47 Ronin 2I’ve been waiting a while to see this issue, after the first being released a few months back, so I’ve wanted to keep up with the story and hoped that I would not be disappointed when it finally came out.  I wasn’t; in fact, I continue to enjoy how the story has unfolded, bringing the historical legend to life in a very colorful fashion.  I only hope that Dark Horse will release the issues a little faster than three months apart, even if it is a limited, 5-issue series.


Human Comics 1The following is an interview with Gabe Smith, creator and writer of the indie graphic novel series Human Comics.  In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Smith about his vision for the sci-fi story and its lead female character, the challenges of being an indie comic book creator, and the ultimate goal for Human Comics.

This interview was conducted on December 25, 2012.



SW Edge of the Empire Beginner Game art"A Look at the Edge" is a series of reviews covering the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Roleplaying Game by Fantasy Flight Games, which will review newly released products and supplemental online content and discuss experiences playing and running the game.

When Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) announced the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire game back at GenCon 2012 with the release of the game's Beta, my nerd heart just about burst in my chest I was so excited. Star Wars brought me into geekdom, Star Wars roleplaying was my introduction to the GM's chair, and many of my fondest gaming moments have been set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. My gaming tastes have changed significantly from the rules crunchy d20 systems used for the last two Star Wars games, so I was even more delighted when I learned that FFG is taking Star Wars to a rules light, almost indie game design, which has a greater emphasis on roleplaying and characters than tactics and micromanaging. The Beta book was a fantastic way to kick off Edge of the Empire, but now we finally have the first true product in the new Star Wars line of games, the Beginner Game.

Damned MeanderersI haven’t seen (read?) a whole lot of motion comics, but the ones I have encountered struck me as some sort of awkward hybrid between animation and sequential art.  Like some clumsy genetic experiment, motion comics attempted to merge two fully-evolved art forms into a wobbly-legged new one.  And, while elevating a comic with music and motion was an exciting prospect, the results always turned out to be much less than what I imagined.  We ultimately need a motion comic that isn’t simply the worst of both worlds, but one that fully utilizes the strengths inherent in each medium to better tell a story.  The Damned Meanderers by Tom McGrane, while not perfect, does come closer than anything I’ve seen so far. 


Gangster SquadI’m a film geek from way, way back.  Like most of us, I got interested in movies through genre films and then broadened my horizons as I got older.  I really credit the old Siskel & Ebert shows for suggesting things that expanded my filmgoing palate.  So, as we say so long, farewell to 2012, here’s a list of the dozen films I’m most looking forward to next year.  Keep in mind that films can get bumped from release dates like The Great Gatsby did this year, and there may be something under the radar now that comes screaming out of Sundance or Cannes.

BW Nite Owl 4 colorThe comic book event of the summer is nigh!  Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot.  Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm. 



Trapped by an insane reverend who intends to burn him alive, Rorschach is in serious trouble while Nite Owl and The Twilight Lady rush to his aid for reasons none of us can recall. Nite Owl #4 is a pretty good Rorschach story, further highlighting the man's descent into violence and mayhem as he reveals more of how his twisted mind works. Nite Owl is really a secondary character in this tale. Besides wagging a finger at Rorschach, he could be removed from this issue and it would have played out perfectly. This fact on its own made this issue kind of disappointing, although Rorschach's “You talk, I'll do” line to Nite Owl highlights that it's in the owl-themed hero's nature to stand on the sidelines while Rorschach kicks a-- and “hurms.”


Clutch coverIn Clutch's world, 12/21/2012 wasn't just a day of funny Internet posts about Mayans and Galactus eating Australia, it was the day of Rockfall, when hundreds of meteorites crashed into the Earth, destroying much of modern civilization. After 20 years, those who survived Rockfall have learned how to survive, making use of what limited resources they have available in order to fight off animals mutated by the radiation stemming from the meteorites, guard their settlements from more meteorites falling from above, and avoid the many other horrors that have inhabited the world.

Space Corps 0Space Corps #0 consists of four distinct stories that each introduce a main character belonging to the same spacefaring military unit. Each of these stories has a distinct tone to it, some focusing on darker story elements, while others highlight the series' wacky sense of humor.

Darths  DroidsWorld of Webcomics is a series devoted to exploring the world of online comics and their target audiences, as well as their art styles, storylines, and the general enjoyment that they provide.

I’ve never had the opportunity to play a Star Wars tabletop RPG—I almost never tabletop anymore, sadly—and I’ve often wondered what it would be like, so I was very happy when someone showed me this particular comic.  Take all six films and act them out as tabletop game, with six individual campaigns, and then throw in the characteristics of some classic tabletop geek archetypes, mixed with photo stills from the films themselves, and you’ve got yourself a webcomic.  Photo stills aren’t anything new—Irregular Webcomic did it, my recent review of Troops of Doom showed that they do it—but the fact that the characters are themselves playing characters is really interesting to me.  Right off the bat, the comic pulled me in with the conversation between the PCs and the GM being hilarious to read; it took me back to my tabletop days, and that’s what really kept me going.  Darths & Droids updates Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at darthsanddroids.net.



Zero Dark ThirtyI’m a huge Law & Order fan.  It’s quite sad, really.  If TNT is running one of those Law & Order marathons they often run on holidays and whatnot, I’m sucked into it for the rest of the day.  I think a lot of this is because Law & Order (and all of its TV spawn) is all about plot and absolutely never about character development.  The ingenious thing that series creator Dick Wolf did was litter the proceedings with scores of great New York stage actors.  If you think about it, the regular cast members on procedurals like Law & Order really don’t have much emotional stuff to play.  They exist as exposition ATMs, moving the story from plot point to plot point.  The guest stars almost always do the heavy emotional lifting.  That the Law & Order shows have been cast well allows the regular characters to have an inner life because the actors bring that, the scripts never do.

In many ways, Kathryn Bigelow’s new film Zero Dark Thirty is the ultimate episode of Law & Order.  It’s the mother of all procedurals.  It’s almost all plot for two and a half hours with almost zero character development.  And, it’s also pretty spectacular.

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