Review: ‘Room For Love’ HC

Room For Love HC
Publisher: SelfMadeHero
Release Date: April  7, 2015
Price: $22.95
Creator: Ilya
Format: 144 pgs., Limited Color, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-9068-3872-0
Age Ratings: N/A
ICv2 Ratings: 3.5 Stars out of 5

This is a powerful story that is also unattractive, both character-wise and visually.  The title can be interpreted in several ways, including a physical room and room within the spirit, and maybe other choices.  The central character is Pamela, a burnt-out romance novelist who no longer has anything resembling love left in her life.  She ends up taking in a young male prostitute, after blaming herself for causing him to lose his “home” under a bridge.  Things spiral out of control from there, as she has brought home a human being as if he was a stray pet.  Sexuality, various definitions of love, and a host of other issues arise, as both of them finally grow from the experience.  Getting there is not a smooth ride.  His past keeps him from trusting her, and her past makes her want to trust him too much, and far too soon.  Their “relationship,” if there is one, is puzzling and desperate.

Readers who want to identify with characters, or at least like them, will have little to work with in this story.  The artwork is stark and bland, to match the lives of the main characters, and so it is not enticing, either.  Readers who work their way past both of these obstacles will find a well-written story of an unlikely pair who can’t possibly last forever.

For adults, due to language, nudity and sexuality.

Nick Smith: Library Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.

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March 2015 BookScan–Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels

Only two superhero titles cracked the Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels chart for March, based on info provided exclusively to ICv2.com by Nielsen BookScan.  The newer of the two, Marvel’s Civil War, is eight years old; DC’s Killing Joke was released 27 years ago.  Both the paucity of superhero titles in the Top 20 and the age of the titles that did make it are extreme examples of recent trends; it’s been tough for new superhero titles to sell numbers comparable to the top “author” and manga titles in the book channel, where the broadest audience shops.

Five of the Top 20 titles were manga, and 13 were “author” titles.

The mighty Naruto took the #1 slot with the latest volume, Vol. 69, while the new volume of Attack on Titan placed at #5, relative positioning that can be at least partially explained by Naruto’s release at the beginning of the month, vs. Attack on Titan’s two weeks later.  The other manga titles were Seven Seas’ Monster Musume Vol. 6, the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s volume, and the first Attack on Titan.

The top author title in March, at #2 overall, was Exploring Calvin and Hobbes: An Exhibition Catalogue, which was tied to the one-of-a-kind exhibition at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library Museum at Ohio State University in 2014.  Cartoonists were slipping into Columbus throughout the run of this show, and apparently fans are also now sharing in the experience by buying this unique catalogue, which includes an in-depth interview with creator Bill Watterson and art from cartoonists he identified as influential in his development.

Interest in The Walking Dead was at a late-season peak, with six volumes in the Top 20.  The rest of the author titles were familiar.  The two March volumes are hanging tough behind steady support appearances by Representative John Lewis, and Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, Saga, Sex Criminals, and The Sculptor all contributing one volume each.

For past BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novel lists, see the “BookScan Top 20 GN Index.”

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ICv2 Interview: Paizo Publisher Erik Mona

At the GAMA Trade Show, ICv2 spoke with Paizo Publisher Erik Mona about Pathfinder sales and the RPG market given the impact that a new edition of Dungeons Dragons brought to the category, the upcoming slate of new releases for the Pathfinder RPG and Adventure Card Game, and improvements to the company’s website for retailers.

How did your year finish off?

Really positively. We had a successful Pathfinder Adventure Card Game launch with Skull Shackles. We had a number of hardcover books on the RPG line. Our organized play continues to grow. We launched organized play for the [Pathfinder Society] Adventure Card Guild.  2014 was a strong year for us.

Was it an up year?

Yes, it was an up year from the year before. Absolutely.

Are you seeing any impact from the DD launch last year?

Not really. What I’ve been hearing anecdotally from a lot of the retailers, especially at some of the presentations that we’ve done here, is that it seems to kind of invigorated the category.  ICv2 had that a couple of months ago (see “Six Straight Growth Years in Hobby Games” or “Another Strong Season for Game Sales”).  I’m sure that some people who used to play Pathfinder are now playing 5th Edition but we’ve been picking up new people as well so we’re not seeing deleterious drops in our sales. 

And the size of your community, is that continuing to grow?

The size of our community continues to grow, yeah, depending on how one measures community. Every metric I have, it continues to grow. We’ve got more registered players in Pathfinder Society than we’ve ever had. We have more members of the Paizo.com community than we’ve ever had. I think one of the things that Pathfinder does in the new post-5th Edition paradigm is, it’s a mature brand, it’s got multiple monthly releases.  There’s product for stores to sell.

That’s a huge difference in release strategy.

Yeah, so people seem to like the new DD; it’s getting positive reviews. We have not yet seen a significant amount of that meaning that people are no longer playing Pathfinder, at least by the metrics that I have.  I’m sure that’s happened, but we’re not seeing in a way that’s causing me to freak out.

Retailers, in general, have told us that there has been no drop-off in Pathfinder sales. Some people play them both.

Exactly, and if we can have an RPG market where people are maybe a little less partisan and are willing to try a bunch of different games then that’s good for the whole industry.

People are talking about more than two games now.

You can’t really have a category with just one or two games. I’ve heard that from some of our mass market accounts. I’ve heard that from a lot of the retailers here that seems to be lifting a lot of the boats in the RPG category, which is great.

What long-term trends are you seeing in the audience for RPGs?

I joined the industry as a professional in ’99, and started going to cons and stuff in ’95.  I remember very vividly from about ’95 until relatively recently, maybe the last 10 years, there’s been a lot of concern in the RPG publishing industry about the graying of the hobby. Are we aging ourselves out of the game? 

One of the things that is a great antidote to that kind of worry is what’s happening on the convention level.  I go to a show like PAX Prime, for example, in our backyard in Seattle, and it’s primarily a videogame show. Most people are going for the videogames, particularly the younger crowd. They’ll get dropped off by their parents, they’ll go to the videogame hall, they’ll blaze through the videogame hall, which you can do in about three hours if you’re not going to stand in line for some demo or something. They’re there the whole weekend and have nothing else to do, so what do they do? They come down and explore the tabletop areas.

When I was growing up it was ‘I’m an RPGer. I’m a war gamer. I’m a video gamer.’ I think the new generation doesn’t differentiate like that.  They’re just like, ‘Oh, a game? Cool, let’s play.’ That’s really good. Demographics are really in our favor in this business these days.

What do you have planned for this year?

This year we’re doing a couple of things on the Adventure Card Game front. We’re going to do another campaign. We’re doing Wrath of the Righteous, which has been one of our more popular Adventure Paths. It’s a sword and sorcery, heroes vs. demons kind of adventure (see “‘Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous’”). Skull Shackles, which was the Adventure Path that we did last year for the Adventure Card Game, was a pirate Adventure Path. And Rise of the Rune Lords before that was kind of a mainline fantasy. This is a return to mainline fantasy, which I think is going to be good. Pirates was a departure but I think heading back to the main fantasy is really the strength of the Pathfinder brand and is in line with a lot of what the audience is telling us they want, so that’s always good.

When does that launch?

May.  We’re trying to find out what the right pace for these things is.

You had been doing one a year, so this will pick up that pace?

A little bit, yeah. We’re currently thinking a little more often than once a year but not twice a year every year.  We’re trying to listen to what retailers are telling us and look at the sales numbers and trying to figure out what the right cadence of release is, but the next one’s May for Wrath of the Righteous.

Then there’s monthly Adventure Packs that go along with that, and we’re also doing character decks that tie into the Adventure Card Guild organized play program.  You need a character deck to play and a lot of people just like to supplement their Rise of the Rune Lords or Skulls Shackles games with different characters. It’s a nice way to get more value out of the base set.  So that’s what’s going on with the Card Guild and Card Game.

With the RPG we’ve got a lot of things coming out. The Strategy Guide is finally coming out. This is a book that was originally supposed to come out last year but when we got it back from the printer all the pages were stuck together so we had to reprint it. That’s finally out this month. That’s a companion to the Core Rule Book, it’s aimed at explaining the rules and making it easy to get into (see “‘Pathfinder’ 2014 Releases”).

When we put out the Core Rule Book in 2009 it was very much a preaching to the choir sort of book, it was aimed at hobby lifestyle gamers.  What happened in the past several years is all of the sudden we started hearing from quite a lot of people that Pathfinder is the first game. They don’t come to it from DD, or from a different game. They go to their store and get introduced to Pathfinder, so we started to feel a responsibility to really make an easy entry point to the game. The first step to that was the Beginner Box that we did a couple of years ago (see “New Version of ‘Pathfinder Beginner Box’”).  That’s been very, very popular. It’s gone through several printings and continues to sell well for us, but we wanted to ease that transition into the full game so the Strategy Guide is heavily illustrated, lots of examples, lots of step-by-step character creation advice and really is the companion piece to the Core Rule Book. If you have someone trying to join your Pathfinder game, you say ‘Read the Strategy Guide’, which is 128 pages instead of 576 pages.  You need both in order to make your character and play the game, but a lot of people will be able to glean how the games works from the Strategy Guide so that’s an important piece of the puzzle strategically, and I’m glad to have that coming out this year.

We’re also doing in April a book called Pathfinder Unchained, which is sort of the opposite of that (see “‘Pathfinder Unchained’”). It’s a treasure trove of optional rules letting the Pathfinder RPG design team loose to do whatever they want, damn the consequences.  Here’s an alternate version of combat; here’s a different way to increase your character’s level, really a lot of experimental stuff that players can pick and choose what they want to implement. So maybe you like Pathfinder but you feel it takes too long to make encounters or make monsters, there’s a streamlined version of how to do that in this book.

There’s also revisions on four classes so there’s a revised rogue, revised monk, and a revised barbarian.  Now that we’ve done almost 30 classes and we’ve got several years behind us and people think in retrospect, maybe the rogue and the monk are not powerful enough vs. some of the stuff that’s come since, so we’ve retuned those classes and given people an optional version if that’s a concern of theirs.  Also the summoner, which is a class that we put out in the Advanced Player’s Guide, very, very powerful class, perhaps even unintentionally so, this is a new version of that brings its power in line with everything else. So that’s a big, huge trove of optional rules, cool alternative takes on different things that people can add to their game.

In late July/August (I say that because it’s a Gen Con release and Gen Con straddles both months this year),  is  Occult Adventures and that’s the big, major Pathfinder release for this year (see “‘Pathfinder: Occult Adventures’”). It’s our answer to Psionics. It’s a lot of mental magic, a lot of spirits, a lot of ghosts, forbidden knowledge, all that kind of stuff.

Traditionally in fantasy roleplaying psionics and psychic magic has been sort of bolted onto a whole other rule system you have to learn on top of the rule system. That’s always been the way with DD for example. With Occult Adventures, we’re taking the way that spells work in Pathfinder,  the rules people already know, and mapping the conceptual stuff like psychic combat on the astral plane or astral projection and things like that onto the existing spell structure. One of the things that’s cool about that is while we’re still using the framework of how spellcasting works in Pathfinder, we’re doing some really interesting and unique mechanical things with these classes.

I’m really excited about our Occult Adventures because it’s got a lot of new to it.  If you think back to the books I’ve just outlined, for example, the Unchained book has got four classes that are revisions of existing classes. Strategy Guide doesn’t have any classes at all but it’s very much like ‘here’s how you use this book that already exists.’  Last year’s big release was the Advanced Class Guide. It had 10 new classes in it, but each one of those was an amalgamation of two existing classes so you’d take like a barbarian and a bard, smoosh them together and you’ve have a skald.  There’s some interesting new rules to it but fundamentally its multi-class barbarian and a bard. 

With the six classes that we’re introducing in Occult Adventures they are still six legitimately, totally new things, they are not revisions of anything. They are full on new frontier game design and some conceptual things that we’ve never done in the game. We’ve never had a psychic in the game, for example. We’ve never had a character who can summon spirits and have the spirits inhabit their body and gain powers from them like the medium can do. So there’s the medium, there’s the mesmerist, who’s sort of a reverse bard. The bard buffs up his party and the mesmerist de-buffs his enemies, who is about mind control and things like that. We’ve got the kineticist who choses an energy type and does not have spells but can manipulate that energy in terms of shapes and do different things with it. That’s a totally different style of magic than we’ve ever done in Pathfinder before.

We did extensive play testing last year, people really responded positively, especially to the kineticist. Very different and people really liked what they saw. We’ve also have the spiritualist who has a ghost buddy who helps her out, and we’ve got the occultist who all about exploring old legends and lost artifacts and things, and gleaning powers and information from that.

That’s the big hardcover for the year. $39.99 and 272 pages or so.

What’s going on with Adventure Paths?

We do two a year so the one that we’re doing now is Giant Slayer (see “February ‘Pathfinder’ Releases”). Giant Slayer started in February and runs through July. It is a blood and thunder fantasy vs. giants. The nice thing for Giant Slayer for me is, over the last year we did some pretty experimental things with the Adventure Paths. We had Iron Gods, which was like a science fantasy—there’s robots and stuff in there. Before that we did Reign of Winter, where you’re jumping from planet to planet and one of the planets was even 1917 Earth where you fought Rasputin in Russia, because once that idea came out in a brainstorm we couldn’t not do it. But we’re really experimental, and Giant Slayer is straight, mainline fantasy. People have been responding really well to that.

