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Thanksgiving is tomorrow and that means Black Friday is just a day away. Brian has cooked up a pretty ridiculous assortment of Black Friday deals and it’s my job to let you know about them. So I’ll start with the stuff we’ve got.

Christmas Pin Set - $29.99
A delightful seasonal pin set for the collector and/or trader.

The Co-op Winning Tees - $19.99
Dabe’s first design as a full time PA employee and a great tee printed on a sweet, seasonally appropriate cranberry heather blank.

Double Secret Boxes - $13.99
At last, the much-whispered-about Double Secret Boxes, each holding two “random” pins from our grand pile of trade-backs and spares. Take a chance at adding to your set, or getting some extra pins to trade.

Dungeon Mistress Print - $25.00
Limited-edition, hand-numbered, screen-printed on top-quality, carefully-selected paper stock, featuring Gavin’s much-celebrated Dungeon Mistress design, now updated for wall-hanging. And other hyphens!

Strip Search - $29.99 DVD/$39.99 Blu Ray
The DVDs are in stock and will ship instantly. The Blu-Rays are available for pre-order and will ship in early December around the domestic shipping deadlines. There is the really great early-order bonus - a piece of exclusive original art that features contribution from all three finalists.

First Party Polos - $39.99
Our 2.0 Polos are now available in 5 new colors (Charcoal Grey, Sage Green, Canary Yellow, Chocolate Brown and Sky Blue), plus we restocked the Slate Blue that sold out so quickly last time around. These are still 2.0 polos, but we DID add an extra inch of length to all of the sizes and let the 2Xs and 3Xs out an extra inch or so in the shoulders based on customer feedback. I’m super excited to offer all of these colors.

Every once in a while we will like someone else’s work enough that we’ll offer their books or items on our store. This season we have two great ones: Enfu: True Grit featuring the art of Ken Taya, who’s art is hung up all over the Seattle area including the PA offices and who worked on games like Halo 3 and some of the Scribblenauts titles. Also the Maze of Games puzzle novel by Mike Selinker.

Of course it would not be Black Friday without some “crazy” promotions and discounts. So here’s what we’ve got.

We’re launching the new polos I mentioned above and they are full price, BUT EVERY OTHER First Party item (Jackets, Sweater, Ties, Notebooks, Belts) are going to be 20% off for ALL of the holiday season. Tis the season to get that FP item you’ve always wanted and in some cases the last chance since we’re getting awfully low in inventory on a few of the items like the sweater and jacket.

Black Friday-Cyber Monday - 10% off of the Double Secret Boxes.

And of course, the tier rewards!

Finally here are the shipping dates so you can make sure to get your stuff by Christmas.

For International First Class and Priority its like this:

December 1 for Africa and South/Central America
December 7 for everywhere else First Class
December 10 for Priority Mail to Europe/Canada


Standard Post - December 13
First Class/Priority - December 18

Ground - December 13
2-Day - December 20

If you have any questions you can always mail Brian in the store. He says that if delivery for Christmas is ESSENTIAL, you might want to order Blu-Ray copies of Strip Search separately from the rest of your order. We’re happy to take customer service emails to combine totals toward the merch tiers and Brian says he’ll keep the product weight a little below actual to help with shipping cost there.

So there you have it. That’s our Black Friday offering this year. I have to say the Double Secret Boxes and the Strip Search DvD are probably the things I’m most excited about. Both have been a long time coming but we don’t like to do stuff unless we can do it right. Both of these took a long time to get right but I’m really happy to finally have them in the store. Also that’s a pretty insane discount on First Party gear. If you’ve had your eye on something for a while. this weekend is the time to grab it.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

-Gabe out

Tycho / 2 days ago

World of Warcraft creates “social media campaigns” without even mounting social media campaigns because you talk about it a lot when you’re playing it.  This just naturally happens.  And it floats in the shared air of the internet like a spore waiting to hatch in your sinuses and grow a knobbly spar into your brain.

Even in the full knowledge that it was a creature of sophistication and bearing, I was mostly content to let others return to the ancestral shores while I made due with the contact high.  I was able to deflect the torrent of hot caramel fudge shooting from Scott Kurtz in virtually every direction about this homecoming.  I thought that we were safe; indeed, I am still safe.  But Scott’s wife Angela started talking to Kara about how much fun they were having in there, and that’s that.  There’s no armor on that side.  It’s like when “the call” comes from “inside the house.”  You got nothin’.

So now he’s doing that.

My clan is headed over the mountains to Spokane, where there is no Dragon Age.  The “eMachine” they have there would catch on fire at the mention of it, and the less said of the ancient Windows NT print server, the better.  So I feel compelled to eulogize the game.  I feel compelled to make a lozenge of my wanting.

