"Snap, Crackle, Pop" - Obsessive Comics Disorder #88

Heads up: Technical issues are afoot in this episode!  Due to circumstances explained at the top of the show, we had to move the studio and now my equipment is acting all wonky (by the way, if you are an audio expert and can tell me whats going on, email me).  That aside, we've got Kickstarters to talk about, jokes to be made, and GenCon is quickly approaching!

If you'd like to comment or contribute to the show, send us an email at feedback@ocdcast.com.  You can also talk to us online, I'm @ChrisTheProf on twitter and Philip is @Philip_OCD.  You can also follow us on facebook at facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder.  The background music in this episode was composed by Andrew Allen and can be found on his CD's "Free Play" and "Smooth Federation" - thanks for letting us play them on the show!  Check out ocdcast.com for other great stuff, including my tabletop gaming podcast "Boards & Swords".

Betrayal at House on the Hill, Superfight! - Boards & Swords #34

2014-12-23 05.57.42
2014-12-23 05.57.42

Merry Christmas everyone! Just a regular episode this week as I've been so booked that I have been unable to prepare any sort of Christmas special. Don't worry, I've got a couple of new things planned for the new year. In this episode, we talk about Superfight, along with a breakdown of Betrayal at House on the Hill, and we wrap a bow (HA! Christmas joke) on the ongoing D&D campaign I've been discussing.

This podcast is an Obsessive Comics Disorder production. Please visit ocdcast.com for more great videos and podcasts, such as the main Obsessive Comics Disorder podcast, making fun of comics and all the other geeky things we obsess over. Like to contribute to the show? Send me an email with what you are playing to feedback@boardsandswords.com. On twitter, you can find me @ChrisTheProf or on facebook go to facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder. Also check out my instagram (ChrisTheProfessor) to see pictures of all the games that I'm currently playing.

DVR Disorder: Pilot Episode

It's the start of a brand new podcast!  Check with me every week as I go over the latest in geeky TV!  Make sure to send me feedback and let me know how I can improve the show!

On This Episode:

Gotham, episode 3

Doctor Who, episode 7: “Kill the Moon"

The Flash, episode 1: “Pilot"

Arrow, episode 1: “The Calm"

Agents of SHIELD, episode 3: "Making Friends and Influencing People"

Still to come: The Walking Dead, Constantine, iZombie

This podcast is an Obsessive Comics Disorder production.  Please visit ocdcast.com for more great videos and podcasts, such as the main Obsessive Comics Disorder podcast, making fun of comics and all the other geeky things we obsess over.  Want to hear yourself on the show?  You can send me an email with your thoughts, or record a short mp3 and send it to feedback@ocdcast.com.  On twitter, you can find me @ChrisTheProf or on facebook go to facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder.

Agents of SHIELD: Taking The Marvel Out Of The Avengers

 

Last week, we closed out the first half of the season for the brand new show Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. As a big fan of the all the Marvel movies we've been exposed to recently, I've watched the show from the beginning with keen interest. How has it fared so far? What am I looking forward to in the second half of the season? Read on to find out.

A Great Premise

I watched the pilot episode of SHIELD and walked away very excited. In the episode, we were reintroduced to Agent Phil Coulson, the SHIELD agent we first met in Iron Man and last saw (supposedly) dying at the hands of Loki in the Avengers. We are introduced to a group of people (mostly SHIELD agents) that Coulson has gathered to react to new threats/elements in this Post-Avengers Marvel Universe. This premise sounded great, and made me think that we are going to get a Fringe/X-Files type show set in the Marvel Universe. I was all on board with that premise, and was eager to see how it would pan out in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Misguided Focus

As the season trundled along, it feels like somewhere along the way, the writers did not quite know what they wanted to do with the story. A lot of time is spent on Skye and Agent Grant Ward, one is a hacker-turned-wannabe SHIELD agent (maybe?), the other a sterotypical hard edged solo spy type. Many of the filler moments between action scenes seem to revolve around some romantic tension between the two or focus on Skye and why she's joined up with Coulson. These storylines seem to just kill any sort of good moments that the show brings up. Neither character is really that interesting, and I really could care less about Skye and her desire to find her parents.

