Category Archives: Games

Z2 Comics and Swedish Metal Titans Amon Amarth Announce New Epic Graphic Novel/Board Game, The Great Heathen Army

Z2 has announced Amon Amarth: The Great Heathen Army, a new graphic novel and board game collaboration celebrating the heavy metal quintet’s last album of the same name. Channeling the thunderous epic poem winding through these nine tracks, the graphic novel dives into the heart of the Viking Age, as oars propel longships to shores awaiting the brutal collision of steel and bone.

The project unites the band with writer Dan Watters, artist Ario Murti, and cover artists Montos and Tom Thiel.

The pages of The Great Heathen Army unspool throughout a 9th-century battle siege, in which a coalition of Viking warriors from Scandinavia invades England, wreaking unprecedented chaos. The tale dynamically pivots between large-scale dioramas of destruction to the lives of the men and women whose decisions leveled populations, capturing the devastating human cost to both sides of this legendary clash. The book will also include a foreword from professional WWE Wrestling Hall of Famer and Viking devotee, Adam “Edge” Copeland

Z2 and Amon Amarth present The Great Heathen Army in standard hardcover and deluxe hardcover editions, set to release in Fall 2023. The deluxe hardcover will come signed with three art prints illustrated by Tom Thiel, a Silver Pennigar Viking Collector’s Coin, and a limited edition board game with an oversized battle map. 

The Great Heathen Army board game will also be available separately. In the deck-building war game, players assume the role of the Vikings on the attacker’s side or that of the Anglo-Saxons on the defender’s side; each side will strategize their own goal to defeat or repel the other in absorbing, hours-long campaigns.

Alison Wonderland and Z2 Comics Announce Psychedelic, Role-Playing-Inspired Graphic Novel, Loner

Z2 Comics and singer/songwriter/producer Alison Wonderland have announced a new graphic novel, Loner. Z2 Comics co-founder Sridhar Reddy is co-writing the book alongside Wonderland; MinomiyabiAlex HeywoodKelsey RamsayBRÄO, and Taylan Kurtulus all provide interior art, with Alex Heywood on cover art. 

The project expands on the themes of isolation and redemption that punctuated Wonderland’s third full-length album of the same name, released last May. After enduring cataclysmic life shifts, Wonderland felt a deep lull that coincided with the global pandemic, ultimately allowing the musician to reflect and find empowerment throughout the following months. 

The Loner graphic novel witnesses the acclaimed DJ and musician channel those themes into a dimension-spanning, psychedelic personal journey of creation and loss. The project explores the waves of panic, grief, and forgiveness that come with the highs and lows of making something beautiful. Ranging from real-life conflicts of bullying and anxiety to otherworldly sci-fi dealing with metaphysical monsters, Loner also features a fully-playable fantasy RPG module complete with character sheets and map.  

Loner will be available in both softcover and hardcover formats. Deluxe editions include a hand-signed edition of the book, four prints, a limited edition CD of the album with exclusive art, and custom pair of Crocs shoewear. Loner will release in winter 2023. 

Loner

SDCC 2022: The Frazetta and Bakshi Masterpiece Fire and Ice Returns!

Fire and Ice returns! The beloved sword and sorcery masterpiece of artwork, animation, and storytelling is making its way back to the hearts and hands of fans thanks to a new partnership between Dynamite Entertainment, the Frazetta Girls brand, and Bakshi Productions for both new comic books and tabletop games.

With the coming 2023 marking 40 years since the 1983 release of the original film, now more than ever is the time to celebrate and continue the legacy of this innovative and memorable film. Dynamite is working alongside the Frazetta family and Bakshi Productions with talented creators to craft a truly special set of follow ups that will delight fans new and old.

A comic book series is set to debut that will serve as a prequel and continue the themes and ideas of the original film. That ended with the barbarian hero Larn and his beloved Princess Teegra embracing in their victory and survival against the fearsome evil queen Juliana and her demented son Nekron. While their mysterious ertswhile ally Darkwolf looked on from afar. Could fans get to see these characters again, or be introduced to a barbaric and fantastical cast of newcomers? These secrets will be revealed in time as the projects come to fruition.

