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Scion of the Würstreich - An Interview with Sean Äaberg

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21 May 2020 00:05 #310502 by Andi Lennon
Most recently lauded for his work on Dungeon Degenerates: Hand of...

From the pits of the punk rock explosion to the mean streets of the Würstreich, Goblinko mastermind Sean Äaberg has been there, feathered quill in studded-wristband hand. Instantly recognisable, his heavy linework style leaps out at the viewer in brimstone jets of ultraviolet excess, a heady, addictive mix of xeroxed DIY bones wrapped in blue sunshine skin.

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21 May 2020 11:45 #310504 by ChristopherMD
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21 May 2020 13:09 #310511 by charlest
Good stuff, thanks for this.
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21 May 2020 17:40 - 21 May 2020 17:51 #310519 by Andi Lennon
Cheers guys, it was fun to do. Stay tuned for a chat with the Emperors of Eternal Evil soon.
Last edit: 21 May 2020 17:51 by Andi Lennon.
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21 May 2020 17:52 #310520 by Andi Lennon
I think my favourite thing about Sean is that he totally looks like one of his drawings.
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22 May 2020 08:32 #310528 by mc
great read again andi, cheers mate. d-beat and games eh, this is a one stop shop now.
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22 May 2020 09:01 #310529 by Andi Lennon
Oh man, if you're a Discharge guy you're gonna dig next week's review.
Cheers for reading!
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22 May 2020 21:58 #310546 by mc
Awesome I'll look forward to it :) I was never the biggest fan going around but it was kind of hard to avoid back in the day - I never saw Discharge (although I did see the Varukers) but I must have seen about 50 clones I'd say, at least half of them all on the same bill more often than not haha.
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22 May 2020 22:11 - 22 May 2020 22:12 #310548 by Andi Lennon
Haha the amount of bands that popped up with the 'Dis' prefix in their wake was kind of embarrassing hey. I'm more of a crasshead myself but my true heart lies with post punk. Joy Division, Bauhaus and the spikier end of the ouevre.
Last edit: 22 May 2020 22:12 by Andi Lennon.
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22 May 2020 23:25 #310549 by mc
Certainly more interesting overall :)

I'm always happy to give Crass a spin and Conflict were my favourite of that era I think.

Anyway - I've got to give these games a bit more of a look it would seem.
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22 May 2020 23:35 #310550 by Andi Lennon
There's a really cool undercurrent of punk spirit in certain corners of the tabletop scene. The DIY and zine factor is a particularly strong sign of the weird kinship they share. Then there's the likes of Bolt Thrower who were never shy about it. Dungeon Degenerates, although drawing from that well is more draped in denim. A gonzo airbrushed van blaring NWOBHM tapes. Which is awesome.

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23 May 2020 01:16 #310551 by mc
Yeah, it's been fun coming across stuff like this. I've started to gravitate towards the print and play thing in particular which is perhaps not surprising.
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23 May 2020 01:26 #310552 by Andi Lennon
Yeah that's a whole other world of cool shit, especially on the more RPG side of the fence. Ink is always at a premium though. You're Sydney based right?
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23 May 2020 09:24 #310561 by Pugnax555
I love that picture of Sean holding the mini issue of Pork. If you're not familiar with it, Pork was tabloid-sized. So that picture makes him look fuggin enormous!
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23 May 2020 13:19 - 23 May 2020 13:23 #310563 by Michael Barnes
Dischange, Disrupt, Disfear, Disdis...LOL so many d-beat bands. Most of them are pretty good but you can’t beat Discharge. I love crust. Mob 47, Rattus, DROPDEAD, Siege, Doom, Amebix...good stuff. I was actually in a D-Beat band for about a minute. We had a song called “Pig Bastards”.

Stuff like what Goblinko, Emperors of Eternal Evil, and a handful of Publishers are doing -is- the punk rock of gaming right now. But like Andi said, it’s really in the TTRPG scene that things are just going off. I realized what was happening when o got Mothership...I was playing 5E at the time and here comes this little black and white zine with layout and graphic design that just blew all of the corporare product away. And it was daring- it doesn’t hold your hand, spell out what to do, or gives you tools and says “have fun!” It’s raw and singular. It was like hearing a punk for the first time. Later I got Deep Carbon Observatory and it was like hearing The Fall for the first time. OSE was like going back to the Stooges/Dolls/MC5/Velvets. Silent Titans is Beefheart meets Chrome meets Throbbing Gristle. DCC was like going back in time to that 1978 tour where Van Halen and The Ramones opened for Black Sabbath- atavistic and obnoxious.

Time and time again I’ve been blown away by a $10 RPG pamphlet or a PDF of a to the point where it’s all but knocked my interest in current board games (barring a couple of exceptions like the Prospero Hall games I love) to zero.

If you like like artful, innovative, and compelling games, 99.99% of today’s board games are a complete waste of time. The whole design paradigm has been co-opted by the demands of crowdfunding and sterile homogeneity. I’m thankful that folks like Sean, Nate Hayden, and Jim Felli are out there making board games that LOOK different and PLAY different with new concepts and damn-the-mainstream attitudes. The latest thing I’ve picked up is Super Blood Harvest. It’s a black book covered in glitter. It’s about space vampires. The book is all done in a CMYK psychedelic art style mixed with 0-bit video game typography. There are about four pages of actual rules. It’s singular- an art book as much as a game. And that inspires me and fired my imagination far more than whatever shit CMON or the other Kickstarter mills are pumping out.

Like that game, Sean’s work has vision. It’s an art piece. It inspires you with his aesthetics and approach. It is not the best game in its class. I would barely rank the design as “very good” if I’m being honest. There are bits of it I kind of hate. I’m not very interested in the new one at all. But because of its strong visuals and idiosyncratic approach, I value this game a lot more than than a brilliantly designed adventure game that checks all of the Asmodee corporate gaming checkboxes. It’s a little rough, a little raw, and crusty AF. But that is was makes it great.
Last edit: 23 May 2020 13:23 by Michael Barnes.
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