From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, no.196
Hello and welcome back to our all-ages comics column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week is a bit shorter, but we take a look at two very nerd-centric items, ironically neither one is a comic book (the first time that has ever happened in 196 columns), but both are very much related and intertwined to the overall nerdom greater culture picture, so let’s skip the long intros and just get down to it!
Wee Beasties: Bedtime – at first glance I wasn’t sure what to do with it. It looked like a children’s book with possibly a baby owlbear on the cover. “No, it couldn’t be,” I thought to myself, and wanted to write it off to my brain working overtime and just recalling a stint being dungeon master for a Dungeons & Dragons quest earlier this year. To my delight, I wasn’t actually wrong, and upon reading it, it was exactly what I first thought: a children’s book that tells the story of several D&D monsters getting ready for bed.
As the story unfolds, owlbear, harpy, manticore, and more, are all getting ready for bed. There is nothing more hidden to it (except a chunk of D&D Easter eggs in the art if you read the PDF version), it is just simply that, and that is simply wonderful.
It’s a winner for both kids and the legions of D&Ders out there, even if they don’t have a child themselves, there’s a strange kitsch factor to it that will make it a winner. Obviously, though, the coolest part is having a very accessible intro for younger kids into the world of gaming.
The text penned by Smith is great, and the art by Neira captures these normally beast monsters in a very charming, almost Muppet Baby-like way. The stand out for me is the narration by Lewis; on each page you can push a button to have it read to you.
This is the kid of solid, original items that Kickstarter is there to help give us. Very cool and recommended to check out. You can purchase a copy from Whimsy Works, for a variety of prices. The eBook version (with clickable extras and narration) is $10, soft print is $15, and hardcover is $20. You can also choose to have the physical copies signed for an extra $5. Printed copies automatically include the eBook, as well. They also sell a Wee Manticore (featured in the story) plush.
Platform: iPhone and Android
Yes, not even two days ago Pokemon entered into the next step of the gaming evolution with Pokemon GO here in North America! For those who don’t go on social media, you can probably count yourselves lucky, as there has been nothing but endless screen shots of Pokemon hanging out in our everyday world, however, that is what the concept is.
Yes, once upon a time you had to catch them all, and still do, but gone are the days of your GameBoy. Here, we get a quick intro, and the game uses Google Earth to literally map out the world around you. You then have to walk around the real world as a version of you appears on the screen’s map like a GPS tracker, and at random, a Pokemon may appear nearby. When it does, you tap the screen and it cuts to your phone’s camera, in which you view through into the real world to find the Pokemon on screen, then throw a pokeball to catch.
At the core, it may sound simple, but honestly it is one of the best free play games we have gotten in years, and like how Pokemon revolutionized the gaming industry twenty years ago, Pokemon GO feels almost just as revolutionary in these present times! This time, too, the benefit may be even bigger, as the 20-33 year old Millennials especially are massively already getting in on playing it upon this BETA test release, adding on thousands of more users beyond just kids. This isn’t just some middle school title, it has truly become an all-ages gem over night.
Pokemon GO is simply awesome, and can only be described as something you need to play yourself to believe, highly recommend.
That’s it for this week! See you next!