Raistlin, isn't quite in the same category as the atmospheric Forgotten Realms story (starring, of course, everyone's favourite rogue Drow), this book is still a lot of fun. Hopefully this is the start of a long and entertaining run of sword & sorcery stories!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #557
ANNIHILATION CONQUEST #6 (OF 6)
AVENGERS INITIATIVE #11
BAT LASH #5 (OF 6)
BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #6
BRAVE AND THE BOLD #12
CAPTAIN ACTION #0
CAPTAIN AMERICA #37
CAPTAIN MARVEL #5 (OF 5) SII
CATWOMAN #78
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #2
DC WILDSTORM DREAMWAR #1 (OF 6)
DMZ #30 (MR)
DOCTOR WHO #3
FEAR AGENT #20 HATCHET JOB (PT 4 OF 5)
FLASH #239
GHOST RIDER #22
GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #7 (OF 9)
HANA KIMI GN VOL 23
INCREDIBLE HERCULES #116
IRON MAN #28
IRON MAN LEGACY OF DOOM #1 (OF 4)
KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #138
LONE RANGER #11 (MR)
POWERS ANNUAL 2008 (MR)
RED SONJA #32
ROBIN #173
SALVATION RUN #6 (OF 7)
SIMPSONS COMICS #141
STAR TREK YEAR FOUR ENTERPRISE EXPERIMENT #1
SUPERMAN #675
SWORD #7 (MR)
TANGENT SUPERMANS REIGN #2 (OF 12)
TOYFARE #130
WAR IS HELL FIRST FLIGHT PHANTOM EAGLE MAX #2 (OF 5) (MR)
WIZARD ANIME INSIDER #56
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #24
WORLD OF WARCRAFT #6
WORLDS OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS #1
X-FACTOR #30 DWS
X-MEN DIVIDED WE STAND #1 (OF 2) DWS

Click here for the complete list!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Exalted: Graduate Your Game

Dungeons & Dragons players who are not interested in pursuing new editions to their rules every couple of years are being offered the chance to jump off the D&D train and climb on board with Exalted, White Wolf's epic fantasy RPG.

How does it work? It's pretty straightforward... visit any Curious Comics before April 28 and fill out the Graduate Your Game order form. By the end of May, your new Exalted RPG Core Book will arrive for you... and all you have to do to claim it is trade in your old Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Player's Handbook. Well, now that it's outdated, you won't be using it anyway, right?

Check out the Exalted: Graduate Your Game page for more information... and get your order form filled out ASAP!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Progress Update on Warlord CCG...

... which, with the shift of the property from AEG to Phoenix, now stands for Customizable Card Game. Just, you know, so we're all on the same page.

Work on the 4th Edition proceeds apace at the new Warlord HQ -- playtesting, public polls on rules changes/un-changes, storyline assignments, and more -- as they zero in on a re-launch scheduled for the end of this coming July. The new Warlord Fan Club is also gearing up, offering promo incentives and voting privileges to subscribers... and there's card art already!

See? That one's by Stephanie Law, if you want to know. Nice, innit?

If you're like me, you'll be keeping an eye on these developments... if Warlord can make the jump from flagging sales on randomized booster packs to sustainable business on non-randomized set releases, it would mean the addition of a whole new layer to the card game industry.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL #19
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #556
BATMAN DEATH MASK #1 (OF 4)
BOOSTER GOLD #8
BPRD 1946 #4 (OF 5)
CABLE #1 DWS
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 3
CRIMINAL 2 #2 (MR)
FANTASTIC FOUR #556
GEN 13 #19
GEORGE R R MARTINS WILD CARDS #1 (OF 6) HARD CALL
GREEN ARROW BLACK CANARY #7
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #23
GROO HELL ON EARTH #4 (OF 4)
HEDGE KNIGHT 2 SWORN SWORD #6 (OF 6)
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #14
MARVEL ZOMBIES HC DEAD DAYS
NOVA #12
PUNISHER #56 (MR)
SERENITY BETTER DAYS #2 (OF 3)
SIMON DARK #7
TERRY MOORES ECHO #2
TITANS #1
WIZARD MAGAZINE #200 GOLD
WOLVERINE #64 DWS
WONDER WOMAN #1

Click here for the complete list!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Comics Delayed!

Due to a shipping error, this week's new comics will not arrive at Curious Comics until Thursday April 10. We apologize for the inconvenience!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Free comic Book Day Spotlight

Free Comic Book Day is Saturday May 3rd. Every few days I will post a spotlight on some of the FREE comics you can pick up.

ALL STAR SUPERMAN #1—FCBD 2008 EDITION
by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely

Two of the comic industry’s biggest superstars, writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, the acclaimed team behind JLA: Earth 2 reunite to redefine the Man of Steel for a new generation. The first issue of the Eisner Award-winning series that Entertainment Weekly and Time magazine named one of the best comics of 2007 features the World’s Greatest Super Hero’s rescue of a group of astronauts on the surface of the sun, where he’s exposed to massive amounts of solar radiation. No one could have anticipated how he would be affected — except Lex Luthor!


THE STRANDED / DAN DARE FLIP-BOOK—FCBD 2008 EDITION

What if your entire life — your childhood, your family, all your memories — was a lie? That is the question at the core of The Stranded, the inaugural title from the landmark collaboration between Virgin Comics and The SCI FI Channel! An epic adventure, The Stranded will be featured alongside Dan Dare in a special flip-cover edition for Free Comic Book Day 2008. An icon since the 1950's, Dan Dare has been pulled out of retirement and into the outer reaches of the galaxy in this new series written by Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys, Hitman, John Woo's Seven Brothers)!

Friday, April 4, 2008

More Pathfinder!


Further to my post on Pathfinder's stunning online success earlier this week, here's a quick look at the upcoming series of tie-in miniatures coming from Paizo and Crocodile Games. Sold in both single and multi-figure packs, this new line of minis will feature the unique races and monsters from the Pathfinder world, in addition to the RPG's iconic player characters as they appear on the covers of Pathfinder's monthly installments. After all, you can't have a real adventure in the world of Golarion without running into some of their bizarre, unique brand of Goblins, can you?

Obviously not. :)

Oh, and by the way -- if you're still waiting to pick up the early issues of Pathfinder, don't wait too long... supplies on the first few books are dwindling fast, and they may not be available for much longer!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First Reads of the Week!


YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS: WICCAN & SPEED
Wiccan's been having some pretty disturbing nightmares lately... but the thing is, he's pretty sure they're not just dreams. But to make sure, he has to find an expert -- and, just to make this challenging, he decides the best person to talk to is his mother, the single most dangerous mutant on the face of the Earth: the Scarlet Witch.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa gives us a self-contained story featuring Wiccan and his brother Speed as they dash around the world, covering the Scarlet Witch's old haunts in the hope of digging up some evidence of her current whereabouts... and, interestingly enough, he does it without a single fistfight. Alina Urosov's art, while not quite in the same category as the visuals in the previous Young Avengers specials, grew on me more and more with every page. While we wait for Marvel to make up its mind on where the Young Avengers will go next, this is a nice little snack-sized YA adventure to tide you over.

ANNA MERCURY #1
Anna Mercury is in the field! In mad dash across the rooftops of Ataraxia, she races to stop the War Department from launching a fully loaded electrogravitic lifter on Mandragon Moon... and no, I have no idea what any of that means either. Still, I had enough fun reading this crazy thing to guarantee I'll pick up #2. Maybe the next issue will make more sense? We can only hope!

SUPERGIRL #28
Back from her sudden bizarre trip into an unrecognizable and chilling future, Kara sets out to fulfill her promise to the sick little boy she met a few issues back -- she aims to cure him of his terminal cancer, and will use all her contacts in the DCU to do it.

This is turning into a modern classic story arc from writer Kelly Puckett. A lesser writer might have allowed Kara's rationale to deteriorate into obvious impracticality, or let Kara's opponents become pig-headed in their arguments... but Puckett keeps Kara believeable (they travel in time, move planets around and restart the universe -- why shouldn't the DC Heroes be able to cure cancer?), and guest stars Wonder Woman and Resurrection Man are both in character and reasonable as they try to talk Kara out of her mission. Definitely a series to keep your eye on!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Arriving Today @ Curious Comics!

Highlights of New Arrivals expected Wednesday, April 2 at Curious Comics:

ABE SAPIEN THE DROWNING #3 (OF 5)
ACTION COMICS #863
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #555
ANGEL AFTER THE FALL #6
ANITA BLAKE VH GUILTY PLEASURES #10 (OF 12)
BOYS #17 (MR)
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #13
CABLE #2 (DWS)
CLANDESTINE #3 (OF 5)
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 4
DARK TOWER LONG ROAD HOME #2 (OF 5)
DETECTIVE COMICS #843
FRANK FRAZETTAS DARK KINGDOM ONE-SHOT (MR)
GI JOE AMERICAS ELITE #34
JONAH HEX #30
KICK ASS #2 (MR)
LOGAN #2 (OF 3)
MOON KNIGHT #17
NEW EXILES #4
NIGHTWING #143
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #2 Of(6)
PUNISHER WAR JOURNAL #18
SECRET INVASION #1 (OF 8)
SUPERGIRL #28
TRIALS OF SHAZAM #12 (OF 12)
TWELVE #4 (OF 12)
VAMPIRE KNIGHT TP VOL 04
WALKING DEAD #48 (MR)
YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #3 (OF 6)
YOUNG X-MEN #1 (DWS)
ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS VS AMAZONS HC
ZORRO #2

Click here for the complete list!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ten Thousand Gamers Can't Be Wrong


Last week, more than 10,000 gamers made the trip to Paizo.com to download the first free Alpha rules release for the Pathfinder RPG. Were you one of them? If you were, then you already know that Paizo's fan-favourite d20 RPG tie-in series of Adventure Path Modules, miniatures and GameMastery tie-in products will soon graduate from Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 RPG rules system -- and move into brand-new d20 "3.75" territory with a consolidated bunch of rules that will, over the next year's worth of open playtesting sessions, take on recommendations from d20 RPGers all over the world... finally making this system a truly open gaming license. Paizo must be very pleased with the initial reaction to this announcement -- gamers flooded their main website to check out the Alpha release, and their messageboards are alive with thoughtful suggestions.

As for me, I'm just glad that the d20 books I purchased while WOTC's OGL was the RPG system of popular choice won't be forever pinned to the slightly wonky, seemingly under-playtested 3.5 rules -- I'll have the option to tackle The World's Largest Dungeon or the Warlords of the Accorlands RPG series using a system polished by d20 gamers who know the weaknesses and the strengths of the game better than anyone. How could that be a bad thing?

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