Best games of 2014

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Another year has passed and thanks to my awesome parents I now have a next gen console. But thanks to some of my favorite youtubers as well as some of my favorite developers there have been some very cool games out this year and I figured being New Years eve when I write this, it’s the perfect time to talk about them!

Look at all my companions!

Look at all my companions!

Binding of Isaac Rebirth – I’ve spent over 200 hours in the original game, spoken at length with Edmund Mcmillen about it and just all around had a blast unlocking everything I could. The “remake” adds a new art style and an excessively large amount of new content, plus ups the difficulty level to insane and frustrating ways all while still being fun. There’s also new characters, plenty of new items which can either hinder or help your performance and just makes the game change completely. You will never have the same playthrough twice in a row. (Unless your playing one of the 20 challenge runs of course)

South Park The Stick of Truth – Funniest game of the year, easily. Where else can you get gnomes stealing underpants,alien abductions, a nazi zombie virus, larping and even a gun toting Jesus Christ summon? Pretty much only South Park could pull this off and as is known well from South Park, they will make fun of anything and everything. The gameplay is turn based in all it’s role playing glory and is some of the most fun I had playing something in 2014. Plus Butter is basically Thor while still being Professor Chaos so there’s that.

Shadows of Mordor – The Assassin’s creed game we’ve been asking for for years. Yes, I know that’s an odd statement but it’s basically true. I just started playing the game myself via the PS4 but watched a playthrough of most of the game from one of my favorite youtubers. From the stealth game play to being able to basically climb to where you need to get to the nemesis system, this game has it all and is some of the smoothest fighting in a hack and slash I’ve played since the Arkham series.

Costume Quest 2 – Another very fun RPG that was a sequel to a fan favorite game by Double Fine. The writing is a lot of fun as you help 2 twins and their friends hop through time to save Halloween from an evil dentist. Similar to South Park, the combat is turn based but you get different costumes which have different abilities and there are plenty of chances to upgrade as you go along.

Always Sometimes Monsters – Always Sometimes Monsters is probably the most interesting game I played all year. It’s an RPG where you’re playing a normal person, no magic powers and no mystical quest. You’re just out to get to your exes wedding and see if you can patch things up before it’s too late. The way the story plays itself out and the decisions you make throughout make it feel actually important, some major things can happen in the lives of all the people you encounter throughout your adventure. Plus it has one of the silliest mini games I’ve ever played in my life. The writing is very much the strongest thing about the game and I feel like it’s been underrated and overlooked through the bigger indie games or the triple A titles. Highly recommend seeking it out!

Shovel Knight – Yeah, I’m part of the bandwagon on this one but it’s just so good. Shovel Knight is like the classics on the Super Nintendo with a meatboy level of difficulty at moments. You’d think a Shovel wouldn’t make you as powerful as you feel but it does.

Dragon Age Inquisition – Full discretion at the start here, I’ve only played about 60 hours in the game so far. I’m super addicted. Not because of the game play (which isn’t bad) but because it’s a Bioware game and that means you will very quickly fall in love with the cast of characters presented to you throughout the adventure. Plus when things really pick up, they really pick up as you soon find yourself face to face with the big bad of the game and things just pick up from there. Hell it’s also the first time in any game I’ve willingly gone with a gay romance subplot because the character in question is just so damn likable. There are fetch quests and it takes a while to get the best of some of the threats being sent against you but DA:I is easily one of the best games of 2014.

 Most Anticipated for 2015:

The Order 1886 – Steampunk victorian soldiers named after the Knights of the round table who work for an old order and fight creatures that bump in the night? How can’t I be excited about that?! The game comes out in just 2 months and from the trailer/gameplay footage we’ve seen at press conferences over the last year make it seem like this could be one of the first big showcases of what the next gen consoles are capable of.

Ray’s the Dead – I’m heavily biased (played the demo build back in 2013 at PAX East) but I really think Ray’s is going to be something special. Written and created by some awesome friends of mine and has you controlling a hoard of zombies that controls a bit like Pikmin, there’s a lot to be excited for about this game. Plus it’ll be on the PS4 which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Gat out of Hell – I Love Saints Row, I really really do. One of my favorite writers (Tony Bedard) writes for Volition and has had a hand in both 3 and 4. The trailer revealed that we as the player will be playing as one of the most popular saints (Johnny Gat) and looks to be parodying even more nonsense than what both 3 and 4 have already done. I cannot wait till the end of the month. Plus, you get 4 with all it’s bonus content on a next gen console which I will happily replay.

The Witcher 3 – I’ve never played a Witcher game but I know a few friends who have freaked out about the first two. (Just like they did Dragon Age) and everything we’ve seen just like the Order 1886 looks flat out beautiful.

Evolve – I’ve seen the footage from the PC version of the game, I’ve stood in front of a giant statue of the creature from the game and downloaded Lissy’s amazing cover of Glenn Danzig’s “Mother” from the trailer of the game. To say I’m hyped for this multiplayer innovative game would be an understatement. I think so far I just want to play as the creature, the gameplay I’ve seen from a few youtubers makes that look like the most fun aspect of it, easily.

Batman: Arkham Knight – We’re going to get to drive the Batmobile. If that one sentence alone doesn’t get you excited about the game then I don’t know what will. I think what I’m most curious about is this new Knight character. I’m hoping he’s brand new and they find a way to pull him into the bigger comic universe similar to a Harley Quinn type when she was introduced in the cartoon first. The biggest downer about the game is just the fact that this has been announced as Rocksteady’s last Batman game, the company that finally made a good Batman game is moving on to new projects. I’m also really curious to see just who will pop up from the expanded universe. Oh plus it’s still Kevin Conroy as Batman and that is never a bad thing.

And I’m sure there are plenty more games, these are all coming out within the first 5-6 months of the year. (And I’m sure I’ll be playing plenty more at PAX East. Doesn’t hurt now having a next gen console)

Kickstarter Countdown

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Hey all, I just wanted to chime in about the Kickstarter for the New Comic Day 5-Year Collected Hardcover currently running. There are only roughly two and a half weeks left for the project, so if you haven’t supported it yet and intend to, time is ticking down.

New Comic Day has been kind of a love letter to comic and pop culture for us all. We don’t get paid to do it, we do it because we want to; because we love the medium and our fans. We also love making fun of the things that we hold so dear, like Batman, Doctor Who, Deadpool, etc.

The past five years we’ve been doing this strip has been a thrill ride. We’ve had creative teams come and go, but everyone that has worked on the strip has had a blast while doing so. And everyone’s voice has been heard throughout the life of the strip. I’ve written strips, the artists have either written or contributed to ideas for strips. Strips have been inspired by and contributed to by the colorists.

In short, New Comic Day is a team effort, and we all come together to deliver what we feel is some funny stuff. Is every strip a hit? Of course not. But we try our best, and we put all of ourselves into it in hopes you all might find some enjoyment from it each week.

This hardcover we are trying to raise funds for is more than just a collection of stuff you can find online for free. It is the culmination of a 5-year journey we have all been on together. You will see brand new covers for each volume, and other extras if we can fit them. And you’ll have all of this wrapped up in a nice, signed (for those that back the project at the Hardcover tier or above) copy of the first five years of New Comic Day.

We do this for free, for the love of the strip. We don’t ask much, just your appreciation and enjoyment for the most part. If you’d like to support us and have this special item in your collection to sit down and read anytime you like, please head over to the Kickstarter page and pick an incentive tier that appeals to you. Or if you’d like to donate just to support the book, you can do that as well.

Thank you for all your support, be it monetarily or just for reading the strip each week. We greatly appreciate our fans and hope you stick around for the next leg of our journey!

-Brant Fowler, Letterer and Web Designer of NCD (and occasionally writer, artist and colorist!)

Entering the Kickstarter “Battlefield”

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Our Kickstarter!

So as you can see guys, we’re running a Kickstarter for the next month.

Jim Gallo, Chad Strohl and George are all working on new pieces for the book and even Justin Johnson (Our new recurring artist, even when George returns in November) will be doing something for the book.

I’ve been doing my best to learn from Kickstarters I’ve backed and creators whom I admire who have run projects that I’ve had on the podcast, that I may or may not have been able to donate to their projects. Heck ,Bryan Q Miller has been a huge help before launch and managed to help me edit and make it a strong project.

So check it out, donate if you like and keep enjoying our work. You guys mean a lot to us and I hope to meet some of you during Granitecon this weekend!

Post-Pax East thoughts

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Hey guys, figured I should finally start following through on my promises to more content on New Comic Day. So we’re going to start with me talking about my weekend!

This weekend was the Penny Arcade expo (Aka PAX East) at the Boston Convention Center here in Massachusetts. I’ve been lucky enough to get a press badge last year and this year through the Why I Love Comics podcast. (For those readers that don’t know, that’s my podcast. You can check it out here, audio from the show coming Thursday!) It’s the second show they run, PAX Prime is in Seattle (hoping to make it out to that this year) and PAX Australia is out in Australia (obviously).

Anyways it’s a gaming convention and probably as big if not bigger then E3 which unlike the PAX show’s isn’t actually open to the public. I think that’s actually one of my personal favorite things about this kind of convention, no matter who you are or what kind of gamer or what type of press you’re reporting for; you can feel at home and a part of something at this type of convention.


I dropped off my stuff at buddies apartment and forgot to leave my derby, so I actually ended up wearing that all day. But for the record I was already wearing a dress shirt, tie and vest so hey, I figured it was probably a good idea to continue looking as dapper as humanly possible.

Seriously, how can you not want to look this dapper.

After a quick bag check at security (security at events is heightened for very obvious reasons), I was able to pick up my badge which had my name and the podcast on it which honestly? I dig the heck out of those types of badges.

Sometimes I nerd out over the simplest of things. ;)

Of course the place was bigger than it was last year. When I was able to enter the hall, after checking out the press room I made my way to the expo hall and very quickly found myself facing this:

I felt like I was in the sims, how do you get through this crowd?!

Seriously, how are you supposed to get through this? In fact my biggest complaint about the whole weekend was the fact that the crowds were very difficult to get through. You could tell that they were trying their best to keep the crowds moving but at times all weekend it was frustrating to get through the exhibit hall. (all the bigger conventions have this problem though so I can’t completely fault them on this one)

When I did get on the shoor floor I went immediately to the indie gaming area which has taken over about 45 percent of the show floor, which is just incredible. There are so many amazing indie games being made right now (and I got addicted to several this weekend) that I love just how much Pax supports them. Friday I got to play the updated version of Secret Ponchos by Switchblade Monkeys, Mushroom 11 by Untame games and the very awesome Guns of Icarus by Muse Games. All of which are absolutely amazing and I will be talking about in a separate piece in the next few days.

While exploring the indie area, I got to meet for the second time one of my personal favorite youtubers and just all around awesome guy, Jesse Cox. Who for those that don’t know is the inspiration behind the appearance of Thanos in this very strip and I did talk about that a bit to him and give him a copy of that very strip Thanos strip which was beyond awesome. He’s seriously someone that’s become a huge inspiration to me so getting to spend any time just hanging out with him was a real pleasure.(Behold the awesomeness of Jesse!)

Yes that's Tim Schafer behind us, I'm not a complete dummy.

I also got to spend some time with Team Beardman (Jirard Khalil, Alex Faciane and Greg Wilmont) who are just 3 of the nicest guys on the planet, even better is the fact that Jirard and I talk on twitter every once and a while and he remembered meeting me from last year. He’s seriously one of the nicest content creators on the internet and deserves a bigger audience then he actually has. Spent about 45 minutes with them walking around on the show floor before my next appointment and it was really fun just hanging out with those guys. (The Completionist)

