toys and games
Awards | Following the nomination of two graphic novels for the Costa Prize, the new chairman of the Man Booker Prize said he would welcome submissions of graphic novels as well. [The Telegraph]
Passings | Former Wizard staff member Marc Wilkofsky, whose efforts on behalf of Friends of Lulu earned him their Volunteer of the Year award in 2005, has died at the age of 42. He was also an enthusiastic member of the NYC Comic Jams. [Andrew Kardon, The Beat]
Conventions | Richard Bruton files a comprehensive con report on the recent Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, England. [Forbidden Planet]
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.
This should lift the spirits of readers still mourning the end of DC Comics’ Tiny Titans: Cool Toy Review and Fwoosh have the first looks at Mattel’s Comic-Con International-exclusive boxed set featuring five figures — Robin, Raven, Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy — based on the character designs from the Eisner Award-winning series by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani. As you can see from the image above, the package is actually a Sidekick City Elementary bus driven by principal Slade Wilson and bearing the slogan “Convention or Bust.” On the back is a comic strip by Baltazar and Aureliani depicting the five pint-sized heroes, including a cosplaying Beast Boy, at the convention.
Check out more images below, and at Cool Toy Review and Fwoosh. The set will be available at the Mattel booth at Comic-Con for $20, and at MattyCollector.com later.
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.
Comics | ICv2′s latest report on the comics market shows a mixed picture for monthly comics and graphic novels. While DC’s New 52 reboot has helped push comics sales, the graphic-novel versions of those comics won’t be out for months — and Amazon is gobbling up a larger and larger share of graphic novel sales, especially at the high end. And this is interesting: “Digital sales are growing as a percentage of the market, but apparently not at the expense of print sales. Retailers interviewed by ICv2 do not feel they’re losing sales to digital competition on DC’s day and date titles.” That seems to be more anecdote than data, but you would think retailers would be the first to notice a drop in sales. The report also includes lists of the top 10 properties in various categories. [ICv2]
Monk explains on his website: “Superheroes are icons of male power and potency whose comic book and film adventures see them engaged in epic battles across the universe, yet these mythic figures have another life as consumer objects to be found in commercial and domestic contexts. Placed in carrier bags and hung on a hook in a domestic space they become recently purchased objects, robbed of the enormous power they wield in their narratives, their dynamic energy stymied. Despite this reduction they remain irresistible in their cartoonish rage and pride.”
Created by Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang, the hit comic is described by the writer as “a sarcastically self-aware sword & sorcery action-comedy series starring two monster-mashing mercenaries who will do whatever it takes to get paid.”
Munchkin is a line of popular card games that take a humorous approach to traditional roleplaying games — its slogan is “kill the monster, steal the treasure, stab your buddy” — based on the concept of “munchkins,” immature players whose aim is simply to “win.”
A Munchkin game based on Axe Cop, the webcomic by Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle, was announced in March for a fall release.
The finalists in each of the 12 categories were selected from nominations submitted by a panel composed of actors Seth Rogan and Clark Duke, Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, retailers, and comics and entertainment journalists.
Online voting continues through March 4. The winners will be announced April 9 during a ceremony at Kapow Comic Con in London. The nominees are: