I may not be into Minecraft or for that matter the LEGO version of it, but the LEGO Minecraft magazine certainly keeps on giving and still holds my interest. That is of course a bit of an inevitable paradox, as no doubt I may marvel at things that are everyday breakfast for someone engrossed in that world. Anyway, for now I’m discovering enough new things that I like, so let’s have a look at the latest issue for March 2023.
One of the main issues with the series is of course the limited color palette because everything is based on blocks in a few standardized colors. This adds a level of complication for making the comics look interesting, but as far as that goes the one in this issue ain’t that bad. The illustrators seem to understand the process better now after two years doing this stuff and they also get a bit more daring with applying extra shading and light effects.
One thing that still annoys me is the scattershot nature of how the pages are laid out and every other page interrupts the comic with puzzles or some unrelated info. Are kids’ attention spans these days really so bad they can’t be asked to read the comic as an entire block? In any case, it makes the mag quite noisy and look cheap.
Last month’s poster was quite okay, but this month we’re back down in the dumps. Re-using the November cover image? Mirroring it? You must be kidding! Calling this bad Photoshop editing would be doing favors. It’s really a lot worse than that and downright awful. The backside doesn’t do much better with the umpteenth use of the same Creeper image…
The bright spot is once more the extra(s), which is quite plentiful. Not only do you get two minifigures, the yellow explorer and another Creeper, but also a sizable piece of landscape. Not by any means anything too special, but usable. The Trans Neon Green “slime blob” is particularly nice and I almost wish it didn’t even have the eyes printed on, so it could be used more universally (without resorting to trickery like turning the cube in order to hide the decorations).
All in all this is an okay issue when you figure in all the little pieces, but I’m somehow baffled by Blue Ocean making strides and improving in one area (the comic) and then being cheap and falling back on those terrible hacks (the posters). A more coherent and consistent approach really would improve matters quite a bit.