J.C. Ciesielski, Fanbase Press Contributor

J.C. Ciesielski, Fanbase Press Contributor

There are images and sounds that immediately recall memories of one another. You see a black-and-white photo of a baseball mid flight, soaring out of the park, while a half-twisted Babe Ruth has yet to drop his bat and CRACK!, that noise of leather and wood embracing and separating at once springs to mind. You hear a song that played during a climactic point in a film, and you're suddenly envisioning it in your mind, possibly still wondering why Chewie got shafted out of a medal at the end of A New Hope. The combination of sight and sound is ageless, but, in print, it is much less frequent. Unless animated, the written word, with or without illustrations, rarely gets a soundtrack. The most recent combination that springs to mind is the album Haunted by songstress Poe that was developed as a companion piece to the surreal book House of Leaves written by her brother Mark Z. Danielewski. That was in 2000. Nothing else is jumping out at me. That is until Love & Monsters jumped into to my line of sight.

Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in. Adhering to the comment I made in my last The Final Plague review, recaps be damned (at least by them). The boys working with Action Lab aren't about to surmise what happened in previous issues, and, quite frankly, neither am I. Okay, I lied. The Final Plague tells a tale that, as partakers of most any media these day, we've seen a few times. The infected. Those that change from their original state of being to something else. Vampires, werewolves, zombies, fair weather fans of sports teams once they start doing well. The Final Plague skews from that well-worn material and spins it with something that hasn't been a real worry since the days of the Black Death. Infected animals. Jumping from one location to another across the fruited plain, we are shown that distance isn't a factor when it comes to these viral creatures . . . unless we find out in a future issue that the spreading of the virus has been happening longer than we have been shown to this point. We'll have to wait and see.

When I opened the shipping box from Buffalo Games, I saw an envelope with my name written on it laying on top of the contents. What's going on here? Is this a death threat (again) or a bribe to give the games a good review? No, merely a card with the Buffalo Games logo watermarked on the cover, and inside accompanying a business card was a hand-written note explaining the contents of the box and well wishes with an interest in hearing what I have to say about the 3 games included. I've never received such a gesture with a package of review games before and was touched and intrigued.

The following is an interview with JD Arnold, the writer of Action Lab: Danger Zone's comic book series, The Final Plague.  In this interview, Fanboy Comics Contributor J.C. Ciesielski talks with Arnold about how he got his start in comics, the struggles of balancing a comic book shop and his writing duties, and the inside scoop on his future comic book ventures.

This interview was conducted on June 27, 2013.


Charlie ChristmasArrested Development. It's not just the name of a TV show involving people saying, "I've made a huge mistake," or a '90s hip-hop band that sang about a man named Mr. Wendel who was apparently from Tennessee. It's actually the name of a condition where someone becomes psychologically and/or emotionally stunted. I'm not sure which came first, but I know that the latter applies to the main character in the film The Unusual (Calling of) Charlie Christmas.


The Final Plague 2Meanwhile, back on the ranch . . . When we last left off, a farmer and his family were having a smidge of a rodent problem. City folk react quite drastically when one makes an appearance in the home, but country folk know it's part and parcel of living in God's country. It's always an annoyance when the shine of their blood red eyes hastens your heartbeat for a moment or two. It's when they won't stay dead that it becomes more of a nuisance.


Facebook logo*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

On a Facebook Wall: "How do you think he would like it if I sat him between X and Y at our event? Ha!" 3 months later: "Hey guys, I can only private message and not post on my Wall because I've been banned from Facebook for the next 12 hours." It appears that if enough people disagree with your comments or opinion, all they need is enough people they can convince to report you, and the power trip can begin.

Strangled by StrangulationHave you ever been in a situation where someone is speaking a foreign language and, even though you can't understand the words, you get the basic gist of it from the manner in which it's conveyed? Wait, strike that, reverse it. That's what listening to Strangled by Strangulation is like. The manner is one thing, the context a complete other.


PandemicMany hands make light work. A saying that goes back a long way, but not nearly as long as sickness, I'm sure. Disease has always been the bane of mankind, striking fear into those that know the symptoms and not the cure. There must have been a caveman that correlated a cough with sickness. A caveman that paved the way for science to discover vaccines and treatments to battle the plagues that ravaged mankind. Of course, he probably took a more direct route to eliminate the spread of disease by clubbing the one that coughed to death. Cough drops wouldn't be invented for thousands of years, and an itchy throat is a real drag. But, getting the cougher backed into a corner and taking them down by oneself can be difficult. That's why many hands make light work. Fast forward a bit, and you get a game based on the history of illness, virus, and plague. You get Pandemic.


Night of the 80s undeadDude. DUDE! This party is going to be gnarly to the max! Like, totally tubular, like, no groady D-bags to C-block us, just, like, bodacious bods wall to wall up in our facials! So radical! I'm psyched!

In the years of my youth, this would not be an uncommon sentence to hear, especially if you were hanging out at the coolest place ever, the symbol of Reaganomics that was totally righteous, The Mall. Drop a few quarters at the arcade, cruise on some chicks at the food court, and, since you're already there, grab a burger served up in that most convenient of containers, styrofoam, sold by someone forced to wear a 6-inch large hat emblazoned with the establishment's logo. Rev up your Camero, it's time to roll. Just scrape the zombie brains off the car, bra, and take a chill pill. Frankie sez relax.

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