 

Instead, the character that the show should be focusing the most around, Coulson, is only give moments to shine here and there. I'd wager that about 75% of the people watching Agents of SHIELD are doing so because they fell in love with Agent Coulson throughout the Marvel movies and were excited to have a show focused around that character. Yet the writers on SHIELD are instead taking two of the most uninteresting characters of the series and forcing some drama down our throats. The interactions between the characters needs to be natural, not created for the purpose of filling up time. Case in point - one of the best episodes of the season, FZZZT!, spent half of the episode dealing with the two Agents Fitz and Simmons. Those moments are full of so much emotion and so much drama, while at the same time felt very natural and helped build a connection with the characters. Then, when that connection is tested at the end of the episode where it looks like one of them may perish, you find yourself on the edge of your seat hoping that it isn't true. I've yet to feel that connection with Agent Ward or Skye.

Make Mine Marvel

For a TV show supposedly based in the Marvel Universe, we've hardly seen that much of it other than an occasional reference. Instead, the show seems to want to create its own continunity, its own villians for the show to operate in, which is completely opposite of what ABC has been selling the show as. This show needs to have better tie-ins with the movie universe that made this show possible. For instance, the episode following the new Thor movie was advertised as this big tie-in with the Thor movie, which got me excited. Yet, the "tie-in" ended up being that the episode started with a few minutes of the agents cleaning up Thor's mess, followed by a new Asgard - related story that had nothing to do with Thor: The Dark World. The story was pretty good, but don't sell me on an episode being a tie-in when the biggest link to the movie is a joke about wishing for a "God of Cleaning up after himself".

 

Now, ideally it would have been cool to have Thor himself show up in the episode for at least a little bit, but I realize that gets expensive. There's two answers to that: A) This is DISNEY for crying out loud, I think they have the money to make this happen and B) there are other cheaper ways to tie into the movie. Like, could we have Kat Dennings character or the doctor appear in the episode. Since, you know, they *were* in the same area when the movie ended. That wouldn't have been that hard to coordinate. But if you are going to sell this show as being a part of the Marvel Universe then you have to actually link it to that universe - just like how in the movies characters crossed over to other movies.

I Still Have Hope

There is still time for Agents of SHIELD to impress me - we still have half of season 1 to go, in which I'm hoping we get answers to some of the bigger questions that they have been stirring up. Also, there will more than likely be a second season to this show, during which I hope they find their footing and get a better idea of what they want the show to be. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions that I have:

1. Get rid of the Skye character, and/or Agent Ward.

2. Focus more on the premise and/or Agent Coulson.

3. Give us more crossover/tie-ins with the Marvel movies (a LOT more).

4. Change up the writing staff - I figured out most of the big plot twists of the mid season finale halfway through the episode!

 

What have you guys thought of the first part of Agents of SHIELD? Have I missed anything important/not understood anything? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Boards & Swords #9: Legendary, Thanksgiving Recap, & Creating A Story Telling Cheat

photo 1 (7)
photo 1 (7)

I recap all the gaming experiences that happened to me over thanksgiving, talk about the third adventure of my D&D campaign where I introduced somewhat of a story telling cheat, and finish up by talking about Legendary - the Marvel Deck Building Game!

Send me your board gaming stories - what are you playing?  What are you looking to get for Christmas?

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photo 2 (7)

Board Game Review: Legendary - A Marvel Deck Building Game

As many of you who follow me on twitter may have seen (or read about in a previous article), every Monday night our local gaming store hosts a board game night. For the past couple of months, Chloe and I have been attending each week to try out many new board games. Normally, when I review board games, I try and make a video for you guys so you can see the board and visualize the game. However, I don't have the money to buy every game we play so you are going more blog posts talking about the games we are playing. Whenever I do get around to buying a game, you'll probably see a video review come out of it as well. Some of these are going to be a bit old as I need to get caught up on all the games we've played. Last month, Chloe and I tried out a game that I was very excited to learn to play. That game is "Legendary", the Marvel Comics Deck Building Game by Upper Deck. The idea of mashing up two of my favorite obsessions, board gaming and comic books, seemed too fun to be true. What did I think of the game? Read on to find out!

