You may have noticed the lack of posts here, but don’t worry – this blog has not been abandoned! I’m currently in graduate school, and have been trying to keep up with all of the reading and writing I need to get done. I have a 20-page paper due soon, so I won’t have as much extra writing time as I’d like to complete something for The Geeky Gimp. I’m hoping to get a review up this weekend, but we shall see.
In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter or Facebook! I’ll keep you up-to-date on what’s coming up for The Geeky Gimp. Also, if you’re interested in writing something for us, just let me know. I certainly welcome guest bloggers!
Hello readers and fellow nerds! I just wanted to write a quick update since there will not be a review this week. I’ve been on vacation for two weeks (with a week break in between), and while I feel silly complaining about vacations, it is still tiring being away from home and my routine. I need to catch up on some schoolwork, as well as organize my mess of a room – I have games, books, and comics everywhere. I went through the movies today, and managed to part with a lot of them – even some of my Johnny Depp films that I once treasured. I don’t even know where to start with the piles and piles of comics and magazines (and, y’know, books) in my bookshelves. I have a feeling I’ll be ruthless and donate a majority of them, because it’s important to be realistic when you’re cleaning up your space; if you think you’re never going to look at something again, just put it in the give-away pile. I refuse to be on an episode of Hoarders!
Anyway, there are a lot of reviews coming up that I’m looking forward to sharing with you. The next one will be Edward Scissorhands, one of my favorite movies, and it really centers on the theme of disability. It’s probably going to be long, so I may make it into a two-parter. After that, I’ll tackle Strain, a board game where you have to defeat your opponents with SCIENCE, and Batman Chronicles #5, where we learn the origin of Oracle. I’m also working on the X-Files episode “All Souls,” and it will probably make you as angry as it made me. Then there’s the Mark Millar comic, Superior, which I just discovered last week; it features a kid with Multiple Sclerosis who turns into real-life version of a fictional superhero. I also have some other reviews in mind, such as: the Birds of Prey series, Lars and the Real Girl, TNG episode “Ethics,” Shadows Over Camelot board game, Doctor Who novels, and more. As always, if you have any suggestions/recommendations, let me know.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a Batman comic, and I’ve surprisingly never read The Killing Joke. This graphic novel is considered a classic, written by Alan Moore of Watchmen and V for Vendetta fame, and hauntingly illustrated by Brian Bolland. I purchased the 2008 deluxe edition, which was recolored by Bolland; he uses a cooler palette than the original color artist, and makes the flashback scenes into black and white, with small touches of color to add emphasis on certain objects. I’ve seen the original 1988 comic (thanks, internet!), and I definitely think the new coloring transforms the comic into the darker, weightier story it was meant to be. You can see the difference here:
The original looks psychedelic, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it doesn’t fit the dark theatrical nature of some of the scenes. The recoloring and illustrations are the best things about this comic. That isn’t to say that I didn’t think the story was well executed, but the art is so great here that it overshadows the other elements. I particularly liked the way the Joker was drawn – he looked sadistic and frightening, but you could still see the human behind it. The carnival scenes are effectively chaotic, highlighting the perverseness of the Joker’s thought process and actions.
Despite my praise for the artwork and plot execution, there are some very problematic things about this novel – namely the treatment of Barbara Gordon. So let’s just get right down to it so you can see what I mean. … Read more…
I’m a big fan of the card and storytelling game Gloom, where the object is to make your characters as miserable as possible before killing them off. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? I truly love dark humor. So when I heard Atlas Games had another macabre card game available, I had to snatch it up. It did not disappoint! Let’s take a closer look.
Murder of Crows
Players: 2 to 5
Ages: 13 and up, although I think it’s fine for slightly younger players.
Publish Date: 2012
BoardGameGeek Link: click here
According to the rules sheet, the objective of the game is to “reveal a complete murder story by playing all the letters in the word ‘M-U-R-D-E-R’.” Each card contains one of these letters, along with an accompanying image and a line of story text.
