Opinions May Vary

Last time Bob joined us his comic collection was sitting somewhere around 95,000 unique books. That was a little over a year ago. He still holds the record for the largest comic collection in the world....but 95,000 is most definitely an outdated number. 95,000 is old news. 95,000 ain't nothin'.

Check out the episode to find out the new number. It's....impressive to say the least.

Also check out Bob's site comicspectrum.com because it is packed with useful information ranging from current solicits to tips on grading your comics. It has pretty much everything you need if you're looking for a site to learn about comics.

Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: 12.15.2015_Episode_197.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 6:40pm EST
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Here's part two of our chat with Micah from Beat Down Boogie! For those who missed out on part one all you have to do is check out last week's episode and you're good to go.

And for those who still haven't heard of Beat Down Boogie yet...here's a video they released just this morning. It'll give you a good idea of the brilliant content they produce.

Like what you see? Of course you do.

Want more? Click here, here, and here and give them some love.

-Jr.

Direct download: 12.10.2015_Episode_196.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 3:06pm EST
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Normally when we have guests on the show who aren't Joe, Colin, or Brett we'll give them the usual "yeah so we like to go for an hour or so if that's cool with you".  Most of the time we're pretty good about sticking to our time limit but there are those rare instances where once we get going we have trouble stopping (See: PAX East 2015 wrap-up)

This is one of those instances.

But trust me: It's 100% worth it and it's even split into two parts! That's right folks, it's double episode time. The next two weeks will be full of awesome as Alex, Brett, and I chat with Micah from Beat Down Boogie! Yes! You absolutely read that correctly!

Now that you've made it past all of my exclamation points take a look at these links and do the usual thing: Support good people who make rad things. You can do that by clicking here, here, or here.

Tune in next week for part two!

-Jr.

Direct download: 12.8.2015_Episode_195.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 4:34pm EST
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It has been an absurdly long time since we had Joe on and I almost feel like I have to apologize to all of our listeners for making you wait for so long.

Per usual...whenever Joe comes on there is typically one thing we talk about: Gaming. Sometimes it's just videogames, sometimes it's just tabletop. This week? All of the above and then some including Tales From The Borderlands, Slap .45, Secret Hitler and more. 

Essentially we're discussing all the things we've been having massive amounts of fun with over the past 2 months (or the entire year if we're talking Tales but trust me you'll hear plenty about that this week).

Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: 12.3.2015_Episode_194.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:08pm EST
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Ok, so I could do the normal thing and write about how awesome it is every time Matt comes on but at this point it's just going to come off as lame and repetitive so I'll do my best to avoid it.

No promises, though.

If you've heard any of Matt's previous episodes you'll know we're talking wrasslin'. We're talking indie wrasslin', professional wrasslin', classic wrasslin'. Pretty much every form of wrasslin'.

Speaking of indie wrestling: Alex and I made it out to the debut of UvT Wrestling in Enfield, CT a few months ago and I gotta say it was a blast. Seeing as my only prior experience at wrestling shows was a taping of RAW back in 3rd grade...I really had no idea what to expect. We get into more detail in the episode but seriously if you're looking for a fun night out and something a little different you might want to look into your local wrestling scene. For those folks in our area you should hit up these accounts on the Twitter. They'll have all the details you need to hunt down a show:

@PVPwrestling

@UVTwrestling

@FutureHeavies

@ComicHypnosis

-Jr.

Direct download: 11.24.2015_Episode_193.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:09am EST
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Alex and I have yet to even attempt to attend Rhode Island Comic Con. Personally my wallet is still aching from NYCC last month. And Alex...well, let's just say he's not exactly on their "Nice List". Luckily we have friends who make the trip every year and are more than eager to tell us about it. Like Ken!

Remember Ken? He came on last year with Jess and took part in what went down as the most expletive filled episode we've ever recorded (including the "Ragefeld" episode from wayyy back). If you go back and listen to it be sure to pop some headphones on or something. Maybe make your peace with God, too. Just to be safe.

Anyway. Ken is back after making the haul to the smallest state in the country and it's time for us to find out if RICC has learned anything about running a convention.

Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: 11.18.2015_Episode_192.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:12pm EST
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"The Girl in the Basement" holds a special place in my heart.

Not only is it the first campaign I ever backed on Kickstarter but it's also a project that some of my closest friends have been working on for 2 years now. We've had Kt on a couple times to give us updates; Director Jared and Producer Bob have both joined us once or twice each time feeding us little details on how the movie was coming along. Hell, I even get to record a podcast every week with the makeup designer and special effects expert (That's Alex, btw).

So you can understand my excitement when I get to say that the time has finally come and the film is making its premier.

Care to see a trailer to pique your interest?? Click here.

Now I know what you're thinking: "Where in the world can I see this film!?!?"

Answer: It's called the Short Film Showcase in Greenfield, MA. It will be a night of short films made by independent filmmakers headlined by the premier of "The Girl in the Basement". Click here for more info.

Seeing as the event is literally right around the corner we understand there's a chance you might not be able to make it. Never fear: There will be other ways of checking out the flick and you won't even have to do anything illegal. I'll update with more details soon.

-Jr.

Direct download: 11.10.2015_Episode_191.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:18pm EST
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This episode is a continuation to an episode we did back in September. It was just one of those conversations that had to end...but we didn't want it to end. So we kept it going.

This week we're finishing the tales of our comic origins.  *DRAMATIC MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS THAT HEIGHTEN THE MOOD*

Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: Episode_181_Pt_2.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 7:53pm EST
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If you've ever been to Six Flags New England in Agawam, MA during the Halloween season it's almost guaranteed that you've seen/heard/saw people running from Milta. She's what one might call a Local Legend with an amazing library of spooky, scary, and downright disturbing characters at her disposal. She has an incredible ability to not only make you feel comfortable in a world of horror...but scare the living daylights out of you moments later.  Naturally we'd be doing the world a disservice if we never asked her to join us on the show and cap off an amazing month of spectacular spooky-ness.

Who knows. Maybe we'll just keep going with it.

Happy Halloween everyone!

-Jr.

Direct download: 10.29.2015_Episode189.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 10:01am EST
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The spoopy-ness continues this week!

Tune in for more spooky, scary talks of horror movies, haunted attractions and um....bodily functions.

Not joking.

Our guest is Jaime of Stone Dead FX and she's a special effects/make up artist currently making scary things for Barrett's Haunted Mansion in Abington, MA.

You don't want to miss it!

-Jr.

Direct download: 10.21.2015_Episode_188.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 8:45pm EST
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We were only there for a day and almost a week later I'm still exhausted.

That's what NYCC does to you...in the best way possible.

I'm not exactly sure what makes it so tiring. Maybe it's waking up at 5 in the morning and not going to sleep until after midnight with 6 hours of driving and a full day at the largest convention in North America.

Or it could be the non-stop sensation of meeting all of your favorite artists and creators in the same place within hours of each other.

Maybe it's the shoulder-to-shoulder, in-your-face, crank it up to 11 show floor full of toys, books, games and media specifically designed to grab your attention and refuse to let go.

Honestly it could be any or all of the above. All I know for sure is that NYCC is an experience like no other that's almost impossible to try and describe.

But hey. Vicky came on this week and the three of us gave it our best to do just that.

Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: 10.14.2015_Episode_187.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:14pm EST
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Tonight's episode was really, really fun.

Like. Probably in my top 10.

Originally we had planned on talking about scary movies and attending NYCC this coming weekend. We eventually got there...but the first half of the show was all about spooky, scary stuff.

And it was fantastic.

Props to Jon for always being a great guest and shout out to my man Alex for the excellent choice in ambient music. (For those wondering he found the track by Peder B. Helland on YouTube.)

Time to attempt to get more than 2 hours of sleep before spending the day in New York City.

Until next week!

-Jr.

Direct download: 10.8.2015_Episode_186.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:37pm EST
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Our guests this week are responsible for this:

DD

I mean. It's mildly terrifying. And by mildly I mean absolutely. And that was taken during the daytime. Could you imagine seeing that at night? With people around doing everything in their power to scare the literal piss out of you?

Sounds awesome.

If you agree that it is indeed awesome you can go see their work for yourself. While that facade is down in Long Island there's still plenty around here locally for you scream at. Check out our chat with Kyle and Cara for some details on where you can voluntarily have people scare you so hard you'll regret leaving your house. 

-Jr.

Direct download: 9.30.2015_Episode_185.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 3:14pm EST
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It was said multiple times that we thought last year's Hartford Comic Con would be the one and only. You know, one of those shows that just kind of appears, happens, then its never heard from again. We had a good time last year and got to introduce some friends to their first comic con experience but we figured there was a slim chance the show would be back again. Every now and then it's nice to be wrong.

Show

Hartford Comic Con made us into liars and returned once more to the state capitol to put on a neat little comic/celebrity show. While it's evident the show is still in its infancy you can't really find much to complain about when it's a 10 minute drive down the road. Price of admission/parking was pretty standard and within reason for a show of this size. If you know what you're looking for you can definitely get your money's worth. However the lack of superstar names could have caused some early departures with those who saw the entire floor and got bored/ran out of things to do.

comics

With a wide variety of celebrity guests, a gaming area and cosplay contest with a decent prize pool there was something for everyone. My favorite part? The comics, of course. Being a "comic con" there's no shortage of long boxes full of back issues and wall racks loaded with valuable (albeit over-priced) key books. At other shows like NYCC and Boston it's easy to get lost in sketch hunting but for some reason when I'm in HCC all I want to do is spend my time thumbing through old books and haggling prices (even if Alex does most of the haggling). It just has that old fashioned comic con vibe that never gets old.

stacks

gaming

bags

Hartford Comic Con's sophomore year seemed to be an overall success. Guests were in good spirits, the cosplay was out in full force and all the creators we spoke with were all enjoying their weekend. While it was far from a mind-blowing show packed with famous artists/celebrities it was still a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon with your friends. While some may not be able to justify spending money on a show that you can fully see within an hour or so, others see it as another opportunity beef up their collections, chat with creators and just have a good time at a comic con.

baron

Sounds like a good time to me.

-Jr.

Direct download: 9.23.2015_Episode_184.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 2:55pm EST
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It finally happened.

We managed to track down the ever elusive Ryan Vella so he could tell us about his experiences at the League of Legends North American Championship Series at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Video games. Being played at an insanely competitive level. At Madison Square Garden.

It's a beautiful time to be alive.

-Jr.

Direct download: 9.17.2015_Episode_183.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 8:28pm EST
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Just Alex and me this week.

Per usual we ended up talking about comics the entire time. Lots of origins: How we got into comics as well as some of our favorite stuff. To be quite honest it's probably my favorite "Just Alex and Jr" episode that we've done. That Alex. He's a cool guy. I like talking to him.

Next weekend brings the 2nd annual Hartford Comic Con. We'll be there. A bunch of talented people will be there. If you're in the New England area you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not attending. It's one of those shows thats still relatively new...but it shows a lot of promise. Plus its good prep for the upcoming juggernaut that is New York Comic Con. I'm already exhausted just thinking about it. It's going to be.....pretty awesome.

Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: 9.12.2015_Episode_182.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 8:01pm EST
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We had two deputies from The Hero Army on this week.

Doesn't that sound absolutely terrifying???

No worries, though. If you weren't aware The Hero Army is an ever expanding group of cosplayers whose main mission is to "innovate, design, and amaze". In other words they're super talented people who get together at shows, charities, and fundraisers so people can have a great time hanging out with super heroes. Chances are if you've been to a show in the New England area you've probably seen at least one or two of them.

If you're lucky you might have even seen a familiar looking Mandarin tagging along...

Click HERE to check out their website and click PLAY at the top of the page to listen to Joe and Sam chat with us. It's that simple.

-Jr.

Direct download: 9.5.2015_Episode_181.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 10:23pm EST
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It's beginning to get to the point where I'm terrified whenever Matt joins us. For one thing whenever he comes on the end result is a really, really good show. Both of his previous appearances have been huge for us not only for listenership but also for pure entertainment value. They're fun as hell and I always learn something. The amount of "dude, great episode" texts I get after every Matt episode is staggering.

Which is starting to freak me out. Surely there's no way a third episode can ever compete with the first two. I mean, our intro to Matt on episode 151 was just an educational clinic on the local wrestling scene. Then when he came back on 165 he left my jaw on the ground after telling one of the most unbelievable stories I've ever heard. (Seriously. It involves Jake the Snake Roberts and you are a fool if you haven't heard it yet.) I mean, how could it be possible to continue a streak like that? Even the Undertaker isn't perfect.

But us? Right now? We're 3 for 3.

And maybe a little arrogant but hey, we think if you dug the first two times Matt joined us then you will definitely want to be all up on this one. The best part? There's more to come. Survivor Series is but 3 months away and you can bet your bottom that Matt will be back to try and convince Alex that Brock Lesnar isn't a worthless pile of muscles. (Probably never going to happen...but it's something that's always beautiful to watch.)

Until next time.

-Jr.

 

Direct download: 8.25.2015_Episode_180.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 7:39pm EST
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Join us this week to listen to three grown men talk about Looney Tunes for 40 minutes. It is 100% worth your time.

-Jr.

Direct download: 8.22.2015_Episode_179.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:23pm EST
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Whoever invented watercolor is a real dick.

Is something I would have said back in 7th grade while attempting to paint the lamest tree ever put on paper.

It's no secret that I'm terrible at art. Just awful. The literal worst. But when it comes to mixing water into little circles of color and using that new color-water to paint on to paper....it just amplifies my lack of talent to a completely new level. A level that should be considered torture for anyone who is forced to gaze upon the results. I can't even tell if that last part made sense...but you get where I'm going with it.

Anyway, if you've ever read any of these posts you can probably guess where I'm going with this. This week's guest is an artist we met last week at the Boston Comic Con named Tony Moy and he's what they call "awesome" when it comes to painting...particularly when it comes to watercolor. Seriously. Look at this stuff. It's insane. He even did an insane Magneto for Alex that you can check out in our BCC photo gallery.

If you're digging what you're seeing....have a listen to this week's episode. If you dig what you hear...check out Tony's table at a convention near you. (Hint: He's going to be at NYCC in two months. You're welcome)

Hope ya'll enjoy.

-Jr.

Direct download: 8.13.2015_Episode_178.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 10:03pm EST
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It's that time of the year again. That one beautiful weekend in August where we make the trip to the lovely city of Boston and set up shop for three days at the one and only Boston Comic Con. This is our 6th year in a row attending the show and our 3rd year tabling and like a fine wine (whatever that tastes like...) the show only gets better with age. SignThis year's show was both exciting and nerve-racking for me. On the one side many of my absolute favorite creators were in attendance and I had the opportunity to sit and have some fantastic conversations with them. But on the other side sat the feeling of "Man. This is expensive." With shows like BCC that are constantly growing one of the downsides is increasing ticket prices. It's a bummer. But at the end of the day I guess it's a necessary evil. Still, it sucks. The weird part was when we finally walked into the convention center for the first time on Friday. All those shitty feelings of regret and spending too much money? They were gone. I was at comic con with my people and I was going to have a great time.

BKAMWe did the table thing again this year. Of course that means we were side-by-side with the legend himself Brett Kelley all weekend. I mean come on. Look at that face. That's the face of a man who is ready to melt people's souls with incredible works of art (at insanely reasonable prices, I might add). And believe me when I say that this year Brett cranked out some of the best work I've ever seen from him. Including a giant evil robot for our pal Tom Franck.

Tom

I'm barely scratching the surface of all we saw and did at BCC this year. Luckily we have an entire episode devoted to talking about the rest of it! Of course I can't end this without thanking everyone who came by our table and said hi, all those who even glanced in our general direction, and our ever loyal pal Joe for once again holding down our table when we were wandering off and promoting our show better than we ever could. You are all the greatest and really make this trip worth it. Now look at some more pictures!

-Jr.

AV

joe

row

Direct download: 8.4.2015_Episode_177.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 1:30pm EST
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Hey.

It's currently 12:10 in the morning and we have to leave for Boston Comic Con in t-minus not a lot of hours.

So I'm gonna keep this short for now.

We talk about videogames, pokemon, and Boston Comic Con this week. Joe joined us. It was super chill.

We hope you absolutely love it. For those who are going to be at Boston this weekend, stop by table D414 and say hi and snag a neat pin.

You'll love it.

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.30.2015_Episode_176.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:13am EST
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Longtime listeners of the show might recall the last time Tom was our guest. After meeting him at the 2014 Boston Comic Con it was evident from the get-go that Tom was a great dude with some brilliant ideas for putting on shows at conventions. See, for me it can be standard practice to write off panels at certain conventions especially when they're just "Q+A with Celebrity A" and "Q+A with Celebrity B". The fact of the matter is 99% of the time I just don't care about that kind of stuff.

However.

Sometimes at shows you get the good stuff. The fresh and original stuff doesn't make you regret losing hours of valuable show floor browsing time. The kind of show that makes you declare "I need to see that!" after reading about it in the program. If you haven't guessed it by now I'm talking about Tom's shows: Comics & Comics and Sketch Fighter. Join us this week to learn all about Tom and his brand of comic themed comedy shows and be sure to check them out at a convention near you. (Like Boston Comic Con. Next week. Do it.)

Oh, and while I'm at it. Did I mention Boston Comic Con is next weekend? For those wondering: The answer is Yes. We're totally tabling again this year. This will be our third year in a row rocking a table with the incredible Brett Kelley and with each passing day our excitement grows tenfold (maybe even twelvefold). If you're in the area, specifically the World Seaport Trade Center in Boston next weekend, stop by table D414 and say Hi! We'll have pins for sale and Brett will be doing his arts in exchange for various amounts of moneys. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say "It's gonna be somewhat of a good time." Don't miss out!

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.21.2015_Episode_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EST
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Going to conventions typically means traveling. Trying out new conventions typically means even more traveling. Things like gas, hotels, ticket prices, parking, and food all add up quickly and can easily turn what was supposed to be a fun adventure into a stressful (and financially painful) endeavor. If you're not careful most of your finances could be easily pissed away before you even step inside the convention center leaving you with massive feelings of regret and a massively empty wallet.

Outside
But what about those conventions that are happening in your metaphorical "back yard"? You know, the ones that don't take 3 hours of travel time. The ones that don't require spending hundreds of dollars just so you have a place to sleep. Depending on where you live finding one that's worth it might be tough but for us Connecticut-ians...ConnectiCon is the one for us.

cosplay
If we were to only discuss the matter of convenience ConnectiCon would absolutely be my favorite convention of the year. It's a 15 minute drive with reasonable parking costs in a beautiful area of Hartford. It's in a massive convention center that's easy to navigate with plenty of areas for photo-ops and hanging out. It's just easy and it's great.

photos
I know I tend to gush in these write-ups but don't get me wrong: ConnectiCon isn't perfect. Ticket prices can run a bit high for casual con-goers and the show can quickly turn stale if you show up without a plan. If you're nervous this might happen to you just take your time and do some research. The best part about ConnectiCon is there's something for everyone. You just might have to look for it.

saf
If you haven't guessed it yet; this week's episode is all about our experiences at ConnectiCon last week. Overall we had a great time again (with some hiccups along the way...) and we're already looking forward to next year. Do us a favor and check it out? Our full photo album can be found here. Maybe if you like it we'll see you there next year!

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.16.2015_Episode_174.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 1:49pm EST
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By Alex

Being a geek is becoming more and more popular, there are more conventions and events springing up all the time and I wanted to check out a new one nearby. This was MASSive Cons first year, and it's named implications are hopefully a look at it's evolution and things to come. It's not Massive yet, but it has potential.  It had the normal show floor featuring artists, vendors, celebrity guests and other things such as the featured cars. But also, and some events have been doing this for a while, is additional rooms not just for panels but for gaming. There was the board game tryout/rental room, and the videogame room with different consoles and tournament on the projector screen.

art
Our resident artist Brett Kelley accompanied me on the trip and after years together we're still teaching each other. Such as "How come when I go to
Worcester, I'm on big streets and there is never any traffic, but then I go to Thats Entertainment or the halloween store or Ralphs and it's a mess."
"We're in the financial district and it's a sunday."
"oh... right. makes sense."

Rob!

  It was cool having Brett on the outside of the tables for a change, he hasn't gone to a show as an attendee in a long time. And him and Ransom Getty were chatting like old pals, I don't know if I would've gotten as much out of him.  
Ransom --"I got hired by DC to do the relaunch of Suicide Squad for the new 52, there was a crazy deadline and they said 'you work fast right?' and I said 'Have you seen Guarding the Globe?'" and we all laughed.

kyle

 Overall, from just going on sunday, this was not an all-day event for us. We got there once the doors had been open for a couple hours and we had done everything we wanted with an hour it ended.
I see conventions as an experience outside of my normal life. While it's nice to provide table top and video games, it's not the reason I came here. People certainly do spend time putting them to use, but I can be an old curmudgeon who has games to play at home. Show me more art. It's easier to approach the artist who has their head down drawing than it is to approach the actress who is reading the newspaper.

james c

In the episode I give props to the organizers who kept the fans informed in many ways. It was Brett that sent me the post where they explain all they tried to do to get Richard Dreyfuss back, their Red Shirts (volunteers/staff) were accommodating and on the ball. Recalling the effectiveness of the Red Shirts is what swayed my grade from the C+ I was going to give it up to a B-.

 I've left a lot out here because I cover lots more on this episode, more than I planned. We bumped a topic which has never ever happened before in the history of this podcast.

Direct download: 7.8.2015_Episode_173.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:10pm EST
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I'm not a man of many talents. I'm more a man of many averages. I'm an average gamer, I'm an average writer, I'm an average athlete (Those 3 times a year when I manage to get outside). It's just a fact and I've made my peace with it. But if I were to decide upon one thing of which I'm absolutely below average...it would be art. I can't draw. I can't paint. My stick figures are frequently offended by their very existence. I'd love to be able to say I've made my peace with this as well but art has always been that one skill that I wish I had.

Luckily I have a podcast that gives me an excuse to interview people who have no shortage of artistic talent and Xela is one of them. Being an artist who excels at Magic Card Altering, Xela is a pro when it comes to expanding and elaborating. Her work is so detailed that only those with a sharp eye will even be able to spot the difference between the original art and her alterations. That's talent. Talent that I will never have.

*sigh*

Aside from listening to us talk to her for an hour this week, you can also check out her YouTube channel where she posts time-lapse videos of card alterations. While you're at it go give her Facebook page a "Like" and maybe follow her on Twitter?

Did I mention she's on Instagram, too?

No?

She's on Instagram too. Check it out. Dig the episode. See ya'll next week.

-Jr.

Direct download: 7.2.2015_Episode_172.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:48am EST
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By Joe

 

The short answer: it’s better than Episode 2, not quite as good as Episode 1.  If you like Borderlands or Telltale games, I’m saying this for the third time: go buy it immediately.  

 

We find ourselves at the midpoint of Tales from the Borderlands with Episode 3: Catch a Ride!  There’s this inherent problem that most Telltale games because of their episodic nature, that you have to try and remember what happened… Tales takes the Borderlands introduction convention and utilizes it perfectly to catch up while being funny at the same time.

Table

The two biggest concerns from the last episode were the short sequences/game length overall, and the very minimal "game play" that occurred – there was only one sequence of puzzling, and very little action.  Have they been fixed?  The answer is a resounding, “mostly!”.  From a content perspective, there is a ton of game here.  I played it once, and then watched someone else play it immediately after - there are entire other sequences nestled that you will never see, jokes that will go unheard, and items that may not be found.  The writing is still on point (Anthony Burch, writer of Borderlands 2, mentioned that he put in an assist on this episode, and it shows).

Jungle

Most Telltale games are action-free, but there was an awesome action sequence in the first episode that has spoiled me and left me wanting for more - this episode delivers, but in a way that is a bit choppy and jarring.  Having said that, there is a fair amount of puzzling and exploring in this version, which helps quite a bit.  The tension of wanting to be able to act more works well with the game - you aren’t a crazy powerful Vault Hunter in the main series, and the frustration of being a technician or con artist in a murder world is felt throughout.

 

The character work is really where Telltale games have stood out for me in the past, and we get this again.  Loaderbot has been a breakout character since Episode 1, and his involvement has only increased by giving him another well-written character to play off of (minimizing spoilers here, as it makes for a great reveal).  And while the lip syncing is criminal, there are some really clever dialogue trees and body language reactions that help flesh out the characters, their relationships, and how you choose to play them.

Gortys

A special shout out has to be given to the folks who keep finding and creating the excellent soundtrack to this series, as well as the geniuses that do the music video openings.  Music that elicits laughter is far too rare, and gives a subtle indication as to how deep the humor talent well goes at Telltale.

 

It is worth noting some criticism.  It is common now that Telltale episodic games feature some rough lip syncing and game-crippling glitches, and I did have one load screen freeze out on me with buzzing music.  It makes you close down and you only lose a few minutes, but still - frustrating.  And as a general criticism of the point-and-click adventure genre, these aren’t games that are going to be pushing you to the limits of your reflexes or hand-eye coordination.  However, there is enough here where you are instead being assessed on your judgement and what’s important to you.  It's a mental, social, and emotional engagement.  And when your avatars are a nerd and a street urchin, that makes for an engaging experience.


OVERALL: 8.5/10

Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:00am EST
Comments[1]

Let's go back in time 3.5 years.

If you told me that doing OMV week in and week out would lead to me having the opportunity to talk to some of my favorite artists and creators I would have laughed right in your face. Like a lot. A lot of laughing. In and around your face. To the point where you probably wouldn't want to talk to me anymore.

This week I got to talk to one of my favorite artists/creators.

Taylor Wells is is an LSU grad who currently resides in New Orleans rocking a sweet gig doing design and quality control over at teeVillain. She's also the colorist on a comic book called Chew.

Yep.

For those unfamiliar....go back and listen to pretty much any of our episodes and there's a very good chance you'll hear me gushing about my love for Chew. It's pretty shameless and I regret nothing.

Anyway. Despite having one hell of an ankle injury Taylor was kind enough to chat with us for a bit and regaled us with tales about landing your dream job and how to avoid buying a haunted house. Seriously. Apparently there are a lot of them down there.

While you listen to me enter fanboy mode for an hour be sure to check out Taylor's work. You can find some of it by clicking these links and also by picking up Chew every month. It's the best $2.99 you'll spend all month and it'll only leave you with slight emotional scarring! What a deal!

-Jr.

Direct download: 6.25.2015_Episode_171.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:47pm EST
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You'd think after 170 episodes we'd be running out of ways to change things up. You'd think doing the same thing every single week for the past 3 years would get stale and eventually just turn into the same old recycled garbage.

Luckily I work with Alex. And now we have something completely different from anything you've heard from us in the past. Our guest this week isn't a professional in the comics world. She's not a film director nor is she a record holder.

She's 10.

Her name is Megan. She's 10 years old and reads comics, watches cartoons, and is a wizard on her smartphone. (She's also Alex's niece and she was cool enough to delay her date with Alex's pool for a few minutes while we talked with her.) Don't let Megan's age fool you, though. The wisdom of a 10 year old is a welcome refreshment in a world where anyone with WiFi can tear you down in a matter of seconds. 

We also talk the joys of the last day of school. Remember that feeling? Those were the days. Oh, and cartoons. We talk cartoons, too.

-Jr.

Direct download: 6.19.2015_Episode_170.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:47am EST
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Welcome back!

We have a real treat for you all this week as we're joined by the creators of Kyrra: Alien Jungle Girl! That's right: Craig Rousseau and Rich Woodall joined us via Skype and even let us ask them some questions while recording it all in the process. How neat is that??

Longtime fans may remember when we had Rich on our show this past December but for those who might not be familiar with Craig he's a New England based artist who has done work for both Marvel and DC and he's also the co-creator of The Perhapanauts (Which, believe it or not, actually has a Kickstarter going at this very minute. Check it out!)

If you're ever at a convention in the New England area do yourself a favor and hunt these guys down. Supporting good people who make good stuff is what we're all about and I can assure you these dudes are good. (They also make cool stuff. That's a pretty neat bonus.)

Until next week!

-Jr.

