A letter from the edge
A neon visage and representation of...it's me at a crap casino

A neon visage and representation of…it’s me at a crap casino

If the American dream died before 1971, and its dying carcass lays defaced and graffitied somewhere in a ditch outside of Vegas, then what the hell is happening in Oklahoma? Long the smaller, dirtier and much less trustworthy brother of Texas, Oklahoma has sought, and succeeded, in outdoing Texas when it comes to  fattening and inebriating its citizens, both native and otherwise. Flashy neon and half-lit trailer park gents gently mingle with the unpleasant hint of desperation and millions of social security checks slowly chinking away in slots. MmMmm the smell of poverty. It mixes horribly with the clanging brass from a Dean Martin slot machine I’m playing. I’ll be damned if America doesn’t find you, no matter where you go. On to other things:

The Wolf among Us: Episode 2

Oh the joy and sweet release of playing as a chain smoking has-been of a fairy tale. Hairy, barely able to function from alcoholism and barely battling his darker side, this is something I can relate to. I enjoy playing Bigby Wolf. This tired and worn down version of the big bad wolf serves as sheriff of Telltale Games’ village of fairy tale outcasts and refugees, and does what he can. Or at least what he wants to. Bigby continues his search for a killer, and the second episode starts with a nicely written surprise, and ends with what is likely a misleading cliffhanger.

As I as Bigby continue my search, I run into my old friend Toad and interrogate his frightened son, find out a dirty secret about “Beauty” and am nearly choked by the stream of on-screen prompts to “break this” and “punch that”. The way I played the first episode was along these lines, as I was attempting to instill Maciavellian fear in the masses. This time, I want to play with the sugar cubes a bit and entice my victims, er, citizens and witnesses, and get information a different way. Throw them the proverbial curveball. Bigby is known for strong arming and “beating the shit” and asking questions later, so this new approach seems to have everyone on edge. My own personal philosophy is to “never remove all doubt.” I have succeeded through episode 2.

 

Wolf Among Us is dark and grimy, and you’ll spend a lot of your time with shitty personalities and shittier environments, so associating with drug dealers, loan sharks and drug addled prostitutes is the norm here. Dealing with them with claws instead of paws has been my choice for a tactic. In episode 1, I left my unsuspecting girlfriend with her jaw drooping when I went to the “wolf-side” and liberated an appendage from someone’s fleshy meat socket. I merely glanced forward without blinking and said; “It’s what Bigby would’ve done. What?? I didn’t lick the wound or anything.” So far, that is the feeling you get from playing episode 2 as well. You feel like Bigby, and you want to do what he would do. Not what grown up bill-paying slacker you would do.

Action sequences are mostly missing from this one. Or, they were for me anyway. The route I took was intimidation, and I reveled like a fat tick in blood in slowly pulling answers from one particular denizen of this world. I highly suggest this game to those gamers, and readers, that don’t have those twitch tendencies to obliterate everything moving on screen. Wolf Among Us is an adventure game, meaning that you’ll get a lot of prompts onscreen about what to do, a lot of choices, and some investigating to do. That is all for this.

 

It’s G.O.D.D Time

Not sure where to start with my next infatuation, other than the title; Ehmm Theory. It’s a quick and well written comic from Action Lab comics. Written by Brockton McKinney and with art from Larkin Ford, the comic marks off a ton of my checkmarks for a good comic. This, or something similar was also noticed by those bastards at Fangoria, as they beat me to the punch on a review. Good for Brockton and Larkin and I love Fangoria.

Now, where was I? Oh that’s right-Zombie midgets. The first peek I got from Ehmm Theory started in a grave yard, Gabe Ehmm had a talking cat, and punted the puss-filled and maggot munched head of a midget zombie. Yeah, so, there is that. I thought we were moving into a new “Ash” category. Honestly, as a lover of debauchery and chaos, I’m on the ship with that. But, Ehmm Theory takes a couple of twists, and it maneuvers out of cliche territory into full on sci-fi (I’m coining the term Sic-fi right now. I’m f#$%ing copywriting it too you swine.) slash high fantasy, mid-80′s Marvel and early 90′s Image comic goodness with the introduction of some seriously bad-ass and original comic superheroes. I don’t want to say anything more than It’s G.O.D.D time.

