Google+ The Geeks Menagerie: September 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

New to Comics?

New to Comics? 

Comic books began in the 1930s as a unique American art form that has grown - like so many American forms of entertainment - to spread around the globe. From Japanese businessmen reading manga on the subways of Tokyo to French artists re-interpreting Proust with words and pictures, comics have changed entertainment and challenged perceptions. These days, there are comic books for every taste, from slam-bang super-hero adventures and thoughtful slice-of-life to thrilling science fiction and intense drama.
If it's been a while since you've read a comic book, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the breadth of variety available!
If you're new to comics, here's some information that will help you get the most out of them.

Helpful Links

All of these link are from the Halloween ComicFest Web Site, who invites you to join your local comic shop to celebrate Halloween on October 27th!

Here is a list of comics that will be available on Halloween at your local comic shop: HERE

Fantagraphics - pre-order pics and more

1.) Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas in Shack Town
      240 pages, Hard Cover Edition $28.99 release date: N/A

2.) Creeping Death from Neptune: Science Fiction and Horror Comics by Basil Wolverton
      288 pages, Softcover edition $39.99 release date: April 2013

3.) Came the Dawn and other Stories: part of the EC Comics Library
       208 pages, Hard Cover Edition $28.99 Release date: October 2012

4.) The Secret History of Marvel Comics:
       300 pages, Hard Cover Edition $39.99 Release Date: February 2013

       "Marvel Comics is home to such legendary super-heroes as Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, all of whom have spun box office gold in the 21st century. But Marvel Comics has a secret history hidden in the shadows of these well-known franchises.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics digs back to the 1930s when Marvel Comics wasn’t just a comic-book producing company. Marvel Comics owner Martin Goodman had tentacles into a publishing world that might have made that era’s conservative American parents lynch him on his front porch. Marvel was but a small part of Goodman’s publishing empire, which had begun years before he published his first comic book. Goodman mostly published lurid and sensationalistic story books (known as “pulps”) and magazines, featuring sexually-charged detective and romance short fiction, and celebrity gossip scandal sheets. And artists like Jack Kirby, who was producing Captain America for eight-year-olds, were simultaneously dipping their toes in both ponds.
The Secret History of Marvel Comics tells this parallel story of 1930s/40s Marvel Comics sharing offices with those Goodman publications not quite fit for children. The book also features a comprehensive display of the artwork produced for Goodman’s other enterprises by Marvel Comics artists such as Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, Alex Schomburg, Bill Everett, Al Jaffee, and Dan DeCarlo, plus the very best pulp artists in the field, including Norman Saunders, John Walter Scott, Hans Wesso, L.F. Bjorklund, and Marvel Comics #1 cover artist Frank R. Paul. Goodman’s magazines also featured cover stories on celebrities such as Jackie Gleason, Elizabeth Taylor, Liberace, and Sophia Loren, as well as contributions from famous literary and social figures such as Isaac Asimov, Theodore Sturgeon, and L. Ron Hubbard.
These rare pieces of comic art, pulp and magazine history will open the door to Marvel Comics’ unseen history."

Other recommendations from Fantagraphics:

The Complete Peanuts: Vol. 1

  "50 Years of Art. 25 Books. Two books per year for 12 1/2 years. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present the most eagerly-awaited and ambitious publishing project in the history of the American comic strip: the complete reprinting of Charles M. Schulz's classic, Peanuts. Considered to be one of the most popular comic strips in the history of the world, Peanuts will be, for the first time, collected in its entirety.
Each volume in the series runs approximately 320 pages in a 8" x 6 1/2" hardcover format, presenting two years of strips along with supplementary material. The series will present the entire run in chronological order, dailies and Sundays."

There are 18 Volumes to the Complete Peanuts collection, so check out the site for more details and costs.


The Spacehawk Halloween ComicFest 2012 mini-comic is available for FREE on Halloween 2012 exclusively at participating comic shops! Featuring a complete space-faring, monster-jammed Spacehawk story and some fun Spacehawk surprises we cooked up, this all-ages treat was produced especially for HalloweenComicFest 2012.

