Zombillenium – A French BD for Millenials, Geeks, Monsters, and those Who are Exploited

With the news (LONG AWAITED NEWS!!! YEARS!!!) that volume 4 is finally coming our way, the fans of the work of Arthur du Pins can finally put their minds at ease: the cliffhanger will end! We will know what happens with the park, and what´s up with our favourite, sassiest witch, Gretchen and the poor man who is Aurelien. And the others of course. However, it has recently come to my attention – mostly due to my super hype and the lack of response back –  that, apparently, this is not so well-known and received in the comic sphere as I thought it would. Which is bizarre (IMO) considering that the author has just projected the animated adaptation of the entire thing at Cannes just last year, and the new comic coming back, you´d think we´d be on it…But apparently not. Apparently, for some strange reason I do not fully comprehend, the BD market in the UK is rather non-existent, even for something that came as a direct commission from the director of Spirou. That is, btw, how this all started. Arthur du Pins was given this job for a Halloween special edition for the magazine. But the thing became so popular, by 2010 the first volume was already out under the publisher Dib>buks. 

So, why do I care so much about this? This BD came right as the recession of the late 2000s hit us, and the themes resonated with me at a very personal level. For starters, who doesn´t want to read a comic about a Halloween-like theme park, where the monsters are for realsies?! Well, that is what you get in Zombillenium. Understand that to a teen Goth, obsessed with roleplaying games, this was the dream: monster and magic. Awesome. It wasn´t just the imagery, though, but the obvious message that attracted me as I started reading: the outsiders, the left overs of society, the people who live in the fringe that are freaks for your entertainment in a circus. That was, and still is, a very real issue in our modern societies – and this is something you have heard me talking about a different comic for similar and different reasons: Rat Queens, and you can find my update here:

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Everlasting Wet Palette Review (English & Español)

Today I bring something that I thought may be of use/interest for the wargammer and minis collectors. I don’t know about you guys but I am not the greatest painter – I have been accused of being a crime against painting brushes and paints alike. Back in the day, I used to take the lids of Pringle boxes and use those as my pallets for mixing and thinning paint. These days Games Workshop, and the likes, have made their own pallets where you pour your paint and there you go. BUT! As you may know, this has a slight issue: your paint will eventually go dry. Also, it is a bloody pain in the rear trying to get that Citadel paint out of the pallets…Well some nice chaps on the internet decided that they were gonna put a solution to this by creating an everlasting wet pallet. This project started out as a Kickstarter, and after successful backing, here I can show you the results.

Hoy os traigo algo de interés para aquellos que os dedicáis a los juegos de miniaturas, tipo Warhammer y demás. No se vosotros, pero yo la verdad es que no soy la mejor pintando, y se me acusa de forma abundante de no tratar mis materiales de buena forma. Cuando era mas joven y pintaba con mi mama, utilizaba las tapas de los botes de Pringles para mezclar colores, y sin embargo la juventud de hoy dia puede ir a la Games Workshop y comprarse lo que ellos llaman una paleta de pintura apropiada para este hobby (márquetin, Ejem!). En cualquier caso, el problema con tanto mi DIY como el producto licenciado es que la pintura se seca – y bueno no se si habéis intentando limpiar pintura Citadel seca de cualquier cosa pero vamos, que ni el Cillit Bang! En fin, que a algún genio en internet se le ilumino la bombilla y decidió empezar un Kickstarter para solucionar este problema. Y aquí están los resultados: La Everlasting Wet Pallete.

 

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Medieval Spawn and Witchblade – first taste of the mainstream lines in a long while!

Ok so today I bring you something that perhaps will be a bit bizarre for me. You know how I don’t really follow these days much of their mainstream coming book lines? Well! The thing is just a couple of months ago – in fact to be precise as of May this year – Image decided to do a wonderful mashup of two of their main characters I love: SPAWN and Witchblade. And I have been thoroughly enjoying this so far – I think I am one number behind, but even so. The thing is mediaeval or dark ages spawn was always cool with you know the metal armour, weapons, the cape that flows like an absolute badass that sometimes you don’t really get the texture of it quite right in the more modern comic storylines. And of course Witchblade has always been cool through and through, no matter what – she’s awesome. And simply because of the very nature of the Witchblade and and how this evolves and interacts with the user this fits perfectly into the medieval setting. It just draws you in: armour, metal, shine, grip, monsters, death, Darkness – you know the drill.

