I once entertained the idea that in the grand scheme of geekery, my abstinence from comic books and action figures meant that I still retained some shred of credibility. It inevitably turned out the world merely hadn’t manufactured colourful pieces of paper and plastic on subjects I’d fork over money for. See, games companies have only just realised that we all have more money than sense.
Valve Software just gave free copies of their entire back-catalogue away with Portal 2, so perhaps it’s unsurprising that they’re rolling up to this party even later than everyone else. True, they’ve been dealing a trickle of merchandise out of their developer store for several years now, but for the mass and international markets, recent announcements come better late than never.
The fantastic (and less outdated) news is that comic gurus Dark Horse are publishing ‘Valve Presents: The Sacrifice and other Steam-Powered Stories’, a collection we can assume will contain Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice, Portal 2: Lab Rat and The Team Fortress 2 Comics. True, you can see the entire lot by following the links, but you just can’t beat the convince and paper-cut potential of genuine pulp. Besides, Valve have done more than anyone else to stop us killing trees, so why not treat yourself to some arboreal genocide. Look out for this lot on November 16th, with imports outside the US likely through Amazon.
On the other hand, the best news to ‘come out at about the same time as E3, but not at E3′ is that NECA have been granted the license to create action figures based on the entire Valve catalogue (so, err, Ricochet in wave one, right guys?). They’re known for creating some fantastic, affordable figures (including the incredible line of Bioshock big daddies that ruined my wallet last year). Plenty of independent comic book shops, as well as some larger etailers stock NECA figures outside the US, so keep your eyes peeled (or keep watching @NECA_toys).