Fire & Water: Bill Everett, the Sub Mariner and the Birth of Marvel Comics

    192 pages, Hard Cover Edition $39.99 Available Now- comes with a signed Book Plate!

The Art of Joe Kubert

  232 pages, Hard Cover Edition $39.99 Available Now 

Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko

  216 pages, Hard Cover Edition $39.99 Available Now 

Action! Mystery! Thrills! Comic Book Covers of the Golden Age 1933 - 1945

  208 pages, Soft Cover Edition $29.99 Available Now

I think I will end this post here, I found alot more books I would recommend but I suggest you go through the FANTAGRAPHICS store and see what you like. Let me know what your recommendations would be!

47 Ronin #1 - PreOrder

Coming November 7th from Dark Horse Comics is 47 RONIN #1, by Mike Richardson and Stan Sakai.

"Among the best-known tales in Japanese history, the legend of the 47 Ronin and their epic mission to avenge their disgraced master epitomizes the samurai code of honor. It has been said, “To know the story of the 47 Ronin is to know Japan.” Retold through the ages, the legend at last comes to comics in a meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated miniseries from Mike Richardson, Stan Sakai, and editorial consultant Kazuo Koike! Recounting this sweeping tale of honor and violence in all its grandeur, chapter one details the tragic incident that would seal the fate of Lord Asano and set forty-seven of his vassals on a years-long path of vengeance!"

As most of you know I love everything Stan Sakai has done in his carrier and this new mini-series looks incredible. I love how Stan draws human characters, their are subtle differences between them and his anthropomorphic characters from Usagi Yojimbo, but his lines are still simple and elegant. See for yourself with this preview of issue one from Multiversity Comics.

Be sure to pre-order this book at your local comic shop or Dark Horse Comics web site.

Comic Shop Locator

Dark Horse Comics

Usagi Yojimbo Dojo

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Star Wars - Whats new?!

Starwars - The Clone Wars Season 5 starts this Saturday morning September 29th, I'm so excited!

"Strength in character can defeat strength in numbers."

Fueled by vengeance and rage, the newly reunited brothers Savage Opress and Maul spread terror and violence across the galaxy. As the Sith brothers forcibly recruit Hondo Ohnaka and his pirates, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Adi Gallia chase them down, leading to a deadly confrontation.

Here is a trailer for Episode 1

Interview with James Arnold Tayler (Obi-wan Kenobi) on Season 5 of the clone wars. Check it out over at Newsarama : Here

On October 6th, 2012, fans will come together to celebrate reading and Star Wars. Join in the fun by finding an event near you in the map provided below. All events will have giveaways and a raffle. Select events will have authors and/or costumed characters on hand from the 501st Legion, the Rebel Legion, the Mandalorian Mercs and the R2 Builders Club.

Find a Star Wars Reads Day Event Near You!

Here are the event locations in the twin cities:

1.) Barnes and Noble
2100 North Snelling Ave
Roseville, MN 55113

Event Time: 2pm
Event Details: Celebrate Star Wars Reads Day and master the art of reading! This event includes special appearances by authors Dan Wallace, Troy Denning and John Jackson Miller, along with giveaways, photo opportunities and a chance to win great Star Wars prizes.

2.) Barnes and Noble
3225 W 69th
Edina, MN 55435

Event Time: 2pm
Event Details: Celebrate Star Wars Reads Day and master the art of reading! This event includes games, trivia, giveaways, and a chance to win great Star Wars prizes.

3.) Barnes and Noble
3000 Eden Prairie Center
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Event Time: 2pm
Event Details: Celebrate Star Wars Reads Day and master the art of reading! This event includes games, trivia, giveaways, and a chance to win great Star Wars prizes.

