Dragon Con 2019 – Review Part 2

Part one can be found here.

***

When last we left our hero (me), he was suffering from an unknown allergic reaction to Aleve.

Sunday

After a full day of not doing much more than applying cold compresses to my eyes and staying firmly on the couch, I awoke on Sunday nearly 100% back to normal. Which really meant a morning full of deja-vu as we headed downtown to the convention via MARTA again, had to go purchase a Sunday day pass (luckily there was virtually no line again) (though, not sure why we couldn’t go ahead and get a Sunday pass on Friday and save ourselves a trip), and then attempted to get into one of the 10 AM panels. However, unlike Friday and David Tennent’s panel, we were able to make it into the Lucifer panel.

Lucifer is one of those shows that I love the concept. I knew it was a comic, but aside from his appearances in Sandman, I’ve not read any of the issues. Still the idea that the Devil takes a vacation just checks off so many boxes. And the idea of sewing that onto a police procedural with the weekly crimes works fairly well. The panel had D.B. Woodside and Aimee Garcia and the two of them had excellent chemistry up on stage. You always wonder if the cast members actually like each other, but with the two of them, there was no doubt. They had plenty of stories to tell and (since I’m a little behind on the show) only one real spoiler that I caught.

Next up was Zachary Levi’s panel. We managed to snipe that one without needing to wait in an insanely long line (always a risk). Inside the room, I noticed that there was no table or mics set up for him and a moderator. There was really no need as he stood and took questions one after the other. He was funny and had great stories, but also had an underlining message of mental health. He talked about it for himself and then elaborated on it with regard to his mother.

The whole hour might be the best hour I’ve ever seen at Dragon Con, he was that good. Heck, he was good enough that I kinda want to see Shazam (and I am not a fan of that character).

An excursion to the Art Show and Tessera Guild’s own Amanda Makepeace was in booth number 1! If you haven’t checked out her work before or it’s just been a while, go here and let your eyes get a good look at what an extremely talented artist (and better person) can do.

And after the convention was over, I found out she won Best SciFi in the DragonCon 2019 art show for “Saturn’s Twilight.” (her 3rd year in a row!)

Saturn’s Twilight by Amanda Makepeace

With every Dragon Con comes the big panel… the one I crawled out of bed for: the Venture Bros Panel!

Given that we are in-between seasons. And given that seasons take 2 years to come out, I wasn’t sure what this one would bring. I knew the two creators wouldn’t be there, but I also knew the voice actors can be extremely amusing. And that was definitely the case as they answered question after question from the fans. Then, with about 20 minutes left, they got Doc Hammer on Skype, and he had a puppet of Dr. Mrs. The Monarch on his arm. While the connection was spotty for most of it, it was a real treat to have him there virtually. Hopefully, they can all come out next year and really show out.

With all the fun and games mostly done, it was time to journey back to the Dealers’ Room again. On Friday we’d seen 3 of the 4 floors, so it was a moral imperative to venture up to the last floor )(comics and pop-culture). Yet, that pesky line was an issue again, save this time it wrapped around part of the America’s Mart Building 1 and then 3/4 of Building 2. The whole process was about 25 minutes (faster than I would have thought). Considering those early Dragon Cons I went to had a strong presence, it’s just good to see the comics being embraced again after so many years of not being cared about.

After hurrying through that last piece, we had one last panel on Webcomics to go and watch. Robert Jeffrey (Route 3 and many things on this site) and Tony Cade (Editor-in-Chief of Terminus Media) were both on the panel, so I figured it was a good idea to be supportive! After listening to the questions by the audience, I think that the biggest take-away from that panel or really any writing/art panel is that you just have to sit down and start doing your thing. And then, at some point, you need to finish that thing and put it out there for people to see and read. So many people have these half done or barely started projects (me included) that really just need to get completed.

Dinner with Robert followed as we talked about comics and the convention. Normally, that ride/drive back home is a bit more melancholy as I reflect upon another year in the books. This ride home was more of a celebration of the con, the projects Robert and I have worked on (and are currently working on). It made the ride pass far too quickly.

Just like the convention itself.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Dragon Con 2019 – Review Part 1

This was a slightly different Dragon Con Experience. Normally we have a 4-day pass (although, Thursday is now a hopping place and people are really getting things going on Wednesday. Soon it will just be a whole week of debauchery!). This year we didn’t have the 4-day and made the executive decision to buy a Friday and a Sunday pass (and go ahead and pre-purchase the 4-day for 2020). This means we are going to need to cram 4 days into 2 days.

As it turned out, this was probably the best decision we could have made… but more on that below.

FRIDAY

One of the nice things about doing the day passes was that there was nearly no line on either Friday morning (around 9 AM) or Sunday (9 AM as well). Maybe it got busier as the day progressed, but it did seem off that the day-of line would be so little, but the pre-purchased might have a longer line (or at least it did on Thursday for some people).

I normally go through the schedule and pick about 3 to 4 panels to go to every hour. This way if something has too long of a line or they cut the line off we have a back-up plan (and sometimes a back-up to that back-up). It also comes in handy on Sunday when your legs don’t want to do much more walking and the next panel is 4 hotels away:

“Hmmm… what’s happening in THIS hotel?”

I’d went through the schedule and found a handful of things on both days. There wasn’t so much Courtney “centric” things that she saw, but since we both watch most of the same things, it works out. First thing, we tried for the David Tennent line. Now, while I have watched Doctor Who, I have not really seen his Doctor (yes, I understand this is blasphemy… hey, Netflix removed them just as I was starting to watch). We were in line about 30+ minutes and was told the room was full.

Great way to start the day off!

This actually threw off our plans since we were going to do that and then head over to be one of the first for the Dealer’s room, but this meant we had an extra hour to kill. So kill it dead, we did by hanging out in the gaming room, grabbing food, and then having to walk around America’s Mart in order to get into the Dealer’s area.

Image by Emilie Farris from Pixabay

They were on 4 floors this year (2 years ago they were on 3). They had the comics/pop art on the 4th floor and I’ll give them credit when you actually support the funny books, you can get a nice turn-out. Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman, Demattis were there (to name a few). The only companies were Aftershock and Scout (I think that’s right), but I was impressed considering it wasn’t so long ago they were in the closet.

It took us about 45 minutes per floor. They had the usual stuff. Not much in the board games, which I’ve seen CMON there in the past and I don’t think they had a booth. A couple of 1/2 trades places. A couple of older comic book dealers, and then some guy who had “grab bags” of comics. Look, I don’t understand the Mystery Box thing, but do your thing, right? So Court saw the booth and asked if I wanted to take a look and I said, it’s grab bags, I’m good. And the owner is right there and does the whole “No, they’re great. Guaranteed a variant cover, blah, blah, blah.”

Yeah, I’m good. I don’t need random variant cover for a funny book I didn’t want in the first place. I’m sure it’s great. It’s just not for me.

Courtney managed to find a bunch of decals related to Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, and Firefly that she got for her car. I didn’t buy anything… nothing grabbed me hard enough. Plus, I was counting on some additional time on Sunday (mistake!) to potentially find some comics.

We had a panel at 4 or 4:30 on Indy comics. You know, one of those panels where I’m hoping to glean some additional knowledge from the panelists on steps to take or just some general tips. And while there were some good ones, it was a little disheartening to hear from more than one of them that the best way to get an Indy book is to work for Marvel and DC first.

Blink… blink…

That’s not all they said, but it was kind of funny that a couple of them agreed that’s how they got into the correct position to do an Indy comic.

Then we went to an Arrow/Legends panel where only Paul Blackthorne was there (even though 2 others were on the list). They never made any mention of it. I liked him in Arrow. I really liked him in Dresden Files. But it was just odd that it was only him.

However, this is when the strangeness happened:

I learned something un-Con related this year: I’m suddenly allergic to Aleve. During the Indy comic panel, I took some and within an hour my face looked like Sloth from Goonies.

Aleve is something that I started taking for aches and pains and headaches for about 10 years now. When we were playing a ton of softball maybe 5 years ago, I was taking it every other day some weeks. Never had a problem. About 2 or 3 months ago, I had my lip swell up. This is something that I sometimes get over the years (Courtney does not believe this even after I’ve explained that it was only enough swelling that I noticed, no one else really would). The swelling would happen, and in a couple of hours, it would go back down. Mostly, I never thought anything of it. Occasionally, I would think “I wonder if I ate something I’m allergic to” but then forget about it. Anyway, I had an episode where the swelling was enough for Court to see. So I recorded everything I ate that day (I didn’t think about the Aleve). Maybe a month later, it happened again, but none of the same foods, and I didn’t think about the Aleve. During Gen Con I actually took Aleve at least once, but I don’t remember having a swollen lip.

Anyway, about 3 weeks ago, I had a reaction where my eye swelled up and it was in the back of my mind suddenly. Then I took some at DCon, on an empty stomach… and yeah, my Friday night and Saturday was pretty much me on the couch with a cold compress on my eyes, waiting for the swelling to go down. I talked with my mom (a nurse) because I wasn’t sure if this was something I needed to go to an Urgent Care or whatever, but she said that as long as I saw it getting better over the course of Saturday, I was good.

This happened about 6:30 and we got some Benadryl from one of the hotel stores and then headed home. Fun stuff. Being allergic to Aleve means I’m pretty much allergic to Asprin and Ibuprophen products, so it is Tylenol for me only now.

Just weird how it has occurred over the last couple of months, during a time when I haven’t been taken pain killers all that often.

***

Next week we can find out if the swelling did go back down, or if I just embraced my new “swollen” look!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

Dragon Con – Everything Pop Culture

My wife heard an advertisement on the radio today about Dragon Con which said that its focus is “Everything Pop Culture”.

I guess that is true. Or maybe, that’s become true.

There are a few ways to look at it. I immediately jumped to the idea that Dragon Con has grown (for better or worse) into this Convention Behemoth. In my previous Dragon Con reviews, I’ve mentioned that I’ve been going for probably 25 years at this point. I’ve watched it twist and change and contort itself over that amount of time. And really, it doesn’t share those old focuses anymore. Whether it is the idea of not supporting comic books for the better part of a decade (at least) to the point that the amount of “artist alley” folks could fit into what really was a glorified closet… or whether it is pushing some of the roleplaying related things out as well (tons of companies used to be there). Those things were traded over time to focus on other things. Things that were still very much “nerd culture”, just in the form of cartoons and tv shows (think Xena and Battlestar Galactica) and movies that only those of us there had ever really heard of (Firefly, Dresden Files). Even embracing the costuming/cosplay people with open arms, giving them a place to fly their own geek flags.

It’s all been about changing from what it was way back then.

And don’t miss the mark- this isn’t one of those things where the old man goes off on how things were “better in my day”. Do I miss some of that stuff? Yeah, sure, but I don’t dislike what it has become either. The fact that it is now showcasing things which are considered “Pop Culture” and it isn’t said in a derogatory fashion. It’s crazy.

Courtney, upon hearing this, took it to mean exactly that. Being able to go and see the actors from your favorite shows/movies, but still having the ability to showcase some of the “other” stuff in there as well. She would have never enjoyed that mid-90s version of Dragon Con. She likes the stars and the panels where they talk to us about their current projects and what might be coming down the line.

And that’s great.

I also love that authors are beyond welcome at Dragon Con. That many of them make it a specific point to venture down to Atlanta for the show. I can’t count the number of panels with novelists and RPG creators I’ve sat in on trying to glean some pieces of insight. That’s not an opportunity every convention can offer.

Or what about that lost decade for comic books and related panels? With the Marvel movies setting records over and over, the comic books have been let back into play with everyone else. They now have a whole floor at the Apparel Mart where the artists can show their wares.

