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Dmitri M. A. Hubbard (Hong Kong)

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ABC Warrior (ABC Warriors)
ABC Warrior (ABC Warriors)
by Kevin O'Neill
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic characters marred by constant changes in graphics, 1 Aug. 2008
When Pat Mills developed the ABC Warriors, he allegedly stopped in frustration after each artist was only able to complete one or two strips. Therefore this first volume is a hodgepodge of styles. However, the general impression is good, especially with fine artwork by Brendan McCarthy, Mike McMahon, Dave Gibbons, and even Carlos Ezquerra does a few progs. (I guess it is hard to draw 7 very different robots every prog).

Probably most important for the creation of the artwork was the initial work by Kevin Oneill, who made it possible for the tie-in with Nemesis later.

This covers the early ABC Warriors strips up to the formation of the team of 7 (Happy Shrapnell, Joe Pineapples, Hammerstein, Dreadlock, Blackblood, Steelhorn / The Mess, Mongrol) and including their adventures on Mars.

Highly recommended. This is the starting point - followed by The Black Hols, Kronocles of Khaos, and Hellbringer, (a fifth volume will be out in Nov 08).

Brave New World (Flamingo modern classics)
Brave New World (Flamingo modern classics)
by Aldous Huxley
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A better prediction of the future than 1984, 31 July 2008
Looking back over the past 50 years, it is clear that many of the things Huxley predicted have come to pass. Consumerism (buy the newest model) and the elimination of problems (TV, psp, NDS, designer drugs, Ipods) allow people to drop out of reality temporarily. The feeling of never being alone is truly one which will continue as the world is increasingly urbanised. We only need to look at some traditional Asian cultures in the last 50 years to see the family model is becoming less strong as a unit.

Orwell went for the obvious authoritarian state, whereas Huxley went for the happy, genetically engineered, conditioned, drugged state. I think the open question is whether the restricted flow of information will yet come to pass. The biggest hope that it will not now lies in the internet - the only free, unfiltered means of mass communication.

Bad Company: Kano
Bad Company: Kano
by Peter Milligan
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick with Goodbye Krool World, Vol 2 for diehard fans only, 31 July 2008
This review is from: Bad Company: Kano (Paperback)
Bad Company: Kano is part 2 of the Bad Company story, the first part which is incorporated in "Goodbye Krool World" which is an essential collectors item for any 2000AD or graphic novel afficionado. The graphics are almost as good here, but the story wanders, retreading old ground. The depths of Kano's inner conflicts are plumbed, and it just leads more firmly to the conclusion that the best material was in the first volume. If you love volume 1 you should get this for completeness, but get vol 1 first.

Volume 1 = 5 STARS
Volume 2 = 3 STARS

Book 1 details the wonderful story of Danny Franks and his recruitment into Kano's Bad Company on planet Arrat. The second half of book 2 involves a quest by Danny Franks to destroy the Krool heart ending the reign of the Krool. It is in black and white. It begins at prog 500-519, 548-557, 576-585.

To clarify, book 2 is in mixed colour and black and white, depending on the original episodes as they appeared in the pages of 2000AD progs 828-837, and 1273-1277. It involves two separate stories, one involving Kano on a strange planet with ghosts of his former Bad Company colleages, then in a mission to return and confront Danny Franks, who became the Krool heart at the end of book 1.

Book 1 is fantastic. Get that book and then think twice about book 2.

Pocoyo & Friends: Series 1 - Episodes 1-13 [DVD]
Pocoyo & Friends: Series 1 - Episodes 1-13 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Pocoyo
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, just what your child needs (and you can stand rewatching yourself), 31 July 2008
This has several advantages for young children:
1) The wonderful comedian Stephen Fry as an understated narrator
2) Bright colours and 3d animation
3) Great use of language
4) Interesting educational scenarios for young children in a humorous light.

The main characters are the baby Pocoyo (in blue), Ms Elly the pink elephant, Loula the yellow dog, Pato the ultra-cool duck, and sleepy bird.

The episodes covered are - Hush, Pocoyo Dance, Drum Roll Please, Umbrella Umbrella, A Mystery Most Puzzling, A present for Elly, The Big Sneeze, Double Trouble, Sleepy Bird's Surprise, Swept Away, Who's on the Phone?, Fetch Loula Fetch!, A Little Cloud.

You will end up rewatching things like this often as you get your child into a pattern every day. And, it is bearable for adults even after the 10th time.

The Princess Bride [DVD]
The Princess Bride [DVD]
Dvd ~ Cary Elwes
Offered by HalfpriceDVDS_FBA
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For children of all ages, 28 July 2008
This review is from: The Princess Bride [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of those genius crossover pieces, made for children but with such witty dialogue and wordplay it is probably more often rewatched by adults.

So if you want masked men, giants, scheming princes, cunning sicillians, spanish swordsmasters, six-fingered men, swooning damsels, cynical miracle workers, depraved torturers, speech-challenged priests, not to mention, rodents of unusual size, this is the film for you.

It is "inconceivable" you will come away from this movie without remembering a line or two.