As I mentioned above, Legendary is a deck building card game. That means your job is to use the cards you start with to gather better cards to improve your deck for later turns. In Legendary, there are two lines of cards in front of you, a line of heroes that you can "buy" and a line of villains that you "defeat". Each line gives you cards that will be used at the game to determine who is the winner. At the same time, however, there is a "mastermind" - a villain with a plot that the players must defeat together or else everyone loses. If that sounds confusing at all, don't worry the game plays pretty well and is easy to pick up. If you've played other deck building games like Dominion, you will quickly catch on to Legendary.

Chloe and I both enjoyed this game. It strays away from other deck building games like Dominion and Ascension by adding in the cooperative gameplay of the players having to work together to defeat enemies to help topple the mastermind. This aspect, combined with villains who are constantly trying to escape, really do a good job of bringing in the superhero feel of Marvel Comics. The people we played with commented that there have been several times they've lost against the board, and they will purposely break out the game to try and defeat that mastermind again.

Yet, the addition of the Mastermind also contributes to the only problem I have with the game, which is it's length. To defeat the Mastermind, you have to kill him like 5 times, and he has a pretty high life value that you have to beat. In the game Chloe and I played, bad luck on the cards that were available really hurt us early in the game which made it hard to build up a good deck that would give us the cards we needed to hurt the Mastermind. Luckily, a couple of the other players we were with managed to hit him in a row a couple of times during the game. This also led to those players winning the game, but by that point it was getting late and I needed to get Chloe home to bed, so I was more relieved that the game was over.

That small bit aside, we did enjoy the game, and it will be added to the list of games that I want to get at some point. If you are a Marvel Comics fan, pick this game up and give it a try. I'm sure that you will find it rather enjoyable. You can even use the affiliate link below to pick up the game cheap at Amazon, which will kick back some money here to the site to help us out!

What deck building games have you played? Let me know in the comments below!

Connecting With Chloe - Through Action Figures

Many of you who read this blog and follow me on various social media outlets know that I have a 9 year old daughter named Chloe.  Technically, she is my stepdaughter, but in my heart I consider her as if she were my biological daughter.  Over the last 4 years, I've had to learn what it means to be a father (most of the time by what not to do) and find ways to connect with this precious child.  One of the big ways that I have done this is by introducing her to some of my geeky habits.  Over a few posts to be sprinkled throughout the next month or so, I am going to share with you how I've managed to do so.  Most of these were mentioned in my "9 geekiest moments with the Cloverfield" post a few months back, but I want to expand and talk about many of those topics with a bit more depth.  This week, I want to start with something that's become almost a holiday with us: Action Figure Fridays.

One of the many perks of my day job is that I have every other Friday off.  On one of these Fridays a couple of years ago, I decided to surprise Chloe and pick her up from school.  My plan was simply to take her to get milkshakes and spend some quality time together.  On the way there, I was listening to a podcast talking about the most recent toy fair, including the action figures that were presented.  This stuck in my brain as I picked up Chloe and took her to Chick-Fil-A; where we sat down and enjoyed our milkshakes.

Looking over and seeing the Target in the same shopping center, I asked Chloe if she wanted to go take a look at some of the toys at Target.  I told her that I would buy her a doll of her choosing and that I would pick out an action figure for myself.  Not surprisingly, she was all for this plan.  We went to Target and she quickly found a Barbie doll that she wanted.  So we walked over to the action figures and I looked through the Marvel figures that were available.  After awhile, I picked one for myself and we started to walk away.  Suddenly, Chloe stopped me and led me back to the Barbie aisle and set her doll back.

"I have a lot of Barbies," she said, "I want to get an action figure!"

