Author: Melissa Brinks

Long Lost Issue #3 Offers Ritual Horror

Long Lost #3 Matthew Erman (Writer), Lisa Sterle (Artist) Scout Comics January 31, 2018 Reviewing each issue of Long Lost is making me think more deeply about horror than I usually do. Issue #1 made me think of the importance of character, while issue #2 made me think on confinement and dread. Issue #3 was a bit more puzzling. At first, there was nothing that stood out to me as particularly emblematic of horror (other than the supernatural elements and the creepiness of early issues, of course), but there’s a page near the middle that cemented it for me—ritual....

Read More

Long Lost Issue #2 Cultivates Fear in Quiet Moments

Long Lost Issue #2 Matthew Erman (Story), Lisa Sterle (Art, cover) Scout Comics December 27, 2017 One of the most important elements of horror is downtime. Too much blood and viscera and scares and you’re running on adrenaline the whole time, not fear. Horror needs moments of quiet, of anticipation, to really work. There is no fear without surprise. Issue #2 of Long Lost is that moment before the shoe drops. The quiet, slow-burn dread of the first issue returns as Piper and Frances meet up for the the first time in a long while, joined by some kind...

Read More

Over the Garden Wall is a Fairy Tale Journey Out of Darkness

Nearly every bit of children’s media that adults also happen to enjoy inevitably gets twisted into some darker story: Ash Ketchum is in a coma, Hogwarts is an imaginary sanctuary for an abused child, and My Neighbor Totoro is really about a horrific crime. The difference between media that embraces this temptation rather than having that temptation thrust upon it by adult fans is that the former allows the story to go to dark places and venture out of them (just as the characters of Over the Garden Wall do), whereas the latter makes the darkness the journey. Interpreting...

Read More

Idle Animations: Playing and Not Playing in Cibele [GIFs]

Idle Animations is a recurring series in which I play games without playing them, exploring quiet, still moments, how games fill space and time, and what happens when you let a game play itself. Star Maid Games’ Cibele isn’t a game you can play idly. Without your interaction, the story doesn’t progress, and story is the game’s real draw. By clicking your way through Nina’s desktop full of photos and poetry, as well as her game of Valtameri, you play through a story of first love and subsequent loss, drawn along not by puzzles or platforming or combat, but...

Read More

Get Your Game On Wednesday: Money (and Loot Boxes) are the Root of All Evil

It’s Wednesday, once again, and I’ve got the gaming news you crave. From ongoing conversations about difficulty to the morality of loot boxes, this has been a wild couple of weeks in the gaming community. It all gets exhausting sometimes, so I’ve been spending some time revisiting Stardew Valley on the Switch, which is the perfect mixture of idyllic escape and easy reward. Kind of like loot boxes, now that I think about it… Morality, Money, and More Loot Boxes The loot box debate was kicked off in part by problems in the Star Wars Battlefront 2 beta, Shadow...

Read More