REVIEW: End of Month Reviews #49 - January 2008 [spoilers]

tem2 gfishbone at
Mon Mar 3 11:54:41 PST 2008

On Feb 29, 9:06 pm, Saxon Brenton <saxonbren... at> wrote:
> [REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #49 � January 2008 [spoilers]
> Sporkman #8-12
> 'A New Show'  ;  'A New Disaster'  ;
> 'A New Smackdown'  ;  'A New Threat'  and  'A New Mess'
> 'Lemurs On A Dirigible' parts 3-7
> A Superguy [SG] series
> by Greg Fishbone
>      One tidbit of information I recall from various roleplaying games
> is how to play the difference between terror and horror.  At its
> simplest, terror tends to be based on the fear of immediate harm and
> prompts the fight-or-flight response.  Horror tends to be more of a
> visceral reaction of revulsion against something.  There are overlaps,
> of course, and the latter can certainly lead directly to the former.
> Nevertheless, for the do-it-yourself activity of gamesmastering these
> loose definitions tend to be more useful that the blanket description
> of the 'horror genre' that we get from the mainstream media.


Are you saying that horror and terror are distinct genres or that
horror and terror as story elements tend to be erroneously conflated?
Or is there a spectrum from pure terror to pure horror with most
stories falling somewhere in the middle?  Or should they be plotted
with horror on the x-axis and terror on the y-axis on a grid divided
into quadrants?

It hurts my head to think about this too much.

>      Then we come to Jeanette.  Now, I rather like Jeanette.  Indeed,
> if I'm going to confirm that that I nominated Dr Fay Tarif for the
> RACCies, then I should also state that I nominated Jeanette and
> Serially Numbered Underling Number Twenty-Two for Best Supporting
> Character as well.  (But I didn't nominate the Serially Numbered
> Underlings as a group for Best Antagonist; you'll have to look to
> someone else to pin the blame for that one.)


>      To make it clear that I'm not just ragging on, here is a small
> sample of text of how Jeanette's disquiet could be added to, which
> struck me while I was off doing long walks over my vacation in
> mid Feb.  It does not play on her doubts about her interpretation of
> her hunches, but rather on her two captors.
> | Jeanette felt uncomfortable waiting like this with only Number
> | Thirteen and zombie O'Reilly for company.  The promise that her
> | efforts would eventually... probably... pay off for the best was
> | cold comfort when faced with their ghoulish presence.  She still
> | had no idea what Number Thirteen's agenda was, and his indifference
> | to human respect only compounded her distrust of him.  O'Reilly was,
> | if anything, even worse.  He was a creature of horror.  He seemed to
> | know very well what respect for others - or at least their remains -
> | entailed, and delighted in violating that respect for no other
> | reason than to put people ill at ease.  It was all that Jeanette
> | could do to keep from fidgeting, but that would probably only
> | attract their attention.

I've never gotten suggested revision notes in a review before--that's
so cool!

In retrospect I probably did miss a golden opportunity to drop in some
character development for Jeanette in how she interacts with these two
unsavory characters.  What was she feeling about the reliability of
her hunches?  A little doubtful, I'd say.  She's manipulated events to
get herself and Mickey aboard the Unsplodable but her hunch at that
time didn't extend to what would happen next, and things have been set
in motion that she no longer has direct control over.  At some point
in the Dirigible storyline--we don't see exactly when--Jeanette
realizes that something bad is likely to happen to her even in the
best-case scenario.

So it's not just waiting for her big hunch to unfold or not, she's
also feeling that hunch developing into new sub-hunches and seeing
frightening parts of the future-landscape that were previously hidden
to her conscious mind.

>      On Mickey himself I'd just like to add that I particularly liked
> the moment in issue 10 where he and Samuel L. Jackson first discover
> the victims of the lemurs, and Mickey identifies the cause of deaths
> with almost forensic accuracy.  Mickey's so down on himself that
> although he correctly says that his associate (Spoonstryke, nee
> Spoongirl) would have done better than him, he overlooks the obvious
> points that (a) Spoonstryke isn't there at the moment, and (b) he
> nevertheless still has the wherewithal to be a competent crime-
> fighter.  In one stroke Mickey is presented as both awesome and
> pathetic.  It seems to be a thematic summary of his situation at the
> low point of his career, right before the upswing forced on him by
> circumstances to get off his mopey butt and actually save people.

Mickey really is making a hard transition from being a team member to
going it solo.  Poor guy.

More information about the racc mailing list