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C3G Interview: March 2019

Posted March 30th, 2019 at 09:23 AM by HS Codex

C3G Interview
Author: Tornado & the C3G crew

After a bit of a delay I am proud to present a brand new, all fresh, interview with the friendly neighborhood Spidey. Some of the crew at C3G helped me out with questions. Enjoy.

L0B5T3R: What exactly does “C3G’s first fan” mean?
Well, I was given that title, but to me, it means that I was the first observer in C3G. Way back when the Old Guard started this little project up, I was green and new to this game. I was, frankly, not ready to play with the big boys in designing. I knew the characters though, probably better than anyone else there at the time. So, they allowed me to chime into the public conversations and share opinions, and I got to watch the vote as a spectator. I watched every one of the power sets of the World’s Finest be brainstormed, workshopped, tested, and finalized. I had realized that though there were many customs on the site—many very, very good customs—they were not designed to work together. This project had that one desire from the get-go and I think I posted before that had gotten much off the ground. Basically, as Bats, Griffin, NecroBlade, GreyOwl, and others got the ball rolling, I was there to cheer them on, to lift their spirits when they were disappointed in how something worked, or compliment them in the good moments. When no one else on this site took notice, I did. And towards the end, I helped push World’s Finest over the finish line. That is what being “C3G’s first fan” means.

Scapemage: What was it like to be one of the first “fans” brought into the fold as a Hero? Was the transition strange to you? Did you expect to play such a big role?
I was the first fan, but others with real skill were brought in before me, I think. Specifically, Balantai, whitestuff, and A3n. It was daunting. World’s Finest made such a splash on the site that it was a bit scary to have that kind of responsibility. Knowing now what I know about Tom Vassel and his legitimacy in the board and card gaming community, I realize now the notoriety the project received. He recognized C3G as continuing MarvelScape!

The transition was not all that weird because I made it slowly. I did not tackle anything in the X-Men set because I trusted the big guns to do the heavy lifting, but I had always eyed the Flash as my personal favorite, and consequently, Barry Allen was my first design. He turned out great and everytime I see someone play him it makes me smile.

I don’t know that I have played that big of a role, but I think I was a sounding board for some of the best minds of this project without actually being one myself. I think my “encyclopedic” knowledge and my passionate posts are what I really contributed to the project. I felt it was my unofficial duty to build people and let them know how valuable they are to the project, especially when they step down. I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself, “There’s the one. With that person retiring as a Hero/Sidekick, the project will begin to die a slow painful death now.” And every time I have been wrong. There have been difficult transitions, but the project is still going strong now and at a pace that I believe won’t burn anyone out. Both great things.

Karat: More seriously though: What, in your opinion, makes C3G, C3G? Is it the people, the designs, the process, or something else?
This is a great question! Once upon a time I would have told you that what makes C3G special is that individuals came together for the common good to create something better than what they could accomplish on their own, just like the Avengers or Justice League. But long ago that changed for me. As I spent time brainstorming, debating, and creating with these wonderful people they began to become friends. Now, each time someone steps into C3G it’s a shot of energy and a possible new friendship. Sometimes those people burn out brightly but quickly, sometimes they have a slow burn and are able to sustain involvement for quite some time and really make themselves an integrated part of the process, but occasionally they burn bright and long, those people are the hardest to see go. They leave an indelible impression on the project and quite frankly can never be replaced. I have been lucky enough to work alongside all of these people. Their exuberance is infectious and they leave a giant hole when they leave. But we’ve been lucky enough to see several of them make comebacks, some multiple times. And that thing, the thing that makes those who have burned out return, that calls to people to push themselves like a job without any real compensation, that has caused so many to devote so much time and effort, that beckons people back when they think they can no longer find the desire to put even an ounce more of effort in, that thing, that thing is what makes C3G, C3G. And so help me I can’t figure out what to call it.