Really, what it gets back to is this idea that everything doesn’t have to be for you (me in this case) to enjoy it. But to have things you do enjoy being embraced by this convention in any fashion only will create more possibilities in the future. One of my co-workers sees the convention entirely differently than I do. He and his girlfriend don’t really get going until the late afternoon. They are there for the concerts and the late-night festivities. I wouldn’t know what any of that even is.

And that’s the beauty of Dragon Con.

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Gen Con 2019 Recap – Part Two

To read Part One, click here.

***

When we last heard from our heroes, they’d gone from the highest highs to back to back not-so-much-fun games. We had a couple of hours to kill after the last game, which of course meant another visit to the Dealer’s Room… which really meant trying to remember where we’d left off the day before so that we could ensure seeing all that we could. Personally, I wasn’t really looking for anything, in particular, this year. The last two times I’d ended up buying a game the last day we were there (and haven’t played either), so while there were a ton of games I might have liked to scoop up, I managed a bit of self-discipline (at least for now). After dinner and a stop by the room, we ventured into the realms of Space and Horror.

Alien

Alien was the best game I played at the convention. Hands down. It is still in the final stages of the playtest, and the adventure was a part of that (I’m pretty sure that’s right). When we showed up, the two Game Masters ended up taking 5 players each and running the session for us. In an odd twist, Egg and Lee played under one GM and I played under another… which, I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out since part of the reason we go to these things is the “shared” experience. Still, we pressed on.

One of the cool things is this is another of the games from Free League Publishing and uses the Year Zero Engine (a d6 system). Having played Tales from the Loop at my first Gen Con as well as playing in a few sessions of Mutant Year Zero, it was pretty comfortable. This was supposed to go from 10 to midnight, though the GM warned us it could go a little over. It went until about 1:30 (the other GM finished up maybe 10 minutes before my group).

The slow burn of the game was very apparent. The players knew that they were in for it, but our characters were clueless. One interesting thing we had on our character sheets were “secret” motivations. It could be that you are really a Synth or you are a spy or you are out for revenge. Mine was to ensure that word of what was happening on the planet (you know, with the aliens running around killing all the humans they can) never get out. After a long adventure, I was forced to leave my commander behind and escaped the planet as the only survivor.

After the game, we stayed up waaaay too late and talked about the Alien movies and Lee started laying out his idea for an actual campaign (which I’m very much looking forward to playing).

Day 3

Geist 2E

Last year we signed up for a Geist game, got confused, and then ended up playing a 2-hour demo rather than the actual full session. Not falling for that again, we made it to our real session at 10 AM. If Alien was my favorite game, Geist has me as my favorite setting from the convention. Playing someone who nearly died, you end up making a deal to fuse with a Ghost. This provides you with some supernatural abilities, a way to observe the Underworld, and a voice in your head from time to time. Now your job is to help those ghosts who cannot move on.

The setting reminds me of Angel, Dresden Files, and The Frighteners (especially the Frighteners). As we were playing the session (where an acquaintance of our characters had been falsely executed for a series of murders he did not commit), I couldn’t help but write down ideas for a potential game. Later that night, I pulled out my notebook and filled 3 pages with various bits and pieces and questions for myself. I’d love to build a campaign for the world (heck, I’d love to write books in the world!).

Dragon Age

I’m a big fan of the video games, and while we’d played one session with the rules, I was interested in seeing how things played out when you were with others who really knew the system. This was a session with level 16 characters (I believe that is correct), which was cool since I don’t normally play in campaigns that last until those power levels (normally the story is over around level 10ish). The one hiccup is that when you have the more powerful folk, it means you have more options… so there is a little bit of a learning curve.

Regardless, the GM was full of energy (even if she did occasionally lose her train of thought – then again, it was Saturday evening at Gen Con, we were all losing our trains of thought). She ran a great session, did a great job of laying out the scenes. And was obviously a big fan of the video games (and the written material of the world). To top it off, the other player running around with us was a writer for the “Faces of Thedas” supplement – Jamie Wood.

 

We had another gaming session scheduled for 8 to midnight, but we made an executive decision to bail on the game. It isn’t something we like doing, but we were completely worn out from the late-night sessions going over… and we had the handy excuse that Dedren Snead (who is a comic book writer/creator of Sorghum and Spear as well as about 50 other projects – he makes me feel very lazy) had found us and was experiencing his first GenCon, so we grabbed dinner and walked around for a bit, soaking up that last night.

Day 4

A final trip to the Dealer’s Room had us run into Danny O’Neill (of Hammerdog Games). Danny had run a Call of Cthulu game for us at my first Gen Con and we’d been friends ever since. He was on a mission to secure artists for his next project, so we followed him around for a bit, gleaning what we could, and seeing the world through his eyes for a bit.

The last trip through the room is always a bit sad. You know it is only a small amount of time before you’ll be back on the road and then back to your normal lives. And so, in keeping with tradition, I did end up buying a game on Sunday: Shipwreck Arcana. It is a cooperative logic and math-based card game that I bought mostly on a whim after watching about 2 minutes of a demo. The artwork is very cool, and, in the days since the convention, I can actually say I’ve played about 5 or 6 games with Courtney and we really like the game!

***

Another year of way too much laughter and fun (well, you can never have too much). I’m still glad that Egg and Lee convinced me to start going to this convention. Makes me wonder what possibilities we missed all those other years!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Gen Con 2019 Recap – Part One

For a third year, I managed to make the pilgrimage up north to the great state of Indiana and another installment of how many hours of sleep does a person truly need.

Also known as Gen Con 2019!

This year we stayed at the Westin, which was amazing as we were directly across the street from the Convention Center. It meant we could sleep in another 10 minutes or so, and when it came time to walk back to the hotel, it wasn’t a 15-minute walk, but more like a 5 minute one.

