Here’s the latest stuff I’ve been up to:
NEW DUNGEONS & DRAGONS WALKTHROUGH MAP!: My latest D&D walkthrough map is available exclusively at Dragon+, the D&D online magazine! You can get a small peek at it above (without text), but for the whole story you’ll have to go to the Dragon+ website or download the Dragon+ iOS or Android app. This map covers “Curse of Strahd”, the newly released 5th edition D&D makeover/expansion of the classic D&D module “Ravenloft”! In fact, the “Curse of Strahd” map is a prequel to my Ravenloft Walkthrough Map. So if it inspires you, enter the sunless land of Barovia and follow the path of the foolhardy adventurers from their first step into wolf-haunted forests to their final battle with the Vampire Strahd…
MANGAKA IS COMING OUT!: Our boardgame, Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics, has a distributor and a release date!! Mangaka will be distributed into game & hobby stores by Global Games Distribution, and will be available in August 2016. Furthermore, Mangaka will be co-published with Japanime Games, whose focus on import Japanese and anime-themed games makes them the best partner we could have ever hoped for.
I’m really excited that Mangaka is finally coming out!! (I imagine that the Kickstarter backers are also glad it won’t be much longer.) This game which started as a whimsical side project in 2011 has evolved into something I truly love, a game into which me and my spouse put hundreds of hours of work and playtesting. That work and playtesting paid off, transforming a veritable Ugly Ducking of a game into… well… saying “a swan” seems vain, so I’ll just say a sleek, badass crocodile. We’ll be selling Mangaka at store.mockman.com as well, but game store sales are wonderful and help get the word out, so if you have a favorite local game store, please buy Mangaka through them and tell them to order it from GGD! All the information on the August 2016 release is available here.
OTAKU USA ANIME FAN FEST: I’ve been doing manga reviews and editing the manga section for Otaku USA magazine since the magazine debuted in 2007. Now, Newark, NJ is seeing the very first Otaku USA Anime Fan Fest, an anime/manga/J-stuff convention coordinated with myself and the other editors of the magazine! The convention runs from May 6-8 in the Garden State Exhibit Center. I’m a guest and will be running several panels, including:
* Saturday, May 7, 2-3 PM: A MILLION WAYS TO DRAW IN THE WEST: Are you an aspiring artist, graphic novelist or mangaka? Jason Thompson (Manga: The Complete Guide, Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics), Tommy Yune (Speed Racer, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles), and Secret Special Guest discuss the business of drawing and making comics. How can you improve your art and comic storytelling? Is there anything you can learn from “How to Draw Manga” books? How can you find a publisher, or use Patreon and Kickstarter to turn a hobby into a profession? What can American artists learn from the Japanese manga industry? All this, plus embarrassing manga industry stories!
* Sunday, May 8, 11 AM-12PM: MANGAKA: THE FAST & FURIOUS GAMESHOW OF DRAWING COMICS! Compete to make 5-minute comics based on crazy Themes & fleeting Trends in this live version of “Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics”! Join the battle or watch from the audience as the competitors challenge their creativity to make the weirdest stories ever, based on manga Themes like Science Fiction, Shojo Manga, Zombies or Body Pillows! Featuring fabulous prizes, no drawing skills required.
* Sunday, May 8, 1PM-2PM: THE BEST & WORST MANGA OF 2016: What’s the best, weirdest and most underappreciated manga of the year? Join us for an hour of 100% manga with manga reviewers Jason Thompson (Otaku USA Manga Editor and author of Manga: The Complete Guide), Daryl Surat (Otaku USA contributor and Anime World Order Podcast cohost), and AM Cosmos (awesome manga/anime blogger). Discover the year’s best new and upcoming manga (both in Japanese and in English translation) and stare in morbid curiosity at the nominations for worst manga…if you dare. Talk manga with us, find out what’s new, and take sides in the inevitable argument between AM, Jason & Daryl!
That’s the news for now! Please stop by and say hi at Anime Fan Fest! If you don’t see me on the floor or on Twitter, check out the gaming area and maybe we’ll play a game of something!