Monday, October 31, 2016

A Halloween Treat

Dawn Witzke published a second Halloween story today on her website. Last year, she published one on Liberty Island for their Halloween contest. Please, fierce reader, go and read these treats at your leisure.

For those not in the know, Dawn is working on several books currently. She is however, more known (for now) for the book covers she's been doing, getting a bit better each time. She's done a fair number of covers for Declan Finn's work, including the new Codename: Unsub, which I'll get to as soon as I'm done with Nick Cole's new book. Yes, I'm telegraphing some reviews. I DON'T CARE.

Dawn, I love these little treats.  Please keep them up; I have a hard time passing on a new take on an old story that works.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Injustice Book Review: Discovery by Karina Fabian

Cower not, fierce reader! This is my first reading of any of Karina Fabian's works, but this will not be my last. I know that some others have been raving about this book, and it's past time that the dark acts of Injustice contained herein were exposed!

Firstly, this book is Catholic. Not just "It was written by a Catholic.", or "It has some Catholic ideas in it.". No, this tale makes no qualms about the fact that faith is central to the lives of many of the characters. There is redemption, reconciliation, and repentance in this book.

Second, there is a presentation of an atheism that has no comprehension of Christianity in general. Like most versions of atheism, this has evolved into a legalistic religion, with sex and ego as the central fixtures. Don't be worried, no such acts are presented herein, though the characters of such orientation clearly have similar acts in their past.

Thirdly, there is a Protestant faith here that has great misunderstandings of Catholicism. There are multiple reasons for this reflection of the truth. Firstly, a great many misunderstandings take place from use of the same word, with different doctrine. Secondly, many people these days do not study the history, but take the word of others on faith. Third, there are indeed those that lie maliciously about the Catholicism, many even in good faith. This is not to excuse these occurrences, merely to explain the reality reflected within this tale.

This is in several ways an old school SF romance. By that I mean the romantic era, with tales full of adventure, though not adventure stories. Stories with religion, but not religious texts. Stories, yes, with romance, but largely not a story about romance. This is a proper smorgasbord of storytelling, with complex characters of all stripes, and proper passions throughout the tale. 8 of 10 fell deeds.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Cautionary Tale

Last night, a new reader posted a comment regarding the Betrayal at the House on the Hill expansion that I covered here. I'm going to post most of the comment here, so if you've read the post, don't feel the need to visit it to check it out.

From Dave and Liz, a couple I'm guessing that just found this blog:

We love the game, and bought the expansion... I didn't know it was socjus tainted.
The first new haunt we played was so poorly worded, that even as avid veterans, we couldn't figure out what was supposed to be occurring. I had to correct the scenario's rules as we went along. Most of the flavor text was devoted to gushing about how stunning and brave and respected the beautiful female monster was.
Seeing authors grabbing attention under the haunts was new- and didn't seem like a welcome development... And, of course, Zoe's haunt- haven't played it yet- was titled "Make America Disintegrate Again." 
Because that's why we play a haunted house game- to get politics shoved in our faces. 
The whole thing reeks as being more focused on fulfilling a millenial circle-jerk than actually focused on good gameplay.
Hopefully some of the haunts are actually decent, but so far it's awful. Wish I would have done some research instead of just trusting the company producing it.

This is a big part of why I call my self the Injustice Gamer. Yes, I post more book reviews than game posts these days, but I do try to keep up with the boardgaming world. Please note prime marks of Social Justice referred to: bad writing and editing, bad rules, false courage clich├ęs, celebrity name-dropping, and tired versions of politcal ideals.

If WotC/AH/Hasborg had been actually interested in putting out a good expansion(they should have been, the game's plenty popular), it would have happened years ago, and you'd have to struggle to find out who wrote what. This was a pure money/SocJus play. Yes, there are enough SocJus people in gaming to make money that way. Don't trust the big companies inherently.

Firstly, I'd like to say if you have a question about a boardgame or boardgame expansion,  PLEASE contact me. Twitter/ @aelfredwessex . If I don't have any idea, I know where to research it, and I might just turn it into a post. I'm here to help. Secondly, if you want a game with stories that are interesting(I have NO CLUE as to the SocJus stance of the writers), I commend Above and Below by Ryan Laukat, and his upcoming Near and Far.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bye, Crazy Lady. Please, get better.