Day 1

Heroic Dark

Thursday began with a 10 AM game of Heroic Dark, which was developed by the same guy who did the Sythicide game (of which I ran a short campaign of around 10 to 12 sessions last year). Heroic Dark comes with an interesting premise in that the group gathered to play end up coming up with the setting and genre that they are going to play. The Creator mentioned that he’d game mastered a previous game where it ended up being Sailor Moon style girls fighting the big bad. Basically, each person has the opportunity to add something to the game based on some categories laid out before you: Monsters, Magic, Races, etc. So you could end up with anything from a Fantasy world to a world where, due to the development of some wickedly awful technology, humanity is now using demon parts in order to build their mechs. And the Angels have had enough, vowing to terraform the planet in order to start over.

We’d laid out a bunch of thoughts: Demons, zombies, mechs, terraforming, angels, and so on, and that’s where we ended up. Then, the GM had about 10 minutes to come up with some kind of story to run us through. Talk about putting yourself under some pressure. But he managed to bring together an adventure where the spare demon parts were disappearing, and it was up to us to figure out what was happening to them (turns out the Angels were purifying them and then using the now holy parts to fuel their own war machines).

The game is currently available in playtest form, with a Kickstarter likely due next year. You can find the game here!

Mutants and Masterminds

Normally when it comes time to pick the games, I leave it mostly to Egg, as he is the game guru. However, since the very first year, I’d wanted to find a way into a Mutants and Masterminds game. I’d read and heard, over the years, that if you wanted to play a superhero roleplaying game, it was the one to go to. This session ended up being a jaunt back in time to the Golden Age of comic books. A time when the Flash was not Barry Allen or Wally West, but a man named Jay Garick. A time where Superman leaped over buildings rather than fly.

Running as the Justice Society, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Hawkman, and Hawkgirl (yours truly) attempted to save a woman wrongly convicted of murdering her husband… but we only had a handful of hours before she would be sent to the electric chair. Mobsters were rattled, giant robots were battled, a train was stopped from going over the edge of a ravine, and the mastermind foiled!

Using a pre-generated character was interesting, but it also meant there were TONS of stats to navigate through. All three of us liked the game but wondered how easy it would be to pick up if you were starting a new character using the system.

 

It was finally time to sneak over to the Dealers Room, which was just as enormous as it had been in previous years. It always seems like the first time in that room you are just trying to get a foothold on where some things are located. Throughout the weekend, Lee and I managed to make it through the whole thing probably twice, which is our best run at it so far.

After dinner, we ventured over to Lucas Oil Stadium to play on the field.

Amber

I kid Egg about diceless games, saying that they are Communist. Mostly I prefer games with dice… then again, I don’t have the horrible luck he does (seriously, it is odds defying). Amber is one of those diceless games that’s been around for decades, but none of us had ever played. Based on a series of novels I learned a few things about the game.

First, the people who are into Amber, are REALLY into Amber. Think of your favorite series of books (probably Game of Thrones or Dark Tower for me) and then multiply that love you feel for them by a hundred… and you’d still be short. They know everything about the world… everything…

Which can make it a little bit to penetrate such a thick history. The story seemed to trump everything throughout this session, which I’m not sure if that is how most Amber games go, or just more of a GM preference. I must admit that this one didn’t work for me. In addition, it ran over by 2 1/2 hours, so we didn’t get done until 2:30 in the morning, which threw off our schedules a bit for the remainder of the weekend (that lack of sleep starts here).

 

Day 2

Song of Ice and Fire

Sleeping as late as we could, our next game was to see the Song of Ice and Fire game system. However, when we arrived we realized that this game wasn’t exactly what we thought it would be when we selected it. Using the roleplaying game’s rules as a base, it was really a LARP (Live Action Roleplaying) which meant that you moved around the room and interacted with other players while a Jousting tournament was going on.

I just wasn’t in the right mindset for this one. Maybe it was the experience from the night before or just not getting locked in with my character, but I wasn’t feeling it. The session was interesting enough though, and some of the moves people did during the game turned out to be very interesting. The final recap at the very end opened my eyes to some of the possibilities I might have been able to explore had I been a little more engaged.

***

That’s the end of Part 1, next week I’ll finish up Day 2 and reveal the best game I played all weekend (by the same company as a Best game of Gen Con from a couple of years ago!).

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

On the Road Again

This weekend is one of the largest gaming conventions, Gen Con, takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Along with Egg Embry and Leland Beauchamp, it will be my 3rd year of playing way too many games, walking all over downtown Indy, and trying our best to get a couple of winks of sleep in there as well.

I never know what is going to happen. I have a couple of predictions though:

If Lil’ Egg Embry has to miss a gaming session, it will either be the “Best Game of the Weekend” or at least feature “Some Cool Mechanic that we need in our games!”.

We will be cramming our faces with food because we don’t know how to schedule a true “break”.

We’ll all be very sad and tired on Sunday to leave…

Since I’m in the process of packing tonight, one of the things that this blog has provided is to help remind me of the moments that might get lost in the maze of my mind:

Gen Con 2017 Reviews – Part 1 and 2

The Best Game I Played at Gen Con – Tales from the Loop

Gen Con 2018 Reviews – Part 1 and 2

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

 

PRESS RELEASE: Crafty Games: Gen Con 2019 Special Edition

Gen Con 2019 Special Edition

We interrupt our usual broadcasts to bring you news of the Best Four Days in Gaming!

Crafty Games will once again be making the annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis, and this time we’re bringing so much great stuff with us! There’s a lot to cover for this show. Here are the highlights…

New Booth Location

We are no longer in the Studio 2 block. This is our first year in Gen Pop. You can find us in Booth 2439, near the Family Fun Pavilion.

Mistborn Metal Dice

We are so excited to finally announce our next big Mistborn product…

This luxurious set includes 20 all-metal dice, each featuring a different Allomantic symbol on the 6 face PLUS a unique metal plating and finish hand-picked to represent a magic metal from the Mistborn universe. 

Down to the smallest detail, these dice are designed to be the crown jewels of your collection. We’ve worked for months with the master metal workers over at Die Hard Dice to ensure they absolutely dazzle on your gaming table.

