dinsdag 20 maart 2018

Black Library Celebration 2018

A free book you received in Games Workshop stores during the last weekend of february, this 160+ page novel bundles 6 short stories in one volume.

While not unique or new, the stories where mostly on e-pub available before, and now have found their way into a paperback format.

There are two stories each for their main settings, being Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, and the Horus Heresy (their bestselling, and really good, book line) respectively.

The Absolution of Swords by John French

On the Ecclesiarchy world of Dominicus Prime, hersey runs rampant - but Inquisitor Covenant and his warband have come to cut out the poison as only the Inquisition can.

A Trick of the Light by Josh Reynolds

Lukas the Trickster, scourge of friend and foe alike, descends into the ice caverns of Fenris and faces a beast of legend that may be a match for the Space Wolf: the dread doppelgangrel.

Bear Eater by David Guymer

When Hamiclar Bear-Eater and a handful of Astral Templars cross the Sea of Bones, they find a civilisation untouched by Chaos, and attempt to bring them back into the light of Sigmar.

Pantheon by Guy Haley

In the age before Chaos, during a time of myth, the pantheon of gods ruled at Sigmar's hand.  As dark times return to the Mortal Realms, Sigmar beseeches the goddess Alarielle to heed a tale of those better years, one he hopes will restore not only her faith but the faith of all noble creatures.

The Last Son of Prospero by Chris Wraight

His body ravaged by the flesh-change, Thousands Sons sorcerer Revuel Arvida clings to life by the merest thread.  And even if Malcador the Sigilite can save him, what will remain?

Into Exile by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

When the traitorous allies of Horus and Kelbor-Hal seized Mars, the visionary adept Arkhan Land became a man marked for death.  As his world crumbles around him, whom can he trust?

What I liked about it

* Well, the Inquisitor story is great as even being innocent makes you guilty.  The Pantheon story takes a trip back through nostalgia to the World that Was (aka, "my" Warhammer) and Into Exile is great as it is written backwards, making it a unique experience in the book

What I didn`t like

* Bear Eater.  Sigmarines are pretty boring, and getting more so as book after book, being it the Into the Realms campaign books or the novels, the golden boys are just more of the same.  At least Space Marines had different personalities in their chapters woven over 20+ years of lore writing, while these blokes get everything rammed in to fast in my opinion.

But it was a lovely freeby and a good companion on public transportation trips for sure :-)

maandag 19 maart 2018

Made in Asia 2018

The first geekycon I joined for 2018 has past last saturday, as Noshi and me went to the Heysel in Brussels for Made in Asia, a convention themed around the anime culture and more.

Okay, so the and more is pretty important, as it is in essence not that different anymore from regular conventions, bar that the activities and club stands are all anime and oriental minded, so don`t expect Star Wars clubs, but Gundam clubs instead... which for me is a bonus.

There where tons of activities this year where you could join in, like learning japanese or folding origami.  The signature alley was present, but mind you, this works different like events as FACTS or Comic Con, but more on that later.

But most of all, there was a HEAP of people, because when we arrived at 11.15 (it opened at 10), this was still the amount of people queuing to get in.  Luckily, the security opened the extra emergency exit gates and the masses could stream in better.

One of the activities I went for to the event was the GunPla building contest, which included some awesome entries across the whole board, as well as displaying a huge amount as "comes build from the box like this" models.

There was of course the huge stand of the Saint Seiya diorama builders, who expanded their diorama`s, but their core business is still building scenic pieces around the Myth cloth line.

A collector of Dragonball Z merchandise was also present with a big stand, which featured a lot of gorgeous models.

One of the halls (there where 5 in total, in sequence the food and drink hall, the club hall, the trader hall, the game hall and the videogame hall) featured a lot of boardgames of all sorts of strokes.

While in the other one, you could try out a variety of videogames or enter in a series of competitions like League of Legends.

Of course, before we tackled the traders hall, we strenghtened the inner person with some Onigiri.  And we could enjoy one of the many concerts (6 a day) while at it.

The trader hall featured the usual suspects in merchandise of all sorts, though understandbly the focus was on anime stuff.  So don`t go there if you`re hunting for vintage cartoon stuff, there was very little of it.

And this... I might order that online for sure...

So the artist alley.  At the other conventions, you queu, pay for the signature in the two minutes with your chosen celebrity and your off.  Here, it works differently, in that first of all, it`s FREE to get an autograph.

But it works with a limited amount of people.  There are two sessions of about an hour for each, and they close the line at around 30 people.  This makes that the artists take out a bit more time for you, but you won`t be able to go shopping at all of them though. 

Noshi and me went in the line for Hirsohi Nagahama (best known for his Stan Lee cooperation on The Reflection), but who also did Guilty Crown (Noshi loved that series) and he was a key animator on some episodes of Saint Seiya Omega. 

So I wanted to ask him to put his signature in my Myth cloth collectors book... and he went on drawing a Seiya on the page for nearly 10 minutes.  Taking they at best do 150 signatures during the whole convention, this is a pretty unique one I have now, me very otaku-happy now :-D

We took another walk through the trader hall after that, before going back to the trainstation and Antwerp after a very fun convention.

How was it compared to other events?  Well, as my Marvel / DC days are more and more drifting away from me, this was all yokai in my book.  Sure, there was a lot of non-anime cosplay around with the public, but heck, that happens.  Some people still put down fantastic looking costumes for sure.

Though sorry, wearing a onesie from Primark with a cardboard board saying "Free Hugs" doesn`t qualify as cosplay for me... and there where a LOT of those...

But all in all, Made in Asia was a great event, a fun day out, and now onwards to the next event, trip or holiday, whatever comes first!