Archive for Munchkin

Crunch and Munchkin


Munchkin #2

More anthology comedy from the “world” of the Munchkin card game. Spyke and Flower go out seeking adventure and loot, and must contend with harpies, Bigfoot, a dragon, and more — all while mysterious skeletons plot their ultimate downfall. Our second story is a study on what exactly is the terrifying monster known as the Floating Nose.

Verdict: Thumbs up. No serious plotline, but no one plays Munchkin for a serious plotline. You’re in it for jokes, puns, and mayhem, and this has all of that in abundance. And hey, free Munchkin card inside!


Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #10

While Lori grows more concerned about her new illness after being turned into a supernatural creature, the rest of the ‘Breed make preparations to travel to their new Midian. Rev. Ashberry adopts Dr. Decker’s mask as his own and sics his pet Berserkers on Boone. Can the rest of the Midianites save Boone? And can Lori hold her own against the Nightbreed’s greatest enemy?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice developments to the story, along with hidden and unexpected depths in Peloquin’s personality. The gore is maybe a bit un-subtle, but that’s a minor criticism for a horror comic.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Everybody say hi to the first winner of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity.
  • So in the comics stores, it’s all dudebro superhero books. In the bookstores, comics focused on women and children audiences dominate. (On the other hand, brick-and-mortar bookstores are dying — but comics stores aren’t all that healthy either…)
  • There’s nothing more thoroughly delightful than hardcore DEA agents getting freaked out about the possibility of stoned bunnies.

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We’d Like to Welcome You to Munchkinland


Munchkin #1

If y’all ain’t heard of the Munchkin card game from Steve Jackson Games, I’m gonna assume y’all never visit a comics shop or game store, ’cause I see those games just about everywhere. In the game, everyone plays cheating min-maxing roleplayers, always looking to stab their friends in the back to steal all the treasure. But is this something that can be turned into a monthly comic book?

What we have here is a humor anthology comic, featuring stories by Tom Siddell, Mike Holmes, Jim Zub, Rian Sygh, and card game illustrator John Kovalic. We follow a group of RPG players in game as they quest for adventure and treasure, all while trying to convince the sole normal guy among them to adopt a fighting class so he can enjoy the game. Too bad his enjoyment isn’t as much fun for the other players. Later, we meet up with Spyke, the game’s face-on-the-box and the guy on the cover, as he shows a newbie adventurer the ropes and contends with some unusual furniture. And there’s a new Munchkin card in the issue! Just for you!

Verdict: I think we’ll call this a thumbs up. No, that’s not really the most enthusiastic rating, is it? Listen, we’ve got a good comic here, with very nice cartoon art and a number of really outstanding gags. But man, I really don’t know that this should be an ongoing series. How many jokes can you make about players backstabbing each other?


Gotham Academy #4

Too many people, including the creepy Headmaster Hammer, know that Olive Silverlock sneaked into the forbidden North Hall, which means she and Maps have to act fast to solve the mystery before their activities get locked down. Olive discovers a symbol in Hammer’s office that was also included in an old book in the library. Interrogating the local weird kid gets them nowhere — but soon enough, the fearsome Ghost of Millie Jane Cobblepot appears in the girls’ window! What does the ghost reveal? What do the symbols mean? Who’s the monster hiding behind the walls?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art, which I think we’ve talked about before. Lots of amazing jokes (and in-jokes) lurking in the background. Simon Trent, from the old Batman animated series episode “Beware the Gray Ghost,” makes an appearance. And a few secrets are revealed, even if they lead to some new mysteries.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Holiday Gift Bag: Munchkin Axe Cop

The holidays will be here before you know it, and we’ve still got more gift recommendations to dig through! Can we finish all this stuff before Christmas? Today, let’s take a look at Munchkin Axe Cop!

If you pay any attention to gaming, you probably have heard of Munchkin, a humorous card game put out by Steve Jackson Games. The basic concept focuses on munchkins — power-mad, cheating, power-gamers who play roleplaying games to WIN instead of playing to have fun. The first game spotlighted the fantasy genre, but the company has come out with plenty of other expansions, with emphasis on science fiction, martial arts, pirates, zombies, goth vampire roleplayers, Westerns, Cthulhu, and of course, even superheroes.

The basic gameplay is the same over all the games: players “kick down a door” by flipping over one of the Door cards, which usually reveal some sort of ridiculous pun-based monster that you have to fight. If you can beat it (by matching your level, plus your bonuses and equipment, against the monster’s level), then you get to draw a Treasure card (which usually has ridiculous pun-based treasure, armor, and weapons) and you go up a level. Of course, your opponents can interfere in the battle, either by helping you fight, or by helping the monster. The first player to level 10 wins and gets to cruelly taunt the losers.

Well, the newest expansion is Munchkin Axe Cop, based on the utterly mad webcomic by Ethan and Malachai Nicolle. All the artwork is by Ethan, the 30-year-old big brother, while the game design is by game industry legend Steve Jackson. And of course, the insane concepts and characters — the cop who keeps turning into different things when blood spills on him, the man wearing the baby costume, the dinosaur with chaingun arms, the baby with a unicorn horn, the nonconformist bunny, the duck who shoots exploding eggs out of his butt, the super-cop carrying a fireman’s axe — are by seven-year-old Malachai.

So how does this play out once you get the cards out of the box? Well, I can tell you you’ll have the most fun if you’re playing with people who are already familiar with Axe Cop. If you pull this game out after Christmas dinner to play with your family, your grandmother, Uncle Ned, and Cousin Merle will probably be pretty confused about the game where one of the villains is made of candy, a flute is considered a dangerous weapon, and Abraham Lincoln is an Explosion God. Better stick with Monopoly with folks who are unfamiliar with either Munchkin or Axe Cop.

But for people who are pretty clued in about the goofy cutthroat fun of Munchkin and the delirious lunacy of Axe Cop? Those folks are gonna love it, and they’ll probably love it as a Christmas gift. It’ll run you about $25, but that’s a lot of cards and a lot of fun.

Munchkin Axe Cop from Steve Jackson Games. Go pick it up.

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