Come by our booth and see the dice for yourself! Near-final production proofs of all 20 dice will be on display all weekend, along with a custom Mistborn dice tray we’ll be offering in the upcoming Kickstarter campaign!

Storm Hollow

Just as exciting for us: we have acquired the rights to the wildly popular roleplaying game…

Created by Escapade Games and originally Kickstarted in 2012, Storm Hollow isn’t just ENnie-nominated. It isn’t just one of the finest coming of age roleplaying games we’ve ever seen. It’s one of the finest all ages family RPGs we’ve ever seen, full stop. We can’t be happier to bring it into the Crafty Games family alongside our best-selling kids’ title, Little Wizards.

Our acquisition of Storm Hollow came with a very limited supply of the existing edition of the game – a title that’s been out of print and unavailable for some time. We’re bringing a very small quantity of the game with us to Gen Con, and the rest of this short supply is available through our webstore right now. 

Simply click on any of these images to go straight to the product page!

This isn’t the end of the story, either. We’re currently working with Escapade Games and members of their original creative team to bring an all-new edition of the game to game stores everywhere! Once again, watch this space for news as we approach this exciting relaunch of one of the most deserving games out there.

The Siege of Luthadel

We’ve been busy with the continuation of Mistborn: House War as well! Just this week we released a backer-only print and play version of the expansion, The Siege of Luthadel, and we will have full, gorgeous demo copies of it with us at Gen Con!

Yup. Vin and the Koloss are joining the party, too! Hope you can make it.

Mistborn: House War Promo Card

What’s that now? Free stuff? Yes indeed. Swing by the booth for a demo of anything and get a copy of this upstart miscreant to spice up your copy of Mistborn: House War!

Visit the Crafty Games Lab

Want a glimpse even further ahead for Crafty Games? Stop by our Lab where Alex Flagg will be testing new games we have in development. This is your chance to get directly involved in the development process. Pick the brain of one of gaming’s greatest luminaries! Lord it over your friends that you got to play their favorite game months or years early! Or just hang out with us and talk shop over a diamond in the rough for half an hour. We not picky about your motives, so long as we’re all having fun. 😃

Complete Your Collection!

Crafty Games will have its full current catalog for sale in the exhibit hall as well. Stop by for special show discounts on nearly everything, from Little Wizards Second Printing to the Mistborn Adventure Game to Mistborn: House War and more! We’ll even have the Mistborn novels there, one of which is signed by Brandon Sanderson!

Where to Find Us

Anytime you need a Crafty fix, you can find us at…

…and at retail stores worldwide!

How to Reach Us

Have a question? Missing a game component? Need a digital high-five? We got your back…

Thanks for subscribing, and for reading! We hope we’ll see you at the Best Four Days in Gaming!

Stay Crafty!


Alex, Ed, & Pat
Crafty Games

Copyright © 2019 Crafty Games, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you asked to receive updates from Crafty Games.
Our mailing address is:

Crafty Games

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LakewoodWA 98499

[UPDATED] 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date Guide 

UPDATED 2019-07-22:

After most of the first round of auctions closed, two were re-listed for a second shot at them!

 

Alligator Alley #1 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date!

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 28th July, 2019 at 1:30 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the team at Alligator Alley Entertainment  
  • Some amazing swag from Alligator Alley Entertainment 

 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #2 at the 2019 ENnie Awards

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 28th July, 2019 at 2:17 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Petersen Games team   
  • Some Petersen Games swag! 

 

NOT A RE-LIST BUT ENDS THIS WEEK:

Dwarven Forge. – 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date

AUCTION ENDS: Wednesday, 24th July, 2019 at 3:32 PM EST 

REWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Dwarven Forge team
  • “A painted Starter Dungeon set! The set includes 19 pieces in pure Dwarvenite to start off (or top off) your dungeon. This set comes fully hand painted”

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

Want to step up your RPG freelancing game? RPG publisher looking to shake up the industry? Are you a fan of award-winning RPGs? Going to the ENnie Awards at Gen Con 2019? Chaosium, Cubicle 7, Magpie Games, Pelgrane Press, Petersen Games, and more will be there and they want to hang out with you! The ENnie Awards (the Oscars of tabletop RPGs) are auctioning off seats with these publishers as well as swag. On eBay, they’re offering you the chance to get some one-on-one time with some of the best creators in the industry!  

Each year, I write an “ENnie Awards Dream Date Guide” to share these fantastic opportunities for fans, freelancers, and publishers. Curious what the prior options? Check them out here: 2017 and 2018. 

In 2017, I won a “date” with Cubicle 7 and could not have been happier with the experience then and since. We sat at a table right in front of the stage, they shared industry tales, introduced me to other creators, and hooked me up with Adventures in Middle-earth books and maps (print and PDF). The cherry on that night was when they won an award while I was there. I went from random fan to someone that C7 talks with every time I see them. The experience boosted me as an RPG fan, journalist, and creator, and I would recommend it to anyone that’s interested in RPGs whether a fan, a freelancer, or a publisher. To that end, let’s review these dates! 

Cubicle 7 and Egg (shorts) at the ENnie Awards 2017. [Egg is going for a record for re-using this image.]

But, before we do, here’s a few notes: 

The 2019 ENnie Awards are held August 2nd, 2019 at 8pm at Gen Con! Don’t forget to vote for the ENnie Awards here. [Auction] winners must have a valid Gen Con badge [not provided] to attend the ENnie Awards and [the winners are] responsible for any associated expenses with attending Gen Con in Indianapolis, IN. All proceeds from the Dream Date auction are used to fund the production of the ENnie Awards each year. Egg Embry is not a part of the ENnie Awards. He writes these dream date guides for fun.  

See all of the auctions here. 

Cubicle 7 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Saturday, 20th July, 2019 at 3:30 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Cubicle 7 creative team 
  • A signed copy of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Rulebook - Up for two ENnies this year! 

