Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

An Iron Sheik doc, a board game, and a mash-up of journalism and comics

Illustration for article titled An Iron Sheik doc, a board game, and a mash-up of journalism and comics

Illustrated Press

I love when two of my favorite things become one, like Illustrated Press, which is a combination of journalism and comics currently based in Chicago. The collaborative efforts of reporter Darryl Holliday and illustrator Erik Rodriguez first resulted in Illustrated Press: Chicago. Funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, the book offered a glimpse into Chicago through Rodriguez’s realistic subject renderings, Holliday’s deft reporting, and the pair’s exceptional attention to detail. From there, the duo has created everything from the hard-hitting—like How To Survive A Shooting, which was featured in the Chicago Reader and told the harrowing story of Nortasha Stingley, who lost her 19-year-old daughter Marissa to a shooting, and asked the tough question, “How do you get over a thing like that?”—to the entertaining—like Two And A Quarter, which runs bi-monthly in the RedEye and covers “Chicago Transit Authority stories and shenanigans.” Now, with the addition of cartoonist Jamie Hibdon, Illustrated Press has set out to fund its second book. Drawing on a year’s worth of reporting and interviews, Kedzie Avenue will focus on giving readers a full-length tour of a single street in Chicago that spans from hipster-haven Logan Square, to a homeless encampment under a freeway in Avondale, to a ballet school on a tough block of Marquette Park, and much more along the way. Ensure you get a copy by heading over to Kickstarter and supporting this burgeoning media, which offers top-notch journalism and graphics, regardless of your personal connection to Chicago. With any luck, continued success will allow this collective to branch out to a city near you. [Becca James]


The Sheik

In the early ’80s, The Iron Sheik was the most hated man in the World Wrestling Federation—just as the organization was hitting its first peak. He was the perfect foil to Hulk Hogan, who won the championship by defeating Sheik. The Sheik, a new, long-in-the-works documentary—available on demand and DVD—isn’t shy about bolstering Iron Sheik’s place in the wrestling universe, but it also isn’t shy about his downfall. Though considered one of the greatest bad guys in the sport, he couldn’t spin the story of his arrest for cocaine possession into something his bosses could be happy with. (It didn’t help that he was in a car with a “good guy,” Hacksaw Jim Duggan—the WWF couldn’t really explain why mortal enemies were hanging out and getting high on the day they were supposed to try and kill each other in the ring.) Sheik’s later life gets a little depressing, with a spiral into crack addiction and rinky-dink wrestling circuits, but The Sheik doesn’t end on too depressing a note. As a lot of people know, he’s become—bizarrely—a Twitter star. [Josh Modell]

Shadows Over Camelot

Shadows Over Camelot is a collaborative board game with a twist—there is actually a traitor in your midst. While most collaborative games see players working happily together (“Let me help you out there!” “After you, good knight!”), this one breeds distrust and challenges the character and motives of suspicious players. Why did she just place a castle-destroying catapult? Was it because she only has a few lives left, or is it because she’s a traitor? While you’re busy worrying about who on your team might actually be undermining your every move, you also have to contend with the myriad challenges your ragtag group of knights must continuously upkeep and work toward lest Camelot succumb to the shadows. And there are many, many shadows over Camelot, including siege engines, the Black Night, and encroaching Picts and Saxons. Players try for the Holy Grail, Excalibur, and duels with Lancelot, who, dammit, goes rogue. Essentially Ye Olde Pandemic, the game never lets its players pause for breath, as the Knights Of The Round Table hop around the board and a panicked, slow-burning sense of doom sets in as it becomes more and more impossible to get enough white swords to conquer the darkness. It’s fun while it lasts, though, especially if the traitor does a good job sabotaging gameplay. There are also plenty of opportunities to quote from Monty Python And The Holy Grail and throw in other olden-time references of epic quests and wars, be it “FREEDOM!” or lines from The Lord Of The Rings’ battle scenes. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]