Issue 2 has some of the best writing you’ll read, period. I’m not talking twisting and cleverly written time-shifting Star Trek or Whedon convoluted cockney slang shit either. The dialogue is both childish and biting. The back story is evolved, and takes itself more seriously than you would expect from the comic’s start. It pays homage to comic reader’s loves. A talking cat, a gypsy/block country refugee, science, and well timed explosions are all expertly used and their usage turns worn-out conventions and devices on their head. Brockton is nearly as funny in his twitter posts as his comic. Though, he has more time to develop them for his comic. Ol’ Brock as I refer to him now, ( I fancy myself as knowing him now because he’s put up with my incessant questions and posts onTwitter) seems to reside in Chapel Hill, NC. And if you don’t know, if you’re an underground freak, nerd or collector of eyeballs and hardboiled eggs in jars, you’ll know that “Chapel Hill” is code for a southerner that is hip, or gets it. What a coincidence. Enough of that sentimental crap right now-I am an objective reporter.

The art in Ehmm Theory, outside of some beautiful covers, are purposefully understated. Larkin Ford allows a ton of room for the story to breath and seems to be a minimalist when it comes to scenes where there is dialogue. He lets the pedal have ample gas whenever you see “THOOOOM” scrawled on a page however, and is more than capable of delivering sharp and detailed fight scenes or explosions. His close-ups during dialogue are also strong spots in my opinion.

With respect to ordering Ehmm Theory, I’d suggest using comicsamerica.com for physical orders. In fact, I strongly suggest using them. You can get the digital versions in PDF. form from Action Labs if you want them that way. There’s something about holding a new favorite comic in your hand and smelling that gloss, turning those pages and leaving finger prints as you flip them that is intoxicating to me, though. That’s why I ordered a first issue that’s autographed for my own collection. Leave me some comment if you pick up Ehmm Theory. Especially if you order a physical copy…mine hasn’t arrived yet. Oh, and I look a lot like Gabe. Here’s my impression;

 

What I’m looking forward to

R.B.I. Baseball is back. Or, it’s on its way to coming back. Nearly zero details are out about it except that Major league baseball has the rights and is developing something. If you hear something, let me know. I loved this game as a kid. Can’t wait to hit a bunt home run with McGwire again.

The next installment of The Walking Dead game. It’s a little twisted and a lot terrible that a little girl has to survive on her own and the grim realities she dealt with in the first episode of season 2. It doesn’t sit right with me, but I’m glad to actually like a character. Screw you George RR Martin, the makers of the Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire and even Treme. I know it’s “realistic” and “human” to make people do horrible things, but I spend a lot of time around people so, I get enough reality.

Springtime means less chance of crappy conditions on the road. Therefore, less chance, albeit slightly, that some jag off in a Benz or Nissan or anything on wheels cuts me off and almost kills me. Seriously people, what the F#$% is wrong with you? Is a blinker a sign of weakness in Dallas? It literally takes 1/1000th of a calorie to use your turn signal, and it’s the least you can do. Why is it required that you do ten miles over in the slow lane? Where are you going that you need to be there so soon? Worried the little lady is breaking into your stash of vodka and kinking out to lesbian porn again? Geesh. Oh, spring also means that baseball is coming. I am of the cheesy sentimental sort like Whitman and others when it comes to baseball. It’s beautiful and its hard men playing a hard game. I don’t give a damn if you think it’s boring. For most of the world sex is boring until the end, or you have a porn subscription, or a penchant for Colorado and California prescriptions and creativity. Delinquents and hyper fools, the lot of you. I play baseball also, and I like the smell of grass that’s been freshly cut, and I do like windy walk on the beach, so lay off.

 

That’s it for now. Leave me a comment if you’ve made it through this far. My spam catcher is bored at this point.

Regretfully and painfully yours,

R

P D

 

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