Further creative team information will be revealed soon, but the comic series will feature a cover presenting Frank Frazetta‘s original masterpiece painting created for the development and eventual poster for the movie. Superstar artists with a love of the mythos will be announced closer to the solicitation date.

In addition to a thrilling comic book prequel, Fire and Ice will also be coming to gamers’ tabletops! The expansive fantasy mythos and memorable characters will translate perfectly to the roleplaying sphere where these tropes are beloved by gamers who play the likes of Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder as more, with many games taking inspiration from Fire and Ice and Bakshi’s other fantasy films. The exact format and design of the game is to be revealed.

Fire and Ice was the match made in heaven collaboration between Bakshi and Frazetta. The two developed the concept together and the film’s art style was based on Frazetta’s work, brought to life through Bakshi’s animation. They then called in comics scribes and Conan the Barbarian veterans Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway to handle the script. Frazetta was then also closely involved in production, from casting to the rotoscoping filming sessions. In its day the film was heralded as if a comic book was brought to the big screen, and now Dynamite is bringing it back to some of its major inspirations in other media.

More details will be revealed soon!

Fire and Ice

Unboxing: Marvel Dice Throne

The Kickstarter for Marvel Dice Throne is here! We honestly don’t remember what we ordered so go through the box and see what’s inside.

This is just the first impression and there’s much more to come!

Let us know what you think of Dice Throne and where we should start to learn and any advice or anything else we should get!

(via Board Game Today)

Unboxing: Ox Eye Media Mystery Box

Deep Water Games and Source Point Press have teamed up for a limited edition mystery box!

A company wide Spring Cleaning event! The Ox Eye Media Mystery Box includes:

  • 1 big box Deep Water Games board game
  • 1 small box Deep Water Games board game
  • 1 full 3-5 issue Source Point Press comic series
  • 1 Source Point Press collected trade
  • 1 in 5 Mystery Boxes contain a limited edition metal variant cover of a Source Point Press title.

A guaranteed $50 or more value for only $45!

We open up and show off a box so see what we got!

  • 7 Summits – $20.97 to $29.95
  • Hands – $9.07 to $14.95
  • Good Boy #1 – $3.99
  • Good Boy #2 – $3.99
  • Good Boy #3 – $3.99
  • Boston Metaphysical Society Vol. 1 – $19.99

Deep Water Games is teaming up with Source Point Press for a limited edition mystery box!

Deep Water Games and Source Point Press are having a company wide Spring Cleaning event! Order an Ox Eye Media Mystery Box and you’re guaranteed:

  • 1 big box Deep Water Games board game
  • 1 small box Deep Water Games board game
  • 1 full 3-5 issue Source Point Press comic series
  • 1 Source Point Press collected trade

1 in 5 Mystery Boxes contain a limited edition metal variant cover of a Source Point Press title. 

A guaranteed $50 or more value for only $45! For a limited time only!

Ox Eye Media Mystery Box

Unboxing: Unmatched: Marvel – Hell’s Kitchen

Make Mine Marvel… with Unmatched! The tactical combat board game dives into the Marvel Universe with Unmatched: Marvel – Hell’s Kitchen which features Elektra, Bullseye, and Daredevil!

It’s all brought to life by the masterful illustration of Oliver Barrett and Ian O’Toole.

We open up and show off everything inside!

Get yours now:
Game Nerdz
Amazon
Miniature Market
CoolStuffInc


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Board Game Today does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

(via Board Game Today)

Unboxing: Unmatched: Marvel – Redemption Row

Make Mine Marvel… with Unmatched! The tactical combat board game dives into the Marvel Universe with Unmatched: Marvel – Redemption Row which features Moon Knight, Ghost Rider, and Luke Cage with Misty Knight!

It’s all brought to life by the masterful illustration of Matt Taylor and Ian O’Toole.

We open up and show off everything inside!

