Remember the "This is the world liberals want!" meme? Subversion is the game they'd be talking about, and I mean that as high praise. While it has the requisite cyberpunk trappings of economic dystopia and extreme power imbalances, it flips Shadowrun's integration of fantasy on its head, imagining a world that a) always had magic and fantastic lineages (aka, races), and b) building upon Babylonian mythology as its foundation instead of the usual European inspirations. In Neo Babylon, magic has ruled for eons and technology is trying to level the playing field, disrupting the balance of power while crushing the underprivileged between them. In this world, the cops (Lawjacks) are implicitly a gang.
I've had an itch to write something in this ridiculous and ridiculously cool world since I finished Shadowrun Returns a couple of months ago, like I used to for D&D, and have started sketching out my first character's backstory.
I honestly don't know how Shadowrun escaped me all these years, but its combination of D&D, The Matrix, and Mission: Impossible is 100% my shit! Imagine: fantasy races, magic, cyberpunk, and elaborate heists sitting atop an intricately fleshed out near-future world that uses the Mayan Long Count calendar and corporate greed as its main pillars. It's as problematic, corny, and compelling as you'd think — and I'm totally digging it.
I'm rarely playing the newest releases so most annual lists don't often reflect my favorites, but thanks to Game Pass, my 2022 playlist included a broader range of new (and new-to-me) games than usual, including several I probably wouldn't have played otherwise. After all of the above, it might be surprising that Marvel Snap isn't at the top of my list, but as much fun as it is, Citizen Sleeper was better in different ways.
Between research for Comics Plus (aka, the day job) and many hours of the wonderful Mangasplaining podcast, I've been able to zero in on stories that are most likely to be up my alley without putting too big a dent in my wallet. As a result, manga has become the majority of what I've read and enjoyed this year.
Five things for November 17, 2022. That's it! That's the excerpt.
Five things for August 19, 2021. That's it! That's the excerpt.
Five things for May 13, 2021. That's it! That's the excerpt.
2018 was a pretty terrible year by many measures, but it was a damn good year for movies. While big budget sequels of varying quality continued to dominate the box office, there was still room in theaters for new and original stories to stand out while streaming options give them a shot at reaching the wider audiences they deserve—including me, in a couple of cases. My top 10 favorites (plus 4 honorable mentions) were unexpectedly tough to sort out, but they represent a more varied list than I would have initially guessed at the beginning of the year.
Back in 2005, I spent two hours over cold beers talking with Charlie Huston about Moon Knight and the pressure of living up to the hype surrounding his relaunch; what “decompression” and “9-out-of-10 of those single issues sucked!” have in common; and what Doug Moench and Steve Gerber don’t have in common. The resulting interview, originally published at Buzzscope, is my favorite ever.