Warren Ellis’s Fell Picks Up Steam

Just caught this one from their initial trade paperback release. Now.. seeing as how the comic format release isn’t any more expensive than the trade, clocking in at 2$ an issue, I think I might just go out and by the up-to-current old-school comics rather than wait.

Plus it’ll be good reading for the trip to Japan.

Did I mention? I’m going to Japan. There should be quite a bit of good media to kick through over there, lots of pictures to take, etc. I’ll post some of that when I get back.

Publishers Weekly has an interesting piece interviewing Ellis on exactly why he decided to publish Fell as a 2$ an issue comic. Other interesting artifacts in this series are that each issue is a separate story, contains 16 pages of story and 8 of other content, and is published by Image comics.

Honestly, I wasn’t even aware they were still in the business.

Not only are they still around, there’s some talk of them redefining their lineup based on the format. Although I’m not sure how that’ll work.. Ellis is a pretty rare case who pulls off a non-superhero graphical novel series like few other artists. I think you might have to hunt down the authors before you can redefine your lineup like that. I’m sure there are more writers like that out there, but they’re rarely found in the comic writing space.

Most of them are off in the still lucrative realm of Science Fiction and it’s newer hybrid mystery/modern breeds.

So this’ll be one to check out. Again, that’s Fell published by Image. With a trade paperback coming out “real soon now” (it’s on pre-order), a 2$ pricetag an issue for periodic release, and a presumed lack of men in tights it’s probably worth checking out.

Anime – Black Blood Brothers

Black Blood Brothers - Jirou
Just finished watching the 12 episode Japanese TV series from last year, Black Blood Brothers. Being only 12 episodes it’s not exactly epic in scope, but they managed to pack a fair amount of content in a limited run. Also, it looks like there’ll be a movie follow up, possibly already produced, from the Japanese language website. I’m not sure, I can’t read it and wikipedia’s BBB article (warning, spoilers) contains nothing useful on the subject. If you’ve got a translator or can read Kanji, go hit up the official site.

The story’s interesting. It’s about humans and vampires living in a special zone after a catastrophe having occurred in Hong Kong, exposing the public to the existence of the vampires kind. Our protagonist, Jirou, is guarding a small boy whom he refers to as “brother” and obviously has something more going on than he lets on. All of the other cast are either vampires or people aware of their existence who try and keep a wrap on the publics knowledge that they’re still around.

Animation-wise the series gets a bit loose in spots. It’s apparent that Studio Live and Group TAC did the best they had with the studios budget, and I think they eeked out all the value they could. While it’s not overly expensive, they evenly applied effects and more detailed sequences throughout the series to good affect. It’s obvious that Hiroaki Yoshikawa (director) struck a good rhythm producing the series.

So it’s probably worth buying if you like the title. Episode one can be watched at BigGlobe but only in it’s original Japanese. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find it translated if necessary. You might start with Scarywater, as they’ve usually got english subs for non-published work.

What RPGs Really Need: Aging (Fable 2)

So Fable 2 announced that they’re going to allow the character to have children. I just can’t see how this is going to be a desirable feature of the game… there’s really no good way to implement that. Penny Arcade pretty much hits the nail on the head.

But wait! I’ve got the feature they really should’ve implemented. Aging!

What we need is a game where, instead of getting more powerful as you play (here’s the good part), you simply get old. Start out as a young stripling and progress ever forward toward an old dottering fool of an adventurer! Wield your walker at “young’uns” and eventually get slaughtered by marauding bandits. It’ll be great fun.

So while I appreciate that they’re going bankrupt for new, exciting ideas… maybe introducing every aspect of real life into games isn’t the answer. After all, that’s why we call it “Fantasy” Role Playing.

Journalism is Dead

I may have mentioned this before. It bears repeating.

Journalism went and offed itself at some point. I can’t exactly finger the moment it happened, but it’s definitely gone.

That’s not to say there aren’t some excellent journalistic endeavors out there. There are certainly journalists that are still journalizing and reporters that cover a story well. It’s just that they’re getting buried under an avalanche of powdery fine puff pieces of ass-kissery.

Even on NPR, supposed bastion of 24 hour news. In their case, it might be because it’s now a 24-7 news-o-rama.

Case in point. Every morning I end up listening to as much as I can stomach of a news show where they interview local politicians. Instead of any questions that come to my mind, the commentator inevitably asks a bevy of kindergarten style “and what is your job, senator.. what do you do on that hill..” inquiries. Occasionally a caller comes up with something a bit more pressing which is promptly answered with a “I haven’t looked into that yet” and let slide.

Basically it’s an excuse for politicians to push whatever platform they happen to like today at people with very little explanation.

Now don’t get me wrong. Some of those platforms are quite good, such as efforts to reintroduce criminal offenders back into society and help non-violent criminals instead of jailing them by the Connecticut justice system. But others amount to a local politicians expounding on how badly they deserve the political handout they just received from their friends. Both are treated as if equal with the same bland self serving dialog.

So maybe it’s just that there isn’t enough happening to warrant the amount of coverage, and the ever increasing amount of coverage being pushed warrants less and less real work behind it. Research discovering how today’s guest covered something sensitive up a few years back in direct opposition to the duties they’re currently taking on just doesn’t happen.