Direct download: 6.10.2015_Episode_169.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 6:11pm EST
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I know what you're thinkin'.

You're thinkin' "man I'd love to hear 3 grown men discuss their current gripes with the comics industry for the better part of an hour...then get sidetracked by talking about the best movie released this year."

I'll just leave this episode right here for you to enjoy.

-Jr.

Direct download: 6.6.2015_Episode_168.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 5:13pm EST
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What do you get when you combine YouTube, videogames, walkthroughs, lets plays and daily doses of delicious coffee?

You get Cory Missildine.

Cory is gamer/YouTuber currently on the hunt to catch the mythical 1,000th subscriber. (For the record, I believe OMVPodast was Subscriber #903, no big deal.) While you listen to the three of us talk about videogames and malfunctioning computers head on over to his YouTube channel and help him in his quest to hit quad-subscriber digits. Maybe even leave a comment or two on a video? Just don't mention Goat Simulator....You don't want to open that can of worms.

Now I gotta bail and go watch Kung Fury for the 15th time before I spend the next 12 hours playing Splatoon. (You think I'm joking...but I'm not.) Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: 5.27.2015_Episode_167.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:32pm EST
Comments[1]

There's a certain question that always has a slightly different answer regardless of who you ask.

"What is Steampunk?"

To some it's simply "like, you know....old stuff with gears and rayguns and goggles." And techincally they're not wrong. A bit vague, maybe. But it's a sufficient answer for some people.

To others, however, it's far more than that. Some see it as a way to escape the normal day-in, day-out routines that we're all so accustomed to. Some see it as a business opportunity and are able to make a career out of creating/selling various Steampunk accessories and whatnot. Then there's people like myself who see it as a vessel for experiencing new and different things. Some of my favorite bands and most memorable performances came out of Steampunk events and it frightens me to think about all the things I could have missed out on had I just decided to stay home.

What is Steampunk? The truth is I don't really care. What I care about is having a good time with my friends, meeting new people, and watching incredible performances. That sounds like a suitable definition to me.

-Jr.

Direct download: 5.20.2015_Episode_166.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 4:43pm EST
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If I were to try to count how many times Joe has saved our asses while doing this show I'd probably need around 30 extra limbs.

Maybe 40.

So when it was announced that a local theater group Joe is a part of launched a Kickstarter for their production of "Evil Dead: The Musical" it was an absolute no brainer that we had to have him come on and talk about it. See, we here at OMV are no strangers to shameless promotion. Hell, anyone who has been on our show will tell you that we encourage it. One of our pre-show rituals is "ok so we'll make sure to leave some time for you to plug anything and everything you're doing." At the end of the day we're just two dudes who are on a mission to tell you all about the neat shit we encounter.

Evil Dead: The Musical is neat shit.

Take a look at the Kickstarter promo video and see for yourself:

I mean seriously.

I practically hurled my wallet through my computer. You don't necessarily have to do the same thing but even throwing a couple bucks their way would be a huge help. Check out the episode. Listen to Joe talk all about shredding Deadites with chainsaws. Then click HERE and maybe help a group of people far more talented than me put on their dream show. 

Hail to the King, Baby.

-Jr.

Direct download: 5.21.2015_JVA_One_Shot.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:48pm EST
Comments[1]

Before you spend the next hour of your life listening to three dudes talk about professional wrestling you should go back and listen to Matt's first appearance from episode 151. Click here to do that. 

Done?

Fantastic.

Now you get to do it again! Despite still not knowing hardly anything about the current state of professional wrestling these episodes are quickly turning into some of my favorite ones we've ever produced. It's just fun. I used to shit on anyone over the age of 17 who was into wrestling and I'm quickly realizing how much of a douche I was for all those years. I spend hundreds of dollars every year on paper books full of people in spandex fighting bad guys. Really it's not much different only in wrestling it's real people putting their real bodies on the line on a weekly basis in front of thousands of real screaming people.

Anyway, join us this week as Matt updates us on all things wrestling both professional and independent. Be sure to stick around to the end to hear a really rad story about a legend taking someone to school. You won't want to miss this one.

-Jr.

Direct download: 5.8.2015_Episode_165.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 10:27pm EST
Comments[0]

Our annual trip to The Steampunk World's Fair is but a week away. If you're new to the show you'll quickly realize this is one of the key events of the year for us...probably in the Top 3.

Don't believe me?

You'll find some evidence here when we interviewed Nicole of The Devil's Darkroom. Or here when we had a quick chat with Jeff Mach himself (the man who runs the event).

Still not sold?

Hopefully this week's episode will fix that problem. Our guest is none other than Babette Daniels aka Babs Who Takes Pictures. She's the official photographer of The Steampunk World's Fair and is the woman responsible for taking some of the most captivating steampunk photos you'll ever see. (Like this. Look at that guy. He's just a big ball of fantastic. He's also Brett Kelley so I'm kind of biased.)

Click here to take a look at some of Babs' work and click here to check out her Facebook page. Also, if you plan on attending SPWF 2015 you'll be able to see Babs during her panel or you can even schedule some time with her to do a personal photo shoot. Don't delay! Time is running out!

Hopefully we'll see you all in Jersey next weekend.

-Jr.

Direct download: 5.7.2015_Episode_164.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 5:18pm EST
Comments[0]

FCBD

I mean...does it get any better? I can't think of many things that make me happier than the concept of free comic books. Never heard of FCBD, you say? Well good news: Jon joined us this week to help us educate you on some Do's and Don'ts of this yearly celebration.

I still remember my first Free Comic Book Day like it was yesterday...From the outside my local shop looked like it did on any other business day. But when I entered I was greeted by words like "free" and "comics"...both in the same sentence! Free comics? Comics that cost $0? What joy! There must be a catch...this must be too good to be true. But no! I was directed to a special display full of a variety of comics...all free...and was told I could have one of each. You know that phrase "Kid in a candy shop"? Yeah. Imagine that only it's a Twenty-something year old with little to no dignity when it comes to discounted comic merch. A short while later (after browsing the discounted trade section) I emerged from the shop with an armful of merch ready to spend the rest of my day diving into worlds both new and familiar. And it was glorious.

If you're not sure your local comic shop is participating you can go here to find out or to find other local retailers that might be willing to give you some free stuff, too. It's fun. It's free. Go support a local business on a (hopefully) beautiful Saturday afternoon.

-Jr.

Direct download: 4.30.2015_Episode_163.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:47am EST
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Ever wonder what it's like to hear 3 grown-ups talk about Daredevil for an hour and a half?

Today is your lucky day.

Oh, it gets pretty spoilery right away. If you don't want anything ruined it's best to watch all 13 episodes of Daredevil first.

-Jr.

Direct download: 4.24.2015_Episode_162.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 4:27pm EST
Comments[0]

Our guest this week is the man responsible for putting on one of the greatest events I've ever attended: The one and only Jeff Mach.

For those that might not know; Jeff and his company Jeff Mach Events are the people behind gatherings such as The Steampunk World's Fair, Wicked Faire, Voltaire's Necrocomiccon and many more. Seriously. The amout of events JME runs per year is nothing short of mind blowing.

You'd think someone with that amout of pressure to consistently raise the bar when it comes to running events would have to be one hard bastard...but it's quite the contrary. Jeff is a soft spoken, humble person who just wants to give people a place to be entertained and have a good time. And as a three-time veteran of various JME shows I can say without a doubt that they pull it off beautifully.

I owe Jeff and his crew a huge thanks not only for running great shows but for introducing me to so many new things like:

  • Frenchy & The Punk
  • The Folks Below/HUMANWINE
  • Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band
  • Nicole and The Devil's Darkoom
  • Professor Mark P. Donnelly
  • Super Art Fight

Just to name a few. Seriously. If you're ever in the New York/New Jersey area and you hear of a JME show coming to town...check it out. The worst that can happen is you'll see a gigantic robot or two standing guard as people engage in parasol duels.

-Jr.

Direct download: 4.16.2015_Episode_161.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 2:08pm EST
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The last time I had been to Anime Boston I was in an entirely different time in my life. It was 2005, and I was a lowly high school student. At that point, I was obsessed with anime and all things Japanese. Endlessly watching shows and picking up manga at the nearest Barnes & Noble. When I had gone then, it was with my closest group of friends. And we had all cosplayed for the occasion. We were obsessed from the get-go. Seeing waves of characters we had loved being cosplayed and coming up to us and the photo shoots and the merchandise and the panels and events and celebrities - all of it was overwhelming in the most perfect sense of the word. Now it's years later. I see only half of that group of friends, and even them sporadically. But when I made my triumphant return to Anime Boston, I was immediately brought back to that time. I was overcome with a sense of nostalgia. And though I wasn't with my best friends, it certainly felt like I was coming home after a long respite.

I hope to make it back to that beautiful chaos again next year. This time with a new batch of friends. And we can laugh and wax poetic over Gundams and Zoids until we all collapse under pocky and wall scrolls.

Yosh - Colin

Direct download: 4.7.2015_Episode_160.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:54am EST
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Disclaimer: Before listening to this episode you should probably watch the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Click *here* to take care of that.

If you're concerned that we talked about Mad Max: Fury Road for an hour I wouldn't blame you. No worries, though, as we actually managed to talk about other things this week in addition to Mad Max: Fury Road. Some of the things were even somewhat serious with facts and opinions supporting them. We did eventually talk about Mad Max: Fury Road, though. So if you're just tuning in to hear us discuss Mad Max: Fury Road you might want to skip to about 40 minutes in. The Mad Max: Fury Road good-ness is ready and waiting for you.