So, the blogger at gomakemeasandwich has decided to hang up her keyboard, at least for awhile. We do know Vox's first law here, and will not trust her to stay silent, but will take the blessed peace while it lasts.

She has cited mental health reasons, as well as the cost to her reputation due to being "controversial". Our dear blogger apparently obsesses over the amount of words each week people write about what a terrible person she is. She states that "anxiety is my life now". She states that she kept blogging out of a sense of obligation to her daughter, to make gaming a "safe space" for her to exist and play in.

And so on. I'm not even going to continue through this. Vox mentioned it a few days ago at Alpha Game, and I was a bit saddened for a loss of future material.

Anna Krieder, our dear blogger, has many of the wrong ideas. First, she cares what her opponents think about her, kind of like the "respectable Republicans"(I've never considered myself respectable). Second, she thinks that blogging about what she thinks are the problems in gaming will help her daughter. NO, being a parent and playing with your daughter will help her. Third, you believe women have to have the same conclusions for success as men, and that they can and should do everything the same. Fourth, you experience severe anxiety, and you put yourself forward as a leader?

Anna, please stop hating. Stop hating men and God and society. Stop playing Social Justice, and perhaps actually do some. Get some help. Play with your daughter, and let her have her own dreams.

Goodbye Anna. Know that the Injustice Gamer is praying for you and yours.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reading's been slow, so: All hallow's eve suggestions

So I'm still not adjusted to how much my new job has slowed down my reading and my energy levels. That said, it's good to be working.

So, in the interest of perhaps keeping a few people interested in what I have, I'm going to make a few entertainment suggestions to occupy any who dare follow them for awhile. I should have posted these much earlier in the month, as they'd be more reasonable, but they're still entertaining, so here goes.

Ray Bradbury Theatre: Because this is my original October binge. Here's the first episode:

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Because murder, intrigue, and violence belong in the home. Great teleplays, and here's a sample:

The Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's masterpiece. Don't even bother with the newer version; it's dead without him. And here's one of the best:

Kolchak, The Night Stalker: This is a wonderful series with Darrin McGavin. Cheesy effects(they all were), but put that aside and fall into the story.

There are of course, other entertainments you might try this with. Boris Karloff's Thriller or Beyond the Veil; The Outer Limits; One Step Beyond; and more. But these are some I recommend binging on first.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Throwback Comics: Lords of the Ultra-Realm

So about a week ago, I found a complete run of a miniseries, with the subsequent special, called Lords of the Ultra-Realm. This book was published in 1986, and has largely amazing art and writing. Here's one of the covers:
Pretty awesome cover, right? Well, the interior artwork is much the same. Lots of lines, details, and of course, 80's styling.

Honestly, when I started reading this, I was blown away. There's layers of story; characters that are complex, even if they are stereotypes of the age; and a plot that isn't lazy. I felt like I was experiencing something akin to what Jeffro did with his Appendix N research: an overlooked, undervalued and unjustly dismissed story that should be held as an example of good storytelling.

Now, the story does drift into left New Age directions here and there, but even then, it doesn't come across as preachy. Even in being derivative, it's more original than most comic books today, even the science fiction and fantasy being done today. It was an age for miniseries, great creativity, and what killed it? Watchmen, apparently. It succeeded too well, and comics followed those examples instead of pursuing the type of work that made it happen in the first place.

Now, I think I want to track down some more from this era. I'm going hunting for Sonic Disrupters next.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Music blog: I never

A few years back, Philip Glass wrote a new score for the Bela Lugosi starred Dracula. This is an excellent and creepy soundtrack. Listen as much as you like, or go find the movie backed by this.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Injustice Quick Reviews 5

Cower not, fierce reader! I bring today a fine assortment of Acts of Injustice for the fine collector. Please, take your time, and cherish the darkness within.

Sad Puppies Bite Back by Declan Finn- You knew I'd review it if you read this blog. This comedy tome was originally a series of blogposts, but the material within has been brushed off and tightened up a bit, plus there's some new material here. If you want to see the lighter side of the Puppy campaigns, the Hugos, and SWATing, take the time to breathe between the incidents contained herein. Major crime: It's funny, and the puppies are the heroes. Do I need more? 7 of 10 fell deeds

Alien Game by Rod Walker- I'm going to do a bit of a spoiler here, but  I don't think that will diminish anyone's enjoyment. Take the story The Most Dangerous Game, ditch the anti-gun/hunting bit, toss it on an alien world, and have it written by someone that might be said to be channeling Heinlein when he was fun. That'll get you close to how this book is. Major crimes: Dislike of government, an appreciation for competence, and a penchant for shooting and explosions. 7 of 10 fell deeds

Feast of the Elfs by John C. Wright- I'm going to be in the minority in that I liked Swan Knight's Son better, but this book was still excellent. Mr. Wright continues to demonstrate that Tor has bet a lot of money on the wrong horse. Crimes: Catholicism, Medievalism, adventure, and an ending that makes you cry for the next book.  9 of 10 fell deeds

Snakehand by Chuck Dixon and John Neal- This is more of an action book set in the West than a Western, and by that I mean there's more fighting in this than just about anything. There's a gunfighter seeking a path to redemption, a town run on corruption, rowdy cowhand, ladies of questionable virtue, and the temperance movement. Major crimes: It's a WESTERN, there's a respect for faith among those without it, and lots of bullets. 7 of 10 fell deeds

Catskinner's Book by Misha Burnett- Mr. Burnett kindly supplied me with a copy of his book.This will trigger a lot of folks. There's action, so it's not even up the lefties' aisle to begin with. There are serious conspiracy theories going on, and the Weird elements of this should help it appeal to the Appendix N fans. It's got a bit of a twist, as it's the protagonist is one of the Weird creatures. Hard to put down, though there's one element that threw me for awhile, but it was explained well later on. Major crime- We've got a nice take on Weird fiction a bit in the Robert E. Howard vein. 8 of 10 fell deeds

The Product by Marina Fontaine- I'm a subscriber to SciPhi Journal, and in addition to all the cool stories they put out, they just gave this to subscribers. So this is a nice dystopian tale, with a just enough action to move the story.  The setting is very totalitarian, and Marina knows a bit about totalitarian regimes, and writes them well.  It took me too long to figure out what the Product was, and I will someday write a post on that myself, or rather on my philosophy relating to it. Well done, Masha. 9 of 10 fell deeds

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

And now for my Gallagher impersonation

I took a look yesterday at the gomakemeasandwich blog. This place is apparently the stupid that keeps on giving. Currently, there are two posts about the "problematic" nature of the D&D 5E module The Curse of Strahd.

Now, I really don't want to spend the time to fisk two long posts, but I will go through the larger strokes, and try to consolidate things to one post.

First "problem": The Vistani

They are renamed gypsies. Roma, Romani, whatever. The first problem is apparently the stereotypical dress of them.We
Ok. So? They apparently also adhere to gypsy stereotypes of being drunks and thieves. Well, the stereotypes exist for reasons. Also, that they are liars, gamblers, kidnappers, lay curses, and tell fortunes. Again, so? It's not entirely untrue, and makes for good STORY. And if you can't differentiate between reality and fiction, well, you have issues. That should grant institutionalization.

Now,  the author that I'm going against decides to play the Godwin card. Yep, literally Hitler killed 250k of them, neo-nazis in Canada marched against them(as blogged against by a Roma that shoved the TV stereotypes onto Irish Travelers), and the fact of a child was removed from legal custody from a Roma couple because she wasn't Roma.

The first is a laughable virtue card. The second is both a proper immigration issue, with projection and racism on the part of the author. The third is a tragic reality. Perhaps we should find some decent number of pertinent examples first.

Second "problem": miscegnation

We have the issue of mongrelfolk, and how race mixing laws were struck down as unconstitutional. That's the real world, this is fiction. Get over it. By the way, there's decent medical reasons against it. Bone marrow matches are harder to find if you're mixed race. I know that means organ transplants are likely similar.

Then our dear blogger goes into the portrayal of mongrelfolk in the game. First, it's a game, and a fictional story. Second, when you mix ogres, elves, dwarves, humans, orcs, kobolds, and who knows what else, you will get deformities, likely speech problems, and who knows what else, it's FANTASY.

