I am not a comics person.
That isn’t to say I don’t read comics; I read lots of comics. But I feel like there’s a deeper literacy that comes from a long steep in it that I don’t have. I don’t give as much of a shit as the “comics fan” I have enunciated in my mind does. Oh! That’s what it is. They’re always changing shit to manufacture some kind of reaction, and I don’t react to it. I guess Captain America was or is dead or alive or part of Hydra or some other thing. I understand why someone would feel a way, but I don’t feel a way.
I have been fairly consistently surrounded by fan of comics though, for some reason. Gabe Guisarme always had a ton of books to read, and I availed myself of them whenever we weren’t arguing about the existence of God. It was this state of Naivete that enabled me to recreate Magneto’s origin story virtually word for word in an “original character” I’d “created” when Gabe and I started writing comics together; he let it ride. He didn’t have the heart to tell me.
One of the books I read when he and I were living together was called Battle Chasers, and it made sense to me because it existed in something like a medieval fantasy context and not whatever you would call the bulk of modern comic continuity.
I mean… Comics, I guess. I suppose you’d call it “comics.” But that does lack specificity.
It granted me entre both because it was fantasy and because it was New; it was possible for me to get into it because it just started. What’s more, over the course of three years, only nine comics ever even came out! That’s a pace I can manage. It was by a person named Joe Mad, who I could tell was an object of worship for my cohort, and even I could tell why. Looking as an outsider to visual art in general, Joe Madureira seems to specialize in a very particular trick: he goes too far, and then goes further, until the characters are elevated, alchemized perhaps, into living symbols.
After a long slumber in the molten core of the earth, which is deeply on-brand for a fantasy setting, Battle Chasers: Nightwar erupted on Kickstarter, Gabe backed it, and now it’s out and you can play it.
He’s pretty skittish around Kickstarter, which is the precise opposite of me. Kickstarter allows me to gamble when I’m not in a casino, which is a source of real excitement - I back desk organizers, sauces, thermometers, I stay backing. I’m glad he didn’t get bit on this one, because not only did it come out, he’s in love with it. I haven’t seen him on Destiny even once since the game launched. He’s in full-on evangelism mode over here for what Kiko described as “Art: The Game.”
Nostalgia is a cursed coin. Battle Chasers charted a dangerous road, resuscitating a comic series while also evoking a wistful JRPG schema, but from the looks of it they managed to navigate that fraught terrain with ease. We’re gonna be checking it out for a couple hours this afternoon on the stream this afternoon at 2pm PDT- stop by?