-Jr.

Direct download: 4.3.2015_Episode_159.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:21pm EST
Comments[0]

I think there have been a total of three times where I've gone to my local comic shop on new comic book day and walked out empty handed. I read enough different stories that on any given week I'll usually walk out with 3-7 solid books.....last week, however, was one of those rare and horrible times.

After greeting my comic provider with a chipper "...hey man" I walked over to my pull file to find a few books eager for me to purchase them. Sadly, both books that had been set aside for me were stories that I'd recently dropped yet it had slipped my mind to actually remove them from my pull list. "No worries" I thought. There will be a few random titles waiting for me on the new racks.

Alas. This was not the case.

The racks provided only disappointment. Every "New This Week" sign was displaying titles I don't read, don't recognize, or don't like. With depression beginning to set in I turned to the trade racks in hopes that I'd find something to hold me over for at least a few days. It only took but a minute...but I soon found the perfect one: 
trade
Where do I start with this? This book is just. Friggin'. Awesome.

Most people already know the premise and whenever I try to pitch the book to someone I always get the same response: "Oh yeah that's where they like bang and stop time or whatever." And they're not wrong. But they kinda are...because there's so much more to the book than that. It's like if you were trying to describe Batman and stopped at "He's a rich kid with dead parents" without ever mentioning him dressing up like a bat.

Yeah the book is full of sex and sex jokes and sex innuendo and sexual imagery (making it perfect for someone with a juvenile sense of humor like myself) but it's also about love and being a fucked up person dealing with being in love. What really impresses me is how well the book transitions back and forth between a serious story of two people dealing with crippling dilemmas and dick jokes. If you asked me the balance is perfect. The issues the main characters face are problems that most of us can relate to: financial stress, hating the workplace, etc. So when you're reading Sex Criminals you might start to feel a bit of anxiety when the book hits close to home then *bam*
dildos

fucko
While I realize this book might not be everyone's cup of tea I urge you to at least give it a shot. Matt Fraction has proven time and again he knows how to write a good story and Chip Zdarsky provides spectacular visuals on the page. Together they've created one hell of a book and now they have the Eisner and Harvey awards to prove it (Along with a shining review from yours truly).

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.28.2015_Episode_158.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 5:09pm EST
Comments[0]

 The pilot episode for Powers was released for free to entice audiences to watch the rest of the series. It popped up on my youtube, which isn't a bad medium to put out free content but I was having some lag as it was loading the entire 52 minute episode. I stopped it 3 minutes in to go watch it on Playstation3, as it being a Playstation exclusive series you would think it would show up on the first page once signed into PSN or be really easy to access. Nope. I had to work through at least 6 menu screens to get to the free pilot.  Since I hadn't really looked into the shows timeline or anything about it other than a couple characters I put no thought towards if it was going to completely free or if I'd have to buy episodes. That was a learning experience. I had assumed "I own playstation, I get free Powers show." But I'm naive and haven't bought seasons of shows online before from say iTunes or Amazon.    

 If I remember correctly Powers will be free for Playstation Plus members, the rest of us have a choice between buying the season in HD or SD, which I think were $24.99 and $17.99. This info is nowhere to be found until you get to the fourth menu screen where you can pay for the season. It's like a fun surprise Playstation is keeping secret because they're much more encouraging about getting you to buy a Plus membership.

Powers

  The show itself has high points and low points. I've read all the Powers tpbs, albeit some were a long time ago, so I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any expectations. There were some switches made between the comic and show that seem questionable. Detective Christian Walker used to be a super hero, but he lost his powers. In the comics this is kept a secret to the general public. Walker doesn't want everyone to know who he was, because he's not him anymore. The show has Mario Lopez explaining the whole background on a Entertainment News-esq tabloid show in the first 10 minutes. This means anyone who pays attention recognizes Walker and says "Hey, you used to be Diamond!" This happens often enough where it becomes filler and we get less actual show. The book focused on the detective work of cops dealing with people that have Powers, the show is focusing on not as much detectiving and more strained interactions. It's no longer a secret that we the audience can share with only a couple characters on the show. With it being different it will add a new dynamic that Powers fans haven't already read about, hopefully making the show interesting and not as predictable. Some lines and quotes were leaked or released as examples and taken out of context made Christian seem like a huge d-bag. Watching those lines in the show made more sense and even made me nod with a sense of 'yea... ok.'  Comicbook Walker is practically a boyscout good guy, it's his partner Deena Pilgram that breaks rules, has a filthy mouth and ignore authority to get the job done. TV Deena seems more calm and .... nice?

  The super people costumes have been more misses than hits. Diamonds costume is cool. Retro Girl has a variety of outfits, with a red bodysuit looking like the primary. A plain red bodysuit, with accents on the shins and forearms, but others it's the Britney Spears red squeaky suit. It looks boring, is not very heroic and is not recognizable as Retro Girl by any means. We do see her in an outfit for a brief moment that does reflect the classic Retro Girl, but it doesn't seem like it'll be the norm. I would have preferred blonde to a brunette though, it pretty much defines what Retro Girl is. 

Retro

  I also HATE Triphammer's outfit. God damn it looks like shit. To go from a guy with full body machine armor such as Iron Man or his enemy Crimson Dynamo and end up with putting sledgehammers on his fists and wearing a marching band jacket? Was there no research done on this design? "Oh Triphammer eh? Lets put actual hammers on him I guess?" Triphammer isn't a regular character in the comic, he shows up maybe once every 10 issues? But he's cool and relevant when he does show up, so when you turn the page and there he is you say "Oh shit! Fuck yea! It's Triphammer!" TV him looks like garbage.

TriphTripbad

  The special FX used for Powers isn't the best. It's probably fair for the budget, it's not seamless like in Avengers, but it's better than a Sci-Fi channel movie of the week. I'd rank it around the better episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eyes glow, people flying, Johnny Royale's teleporting isn't bad. I got a kick out of Simons, a Multiple Man type character.

  I didn't expect the storyline to follow the comics exactly, and it hasn't but it's maintaining the right elements. It's not worth nitpicking the entire plot because it's something new made from something established. Walking Dead hasn't had too many problems with differences and altering a few things here and there.

powers

  Will I be buying the season? Yes. It's projected to run 10 more episodes. Yes, it says "projected" or "planned" on the Playstation Store. Even if I hadn't read the series already this was enough to intrigue me and want to see what more they were going to do with it. If you like Agents of SHIELD but it doesn't have enough swears or violence for you, then Powers is on par for your appetite. Remember the pilot is free to check out if you're interested.

-Alex

All images are copyright of their respective owners.

Direct download: 3.17.2015_Episode_157.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:29am EST
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pax

Hey folks,

We had so much to say about PAX we ended up splitting it into two episodes. Sadly I couldn't upload both episodes at the same time so a second post is necessary.

Anywho.

We hope you enjoyed the first part and with any luck you'll be chomping at the bit for part two.

Don't forget to check out our photo album and while you're at it give us a follow on the Twitter and maybe even a subscribe on YouTube. That would be pretty awesome. Until then, enjoy the OMV specPAXular wrap-up!

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.11.2015_Episode_156_Part_2.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:15pm EST
Comments[0]

PAX

Fact:

PAX East 2015 was the best convention I've ever attended.

You might recall I made a similar statement last year in the PAX review blog but it's completely justified. This show is amazing and it seems it only gets better as the years go by. Unlike last time when Alex and I only got to attend for part of one day; this year Joe and Colin joined me for two full days of in-your-face PAX incredibleness.

I'm not going to lie: I've been stressing about this episode all week. We experienced so much and talked to so many incredible people...doing it all justice is a daunting task. I had planned out this massive blog post detailing our adventures but with two full episodes of PAX wrap-up coming at you it would just be redundant.

Instead I'm going to use this space to thank everyone at Penny Arcade and at the BCEC for putting on such an incredible show. Being a gamer can be tough sometimes. Labels, stereotypes, and controversy have been all the rage these days. Sometimes finding places where you can just let loose and be amongst friends can be difficult but places like PAX? Man, it just feels like home.

This post contains part one of our PAX wrap-up. Part two can be found here. We hope you all enjoy I'm sure you'll be counting the days until the next PAX along with us in no time.

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.11.2015_Episode_156_Part_1.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 3:07pm EST
Comments[0]

I only met Norman Lee a handful of times at conventions but he was easily one of my favorite artists to visit and consistently left a lasting impression. He was always willing to talk and chat which made it very easy for fans like myself to connect with him. It can be intimidating meeting people that make the stories you are a fan of. What do I say? Will they like me? Do I know enough about their work? Do I have to buy something? None of these were issues with Norman. Meeting other artists became easier because any sense of shyness or apprehension was set aside because talking with Norman was so easy.

This clip from our podcast combines my favorite things which is having my friends meet some of the coolest people I know. "This is Zack and Kyla and this is their first comicbook convention." And the nice guy Norman is, he gave us postcard sized prints of his work and personalized them. We chatted some more and he asked what it is we do, and then listened and cracked a few jokes with us. It was great. Unfortunately Kyla lost her print, so at the next show I saw Norman again and told him how much fun we had and that the girl with us lost her print. Without delay he pulled out a full sized print to replace the lost one. To which we made a few more jokes.

Like I said, having only met him a handful of times, he felt like an old friend. "Hang on, I need to go visit Norman Lee" I'd say to the group I was with. Which is different than "I need to go buy _____" or "I need to get my picture with ____."

Losing him is tragic. My thoughts go to his family and friends. I wish more people could have met him and witnessed his friendliness. Norman Lee will be missed.