Tornado: Why is Spider-Man so awesome?
Because he is all of us. Who amongst us has not had that awkward period in our life when we didn’t even like ourselves very much, when we couldn’t look in a mirror without seeing the flaws? Spider-Man is the story of that kid being given great power and then squandering it only to see something horrible happen because of that decision. He has literally spent the rest of his life trying to make up for that one bad decision. How many of us can relate to that? I know I can. Peter Parker, on the surface, looks like a typical nerd, but he wasn’t. He was a smart kid who actually had friends. Yes, he was bullied, but how many of us have not experienced hanging out with someone regularly who chose us or someone else in the group as the brunt of all their jokes? I’m sure we have all witnessed this. In every way, Peter is a typical American teen, even when they rebooted him in Ultimate Spider-Man. And in that way, every person can relate to him if they read his stories. His thought bubbles put his dilemmas right there on the page and we can weigh the decision right along with him. I can’t tell you how often I would have done something different than him. Basically, Peter is the person we can all relate to, and ultimately the hero we all like to think we would be.

IAmBatman: Better superhero: Spider-Man or Batman?
Well, this is very easy because of the way the question is worded. Spider-Man is the only superhero listed as an option, so he is. Batman is a hero; there is nothing super about him. He is literally what would happen if Bill Gates had the determination and athletic prowess of Michael Phelps. Throw in a family tragedy and BOOM! Batman is created. The thing about Batman and why he is appealing is because he is the only comic book hero who could exist in our present day world. Any one of us, if born into the right situation, could be Batman.

Now, if you are asking which is the better hero, that is really tough. I suppose it depends on your life experience. I’ve already explained why both are so relatable. For me personally, Spider-Man is the top because I can relate to him more. I have never been rich, nor have I even been much of a fighter, but I have been the smartest kid in my class, picked on by my “friends” but still popular. I just relate more to Spider-Man. But your mileage may vary.

Ronin: More of a comics question than a C3G question but ... Favorite single comic issue of all time?
This is so hard to answer. I have several moments that stand out to me, several of which are courtesy of my all-time favorite book, JLA by Grant Morrison. I’ll count them out. There is a moment in the opening 4 issue arc where the Martian leader, Protex, realizes that Batman is alive and running free in their hideout, as he sends members of the Hyperclan to eliminate him, and they keep coming up missing or defeated he responds, “Why is this so difficult? He’s just a human.” To which Superman laughs and says, “You should have done your homework.” Point two, Superman Blue (yes electric Superman) is wrestling an angel and Flash remarks to himself “This is the guy who said he couldn’t live up to his myth. And now he’s wrestling an angel ...” This was after he had used the Watchtower and his electromagnetic abilities to move the moon back into its correct orbit in the same issue. While doing so he made the comment about living up to his own myth. Lastly, Aquaman comments that the other 6 members share protection of a ¼ of the planet while he is the hero for the other ¾. Little moments like that are why that will always be my favorite run of comic books. I love Invincible for a lot of the same reasons. Also Crisis on Infinite Earths has stood up surprisingly well considering it is nearing 35 years old.

But if I had to name my favorite issue, it’s a small one. You’ve probably never heard of it. If you’ve ever seen the movie Precinct 13, it’s a sort of riff off of that. Spider-Man, along with all of New York is caught in a blizzard. The story is of people calling the precinct for help and he goes to bring them there. At one point his web shooters freeze up, and as I recall eventually he succumbs to hypothermia and passes out, only to find himself awake in the precinct. The people of New York went out and found him and saved him. They never looked to see who he was. The art was brilliant as it used the uncolored white page to show the vast endlessness of the blizzard, actually drawing less and less per panel as the storm got worse. I’ll never forget reading that book and feeling like I was stuck in the blizzard. It just stands out in my memory.

Lazy Orang: Spoilers for Infinity War (as though anyone hasn’t seen it yet ...). Given you’re Spidey until you die, who are you now given that Spider-Man is, in fact, quite dead?
I think it is safe to say that no one in the MCU is “dead,” just removed. This summer movie previews show that the current status will be undone. But I am really CJ, youth worker in Houston, TX, 43 years old, oldest of three children. Uncle to three awesome nephews and a niece and a confirmed bachelor. “And I will have my revenge in this life or the next.” Sorry, I had to.

IAmBatman: Part of me is surprised that C3G has made it 10 years! How much longer do you think C3G will last?
It will last as long as the public allows. The secret strength of C3G is that the public is the engine, while the Heroes are just the transmission and steering. The sidekicks are a little of both. As long as public members step up to test and keep the project moving, they will also make themselves stand out, be recognized, and be called to step up as others step down or aside. If the public were ever to die out, that would spell the end of C3G.

IAmBatman: What number of cards do you think C3G would have to produce for the project to feel “complete”?
Well, online DC is said to have just over 10,000 characters, Marvel is said to have just over 15,000; if we allow about 5,000 for the extras that come from various “other” universes, I’d say 30,000 sounds about right.

Seriously though, let’s assume Marvel and DC have multiple versions of their big tier characters, so do we. But let’s cut their numbers in half. That’s 5,000 for DC and 7,500 for Marvel. Let’s further assume that half of those are bit players that really have no business on a battlefield. That’s 2,500 for DC and 3,750 for Marvel. If we assume that the vastness of “other” allows for as many cutbacks, then “other” would end up accounting for 1,250 designs which feels high, but, based on current directions, may not be. That would put the actual number at 7,500 for actual completion. I’d say it would start to feel complete at around ⅔ of that. So when we hit 5,000 designs, it will feel complete. (For the record that puts us at about 16% done.)

Tornado: If we start ramping it up, do you think C3G could complete 2,000 cards by their 20th anniversary?
Gently put, no. Unless the present Heroes could learn to clone themselves, I just don’t see anyone being able to match the output of OGs Hahma, IamBatman, Griffin, and tcglkn. Between the four of them they were pumping out about 2 complete designs in a week, while also running initial playtests for me, A3n, and GreyOwl for a while. It was really hard to keep up back then. If you didn’t check in for a day, you’d have hundreds of posts to catch up. But in a way it may have been too fast. Ultimately, it led to some disagreements and some falling outs. But man, was it a fun, fast ride!

Tornado: What is different about C3G this time around?
There are times I long for the old pace, but mostly, I love the pace now. Everyone can work at the speed that fits them, I love incorporating the Legends in voting; we’d probably have more OG Heroes hanging around if we had done it sooner. Also, I genuinely think that the Heroes enjoy working together again. Without getting into politicking, I know that there have been various points of tension between the Heroes. Also, I think they are really good about sharing the heavy lifting, and getting better all the time. There is just a general feel of, “hey, this is a hobby, do what you can, when you can.” I love that.

IAmBatman: What are your New Year’s resolutions for C3G in 2019?
For me, it’s to get active enough to see some of my old designs completed. Somehow Judge Anderson jumped my queue, but I think she is worth it. But I want to see at least one version of the Crime Syndicate be fully playable. And see Ultron get those drones.

Tornado: No one else has a question for C3G’s first fan?
No. (Drops mic.)
Total Comments 4


A3n's Avatar
Great read. You gave a great accounting for yourself. C3G has been a great ride & a pleasure to have shared a lot of those moments with you.
Posted April 11th, 2019 at 11:28 PM by A3n A3n is offline
IAmBatman's Avatar
Great read! Thanks for sharing, T-Spinny and CJ!
Posted April 12th, 2019 at 07:22 AM by IAmBatman IAmBatman is online now
Scapemage's Avatar
Fantastic article!
Posted April 12th, 2019 at 10:14 AM by Scapemage Scapemage is offline
Lazy Orang's Avatar
Excellent interview, fine sirs.
Posted April 13th, 2019 at 06:38 PM by Lazy Orang Lazy Orang is offline
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