I was touched.  So, we went back and she picked out an action figure for herself.  Then, we went home and opened them together.  We had so much fun that we decided that we wanted to make it a regular occurrence. So we began calling my Fridays off "Action Figure Fridays".  I would pick her up from school, and then we would head to a store for some action figures.  Eventually, we switched from going to shops like Walmart and Target to going to the comic book store to get some of the nicer DC Direct figures.  This worked to my advantage, as I could also pick up my comic books at the same time.  Many of the figures that we picked up during this time we would unbox in front of my webcams and talk about them.  You can still watch all of them over at my YouTube channel.

The regular trips to the comic book shop held for a good long while, but as it got closer to my wedding, money started becoming an issue.  I stopped reading comics regularly and we cut back from buying the expensive action figures.  Nowadays, I still pick her up every other Friday, but what we end up shopping for isn't limited to just action figures.  Some days we will buy some LEGO sets, a couple of times we've gotten Skylanders figures, and on one of the more recent Fridays we bought Magic the Gathering booster packs.  To Chloe, it doesn't really matter what we go get, I think she just enjoys the time we spend together, which works for me too.

So for any other dads or future dads that happen to be geeks: if you want a way to share some of those interests with your kids, find a way to incorporate it into stuff they already like.  Chloe loves going shopping (when it's for her), so by getting her various superhero toys/video games/etc, its has had the side effect of getting her more interested in those things.

Do you have any cool suggestions for things to do with little geeks in training?  Leave them in the comments or send me an email at chris@ocdcast.com.

I'm Trying Out Pepakura! First Up, Iron Man!

I've been posting on twitter recently about a new craft project that I've been working on.  To get the full skinny on what I've done so far, read on!

For a long time, I've been interested in making custom costume pieces myself.  I've been following Bill Doran over at punishedprops.com for awhile now and his work has inspired me to create my own work.  From college, I have some experience working with fiberglass and now that we've moved into this larger home I have a workshop area where I could work on said projects.  However, right now this space is packed full of boxes and I don't have the money to invest in the equipment and materials.

Yet, the other week, Bill mentioned something about "Pepakura" and it got me investigating.  Basically, pepakura is a program that allows you to take 3D models and "unfolds" them into paper sheets.  Then, you can print out the sheets and recreate the model as a papercraft object.  I figured I could use it to do some experimenting cheaply until I can move on to more complicated projects.  My first project -- Iron Man!  Or should I say, Iron Man's helmet.  I'm using a pre-made Pepakura project by someone who goes as "Robo3687" online, so thanks go to him for the awesome detail that's been put into the Iron Man model.  Here's what the helmet looks like thus far:

Here is what I have done so far.  Only a little ways in, having printed out the helmet plans, cut out some of the pieces and assembled them using hot glue.  Already I've learned some valuable lessons:

1) Hot glue is definitely hot, and yet not hot for very long - I've had to bite my tongue and work to get the pieces together quickly, as the hot glue will cool off very quickly if I do not put the pieces together quick enough.  Either that, or I have to work small parts at a time so that I give myself plenty of time (this is hard to do on some of the larger pieces though)

2) It's not going to fit my head - I half expected this, as I just printed the page without looking at the sizing, but just from the sides and back work I've done, it's going to be too small.  After I printed out the pieces, I found a formula on how to judge sizes, so anyone else looking into Pepakura I suggest you do some research on how to size it properly.  Also, if you are using a pre-made model, make sure the pieces are scaled onto the sheets correctly - mine was set for A4 paper and it shrunk when I printed it on Letter size paper, yet if I had set it for Letter size in the Pepakura program, I could have moved the pieces around so that they would not have been resized.

I've still got a long ways to go, and when I finish it should be a cool backdrop piece for the studio.  Eventually, I'd like to have a full Iron Man armor that I could dress up in for Comic-Cons and the like, so I look forward to the day I can improve upon these techniques.

Do you have any suggestions?  I gladly will take any ideas that can improve the helmet.