-Alex.

Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 11:17pm EST
Comments[0]

Let's say DC decides to put a new artist on Batman who has their own interpretation of how Batman should look. If the look is a hit it's almost a guarantee that you'll see some sort of toy/action figure based on the design. Just glancing at an ad in this week's Green Lantern shows me upcoming Batman figures based on works from Dave Johnson, Ivan Reis, and Bryan Hitch. Makes sense, right? Not all Batmen are the same.

What about creator owned books? Some of the best stories I've ever read have been creator owned. Sadly, unless we're talking about The Walking Dead it can be pretty tough to find genuine merchandise based on the characters.

Enter Israel Skelton.

Israel is the creator/owner of Skelton Crew Studios. With a background in sculpting and metal work Israel has managed to turn a fun hobby into a full time business. Starting out with just a few replica keys from the Locke & Key books, Israel now produces collectables from books like Chew, Hellboy, and Mouse Guard. For those unaware Skelton Crew are the reason these adorable bastards exist:

Chogs

Join us this week where we get to chat with Israel and hear about how awesome it is to literally live the expression "Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life".

Check it out, let us know what you think and don't forget to check out the Skelton Crew site to see what's coming out next!

-Jr.

Direct download: 3.2.2015_Episode_155.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 1:38pm EST
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 Wicked Faire 2015:

 *CORRECTION ALERT: In this review episode of OMV, I exhaustively referred to Azkadelia’s associate/compatriot as “Charlie”. This is inaccurate information. His name is Christopher. My sincere apologies for the mix-up!*

 

Princeton, NJ was the travel destination for fans of Renaissance, Steampunk, Gothic and alternative culture this past weekend. Costumes, Vendors, Performances and good company abound as this year’s  Wicked Renaissance Faire fell upon the grounds of its new home at the Hyatt Regency Hotel off Carnegie Center. A staple in the pantheon of Jeff Mach Events, Wicked Faire boasts a plethora of performers, patrons, vendors and activities to satisfy the nerd in all of us.

Pass

 I got to give my artistic skills a stretch over the weekend by handing my airbrush ability over to the Fantastic Photographer, Babs Who Takes Pictures! She was taking a con off from work and was out and about doing costuming with the help of Redfield Design. Here's my favorite look from the event: 


Babs 

Once costumes had been donned and readied, we hit the Convention! Babs told me that she got quite a lot of photos taken of her, which was great to hear. Here is my systematic and methodical breakdown of the event in categories. Enjoy!

THE VENUE:

The Venue this year was nothing short of beautiful. The Hyatt Regency in Princeton (which was reserved just for Wicked Faire attendees) boasted a lovely setting for the event. Among the beautiful architecture and design of the hotel, the most impressive space was the wide open, courtyard-style area in the lobby of the building, and was brightly lit and packed with activity. 

hotel

 Hotel 2

Hotel 3

The central food court area made for a great place to eat and drink without having to leave the venue. The quality of food sold there was outstanding, and the beverage selection (both alcoholic and N.A.) were fairly respectable. 

There was a hallway for vendors, one for panels and adult vending. After just a few rounds it was very easy to navigate to where you needed to go. The only challenges were the inevitable traffic jams due to mini photo shoots and socializing, but it never got to a point of incessant or intolerable. 

Map

PERFORMANCES & PANELS:

The Schedule did not disappoint this year, with more than 100 separate events occurring on Saturday, and well over 50 happening on both Friday and Sunday, there was always something to see or do. Here is a quick rundown of the shows and performances I saw at length: 

 Katie Kat: A gifted singer, Katie took to the main Atrium Stage and captured the attention of the entire courtyard in a few short notes. A powerful voice paired with enchanting music! (KatieKatOpera.com) 

 White Elephant Burlesque: This troupe had a number of memorable and entertaining performances! 

Frenchy & The Punk: A must-see for any convention. They performed new music from their recent album, and they delivered grand performances throughout the weekend. 

F&TP

F&TP2

This Way to the Egress: A surprise discovery for me, this band was nonstop fun and energy. A six-piece blending sounds of swing, folk and more, this talented group was a great time to see. I look forward to seeing them again. 

Poisonous Apples and Pretty Witches - Lilith Lore: Lilith performed a number of darkly re-imagined tales with grace, poise and intrigue. Among the tales was a sublime rendition of the Beauty and the Beast, which was both engrossing and enchanting. An enjoyable exhibition! 

Azkadelia the Mad Hattress / Mad Hatter Aerials:

Akkadelia and Christopher entertained and engaged this weekend with nearly nonstop performances throughout the weekend. In addition to performing, Azkadelia also held workshops in between shows (all having been booked solid before the weekend began, which speaks volumes). Her final performance of the weekend on Sunday was chock full of DJ takeovers, background dancing from both Chris and Wyck, as well as guest appearances. You know it's a good show when an entire hotel of attendees stop dead in their tracks to watch! 

Flying

Flying2

Flying3

Karneival Sideshow Circus: Their Saturday performance was very impressive, with great feats of skill and sensation! Whip cracking, Broken Glass walking (and face standing), blowguns and balloons, ending in the classic Human Bulletin board. A solid show with strong character work and audience report! 

VENDORS: 

There are never a shortage of unique and interesting vendors at a Jeff Mach event. This year the Vendors were spread out between two separate areas/floors of the con. Here is a list of the vendors I saw that I really enjoyed and had to note: 

Canes Enable: 

With Accessories and Accouterments that any Victorian Gentleman or Woman could ask for, Mark P. Donnelly's booth will never cease to engage and impress me. I added to my collection with a Gangs of New York-styled Police Club/Truncheon. 

Mad Etcha: Freehand Glass Etching (etsy.com/shop/MadEtcha
Fantastic skill and artistry from Mad Etcha. A lovely display and impressive breadth of work! 

Warpath Archery: (WarpathArchery.etsy.com)

A very cool booth that specializes in Bows, Arrows, Strings and other Traditional Archery Equipment. Very cool display and array of wares. 

Masks by Antonette and Creations: (facebook.com/antonette.masks)

Given the Masquerade on Friday Night, this booth was a no-brainer in theming, with a lovely selection of hand-painted masks of various styles! From Carnivale to Dia De Los Muertos and everything in between. 

Dellamorte & Co.: 

I have seen Dellamorte & Co. a few times, and every time I see them, they have something new in their selection, and something that makes me mad that I don't have more expendable income. Their work is in a dark/gothic aesthetic with beautiful detail. If they are at Steampunk World's Fair, I will be making a purchase! 

Corvus Creations: (etsy.com/shop/CorvusCreations)

I was drawn to their wares, especially their Steampunk pieces. Very nice work! 

The Leather Lair: (theleatherlair.com

They had an impressive display and selection of wares in the bigger Vendor room at the Hotel. Vests, shirts, wrist buckels, you name it, they have something in the neighborhood of what you are looking for. Very personable and friendly staff! 

ISSUES & CONS

Overall, the Convention was a wonderful time. While there were the few expected "new venue" hang-ups that occur at any public gathering, to anyone attending a convention for the first time would not have noticed anything. It seemingly ran quite smoothly. My notes are quite nit-picky and really played little roles in the overall experience I had with the event. 

The Hotel Staff were incredibly helpful and accommodating, and despite looking confused and befuddled from time to time, they were exceptional and professional whenever I saw them. 

Princeton Police Department was in full force throughout the course of the event, with no less than three officers on site keeping watch (that I saw). In addition to the Convention Volunteers, everything seemed well organized and taken care of. 

On Saturday, there were a few Facebook posts that alerted to some indiscriminate behavior that occurred at the event. I did not bare witness to any such occurrences, which to me would speak that they were handled with grace and discretion. (If there's more of a hassle going on about it online than at the event it occurred at, I think you are handling it right.) 

A blameless issue that occurred was the weather. Many people were forced to disband earlier than expected on Saturday due to a Storm system that rolled in through the mid-afternoon into the evening. With a couple inches of snow which turned into sleet and ice, it was a major impact on the mood and behaviors of the attendees. However, those that stayed were determined to enjoy themselves, and did not let the weather ruin their good time. And that is turning a frown upside down. 

There were spacial issues in some spaces (a vendor or two out in the open, seemingly displaced, traffic jams from people, etc.) but once more, these are VERY minor observations, and if Wicked Faire returns to the Hyatt Regency (which I hope will occur), I am sure it will become bigger, better and a more well-oiled machine. 

My grade for this con is: B+/A- 

I had a blast, and I attended this convention with less than 6 hours of sleep in two days under my belt and fresh out of a Wisdom Tooth extraction the afternoon before. I was smiling, dancing and laughing with people both familiar and unfamiliar. I got to network, be artsy and spend time with members of the Steampunk Community. A weekend well spent! 

One thing I really appreciate about Jeff Mach Events (there's plenty of things I appreciate, but this one in particular) is that there is always the desire for dialogue between the Convention holders and attendees. The Facebook page is always active with threads actively engaging and requesting feedback and thoughts on how things occurred, and how things went, as well as gauging interest on possible future events. It is refreshing to see, especially when that formula is not as well-exercised with other live events in this category. 

A solid Convention, and if you have not been to a Jeff Mach Event, do yourself the favor and take a weekend to enjoy one. You will not be disappointed! 

This concludes my post-mortem of Wicked Faire! I would like to thank Alex and Jayare for enlisting me to help report on this great event, and I look forward to doing it again for Steampunk World's Fair in May! 

Until then.. 

Brett Kelley: Art Mercenary 

Like a bawse.