There is a “big picture” for Dragon Age and I see it now.  You can play the new one for thirty hours, as I did, and not really be playing it at all.  There’s a lot of dirty work in this setting up front, in the first two games: a lot of tent-pole placing, a lot of trench digging, but when you see how they play around with those things now - how they invert them, or unfold them, it’s marvelous.  I want to interrogate them: when did you know which things?  Did you make this franchise backwards, and have to spend a decade getting where you meant to go?

I think I’ve been too hard on their substrata, now.  Dragon Age had to mature, essentially, in full public view.  And then you get to this third one, except it feels like the First of its line.  The other games aren’t even dress rehearsals for this.  It cribs from everywhere, literally everywhere: iOS shrapnel of the “bar filler” genre, elven street drugs, MMO titrates immoral in their potency, and they’ve sewn it around a marvelous homage to their genre defining earlier work.  It could be the last thing you made, or the only thing, even, and noone could say you hadn’t created a kind of coordinate, in space and time, that the work of others will be judged by.

(CW)TB out.


The last page of Silverside went up today. I was talking with some friends at lunch the other day about the project and they were surprised to hear that I don’t actually like drawing Automata. Of all our projects I feel like it is the one I am least qualified to draw. I just don’t feel like I have the skills to do Automata as well as I think it deserves to be done. I’m happy with a lot of the work I did on Silverside but it’s so much harder for me to draw than something like Lookouts or the Daughters of the Eyrewood.

I did way more research for this project than I normally do. It was important to me that it look and feel like a noir film. I watched a bunch of old movies but there were two that I specifically pulled a lot of inspiration from. The first was the Maltese Falcon and if you watch it you’ll see a couple nods to it in Silverside.

The floorplan of Betty’s apartment and the framing of the conversation that happens there is pulled right out of that movie. The other was Scarlet Street. I got a lot of costume ideas from this film and used the iconic lamp post in the last page today.

There’s more classic noir movie references in there if you look for them, sort of like a Tarantino movie I guess.

Speaking of the last page, here is a look at the inks for that page. You can click on it for a larger version.

Silverside is over for now but I guarantee there is more Automata coming in the future. Some of it in comic form some of it in something a little more exciting.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 3 days ago

Child’s Play Dinner & Auction!

We’re getting down to the wire on tickets for the event, which takes place on Thursday, December 4th.  The legendary Silent Auction begins at 6:30 PM, with the Live Auction and Dinner (hosted by the gentlemen you see in the above photo) beginning at 7:30.  Cocktail hour afterward.  It’s an amazing night, and you can still go!  Hit this link for tickets.


Tycho / 6 days ago

There is a very fixed menu of ingredients at Taco Bell; it can be conceived of as an alternative to the standard Periodic Table, whose quasi-edible permutations constitute a distinct flavorverse.  Far Cry 4 has a similar catalog of “elements,” like Honey Badger, Falcon, Tuk-Tuk, Assault Rifle, Boar, and so on.  (I would consider AK-47 an isotope of Assault Rifle).  After the latest of Gabriel’s misadventures, it became clear that he was basically dipping a ladle in that soup of possible events and coming up with treachery every time.  He was, in effect, panning for devastation.  And the creatures of that place responded in kind.

I haven’t talked about the Master Chief Collection here because I have a) been playing other games to completion and b) because I can’t really play it.  Not because I don’t want to, but because it apparently doesn’t want me to.

As a means of instructing the next generation, like in the case of Gabriel (I refer here, to both Gabriels; I refer to the Gabriel Continuum) it must be considered an unmatched offering.  Young people have no problem with the graphics in Minecraft, where each “pixel” of that world is a gigantic chunk the size of a safe you can break off and then relentlessly combinate.  But if a game is not explicitly made from what look to be 16-bit era pixel art or the aforementioned cubes, it needs to be essentially photorealistic or it is “full of fail.”  Remasters of the first two games coupled with uprezzed latter episodes help bridge the gap for would be educators.  That part is all well and good and I understand it can be absorbed at the proper rate.

For me, there has always been something goofed about Halo Multiplayer, in that the most revelatory mode to me - what is generally termed Big Team Battle - barely worked most of the time.  You’d get good games here and there, and when you found them, you tried to stick around.  Dedicated servers for this mode were always the fantasy.  I feel confident that I advocated for deddis as a definitional feature of Xbox Live even back then, before the Azure platform which has kinda sorta made that a reality for some games.  So a 1080p, 60 frame version of the game with the server handled elsewhere is like a prophecy come to life.  Last night, it couldn’t even get some kind of matchmaking data to start searching for a game.  I let it go for awhile, put the kids to bed, and when I came back it was still there.  It was patting the pockets of its coat and slacks, like a man with Alzheimer’s searching for a wallet he has never owned.

Like with Unity, I can’t really bring myself to be angry about it.  It wouldn’t make me angry if someone else were angry, that’s legit.  For my part, I’m genuinely confused about why they would do this to customers.  These are flagship titles, and these issues are completely avoidable.  They have brought me to a juncture where I feel compelled to use my Dad voice; I don’t want an apology.  I want you to be better.

(CW)TB out.

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