Get yours now:
Game Nerdz
Amazon
Miniature Market
CoolStuffInc


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Board Game Today does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

(via Board Game Today)

Kevin Eastman Launches Mystery Game Box Bundles

Kevin Eastman has launched “Mystery Game Box Bundles” that are available for sale now. In 2016, 2019 and 2020, IDW Games released a series of Adventure Board Games via Kickstarter.

  • TMNT Shadows of the Past Board Game – 2016
  • Munchkins TMNT was created in collaboration with Steve Jackson Games and launched in 2018
  • TMNT Adventures City Fall – 2019

These games include character figures, playing boards and tiles, action figures, dice, story books detailing missions and even Original Artwork by Kevin Eastman – co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Eastman’s team has put all these elements from these three games in a huge Loot Pile at The Studio and from that they have assembled an AWESOME Loot Bundle just for you and every bundle will include at least three, signed by Kevin items including one original work of art.

Bundles will include:

  • At least 10 collectible miniature playing figures, including 2 Turtles
  • A package of 10 themed battle dice (each one different)
  • An Aloplex Survivor Card – signed with a head sketch remarque by Sophie Campbell
  • An illustrated rules book or adventure book from the 2016 or 2019 games. This book is signed on the cover by Kevin.
  • A set of map tiles and playing tokens
  • Villain or hero sheets and special move or ability cards
  • One Lithograph from the Munchkins Games. This lithograph is signed by Kevin in gold ink.
  • One Original Turtle head and weapon sketch by Kevin and signed in gold ink

ADDITIONALLY they have randomly inserted sets of “Save The Studio” tiles depicting Kevin’s Studio – these are Signed by Kevin with a head sketch remarque – COWABUNGA – that makes FOUR signed by Kevin elements if you are lucky enough to score one of these sets. Your chance of this BONUS being included is 1 in four, so pretty good odds!

You can select your favorite Turtle and they’ll make sure that the Original Sketch card by Kevin depicts this dude. Use the drop down menu to select which Bundle you prefer – or grab all four.

The fine print:

  • Your Bundle has already been curated – You select which Turtle you want your Original Artwork to depict, threy guarantee that and they’ve taken it from there.
  • Please note that the books are NOT in pristine condition and may have dings but are part of the package and they guarantee you One Signed Book as part of the bundle.

We Were Scared: Horror in the year 2021

I’m not one to look back on a year and say the horror produced in it was a reflection of how bad things were. Every year finds its sources of fear, be it war or global pandemics or even economic strife. There’s no shortage of things that inspire terror.

What’s been a constant throughout time is how we turn to stories to work through our collective fears. This year saw no shortage of them, and so we recognize them.

Ahead you’ll find a list of horror across media that stands as some of the most impressive, surprising, disturbing, and downright scary that came out in 2021. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive or a definitive list nor is it in any particular order. It’s a look at the stories that got us to confront the horrors of everyday life, for that is what horror does best: create monsters and specters to helps us sift through the madness of reality. Oh, and it’s entirely subjective, as every list is.

Without further ado, the list for some of the most compelling things in horror in 2021.

1. Resident Evil 8: Village (PS/Xbox/PC/Stadia)

The Resident Evil franchise went through a legitimate transformation with the arrival of RE7, the entry that shifted from the third-person perspective into the first-person. It got the series to reconsider the places it could extract fear from. RE8 builds upon this by taking a more action-heavy approach, but like the classic Resident Evil 4 before it, the faster pace allowed the game to be infused with a more violent and visceral sense of horror, turning each encounter into a nerve-shattering experience. We once again follow Ethan Winters as his family drama extends into a village bursting at the seams with grotesque creatures and insidious conspiracies. The new werewolf villagers Ethan faces are superbly designed and they carry themselves with the same degree of doom and maliciousness as The Ganado did in RE4, but deadlier. It’s one of the best horror games in recent years and it foretells of an indulgingly dark and exciting future for the franchise.