I also got to spend some time talking with newer friend, Ciji Thornton who is seriously just like the others one of the sweetest people you’d imagine. Super approachable and it wasn’t awkward at all. Plus thanks to her I’m now addicted to Bardbarian, which like I’ve said 2 paragraphs ago I will be talking about in a separate piece. Ciji is also one of the co-hosts of the Gamergirlsgonewild podcast which is one of my new favorite podcasts since I started listening. I didn’t actually meet her co-host but here’s hoping somewhere down the line we’ll be doing a “crossover” and I’ll be having them on my show. (Gamergirlsgonewild podcast)

All in all Friday was a very good day, getting used to where everything was and meeting up with friends. (My friend Michaiayla stopped me up near the cafeteria at one point during the day and I spent some time waiting with her in line for her lunch and just catching up. I never get to see her because she lives in Seattle so it’s great seeing her at conventions)¬† Of course I went back to my buddies house, we went and got Tasty Burger (if you’re ever near Fenway, go to Tasty Burger…you will thank me!) and then watched The Wolf of Wall Street which is a fantastic movie.

Of course I had no idea what Saturday would have in store for me…


Saturday was Cosplay day. By that I mean that I was going to be in costume all day with absolutely no changing or no breaks. It was a choice I made specifically for the convention as I wanted to wear my brand new Riddler costume. I’d updated it since New York Comic Con and there was going to be nothing in my way to stop me from wearing it.

This is the face of a man who really needs some caffeine in his system

So I excitedly headed to the convention, ready for a day of madness and hope that Batman wouldn’t end me the second he saw me. Seriously, I was pretty excited. There was even going to be a DC costume meet up at the Infinite Crisis booth.

So yeah the DC Infinite Crisis Costume Contest/meet up was a lot of fun. There were some very cool cosplayers who I hope to eventually find and friend on facebook. We all had a blast talking with and hanging out with each other and if you go to the official website you can check out more of the pictures. I will link you here to the livestream (We’re at the 2:47 mark)

Seriously, look at the talent!!!

There’s a competition if you want to go on the Infinite Crisis website and check it out, the guys on the right aren’t actually part of it though. I think they were there with the actual game. Amazing costumes though and there’s a very cute Harley Quinn currently winning the competition that I think definitely deserves the win.

Just being on that livestream was an honor though and the people running the booth and the host were all amazing. Hoping to still find more of the pictures from the event as the week rolls on.

Of course my favorite moment of the day while in costume came when I least expected it. I was walking the show floor and saw my buddy James in his “Boston Strong” Deadpool gear talking with Matches Malone. Matches for those that don’t know is a very big Batman cosplayer who does a lot of charity work and has an amazing costume and just one of the nicest cosplayers I’ve ever met. So I went to say hi to the guys as I haven’t talked to Matches in quite a long time. First time we ever met was during Boston Comic Con when he was wearing the Batman cowl and had a t-shirt on that said not Bruce Wayne.

Don't worry guys, Deadpool totally had it coming.

But after a whole bunch of people took our pictures together (because why wouldn’t they want pictures of Batman with one of his greatest rogues?) Matches complimented my costume and told me he really liked it. That meant a lot coming from him because I haven’t been cosplaying for long and to hear someone who has been doing it for quite a while now compliment a costume I put a lot of time and money in it meant the world to me. I know it’s probably lame to admit getting a bit teary eyed at such a compliment but it’s the truth. Just means a lot to hear it from him.

I sadly didn’t get to play that many games on Saturday with just how busy the show floor was, it’s why it was technically a good thing being in costume because people would ask for your picture but you could go off to the side with them and be safe away from the crowds which on Saturday were impossible to get through. I think I went up to the press room to de-stress about 4 or 5 times. (And apparently my friend Melissa was up there too and didn’t realize it was me in the costume so didn’t say hi. Funny how those things can happen sometimes)

I did get one interview in with very cool developers Tin Man Games who make choose your own adventure games that are basically moving novels that you make the choice in on IOS and android devices. I really enjoyed talking with them and I’ve been very slowly making my way through one of their games, which as I’ve said twice already will be a separate piece of writing.

Oh and it was very fun to spend lunch with my friend James and his friends in the cafeteria. Sometimes it’s great to just sit around and unwind from the craziness of a convention. It was pure luck that they had the table space too but was very thankful that they did.

