Saturday, August 31, 2013

Postcards from G-FEST XX: It's Pigmon!

Thursday's double-double feature is always a great start to G-FEST. What could be better than watching four kaiju flicks knowing that the whole weekend is ahead of you? This year there were a few sweet surprises at the evening showing. One was a Pacific Rim trailer, and the other was an entire episode of the original Ultraman, "The Small Hero," which features Pigmon and the feather-wielding Geronimon. The Science Patrol on the big Pickwick screen was an unexpected treat.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Total Kaos at Packrat Comics

Bryan "Stratos" Borgman begins his intro to Kaiju Kaos
 Bryan Borgman, creator of the tabletop game "Kaiju Kaos," invited us to a demonstration of his game at Packrat Comics in Hilliard, Ohio, and we are glad he did. It is a testimony to Bryan's game engineering and patient teaching ability that in less than a half an hour, our kaiju were duking it out, and we were having a lot of fun.

Kaos is about to strike!
Packrat Comics hosted this event, and this was our first time visiting. Quite frankly, we were blown away by this store. Behind its unassuming door lies a vast array of comics, gaming supplies, and collectibles. G-fans take note: S.H. Monster Arts and X-Plus are both represented here; a careful sweep through both floors (!) will yield some treats. I don't want to say too much, as we intend to return in the near future, and we don't want to see the walls bare!
"How do you double-punch again? When can I throw my rock?"
 The version of the game we learned was a streamlined, one-on-one battle simulation. Once you get into the basic flow of the game, there is a satisfying give and take that occurs, like a kaiju fight that you would see in a movie. Your monster can advance, parry blows, evade attack, and, of course, fight, using claws, rocks, beam weapons and more. Depending on what you roll, you can miss a punch, or decimate your opponent. There is strategy, imagination, and big helpings of over-the-top monster fun to be had. We were absolute newbies coming in to this experience, and still were able to pick this up relatively quickly. Once we get past being self conscious about rules and scoring formulas, the rhythm of the battles will become more natural and it should be even more fun to play. Even if you don't consider yourself a "gamer," Godzilla fans owe it to themselves to give this a try. You will be amazed at how the action mimics the combat portrayed in your favorite films, and you just might gain a new perspective on your favorite hobby!

Bigfoot vs. Earwig: a conflict you will only see in Kaiju Kaos
For more information about Kaiju Kaos, go here. Bryan maintains a Facebook presence for the game here. And visit Packrat Comics here, but go in person if you can!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Postcards from G-FEST XX: The Pickwick and Park Ridge

A happy sign of summer

This year, the G-FEST experience began more abruptly than in years past. We drove from home to the Chicago area in one day, and were up and at 'em on Thursday, itching to get to Park Ridge.

(When I say we were itching, I mean that literally...we woke up Thursday morning peppered with very itchy bites. Sue got the worst of it. We had obvious concerns about bed bugs (which we brought home once from a Columbus, Ohio hotel), but the bites didn't fit the profile. I'm fairly certain that we had gotten nailed by a biting fly that was buzzing around home just before we left. It wasn't a big deal, but it was a deal. These really hurt. Fortunately, the immersive experience that is G-FEST took our minds off of the discomfort most of the time.)

As I was saying, we got to Park Ridge early, in order to hit Trader Joes and to take in the annual "Taste of Park Ridge" sidewalk sale that has coincided with G-FEST for a number of years running. (It makes for some minor parking headaches, but we've got our "secret" spots that are almost always available.) I'm glad we arrived when we did, because the Pickwick Theater had a stack of two-sided movie posters on a table, and Andy and I were able to score this Pacific Rim poster for the whopping price of $4.00. It'll cost 6 times that much to get it framed, but it will be worth every penny, and more importantly, it was one of those cool "lucky" moments that G-FEST memories are made of.

Our $4 Pickwick Pacific Rim Poster

From the Pickwick Box Office
They weren't kidding about the projector.
More on that later.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kaiju Kaos Demo Day: August 10

Our friend Bryan Borgman will be running free demos of his game Kaiju Kaos: Smackdown at Packrat Comics on Saturday, August 10th beginning at Noon. All materials will be provided so just show up and learn how to play.
 Bryan recommends ages 8 and up but younger can work with adult help/supervision. Once learned, the game can be played in 15 minutes or less! If you like what you see, minifigures and rules will be available for purchase.

3864 Lattimer StreetHilliard, Ohio 43026


We've met a number of great people thanks to this hobby/fandom/mutual Godzilla geekery. One who is a real kindred spirit is Aaron Christensen, writer for HorrorHound magazine. He offers a comprehensive retrospective of G-FEST XX at his blog, which you can access here. Until next year, it was great to see you, Dr. AC!