Intellgent cast, good pacing, great script.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual: Vol 2
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual: Vol 2
by Gary Gygax
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monsters on Demand, 1 July 2008
In late 1982, Gary Gygax published this second volume of the Monster Manual. While the first monster manual concentrated on the usual orthodox creatures which have become AD&D canon, the second volume extended this, especially encorporating many other-planar beings, demons, devils, real-world wild animals, dinosaurs, and other fantastic creations. All in alphabetical order for ease of finding.

To give a sample - here are some examples of the monsters herein.

REAL WORLD ANIMALS - falcon / hawk, eagle, cat, cheetah, "minimals" - great resource
DEVILS - Glasya, Belial, and the popular bearded devil.
DEMONS - Graz-zt, Baphomet
DINOSAURS - mainly minor dinosaurs not covered in MM1, including Kentrosaurus (small stegosaurus) - not really essential for most campaigns
OTHER FANTASTIC CREATIONS - bookworm, luck eater, cat lord, mud-man

Complete Book of Villains (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition)
Complete Book of Villains (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition)
by Rick Swan
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic resource, for writers and DMs, 30 Jun. 2008
Ever wanted to create a villain for your story but not sure how to go about it? Not sure how to make the villain believable? Not cliched? How to fathom his or her motivations, give a supporting cast, flesh out your evil network, make recurring villains to flesh out and give depth to your campaign.
CH 1 - Defining your Villain
CH 2 - Henchmen, Flunkies & Lackeys
CH 3 - Villainous Organisations
CH 4 - Introducing your Villain
CH 5 - Delivering the Goods
CH 6 - Monsters into Villains
CH 7 - Advanced Villains
CH 8 - Creative Villainy
CH 9 - A Compendium of Villains
CH 10 - A catalog of Villains
Villain Tables

All this goes towards the key question - the villain's motivations, aspirations, intentions and natural leanings. This helps shape your imagination and can be used by all DMs and aspiring writers.

Complete Wizard Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)
Complete Wizard Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)
by Rick Swan
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not really needed, 30 Jun. 2008
If you are really into wizards, you can get this and it will be an enjoyable evening or two of reading. But its not really needed. Want to make your wizard into an arcane enthusiast? Want to skew his spell selection towards illusionist spells? You can already do that based on what you have in the Player's Handbook (2nd Ed). It contains some good ideas for development and fleshing out of your character but the kits themselves are not that useful. Some new spells are interesting.

Unearthed Arcana (Official Advanced Dungeons and Dragons)
Unearthed Arcana (Official Advanced Dungeons and Dragons)
by Gary Gygax
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New and exciting dimenstions to 1st Ed AD&D, 30 Jun. 2008
If you are reading this review, and you want to play the new 4th Edition D&D, you have come to the wrong place.

Unearthed Arcana was written in 1985. I was about 10 years old and was playing AD&D, which consisted of the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manuals 1 and 2, and the Fiend Folio. That year however, Gary Gygax and Jeff Grubb decided to try to add a further dimension to the 1st Ed game.

This game not only adds dimensions, it adds a number of "fixes" to the game to raise problems that had come about from the initial books.

Problem 1 - the level limits for non-human characters were too low. This book addresses this by giving higher ability score characters higher limits. (GOOD)
Problem 2 - the fighter subclasses do not have distinct enough roles. This book separates the Paladin to become a subclass of Chavalier, and the Barbarian becomes a new class of fighter. Therefore, we have the "knight" style classes, Chavalier and Paladin, and the "warrior" classes - Ranger and Fighter, who get weapon specialisation, and the "tanking" brute class the barbarian. (GOOD)
Problem 3 - charisma is not physicial attractiveness, but personal magnetism. Solution - introduce (redundant) seventh attribute = Comeliness. (BAD)
Problem 4 - characters not heroic enough. Solution - make uber powerful characters who are rewarded for rolling high ability scores. Encourage players to cheat or do anything to raise ability scores. (BAD)

It appears that after Unearthed arcana, for all its great new spells, magic items, class changes, and variation of the races (now you can play a Drow = dark Elf, and history was never the same again) fuelled the creation of mega-powerful characters. Ability scores rise in importance. The new race subtypes add an element of richness into the characters that was welcome. The new classes were generally good (with the exception of the comical Thief-Acrobat) but a DM might wish to be cautious before introducing all the changes here. However, this book is full of something that I see lacking in the newer volumes of the D&D products - imagination.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2017 6:18 PM BST

Dungeon Masters Guide
Dungeon Masters Guide
by Gary Gygax
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative First Edition, if almost unplayable in places, 16 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Dungeon Masters Guide (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic book, if purely because it shows the roaming imagination of Gary Gygax. Future editions of the game have cut down on the unplayable aspects of the first edition (with elegant variations in bonuses tables for different ability scores, impossibly low level limits for various non-human characters, terrible encumbrance tables, etc) but the first edition contains a darker side which feeds the imagination and was supported by a fantastic group of modules. Worth getting whether you play 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3.5 or 4th edition as it contains plenty of detail on roleplaying and random things of interest. Almost like an unedited journey through Gygax's head.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2016 6:10 PM GMT

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