Monthly Archives: October 2008

Getting in the Spirit.

This, the month of all months, is almost halfway gone. What are you going to be? Today I’d like to share with you some of my students, turning themselves inside out.  Boo!

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Filed under Art I live with.

Vs. System Weenie Wonderworld Championship Results.

Hey y’all.  I will be cross-posting the results of Stu’s Return-ament both here and on Vs. Realms.  The first four games are contained in the comment section of this post.  You can also click on the eye candy to be redirected to the artist who blessed us with such visual bliss.  The card representing X-babies is an original sketch card by Andy Price from the Rittenhouse “Women of Marvel” set. 


Filed under Vs. System

“Like being savaged by a dead sheep.”


Hoo boy.  This election is becoming the greatest single sporting event of my lifetime.  Except, of course, for the 1996 Florida Panthers winning the Prince of Wales trophy and the 1998 Czech Republic grabbing Olympic gold… but then again we have not reached November 4th yet.

Stu’s Return-ament is uncovering some serious tech advantages, but like all match-up theory things can spin around in a heartbeat.  Therefore, in the spirit of winning in ways you would have never dreamed, I am quoting two seriously conservative Republicans here on the blog this morning.

First, George Will himself:

Time was, the Baltimore Orioles manager was Earl Weaver, a short, irascible, Napoleonic figure who, when cranky, as he frequently was, would shout at an umpire, “Are you going to get any better or is this it?” With, mercifully, only one debate to go, that is the question about John McCain’s campaign.

… the McCain-Palin campaign’s attempt to get Americans to focus on Obama’s Chicago associations seem surreal — or, as a British politician once said about criticism he was receiving, “like being savaged by a dead sheep.”

That quote is mad crazy coolness on a morning that saw so much rain that I nearly had to swim to work.  And then there was David Brooks reminding me why I have worked so very hard to elect Barack Obama:

Obama has the great intellect. I was interviewing Obama a couple years ago, and I’m getting nowhere with the interview, it’s late in the night, he’s on the phone, walking off the Senate floor, he’s cranky. Out of the blue I say, ‘Ever read a guy named Reinhold Niebuhr?’ And he says, ‘Yeah.’ So i say, ‘What did Niebuhr mean to you?’ For the next 20 minutes, he gave me a perfect description of Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought, which is a very subtle thought process based on the idea that you have to use power while it corrupts you. And I was dazzled…

… the other thing that does separate Obama from just a pure intellectual: he has tremendous powers of social perception. And this is why he’s a politician, not an academic. A couple of years ago, I was writing columns attacking the Republican congress for spending too much money. And I throw in a few sentences attacking the Democrats to make myself feel better. And one morning I get an email from Obama saying, ‘David, if you wanna attack us, fine, but you’re only throwing in those sentences to make yourself feel better.’ And it was a perfect description of what was going through my mind. And everybody who knows Obama all have these stories to tell about his capacity for social perception.

David Brooks dazzled by a Democrat. It doesn’t get much better than that.  Unless it is a self portrait by my former student turned famous painter Stephen Bauman

Steve once said about me “I learned everything I know about hair from a bald-headed man.”  This morning, I learned everything I know about the 2008 presidential election from two cold-hearted conservatives.  I gotta say it was a good day.


Filed under Politics

Marvel Evolution Preview: Multiple Man, Army Hydra and Multiplicity


Jamie Madrox is a man with a split personality.  And another, and another, and another.  Many of us can relate to his mutant ability, since we often seem to be different people according to our surroundings.  It can feel like we are multiple men.


Human life is a shattering experience.  Born as a clean slate, each day writes a new line in our individual identity.  Advancing through childhood, we come to know who we are.  Then everything changes.


Conflicting urges and motives exist within each of us, and integrity hangs in the balance.  Yet somehow through it all, we keep our focus and create a unique life of accomplishment that makes an original mark on history.  There is a central sense of self that orchestrates the shifting sands of consciousness and chooses the path we follow.  Many comic book myths speak to this phenomenon, but none more directly than Jamie Madrox as Multiple Man.


Myriad meaningful myths merge merrily in the cardboard incarnations that Vs. System has brought to the human condition.  Preview articles unveil new frontiers of heavenly hobby high-water marks.  Four paragraphs is the approximate maximum attention span before the reader scrolls past the rest of the verbiage to see the card in question.  That time is now.