In August we will launch our next Adventure Path, which is called Hell’s Rebels. That is an urban Adventure Path where players take on roles of revolutionaries who are overthrowing the evil, tyrannical leadership of their city. It’s set in a country called Cheliax, which is kind of the big, evil nation. It was formally a giant empire, it went into civil war and the winners of the civil war were these evil spell casters who had bound devils and things like that so it’s a really bad place.  Hell’s Rebels is an opportunity for players to overthrow that leadership in one of the cities in that nation. For the last couple of years every time we’ve done polls of Paizo.com fans on what Adventure Path would you like to see, they say ‘we want to see an urban Adventure Path and we want to see a Cheliax adventure’ so this is squeezing both of those ideas in together. There will be tie-in products and things like that as well.

What’s your pace of releases in 2015 vs. 2014?

Pretty similar. If anything, a little bit more. One of the things we announced here that I’m pretty excited about is a line called Flip-Mat Classics.  It’s an accessory; basically an 18” x 24” fold-out map with a grid on it. It’s got coating so you can write on it with dry erase/wet erase and it’s scaled for miniatures combat for Pathfinder. We’ve done about 50 different ones over the years.  We do a basic one, which is just a grid, but we also do ones that are like a forest, tavern, things like that.  Almost every Pathfinder Society organized play scenario that we’ve done uses these maps. We’ve got 199 of those scenarios out as of today since the beginning.  A lot of them reference maps that have gone out of print, so Flip-Mat Classics bring eight out-of-print, very popular, very high utility maps like ship, tavern and forest back into print. That will be in addition to the monthly map products that we do, so that’s a little bit more.

Adventure Card Game releases will be about the same. We’ll be doing monthly class decks starting this summer so maybe a couple of more decks there.  The hardcover release schedule for Pathfinder RPG is the same in terms of the pace. In fact, because Strategy Guide was supposed to come out last year and has now moved into this month, there’s even one more hardcover than last year.

Anything else that our readers should know that’s happening at Paizo?

One thing that I’m pretty excited about is over the last year we’ve put a tremendous amount of resources into improving the back end on Paizo.com. One of the benefits of that is we have a really good retailer locator at Paizo.com/retailers. Stores can register their store, they can say they’re interested in Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild, for example and then every week we put out a new scenario for the Adventure Card Guild. We fulfill that PDF directly to the retailer for free. 

In a couple of months I’m going to be implementing free roleplaying game scenarios, so every month we do two of those. Usually they’re about $5. Up until now we would contact the campaign coordinator; we don’t want stores paying for scenarios—that’s for the general public. If you need a free one, talk to Mike [Brock] and he’ll get it to you. Now we’re making that automatic as well, so all of our organized play collateral will be delivered to registered stores immediately at no charge. That’s something I’m pretty excited about, and I’m trying to get a lot of retailers here to know about that program and to sign up for it.

One of the other things that is cool about this is stores that are registered as being interested in Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild on Paizo.com are also entitled to get a free base set of every Adventure Card Game release as we put them out. If you’re a registered store you just contact our customer service and they’ll send you a free $60 boxed set to use for OP at your store.

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Preview: ’21st Century Tank Girl’ #1

21st Century Tank Girl #1
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: June 10, 2015
Cover Price: $3.99
Writer: Alan Martin
Artist(s): Jamie Hewlett, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Philip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, Brett Parson, Jim Mahfood, Craig Knowles
Cover: Jamie Hewlett
Format: 32 pgs., Full-Color
Rating: Teen+

After a break of 20 years, artist extraordinaire Jamie Hewlett (GORILLAZ) is leaping back on the Tank Girl wagon, re-teaming with series co-creator Alan Martin to bring you a whole new take on the foul-mouthed, gun toting, swill-swigging hellion!

Featuring riotous 100% original content from Hewlett Martin along with contributions from a host of series stalwarts and newcomers, get your head down, put your hands over your private parts, and prepare for a chaotic collection of strips, pin-ups, and random carnage!

21st Century Tank Girl #1 comes with 2 covers to collect.

COVER A — JAMIE HEWLETT
ORDER CODE: APR151704

COVER B — JAMIE HEWLETT
ORDER CODE: APR151703

Description of preview: 4 total pages (Covers and interior pages 1-2).

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Titan Plans Five ‘Minions’ Graphic Novels

Titan Comics will publish comics and graphic novels tied to Minions, the Despicable Me sequel due out July 10.  The first two issues of the four issue comic miniseries and the first 48-page hardcover ($14.99) and digest ($6.99) volumes will street in June.  The story will be written by Didier Ah-koon with art by Renaud Collin.

The full graphic novel program will include two digest collections, two hardcover editions and a paperback collection, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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“Is the New Avengers Graphic Novel a Chilling Portent of the Future?”

“Dear Doc Curmudgeon” is a column by Clint McElroy made up of completely fabricated responses to mostly fabricated questions. But you knew that due to your discerning nature and brilliant mind which would never fall for a columnist trying to butter you up…unless you’re into that.

Dear Doc Curmudgeon,

I don’t know if you remember me, but I was your school librarian in grade school in Daytona Beach, Florida.  You were always such a delightful child, but  whenever I think of you…think of how bright you were..how much potential you exhibited… I always want to ask you the same question: Are you still reading Funny Books?

Sincerely,

Mrs. Wilkes; Ortona Elementary School

 

Yes ma’am,  Mrs. Wilkes, I am.

And at this moment, that absolutely terrifies me.

It terrifies me at this moment, because in the moment just before that moment, I closed the cover of “Avengers: Rage of Ultron”.

You see, Mrs. Wilkes, we don’t call them ‘funny’ books these days. That’s now seen as derogatory or diminutive. Besides, they aren’t all that funny any more. Of course you could make the argument that ‘comic’ is a synonym for ‘funny’, so ‘funny books’ and ‘comic books’ mean the same thing. But since we aren’t sitting on our asses in a crowded hallway outside the Dealer Rooms at Tri-Con, we don’t need to debate this any further…at least not at this time.

They are barely even ‘books’ anymore, to be perfectly honest, if they ever really were. More magazines than books, if you want to be persnickety about it. And now we appear to be headed towards a world where they won’t even be printed.  Digital comics seem to be the wave of the future. Are they better than actual tangible items you can hold in your hands and roll into a tube to stick in your back pocket? That, too, is another ‘asses/hallway/Tri-Con’ debate.

(By the way, Mrs. Wilkes, I would like to interject here, that I held great lust in my heart for you,  at least as much lust as a sixth-grader’s heart could hold. I honestly think that warm April day when you wore a mini-skirt while chaperoning our field trip to Cape Canaveral, was the day I took my first stumbling steps into puberty)

These days, those four-color publications you so charmingly refer to as ‘funny books’ are often called Graphic Novels. The Class known as ‘Graphic Novels’ falls into two basic Phyla: Collections and OGNs, which stands for Original Graphic Novels. There have been some amazing OGN’s — “Maus”, which earned Art Spiegelman a very deserved Pulitzer Prize; “A Contract With God” by the Zeus of the Comic Book Pantheon, Will Eisner; Sam Glanzman’s “A Sailor’s Story”.

But when it comes to DC Marvel, it seems true, impactful OGN’s have been few and far between. “The Death of Captain Marvel” by Jim Starlin springs to mind and… well, that’s all that springs to mind, actually.

As a librarian, Mrs. Wilkes, you are probably wondering why I didn’t include “Watchmen” and “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns”. Technically, they were collections, not Original graphic novels.

So, it has been a long dry spell, in my opinion (and that is the only opinion I am qualified to share)  between the publication of “Death of Captain Marvel” and today at 2:15 pm when I opened the hardback cover of “Avengers: Rage of Ultron” by Rick Remender, Jerome Opena, Pepe Larraz and Mark Morales.

It’s pretty remarkable.

Beautiful to look at. Dialogue you find yourself reading out loud because you want to hear those cool words coming out of your own mouth. But here’s the big thing:

–It matters.

Most Original Graphic Novels have no impact whatsoever on the complex tapestry that is Comic Book Continuity.  They exist in a vacuum. Not so, A:ROU.  I always laugh at the ads in Preview Magazine that repeat the same phrase ad nauseum: “Things will never be the same”. Except, in this case, it’s absolutely true.

No, Mrs. Wilkes, I will not tell you what that ‘thing’ is! I am surprised you even ask. Suffice it to say, it makes changes. (Okay, one hint: It completes a cycle that Marvel started a while back)

You need to read this book, Mrs. Wilkes. I know, I know…you probably thought this was another pre-movie cash-in book foist upon the Merry Marvel Marching Society (Remember? I showed you my membership card? You were remarkably unimpressed). But this one is important. And that just doesn’t happen. Original Graphic Novels are almost always non-impactful.