Cubicle 7 is the creative team behind many ENnie nominated and winning products! These include 2019 nominated Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition, The One Ring Roleplaying Game, Adventures in Middle-earth, Age of Sigmar Roleplaying Game, The Doctor Who Card Game, Doctor Who Roleplaying Game, and many, many more. 

EGG’S THOUGHTSI’ve met C7 on multiple occasions and they’re nice, nice, nice. You’ll have a good time, they’ll keep you entertained, and, if you’re interested in one of their properties (Lord of the Rings, Warhammer, Doctor Who), they will share more insight into their worlds than you can handle.  

But one of the hottest options for this night is the swag. If C7’s Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Rulebook picks up either, or both, of the ENnies it’s up for, your signed copy will become something of a gaming artifact: The signed ENnie Awards Dream Date Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Core Rulebookfrom the night it won ENnies.  

Pelgrane Press – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Saturday, 20th July, 2019 at 1:45 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Pelgrane Press team including CathrionaCat” Tobin, Ken Hite and Robin Laws 
  • Hideous Creatures t-shirt  
  • Hideous Creatures – Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos book  
  • A GM ribbon  
  • Pelgrane Press button 

Pelgrane Press Ltd is a British role-playing game publishing company behind many ENnieAward winning products! This year is no exception, as they are up for multiple 2019 ENnies! Pelgrane Press currently produces Fall of Delta Green, Trail of Cthulhu, Night’s Black Agents, 13th Age, the Diana Jones award-winning Hillfolk RPG, the Dying Earth Roleplaying Game, and other related products. 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: Hideous Creatures – Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos is up for an ENnie Award this year and is a part of the swag the winner of this auction gets. As I mentioned with C7’s swag above, if this book wins then your copy defaults to a piece of gaming history, the ENnie Awards Dream Date Hideous Creatures – Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos.

2019 JUDGES ENnie Awards Dream Date 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 12:30 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with 2019 ENnie Awards judges, Brian Nowak, Ben Adelman and Chris Gath  
  • The winner will also receive some amazing swag custom tailored to your gaming interests. Value of the prize pack will be at least $50 over that final auction bid!
    At end of the auction, winner will receive an email asking for your tastes in genre (Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, board games, etc…) We will do our best to match it with a selection of items that have been submitted to the ENnies and award them to you the night of the awards 

EGG’S THOUGHTSIf you’re a gamer, this will probably be the best swag deal of the convention as they’ll provide you with a lot of games (the judges get plenty throughout the year).

If you’re a publisher, it might open doors to talk with the judges to learn more about judging criteria, which could lead to improved products through your studio.  

 

Magpie Games – ENnie Awards Dream Date 2019 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 1:00 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with Magpie Games team  
  • One of Magpie’s main product lines:  
    • Masks pack - a copy of the core book, supplement, one deck and a set of dice  

 Or  

    • Zombie World pack - a copy of the core book, both supplements, and a set of Kickstarter Exclusive Cards 

Magpie Games is a multi-ENnie Award nominated and winning game development and production company devoted to creating interesting, innovative, boundary-pushing, and most of all high-quality games across a wide variety of genres and styles. The majority of Magpie’s productions are tabletop roleplaying games, ranging from games designed to recreate disaster movies, to games designed to tell the stories of baby dragons on adventures, to gritty games about supernatural criminals and power brokers. Since its inception, Magpie Games has released many games, including Urban Shadows, Epyllion: A Dragon Epic, Masks: A New GenerationandBluebeard’s Bride. 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #1 at the 2019 ENnie Awards 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 1:15 PM EST 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #2 at the 2019 ENnie Awards 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 2:15 PM EST 

Petersen Games – Dream Date with Sandy #3 at the 2019 ENnie Awards 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 3:15 PM EST 

NOTEThere are three dream dates being hosted by the Petersen Games team 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Petersen Games team   
  • Some Petersen Games swag! 

Petersen Games was founded to make games with top-grade components, amazing art, and great depth of gameplay. Their games include the immensely popular Cthulhu Wars, All Orcs Must Die! and Theomachy. In addition, Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5E is up for an ENnie this year! 

Game Designer,Sandy Petersenfirst conceived of the idea of doing a roleplaying game based on H. P. Lovecraft’s stories. That original idea, the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, is still in print today. Since that time, Sandy has worked on many tabletop products, including helping develop the original Arkham Horror board game. He also spent almost 20 years in the computer gaming industry, as a designer on the teams that produced Civilization, Doom, Quake, the Age of Empire series, and Halo Wars. He returned to the world of tabletop gaming with the famed Cthulhu Wars strategy game, and now he is Chief Creative Officer of his own company. 

EGG’S THOUGHTSI’m hoping the “Petersen Games swag” includes a copy of Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5E since it is up for an ENnie this year. Obviously, it’s not mentioned in the swag (that’s ambiguous), but if the game wins, having a copy gotten at the awards ceremony will be a special memento of gaming.  

Alligator Alley #1 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 1:30 PM EST 

Alligator Alley #2 – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 2:30 PM EST 

NOTE: There are two dream dates being hosted by Alligator Alley Entertainment 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the team at Alligator Alley Entertainment  
  • Some amazing swag from Alligator Alley Entertainment 

Alligator Alley Entertainment is the publisher of adventure games including Witch Hunter: the Invisible World,Esper Genesis, andDemonbane Chronicles 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: Alligator Alley is the company behind Esper Genesis (sci-fi D&D 5e), which I reviewed for Knights of the Dinner Table #262. When I see them at cons, they’re always ready to talk and share lots of good information about being a small publisher that is making it. Plus, freelancer tales and more. Well worth checking out.  

Executive Creative Director of Games at Andrews McMeel Universal, Daniel D. Fox. HONEST! Would I lie?!

Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios – 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 2:00 PM EST 

Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios #2- 2019 ENnie Dream Date! 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 3:00 PM EST 

NOTE: There are two dream dates for the Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios table 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the team at Andrews McMeel Universal and Grim & Perilous Studios, the team behind the twice GoldENnie winner from 2018! 
  • Zweihänder(pdf and print) 
  • Main Gauche (pdf and print) 
  • Character Folio(pdf and print) 
  • GM screen (pdf and print) 
  • Monster Cards (pdf+print) 
  • Injury & Mishap Cards (pdf and print) 
  • One voucher of Zweihander Player’s Handbook(pdf and print) as it releases in December 
  • Drinks at the ENnies (must be over 21) 

Andrews McMeel Universal (AMU) is an American media corporation based in Kansas City, Missouri. It was founded in 1970 by Jim Andrews and John McMeel. AMU is passionate about discovering authors and creators who have a distinct point of view. They nurture humorous and inspirational voices that they believe have the potential to be both profound and popular. They respect the creator’s vision as the primary source of inspiration at every stage, offering an individualized, flexible approach to publishing success. 

Daniel D. Fox is the founder of Grim & Perilous Studios, an independent publisher of over 30 titles since its inception. Dan is an author and game designer, having won the gold ENnie for Best Game and Product of the Year at Gen Con 2018 for ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG. His break-out success withZWEIHÄNDER was featured on Forbes.com, and recognized by Kickstarter as one of their Projects We Love. ZWEIHÄNDER is ranked one of the best-selling tabletop games of all time at DriveThruRPG, with over 90,000 copies sold worldwide. Daniel is the Executive Creative Director of Games at Andrews McMeel Universal. 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: First, the winning bid gets hundreds of dollars worth of great gaming!

Second, I interviewed Daniel D. Fox (Zweihänder) at Origins Game Fair and can say he’s a fun guy to hang out with. Creators and publishers, part of Daniel’s job at Andrews McMeel Universal is finding the next hit RPG and bringing it to AMU. AMU has lent muscle to ZWEIHÄNDER as they’re stocked at Barnes & Nobles next to D&D, Pathfinder, Starfinder, and Star Wars. I am *NOT* saying Daniel will take your pitch or product, but I am saying that AMU is going to be a growing player in the world of RPG and it’d be good to talk to their ECD of Games.  

Chaosium Inc. – 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date 

AUCTION ENDS: Sunday, 21st July, 2019 at 4:00 PM EST 

AWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Chaosium team  
  • Miskatonic University the Restricted Collection Boardgame 
  • Chaosium Clandestine Game case Poker Chip set (special item from Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter) 
  • Chaosium “tuxedo”black t-shirt 
  • One of these three premium game sets: 
    • RuneQuest:Roleplaying in Glorantha slipcase Set + PDF 

 OR  

    • Call of Cthulhu slipcase set + PDF 

 OR  

    • Masks of Nyarlathotep slipcase set + PDF 

Chaosium was founded by visionary game designer Greg Stafford in 1975. For more than forty years, Chaosium has captivated gamers, readers and mythic adventurers worldwide. Its award-winning roleplaying games, boardgames and fiction have been acclaimed as some of the most engaging and innovative of all time. 

EGG’S THOUGHTS: Picking your swag will be a challenge as your choices include more than one product that is up for an ENnie this year. This is a good problem for the winner to have because they know they’re choosing between strength and strength. 

Dwarven Forge. – 2019 ENnie Awards Dream Date

AUCTION ENDS: Wednesday, 24th July, 2019 at 3:32 PM EST 

REWARDS 

  • Attend the ENnie Awards 2019 with the Dwarven Forge team
  • “A painted Starter Dungeon set! The set includes 19 pieces in pure Dwarvenite to start off (or top off) your dungeon. This set comes fully hand painted”

Dwarven Forge was founded in 1996 by artist Stefan Pokorny, a medieval fantasy devotee and an avid Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast. After many months of painstaking design, sculpting and painting, he introduced the world’s finest pre-painted miniature terrain in 1996. Since then, Dwarven Forge has released many new sets, each fully compatible with the others, and each a new step forward in terrain design, yet maintaining a dedication to fine craft and excellent durability. These sets are built to last, and many collectors are now sharing them with their children and grandchildren.”

Again, don’t forget to vote for the ENnie Awards here then see all of the eBay auctions hereAuctions end between Saturday, 20th July, 2019 at 1:45 PM EST and Wednesday, 24th July, 2019 at 3:32 PM EST.

Press Release: Nerdburger Games Convention Season and More!

Hello NerdBurgerlings!
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on in NerdBurgerLand.

CAPERS Noir

CAPERS Noir is done and in the wild. You can check it out HERE. 68 pages of cops, criminals, mystery, and monster, for just $9.99.

The Convention Season

I’ll be at GenCon with Team NerdBurger and we’ll be running a ton of my games. Most events are full up, but you’ll be able to play CAPERS and Die Laughing at Games on Demand for large chunks of the convention. I’ve kept my evenings open for dinner and schmoozing. If you’re going to be at the convention, keep an eye on my Twitter for an update on where I am and feel free to swing by and hang out.

I’ll be at Cleveland Geekster in Cleveland, TN on Saturday, September 21. If you’re local, swing on by!

I’ll be hitting up Conapalooza with a friend on October 11-13. We’ll have a booth in the dealer hall and and we’ll both be running some of my games in the RPG area. Evenings are reserved for hanging out.

[NOTE: Egg will attend Conapalooza with Craig.]

And I’ll be at MultiverseCon in Atlanta on October 18-20. I’ll be manning a booth in the dealer hall with CAPERS graphic designer Owen. And maybe doing some other stuff. Specifics TBD.

Wanna Playtest?

I’ll be looking for playtesters for CAPERS Offworld (early 20th century retro-future sci-fi cops and rubbers with super-powers) a bit later this year. The best place to get involved with that is to get on the NerdBurger Games Discord.

CAPERS on Roll20

CAPERS is available for Roll20!
Rules. Setting. GM info. Cards. Maps. Tokens. It’s all there.

