Tag Archives: Thursday Thirteen.

Thursday Thirteen: Expansion Favorites.

marvelorigins

That was the first ever expansion set of Vs. System. Marvel Origins, released on April 1st, 2004. We were eventually blessed with 18 full sets by Upper Deck, and today I will pick my favorite card from each of the most recent thirteen. Cardboard bliss.

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1. Marvel Evolution: X-Babies Attack. This is the final production set, and that card is the pinnacle of my influence on the game. I created a weenie burn deck and named it “X-Babies Attack!” back in the day. Upper Deck honored me with a matching plot twist, and thanks to alphabetical order it turned out to be the last expansion card ever printed.

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2. Marvel Universe: Squirrel Girl. Doreen Green finishes a close second in the homage race. I lobbied, I pleaded, I threatened and I begged. Finally she appeared in the packs. Sigh.

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3. DC Legends: Sea Creatures. I made my name by playing one-cost army characters, then they shocked me with this. Rare. Two resources to play. Pony!

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4. Marvel Legends: Domino. I waited a long time for this lucky lass, and I used her in my original X-Babies deck for good luck.

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5. World’s Finest: Kim Hoshi. This expansion brought some serious bang to the table for DC, and none was brighter than Kimmy.

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Marvel Team-up: Shuma-Gorath. The card did not see much play, but I can still hear the taunt from Capcom’s video game version… “Waste of FLESH!”

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Infinite Crisis: Zazzala, Mistress of the Hive. There may not have ever been a better legacy card. She made War Paint possible.

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Heralds of Galactus: Rogue, Total Transformation. If you never got to see this trick pulled off in real life, you missed something really special.

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Legion of Superheroes: Supergirl, Lost in Time. Scariest. Painting. Ever.

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X-Men: Multiple Man <> Jamie Madrox. This card leaves me breathless. Such incredible possiblities.

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Justice League of America: Infestation. My swarming weenies had nothing to compare. Such insane potential beats.

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Avengers: Chaos Magic. They may have named this card after my subtitle on Realms, but prolly not. Then again, they did get my buddy Dave Devries to paint it. Hmmm.

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Green Lantern Corps: Xallarap. You thought I would pick AGL, but no. This guy never existed in the comics. That’s right, he was created by a fan on a Green Lantern tribute site. It is one of the coolest trivia facts ever about Vs. System. And it ends our list.

Such great stuff.

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Filed under Comic Books, Squirrel Girl, Thursday Thirteen., Vs. System

Thursday Thirteen: Ultimate Squirrel Girl Continued.

squirrel-girl-beach-party

Squirrel Girl will appear in a cameo role in the upcoming Deadpool movie. That’s the rumor. A little tree rodent whispered it in my ear, and I am announcing it first here.

As you can see by the GLI Summer Fun Spectacular, Deadpool and Squirrel Girl are fast friends. In fact, Deadpool has admitted to wearing Squirrel Girl underoos.

Today, however, we are looking back at Squirrel Girl’s first appearance.

Just in case you weren’t here two weeks ago for the first half, this is from the Ultimate Squirrel Girl Review by Rainer. The second part gets all quizzical. Wonderfully nutty stuff.

1. Is that Steve Ditko mocking Marvel comics?

2. He seems to take great delight in it.

3. Like Tobe Hooper makes fun of yuppies in Poltergeist.

4. Doom’s defeat is among the most bizarre.

5. Especially for one of the more regal characters in the Marvel Universe.

6. Who is Squirrel Girl representing?

7. Who is the audience for this character?

8. This was published in Marvel Super-Heroes #8, a publication where Marvel dumped Library stories, back-up material in case some other story was over the deadline.

9. This could have been commissioned at any time, even the seventies or eighties.

10. My guess would be the early latter, based on the inking style.

11. It was published in 1992.

12. 1992, a year in the decade of image, foil comics, nauseatingly “realistic”art and grungy heroes.

13. Can you imagine some kid who loves Spawn or Dark Knight picking this up? His mind would be blown away. It truly looks like a dinosaur come back to live, preserved youthfully in a tar pit. Another pillar of insanity for this bizarre comic.