My Take On SDCC 12: Marvel Movies - Phase 2

This past weekend was the end all be all of conventions: the San Diego Comic Con. A lot of great stuff was announced this past weekend, and I thought I would take a few posts to talk about the things that stood out to me. These posts will only be a small subset of the TONS of stuff that was announced, so if you want to know what you missed I suggest you head over to a news site like Major Spoilers. First up on the plate: Marvel's Phase 2 of Avengers movies.

To be honest, I really did not see this coming. I should have, seeing as how Phase 1 finished this past May with the release of the Avengers movie. There has been a lot of talk about Iron Man 3, but I was shocked to see what Marvel had up its sleeves. So, lets jump right in:

May 3rd, 2013 - Iron Man 3

The most predictable announcement that was made, it was only a matter of time before we saw Robert Downey Jr. don a new Iron Man armor. Don't get me wrong; I LOVE his portrayal of Tony Stark, I just have some misgivings about the movie given the fact there is a brand new director on board (and the fact that we know that Iron Man 2 was not all it could have been). Not only that, but look at this armor:

Is it just me, or is that a bit too weird? I just hope its a special armor, like the suitcase armor, and won't get much air time.

Bottom line: not looking forward to the armor, but I am curious to see how the villian the Mandarian is portrayed on the big screen.

November 8th, 2013 - Thor: The Dark World

Isn't this really soon? Doesn't it seem like we just got the first Thor movie? Also, what is with the November timeframe? Is Marvel really going to get a crowd to come to the theaters on a random weekend in November? If it was Thanksgiving or Christmas, I would understand (more) what Marvel was thinking. All pessimism aside, I am really excited for this movie. Honestly, I know next to nothing about Thor, so I have NO idea what to expect for this movie.

Bottom line: it seems a bit rushed, but I can't wait to see some trailers later this year/next year.

April 4th, 2014 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I KNEW IT! I positively knew while watching the first Captain America movie that Marvel was building towards this in some form. Here is the big question, though: will they follow the comics and set the story in the Cold War, or will this be a challenge for the post-Avengers Steve Rogers. I would love another Cap themed time piece set in the Cold War, but the safe bet is this will be another movie for Chris Evans to shine in.

Bottom line: considering the first Captain America was my favorite movie of last summer, this movie is probably the one I am looking forward to the most.

August 1st, 2014 - Guardians of the Galaxy

Really? Do you know what the Guardians of the Galaxy are? Me neither, but then again I am not a big Marvel fan. This movie is the one I am scratching my head about. It is hard enough to drill up interest in characters that are big with comic readers but not well known outside the comic book store, but now they are investing a lot of time and money into a property that even most comic fans are familiar with.

Bottom line: ????????

Sometime after that - Ant Man

Wasn't this movie supposed to be the next movie after Avengers? The fact that once again Marvel still has not released a date for this movie concerns me.

Bottom line: is anyone really looking forward to this movie? I'm hoping that I am wrong and the movie is worth the wait.

So, looks like we have a very interesting set of movies coming out soon. But what about Avengers 2?? Forget the other movies, I just want more of Joss Whedon making Avengers movies! What do you think? Are you actually looking forward to Ant-Man? Am I completely wrong about Guardians of the Galaxy? Hit me up in the comments below and let me know what you think, or as always email me at chris@ocdcast.com.

 

Relative Dimensions #13: "Settlers of Comic Bookdom ASSEMBLE!"

A bunch of great stuff to talk about this week!  We saw the Avengers movie, got some awesome stuff for free comic book day, and had our first experience playing Settlers of Catan!  All that and much more! News Elder Scrolls Online Announced http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/04/more-ouroboros-the-elder-scrolls-online-announcement-trailer/

CoD: Black Ops 2 Announced http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/01/call-of-duty-black-ops-2-revealed-with-first-trailer/ Main Topics Free Comic Book Day!

Settlers of Catan

Mario Party 9

World of Warcraft

Star Trek Online

Sanctum

Avengers!

 

http://ocdcast.com chris@ocdcast.com twitter.com/ChrisTheProf twitter.com/Philip_RD facebook.com/obsessivecomicsdisorder Intro/Outro Music "L3" by Skyhawk on his album "Function"