The only negative of the day at least to me was that I decided not to go to the Infinite Crisis after party, I really wanted to but was so wiped out by the end of the day that I decided to go back to my buddies place. To which we ended up playing some Smash Bro’s on the Wii which was a lot of fun.


I woke up intentionally early, it was the last day of the show and I wanted to get as much done as I possibly could before leaving that night. So I got to the convention center right at 10 and hit the show floor running.

In no particular order I was able to check out Always Sometime Monsters, Wayward Souls, Aarus Awakening, Gods Will Be watching, World Zombination, Not a hero and a few more I can’t think of right now but I was definitely completely in the mindset of basically running myself to tiredness to play everything I possibly could. To say I’m anticipating all these games is an understatement. There’s just so much good stuff coming out.

I got to hang with Team Beardman a bit more on Sunday and we finally got a picture together, hopefully the guys will be coming on the podcast somepoint this month it really depends on scheduling. I really had a blast spending as much time as I did with them this weekend and it’s great to see how the guys hang out with their fanbase.

Greg has the best reactions.

Also managed to get a picture with Ciji finally at the end of the weekend which was pretty funny. My camera managed to be awesome and get a great picture.

No, I have no idea what's going on with my hand.

Then of course I ended my day by going to the VGA meet up. They’re definitely some of my favorite youtubers and honestly just getting the chance to have a full on conversation with Fraser meant a lot this year. Sometimes when I have a terrible day and see a new episode of VGA go up with a full playlist, I watch it right away to cheer up and it absolutely works.

Fraser and Becky rock, the end.

Got to talk cosplay with Becky for a little bit too which was pretty awesome, she makes them amazing costumes for the show so getting to show her my Riddler gear and her saying how awesome it was kind of made my day even better. Like I said, this really was such a positive weekend for me and people like Fraser and Becky just made it even better. (Check out their show!!!)

Final Verdict:

PAX East this year was a great show, I had an amazing time. There were moments where I got a little overwhelmed and next year I need to upgrade equipment and get someone to help me to really achieve better coverage. I played a lot of games, met and re-met some of my favorite people and really just did what everyone should do at a convention which is be yourself and have a great time.

Don’t over estimate what you can handle and do and just try your best to get everything out of it you possibly can.

Thanks for reading guys and as always, I’ll catch you on the next one!

My hair is as crazy as Doc Brown's

PS –

So here’s the plan for the blog part of the site for the future:

More reviews, whether it be gaming or comics or movies or whatever else is really on my mind. The sky is the limit. The first couple are actually going to be first impressions on games that I played during the show and telling you guys what I think you should be checking out. Hopefully you dig it.

Convention blogs, full of photo’s and just trying to tell you guys about all the stuff I’ve been able to do and check out.

Videos, whether they be from Brant, George or myself we’ll be posting more videos. Some of them will be reviews from Comic Frontline as well!

The Why I Love Comics podcast – Whether it be the live show after it airs or the audio version of the show I am going to start posting more of them here. We have a very cool and steady readership and I want to give you guys more content to match it.

My collection!

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Hey guys, this will actually be a mix of a blog post and some video content. Basically a while back, a few friends asked about my collection (From movies to my comics to the artwork I own.) So after a while I decided to do a collection video where I talked about almost everything I own, even if it meant some quick over views of some material in the collection.

So in these 4 parts, you can see a lot of the stuff that has inspired me/generally cool stuff I own and get an idea of where a lot of my creativity comes from.

Hope you dig it and if you do I promise more stuff like it in the future. (like more details about exactly what is completely in the filing cabinet)

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Man of Steel review!

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From the desk of Eric Ratcliffe:

I’ve been promising you guys more content so I guess we’ll start with the most obvious seeing as how it’s Superman month and all.Also it’s almost 3:00 am here so hopefully I’m making sense.

We start our story off as Lara-eL is giving birth to her son, Jor-el helping her through it. Of course longtime Superman fans know that this happy moment wont last long and without going into heavy spoiler territory (which I’m going to avoid as much as possible) that happy moment wont last long. We’re soon introduced to General Zod, longtime friend to Jor-el. The two men don’t really see eye to eye much but you can tell they’ve been through a lot together.