2. Red Room (Fantagraphics)

Ed Piskor has the most macabre and twisted book to have come out in recent years in comics, period. Red Room is not for the faint of heart. It’s for those who don’t mind watching cruel individuals tearing those hearts out. The comic centers on an on-going dark web streaming show, supported by cryptocurrency, called The Red Room where serial killers dismember, disembowel, torture, and kill in the most creative ways imaginable, building a fanbase in the process. The more gruesome the kill, the more crypto tips the killer gets. In a sense, it’s a story about the depravity of creativity in things considered evil, but it’s also about how dangerous something like the dark web can be and how crypto figures into something like this. Piskor said he didn’t base the story on an actual red room-like website he knows about, but that he wouldn’t be surprised if such a place already exists. The thought of that alone is frightening enough and the comic pulls on the same strings. There’s nothing like Red Room on the stands. Nothing.

3. The Night House (TSG Entertainment/Dir. by David Bruckner)

Some of the best horror movies manage to find that well-worn formulas never truly reach a point in which everything is said and done with them. The Night House is one such movie. Beth (played by Rebecca Hall) is dealing with the sudden and unexpected death of her husband, a man whose departure hints at something darker lurking in his backstory. Beth notices her lake house is behaving strangely, possibly haunted, and that her husband might be back for a visit. The movie excels at making the house seem labyrinthian, a place where memories are dangerous and the architecture itself contains hidden images if looked at from certain angles. Rebecca Hall plays Beth with a sense of sadness and anger that sets her apart from the usual haunted protagonist, more of an active participant in her grief rather than a victim to it. All of the elements of a haunted house story are also there, but then the movie pushes every expectation down a different route to come out the other end as a more disquieting experience. It deserves to be talked about more.

4. Evil Dead Trap (Unearthed Classics 2021 Blu-Ray edition, originally released in 1988)

Okay, I’m cheating a bit on this one—being that it’s the Blu-Ray edition of a Japanese giallo-inspired horror movie from 1988—but that Unearthed Classics restored this gem and made it available for gore hounds in 2021 was one of the year’s most pleasant surprises. Evil Dead Trap follows a TV reporter that sets off with her team to an abandoned factory where a mysterious snuff filmed was shot. As they search for answers, the video’s creator starts in on the killing, one team member at a time. The movie’s director, Toshiharu Ikeda, who started out in the industry directing pink films (movies with risqué or explicit sexual content), takes a lot of inspiration from the Italian slasher genre and manages to craft some truly memorable death scenes. Unlike giallo films, though, Evil Dead Trap opts to pay more attention to story and character motivations. It all adds up to a brutal experience that’s unafraid to go far beyond concept to push the envelope on genre conventions.

5. Two Moons (Image Comics)

Given the controversies surrounding anything related to the American Civil War in today’s political climate, I found John Arcudi and Valerio Giangiordano’s Two Moons to be quite the surprise. It’s a Civil War horror comic about a Pawnee soldier fighting for the North and the procession of creatures and monsters that he meets along the way. Whether these beings are real or imagined is part of the story’s mysteries, but what’s certain is that Giangiordano’s designs are nightmarish and worthy of mention. Arcudi treats the subject matter in a very clever way, avoiding moralistic pitfalls for a more complex narrative that explores hatred, myth, and the types of violence war inspires. It’s an impressive example of horror storytelling.

Midnight Mass

6. Midnight Mass (Netflix, dir. by Mike Flanagan)

Religion and horror together is like a highly dysfunctional marriage that still manages to work. It gets at the root of some of the darkest aspects of faith and how people try to keep it even when that darkness starts seeping through. Mike Flanagan’s Midnight Mass is precisely about that, but then it also throws a terrifying creature into the mix. The story follows a small town with a waning sense of religious devotion with a few key personalities ready to turn that around. In comes a new priest that holds a terrible secret that he thinks comes with good intentions but is actually entirely the opposite. Hamish Linklater as Father Paul Hill keeps the tension on a razors edge, going from approachable spiritual guide to fire and brimstone orator. The promise of hope and salvation religion provides proves to be dangerous when it asks for blind devotion and Flanagan makes sure the sentiment comes across without it being overbearing. It’s thought-provoking horror with a creature that will haunt you long after you’re done with it.