Night's Watch (pre-order)

Yesterday Green Ronin announced the Pre-order for Night's Watch A source book for a Song of Ice and Fire Role playing game.  Product details (from Green Ronins site):

A Sourcebook for A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying
Authors: Joe Carriker, John Hay, Lee Hammock, Ian Ireland, Michelle Lyons, and Brett Rebischke-Smith Cover Artist: Slawomir Maniak
Format: 128 pages, full color hardback
ISBN-10: 1-934547-50-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-934547-50-2

"Though the Great Houses and their vassals play the eternal Game of Thrones, there are some who do not. The men of the Night's Watch guard the immense and icy Wall, built in the ancient days of Westeros to hold back the terrible things of the Long Night. Once a mighty cohort of brave knights and lords who gave up everything to protect the Seven Kingdoms from the predators of the Far North, the Night's Watch is now a rag-tag band of thieves, murderers, and those who ran afoul of the political machinations of their enemies. When the wildlings stir on the other side of the Wall, and the cold winds rise once more, will they be enough to save Westeros? Night's Watch gives you everything you need add this once noble order to your A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying chronicle. It includes rules for playing men of the Night's Watch and wildlings alike, as well as new information about the mysterious Others. Pray, men of the green lands, for Winter is Coming!"

Price: $32.95

You can order a PDF version if you  prefer a digital copy, for $17.50 or like most of Green Ronin's products you can get the PDF version for $5.00 when you pre-order the book. Here are a couple of preview pages from the book:

Preview #1

Preview #2

Sunday, September 23, 2012

RPG related Kick starter projects!

So I decided to go through the kick starter web site today just to see what else was out there for us crazy gamers, here is what I found:

Savage Outfitter: A digital platform for the Savage Worlds RPG, it can be used on your smart phone or web browser.

Judge Dredd Miniatures game: Block wars - Mongoose publishing is expanding their Dredd supplement and 28mm miniature line. ( as mention in yesterdays post)

Tentacles and Eyeballs- An RPG horror Miniature Set: Brought to you by Dark Platypus Studios, this kick starter is for a set of .. well tentacle monsters and "Beholders" (note: dont want to get in trouble with wizards of the coast, but thats what they are) These are really cool.

Eternity Dice: There are 3 different dice types, d6, fudge and dungeon all hand crafted out of LAVA rock!

Quarantine Z - A zombie survival card game: The title is self explanatory but you can go to their web site and download a printable version of the game to try it out. They also have all the rules on how to play, go check it out! 

City of Iron: a board game in which 2 - 4 players compete to build up the most powerful nation in a world of magic and machines.

Dungeonlands: Tomb of the Lich Queen: A role playing game setting for both Savage Worlds and Pathfinder rules. This looks very cool! I plan on backing this one!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Judge Dredd!!

Games Workshop
With this weekends release of Dredd 3D in theaters, I thought id take a look at whats out there for Judge Dredd gaming items. Based on the fictional world of the Judge Dredd series from the British comic 2000AD. Games workshop released the original game back in the 80's with its own rules set. I remember seeing these but I had never played the game or really read any of the comics.

Mongoose Publishing
In 2009 Mongoose Publishing acquired the rights and  produced a new RPG and a table top miniature  game. Once again I must admit I have yet to even page through this book. But I do plan on buying one in the near future. On the comic front, you can order a few trades from amazon, or digitally from the 2000AD web store. Unfortunately they are not available through comixology.

"Judge Dredd is a 28mm skirmish game designed to be quick, easy to learn, and capable of handling the madness that is Mega-City One, from the powerful judges to the lowliest punk or mutant.
Players can choose from a range of forces present in Mega-City One and beyond, from the Judges of the Justice Department itself, to the nastiest street gangs from the worst sectors of the city. Add to this Klegg Invasion Forces, Cursed Earth Desperadoes, Fattie Stampedes and Sky Surfers, and the true madness of Mega-City One is set to hit your tabletop with a bang!"

This looks like it would be a lot of fun to play, you can download the rules book and Block war supplement PDF's HERE. There are a huge assortment of miniatures to choose from. Judges include - Tek, Psi, Riot, Holocaust, Med, SJS and Cadets. Cursed Earth Desperadoes, Sky Surfers, Agents, Assassins, Droids and many more to choose from. I also wanted to mention that Mongoose is currently running a Kickstarter for a new Block War supplement and Miniatures set. There is 20 days left as of this post, so go check it out!