And yet, despite all the shock inducing elements of the story, it remains undeniably sweet. It has two levels, two worlds, again like Hooper. It’s beautifully drawn, the interaction between them is lovingly done (and lovingly one-sided) and it really makes me laugh, and realize that life really is a carnival. It also feels meta, in a good way. Iron Man plays the sturdy, veteran thinking he’s seen it all (drolly comparing Squirrel Girl to all the other heroes) like the reader, but he is jerked under the rug as much as us. In any case it is certainly one of the few times where when a character says he doesn’t think anyone will believe it, and we agree with him.

It’s genuinely astounding (a sense of wonder fills me when I read this), the art is some of the best I have ever seen, and it takes you on a bad trip, something akin to Lifeforce or Funhouse. I’ve hope you enjoyed this comic book, it truly represent the weirdness that only this medium can bring. Most serious minded comic fans aiming for respectably will no doubt raise their nose at such a thing. Fine, let them. They have their grungy and dreadfully serious movies to console them, and I have merriment with this little gem.

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Thursday Thirteen: The Art of the Internet.

internet_love_by_tipsyfairy

(Internet Love by tipsyfairy.)

Hello friends. I have a favor to ask today. I have been given the opportunity to design a Continuing Education course for Broward College. If it gets approved, I will be teaching adults how to maximize their presence on the internet. Help me make sure I have all the bases covered. Is there anything you would add to this list? Do you know of any really good sources for general computer skill summaries? Thanks for any help you can provide, this is what I want to teach:

1. Web Design. Creating your own little corner of the internet is easier and more beautiful than ever, thanks to amazing free software such as WordPress.

2. Blogging. No matter what your particular life is full of, you can share it with the rest of the world quite easily.

3. Message Boards. Whatever hobby or subject you are interested in becoming a bigger part of, you can find an active group discussion revolving around it.

4. Email. Whenever you need to get in direct contact with a single individual or corporate entity, the access points are readily available.

5. Ebay. Or Amazon, or any other way to hook up with buyers.

6. YouTube. Making videos and slideshows, then broadcasting far and wide.

7. Facebook. And any other social networking site that allows massive connections.

8. MySpace Music. Is there a better place to get your own original stuff heard?

9. Wikipedia. Reading an encyclopedia has never been easier, and now you can write part of it yourself!

10. Being part of the political process. Whether Redstate or Daily Kos, your voice can be a force in the party of your choice.

11. Google ads. Making money just from being popular is a very intriguing idea.

12. DeviantArt. The glory of a worldwide gallery, complete with communal critique.

13. Simply surfing. The one thing that the internet truly excels at. Connecting the dots from interested individual straight to source.

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Thursday Thirteen: Ultimate Squirrel Girl Review.

squirrelgirl1

If you have ever been within 12 miles of this website, you know that I have a thing for Squirrel Girl. Upper Deck blessed me with an official Squirrel Girl card last year, but even that could not prepare me for this.

Rainer wrote the ultimate review of the original 1992 Squirrel Girl appearance in Marvel Superheroes. He also posted the entire story. Today’s Thursday Thirteen is the first half, with some of his best reactions. Meet me back here next Thursday for the rest.

In the words of Rainer, “The Coming of Squirrel Girl” is…

1. Too weird not to post.

2. One of the most eye-opening comics I have read in quite some time.

3. Veers into Tobe Hooper territory.

4. “Here’s the deal: No deal.”

5. The most cool – i.e. emotionally muted – I have ever seen Iron Man.

6. Measured and solid hand in drawing the characters and environment. Except on  Squirrel Girl’s face.

7. Ye Gods.

8. Something only achievable in comics, those weird facial expressions not possible by any human being and much more mind imprinting in the static pages of a comic book, as you could just stare at it conceivably forever, where as in animation it would pass shortly.

9. You can’t help but notice her.

10. The ultimate fangirl.

11. Well meaning yet strangely off putting.

12. A big cake of headscratching.

13. Massive icing.

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Filed under Comic Books, Greatest Hits, Squirrel Girl, The Interwebs Rock!

Thursday Thirteen: A Comprehensive Survey of Vs. System’s Structural Potential.

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rian20fike20vs20darwin20kastle 

(Forgive my alliteration, I get excited when talking about the game I love.)

