BumbleKast is GO!

We start off the first week of October in style with the first ever episode of the BumbleKast!

Didn’t get your question answered this episode? We’ve got quite the list going, but you can always throw your hat in the ring by asking in the comments, on Twitter with the hashtag #bumblekast, or on the forum!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #5

I grew up on the Turtles. Michelangelo was not only a party dude, but my grade school patron saint. I adore what the new cartoon is doing, and words cannot express how thrilled I am to get this chance to be a part of another of my childhood favorites. TMNT: Amazing Adventures #5 is due out this December!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #5
Peter DiCicco, Ian Flynn (w) • Chad Thomas, Coleman Engle (a) • Jon Sommariva (c)
The Turtles are stuck in a fiendish trap facing the Foot mutants? They seem to be helpless, all except Leo, who is busy… having tea??
• Featuring a back-up story by Ian Flynn and Coleman Engle!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

BumbleKast + Con Schedule

First the good news! Coming October 5th is a brand new podcast starring me and my co-host Kyle “JCrb” Crouse of KNGI

If you’d like a chance at having your questions answered on the show, you have one of three avenues:
1) In the comments section on YouTube
2) On Twitter to @IanFlynnBKC or @KyleJCrb with #bumblekast
3) On the BumbleKing Forum

Secondly, a bit of bad news. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending New York Comic Con this year. It was a decision I was putting off, but I simply can’t afford to make the trip this year. I’m very sorry to those of you who wanted a chance to say “Hi,” or the fans I’ve gotten to know regularly over the years. Maybe 2016 will be kinder to my budget. Perhaps a certain podcast will become a lucrative endeavor? We’ll see!

STH#280, SU#83 and Super Digest #15 Solicits

Images and solicits courtesy ComicBook.com:



Sonic, Tails and Chip head to the Efrikan settlement of Mazuri to find the next set of Gaia Keys—but they’ll have to go through the tough and menacing Axel, the Egg Boss of the Efrika Egg Army, to find them!  While deep in the heart of the Gaia Temple, Chip finds something incredible—but you’ll just have to wait and see what it is! Then, in “A Special Occasion,” Sally and Rotor are one girl’s only hope in a family emergency! Featuring awesome cover art by jamming Jamal Peppers and an “Altered Beast” variant by the exquisite Erik Ly!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Jamal Peppers, Jennifer Hernandez, Terry Austin, John Workman & Gabriel Cassata
Sonic the Hedgehog #280 CVR A Reg: Jamal Peppers, Terry Austin & Ben Hunzeker
Sonic the Hedgehog #280 CVR B Variant: Erik Ly
On Sale Date: 1/13
32-page, full color comic

$3.99 U.S.


EGGMAN’S BASE is UNDER ATTACK in, “Eggman’s Dozen” Part One:

Dr. Eggman’s plans for controlling the shattered world were going perfectly—until now!  The wizard warlords—the Naugus Twins—have taken over Eggman’s base and Dr. Eggman’s source of Dark Gaia energy!  No mere robots will do for this mission—the doctor’s going to need ALL his Egg Bosses! Featuring cover art by Mr. Sonic comics himself, Tracy Yardley, and an “Evil Genius” variant by CG artist supreme, Rafa Knight!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli & Matt Herms
Sonic Universe #83 CVR A Reg: Tracy Yardley, Jim Amash & Matt Herms
Sonic Universe #83 CVR B Variant: Rafa Knight
On Sale Date: 12/23
32-page, full color comic

$3.99 U.S.


Sonic Comic Origins continues this month with an ALL-NEW story featuring Razor the Shark! This never-before-seen tale showcases an EXCLUSIVE back-story to the underwater side of the new Sonic Comic universe with one of the most popular new characters to debut in the series! It’s a real splash this month in Sonic Super Digest! Plus, don’t miss all the classic fun and adventure you love in stories from the comics’ 20+ year history as Sonic and his friends embark on daring adventures, face evil villains and save the day one chili dog at a time! Race into the fun that only Archie Comics and Sonic Super Digest can bring! Featuring super duper cover art from Tyson Hesse and story & art from the biggest names in Sonic comics history!

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Adam Bryce Thomas, Rick Bryant, Jack Morelli, Matt Herms & Various
Cover: Tyson Hesse

On Sale Date: 1/13

128-page, full color comic

$4.99 U.S.

August Updates

Not a major update, but more of an announcement of some spring cleaning. Summer cleaning? Site maintenance! There we go.

The entire Comics section has been overhauled in lieu of some exciting future announcements. I have no idea when I’ll get to make those announcements, but the site is now prepared for those updates when I’ve got the go ahead to say so.

In the meanwhile, I’m slowly picking away at updates to “Raiders of the Abyss.” These will be new incentives for patrons, and a robust preview of the next chapter.

Star Fox Zero – Hands-on Preview

I had the fortune to get to play the E3 demo build of Star Fox Zero for the Wii U this week, thanks to the fine folks at Mario’s Hat. I was positively giddy at the prospect because I’ve been a lifelong fan of the franchise. Star Fox 64 was the first videogame I bought with my own money. I got Star Fox Adventures, Star Fox Assault, and Star Fox Command all at launch and played them all to completion. On purpose. I don’t know if that’s devotion or a cry for help, but since nobody’s staged an intervention, I’m cued up to pin all my hopes on yet another stab at getting the game right.

In short: I’m wary, and fully admit my optimism is colored by fandom.

In excoriating detail: I got to play four times; twice through the Corneria stage, and twice in Area 3.

Corneria was broken into three “phases.” The first has you fly in over Corneria Bay and through Corneria City as it’s besieged by Andross’s forces. This is your classic on-rails shooter section complete with flying under archways, blowing up small clusters of enemies, and saving Slippy from a single bogey.  You have the option of playing as the walker mode during this bit, but the minute you hit a body of water you automatically revert to the Arwing.

Phase Two switches to All-Range Mode as you defend a Cornerian Army tower from a flock of enemy fighters, and then a series of giant robo-ticks. The third and final phase introduces the boss fight, which can be completed in two ways. Blowing it up section by section allows its pilot to escape and earns you a “Mission Complete.” Blowing away one section and then infiltrating the interior in the new walker mode (which I affectionately call the “ChickenWing”) blows up the entire boss and earns you a “Mission Accomplished.”

Area 3 felt like the introduction to a larger stage. You fly into the open space around a giant ring-shaped space station, shooting down a few enemies before Pigma appears in a Wolfen and challenges you to a one-on-one dogfight. Once defeated, Pigma retreats and the Star Fox teams moves on to – presumably – the rest of the level. The demo cuts to a “Thanks for playing” screen.

There were a number of other games playing around me, and Mario music pumping from the speakers at the venue, so I couldn’t hear a thing from the game. So I can’t really comment on the music, sound quality or voice acting.

Let’s break this down by the buttons before getting into how it all works together.

L-Stick – This is your general control, with the directions already inverted (so “Up” is up, “Down” is down.)

R-Stick – Up is boost. Down is brake. Left and right are sharp turns, and double-tapping either way causes a barrel roll. Flicking down, then up is supposed to make you summersault, but I couldn’t get it to work.

X – Summersault.
Y – No function (that I could tell)
B – Change into the ChickenWing (and back)
A – U-turn
ZL – Target lock-on
ZR – Shoot (hold for Charged Shot)
Start – Pause
Select – Switch to first person view and back.
L-Trigger, R-Trigger, D-Pad – no function (that I could tell)
Gyroscope – Aim

I played this considerably less than the Arwing, but the notably changes in controls for the R-Stick are:

Up – Sprint
Left/Right – Cartwheel dodge
Down – Hover

How well does it come together? Serviceable at best, cumbersome at worse. The more I played it, the better I could handle it, but it isn’t remotely fluid or intuitive. The gyroscopic aiming is accurate enough, but I felt as if I was fighting with myself when playing. If I’m steering to the left and dodging to the left, my hands are going to be naturally tilting in that direction as I move the sticks. They will not be aiming to the right, where I am trying to shoot the enemy. It’s a small but distracting element.

When I held the game pad directly in front of my, almost hugging it to my chest, and didn’t move much I found I had an easier time of flying and shooting at the same time. This was not a very comfortably way to play, however. The Arwing itself left slow and floaty.

The signature barrel rolls are also slow to execute. It doesn’t seem like clicking a trigger twice and tapping a stick twice would be that different, but it feels like more effort for the thumb to make these quick movements than it is to pull a trigger.

The target lock button is a mixed bag. On the Corneria stage it felt like a last-second patch for the lack of a radar. The camera took a cinematic angle focused on the target, whether or not I could actually see it for the terrain. However, during the Pigma fight, it made for an exciting dogfight and some really cinematic near-miss strikes.

The ChickenWing was more fun to play than I anticipated. A hold-over from the canceled Star Fox 2, the ChickenWing looks ridiculous but made for nimble, ground-level combat.

Given how intrinsic the gyroscope seems to be with the game’s design, I’ve got very little hope that there will be an option to turn it off.

This is where I had the most trouble with the game. In Star Fox 64, you rarely lost control to a cinematic. Most of the bosses entered into the stage while you were flying, making a grand entrance. In the scenes where you lost control – like the mothership over Katina and the mobile suit in Sector Y – after the scene ended you had ample time to get your bearings as you approached the boss (or it approached you). In the case of Star Wolf’s first appearance on Fichina (or Fortuna, for you veterans), if you watched the scene you were immediately thrown into the dogfight, most likely having to loop behind Wolf – a simple enough move. If you skipped the cutscene, you could usually shoot down at least one of the Wolfens before they descended. The point is: you were always in control or given time to regain control. It made for a richer experience.

The Area 3 fight got this right. Pigma swoops in during a cutscene, and when you regain control you have time to align yourself to his attack vector.

Corneria got this wrong multiple times. From the very beginning, after the brief intro scene, you go into a first person view, mirrored on the gamepad. The TV and gamepad both respond to the gyro-controls for a half-second. Then the TV view awkwardly pulls back to third-person, while the gamepad still holds the first-person view and responds to the gyro-controls. It’s clunky and distracting.

In the transition during the midway point of Phase Two, you’re forced to watch the Venom fleet escape, but can still fly and shoot with the gamepad. There’s no cue for when the cutscene is over, and I found trying to flying in first-person extremely hard to navigate. It wasn’t clear when I could go back to playing the game regularly.

During Phase Two, if a robo-tick begins to ascend the tower, the game forces you into a cutscene to show you. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the process of shooting it, the game will wrench control away. You can still shoot and aim on the gamepad, but if you’re looking at the TV, the sudden loss of perspective and control is disorienting.

Finally, during the boss fight, you’re forced into a cinematic that then forces you back into your Arwing and in an attack approach. It doesn’t matter if you were exploring the level in the ChickenWing for rings or performing acrobatics in the Arwing – you’re picked up and plunked down into the boss fight. The camera in this fight is stuck in the cinematic lock-on mode, which makes flying around more difficult and requires you to look at the gamepad screen to aim even remotely in the direction of your target.

This is what has me the most concerned with the game. Star Fox 64, old as it may be, had a sense of flow to it. The entire experience was polished, and each encounter led organically to another or to a brief period to rest. Star Fox Zero doesn’t display that. It feels like it has set pieces and targets for you to hit as you leisurely fly along and struggle to make your aiming not undercut your flying, or visa versa.

