Aaahh!!! Real Pocket Monsters

 Posted by on July 28, 2016
Jul 282016
 

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Pokemon Go has taken over every mainstream media outlet – and middle-school classroom – in less time than it takes to say “Fletchinder “ or “Bulbasaur:” The app-based game, released just in time for the twentieth anniversary of the Pokemon franchise, employs augmented-reality mechanics to blur the divide between the digital and the real – making “catching them all” even more irresistible than before.  

The basic premise of the original Pokemon games involved the capture and training of animated fantasy creatures, each possessing a unique magical power. The new Pokemon Go app has retained the imaginative, creative side of this game strategy while keeping pace with the latest technological capabilities. Unlike other older “traditional” video games, the player is not tied to one location. The virtual characters are found seemingly everywhere, and players have to travel to them in order to capture them. But there’s indication that, despite it’s already-extraordinary success, Pokemon gamers ain’t seen nothing yet.  John Hanke, the CEO of the hit game’s developer, spoke at a comics convention over the weekend and said that only “a tenth” of the features they’ve imagined have made their way into the game so far.

So what’s made Pokemon Go so irrepressibly popular? Why is it shaking up everything from the entertainment industry to the international economy? Read on, Yung Poke-san.   

First, let’s examine some of the differences between the new game and the original. Pokemon Go has gotten folks up off their couches and out into the parks and public spaces of America in record numbers. Why? Because in order to level up, you need to scour the city streets on foot for monsters in REAL locations outdoors (“PokeStops”)- as confirmed by the GPS in your smartphone. Although the average player is probably in his or her teens, people of all ages have been spotted in city streets, suburban neighborhoods and even rural areas in search of the elusive cyber-characters. The boost in activity level has already revealed numerous unexpected benefits for a generation of youth with a reputation for being consummate couch potatoes and bean-bag-chair surfers. One popular Internet meme even suggests that Pokemon Go has done more to improve America’s childhood obesity problem in just a few days than the newly revamped school nutrition guidelines have in several years.

The benefits don’t seem to end with physical health. Pokemon hunters are finding that their expeditions provide great opportunities to reconnect with their neighbors and communities. Stories about running into old friends and meeting new ones while on the hunt for Pokemons abound on social media. The uptick in general outdoor activity has even led to the location of a missing body and the apprehension of at least one suspected murderer who might otherwise have escaped justice.

As is to be expected, however, the story is not all good when it comes to Pokemon Go. According to multiple online safety resources, it’s been reported that the game can be used by criminals to lure unsuspecting players from their homes for the purpose of breaking in. The app itself may also collect users’ personal and location data although this practice was supposedly stopped due to public concern. Local police departments have recently reported record numbers of people trespassing onto private property and breaking local curfews and ordinances by remaining in public parks or buildings past closing time.

Aside from obvious risks to personal security and property, the game can be engaging to the point of dangerous distraction. Pokemon-obsessed individuals have been involved in automobile accidents as the result of driving while distracted, and some have inadvertently traveled into unsafe, high-crime areas or stayed out hunting into the wee hours of the morning. In addition, even cemeteries and other solemn public areas are not immune to the effects of this new phenomenon. Families visiting the graves of loved ones have encountered enthusiastic Pokemon players in cemeteries, and in a glaring example of blatant insensitivity, the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, has reported a Pokemon that disperses poison gas appears on their property.

As is the case with many web-driven curiosities, Pokemon Go will likely enjoy a period in the spotlight that is all too brief. Eventually, someone will invent a new app or game that turns the public’s attention in a different direction. But for now, we can continue screenshotting in wonder every time we apprehend a real, live Pocket Monster in the wild.

Jul 172016
 

Come out and play with the Exploding Kittens team and get a sneak peek at their upcoming expansion deck: Imploding Kittens.

Meltdown Comics Promo

Created by Elan Lee (Xbox, ARGs), Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), and Shane Small (Xbox, Marvel), Exploding Kittens made history when it became the most-backed game in Kickstarter history and the campaign with the most number of backers, ever. It is a highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette. Players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game — unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens.

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Jul 142016
 

Beast-Wagon-Signing-Meltdown-WEB

During the course of the hottest day of the year, the delivery of a male Asiatic lion believed to be the ‘golden messiah’ – who prophecy foretells will permanently upset the established order – sparks a chain reaction of events in which the animals of Whipsnarl Zoo plot a revolution against their keepers.

As the heat wave and tensions rise, the boundary between animal and human begins to blur into a fever dream of madness and violence.

Created by Illustrator John Pearson and Writer Owen Michael Johnson – with letters by Colin Bell – Beast Wagon is a critically acclaimed and British Comic Award nominated fusion of drama, satire and dark comedy, blending contemporary themes of religious fanaticism, systems and consumerism, with inspiration from the long tradition of daring anthropomorphic comics from We3 and The Puma Blues to Pride Of Baghdad.

Jul 112016
 

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Featuring an international [and interstellar] crew of artists, THE MOTHERSHIP RETURNS is a tribute art show to legendary Funk band Parliament-Funkadelic – the band responsible for creating classic jams including “The Mothership Connection,” “One Nation Under A Groove,” “Flashlight,” “Atomic Dog,” and countless more songs that have been sampled in now-classic Hip Hop songs by N.W.A., De La Soul, Digital Underground, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy and others.  Parliament-Funkadelic has been highly influential in modern music AND visual art, as will be witnessed in this tribute art show.  Visual artist/writer Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca created/directed this art show to include – Parliament-Funkadelic artists themselves [George Clinton aka Dr. Funkenstein, Overton Loyd who created record covers for Parliament and R. Stozo who also created record covers for P-Funk; Chris Prynoski [Titmouse animation director]; Shepard Fairey [street artist and graphic designer extraordinaire]; James Reitano [director of animated music videos by Madvillain, Biz Markie, Quasimoto and Danger Doom], graffiti artists supreme MAN ONE, KING CRE8, SKEME and EYE ONE; Emily the Strange creator Rob Reger; Syndrome Studio [directors of music videos by Eminem, Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons]; well-known artists from Japan KAMI, SASU, Tadaomi Shibuya, Akiko and Hashim Bharoocha; comics cerator Jim Mahfood aka Food One; and more artists from the realms of fine art, sculpture, animation and comics.

EXHIBITION DATES:  Friday July 29 through Sunday August 7, 2016

OPENING NIGHT PARTY:  Friday July 29 from 7pm-10pm
Featuring: Artists Talk! DJ Dex! Live Painting! Vintage P-Funk memorabilia for sale by Nubian Video Archives & Collectibles, LLC! Generously sponsored by Gigantic Brewing Company, featuring SCRILLA beer with label designed by Overton Loyd!

CLOSING NIGHT PARTY:  Sunday August 7 from 4pm-7pm
Featuring: Music by LoNNie “MeGA*NuT” MARSHALL! DJ Joy Fanatic! Special guests! Live Painting! Surprises!

LOCATION: Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 851-7223 [Store]
(323) 435-4411 [SMS CUSTOMER SERVICE]
www.meltcomics.com