1. Vs. System supports the fully fleshed cardboard celebration of modern mythology.

2. Character cards capture crystallized chronological incarnations portraying individual instances of powerful personality within comic-book continuity.

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3. Plot Twists allow extended interpretations of the interaction between superheroes and storytelling.

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4. Locations transport players to power-packed places in the collective imagination that have been populated on pulp for years.

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5. Equipment cards create cardboard captures of the coolest action-accessories in comic-book history.

6. Versions validate various roles, relative to the revolving triumphs and tragedies that define each character during development.

7. Abilities arrange a translation from sequential pages and panels into repeatable gameplay and consistent strategy.

8. Flavor text sprinkles specific spices harvested directly from singular situations and speculative slang.

9. Team affiliations preserve previous cooperative conglomerates from actual mythological history.

10. Team-up cards give permission to create storylines and synthesis that would never be allowed in the comics.

11. Deckbuilding develops devious strategic synergies involving intensive specific information culled from the combination of spandex mythology and trading card game mechanics.

12. The basic blueprint provided by the game serves as a skeletal structure facilitating fresh entertaining expansion of far-ranging fan-favorites.

13. No matter what fictional characters or worlds you dig most, they can come to life when you create a fantasy set of Vs. System cards, providing endless entertainment – matching their might against other mythological masterpieces.

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Thursday Thirteen: An Art Teacher’s Manifesto.

watchmen_classroom_by_biigurutwin

(Watchmen in the classroom, by biigurutwin.)

I like to reflect. When I sat down to write a Thursday Thirteen this week, I decided to list the things I strive to instill in my students. This is my revolution.

1. Creative Success. Each student will feel the specific joy that only comes from inventive accomplishment.

2. Expansive Ideas. Each student will think about the world in new ways.

3. Wide-eyed Wonder. Each student will be exposed to a view of life as an unfolding gift of infinite potential.

4. Unknown Connections. Each student will see everyday things from extraordinary angles.

5. Controlled Freedom. Each student will have fun with their art and their friends while maintaining appropriate personal discipline.

6. Underlying Principles. Each student will understand why I enjoy each project enough to teach it to them.

7. Unwavering Positivity. Each student will have at least one teacher who is always in a good mood.

8. Modern Myth. Each student will relate some part of the lesson to comic book superheroes.

9. Relative History. Each student will be able to understand the origins of the things they know and love.

10. Convex Consumerism. Each student will flip the script from consumer to creator – from audience to artist.

11. Trading-card Tickle. Each student will get one of my extra Vs. System cards at random as a reward for good behavior and trade them joyously with classmates.

12. Punctual Responsibility. Each student will have an art teacher who is  a model of consistency and is always exactly on time.

13. Unconditional Love. Each student will be valued and loved equally as a creative human being.

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Thursday Thirteen: Tantalizing Tentacles.

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In the spirit of the Watchmen squid, we continue our quest for the ultimate aesthetic cephalopod – and it drags us back into the depths of Thursday Thirteen! Enjoy.

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Thursday Thirteen: Wicked Visual Bliss.

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Wow.  It has been six entire months since I did a Thursday Thirteen. We are back in the saddle again.  With a vengeance!

One of my favorite things to do on the interwebs is a secret I will share with you today. Go to www.deviantart.com and search for “marvel masterpieces sketch”. You will find hours of wicked visual bliss, I promise. Today my TT gives a little taste.

That first set of hand-drawn cards that were inserted randomly into the packs is from anjinanhut. Let’s count down the characters starting with that first set of nine and showcase their myths with a corresponding Vs. System card, shall we?

1. Shuma-Gorath. Everyone’s favorite pink tentacled Chaos Dimension special move busting giant alien from Marvel vs. Capcom!

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2. Doop. My students said they heard him called The Big Green Potato on television. For shame. All the X-Statix DEMAND RESPECT. Especially when they are morphing into Wolverine. Thank you.

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3. X-23. Sounds like a spray lubricant. Does she free up rusty bolts?

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4. Doop again. No wonder I love this set of drawings so much. Who is he transforming into this time?

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5. Whirlwind. Featured on the most beautiful Dave Devries painting in all of Vs. System. Sorry, Chaos Magic, but I love this one with all my heart.