Mario Kart 8 let you steer with the L-Stick. Splatoon let you turn off the gyro-controls after the tutorial. I’m holding out hope that Star Fox Zero will do the same and give us an option for a simpler, sleeker-feeling control scheme. Otherwise, I can see this being another Star Fox Command – neat elements undermined by a clunky control gimmick.

I’m still picking it up at launch, though. I’m a sucker for this series.

Raiders of the Abyss

Back in October, I polled everyone to see what kind of story they’d like to see me write on a monthly basis, funded by the readers.  Now I’m finally able to launch the story that was chosen by the masses!

Raiders of the Abyss” is now live on my Patreon, with the first chapter free for everyone to read, enjoy, and consider weighing in on.  You can find the launch trailer here, on my YouTube channel.

I am both incredibly excited and incredibly nervous – I’ve never done something like this before.  I hope you all enjoy it, and that we can make beautiful music together.

…well, not music.  This is a silent medium.  Beautiful prose together?  Yes.  That will do.

2015 Con Circuit

Egad!  Two posts within a month?  It’s true!

This year I have two shows lined up for those of you looking to meet-n-greet, get something signed, or just point and laugh.

June 19th – 21st
Charlotte, NC

October 8th – 11th
New York, NY

Depending on other factors, I might be able to attend FanExpo (Toronto, ON) and SDCC (San Diego, CA) this year, but I can’t commit to those just yet.

See you there!

Progress! Of sorts.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind of work for me as we moved from 2014 to 2015.  I’ve done a few things around the site and it only makes sense to update everyone on what’s going on at the same time.  Shall we?

  1. Updated the Website!  All of the pages under the Comic Books tab have been updated with my latest work, most notably “Worlds Unite.”
  2. Ditched Disqus!  There were two or three feedback comments over the past year or two, and those were appreciated.  The 3,000-4,000 spam comments were not.  And since Disqus’s answer to spam seems to be manually creating and updating a list yourself, I felt it better to just ditch the feature entirely.  Between the forum, Facebook and Twitter, if you want to let me know how you feel about something, you’ve got an avenue.
  3. Progress Report: User-Voted Project!  That is still a thing.  I had intended for it to launch at the start of the year, but “Worlds Unite” devoured all of January and February.  I have a fair bit of material prepared to launch that project, but I want to wait until I know what my schedule is for the spring and summer.  I will not allow myself to miss the monthly update schedule straight out of the gate.  I do have a shred of personal pride.
  4. Progress Report: Lost Hedgehog Tales!  The fans have been very patient (and others not-so-much, but it’s understandable).  The project is not dead, just taking a back seat while I sort out everything else.  The “here and now” have to take priority to the “what might have been.”  When it is completed and uploaded, it will be to much fanfare.  You won’t miss it.
  5. Convention Schedule!  For now, I’m planning on attending Heroes Con this summer and NYCC this fall.  I would love to do FanExpo and SDCC as well, but that will hinge on finances, time and work.
  6. New Forum!  It needs to be a thing.  I don’t know when I’ll have the time to get it set up.  The prototype is uploaded and lightly tested, but I haven’t had the time to really look into the new system.  Additionally, the move to the new forum will require the complete take down of the old one.  So the move will require all of my attention, and that’s a very fractured thing right now.  For the interim, the old, buggy forum will just have to limp along.  If you run into any technical troubles, send and email to bkc.contact@yahoo.com.

The year is already off to a wild start.  Here’s hoping it’s been treating you well so far!

We’re Moving Ahead!

I’d like to thank everyone who voted on the monthly project. The number of people willing to throw their support behind it on faith in my abilities alone is humbling. There was a very clear winner in the polls, and I’ve begun preparing material for that project. I aim to launch it in the beginning of January 2015. That should give me time to create a backlog (and let’s be honest, with the holidays looming, your money will be going elsewhere this month – haha)

As for which one won – I’ll leave you in suspense until the grand reveal.

The poll is still up and running, though! It never hurts to get more feedback:

[yop_poll id=”3″]