To start the game, players are dealt five cards, and the remaining cards are used as the draw pile. On your turn, you must draw one card and play one card. You can also choose to skip your turn and draw two cards. To play a card, you simply place it into your Murder, which is the table space in front of you. You eventually want to spell out MURDER; this seems easy, but each card allows you to perform an action once it is played associated with its designated letter. For example:
M‘s action is “misplace,” which allows you to take one card of your choice from an opponents murder and put it into your hand.
U is “uncover,” where your opponents reveal their hands, and you take a card of your choice.
R is “reap,” which is drawing an additional card from the draw pile.
D is “drain,” where you must choose one letter and your opponents discard one of that card from their Murder.
E is “expel,” where your opponents have to discard their entire hand and draw three new cards.
I am not a huge fan of The Next Generation, despite what my Pez dispenser and TNG comic collection might tell you. I haven’t seen every episode yet, but I’ve watched four seasons and I find it difficult to get through at times. I understand the appeal this show has for a lot of people, but many of the episodes are bogged down by meetings and negotiations. The Original Series, while also having meetings and plenty of talky moments, felt more balanced. This may have something to do with Kirk’s ability to challenge and oftentimes defy the Prime Directive, which leaves room for more action and conflict. Despite my somewhat negative outlook of the show, it is still great to analyze and discuss its plots and hit-or-miss attempts at social commentary. The episode I’m reviewing now, titled “The Loss,” is one that stuck out to me because of its weak attempt at disability discourse, and its ability to make my indifferent feelings about Troi switch to complete disgust in only 42 minutes.
The episode opens with Ensign Brooks in a counseling session with Troi. Brooks recently lost her husband, and seems to be in a state of denial. Troi reminds her that it would have been her husband’s 38th birthday, and shows her a music box she’s saved that belonged to him. Brooks breaks down and cries on Troi’s shoulder.
Cut to the bridge. Worf picks up something on the sensors that quickly disappears, and Data is unable to see anything with his equipment. As this is going on, Troi says goodbye to Brooks, and suddenly clutches her head in pain. She enters her room and passes out on the couch. And then…
SPACE! THE FINAL FRONTIER! You know the rest. The opening credits are the best (and least rage-inducing) part of this episode. That should tell you something about where I’m going with this review.
Picard orders Data to resume course to T’lli Beta because there is nothing showing up on the sensors. As soon as he says “Engage!”, the ship jolts and is unable to enter warp. They go to a full stop and yellow alert, but the Enterprise begins moving again – albeit very slowly. Some unknown force is pulling them along. After a failed attempt at breaking free, Data suggests immediate shutdown and Picard does his infamous “Make it so!” They continue to be pulled in the same direction and at the same speed.
Back in Troi’s room, we see her wake up and call Dr. Crusher. She says she feels dizzy, but isn’t sure what happened. After dealing with a few other crew injuries, Crusher arrives and wants to run an internuncial series on her in sick bay. She’s still clearly in distress, so medical scans are probably a good idea.
I credit my dear friend Sarah with getting me into board games; she would bring over something new to play every time she visited. Over the 15 years that we’ve been friends, she’s helped me discover some classics, such as Castle Panic, Forbidden Island, Puerto Rico, and this gem – Spy Alley. So when I saw it in the store, I had to pick it up for the nostalgia…and for the spies. There’s nothing I love more than deceiving people (in a game! I’m not a shady person, don’t worry), so this one is right up my alley. My spy alley, as it were.
Players: 2 to 6
Ages: 8 and up
Publish Date: 1992
BoardGameGeek link: click here
In Spy Alley, players choose a spy identification card that is kept hidden from everyone else. They are also given money which will be used to buy the items they need. On your turn, you roll the dice, and move to the appropriate space. The object of the game is to collect all of your spy items (password, disguise, code book, and key) for the country you represent without giving away who you are. Items can be purchased by landing on their space on the board; once your item is purchased, you mark it off on your scoreboard so everyone can keep track of what you own. When you collect all of your items, you must enter spy alley and land on your embassy – the first player to do this wins the game. Other players can guess who you are before this occurs, but if they’re wrong, they lose the game. If they guess correctly, you lose. There is a space on the board that allows you to take a free guess, but the person you are calling out must be in spy alley – so that can be a bit tricky. You can also win by default if everyone else has been eliminated. … Read more…