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6. Doop for a third time. Steve Rogers, eat your big green potatoed heart out.

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7. Constrictor? Sorry, no Vs. System card for you.

8. Fourth Doop, this time Squinty.

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9. Deadpool. The man (zombie) who wears Squirrel Girl underoos.  Really, he does.

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That completes the first round, here goes the final four.

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10. Sentinel Mark IV. You didn’t think I would get throught this list without at least one blast of shiny purple, did you? It is my blood type, after all. That one was painted by gravyboy.

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And then there were three.

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11. Mysterio. Fresh from the twisted sick inkwell of Narcomics. Gotta love a dude with a fishbowl on his head, even if he doesn’t have any real superpowers. This is all an illusion anyway.

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12. Thanos. The glove, the purple face, the utter purity of devotion to death.

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It doesn’t get any better than that. Unless I can find…

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13. Squirrel Girl! You thought I would say Mulletman? Sorry, I am nuts for the bushy tailed tree rodents and Doreen Green is the most powerful superhero the world has ever seen.

First one from Celestial4Ever, second by LisaR. After I post this, I am scurrying straight up the nearest tree.

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Thanks for visiting my return to the land of Thursday Thirteen, your eyes will recover from Wicked Visual Bliss Overload in a matter of minutes. Maybe.

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Filed under Comic Books, Marvel Masterpieces, Squirrel Girl, Thursday Thirteen., Vs. System

Thursday Thirteen: The Music.

fIREHOSE

(fIREHOSE, carrying on.)

Today has been busy, cooking up the shirt orders and such.  So I would like to quickly take this opportunity to turn you on to the punk rock that changed my life.  For your listening pleasure.

1. Minutemen. There is a video history now, and there will never be another creative combination of pure talent like this, ever again.

2. R.E.M. I know, I know.  They turned into a pack of poofters as soon as the media crowned them magnificent “Songwriters”.  (Don’t listen after 1992.) Get the early albums, before they published lyrics.  As inspirational as anything you can put in your ears.  DIY incarnate.

3. Meat Puppets. High Priests of Wierd, but strangely it works just right.  The sound of human frailty swinging a pair of solid brass balls floating in cactus juice forming snow angels in the bonfire.

4. Husker Du. When you need the sludge of commercial culture scraped from your brain, dial up Zen Arcade and blow the doors off your skull.  You can thank me later.

5. fIREHOSE. Born from the ashes of D. Boon’s untimely death, the post-Minutmen Wattage still burns brightly in my heart.  Ragin’, Full On.

6. The Replacements. Paul Westerberg’s voice.  That is all.

7. Butthole Surfers. If you do not value your sanity, and you realize how much it is worth to let go of it, dive in up to your ankles.  Do it today.

8. Sonic Youth. They jammed a screwdriver through the strings to get just the right sound.  I saw them do it.

9. The Jesus and Mary Chain. Enough electric fuzz to put hair on your tongue.  Bzzz…

10. Daniel Johnston. Banging on pots and pans, sounding like Mozart?  Yes please.

11. Geraldine Fibbers.  Violin for the win, Carla just played a gig with Watt this weekend.  Straight to the heart, every time.

12. Nirvana. He may have been the beginning of the end, but what a beautiful end it was.  Magnificent madness and magick, sir.  Thank you.

13. Sublime. Ditto.  Times twelve.

That’s my list y’all.  Rock your own and link it here: www.thursdaythirteen.com 

… punk.

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Thursday Thirteen: The Magick Returns.

tarot 

You’ve heard me ramble quite often about the Chaos Magician trip.  One of the main ways it pops up in our life?  Random delayed exposure.  In this case, I finally picked up a copy of a comic book called “The Marvel Tarot”.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Deep, chewy arcane knowledge combined with superhero mythological pop goodness?  I doesn’t get any better than that.  Topaz as Temperance?  Yes please.  Does anybody know if Storm’s latent High Priestess powers have manifested yet?

The book has been in circulation since Summer Solstice 2007, a full nine months ago.  The time was finally right last night.  As always, it was perfect timing.  The great work is entering a new phase for us, and this was a sign.

I wrote a Thursday Thirteen explaining the basics of Tarot back in December.  Today I am going to put forth a set of magick goalposts for the next step in our ritualistic lifestyle.

