|Today's program book...|
Today will, I suspect, be listed in my future Unauthorized Autobiography as The Day The World Changed. Eh? I can hear you say; that's a pretty dramatic statement, even for this blog. So, here's the deal...
The Daughter-in-Residence is, as has been noted, a big comics fan. She's never been to a comics convention here in the US (having loved abroad for many years) and she wanted to go to the local one that happened today. However, she wanted her dad to go with her, officially for moral support but actually to carry the heaps of comic books that she was sure to add to her collection. I will freely admit that I am not a comics fan, but when the daughter asks, the father does as best as he can. So, off we went; she had a great time, I nearly lost some fingers from the circulation being cut off, but everything went fine.
I had a most amazing and wonderful time. I was wandering around, doing a little browsing of the various sales tables, when I got into conversation with some very nice people about RPG gaming. They were astonished that I'd been there Back In The Day, and had played with Dave, Phil, and Gary. I had a lot of fun telling stories about them and their games, and what amazed me was just how many people really enjoyed hearing about how they ran their games. People actually took notes, which amazed me; I felt that the day was quite a success on all sorts of levels.
We also got to talking about the joys of being in the digital publishing era, and that's when my world changed. As I've noted before, I am working on this little tome about our adventures in Phil's world where we had so many years of sheer terror and rollicking fun. One thing I had wanted to do was illustrate the book with photos of all our miniatures in action; I still have all of the figures I did for our games, and I thought it would be fun to be able to show my readers what we saw on Phil's game table - we used miniatures for 'tactical displays' as well as for the larger battles we fought out in his campaign.
A big part of the game sessions back in those far-off days was the row of artists along the north side of Phil's game table; Ken Fletcher, Kathy Marshall, Chris Huddle, Jim Garrison, to name a few. Every now and then, you'd hear some noise from over there, and shortly after a drawing would get passed around for people to admire. Phil added to these with his own drawings, and we published most of all of them in our 'zines, the Imperial Military Journal, The Journal Of Tekumel Affairs, and The Imperial Courier. Just like my frantically painting up the latest Dire Peril, these artists made gaming out at Phil's something truly special.
I want very much to convey to people the sense of sheer fun we had gaming with Phil, back in the late 1970s and through the 1980s - using the same miniatures we had will help, as will my accounts of our antics - er, adventures. I had been thinking about illustrations, and talking to my old gaming colleagues, when it hit me today - standing in the middle of this huge room, it suddenly hit me that besides being full of comic book, the room was full of the people who create them: artists.
So, in order to give all of you some feel for what those thursday nights were like for us in the original game group, I collected lots and lots of names, and took a lot of notes. I also got some prints, which I'll try to share here, and had a great time talking about Phil and his creation.
It was, in short, a marvelous day.
(Note: I am updating the "To Serve The Petal Throne" page to reflect today's developments.)