Previously, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So… things are getting kind of dire. Xander still has Jenny Calendar captive, forcing her to work on some kind of spell for him. The good news is that, at least on a personal front, it looks like things are going well between Buffy and Robin, and it looks like Kendra and Rose have hit it off, too. Oh, and Willow is back, seemingly entirely well adjusted.

I just had a very strong, visceral reaction to Crossover #1. I’m not sure if it was spiritual or emotional or maybe a little bit (or a lot) of both. I’m writing as I process it, but I want to cry, which doesn’t usually happen after the first issue of a comic book, and there’s a lot of reasons for that.

You know how in spy and espionage movies the characters seem to set up an impossible series of things in advance, so just when you think they’re done for, we see a flashback of all the stuff they set up or already thought of just so they can make it out of the current, very specific situation and we’re always meant to think, “Oh, wow, clever!”, when really it’s absolutely absurd? Well, Chelsean Cain and Lia Miternique just sent that trope up in a blaze of beautiful glory while still staying 100% faithful to the super spy and mermaid-laden world they’ve created.

Issue #5 of Bang!, the end of the first story arc, comes with a bang of a story change up. It wasn’t completely unexpected on my end, but I don’t think that was the point. We’re still only just getting to know our team of pop culture-inspired heroes, and throwing them too big of a curve ball would be a waste of emotional storytelling this early on. Our team includes: Thomas Cord (our nifty James Bond) who shares a history with Paige Turnier (who is a sort of 80-year-old Jessica Fletcher by way of Jacques Clouseau), Dr. Queen (a high-tech, gizmo-laden Emma Peel who relies on her suit to stay upright as her back was broken), and John McCl—ahem Shaw, John Shaw who is a riff on John McClane of the Die Hard franchise, and who, no matter where he goes, always seems to be without shoes. This is, of course, all completely bonkers and rightfully so, as a Philip K. Dickian writer named Philip Verve has assembled them to take down a worldwide evil organization called Goldmaze.

Christopher Sebela is a master at crafting intricate, fascinating worlds that grab your attention from the very beginning. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Welcome Back, a series which explored forbidden love in a world of reincarnation and assassination. Now, with Pantomime, he’s exploring the bonds of chosen family set against the background of daring and elaborate heists—and that’s only the beginning of what this comic has to offer.

Expectations are high for the second season of The Mandalorian, especially in a year that's seen almost every notable feature film release delayed indefinitely. The Disney+ series was fortunate enough to complete the filming of its sophomore season before the global pandemic shut down production across the board in Hollywood, and now it seems it may be 2020's most anticipated release that actually, well, released. Series creator Jon Favreau takes on double duties in this premiere, both writing and directing the first chapter of Season 2, and if the rest of the season is anything like this first episode, it seems like we're all in for an even bigger and badder Outer Rim adventure than our last time out in the Razor Crest.

"The Impact of Audio" review series will examine the impact that audiobook narration has on our relationship with the stories we love. We will be taking a look back at titles with which we may already be familiar, as well as exploring newly released publications . . . all with the goal of exploring how this vital form of storytelling connects us to the ways #StoriesMatter.

Working at a flea market in South Pasadena, Anna is an artist who specializes in making adorable stuffed dragons. Robert, who clearly has a thing for her, has the booth next door where he sells cool-looking armor and swords. When Anna decides to take a break, she discovers another vendor who sells some of the most beautiful material she has ever seen. Thinking the material is too expensive, the vendor agrees to give her the luminescent fabric as long as Anna promises to not only make dragons out of them, but to insert a piece of brimstone within each one. With the help of her friend, Mae, Anna makes good on her promise but wakes up the next morning to a brood of living, fire-breathing baby dragons! Little does she know that the vendor, Kalsaru, who sold her the fabric is more than she lets on . . . as is her neighbor, Robert.  Will they come to her aid or try to take the dragons she has grown to love away from her? As with all magic, there is a price to be paid.

I started scrolling through the PDF reviewer’s copy of The Last Ronin, the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tale from the dynamic duo of my youth, Eastman and Laird. “These are amazing alternate covers,” I thought to myself. I continued to scroll, “Oh, wow, more!”… I continued to scroll… and scroll… and scroll… just as Pee Wee Herman kept knitting and knitting and knitting. There are 71 retail covers for The Last Ronan. SEVENTY-ONE! All beautiful. All showing a scarred, broken, and aged mutant turtle armed to the hilt with all four of the brothers’ weapons - katana, nunchucks, staff, and sai - and wearing a black mask around his eyes.

I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons for over twenty years, and during that time, I've seen all manner of ways to heighten the immersion of the hobby, be it fully ensconcing yourself in foam armor and heading out into the woods for a weekend, skillfully crafting ancient-looking maps and scrolls with tea and patience, or referring to each party member as only their character's name throughout the entire night.  One thing that always breaks the immersion is when you reach for your Funyuns and Mountain Dew (unless you're in the Mad Mage's cells...then anything's fair game), or dipping E.L. Fudge cookies in red wine (The author does not admit to being party to this behavior, but heartily recommends against in the in strongest terms.), or just annihilating the sleeve of Oatmeal Pies.  Well, friends, some great minds in gaming have taken the next logical step in game session food immersion and created a cookbook full of dishes from the most famous of the Realms in the D&D canon, including Greyhawk, Eberron, Faerun, and Krynn.  Steeped in the countless tomes of lore and the rich history of the world's best-known role-playing game, there has been a lot of love poured into making this book a recipe for not only gastronomic experimentation, but camaraderie and shared experiences, as well.

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