1. Embrace the dazzling vigor of electrical existence, and cast off the gremlins of comfortable numbness.

2. Feel each cell in the current body, as it throbs and thrives.

3. Share the glow with everyone on Earth, directly through the sky.

4. Stop settling for less just because it is routine.

5. Focus on the HIGHEST common denominator.

6. Feel everything fully, instead of thinking about it possessively.

7. More punk rock.

8. Balance all four corners.

9. Unfocus the eyes, and see with the heart.

10. Follow the little tickle that is only found inside a living human brain.

11.  Realize that the tickle is available every moment between birth and death.

12.  Get it down, and display it for others.

13.  Don’t stop for anything.

There you go.   A new set of flexible rules in our house.  Make a list of yours, and link them to: www.thursdaythirteen.com  The magick is always ready to return, you only need to ask.

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Thursday Thirteen: A Revolution in Yin Yang Alliteration.

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The social club of Vs. System is shifting gears.  We are undergoing a paradigm update.  Today I am going to describe the revolution with words that tend to clump closely according to opening consonants. 

1. Instead of an authoritative central location, we now have a Humanizing Hub

2. Rather than a completely subjective evaluation of the global output, there is now a Verifying Vote.  (A click for me is a click for thee.  If anyone ever wanted to vote for this site, now is your chance.)

3. Elitism Erodes Exponentially, as we slide into a sort of people’s revolution.

4. Instead of Conquest, Cracked Characters Create Consensus.

5. Dicks Dissolve, and we start to act like human beings again.

6. It feels like there is some kind of dissipation of electricity, as the Power Pours Personally throughout the system.

7. The whole “king of the hill” chest-thumping mentality fades, And An Elegant Equality Gains Glorious luminosity.

8. The truly passionate remain, forming the Core Civiliation that will thrive into the future.

9. We mirror the comic books that our game is based on, struggling with forces beyond our control, forming a Banded Brotherhood of hope for the coming years.

10.  The DIY Ethos Emerges.

11. Personal Pleasure Reigns Rowdy, and things are going to get sloppy good.

12. Our Own hands will build it.

13. There are no more excuses.  We can’t hide behind our computer screens and whine about The Things “They” are doing wrong.  We must do this ourselves.  We Will Win.  Watch us.

I have no clue whether that worked or not, and I guess I never did fit the Yin Yang thing in there.  The original idea was to highlight the fact that we are transitioning from Competitive to Casual, from Conquest to Community, from Elitism to Empowerment, and from Dickery to Delight.  Of course, both sides are neccesary for the dynamic beauty that makes life worth living.  Our little card game community is shifting toward the Yin, but we will always love us some Yang.  Peace out.

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Thursday Thirteen: Fortune Cookies in Bed.

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We eat chinese buffet as often as we can afford it.  I love checking off the number of different species in my belly when we are done.  Then, the cookies.

Ten or twelve years ago, we started adding the words “in bed” at the end of every fortune.  It is really fun to play in large groups after a good meal.  Laughter helps the digestion.  Today I play with you.  Let me share the last thirteen slips of paper we pulled from our fortune cookies.  In bed.

1. “The stars appear every night.” … in bed.

2.  “Consider gain and loss, but never be greedy.” … in bed.

3.  “This is a good time to consider formally helping others.” … in bed.

4.  “You’ll have all sorts of chances to make a happy encounter.” … in bed.

5.  “You can depend on the trust of the collective.” … in bed.

6.  “Happier days are definitely ahead for you, struggle has ended.” … in bed.

7.  “Rely on your own good judgement to lead you to success.”  … in bed.

8.  “Sincerity is the finest point of communication.” … in bed.

9.  “Set high goals.” … in bed.

10.  “Take the initiative and others will support you.” … in bed.

11.  “The last thing you need sharpened is your tongue.” … in bed.

12. “Aspire to be great, then give everything you have.” … in bed.

13.  “Grasp the opportunities that are coming your way.”  … in bed.

So that’s what happens when the crumbs hit the sheets in our house.  You can grab a fortune online right now by clicking around in here, and then you need to make your own list of recent prophecies and link it to: www.thursdaythirteen.com … in bed.

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