Monthly Archives: July 2015

Cloaky Spookydark

nocturne1

illustrated by John Mietus

This was early 1988, following college graduation the previous year, while I was working at the Field Museum of Natural History. A fellow staff member invited me into Ran Hardin’s Champions game, played in Chicago, set in Chicago. The group was called Northwatch, an iteration of a game he’d begun years before. Read the rest of this entry

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Whoa-oh-oh na na, whoa-oh-oh na na

You'll never guess what Cap got to do.

You’ll never guess what Cap got to do.

Perhaps it was the counterculture, or having parents who were born well before WWII. As a kid, I was very turned off by all Marvel’s 70s gimmicks like Superman vs. Spider-Man, the Spider-Man car, or weird toys like the thing where you put the thing in Spider-Man’s mouth. Read the rest of this entry

Scouse

constantinelefty

That guy on the left … on the Left.

I’ve mentioned the political angle of the 80s British invasion into U.S. comics, in Looking for a hero. This was most relevant to me regarding John Constantine in Jamie Delano’s Hellblazer, in which he definitely became his own thing relative to his original appearances in Swamp Thing. Read the rest of this entry

Right there in the title

antagonists

Art by Claudia Cangini

Which is to say, The Astounding Antagonists, by Rafael Chandler, a prose novel published last year (2014). It’s nestled right there with my big beating heart because it’s a completely non-ironic superhero genre book told almost completely from the villains’ point of view.

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Math is not hard

I got some advantages, I got some limitations ...

I got some advantages, I got some limitations …

BONUS POST: Thanks to Ed McW and his July pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon! It’s really easy. In Champions, you pay for a ton of stuff in points. Read the rest of this entry

The book that wasn’t there

The earliest issue in my inherited stash

The earliest issue in my inherited stash

Dr. Strange, the Hulk, Namor, and the Silver Surfer? Someone had some balls to propose a super-group with these characters; if they could ever find a common sphere of activity and a collective identity, that’d be the end of super-heroing and super-villaining for anyone else. But that line-up didn’t last past its own set-up, and settled instead into Strange, Valkyrie, and Nighthawk in a sort-of recap of the early Thomas Avengers, with the Hulk showing up frequently.

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90s (H)ero (guest post)

An invited guest post by Steven S. Long! Ron asked me if I wouldn’t mind taking the baton and continuing the journey forward to look at how Champions/the HERO System developed in the Nineties, and I said I’d be glad to give it a shot. Read the rest of this entry

How did I get these mutton chops?

Quick! Count the Wolverine things he doesn't have.

Quick! Count the Wolverine things he doesn’t have.

Wolverine, sheathe your claws! In fact, go away. (Denial … crumbling …) All right, I admit it, that would be covering up for my 80s self who dribbled all over the hairy bastard like everyone else.

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What you mean “we?”

... white man?

… white man?

Like “African-American” and “person of color,” “Native American” was not a phrase of my childhood, simply because they weren’t invented yet. Read the rest of this entry

Scratch Pad

wgpcoverHere’s a little bit of history from 2004-2007, an intensive period of my work in independent role-playing activism. Read the rest of this entry

Today I am a man

That's more than just that tank he lifted.

That’s more than just that tank he lifted.

BONUS POST: Thanks to Markku Tuovinen and his July pledge at the Doctor Xaos Patreon!
So my long-standing claim is that Lee’s run on Spider-Man – technically, Amazing Adult Fantasy #15 and The Amazing Spider-Man #1-100 is a straightforward and excellent novel. This is the first of four planned posts about that.

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A hero shall appear

We do, in fact, need a hero

We do, in fact, need a hero

This is the second Watchmen post, out of an intended three. The first one was Whom were they watching? This one is about protagonists – good guys – heroes – that perennially undefined but unavoidable feature of stories. For the record, I don’t want to distinguish among “anti” and “dark” and whatever-heroes; just put anything that works that way at all into a big box and I’m talking about it.

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