Direct download: 2.26.2015_Episode_154.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 6:52pm EST
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Anyone who consistently reads this is probably well aware that writing is not one of my greatest talents. I use way too many adjectives and I tend to cluster short sentences one after the other so it's like a robot talking or something. The defiant side of me wants to say "hey shut up man. That's how you write and you should stick to it" whereas the more reasonable side wants to say "you should probably listen real hard to this week's guest."

Oh man what a perfect segue.

Our pal Joe Sherry joined us this week so we could grill him on a neat contest he's a part of. He was one of 13 contestants picked to compete in David Wellington's Fear Project. Every week he's given a topic and just a couple days later he has to submit an original short story about it. The person with the lowest amount of votes (or comments on their story. Positive/negative doesn't matter) is eliminated. Joe has currently made it to the top 11 and is still going strong.

Fans of horror/comics/writing/laughing/constant puns are going to want to check this one out. We had a blast with Joe this week and we wish him the best of luck in the contest!

-Jr.

Direct download: 2.19.2015_Episode_153.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:39am EST
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You ever look back on past events and really question the decisions you made during that event?

You ever look back and think "Hey. The dude at the table next to us at the Boston Comic Con last summer was really cool and his artwork is currently blowing my face off with awesome. Why didn't we talk to him more?"

Yeah. Us too.

Our guest this week is artist Dave Mahan. If you haven't guessed by now he he was stationed next to us at Boston last year. While we chatted and joked every so often throughout the weekend we never really took the proper time to check out his work and really see what he was about. In other words we were fucking idiots. Lucky for us we got a second chance this week.

Want to see some of his art? Click here. And here. Or even here. And maybe even here if you want to buy some of it.

We hope you learn something from this episode. Don't be like us. Don't make the same mistakes we did. Talk to your table-mates. You never know who might be sitting right next to you.

-Jr.

Direct download: 2.12.2015_Episode_152.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:30pm EST
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If someone came up to me today and asked me to name one friend I have that wasn't in to pro wrestling at one point in their life I'd have a very difficult time finding an answer.

Some of my fondest childhood memories were watching Brett Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock destroy each other on a weekly basis. Hell, I even had a Four Square team in 4th grade named The Nation of Domination. I'm not kidding. We were badass.

NOD

                    It's like looking in a mirror and seeing my 4th grade self.

Sadly, I'm one of the many who just kind of fell out of it once the Stone Cold/Rock era ended. As a kid you can't help but think all of it is totally real. I mean, he got hit in the head with a steel chair! It's metal! And it hit his head! How could this NOT be real? Then as you grow up you start to see the fabrication and the scripting and the stars you grew up idolizing start to fade out or just plain retire. I'm not necessarily the best when it comes to change and when John Cena showed up that was just about it for me.

Cena

                         I think I have a natural hatred for jean shorts.

There was a short time in my late teens when I had somewhat of a resurgence and started watching the pay-per-views again but that was short lived. But...after recording this week's episode our guest has me hankering for some old school "Stone Cold has literally stunned every single person in the arena" action.

His name is Matthew James and he's the emcee of Revival Pro Wrestling out of Chicopee, Massachusetts. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of professional wrestling and completely broke my brain within 5 minutes of recording. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates on shows and events possibly coming to an area near you! They're a ton of fun and Alex approved. Honestly you don't need much more than that.

-Jr.

All images are copyright of their respective owners

Direct download: 2.6.2015_Episode_151.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:44am EST
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I just spent the last 4 hours sitting in a Buffalo Wild Wings watching people try to beat each other up for money and stuff. So. There's that.

Anywho.

It seems at least once every year I get an urge to pick up at least one Marvel book. Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm predominantly a DC/Image guy and I've tried the whole "hey maybe I'll give this Marvel book a shot!" many times in the past. Normally I get a maximum of 3 issues in before I get bored/lose interest/miss an issue etc etc. (Except in the case of Moon Knight...I read the shit out of Moon Knight.)

Well it seems history is repeating itself yet again because that old hankering came back and I decided to pick up the new Thor book. We had talked about it a while back because of the whole "Thor is a girl now" thing. Really I was pretty meh on the whole uproar anyway because I had never read a single issue of Thor in my life. I mean honestly - Who gives a shit. Boy Thor. Girl Thor. As long as hammers are flying and people are using words like "ye" and "hath" it's good enough for me.

So we're up to the 4th issue and I gotta say - It's awesome. I love it. It has quickly...very quickly might I add...turned into one of my favorite books. It's not really groundbreaking stuff but it's just a lot of fun. The new Thor is a badass. The old Thor is going through some rough times. And there's hammers just fucking everywhere. It's fantastic. Not to mention the art is exactly what I want it to be. Nothing more, nothing less. It fits the style and the theme of the book perfectly.

Thor!

                    Thor #4 Cover by Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson

If you're not picking this book up I highly recommend taking a look for some back issues or even waiting a few months for the trade. Marvel seems to be pumping out trades almost as fast as the individual issues are coming out anyways so you probably won't even have to wait that long.

You can always thank me later.

-Jr.

Direct download: 1.31.2015_Episode_150.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 6:40pm EST
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Hey you know what's better than an episode of OMV?

Getting an episode of OMV and an episode of Hey. Look at These Comics on the same day.

Can you believe that? I mean...I'm not saying you should be thanking us...but, you know. You're welcome.

 

Direct download: 1.24.2015_Episode_149.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 6:39pm EST
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BREAKING NEWS: I read on supersecretmovieforums.com that Tom Hardy dropped out of Suicide Squad because he's been cast to play Eddie Brock in Avengers 3.

THIS JUST IN: As reported by holyshitcanyoubelievetheserumors.com it seems that despite already playing Captain America in three different movies, Chris Evans has been cast as Tony Stark's long lost brother Reginald Stark for the next Iron Man film due out in 2034.

DEVELOPING: omvpodcast.com is reporting that people tend to take these casting rumors and breaking news stories way too seriously and just need to sit back and enjoy a movie every once in a while without having to know every single detail about it beforehand.

Well that was fun. But seriously.

We are a spoiled generation and there is no denying it. With access to the entire world right at our fingertips we have become addicted to information. With this wealth of information comes heaps of misinformation and sometimes people can have some trouble telling the difference between the two. 

One of the sad results is the "hey I think I know everything about that movie coming up because I read about it on the internet" guy. We all know him. We all...deal with him. Mostly because he's been a part of the group for years we'd feel like real jerks for telling him to piss off despite the fact that it's almost as if he tries to ruin everyone's good time.

But I digress.

Colin is back this week and I have no idea what happened during the last 30 minutes of the episode.

Enjoy!

-Jr.

Direct download: 1.15.2015_Episode_148.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 6:14pm EST
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We're coming up on 3 years of doing this whole podcast thing.

It's fun. It gives us all a reason to hang out. And we get to go to shows every now and then and tell you all about how awesome they were. Honestly though. If you were to ask me what the best part of the job is I'd probably say "None of the above".

Why?

Because of all the people we get to meet.

Meeting artists/writers/creators never gets old and lucky for us it probably never will. This show started as an outlet to express our appreciation for these people and now we have an excuse to actually talk to them?? You can't beat it.

This week's guest is one of the very first people we ever met because of this OMV thing. Rewind back two years to the Steampunk World's Fair 2013 and you'll hear us talk about Nicole from The Devil's Darkroom and how freakin' cool she was. Not only was she actually interested in talking with us but she was telling us all about something we'd never seen before.

Have you ever seen those "old timey" photos at theme parks and stuff? Picture that only real. No greenscreens, no digital cameras. Her business involved using a 100+ year old lens to project an image onto a sheet of metal then using a home-made combination of chemicals to seal it on the sheet for decades to come. The end result? Amazing:

Image

I knew going in to SPWF that I was completely out of my element but meeting Nicole and her crew at the Darkroom really helped my settle in and realize no one really gave a shit if I was new to it or not. To steal a line from the legendary Chris Farley: It was awesome.

Take a peek at some of her other works:

bird

horse

Portrait

These are just a tiny sample of what you can find over at The Devil's Darkroom. For those attending SPWF 2015 be sure to keep an eye out for her tent. You won't want to miss out on this one.

-Jr.

Images courtesy of The Devil's Darkroom.

Direct download: 1.6.2015_Episode_147.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 12:51pm EST
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Joe's Games of 2014

Hey folks, it’s your resident “I don’t know anything about comics so please can we talk about video games” OMV guest, Joe!  2014 might be one of my favorite years for video gaming, ever.  There are years where you get a few great games that will be eternal (Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite), but 2014 saw a smattering of games across all platforms and genres that are GOTY potentials.  So I present to you, Joe’s Games of 2014!

Super Smash Bros Wii U/3DS

I’ve been smashing since January of 2000, so this January will make it so that this game series has been there for half of my life.  It’s the first game I bought for my N64 (after it came with DK64 – late adopter over here).  I remember sitting in my friend Ike’s basement playing the 64 version, playing Melee at Jayare’s house, Brawling in my dorm room, and literally NOTHING has diminished as Super Smash Bros 3DS/Wii U versions have graced my presence.  I prefer the 3DS version for my own reasons, but I can already envision the next half decade of good times… and they look good.  I love having my own Mii in the fray, and the cast of characters is hugemazing.  

Smile factor: Laughing to the point of tears, almost every single time I play with Colin and Jayare.  The 8 person gameplay is also a real game changer - sure, we can lay a smack down on 3 level 9’s, easy.  But 4?  5?!  Oh yeah, we’ll bring them down.  I mean, just look at this team.