Let me know if you have ever played the Role Playing Games or the Miniatures, I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space roleplaying game - Upcoming products

Defending The Earth: The U.N.I.T. Sourcebook

Front and centre, soldier! You're part of UNIT now, the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. We are the Earth's best defence against the myriad alien forces who would try to subjugate and conquer our planet. Try they might, but they will meet UNIT: a global military force tasked with protecting the planet and researching the alien threat.
It's not an easy job, and even those recruited for their scientific knowledge can find themselves on the front lines of combat against an almost unstoppable foe. It's dangerous, violent and not everyone will survive, but for the good of the planet we will do everything in our power to protect humanity from extraterrestrial terrors.Defending the Earth is an expansion set for the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space roleplaying game.

Within this box you will find:

•160 page rulebook detailing the history of UNIT, along with additional information for creating UNIT characters, including new Traits and Areas of Expertise, as well as expanded firearms and combat rules, including mass combat and skirmish rules.
•32 page Adventure book, featuring a whole new ready-to-play adventure and many ideas for additional stories.
•Character sheets for major UNIT personnel, including the legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
and more… (Originally solicited for winter 2011) 

I cant find any information on this item other than it will be released this year, keep your fingers crossed!

Pre-order Hard copy + PDF through Cubical 7 store

The Time Traveller's Companion

Time flies when you're having fun, but flying through time can present a whole host of problems. Whether accidentally creating paradoxes, upsetting the course of history or trying to Put Things Right, you're going to need to know your way around the Vortex. You need a guide…a companion.
This supplement for Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space gives more information on Time Lords, temporal mechanics and time machines.

Once again this item should be released this year. I'm guessing they are updating the cover art with Matt Smith?

Pre-order Hard copy + PDF through Cubical 7 store

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Core Set (Eleventh Doctor Edition)

Imagine you could go anywhere. This world or countless others, encountering strange alien races, new cultures or hostile environments. Now imagine you could travel to any time. See the pyramids and the Sphinx (back when she had a nose!), discover who (or what) really built Stonehenge, meet the first Emperor of Japan, or travel into the far future as humanity spreads to the stars. Where would you go?
With Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, the power is in your hands! You can go anywhere or anywhen in the universe. It’s not going to be easy. It’ll probably be dangerous. The universe is a hostile place, full of Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, The Atraxi and worse. There will be fear, heartbreak and excitement, but above all, it’ll be the trip of a lifetime.
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space is a roleplaying game set in the universe of the world’s longest running science fiction show on TV – the BBC’s Doctor Who. Published in a boxed format, the core set includes:
•Player’s Guide
•Gamemaster’s Guide
•Adventure Book
•Quick Start Guide
•Character sheets, including pre-generated characters for the series cast
•Tokens and Dice
The Eleventh Doctor edition features:
•All-new art and graphic design
•Aliens and Creatures from the Doctor's most recent adventures
•A New adventures book written specifically for this edition
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space has been written to appeal to both the experienced and first time gamer.

Available now in your local game store or online at

Doctor Who Gamemaster's Screen (Eleventh Doctor Edition)

Packed with all the information a Gamemaster needs for easy reference during a session of Doctor Who, this 'deluxe' thick screen will last for years of Adventures in Time and Space.
- A four panel GM screen

Available now in your local game store or online at

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Buckaroo Banzai Adventures Pre-Order

Adamant Entertainment, in association with the Banzai Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Strategic Information, proudly offers this exclusive pre-order for the Buckaroo Banzai Adventure Game — a training manual for Blue Blaze Irregulars which uses the format of a tabletop role-playing game in order to prepare BBI recruits for the sorts of situations in which they may find themselves while aiding Buckaroo. The training manual will feature guidelines for taking on the roles of either your own Blue Blaze Irregular Strike Team, or the roles of Dr. Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers themselves. Familiarize yourselves with global threats ranging from Red Lectroids from Planet 10 to Hanoi Xan and the World Crime League; Learn about the specialized equipment available from the Banzai Institute, such as the Oscillation Overthruster and the Jet Car; And begin to embrace the motto of the Blue Blaze Irregulars: “Helping him to help us.”

The game will ship in the Fall of 2012 — this pre-order entitles customers to:

The hardcover final print version of the Adventure Game.
The PDF when the file is sent to the printers.
Your name listed as a Blue Blaze Irregular in the credits.
An official Blue Blaze Irregular identification card.
A special pre-order-exclusive PDF adventure.