So, of course I was not expecting it would disappoint, not at all, but I was certainly curious to see how they were going to take it because, well, the personalities of SPAWN and Witchblade could be somewhat conflicting and I wasn’t entirely sure of exactly what excuse they were going to give for the characters to join up storylines. And perhaps – as far as my reading goes – this is my hardest criticism. The first volume essentially tells you the story as to how SPAWN appears in this mediaeval setting which, by the way, doesn’t have any specific real Middle Ages locations to it. They leave it fairly vague which I’m cool with cause, you know, the scenery and the characters scream medieval of some form and that works. (You don’t really need to know the exact world/timeline names and background, the bits and bobs suffice if you see what I mean). The second volume is specifically dedicated to explaining how which plate comes into this story, which is fair, but because of the ascetics and introduction of both characters at separate stages, it is not the easiest thing to relate and assume they are in the same place/time/story. There is one only thing that ties them up together which is the presence of this particular villain, but that’s about it. In my opinion, perhaps it would have worked out better if instead of splitting them in #1 SPAWN #2 Witchblade, they would have put them together. I think it would have made it flow a bit better just so the reader could actually understand that these two storylines are happening in parallel correlation to each other. That is really that one thing that I thought “hmm, okay, I guess”. Well, that and the fact that, unlike in the case of Witchblade, you do not get a clear definite reason and to why and how is SPAWN here. (Neither at the end of either volume which I found a bit irritating but that could be the completionist in me…plus, like I said, one volume behind…though if I have to wait for #3 to get what I perceive to be an important part of the story…it better be decent plot development…anyway, I ramble!).

In any case, I think it’s pretty cool and I am really enjoying it. I really like the art work: but that is obvious, you know, a classic Brian Haberlin piece. He is a legend and has developed this aesthetic over years. I believe it’s the reason why it fits the medieval setting so well: not because of the dark and gloomy feel, which we could agree to a point to be cliche. But I think he adds to that romantic, stoic, hard core valiant epicness, full of blues and shiny silvers and golds. The balance and contrast in colour is delightful, even in scenes where you could get a certain feeling of monochromatic look, everything is distinct, and outlined to fit together harmoniously. In fact, at stages the general graphic composition starts reminding me of videogames of a fantasy setting – I’m particularly thinking of Skyrim here. It is difficult to explain without showing you the pictures, so just go buy the thing. The other thing that I liked was that with just a few lines of succinct and precise text, all the characters are well defined and understood. There is a bit of.an archetypal thing going on in that regards, but it does suit the genre and makes good use of tropes and motives in the medieval/fantasy sphere so, it works 🙂

Therefore, if you want something current, mainstream, and yet with a twist to read and enjoy visually, go get ’em Medieval Spawn and Witchblade – and then drop by tell me what you think.

Mas Juegos Para Lilly: Nuevas Adquisiciones

Hola gente! Hemos estado de vacaciones pero ya estamos de vuelta con mas posts. Hoy vengo a poneros al día con juegos nuevos que he adquirido gracias a mi cumple que fue hace un par de semanas. Así que os traigo un comentario rápido sobre estos jueguillos y lo que me han parecido.

El primero que se sumo a mi lista fue Tsuro: ya se que llega muy, muy tarde a la colección pero, la cosa es que en el Reino Unido, conseguir una copia nueva de este juego no es siempre fácil, y el precio ha fluctuado demasiado como para lanzarse a por ello – creo que en los últimos 24 meses he visto copias desde £19.00 hasta £30.00…Y ya lo siento mucho, pero 30 pavos por Tsuro me parece una barbaridad, por mucho que me guste. No creo que el nivel de producción, diseño y estética de este juego merezca tanto dinero, particularmente teniendo en cuenta que lleva ya en el mercado mucho tiempo. Por tanto, y a pesar de haber jugado chiquicientas veces, pues ha tardado lo suyo en sumarse al conjunto. Ya lo he sacado del precinto, estrenado y todo, y sigo invicta, así que mi record continua 😀 Para aquellos que tengan dudas o estén buscando motivos para probar o comprar Tsuro, aquí os dejo los motivos por los que a mi me gusta: lo principal es que es super fácil de jugar, apenas tiene reglas, y tiene capacidad hasta 8 jugadores, pero funciona bien con el mínimo que son 2. Siempre y cuando tengas un mínimo de visión espacial y sepas seguir el lio de líneas que forman el camino de tu dragón, lo tienes hecho. La partida mas larga que he jugado no llega a los 30 minutos, por tanto esta bien para calentar motores en una mega timba o por si no tienes mucho tiempo libre.