Team

Fucking.  Fierce.

Borderlands (Tales / Pre-Sequel):

I’ve been a long time Borderlands fan (it was the first game I bought for my PS3 and I played on a pretty regular basis until BL2 came out – I was weary for what Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel would bring to the table with a quasi-new development team.  If you look at it as hilarious, amazing, DLC package for BL2, you’ll have the exact right expectation for BL: TPS.  It hits a very satisfying sweet spot for me.

What I had even lower expectations for was Tales from the Borderlands, which I will say nothing about other than if you dig any Tell Tale game, you will get a lot of enjoyment from this one.  I laughed out loud several times throughout, and it holds the cultural aesthetic of what makes BL so great intact.  It is so much fun knowing that you have another delicious morsel of gameplay that will come out again in a few months.

Borderlands

Smile factor: In TPS, navigating the outside of the space station had me holding my breath at one point – I love when games can make me feel something like that.  There was also the time that my buddy Chris walked out of the room and said, “Don’t blow up the car,” and was promptly greeted by the sound of a car exploding.  “Whoops.”

TftBL has so many funny moments, many of which come from the nifty ECHOeye scanner that one of the main characters has.  Scan EVERYTHING.

Shantae and the Pirate Curse:

If you haven’t seen the pattern yet, I’m combining categories here – my original last had 12 games (seriously, it was a good year).  But my Downloadable game of the year has to be Shantae, the third in a series of great games from Wayforward (for the record, if you see Wayforward on a game – it’s almost always amazing).  Shantae is a Metroidvania-type side scroller where you play a genie.  It is also an absolutely blast to play and chock-full of self-referential video game and nerd humor.  You will NOT be let down by this.  Shantae and the Pirate Curse is the newest, but you can also still download the 2nd version (Shantae: Risky’s Revenge) from the eShop.  It’s only $12 versus the $20 for Pirate Curse, which might make it an easier entry point for new fans.

Shantae

Smile Factor: I can’t bring myself to ruin jokes, but there are references to Star Wars, He-Man, a character’s own previous status as a boss in the last game, and so much more.  It also happens to be an amazing sidescroller as well.  DAMN.

Mario Kart 8

I’m guessing I don’t have to sell anyone on Mario Kart 8.  I believe this version is the best console version of the series, with antigravity tracks, underwater portions, and hands down the easiest controls I’ve had the pleasure of manipulating.  On-line play was quick and easy, but sharing the couch is still the preferred way to go here.  I have the least to say about this because it’s Mario Kart - we all know it and love it.  So go play it.  Also remember this meme!?!?!

Luigi

Smile Factor: I couldn’t tell you what was happening in this moment, but my roommate came home while I was playing this game and said I just had the biggest, dopiest grin on my face.  Mario Kart 8 has the “Megaman 9 Effect” hardcore.  We just teleport back to childhood where nothing is wrong and everything is fun.

Hyrule Warriors

When I first got my PS3, I did it when I was poor and couldn’t afford to go out anywhere, so I needed a way to be entertained.  I could only buy one game, and bought Borderlands - I proceeded to put in hundreds of hours into that game.  If I had to make that same decision now, I would have done it with Hyrule Warriors.  It’s huge.  I mean, freakin huge.  I will not describe the hugeness.  To be fair, I do not recommend this as a Legend of Zelda game - the storyline is brief, and the action is completely different.

Hyrule

Smile Factor: “Ugh, I have to play as Ganondorf.” *Accidentally wipes out 75 enemies with one hit* “I AM THE DEMON KING!”  Also, when I was picking the above picture, I debated 5 minutes between Midna pulling the moon from Majora’s Mask down with a hookshot, or Princess Ruto beating the crap out of an army with water dolphins.  That’s a good fucking debate.

Honorable Mentions:

Having said that, there were an amazing number of eShop games this year beyond Shantae as well – Shovel Knight is a platformer in the style of Duck Tales and Megaman that was Kickstarted and finally put into production.  It is WELL worth the price of admission on its own, but even better, there will be new character DLC coming out over the next year as well.  Azure Striker Gunvolt is more like the Megaman Zero games (which if you ever played, you know how tight those are).  Tons of fun!

NES Remix (1 and 2) also came out for the Wii U – these are silly little diversions into NES history that made for a seriously fun few video game nights.  If you have the spare cash and love nostalgia, you won’t go wrong.

Wolf Among Us wrapped up in 2014, so I’m counting it here even though the first one technically came out in 2013.  This was my first exposure to both Tell Tale Games and the Fables universe, and I become quite hooked on both.  I actually went and read Fables in its entirety (a 10 year run) upon completing the game, because I wanted more of the characters, the universe, the… everything.  Both are well worth your time and dollars.  Thank you Colin for throwing this one into my maw.

Joe's Games He Played in 2014 But Were Older But He Just Discovered Them So Yeah

Wonderful 101:

So, guess what - it turns out the Wii U, sort of secretly, became the best damned next generation console out there.  Yes, I’ve seen your Titanfalls and your… actually, that’s it.  All the other “killer games” are still coming out on my PS3.  Whereas the Wii U keeps churning out amazing, original material: case in point, Wonderful 101.  A game where you control a team of 100 super heroes (to varying degrees) to abate a giant oncoming alien threat.  It’s like playing a Saturday Morning Cartoon with all the humor, madcap antics, and amazing music (though, admittedly, the controls are like learning to drive a Jaeger by yourself - make like Idris Elba, man up and do it).  It’s made by PlatinumGames Inc. (the game company currently getting 9s and 10s for Bayonetta 2), which itself is composed of many of the remenants of Clover Studio (God Hand, Okami, Viewtiful Joe) - basically, they make games that no one will ever play, but if you did, you would love them.

Game and Wario:

If you still have a Gameboy Advance, go find yourself a copy of Warioware Twisted.  Come back in 4 months when you’ve unlocked everything.  We good?  Now that you understand how awesome Wario games can be, this game is basically a minigame pack, but the minigames are often off the chain amazing (seriously, on par with Nintendoland, and WHY AREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT NINTENDOLAND ANYMORE).  My highlight is Gamer, where you basically play WarioWare on the gamepad, but you have to pay attention to TV or else a “momster” will jump out at you.  It’s the most terrifying fun you’ll ever have, and there’s still like 15 more games.

Rayman Legends:

This game did get a bit of recognition when it first came out, but now I don’t feel like anyone actually played it.  Here’s the problem - you need to play this game two player.  Yes, you CAN play this game one player, but playing it two player is a magical experience.  Are you a gamer, and your significant other or spawn only plays Candy Crush?  Guess what - they almost definitely made this game for you.  You get to play a tight, frantic, fun, beautiful side scroller, while they get to play a tight, frantic, fun, beautiful touch-based game.  You know like when you could have someone be the star in Mario Galaxy?  Like that, times 1000 for the person playing the star.  Play through to the end of the first world, and you will be completely hooked.

Hotline Miami:

Another Colin recommendation - seriously, that guy knows his games.  I’ve actually had a copy of this sitting on my computer for almost 2 years (thank you Humble Bundles), but Colin was the one who convinced me to crack it open again.  I love arcade games at home, and by arcade games I mean ones that you can practice, get better at, achieve a higher score, and essentially have something that’s insanely replayable.  It’s not about story, just score and speed.  Hotline Miami has you playing as a hired gun that uses animal masks and found weaponary to tear ass through various locales in the 80s.  It’s very uncomfortable and a lot of fun.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes

I’ve never been a fan of playing the LEGO Video Games, but I’ve burnt an afternoon or two watching other people play them.  The controls are usually pretty clumsy, and it feels like two manatees fencing most of the time.  But, they are cute to watch.  LEGO Marvel Superheroes stomps the hell out of that - this game controls reasonably well, but is hilarious and taps into your nerd button in the best ways.  The Hulk’s transformations are great, the variety of the powers are fun, and it just feels like it was made by a bunch of LEGO/Marvel nerds  Which is more than any of us could ever ask for.

Games I Didn't Get to This Year Because The List Above Was Massive

Super Mario 3D World: Yeah, I still haven’t beaten this.  I don’t have any excuses.  What the shit?

Walking Dead: Another Colin recommendation… I’M RUNNING OUT OF MONEY COLIN.

South Park: The Stick of Truth: I don’t know, I will steal this game from Jayare at some point.  Don’t tell him.

The Last of Us - Left Behind DLC: I admit, I’m a little scared to start playing Last of Us again.  Not out of fear of the game world, but just knowing it took me like 4 months to shake off the feel of that game.  Come Christmas break, I’ll play this and cry for another 4 hours.

Guacamelee: Again, Humble Bundle sitting on my computer.  I think my computer might be too slow?  Or too fast?  Reasons?

Bravely Default: RPGs are always a little intimidating for people with jobs, and I played the demo and was almost instantly lost.  But apparently this was like the best RPG to come out in awhile.  I’m sorry.

Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: Jayare actually gave this to me… I have a similar intimidation factor.  I fall for Zelda games hard and go through withdrawals towards the last few dungeons.

Pikmin 3: I got this for FREE for buying Mario Kart 8, and it's just sitting there, unplayed.  What's wrong with me?

Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright Games: Apparently 7 of these have come out since I last played one.  I’m sorry puzzle games with stories, I can’t find the time / remember where I left off with you.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D/Tropical Freeze: God damn it.  

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: DAMN IT I LOVE THESE GAMES

-Joe

Direct download: 12.31.2014_Episode_146.mp3
Category:Comics Movies & Videogames -- posted at: 9:28pm EST
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