The mongrelfolk are an "inferior subspecies". Well yeah. The reflection in the real world  is mostly a false comparison. But, we already established a medical inferiority in reality. Then, our dear blogger goes on to address pre Civil War stereotypes used to justify slavery, and makes mention of the fact that James Watson stated in 2007 that Africans are less intelligent than Westerners. So, let's take a look at the map.  Sure looks like there MIGHT be a link. And Mr. Watson was subsequently disemployed by the forces of SocJus.

Then our blogger mentions the One Drop Rule. Which is still the law regarding EEOC applications, as far as I can tell. So, do Quarter, Eighth, and Sixteenth Black lives matter or not? I'm confused by her lack of stating what she wants. Oh, wait. That's how to continually maintain outrage.

Third "problem": Strahd the entitled

So Strahd fell in love with a woman that loved his brother. Strahd made a deal with the Dark Powers of the region, killed his brother on the wedding day, drank his blood, and she killed herself. Ok, pretty standard villain origin, when dealing with Dark Powers. Now the girl's soul has been reborn, and Strahd supposedly thinks she belongs to him.

I haven't read the module, but that sounds like a decent story. He's the BAD GUY. He's not supposed to be kind, proper, generous, or humane. He's supposed to be a monster. Get over it.

Fourth "problem": Strahd as vampire and his "brides" as spawn

In which our dear blogger goes into how problematic it is that Strahd keeps his brides in the crypts beneath his castle. And bemoans their lack of agency. THEY'RE MONSTERS, and not even the full version, as they don't have the pact with the Dark Powers. And of course, there are two male spawn, one free, and the other imprisoned by his father. Her point being that they have more freedom.

Most people have more freedom than they can handle. They focus on their feelings instead of facts, feigned injury over real dangers and threats.

Fifth and sixth problem: Number of murdered children to be dark and edgy

You know what? I'm going to partly agree with our dear blogger here. Lots of murdered kids and raped and murdered women is lazy writing. That said, it has nothing to do with the Patriarchy, it has to do with bad writing. The women weren't murdered by male entitlement, they were murdered by a corrupted version of male power. Bad writing, check.

Seventh problem: Insanity

In two parts, our dear blogger goes after madness here. First, the mongrelfolk are all shown as mad, and kept in an asylum in horrifying conditions. It's objected to that the module states the mongrelfolk are irredeemably mad. I don't get why that's a problem, honestly. It's keeping things simple for the thousands of GMs running this in organized play. Did you want to team up with the demons in DOOM, dear blogger?

Second part, our dear blogger starts railing against the "gendered" madness issue. Of course, ignoring the fact that some women do go mad from one person being mean to them. Ignoring the fact that people in power are generally catered to, unless and until they present a danger to their realm. I'm not even going to go into brain chemistry.

Why not? It's a bit of a historical presentation of asylums. Partly inhumane, stereotyped as irredeemable, and written off in favor of people in power? Sounds pretty accurate.

Problematic final thoughts

Our dear blogger then laments the Gypsy stereotyping again, wants to see the mongrelfolk freed, and the victim count moved to parity. And then hypothesizes the Roma being absent.

Why not just remove Strahd while you're at it? He's just as "problematic".

Here's a radical idea: instead of focusing on modules, why not play the game for real. Write your own campaigns. Work for your characters and story, quit playing generic drivel. Make your own worlds, create, explore, make things different.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Arrow, the new heroes

I thought I might give a bit of a background on some of the new characters in the TV DCU. I'm going to stick with the characters from Arrow for this post, because I want to cover things well, and for the research time; I'm no comic  historian.

Wild Dog- This is the first one we encounter. He shows up in the first fight, goes to defuse the bomb, which is already being defused by Felicity. Oliver then does the proper recruitment technique of shooting him in the leg.

In the comics, Wild Dog was created by Max Allan Collins, Ted Beatty, and Dick Giordano, for a four issue miniseries, and then went into a story in the weekly incarnation of Action Comics between 1987-1989. The original was an ex-marine by the name of Jack Wheeler, who operated in the Quad Cities, appropriate for a Max Allan Collins hero.(Yes, I'm not entirely happy the made the TV character "diverse"). Another point against his diversification is the hockey theme of the character: he wears a hockey mask and jersey, and hockey is a VERY white sport. That said, the guy appears to be a decent actor, and I'll give him a chance.