The Blue Blaze Pre-Order of the BUCKAROO BANZAIADVENTURE GAME is available for $44.95 plus $7.95 shipping and handling.

Adamant entertainment sells ICONS RPG

(Re-posted via Adamant Entertainments blog)

Ad Infinitum Adventures Acquires Icons Superpowered Roleplaying

September 5, 2012 AdInfinitum Adventures, a new publisher of tabletop roleplaying (RPG) content announces the acquisition of the Icons Superpowered Roleplaying game from previous publisher Adamant Entertainment.

“Icons is a phenomenal game, and one that deserves far more focus and attention than Adamant is currently able to devote to it,” says Gareth-Michael Skarka, director of Adamant Entertainment. “With our growing focus on transmedia development for projects like FAR WEST, and the constraints of both the size of our staff and the fact that nobody has yet to invent a time machine allowing us the freedom to do as much as we’d like to, we felt that ICONS would be better served as the main focus of a new venture.”
First published in 2010, Icons is described as “…inspired by fast-playing old-school games and the new generation of narrative role-play…” It has been supported with over a dozen adventures and two sourcebooks—The Villainomicon and Icons Team-Up—as well as a robust third-party publishing program featuring dozens of offerings, from deep space cosmic adventure to the Golden Age comics of World War II. It was nominated for three EN World Awards in 2011: Best Rules, Best Game, and Best New Game.
Ad Infinitium Adventures is owned and operated by Icons designer Steve Kenson, also known for the design of the Mutants & Masterminds and DC Adventures games for Green Ronin Publishing. “Icons is a different sort of superhero game,” Kenson says, “based on the sheer fun of making some die rolls and coming up with a random collection of powers and abilities, and then building a superhero around them. It’s a fast-playing game with an emphasis on character, easy to put something together on the spur of the moment.”

Ad Infinitium plans for a seemless transition of the game line, keeping existing product on-sale and continuing to support Icons with source material, adventures, and third-party licensing, such as the Stark City setting from Fainting Goat Games (for which Mr. Kenson wrote setting creation guidelines for Icons). “As Icons fans,” Mr. Skarka says, “we eagerly await the new developments from Ad Infinitum Adventures!”

I wanted to share this announcement with everyone out there that has played ICONS and those that haven't yet had a chance to play it. I have played this system and love it! It is one of the most simple and fun Hero based RPGs I have ever played.

 It sounds like the game is in good hands and all source materials are still available for purchase and download over at It looks like most of their products are on sale right now too. Seriously, if you haven't tried this system you don't know what your missing, go check it out.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Pre-order Shadowman #1

Be sure an head over to your local comic shop to pre-order your copies of Shadowman #1 and get your "Blackout " pull box variant Copy! Head over to the Valiant web site for preview art from issue #1

Art & Cover by PATRICK ZIRCHER (SEP121219)
“Blackout” Pullbox Exclusive Variant by PATRICK ZIRCHER (SEP121220)
Variant Cover by DAVE JOHNSON (SEP121221)
Variant Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ (SEP121222)
$3.99 US/Rated T+/32 pgs.


In the heart of crime-ridden Hutt-Space, a Jedi Scholar searches for justice.
While trying to obtain the coordinates of a secret, peril-packed, but potentially beneficial trade route, a novice Jedi is killed—and the motive for his murder remains shrouded in mystery. Now his former Master, Jedi archivist Mander Zuma, wants answers, even as he fights to erase doubts about his own abilities as a Jedi. What Mander gets is immersion into the perilous underworld of the Hutts as he struggles to stay one step ahead in a game of smugglers, killers, and crime lords bent on total control.

Every Friday, the crew @ Del Rey Spectra will place a 50 page excerpt of a selected title on Suvudu. 
This week’s excerpt comes from Jeff Grubb’s STAR WARS: SCOURGE. The latest Star Wars adventure takes us deep into the dangerous world of the Hutts, where a vigilante Jedi searches for the criminal behind his friend’s untimely death. Read more below:

Star Wars - Scourge

Like Del Rey Spectra on FaceBook

Buy this book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Cool Star wars Links!