EXCL. PREVIEW: "Avatar: Smoke & Shadow" TPB Threatens the Fire Nation
Does everybody remember Mongoose Publishing’s Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a range of Judge Dredd miniatures? I can’t think of many comics-based crowd-sourcing campaigns that reached their initial target so quickly and outstripped that original target by so much (after originally seeking $2,000, they finally ended at $101,457, allowing for multiple stretch goals). Well, now Mongoose is fundraising for another miniatures-RPG based on a classic 2000AD property Rogue Trooper. Again, they’ve quickly shot past their first target of £6,000 in just one week, allowing for another ambitious program of stretch goals to roll out.
Clearly Mongoose is tapping into something big with these campaigns, there’s a demand for these products that has probably gone unnoticed by non-gamers for years.
Beanworld is the nearly three-decades-old fantasy comic by Larry Marder that follows the adventures of minimalistic characters known as Beans. Bean!, meanwhile, is a fantasy role-playing game published by Fabled Worlds in which participants go on adventures as beans (and, from what I can tell, may involve actual beans).
“You’d think in this day & age you might try Googling a name before doing something as stupid as these people have done,” the cartoonist wrote on Twitter. “My lawyer notified. Start the process of dealing with this thief tomorrow.”
Asked later whether it is “just the name, or does the setting in the book have a resemblance to Beanworld cosmology?,” Marder replied, “Source book title is same as my registered trademark Beanworld. Characters look like a smoosh of Mr PotatoHead and CA Raisin.”
There’s been a long history of games adaptations of Judge Dredd, going back to the first board game released by Games Workshop in 1982, and their role-playing game of 1985. Back then, Games Workshop’s miniature-making division Citadel released many waves of Judge Dredd figures. I bought many of those as a lad, with plenty of them still in my parents’ attic, in various states of assembly.
There have been a few iterations between then and now, but one thing is for sure, the coming-to-an-end-soon Kickstarter campaign for the latest generation of Judge Dredd miniatures from Mongoose is a rousing success, with nearly $80,000 pledged now from an initial goal of $2,000. Their rulebook for the game is a free download, so have a look, and if you’re hooked, throw them a few dollars. At the rate they’re going, they’ll be able to make miniatures of every character ever to grace the strip.
Webcomics | Philip Hofer, the creator of the ComicPress WordPress theme used by many webcomics artists, discusses that and his new WordPress product, Comic Easel. [The Webcomic Beacon]
Creators | Peter Bagge talks about his comics and his relationship with Robert Crumb as both a contributor to and editor of Crumb’s anthology Weirdo: “With the style of work that I do, I like it to look on the surface like it’s shallow and stupid, but when you read it, the context is really sweet; [Crumb] saw that right away. I remember telling him ‘I have some story ideas, using fictional characters that are stand-ins for me, and I’m remembering things that are embarrassing and hard to write about. Even though I’m hiding behind a fictional character, I’m nervous talking about embarrassing events from my past. I’m a little bit afraid. He said ‘Those are exactly the stories you need to tell, especially if it won’t go away, and are always in the back of your head.’” [Graphic NYC]
If you’ve been inside more than a few comic stores, you’ll realize that it’s more than just comics — role-playing games are a frequent presence, sometimes overshadowing the comics themselves. And a new webcomic is bringing those two like-minded worlds together in a story that’s both a comic and an RPG. James Stowe’s Sidekick Quests follows a group of adventurers who set out to save King McGuffin’s daughter from the Spiked Knight. The princess’ name? True McGuffin.
Do you see where this is going?
Launched in March, Sidekick Quests has built up steam — and pages — with it’s once-a-week updates and managed to forge a bond between the worlds of comics fans and RPGers. In addition to doing the comic, Stowe is selling PDFs outlining how to play a Sidekick Quests RPG, and also offering to do commissions for fans of their characters.
Atomic Robo writer Brian Clevinger announced that he and artist Scott Wegener have joined forces with Evil Hat Productions to create a role-playing game based on everyone’s favorite Tesla robot.
Clevinger writes, “It’s probably a sad statement about our business savvy that most creators can talk about their projects in terms of the movie deals they’re bound to get. Scott and I? Even before the first issue came out, all we wanted was a tabletop roleplaying game. Y’know, because comics just wasn’t niche enough.”
The game will use a variation on the FATE system, modified by game designer Mike Olson. MTV Geek offers a couple more details, stating that this is an early announcement and that the game is still in development. It will likely be released later this year or early in 2013.