Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Lull before the Storm

It's been pretty slow on the gaming front the last few weeks, but I thought I'd at least share a few things I've been doing.

As DC and Marvel Comicss have been simultaneously pulverizing their respective universes in hopes of ginning up for readers, I've decided to take a break from both houses until the dust settles and I get a sense of what the new regular comic book offerings are going to look like.  I'm not optimistic, and deeply suspect that I'll be dropping a lot of titles from my "pull box" at the local comic book shop.

In the meantime, I've been cruising the library reading some older titles, including the weird and funky Tomb of Dracula.  The series is so, so 1970's, with its mod-style heroes and hip dialogue.  Dracula is the ultimate square, an arrogant authority figure from the past set on preying upon mostly young (and generally female) victims.  There is that 1970's fondness for Universal Studios monsters, "Asian" stereotypes, and not-so-subtle social commentary. What is interesting is that Dracula is the antagonist of the series, yet also the main (and title) character, which was a real oddity of its time for comic books.

It's also worth noting that the series introduces Blade, the quasi-vampire hunter of vampires, later to be featured in several movies.  Marc Wolfman (the series editor) did say that the early Blade character was guilty of possessing what he described as "Marvel Black" dialogue, which is spot-on and an interesting comment by a member of the Marvel staff.  Blade would be pulled from the series for almost a year for this reason, to later return with a more toned-down personality.

Aside from reading some old collected series of comic books, I've been getting ready to say goodbye to a friend from the gaming group: Ben, the player of Union Galatic from the MHR game and Komos from both iterations of Dungeons & Dragons (Ben ret-conned his 4E character, having him lose his divinely-based powers from 4E to become a 1st-level monk in 5E).  Ben has a great new job in Nebraska and will be leaving at the end of the month, so this Friday's session will be his last.

In anticipation of his departure, we are having a "plenary" gaming session as we call it with all ten players showing up at once.  I've done this before, and it isn't easy, but I have something very special planned for them.  I'll share the outcome with you all in a few days.

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