Hey, it’s time for Monday Monsters! This week is kickin’ off with Gyodai, a recurring monster from 1985 sentai series Dengeki Sentai Changeman, which I’ve been shamelessly blasting in the background while I work.
Booba—a former space pirate working for the villainous Great Star League Gozma—had the following to say about this special creature in episode 1: “Gyodai has the ability to reconstruct particles. He has the ability to make things bigger!”
So yes, this is the dude that comes out and makes the monster of the week bigger at the end of each episode.
E3 is once again in full swing, and for some reason I feel compelled to write about it outside of my normal day job routine. I love making fun of everything that goes on throughout the week—so many blowhards making ridiculous promises or showing off half-cooked ideas—but it’s also one of my favorite weeks of the year. There’s something so routinely refreshing about all the hope that swells up just before a big slew of announcements, followed by the exhalation of disappointment and communal commiserating over whatever was or wasn’t expected from said showing.
Last night’s Sony presser was wholly emblematic of this. Everyone waited with bated breath, expecting, maybe a little foolishly, for Team ICO to come out and show more of the long-gestating, probably dead The Last Guardian. Instead Sony showed off some familiar faces and new games like Suda51′s Let It Die, which might be their answer to the whole The Last Guardian thing were it not for their stubborn insistence that it’s still in the works.
Aside from that, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Twitter react so harshly to something than when Sony threw up a quick shot of PSOne rhythm game Vib Ribbon without following up on it. Just a naztee tease to annoy all the late-90s import nerds.
The thing about following this stuff so closely is I almost immediately forget what happened earlier in the day. Staying glued to the screen to watch the Sony conference at 9pm makes it easy to lose track of what happened when I was glued to the screen during Microsoft’s around noon. I remember Hideki Kamiya (Devil May Cry, Okami, Bayonetta) coming out and announcing a new game called—actually trying to think of it off the top of my head as I type, so I’ll just take a quick guess—Scaleskin. Now I’ll look it up… Scalebound. Close enough.
From Software delivered what I was really waiting for during Sony’s two hour block of madness. Bloodborne comes from Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki, which isn’t even a name I knew off the top of my head until about a year and a half ago. Now he’s the president of his company and everyone wants to know what the hell he’s working on at any given moment. Like much of what we see over the course of the week, Bloodborne was just shown via cinematic footage, but From Software is one of those rare developers I fully trust to deliver on whatever they have cooking, so I’ll be getting a PlayStation 4 at some point.
Now I’m going to eat a banana and wait to watch Nintendo because this is what I do.
Friend of subhumanzoids JFish (AKA Jason Fischer)—who will forever be known in my mind as Big Man Face from the short film of the same name—recently kicked off a new comic series called Monstroleum. Comic isn’t even the right term (it’s actually a mini-book), but those are what JFish is known for in addition to his amazing artwork. The first volume is out now, and what makes Monstroleum interesting is that it’s the first time we really get a taste of JFish’s own narrative voice. It’s not surprising to find he’s got storytelling chops that complement his art nicely.
JFish’s previous comics work, from Jaephisch & the Dark Rainbow to Junqueland, has had him teaming up to illustrate with a writing partner. Monstroleum is all him, and it tells the tale of Beatrude Voluspa the Tall, a dwarf who sets off on her first adventure and plans to document all the wild creatures she encounters along the way.
The result is part travelogue and part NES instruction manual, so of course it’s right up my alley. Each page has a drawing of a monster, both in the form of a full-on illustration and a fantastic little sprite-style profile. Completing the page is a description from Beatrude’s journal, each of which maintains a consistent voice and paints a vivid mental picture of the land and the long, tough road taken between each notable encounter.
JFish calls Monstroleum “a love letter to all the fantastic adventure books and games I grew up with,” and it really shows. The storytelling comes off as effortless and it’s clear loads of care was put into each illustration, plus you can get original drawings of a monster of your choosing if you pre-order upcoming volumes or subscribe to all five. Here’s JFish’s take on a chimera he did for my copy of volume 1.
Monstroleum is available to purchase from JFish’s website.