In this opening, we see elements of Superman birthright, World of New krypton and I’m sure several other stories that I can’t think of off the top of my head. In fact there are elements from writers like Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and John Bryne throughout the movie.

Russel Crowe completely steals every scene he’s in as Jor-el, one of my favorite appearances of the character is the arc where Jack Knight meets him in Starman and this version of Jor-el is incredibly reminiscent of that. He’s a kind, caring man who honestly wants the best for his people but not at the expense of anyone else. And it’s really interesting to see a fresher take then the much harsher omnipotent version that we saw through most of Smallville. I honestly don’t think I can say enough positive things about Jor-El in the movie.

Amy Adams plays a fantastic Lois Lane who is constantly ignoring everything to get to her story which led to some of my favorite scenes in the movie, both in flashback form and in the ongoing narrative. Laurence Fishburne was a fantastic Perry White as well. I’d say one of my only complaints about the entire movie is that we don’t spend too much time in The Daily Planet. But the way those characters were used I am more then cool with.

I also before talking about the two main leads of the movie want to talk about Christopher Meloni who I actually had no idea would be in the movie. His part is a bit one but it runs throughout the movie and while I hope one day the man actually has a leading role as a super hero, does a fantastic job in the role he’s given here. Been a fan of his acting for a longtime and this just adds to being a bigger fan.

Of course the 2 main actors who impressed me throughout the movie and were the basic stars were Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman and Michael Shannon as General Zod. Zod throughout the movie is flat out terrifying. The man will do anything to get his way and stand for nothing holding him back. It’s really interesting seeing a much more raging version of the character for a modern audience then the classic stoic version that Terrance Stamp once played years ago. Shannon plays him as almost a tragic figure and it’s really interesting to see it. I’d go so far as to put the performance right next to Heath Ledger’s Joker in the way that it’s put on screen.

Cavill of course plays Clark exactly as Clark should be shown on screen. He’s a man who just wants to help people and do the right thing but has to hide all this crazy power from everyone and basically has to put the kid gloves on around everyone in the world. Not to mention he has to keep his anger in check so he doesn’t hurt anybody in the long run.

The themes of alienation as a kid and the loneliness of power are represented well here as Clark struggles to truly understand just who he is and what it means to be human when your dna argues differently.

Oh and the fight scenes are incredible, some of the best we’ve seen in a superhero movie so far.It felt powerful, you could see just what kind of damage the kryptonians could do to our world and just how dangerous of a situation things could turn into if we didn’t have Superman to protect us.

The easter eggs are a lot of fun as well. I don’t want to spoil too many but if you listen carefully at one point, you might be able to hear the classic score at one point sampled. And if you’re a film nerd you know exactly what the wilhelm scream is.

Final verdict: I honestly believe this is right up there with Iron Man, The Avengers, Sin City, Scott Pilgrim and other movies of the last decade which have been able to play with their established characterizations and still modernize/modify things to fit the average movie going audience and still retain the heart of the source material. I know at least a few longtime fans of Superman who will have issues with what happens at the resolution of the film but at the end of the day it really is on par with what the original Donner film did back in the 70’s. This is an accurate and beautiful Superman movie that deserves your movie going money. Sit back and allow it to take you on the ride.


No Comments on NCD for FCBD!

– If you’re seeing this post after May 5th, 4am Eastern time, sorry, you missed it! But never fear, you can still purchase NCD Vol. 1: 52 and Then Some here! And be on the lookout soon for NCD Vol 2: 52 and Then Some More! –

Hey gang, we are pleased to offer all of you a one-day only FREE special edition of New Comic Day Volume 1: 52 and Then Some in honor of Free Comic Book Day!

The print version of this collection went on sale in 2010, and contained never-posted strips, special convention strips, annotations, guest strips, the evolution of the comic and more!

This special digital edition contains all that, plus a sneak peek at the cover to Volume 2 and samples from years 2-4!

This will only be available today/tonight and will be gone by morning. So if you don’t download it now you will miss out!