Welcome, dear listener, to our usual mid-week medley, that great tradition which always provides not enough of the stuff you personally like. Today, more sight-hound action photos, an update on the super M R James card game from Pleasing Terror Games, and DC’s Ambush Bug comic. Plus a hello to Black Gate, a new friend.
Avid enthusiasts of weird, fantastical and supernatural fiction will be delighted that our first topic is sighthounds. Last week we published our illustrated guide to Bitey Face (see lurchers for beginners 9), but we had some terrific photographs left over, so here they are, courtesy of Katrina from the fastgreyz blog. Firstly fun…
And then real fun – bitey face again…
We may have mentioned that we’re going to interview Swedish artist Richard Svensson some time this month. In the process we were in touch with Pleasing Terror Games, as it is indeed Richard’s art which adorns their game card. James Drewett of PTG has supplied an update on where they’re at and their current plans. Rather than rewrite words from the terrifying spectral horse’s mouth, we offer up his communication with greydogtales here:
Pleasing Terror Games produces games based on the ghostly writing of the great M.R. James. Our aims are to bring Jamesian literature fans into a new immersive, interactive experience, as well as enticing gamers who are new to M R James to discover these wonderful stories for themselves.
Monsters & Miscreants is a light introduction game; a simple trump-style game, familiar to most people and easy to learn.
Each card has a depiction of a ghost, monster or villain from one of James’ stories, such as ‘The Linen-Faced Pursuer’ from ‘Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad’, and has a set of statistical categories such as Fright Factor, Wall of Weird, Slayer Score etc. On your turn you choose a category on your top card which you hope will beat your opponent’s top card. The artwork features the unique styling of the multi-talented artist and designer, Richard Svensson.
The game has exceeded all our expectations, selling over 130 copies worldwide since January. UK buyers can purchase a copy via PayPal from the facebook site: monsters and miscreants or from the website page: https://pleasingterror.wordpress.com/buy-now/ for £9.99 including postage and packing. Non-UK buyers can purchase a copy by sending $18.99 to Richard Svensson’s paypal account firstname.lastname@example.org
I am currently working on three follow-up games which are detailed on the website: pleasing terror games
- Monsters – Don’t Treat Them Gently! is a solitaire or two player strategy card game featuring 20 Jamesian protagonists and characters, 20 artefacts cards, a Jamesian map and counters, all strikingly illustrated by Richard Svensson. It’s time for the humans to fight back – team up your protagonists to take on the infamous monsters from Monsters & Miscreants in a host of eerie places in the locality of Jamesville. This game is in the latter stages of game-testing and design, and about half-way through the art-work. There is currently a poll running to help us decide which colour style people prefer: http://poll.fm/5ljcu
- Stories I Have Tried to Tell is a multi-player story telling game featuring tables on every aspect of a Jamesian story. Players take on the role of narrator, scene setter, protagonist and monster and get given random story ingredients which they must work together into an authentic sounding Jamesian tale (maybe to be told at Christmastime by candlelight!).
- Cards for the Curious – a solitaire or two player strategy card and dice game where you play the role of the protagonist in your favourite M.R. James stories – embarking on a terrifying journey of the imagination to try and survive the nameless dread that hunts you, with either your life or your sanity intact. The prototype has been produced and game-tested, but as there is a huge amount of components, this may have to be a future Kickstarter project (advice gratefully received!).
It is true that our infamous Magic Loft contains a lot of rubbish. The process of exploring it is a slow one, especially given the special anti-rat, anti-squirrel protective suits required (and the special foot-gear which stops you falling through the beams into one of the bedrooms).
This week yielded more comics, few of which we actually remember buying. Fortunately, most of DC’s Ambush Bug had survived, and so we have been able to read once again the mini-series Son of Ambush Bug, six comics by Keith Giffen which make very little sense.
Apart from the fact that Ambush Bug knew he was in a comic, which allowed for many japes, the high-spot was the search for his son, Cheeks. Cheeks, if you didn’t know, was a vacant-looking, inanimate stuffed doll. A heretical thing to mention, but it must be said. And the series within the miniseries, Combat Cheeks – Frontline Medic, was pure joy.
The perfect way to spend an evening when you’ve been watching doom-and-gloom superhero movies (or you could just read our spiffing film review here, which is pretty Giffen-esque – batman v superman – prawns of justice).
To end with, a quick mention of the site Black Gate – Adventures in Fantasy Literature. We’ve been hopping back and forth and enjoying ourselves, and they’ve even said some kind words about greydogtales. The site is updated constantly with book news, reviews and fantastical oddities, and well worth a browse around.
We also note that you can still get pdfs of back copies of the late Black Gate magazine through the site, which is tempting.
Farewell, best beloved, and we shall see you in a few days. Don’t forget you can now buy old greydog’s Holmesian thriller A Study in Grey – look right and up to find the link. Or you can pass on that one. We still have dogs to feed, though…