And that’s what terrifies me. You  see, the price tag on “Avengers: Rage of Ultron” is $24.99. That is over six times more than the cover price of your average funny book/comic book!

There ain’t nuthin’ funny or comic about that.

Is Marvel giving us a look into the future? Is this the first precognitive whisper of the state of comics yet-to-be? A warning volley, fired over our spinner racks? Is the comic book, just like Ultron, evolving into this advanced entity?

I hope not, because Zeus help me, for a book as good and important as “Avengers: Rage of Ultron”, I would pay it!

When I was in sixth grade, Mrs. Wilkes, a gallon of gas was 32 cents. Today, a gallon of gas is $2.40. An increase of 650%. At that same time, comic books were 12 cents. To go up to $24.99 would be an increase of 20,725%!

Be afraid, Mrs. Wilkes. Be very afraid.

If you loved what you just read, leave a comment, or better yet, send a message to [email protected] If you didn’t like it, send a message to mxyzptlk@kltpzyxm. Or just follow him on Twitter @doccurm.

Clint McElroy

BIO BY MADLIBS:
Clint McElroy is a/an (ADJECTIVE) writer with a God-given gift for (NOUN). His favorite activities include (ACTIVE VERB), (ACTIVE VERB), and twisting the heads off of (PLURAL NOUN). He is also rumored to possess an impressive (NOUN).

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Double Exposure Launches Demo, OP Program

At the GAMA Trade Show, Double Exposure, Inc. presented its new Envoy program, an organized play and demo program which deploys trained game demonstrators and game masters to conventions, retailers and gaming groups on behalf of publishers, which pay for its services.   

The program is free for store owners, who sign up for the program by agreeing to allow the representatives, which the Envoy program calls “Heralds,” to run demos and/or tournaments in their stores on a mutually agreed schedule.

Double Exposure launched the program on January 1, offering the demo services at conventions to game publishers. The company has a history in technical consulting and event management, creating several gaming conventions and running the First Exposure Playtest Hall of Gen Con.  The company recently named former Hero Games President Darren Watts as Managing Director of the program.

Publishers can choose one of four levels of involvement, from basic exposure at participating venues to more in-depth programs.  Double Exposure does not support the full-scale programs run by most collectible game companies, instead focusing on publishers looking for support on a less intensive scale.

While most of the 46 publishers currently represented are small, the program does include more notable companies such as USAopoly, RR Games, Stronghold, Plaid Hat, Indie Boards Cards and Thames Kosmos as clients.

Asked for numbers on venues, Double Exposure President Vincent Salzillo focused on the company’s goals.  “The count for venues is a little tricky, because we are trying not to ‘just add stores’ without having a Herald ready to go into the store,” he told ICv2. “Our goal is to reach 80% of the stores in the United States by the end of 2015, and 90% of the conventions.”  The program currently lists 50 conventions.

The Heralds are trained and mentored to demo the games they choose to run, including support from the designers and publishers to they can answer questions from customers.  Potential Heralds must be certified. “Every one of the active Heralds has had a personal video conference with me, and for each game they are certified in, they have had a video conference with one of our team of certifiers,“ Salzillo said. The Heralds are assigned one of 37 “regions,” which are all managed by Ambassadors, who function as coordinators between Double Exposure and the region’s venues.  Salzillo said the company has over 400 Heralds so far. 

Heralds are given a t-shirt and advertising material to support them as official representatives of the companies of the games they present.  They are rewarded with Herald Points, which can be exchanged for games and swag from the Envoy partners. There are additional rewards and prizes outlined in the extensive training manual, which can eventually include Gen Con memberships, free “crash space” and air fare.

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Fox Confirms "Deadpool" Will "Definitely" Be Rated R

“Deadpool” will indeed be rated R, as revealed in a video featuring the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, and “Extra” host Mario Lopez — no fooling.

Fox Confirms "Deadpool" Will "Definitely" Be Rated R

“Deadpool” will indeed be rated R, as revealed in a video featuring the film’s star, Ryan Reynolds, and “Extra” host Mario Lopez — no fooling.

Julie Delpy and Linda Cardellini Confirmed for "Avengers: Age of Ultron"

The actresses appeared on a list of cast members attending the premiere and Disney later confirmed their involvement in the film.

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