Wow.  Perhaps the most powerful single one-cost army card for Limited play ever printed.  Our new Madrox is a 4 ATK bulging bruiser all by himself when defending?  On turn one?  Thank you very much.


And then there are the Constructed possiblities.  Think of this.  On turn two with a pair of copies alongside, one measly Multiple Man can be 6 ATK when attacking… and 8 ATK when defending.  Swollen weenie for the win.  Of course, like most things in my mulitiple mind, it goes exponential from there.  Vs. System has always thrilled me most when I have a six-pack of one-cost characters in formation on turn three.  This new Madrox means major meat in that case, without any plot twist support at all.


Plot twist you say?  The title of this article is teasing you beyond your limits?  hehe…



Oh.  My.  Madrox.  Personally, stall decks have never been the flavor.  Now I must expand my taste.  Notice the fact that this is NOT restricted to any phase or step.  Multiple possibilities.  Infinite control.  That card is exhausting just to think about!


In an attempt to find the right me for the job, I took a stroll down multiple memory lanes.   One of my favorite articles ever details the life and times of Jamie Madrox from birth to Pro Circuit Atlanta Playroom glory.  Then there was the time we built a masterpiece collectively using Multiple Man’s original incarnation to fuel a Mutopia driven little red frenzy.   Of course you can scroll down to the post under this one to see the second Vs. System appearance of our cloning crusader starring in X-babies, but alas.  No stall strategies in sight.


I guess I must hand it off to you then.  How will Multiple Man and his Multiplicity be maximized?  Leave a comment here on the blog, head over to Realms and let loose, or talk amongst your selves.  It’s a great day to be a lot of people at once.



My one true self wants to leave you today with one more thing.  That card was previewed on Facebook, and my face has not stopped exploding ever since.  Re-Absorption is perhaps the most mind-blowing card Vs. System has known.  If I ever pull myself together, I will write up all the crazy things I want to do with it.  For now, I need to chase down that guy that just ran across the street after emerging from my elbow.  Enjoy the many faces of Jamie Madrox.  I’ll meet you back here tomorrow after I get everybody back in.




Filed under Comic Books, Vs. System

Kitchen Table Go! Stu’s Return-ament Decklists.

Okay gang, it’s party time.  This will be a round robin tournament.  Each deck will play each other deck in a seven game tournament.  The two decks with the least losses will play in the finals and the two decks with the most losses will play for the bronze.  Make your predictions, and reap the rewards.

Wild Vomit

24 Wild Sentinel
12 Sentinel Mark 4
4 Longshot, Rebel Freedom Fighter
4 Senator Kelly

4 Search and Destroy
4 Reconstruction Program
4 Cover Fire

4 Underground Sentinel Base

War Paint

18 Infernal Minions
4 Zazzala <> Queen Bee, Mistress of the Hive
4 Mantis
4 Tattooed Man, Living Ink

3 BRPD Signal Device

4 Criminal Mastermind
4 Secret Files
4 World War III
4 Infestation
4 Die for Darkseid
3 Strategic Thinking

4 Hard Light Storage Tank


12 Multiple Man, Army S.H.I.E.L.D.
4 Domino
4 Shadowcat, Phase Shifter
4 Wolverine, Logan
4 Cable, Nathan Summers
2 Jubilee, Mallrat
2 Beast, Bookworm
2 Bishop, Timecop
1 Bishop, Age of Apocalypse
1 Changeling

4 Bodyslide
4 Fastball Special
4 Mobilize
4 X-Men Assemble!
2 X-treme Maneuver
1 Power Nexus
1 Bamf!

2 Birthing Chamber
2 Xavier’s Institute of Higher Learning

Squirrels Gone Wild

16 SHIELD Agents
4 Squirrel Girl
4 Speedball<>Penance, Painmonger
4 Maria Hill
4 Wolverine, Agent of SHIELD

4 Mobilize
4 Savage Beatdown
4 Blinding Rage
4 Flying Kick

4 SHIELD Helicarrier
3 Torture Chamber
3 Birthing Chamber
2 Evil Lair

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Filed under Vs. System