7. Nothing But Blackened Teeth (Tor Nightfire)

Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth finds that haunted houses and destination weddings are pure horror gold, especially when the house is a Heian-era Japanese mansion with the bones of a dead bride in it. A group of thrill-seekers make their way to a mansion for their friends’ wedding and very quickly discover the ghosts that inhabit it like to torture their victims by bringing their past mistakes and personal misgivings come to the fore. Each character is confronted with themselves all the while a bride with black teeth roams the halls of the mansion. For such a short novel, the narrative feels dense and quite heavy tone-wise, but never to its detriment. Khaw gives readers enough information to get them acquainted with cast so that the haunting hits harder with each twist and turn. The book also invites repeated reading as it reveals layers upon layers of meaning the more time you spend between its tight and superbly crafted sentences. Truly a standout book you’ll want to keep on your permanent collection.

8. Magic: The Gathering- Innistrad Midnight Hunt/Crimson Vow (Wizards of the Coast)

MTG has had an impressive set of expansions in recent years despite the hardships of running a competitive card game during a global pandemic. Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow stand as two of its best, both parts of a whole centered on werewolves (Midnight Hunt) and vampires (Crimson Vow). Wizards of the Coast made a great decision in bringing back the day/night cycle for its werewolf cards, which allows for dual-identity creatures on double-sided cards. They play differently based on whether the sun is out or the full moon is up. The mechanic is simple and fair and adds another layer of strategy that directly affects deck building in surprising ways. Crimson Vow is set in a decadent vampire wedding and its spells are based on that concept. Zombie waiters and vampiric guests of honor grace its cards, giving the game a touch of celebratory gruesomeness that’s also playful with its elements. The day and night cycle doesn’t impact the vampires as much is it does the werewolves, but they complement each other well and make for a very story-driven affair. The Crimson Vow bundle comes with a collectible invitation to the wedding that is worth the price of it alone.

9. The Nice House on the Lake (DC Black Label)

James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno’s The Nice House on the Lake is set to become one of the best horror comics of the decade. No surprise, then, that it makes the list. The story unravels like an apocalyptic puzzle box horror mystery with an exceptional cast of characters and an overall visual design that gives everything a hazy vibe not unlike the kind found in dreams. An odd man called Walter brings a select group of friends to a very well-stocked house that’s just outside the fiery apocalypse’s reach. Each entry in the series peels back a few layers, but what they really like to sink their teeth into is individual backstories that explain how each person made it to the house and how Walter figures into their lives. Each character houses volumes of story and not one reveal is wasted as their personalities clash and lean on each other as they try to figure out what’s going on. This year saw the first half of the series run its course, making 2022 the year we finally get to see what the nice house on the lake truly is.

10. The Amusement Park (Communicator’s Pittsburg, dir. by George Romero)

George Romero left behind a vast collection of scripts, posters, props, and unreleased movies when he passed away back in 2017. It’s so extensive, in fact, that the George A. Romero Foundation (who possess the majority of the legendary filmmaker’s collection) is still uncovering new material. Back in 2018, the GARF discovered a feature-length film called The Amusement Park, a movie about how people treat their older population and how they get left behind and forgotten. It’s presented in a kind of surrealist way that leans on psychological horror as we witness the mistreatment of older folk in a strange amusement park that is not only indifferent to them but also hostile. The movie has a dystopic feel to it that isn’t all-encompassing. Instead, it’s an imposed way of life dictated by age. The older you get, the more life starts to resemble a dystopia. It hits hard and there’s a sadness coursing through it that separates it from the traditional psychological horror fare. The iconic horror elements Romero is known for make it into the film in a variety of ways, especially in terms of how regular people can become monsters. It’s necessary viewing and I hope it continues to promote discussion.

And there you have it, a look at what Horror was in 2021. Here’s to making monsters out of the things 2022 will definitely give us to scream at, and then confront them.

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