Which brings us to Evelyn Sharpe. She has no comic book history that I can find, so the episode where she stole the Black Canary tech/uniform is really all we've got.

Onto Curtis Holt. There's no Curtis Holt in the comics, but there is a Michael Holt. Michael Holt is one of the smartest people in the DCU, as well as a gold medalist at decatholon. He invented the T-Spheres, which we've seen a version of, and possesses 14 PH.D.s. The T-mask should be coming, the Fair Play jacket already exists. Mr. Holt is the second Mr. Terrific; the first is part of the original JSA, named Terry Sloane.

Now to Ragman. The character's name is the same as the comics, though the origin different. Rory Regan in the comics has been originally Irish, and then retconned to Jewish(don't know why).  In the comics, Rory is saved by a costume bought for him by his father to wear for Halloween, when his father's shop is held up and his father and friends killed. Currently, the costume is made of rags containing the souls of villains killed by the suit, and powered by them as well. I believe the show mad mention of ancient Egypt, so it's going to be a different version of the suit.

Now, where will this lead us, as far as teams? Well, this might get us closer to a Justice League, but I don't know. Personally, I want to see a version of the Question.  Give us an Earth 2 show, with John Wesley Shipp as the Flash. Oh, wait. I mean again. With more characters, like Citizen Cold, perhaps the Jester. Just some thoughts. And please, stop playing Social Justice. Because:

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Well, Essen's here, so I should look at some games.

For those not in the know, the Essen toy fair is a huge game con open to the public in Germany, with an attendance around 150k. Yes, it dwarfs GenCon. Germany also is still home to the most concentrated gaming culture. As there will be several new things out there, I'm going to go through the preview list on BoardgameGeek. I will not be listing anything that was at GenCon, though it's still likely new to many, and certainly to the European market. A few came close to getting on here, but I was trying to speed through the 31 page geeklist at one go.

The Exiled: Siege- This is the second edition of an interesting coop game, fighting against the hazards of a fantasy medieval wilderness. The new edition adds a one vs. all mode as well, and the campaign sounds pretty cool. I did not back it on KS, but I did come close.

Peak Oil- You better believe there's some "clean energy" worship going on here. That said, there appear to be some good game ideas, and I'd still be interested in playing. But, I'd want to play before buying this one.

Secret Weapons of the Third Reich- Unfortunately, the art is getting redone on this one. But, it's part coop, part drafting, part worker placement. And, one might become a traitor as the allies advance and possibly take the technologies you worked so hard for.

Outlive- This is a post apocalyptic worker displacement game. There's occasionally a fight over goods, you have a shelter to rebuild, and there's other cool ideas here as well. I did back this game when it was on KS.

Empires: Galactic Rebellion- Well, it's a "sequel" to Empires: Age of Discovery, which a lot of folks really liked. I was not a big fan of the game, but this looks like it has more paths available, which might mean more victory options, addressing my biggest qualm. I'd personally want to see it played, and it has some potential.

Cottage Garden- Because Uwe Rosenberg does interesting things with "dull" topics. Agricola, Mercator, Glass Road, The Gates of Loyang, and his money machine Bohnanza(to name a few). He wants to do things with polyominos? Let me see it.

Great Western Trail- A game about a cattle run? With buildings to use/build and workers to hire? Show me more.

Gentleman's Deal- I'm not one for party games generally, but this looks worthwhile. Mostly due to the fact that there's some game theory involved. The Dealer offers an amount to each player, they vote simultaneously on accepting, and the Dealer gets the rest if accepted, or loses a turn if not.  There's a bit more here, and I'll likely watch for it. 5-9 player games that are good are rare.

The Arrival- This is an Irish themed reimplementation of Martin Wallace's Mordred. Reading my way through Skelos issue 1, I think I might like the idea of this version better. A combination of resources, corruption, and fighting the Formori.

Not Alone- Big scaling possibilities(2-7), asymmetric play, and the only drawback is the generic SF theme? Just pretend it's The Thing, and you're characters are in Antarctica. Soundtrack by Mr. Carpenter recommended.

Drachenturm- Yeah, it's from German publisher HABA. Yes, it's a kid's coop game. Just take a look and you'll see there's some great kid's games out there. In fact, just look at HABA's games period. Lady Richmond, Meduris, Hamsterbande, and Lumina all look like a lot of fun.

