Kickstarter is quickly becoming a favorite place for us here at Castles and Cooks to mine for our next great game or piece of cooking equipment. While the risks are well established, the chance to discover something truly unique is one of the things that keeps us coming back for more. From time to time we’ll aggregate our favorite Kickstarters here and tell you why they are worth supporting.
Methodology: We do not actually back every project listed in this round-up (though we do specifically indicate those projects we have helped fund). The projects that we choose are based on several factors, but we tend to gravitate toward projects that have low risk, great value, and where there is excellent communication about the economics. It also helps for the product to just be awesome, something that we would want to play or use. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: bones, kickstarter, Monte Cook, Reaper Miniatures
Cookies are great. Comics, also pretty fantastic. After encountering Einhorn’s Epic Cookies, a new New York based cookie company that includes a comic with every package, I wonder why no one else thought to combine them before. Luckily, Einhorn’s Epic Cookies has rectified that oversight and we no longer live in a world where cookies and comics must be purchased separately. As Heather Einhorn explained to us, the origin story for this epic pairing can be found in the snacks and treats of yesteryear, while the cookies themselves are decidedly a family affair.
Each pack of cookies comes with a comic about the Royal Einhorn Force. A group of unicorns made up of Houston, Broxburn, Cadiz and Romsey. Each unicorn corresponds to a different cookie:
- Chocolate, raisin and oatmeal for Broxburn
- Marshmallow, crisped rice and rainbow sprinkles for Cadiz
- Chocolate chips and potato chips for Houston
- Peanut butter, maple syrup and bacon for Romsey. (Yes, BACON!)
While the story for each pack of cookies is the same, the ending differs slightly and is customized for each horse as they battle the evil Lord Farragut. The story continues on the Einhorn Epic Cookies website, and the company promises weekly updates.
As the company was in the process of completely selling out at Comic Con, Heather sat down to explain the origins of the cookies, plans for expansion, which cookie tastes the best raw, the perfect flavor for an arch villain, and why the company decided to make a bacon cookie, with fake bacon (Don’t worry, it still tastes delicious). Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: bacon, Comics, Cookies, Einhorn's Epic Cookies, NYCC 2013
When you’re able to rise above the glut of cat photos, crazy stories about Nicholas Cage, and every meme possible to reach the top of Reddit, you’ve accomplished something. Such is the honor bestowed upon Tyler Capps, perhaps better known to the Internet as “the 2am chili guy.” From that humble Reddit beginning Tyler moved on to creating a website that he updates frequently with more comic strip recipes.
Most recently he was able to parlay this amazing recipe style into a book deal and the result is Cooking Comically: Recipes so Easy You’ll Actually Make Them, the cookbook. I met Tyler at NYCC, where he was selling his book along with a bunch of other stuff all branded with the now infamous Angus Cook, the stick figure who provides the excellent commentary on all of the recipes. This was Tyler’s first time at the show and we talked everything from what it was like to “win” Reddit, where this crazy awesome idea came from, and of course, Tyler’s desired superpower. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Cooking Comically, NYCC 2013, Tyler Capps
I was so pleasantly surprised and hooked by Lucy Knisley’s food memoir graphic novel Relish: My Life in Food, that I jumped at the chance to sit down and chat with her at New York Comic Con. There was so much to talk about and Lucy did not disappoint.
Sitting in the back of the First Second Books booth on the floor of NYCC, Lucy and I discussed everything from how she draws food so well, great NY food establishments, why her mom is a wizard and what super power she’d love to have (it’s freakin’ awesome). As it turns out, Lucy might actually have a super power already, at least when it comes to her favorite cupcakes.
Castles & Cooks: Did you ever consider a culinary career?
Lucy Knisley: I love working in the food industry and I did my whole time growing up, but there’s a sort of temperament that you need for that and I always made art as well and I think that something I always think of when people ask me that question like why I didn’t follow in my mom’s footsteps and be a chef, which I did think about, is that I grew up watching that, you know?
Sitting there watching that and digesting that, drawing pictures while I watched it. And I think that made an artist out of me more than a chef because it gave me this perspective where I could watch people and process that and turn it into art. And I love food and I love the food industry and I worked in it for years, but making art was always what I really wanted to do. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Interview, Lucy Knisley, NYCC 2013, Relish: My Life in Food
If you think back to your strongest memories, how many of them are connected to food? That’s the essential question behind Lucy Knisley’s memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. The book chronicles Knisley’s life and travels, with food and cooking interwoven at every step along the way. Whether it is remembrances of her mother’s amazing cooking and the experiences of being around professional kitchens, farmers markets and catering jobs, or discovering amazing cuisine while traveling with her dad.
The stories themselves would be enough for a tremendous food memoir, but what really elevates the text is that it is presented in a graphic novel format, with Knisley herself providing the artwork. She has a wonderful simple style that exudes warmth, perfectly complements the wit and welcome of her prose and allows her to create wonderful caricatures. If you want to know how good, be sure to check the final few pages of the book, where Knisley has included a few real photographs from growing up and you can see just how closely her drawings match the people in her life. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: library, Lucy Knisley, Relish, review
New York Comic Con 2013 has come and gone. The show overwhelms New York City (which is pretty impressive) for four days, then vanishes in the blink of an eye. Having been around for the breakdown after the show ends Sunday, I can tell you that vendors and exhibitors move fast. We’ve got plenty of coverage, interviews and fun stuff to recap the weekend that was, but for now here are our big winners and losers from NYCC 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: NYCC 2013
Theros is a weird set. Over the last few years, Wizards has really pushed limited formats but that comes at a cost of complexity in cards. But this also means a lot of cards that are only playable in limited and not even something I would consider fringe playable at the kitchen table. Theros’s Voltron-inspired design makes for some odd choices that just don’t seem to quite click just yet but I’m hoping it will come together in the next two sets.
Like all of our Casual & Commander reviews, I will be looking at each card individually and comparing it against all the cards in Magic’s history to see which ones make the cut to the kitchen table and which ones should just be tossed into your Bulk box now. First up is white.
Theros Casual & Commander Review
White | Blue | Black | Red | Green | Multicolor, Artifacts & Lands
Simple pump spell with a dash of scry isn’t bad, and the addition of Heroic makes this card a little more exciting than Mighty Leap. But it still isn’t terribly exciting. What a way to begin!
As mentioned in our Heroes vs. Monsters review, Cavalry Pegasus is a new human lord… and a flying horse. In limited, this is good but outside of it, eh. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: casual, commander, game, magic: the gathering, review, theros, white