Favorite Book: Cryptonomicon
Favorite Movie: Young Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything: Monty Python
Mike Norton’s Battlepug is a silly book. I don’t know where exactly to start, so I’ll go roughly chronologically. Battlepug starts by obviously referencing the origins of Conan, except for the giant baby seal. Also Santa. And then, there’s the evil witch toad. So yeah, it’s a weird book. But, is it good?
*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.
I think that right now is my favorite time of the year to be a geek. I do love Memorial Day, when all the big, exciting movies hit the theaters, Oscar season, when it is socially acceptable to be a movie snob, and the holidays, when all the new video games come out. Unfortunately, there always seems to be a lot of pressure to complete the lists that inevitably form. I never get out to see all the movies I want to watch. I have never in my life seen all of the big Oscar nominees. I never have the time or disposable income to catch all the video games that are Game of the Year contenders.
The biggest problem that I have run into since I started working with Fanboy Comics is that I have started thinking about the things that I love. This has led to some depressing insights. For instance, I am pretty sure that G.I. Joe wasn’t a great show, and Voltron was probably almost as bad as Power Rangers. I am no longer much of a fan of superhero comics. (Don’t worry, Drew; Invincible still rocks my socks.) But, the thing that has given me the most heartache and distress has been the distance forming between me and Star Wars.
Brian Wood has fostered a reputation as a counter-culture comic creator. More Abbie Hoffman than R. Crumb, Wood seems to be interested in what happens after society has gotten out of the way of human nature. He has explored this with the excellent DMZ, which featured a new civil war, and in a slightly roundabout way with Channel Zero, where the characters willfully ignored a corrupt and broken society. Now, in The Massive, he shows what happens when the Earth has destroyed society as we know it.
I will now lightly spoil the SETTING of this comic!
Channel Zero is a lo-fi mixtape of a book. Written in the era of Giuliani’s war on crime in New York, this is a love letter to a dirty city. The video cameras are hulking monstrosities of VHS, pay phones are a thing that exists, and televisions have tubes. In the book, none of this feels old or retro; it just fits the story.
Dust jacket spoilers in the next paragraph.
BPRDHOETTOJHO, which shall be referred to as “THE COMIC” or “THE BOOK,” is everything I love in Mike Mignola’s work. It bounces back and forth between genuinely creepy and just weirdly funny.
The non spoilery version of this story goes something like this:
ME:H2 suffers from the same problems that ME:H1 did. For a brief exploration of what ME:H1 (still the worst acronym I have seen in a long time) did well and poorly, please read my review here. The second book was better, but with the same big caveat.
If you haven’t played the Mass Effect games, then don’t bother reading this.
If you sport a totally rad N7 hoodie, can tell a volus from an overweight quarian midget, or get any of these references, then this is a fun read. This issue tells some of the back story for one of my favorite crew members, Tali’zorah vas Normandy. Unlike James Vega, Tali’s pregame story has a chapter we already know about.
SPOILERS for the comic and also a little bit for a five-year-old game will occur in the next paragraph.
Jeremy Barlow’s Kult is a nightmarish urban fantasy that reminded me more of Clive Barker than anything else. The story follows Tomas Zenk as he enters the world underneath our own, where angels and demons struggle endlessly. Ignoring the fact that Tomas Zenk is just too perfect a name for a gritty urban fantasy, there are some cool things going on in this story.
While the reader never has enough information to understand everything that is happening, there is a real sense that much more is happening behind the scenes. There are several factions working against each other to change everything. I don’t want to make that any less vague, because of the spoilers. All of which will be in the next paragraph, light though they may be.
The Incredible Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy is a hoot.
Perhaps, the best way I can quickly and easily describe this book is to say that John Landis wrote the foreword to it.
The following is an interview with science fiction/fantasy writer Mark Teppo, whose recent interactive fiction project, The Mongoliad, joined a number of powerhouse authors including Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, and E.D. deBirmingham. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor Ben Rhodes talks with Teppo about the writing process for The Mongoliad, sword fighting via laptop, and the upcoming plans for further Mongoliad stories.
This interview was conducted on April 19, 2012.