That’s probably what I’ll need down the road, now that I picked up Red Dead Redemption over the weekend. Such are the benefits of having a convention occurring so close to home and closing its exhibit hall relatively early.

This game is frigging fantastic… glitchy at times, such as wagons and coaches getting stuck in place for no reason… but hopefully that will be patched, and in the meantime you’ve got yourself the ultimate sandbox to play in, which just happens to be set on the borders of myth and reality in the Old West. As you might imagine I was particularly giddy over the missions involving ranch work, where you got to herd cattle and guard the perimeter from rustlers, but I think they manage to make it fun even if you’re not a guy who’s writing a crazy comic that’s replaced cattle with zombies. There’s even a bit of a Suzie type running the place in the person of Bonnie McFarlane (this is not a spoiler since you meet her pretty much right at the start).

As far as the convention itself, I must regrettably report that my invocation of Murphy’s Law bore out: even though I remembered my Nick Fury book (and thanks to Gillsing for the reminder as requested!), Jim Steranko ended up canceling his appearance. The folk at his booth mentioned on the first day that he’d missed his plane, and I suspect that a disappointing attendance turnout might have made them call him up and say not to bother. It was definitely less well trafficked than Long Beach, but we had a few good conversations with people who dropped by, whether attendees or exhibitors, and got at least one verified new Zombie Ranch fan out of it (we have the email as proof!). We even had a representative of a local comic book store ask us if we might be interested in doing a book signing in the future. To which first, we gotta get those print issues in order, but hey, it was flattering to have the offer. I’m not sure how much of a crowd we could draw, but then again it probably helps that there wouldn’t be a $25 entry fee. Anyhow, more on that when and if it develops.

As Dawn has likely indicated in her blog, she will be deep in her semester finals this coming week and so we probably won’t be able to continue the storyline until the week after. The script is there, but as I’ve said before, my stick figures just ain’t gonna express it properly. I know, I know, it might be a little torturous if you happen to be intrigued by this new character, but I’ll let you in on a little secret since you’re bothering to read this: this comic and the last one are sort of an introductory bit, and then we’ll be headed back to the ranch again for awhile before we see more of our motorcycle mystery woman. So I was already planning on being a big tease regardless of my artist’s status.

I’ll be back with another blog next week, for sure. Likely with more Red Dead Redemption talk, especially since my friends and I are going to try to do some “posse” multiplayer soon. It’s uh, research… yeah, that’s it…

Although in all seriousness, RDR really, really does provide an immersive Western experience. Not anywhere near total realism, but close enough to feel like you’re absorbing some good ambience and details while playing, and the environments are gorgeous… or you can just get your jollies shooting folks in the face. RDR takes all kinds.