Posts from 14th July 2008

Jul 08

Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Stretching the Superhero

The Brown Wedge10 comments • 1,151 views

Having mentioned ’60s superheroes, at Marvel and DC, and Alan Moore, I thought I’d talk about those who tried to take the genre somewhere else in past years.

Steve Gerber
It was Steve Gerber who got me back into comics in the ’70s, after dropping them when younger, and he’s still one of my two or three favourite comic writers ever. He wrote a swamp-monster comic called Man-Thing, making the stories about characters and issues rather than horror or superheroics. In an issue of the gloriously named Giant Size Man-Thing, an odd guest character appeared: Howard the Duck, a cynical and sardonic talking duck from another dimension. He proved popular enough to get his own title, in which he sneered about this world of talking apes and got involved in parodic superhero adventures. It was sometimes terrific satire, but also substantial human drama, with the quiet moments among the best. A great series, and there is a fine Essential collection.


It Only Works Because You’re Here – More MJ Hibbettage

FT1 comment • 188 views

WATCH THIS VIDEO. It’s a LOVE STORY. It’s like REMAINS OF THE DAY 2.0. The greatest love story ever blogged. erm, set against an epic backdrop of the deep south and the american civil war CSS standards compliancy and web-browser wars.

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time No. 40: Led Zeppelin – “Immigrant Song”

FT/4 comments • 1,010 views

When Jeff Wayne was hunting for a musical way to express the horror and chaos of a Martian invasion, it was to Led Zeppelin he turned. The synthesiser riff on “Horsell Common And The Heat Ray”, so evocative of war-blasted Wokingham and Chobham, is nothing more than the wordless chorus howl of “Immogrant Song”, slowed down a bit. To the Angles huddled in their sheepfolds on the North Sea coast, the attacking Norsemen must have seemed as terrifyingly other as the Martians, sharing their blind death-lust and effortless tech superiority.


I Was A Goblin: Keep Magic Live

FT3 comments • 615 views

Live role-playing is a great idea. YES IT IS. All the stuff 95% of gamesmasters are really terrible at – verbal scene setting, establishing who is where when, getting across the physicality of the gameworld (and, indeed, the physics) – dealt with at a stroke. No more having to find synonyms for “damp” or “shadowy”, no more arguing over who was at the back of the party when the bugbears attacked – and from the players’ point of view, no more having to depend on the whims of the referee. Live roleplaying (and now we’ve been introduced, let’s call it LRP) should be a shot of pure fantastic intensity – as close as you can get to that initial goal of the RPG hobby, a “let’s pretend” for grown-ups.

But. But but but.