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Hugh Likes Comics: Calamity Kate

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Calamity Kate #1
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Drawn by Corin Howell
Colored by Valenitna Pinto
Published by Dark Horse Comics

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The Skinny: A recent divorcee moves to California to start over in the high-stakes world of professional monster hunting.

Kate Strand’s life just fell apart. After going through a messy divorce and withdrawing into her shell, she’s ready to reinvent herself. And she’s going to do it by becoming the world’s greatest monster hunter, much to the chagrin of her former best friend and single-parent Vera, whose couch she’s going to be surfing on while she does it.
Visaggio has stated that this is an almost biographical story, dealing with her own divorce and the self-destructive urges that came with it. While the monsters may be metaphorical, who hasn’t been tempted to leave their messy lives behind and start again rather than face a scarier reality, even knowing that you’re carrying your problems with you?
The thing I love about this issue is the manic sense of tension that pervades every panel. The focus is less on the cool monsters than it is the consequences Kate is running from. This is best expressed in an early sequence where Kate asks Vera if she can stay with her until she gets back on her feet, and they are interrupted by a bunch of monster skulls toppling out of her duffel bag.
Howell’s art and Pinto’s colors sing. Howell does both great expressions and pleasantly scary monster designs. Pinto’s dark colors are a perfect tonal match. Even on a bright, sunny, morning, there is the pervading sense of impending catastrophe.
Calamity Kate #1 is a bold new first issue to another deeply personal story from a rising star in comics writing. You can find it digitally through Comixology, or grab a physical copy at your local comics shop!
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Fiction: Talking Heads

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“No, no, trust me,” Mimir said. “Pho Sure on Main and 27th Street is where you want to go.”
“And you’re sure they’re the best Thai place in the city?” Odin asked. The disembodied head grimaced.
“Would you dare doubt my wisdom, All-Father? Go, and see for yourself. And maybe bring me back a spring roll as I am trapped forever in this well.”
“That’s just it. How can you review restaurants if you never go out?”
“All knowledge flows to me through the roots of the World Tree. Plus, Ratatosk told me of something the mortals call ‘Yelp.'”

This story originally appeared in Everyday Drabbles, a daily free fiction project on Wattpad. Visit the link for more free stories. And if you enjoyed this story, why not support my work by buying me a coffee?
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Podcast: NP34 – Giant Therapy Robot

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Welcome to Nostalgia Pilots! This week, Hugh, Spence, Jurd, and Jason watch Gundam Wing episode 34: And Its Name is Epyon!

Click HERE to listen online!

This Week: Wing Zero turns Zech’s head, Heero James Bonds his way to Treize’s basement, and Treize is murdersexual.
Plus, Epyon is a fancy purse, Lady Une was the only one who knew how the coffeemaker works, and the Nostalgia Pilots consider the question, is Dorothy the coolest girl in Gundam?

Promo: Glow in the Dark Radio!
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Hugh Likes Video Games: Tetris 99

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Tetris 99
Published by Nintendo
Developed by Akira
Played on Nintendo Switch

The Skinny: A fast and furious Battle Royale game I’m actually good at.

Tetris 99 is a new, free multiplayer version of the venerable puzzle game available for the Nintendo Switch. But the twist is, you aren’t playing against your friends, but 98 strangers in a fast-paced elimination competition in the style of Battle Royale games like PUBG and Fortnite.
Play options are barebones, with the option to enter battle, look at your stats, or change your control scheme slightly. The game starts out as straightforward Tetris. Shapes composed of four colorful blocks drop from the ceiling, and it is your job to arrange them into lines, which disappear. If the pile of lines reaches the top of your screen, you’re out. The multiplayer twist is that if you eliminate more than one line at a time, you’ll send those extra lines to another player to have them appear as ‘garbage blocks’ in their play area. In Tetris 99, you can choose who you want to attack with the analog sticks and control the falling pieces with the directional buttons.
This version feels very different from traditional Tetris, tying the challenge not to maintaining a long run with ever increasing difficulty, but to weathering the random storms of garbage blocks that come in unpredictably. It’s also very short. Matches take only a few minutes, depending on skill and luck, and it’s easy to get back into the next one, leading to a strong impulse to play just one more match.
As someone who was an expert back in the days of Game Boy, but hasn’t played too much Tetris since, I wished the game gave me more information about how it tracks my stats, and had more options for controls. Currently, it uses the analog sticks to control who you are attacking and the directional buttons to control your pieces, with no way to switch between the two. But those are minor quibbles for a fun, addictive little free game that is doing more to justify the cost of Nintendo’s Online Service than anything else on the platform.
You can download Tetris 99 for free from the Nintendo Switch estore.
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Fiction: Hostile Architecture

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“The Cathedral of Pain is the most twisted and unholy building ever designed. Its corners never seem to meet. Its floors seem to slope slightly downwards, no mater which direction you are walking. Its ceilings loom like the oppressive stare of an angry god!” I grinned as an unfortunate soul looked over my blueprints.
“This is the ultimate in unfriendly architecture! Even the materials were selected for maximum discomfort. They’ll shrivel over time, transforming the site into a disturbing husk while maintaining structural integrity!”
My architecture professor sighed. “The assignment was to design a Children’s Hospital. See me after class.”

This story originally appeared in Everyday Drabbles, a daily free fiction project on Wattpad. Visit the link for more free stories. And if you enjoyed this story, why not support my work by buying me a coffee?
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Podcast: The Melting Potcast Episode 76

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Hello everyone! I’m still getting my bearings after returning from vacation, but in the meantime, please enjoy me stuttering and pausing my way through this interview with the delightful A. F. Grappin on The Melting Potcast!

A. F. is out of the kitchen so Erin is serving up some Botched Recipes! Authors Chris Lester and Charlie Brown get some mentions in this set of bloopers!
After that, A. F. (who still isn’t in the kitchen) interviews author Hugh J. O’Donnell in A Little Seasoning. Apologies for some audio issues on A. F.’s end.
And finally, we Mystery Meal up some more Shakespeare! This time, it’s poor King Lear getting the treatment.
The Melting Potcast is OPEN to submissions and needs YOUR help! Main Ingredient stories (up to 5000 words) and Stoke the Fire stories (up to 1500 words and based on one of our prompts) are needed, badly!

Click HERE to listen online

Don’t forget to check out our Patreon, our Swag Shop, and to leave us a review on iTunes!

You can submit prompt ideas, Stoke the Fire and Main Ingredient submissions, Pot Roast ideas, and Short Order Cook ideas at themeltingpotcast@gmail.com or check themeltingpotcast.com/submissions for info.

Promo- Best Served Cold by John G. Walker
Bumper- Scott Roche

Fiction: Morning Announcements

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“Attention Colony Citizens: We regret to inform you that the book signing scheduled for today at ten-hundred hours in Book Depot C, Helmets Off: What Colony Administration Doesn’t Want You To Know About The Great Brain Parasite Hoax by Clint Voss has been cancelled due to an unforeseen schedule conflict. We would like to apologize to Mr. Voss’s readers, and will announce a new date as soon as possible. Thank you, and have a wonderful day.”
“In an unrelated matter, would the Brain Parasite Decontamination Team please report to the C-Block Staging Center immediately for a routine meeting?”

This story originally appeared in Everyday Drabbles, a daily free fiction project on Wattpad. Visit the link for more free stories. And if you enjoyed this story, why not support my work by buying me a coffee?
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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