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New Games for the Shelves and Quick Thoughts on Them

Hello everyone! We have been away on holiday but we are back with more. Hope the wait hasn’t been too terrible. Today, I’ll give you a quick talk of some new board games I have acquired recently as it was my birthday and you know, geek crack prevails 😀

One of the games I was bought was Tsuro. I have played the game around a trillion times, but I simply did not own a copy – and actually in case you didn’t know, the price of Tsuro has fluctuated so much lately that attempting to get a new copy of the game was sometimes unthinkable. I think in the last year or so I’ve seen copies go (unopened) from anything between £18.00 which is reasonable, to £30.00 – not so much….You know, I love the game and it is great fun, but considering it’s age and the fact that, well, it is not like a very high-end production – it is essentially a board and some tokens, 30 quid seemed a little bit too much. Nonetheless, it is now on my self and I am very happy about this. One of the reasons why I love his game is because it is dead easy: tile per turn, move your dragon through the path, try to stay in the board, done. It also caters for up to 8 players, but it is equally fun with two and it doesn’t take long, so it is overall a nice little game to have – Happy Lilly is Happy with the spaghetti twists of doom and wisdom. Also, this far, I remain victorious 😉

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Me and My Worker Placement Games: Champions of Midgard V Lords of Waterdeep

 

 

…Well actually the title should have a caveat; I am, technically speaking, not the owner of my copy of Lord of Waterdeep, but it lives with my board games so we will take octopus as a domestic animal and boat as an aquatic one ;p. As far as worker placement games go there are loads to choose from, but these are the ones that have ended in my hands. Champions of Midgard became a Christmas present two years ago because you know Vikings for the Viking obsessed girl. Then Lord of Waterdeep was presented and sold to me as “the good stuff”, particularly with the expansion. And, well, my opinion may be biased but I have sincere problems with one of these two games, and this is what I am going to talk about today, what makes, in my opinion, and engaging worker placement game, and what makes a dyer of an evening.

Lord of Waterdeep does have an advantage over Champions of Midgard that is worth considering, which is the fact that it can cater for more players. The basic Champions game is 2 to 4 players, whilst Lords takes up to 5. Champions of Midgard has 2 expansions that will up your number of players as well as other juicy stuff, and Lords has Scoundrels of Skullport that puts it up to 6 alongside other mechanics. I have never played without the expansion for Lords, and I have never tried the expansion for Champions, and I must say, already without the expansion Champions is a good game, whilst I have been advised by more than one person that playing Lords without Scoundrels is a bit meh. Pricing is a contested issue for sure. On the official Wizards of the Coast website for Lords the price given is $49.99, plus $39.99 if you want to play with the expansion…That is already the better part of 80 quid. Basic set for Champions from Grey Fox Games is $59.99, add more for the expansions if you want, and depending on which one. So, I feel if you’re going to invest decent money on a game, you should keep these things in mind. 

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DC – DAWN OF SUPER HEROES (Exhibition at the O2 London, 31/3/2018)

Hello Peoples! Hope you had an awesome Easter break – we certainly did and, in fact, we are bringing you some stuff from our visit to the exhibition that is currently being hosted at the O2: DC – Dawn of Super Heroes. This is just in the same place where we went to see the Star Wars Identities exhibition last year – and you can learn more about that one clicking on this link:

Of course, this exhibition was a completely different kettle of fish, and they are not really comparable in the same way – SW Identities was incredibly interactive and that was super cool! But, I think the display do what they have to do here. So, what can you expect from this? In essence; a lot of amazing original comic prints, from finished works to sketches, very high res story boarding images from the DC films, and some pretty badass costumes – the originals from the movies as well. One thing that I didn’t find as useful or as well done was the use of the audio guide. It is your traditional elongated telephone like device, which is not the most comfortable of things. In addition, the numbers for the audio guide were particularly hidden or not located next to the stuff they were supposed to be talking about, which made it a little annoyed and confusing at stages (and of course because technology hats me, my device was on its way out and you had to attack the buttons to make them play anything…but that’s probably just me and bad luck). That is perhaps my biggest criticism and I think they could have made better use of that resource. However, they did have a fair amount of screen where they were playing clips and videos from different interviews with artists, directors and producers from the DC Universe which were absolutely top stuff. So that is my piece on that.

In terms of what the exhibition is about, this is really a walk through how the DC superhero franchises have made their way from paper to the screen, with a focus on their recent productions leading up to the Justice League movie. So you got a lot of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman…JL and that is kinda it. So if you are hoping to go see lots of bizarre and obscure characters, then I’d hate to disappoint. However, like I said, what they have is good. Hell, I even stopped for the 2 and a half rooms dedicated to the Man of Steel and found it thoroughly interesting so, you know!

And that is all I can say on that front, it is cool but beware of what you are gonna go see, essentially. It is available until September at the O2 so you still have plenty of time and if you book in advance you have a good chance of getting a god deal on your tickets. And without more hesitation, here are some pictures of the things I took as highlights of the exhibit 😀 (yes, I know, it is mostly Batman…not my fault he is best :p)

See? I told you there was some Superman stuff…There were a fair few versions of his costume through the ages, but I just don’t find it that interesting…
Batman is best – always. We took several pictures with the Dark Knight because that statue is screaming “photograph me!”

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