TZARR- I was going to avoid any two player abstracts, but a GIPF project reissue? Too good to pass. Also, ZERTZ.

Snowblind: Race for the Pole- A press your luck game about racing back from the South Pole. At least, that's what the list says, maybe they have it backwards. The weather is against you as you try to balance speed, supplies, and health of you expedition.

Key to the City- London- This has a LOT in common with Keyflower. I'm more than alright with that. Some streamlining, but some new elements, too. So, I look forward to having a chance to someday play this one.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Aren't we like that?

In my new job, one of the "perks" is that we get to listen to popular radio. I have not needed a reminder as to why I hate top 40, nor did I desire confirmation, but I have it nonetheless. Drek.

This morning, of course the debate was mentioned and talked about, but not in a substantive manner, nor were the rhetorical points covered.  Then the script turned into a 20 minute white knighting segment against the "Trump tape".  They said things along the lines of "I don't know anyone who would...:" "I've never heard....", and "My boys and husband would never..."

WHAT LIES. I've spent two weeks listening to your drivel you consider music. You must not have any clue as to how many songs your station plays about sex, confusing and conflating it for love. I guess nobody can finish this line "The Internet is really really great".  Nobody watched Sex in the City, The L Word, Californication, Red Shoe Diaries, or Inside Amy Schumer. (I could believe the last one.)  People bought, but didn't read 50 shades of Grey, or watched the "film"? The White House didn't recently host the gun control group "Cocks not Glocks"?  And I guess John Ringo never won that award for Ghost. Attention, everyone: Rule 34 is just a myth.Glad we cleared that up.

Unlike the media, I am willing to acknowledge the sin around me, some of which I must admit to partaking of. I've worked as a cab driver, I've driven railroad crews, I've sweated along in a  plumbing company. I've done more than this, and I know there are others with a more diverse spread of occupations than I've had. My point is that I don't live in a bubble, and I know for certitude, that people of all sorts will make course jokes and tell stories. I've heard stories that would make some puke.

Do I defend what Mr. Trump said? No, I'm not a playboy, nor do I admire the type, not in reality. That said, it was 11 years ago, and I'm willing to believe that he has grown and changed. Until I've seen proof otherwise. I mean, his wife RickRolled the RNC and wore a "pussy bow" blouse at the debate. (I thought that was a joke when I first saw the words.) Is he brash, a bit of a loudmouth, and willing to push to get his way? Yep. Maybe we need that at this point.

Russia's been prepping for war, drilling it's civilians and moving it's arms. The USA has broken it's word in dealing with Russia and the Syrian "rebels". Our arms have been getting into the hand of ISIS as if by design. IF we are to be working on those problems, we need to do so with clear objectives, and not be possibly seen as the bad guys. That's our current problem in foreign policy: we are too easily seen as the bad guys. Maybe we have been. Perhaps it's time to repent of this foreign policy, among other sins.

If you'll excuse me, I need to pray.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Time for some current comics talk.

I haven't written about comic books recently, and there's been some interesting new books, and yes some of these interest me enough to write about. Please note, most of these are not kid friendly, and I will note ones that are.

Lake of Fire from Image- Here's an interesting medieval tale during the crusades. By the way, there's aliens, or possibly demons, I've slept since reading issue one. I'm not certain where the Catholicism angle will be ultimately taken, and I'm a touch leery of that, but otherwise, the story's got my attention.

Frostbite from Vertigo- Since Chuck Dixon isn't printing any Winterworld right now, this might be a decent substitute. Another frozen apocalypse, this one has a unique illness, revenge, promises, and, at least in the first issue, hope. I will be reading, at least until they inflict a bad idea on me.

The Land That Time Forgot from American Mythology- Yep, an Edgar Rice Burroughs comic not from Dynamite or the estate. Two issues in, I have to say this feels pretty good. I have not read the books, though, so I'm not the best judge, but I'm willing to keep on with it. Kids can read this pretty safely.

Moonshine from Image- Azzarello and Risso stretch their legs away from DC/Vertigo, so I had to check it out. This takes place during Prohibition, and promises to be a criminal's violent descent. No, it's not uplifting, it's a crime book, and half the fun will be all the stuff you couldn't film.

Future Quest from DC- Yes, this is the only book I'm reading with "DC" on it. Take the old Hanna-Barbera characters and put them all into one well written story. Space Ghost, Johnny Quest, Herculoids, etc. Yes, your kids can read this.

Green Valley from Skybound/Image- I saw a preview somewhere, and thought I should try it. I need to wait another issue or two to be sure, but I think I was right. There's a lot of potential going on in the opening chapter of this story, and I hope it fills that. I'd say this was safe for some teens, but not all.

Rough Riders from Aftershock- The story's still good, in fact, it just got a bit surreal. Action, interesting takes on historical characters, and some cool looking tech. A bit steampunkish, but not all over the place.

Triggerman from Titan/Hard Case Crime- Honestly, this book made this week's trip to the shop for me. I've not read the novel this is taken from, but between the story so far, the art, and HCC's collection of novels, and the fact that there's at least one more book coming means Vertigo might need to shape up. Crime comics might have a new king pretty quickly, and they at least have a good home. Nudity and violence not inappropriate to the story. DON'T LET KIDS READ THIS.

Onto a couple of books I should note, because they have "name" creators, and one of them is consistently interesting.

Shipwreck from Aftershock- Warren Ellis wrote this. I should find there to be something interesting here to keep me going. Phil Hester did the art, and it looks right for the story. Unfortunately, this gets a reject from me. I wanted to like it, but there's stuff here that put me way off. And I like crime comics and some horror books. Sorry, Warren, just no.

Captain Kid from Aftershock- Mark Waid scribes this wish fulfillment book, and I'm just not sure it's worth it. There's some interesting time travel stuff with one character, but that really feels like it weakens the book. I will give at least another go, but I'm not invested.

You likely noticed a lot from Aftershock here. That's mostly because they're new and trying a lot of stuff at once. Some I won't even give a try(Animosty), some won't be gotten again. The Daring Eagles story from them was really good, and I only like Garth Ennis in a war comic. I quit the main hero books altogether during DC's New 52, and doubt I'll get back in issues ever.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Well, there went the week.

This week got away from me pretty easily. I will have something up in a bit, and try to have another one tomorrow. For the future, I'll try to have some content on Tuesdays, as my Wednesdays are taken up.

In the meantime, in case you missed it, here's my appearance on Declan Finn's Catholic Geek Radio from this last Sunday. I largely rambled for two hours, but a couple folks let me know they enjoyed it. Will return, I had fun.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Music blog: King's X

Some from the early stuff.

Not linking to videos because lame.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Injustice Book Review: The Cunning Blood by Jeff Duntemann

Cower not, fierce reader! Today we have a tale of adventure, secret societies, paranoia, and deception. Thankfully, our author is NOT Dan Brown, but rather, the able writer Jeff Duntemann, in his first novel(he has a sizable non-fiction catalog and several short stories). Unfortunately, due to many of the crimes being tightly bound to the plot, be forewarned, there will be spoilers in this review. Onward to the charges of Darkness in this world of SocJus and it's  light!

Our first charge today is against the world and governance thereof. The Governor General is a megalomaniac. There's a judge early on that believes all men to be mad. Most criminals end up removed from Earth, in the name of elimination of violence genetically.

Which brings us to the next charge. This place of exile is a planet known colloquially as Hell. Yes, it does have another name, but that is what everyone outside the government calls it. Hell has no electricity by design. That does not mean no technology; there are other ways, and electricity is but one. Thus, this charge is two sided: First, the invocation of religion, and second, the questioning of the established methods of technology.

Hell is of course, bent on revenge. There are plans, and a religious aspect to the avocation for revenge. Mr. Duntemann went so far as to include a new set of lyrics to an old tune(see below my usual stop for details), in the fine Western music tradition of plundering earlier sources. The charge is advancing the awareness of a Western culture.

The next charge involves one of the characters. This character has taken vows against killing and the carnal knowledge of women. The first is mostly against his society, but truly, the second would be properly seen against any society of man and his fallen nature. The charge is presenting man as more than an animal.

There are more charges perhaps that could be laid before this tome, but I believe this sufficient to our purposes. This story is very well done, and I congratulate Mr. Duntemann the craftsmanship of his adventure. I find this merits 8 of 10 Fell Deeds.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.