Episode 47 – Building a Gaming Community

What’s better than breaking out a board game, rolling up some characters, or snatching up some controllers with your closest friends?  Okay, maybe a lot of things, but in terms of gaming and having fun, nothing!  However, those of us with established groups can often take that reality for granted, so what’s an isolated gamer to do to help plant the gaming seed and make that community grow?  Join us this week as we tackle listener @AllenStucker’s question and offer an insiders-looking-out perspective on how to help a fledgling gaming community grow.  Make nice-nice with the locals, gather up your games, and put on your extrovert pants as we talk gaming communities on a whole new episode of Monkey in the Cage!

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Episode 23 – WonderCon 2012

Well, July is just around the corner.  You know what that means!?!  San Diego Comic-Con!   Wait, what did you just say?  You didn’t get tickets?  Well, neither did we.  Luckily, we were able to take advantage of WonderCon’s temporary relocation to Anaheim, California this year and we’re here to bring you a little taste of our WonderCon 2012 experience.  Join us this week as we discuss some of our favorite experiences on the convention floor this past weekend, as well as our take on how WonderCon stacks up to the nerd-fest that is San Diego.  Grab your three day passes, hit the ATM, and don’t forget your poster tube (seriously, don’t) as we bring you WonderCon 2012!

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WonderCon 2012 and the World of Mike Mignola

I know Monday’s are supposed to be reserved for my weekly Pen and Paper topics, but I’m still basking in the geek glow that was WonderCon this past weekend.  Tomorrow’s podcast is chock full of awesome geeky goodness from the Con, but I withheld the majority of my Hellboy/Mike Mignola universe news for my post today.  Although I didn’t attend many panels at the convention (choosing instead to spend way too much money on the sales floor), I did make sure I cleared my schedule to hear what was on the upcoming agenda from my favorite comic writer/artist.

*** CAUTION – THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD!***

Mignola held a very informal Q&A panel for about an hour an a half, opening the floor to questions from his fans, offering those of us in the audience topics in the next few months.  One of the most important questions on the lips of the audience was in regards to the resolution of Hellboy The Fury #3 in August 2011, in which Mike Mignola killed his most iconic character.  Was the death of Hellboy always the intention that Mignola had?  In his own words, and I believe much to the satisfaction of the audience, Mignola told the audience that as he wrote Hellboy and subsequently created his and the B.P.R.D. universe, the characters and world took on organic lives of their own, and while he knew there were certain benchmarks he intended to hit (Hellboy will lose his eye, this will be the character that kills him, etc.), he really left it to the story to bring about its own natural conclusion.  Fortunately for us as fans of the red-skinned, blue-collared occult detective, death only proves itself to be a doorway to a new chapter, as Mignola continues to work full-time as both writer and artist for the upcoming release of Hellboy in Hell, slated for later this year.

Thankfully, despite all this, there will be plenty of Hellboy universe goodness heading our way in 2012, so here are some highlights from the panel:

  • Hellboy Library Edition Volume #5 and #6 are on the way.  Volume #5 will be the largest of all, with 60+ pages in the sketchbook section alone.  Edition # 6 will include The Storm and The Fury, as well as the collected works from The Bride of Hell and Others trade paperback.
  • Writing for all works in the universe are left in the hands of John Arcudi, Scott Allie, and Mike Mignola only.  This is to ensure that the Hellboy/B.P.R.D./Lobster Johnson/Witchfinder/Lord Baltimore series all maintain sensible continuity, thus keeping the worlds away from ret-con wipes.
  • Joe Golem and the Drowning City was originally intended to be a graphic novel, but is now an illustrated novel coming out later this month.
  • Hellboy has always been Mike Mignola’s “voice” in the comics, while Kate Corrigan‘s looks and “voice” are based on his wife.
  • B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth – The Pickens County Horror #1-2 will feature Mignola’s favorite monster, Vampires.
  • Keep an eye out for the illustrated novella, Father Gaetano’s Puppet Catechism: A Novella – written by Christopher Golden and illustrated by Mike Mignola – slated for release in October.  Happy birthday to me!
  • Hellboy in Hell will feature Hellboy, in Hell, having encounters with all manner of mythic and historical figures, which will result in adventures and stories only the mind of Mignola can fabricate.  I happened to tell Mike that if he were to have Hellboy encounter H.P. Lovecraft, I might name my first child Hellboy.  Everyone thinks I’m kidding… and I’ll be watching for that Lovecraft nod.

So, if you aren’t a Mignola or Hellboy fan, you could probably care less, but if you are, there is plenty to look forward to from the mind of Mignola this coming year.  Oh, and on a personal note, when Lance Henriksen interrupts you mid-sentence with Mike Mignola, who is subsequently interrupted by Steve Niles, just bask in the awesomeness of WonderCon, because that’s what I did!

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Episode 22 – Board Games: Traditional vs. Niche

Do you love being a Slum Lord and driving everyone into bankruptcy?  Perhaps you prefer attempting to save the world from simultaneous E. coli, Bird Flu, and Gonorrhea outbreaks? Or is a night of inadvertently insulting your friends in the name of fun your cup of tea?  If you answered yes (or no) to any of the above, then do we have the podcast for you!  Join us this week as we discuss traditional vs. niche board games whilst narrowly avoiding certain death!  It’s Robert with the knife in the podcast studio on this week’s shiny new episode of Monkey in the Cage.

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Episode 14 – Convention Experiences with. . . The David

One of the best parts of a new year, besides failing miserably at your resolutions by the second week of January, is the start of a whole new convention season.  Whether you are rabidly anticipating the “Geek Mecca” that is San Diego Comic-Con or like to keep it low-key and hit up your local favorites, we here at the Podcast love conventions, large and small.  From awesome (to awesomely bad) cosplay to getting mad-dogged by The Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno, hitting the convention circuit and reporting back to our listeners is definitely a top priority for the podcast monkeys this year.

Join us this week as we welcome our most seasoned Con-goer and close personal friend, The David from the Greenlandic Powerpop band The Maxies, as we recollect some highlights from convention trips past.  Grab your daily passes and stack up your swag while we dive into this week’s look at the convention experience.  It’s both chaotic and fun, just like the convention floor!

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Episode 12 – New Year Nostalgia

The New Year is finally upon us.  2011 brought some good times for us here at Monkey in the Cage, namely the birth of our wicked cool podcast (that’s for any fans we may have in Boston).  But, as awesome as 2011 was, 2012 is going to be a thousand times better.  This year is going to be a geeks dream year come true – everything from video games and movies to conventions and podcasts.  Like everyone else, we look forward to the new year and what it brings, but at the same time, we can’t help but take a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

This week, as everyone is looking forward, we’re looking back.  Join us as we talk about the a crap load of things from our childhood and adolescence that we both love an miss.  Be it cereals, tv shows, cartoons, or professional wrestling, nothing is off-limits as we babble on and on and commit the cardinal sin of dating ourselves and feeling old.  Let your ears take a listen and your mind reminisce on the things that helped make us the geeks we are!

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