Lego Batman 2 Trailer

Steel yourselves for a giggle fit because the launch of Lego Batman 2 comes with a suitably funny launch trailer. The free roaming sequel to the caped crusader’s first foray into the world of bricks promises more heroes, more villains and even more silliness and the trailer certainly delivers on that. Also, we finally get to see what it looks like when the Batmobile looses a wheel and the Joker gets away.

Lego Batman 2 is out now.

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Dan’s Blog: MCM Debrief

For my part, I spent Sunday cosplaying as white trash.

The very first year that Steve and I appeared at the MCM Expo the event fell upon the same day as a Millwall game. It’s not a detail that I would remember were it not for the fact that it meant that my first experience of the con was sitting on a packed tube full of confused skinheads and teenagers dressed as cats. There has probably never been a more perplexed railway carriage anywhere in the world and I found myself developing an instant fondness for this oddball of a con.

I mention this story first because really the teenagers dressed as cats (and Pokemon and cardboard boxes and pretty much anything else you can imagine) are the heart of MCM. That’s not to say they are the only audience there (in terms of floor space, it’s probably the biggest comic con in the UK) but at its very core the event is about people who say the word “random” a lot, cutting loose and having fun. As a result, MCM has always had a kind if energetic buzz about it that you just don’t find anywhere else and it’s this buzz that is the key to why this year’s event was so successful.

MCM has taken some flak over the years for its rather diverse (random, you might say) range of exhibits. While other cons focus on comics or movies or trading or whatever, MCM goes for a bit of everything but in times such as these it’s exactly that kind of diversity that you need. If you’re only going to go to one comic con then the obvious choice is the one that lets you see as much as possible. MCM is not so much a comic convention as a convention for the sort of people who like comics. It’s a subtle distinction but one that breeds the kind of extremely loyal fanbase that descended in droves upon the Excel Centre last weekend.

Shot of the convention floor. It’s very hard to convey the sheer scale of the event.

For our part, we were taken completely by surprise by just how busy the con was. We brought our usual hefty amount of stock, expecting it to last the entire event (especially given a slightly disappointing audience turn out at Kapow) but instead found ourselves completely sold out of copies of Moon by 5pm on Saturday. The result was that Steve had to scurry back to Essex on Sunday morning, while I tried to learn how you sell prints of characters from a book you don’t have (turns out, you generally don’t). By 11am we were back up and running however and went on to smash our all time sales record by some way.

Moon #1 completely sold out.

I should mention, in the interests of fairness, that we had a much better pitch than at Kapow, being as we were right next to the auditorium and the booth for ASDF (who I’d never heard of before the weekend but who I’m pretty sure most teenagers would readily kill for.) This naturally translated into better sales but the fact that we took more than twice what we made at Kapow and paid less than half for the table left me pondering whether we’ll keep Kapow on our calendar next year.

Organisation wise we’ve got no complaints. Comics Village (who run the comics side of the event) have gotten very good at pre-show communication this time around and having every table get a small blurb in the program was a nice touch. Despite the huge crowds, there was always a volunteer on hand when needed and they were (as has always been the case) extremely helpful and friendly.

The aftermath. Huge thanks to everybody who bought the book and to those who have sent us such kind feedback on it. You guys are awesome.

The one part where the organisation fell down slightly was in the execution of the Eagle Awards on Friday night. The Eagles themselves are probably a topic for another day but the very low audience turn out was a bit of a shame. Steve and I certainly appreciate being able to hog the free beer but I can’t help but think that if they were properly publicised and perhaps held on the Saturday night, the turn out would have been far better. We ran into only two non-comics industry people at the awards and they confessed that they’d only found the event by chance. Given the announcement about the demise of the Eagles, I wonder whether the lack of publicity was a deliberate move to send the awards off quietly with an eye to focusing on next year’s new “MCM Awards.”

The Eagles is but a small part of the overall event however and a low turnout for one small part is not enough to spoil the experience of what was in all regards a fantastic convention experience.

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If you picked up a copy of Moon #1 at MCM then we’d love to hear what you think. Send us an email at btbcomics@gmail.com or let us know on facebook or twitter!

For Anyone Who’s Ever Played an Old School Game: Go Right

This succinct and beautifully thought through video by Youtuber RockyPlanetesimal tells you everything anyone who never owned a SNES or a Mega Drive needs to know about old school gaming. It’s the single minded pursuit of a simple goal. To keep going right – whether you’re gigantic, tiny, an arabian prince, a superhero, an italian plumber, a knight with rickety armour or an Earthworm that simple premise saw a billion gamers through tough times. God bless you, you’ve got the right stuff!!

