National Wear Green Day

This being National Irish American Awareness Day AKA St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d compile a list of some of my favorite Irish characters from the comics pages. By no means exhaustive or even in any particular order. However, as someone is fascinated with her own slice of Irish heritage, Irish characters tend to catch my eye.

Hitman/Tommy Monaghan – Among my many complaints about the current DC comic universe, one of them is that Hitman is nowhere to be found. One of my favorite characters during the height of my comic collecting days (the 90s), created by one my one of my favorite comic writers (Garth Ennis), Tommy was everything a good Ennis character is – snarky, funny, and edgy while still sympathetic enough to make you want to root for him. My favorite Hitman story is still the Hitman/Lobo crossover, although his brief appearance in Grant Morrison’s JLA run was priceless.

Cassidy – Speaking of Ennis, I continue to cross my fingers that we get to see Preacher in a live action form, but only if it does justice to the original comic. It will be interesting to see how they handle Cassidy, the Irish vampire that is at turns Jesse’s friend and his antagonist. When I think of great vampire characters, Cassidy is always near the top of my list (in fact, I have a player in my vamp game right now, that often reminds me of him in his play style), but he was also one of the first characters I thought of while doing this list.

Kath/Raven/Angie – One of the best new comics out right now is The Kitchen, a comic that feels like the story board for the best girl power movie about Irish mobsters in the 70s that Tarantino just hasn’t made yet. The general premise is that the wives of 3 Irish mobsters who are sent to jail take it upon themselves to run their husband’s operations in Hell’s Kitchen. It’s gritty fun that at the same time has some interesting things to say about gender and class. The ladies are all bad-asses in their own right and so far the writing has been very impressive.

Daredevil – Speaking of Hell’s Kitchen, how great does the new Daredevil TV show look? I’m not a huge Marvel fan, but Daredevil is the type of conflicted superhero overcoming the odds that I find really interesting. Also, how many Irish Catholic superheroes do you see? Not many. That’s for sure.

News!

Wondercon is a little over two weeks away and we will be there in our official MIB capacity for Steve Jackson Games, ready to introduce you to a variety of tabletop games. If you are going, come by, say hi, and maybe play a round of Munchkin with us!

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Women of Action

Sometimes the fun in playing an RPG is the chance to really immerse yourself in a totally different world, personality, life situation, etc. There is tremendous fun in escapism. However, there is also something very emotionally satisfying about using the game as a chance to explore actual issues in a safe fictional space. Which is a roundabout way of saying things got real in my VtR game this past Saturday. I threw my players into a situation of non-stop action, and they were more than up to the task. I also couldn’t resist throwing in one of my infamous magnificent bastard NPCs to mess with one of my PCs who, to his credit, took the situation and ran with it. It was a good game.

I am less happy with the DC television universe as of late. They started out strong, but Gotham continues to slide from amusing absurdity to total hot mess. Which is a shame because all the actors on the show are awesome and fun. But the writing is, honestly, just awful. It’s getting painful to watch. It is totally confusing to me that Gotham not only got a back 9, but got a second season, while Constantine, which is far superior, got cut off at 13 episodes and is now in production limbo. No justice in ratings, I suppose. Constantine is my new Firefly.

I’m also disappointed with the female characters on the main DC shows. (I exempt Constantine because Zed is awesome and they have not given in to doing some stupid romance plot with her… yet.) But over on Arrow, Flash, and Gotham, the treatment of the female characters has been incredibly frustrating. With the huge exception of Thea Queen (who probably has the best story arc and character development of ANYONE on any of these shows, male or female), the female characters on these shows seem to be all portrayed as crazy or broken or just under developed. There are characters in these shows that are amazing strong female superheroes in the comics, but then the writers just totally screw them up on screen. Black Canary is dead/a defensive alcoholic who can’t fight worth a damn, Selina Kyle seems to solely exist to be Bruce Wayne’s love interest, Barbara Kane (who I thought was going to totally be Batwoman) is having a nervous breakdown and a super creepy relationship with two teenage girls, Future Poison Ivy is the most amazing example of a lamp character ever, Montoya is just… missing for some reason, and Flash fails the Bechdel test on such an epic level it’s cringe worthy. There are tons more examples, but seriously, I don’t even consider myself a feminist and I find this offensive. Hopefully, iZombie will balance out the scales a bit.

Way over on the side of the spectrum, Harley Quinn #15 was amazing and brought diversity to the DCU on a massive scale. So much girl power. You should be reading this book. And it deserves a Netflix show. It could be like Daredevil meets Orange is the New Black. But only if the writers don’t totally screw it up.

Thing I’m geeking out on: ETSY, but specifically Mythica Metalworks

When I attend a Strategicon, I always make a it a point to visit this one booth in the dealer room that sells these awesome handmade goods from crochet cephalopods to arm warmers to really neat chain mail jewelry. This last trip I acquired a stretchy chain mail bracelet that I love. I love it so much, and have received so many nice comments on it, that I tracked down the maker – Mythica Metalworks – and have requested a few more. You can keep your Tiffany baubles – give me personalized commissioned art pieces any day. Check out her online shop, order some things, she is amazing.

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