Peter Hollens & Lindsey Sterling Play The Music of Skyrim

You may already be aware of Lindsey Stirling’s music, she’s carved our quite a nich for herself on the internet by posting videos of herself playing the violin while cosplaying. Given that the violin playing is pretty good (and not at all because lots of people will fall over backwards to watch a pretty girl run around in the snow) she’s now quite an established presence on youtube and rightly so. It’s not like the violin is a particularly over represented instrument in popular culture.

The real star this time though is vocalist, Peter Hollens, who steps in to add some Thumm (remember when we were saying that word every day a few months back, just sounds silly now doesn’t it) to Lindsey’s fiddle. In creating this collection of music from the Elder Scrolls, the pair have forgone the usual backing track and instead used multiple layers to create a tune entirely powered by voice and violin. The video is very very silly but the music is extremely impressive.

Have a great Easter.

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Star Wars Kinect is…Erm.

Remember how when the motion games came out and everyone said that the technology was pretty much just sleeping until the inevitable Star Wars version? Remember how Star Wars Kinect was going to make you feel like you really were a Jedi?

Well that moment is here folks! The future of gaming has arrived and…oh dear.

To be fair, this is pretty much what I spent most of my playtime on Star Wars Galaxies doing but I imagine that if you’re a diehard Star Wars fan, you’re probably pretty angry right now.

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Mechawhales!

 

We’re used to seeing some pretty weird (usually in a good way) stuff at conventions. Indeed, a lot of my time at these events is spent trying to persuade Steve not to buy it all while a lot of his time is spent trying to persuade me not to crowbar it into our comic. As a result, we’re pretty resilient to the daftness of the internet but that doesn’t stop us falling prey to the outright fanciful.

For your consideration I present, Mechawhales. A web series by Hauke Scheer about a dark future where only an alliance between humans and telepathic whales in robot suits can save the galaxy from ruin. If you’re a fan of 90s cartoons where backstory and toy merchandising ride roughshod all over logic and plot then you’re about to go to your happy place.

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Baldur’s Gate Returns!

In 1998 an almost unknown Canadian games developer called Bioware released a Dungeons & Dragons RPG called Baldur’s Gate and changed the direction of an entire gaming genre.  To say that BG was a milestone in gaming history is something of an understatement as almost every modern party based RPG owes something to that one game. So popular is the Baldur’s Gate saga (as well as the follow up Icewind Dale series) that they have been consistently sold in gaming stores for almost 15 years. For a game to not only keep being played but keep making money for so long is almost unheard of.

Bioware have since moved on to other things but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end for Baldur’s Gate. Last week, Wizards of the Coast (the company that owns the D&D license) announced that they have teamed with Overhaul Games to bring Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate 2 into the 21st Century. The Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Versions will run on an updated version of their original Infinity Engine and will be released for Ipad and PC in the summer of 2012.

The first release will feature the entirety of Baldur’s Gate and the Tales of the Sword Coast Expansion Pack as well as some original content and a brand new party member. The decision to release primarily on the Ipad seems like a stroke of genius to me and will hopefully see BG taking a place among the likes of games like Broken Sword and Monkey Island who have seen a whole new lease of life following an IOS release. No word on pricing or on when we can expect BG2 to make its appearance but if the fleeting preview images that have been released are anything to go by, it’s going to be an exciting summer for RPG fans.

Go for the eyes, Boo.

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New Lego Batman 2 Trailer

 

The Dark Brick of Gotham is back and this time he’s bringing his friends! The sequel to Warner-Bros’ Lego Batman game features a team up between everyone’s favourite bickering, heterosexual life-partners as Clark Kent enters the mix.

If past form is anything to go by then you should expect more characters, more engrossing puzzles and a storyline that probably still makes more sense than most of the Batman/Superman comics did.

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Footage from Mechwarrior Online

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since the last true Mechwarrior game. With such an explosion of startup MMOs in recent years, it was only ever a matter of time before somebody went back to this supremely multi-player friendly franchise and, to be honest, I’m surprised it took this long.

I was a huge Mechwarrior fan back in the day and if this newly released footage from the upcoming Mechwarrior Online is anything to go by, the key elements are all still in place. How the game’s complex controls and occasionally slow gameplay will hold up in today’s fast paced, console focused world remains to be seen but for the time being, everything looks pretty rosy.

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Super Morrissey Brothers

Morning chaps,

Just wanted to jump on briefly and share this link with you. We love mario here at the bunker, we also love the Smiths (well I do) but more than both of these we love silly things that put a smile on your face in the morning. This is one such thing.

Ladies and gentleman, a very clever man named lazyitis presents: The Super Morrissey Brothers!

Click to listen
(sorry, soundcloud doesn’t let us embed)

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(p.s. Steve put up a neat bit of Star Wars art today. Check it out on the post below this one)