That’ll do it for now. Thanks for supporting NerdBurger Games.

Press Release: Shadowrun, Sixth World – Are you ready to risk everything?

Are you ready to risk everything?

The Sixth World. One of the most enduring RPG settings ever created, with shadows growing deeper and darker in its latest edition. Dominated by enormous, world-striding megacorporations strangling metahumanity in their clutches, by 2080 most of the planet has surrendered to these corporate overlords.

But from the darkest shadows, defiance flickers in people known as shadowrunners. They risk everything—wrestling magical energies, channeling them into power; putting their minds against the electronic void of the Matrix; trading flesh and blood for chrome and steel.

Stand up, join them, and dare to risk it all!

Shadowrun, Sixth World builds on Shadowrun’s amazingly successful legacy, becoming easier to learn and play while still providing role-playing depth. Dive into the Sixth World Beginner Box to check out all that’s coming!

LAUNCHING AT ORIGINS 2019!

Follow all of our amazing sponsors on Twitter and keep up-to-date on all the cool things they have planned for #Origins2019!
Follow our sponsors!
See you June 12-16 in Columbus, OH!

Books, Tattoos, & More Books

Hey you.

Like sci-fi, dystopian books, tipsy memoirs, or books illustrated by eight-year old kids?

I knew it.

Watch this.

 

Then go HERE. 

Free Comic Book Day 2019 – Report

This past Saturday was Free Comic Book Day. Hopefully, you were able to get out of the house and snag a handful of the freebies your local comic stores were giving away.

A few things I realized for those people who aren’t aware of Free Comic Book Day – many people didn’t realize it was a nationwide event. More than one person responded over social media that they were bummed because they weren’t in the Atlanta area. After letting them know that their local comic store was probably participating, I’m hopeful some of them managed to get into a shop.

The other thing that I don’t think plenty of people realize is that just because Saturday is the day of the event, it doesn’t mean that it is the only day to potentially go and pick up free funny books. Plenty of shops order extra copies of some of the bigger books (the Marvel and DC probably leading the pack, but plenty of the more kid-focused ones as well). So even now that it is Wednesday (New Comic Book Day!), there is a decent chance they still have some of the Free books left over from the weekend. No reason that you can’t check it out (even a couple of days late).

As I posted last week, I was participating directly as one of the guests at Galactic Quest’s Buford, Georgia location.

It was a great time. When I arrived to set up around 8:30 AM, there was a line probably 30 people deep waiting to get into the shop when it opened at 9:00 AM. Once the clock rolled over, there was a steady progression of people coming into the building for the next 30 minutes (no let up from the line until that point). Medieval Times had a couple in costume who gave out free passes to those first five people in the line. While there were a handful of comic creators (yours truly included), Galactic Quest also has a gaming area where they had people ready to teach customers about the Final Fantasy Card Game. Next door, there was a live band playing.

The best part of the day is seeing the people who cosplay. I saw a Scarlet Witch and Winter Soldier. A mom and daughter dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big (well, small) Bad Wolf. A little boy in a Miles Morales Spiderman costume along with his friend who was dressed in a Captain Marvel outfit.

For me, the day was a good one, although I must admit that I made a small(ish) mistake. Silly me thought that given it was Free Comic Book Day, that I should have plenty Gilded Age Graphic Novels ready to go. And while I did sell a few, what actually got the most looks were my two novels (The Dark That Follows and Hollow Empire). I only brought 2 copies of The Dark That Follows and they were gone by noon, while I had 5 copies of Hollow Empire to start (and ended with 1 copy left). I actually had to text Courtney to say “hey, if you are still coming by the shop, make sure to grab some copies of both books!” I probably only missed one potential sale by not having more copies with me (my fault, I thought there were more in my bag and didn’t verify).

There I am!

A good problem to have.

The other item I currently have on the table is the Gilded Age Coloring Book. It was one of the stretch goals from the Kickstarter and normally gets the response of “Wow, what a cool idea.” from people who notice it (not that they all buy it or anything, but it is a way to continue the conversation some times). I’m actually down to about two dozen copies and am now wondering if maybe I should invest in some new images for a Volume II…

Anyway, it was a great time and a great Saturday. And I even managed to snag a few comics for myself! Thanks again Galatic Quest!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

PRESS RELEASE: New Sensory-Friendly Gaming Room at Origins 2019!

Important Dates

April 28 – True Dungeon tickets live
May 4 – Event Registration live
June 3 – Early Bird pricing ends
June 12-16 – Origins Game Fair!

Origins and Path of Play founding new Sensory-Friendly Gaming Room!

We are excited to announce a partnership with charity organization Path of Play to found the Sensory-Friendly Gaming Room at #Origins2019. This initiative is aimed towards creating an inclusive space for families living with autism and foster awareness for gamers not impacted by special needs.

Attendees will be able to find this room in A115 of the convention center. It will keep the same times as the Exhibit Hall.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2Iitmsd

Costume Contest on Sunday!

Cosplay is great a way to celebrate your favorite fandom, so each year we host a Costume Contest for our attendees to showcase their creations on stage while competing for prizes

Attendees will be able to register for this event at 1pm on Sunday. The contest will begin at 2pm. Compete on stage or cheer for your favs from the audience!

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2De1Gk3
Music & Dance

Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to enjoy musical entertainment provided by Apryl Knight, Rhiannon’s Lark, Dan the Bard, and Tom Smith! Search for these performers in the Event Grid and stop by their many concerts during the show!

Anime Programming

We are so excited to partner once again with Wasabi Anime to showcase these amazing studios in the Anime Area at #Origins2019! The full schedule will be published soon, but in the meantime, get ready to share excitement for your favorite shows with fellow fans!

Early Bird Pricing Ends June 3

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Want to save a few bucks?
Register your badge today and get Early Bird Pricing!
IMPORTANT – This special pricing ends June 3, so don’t dilly-dally!
Register your badge today!
See you June 12-16 in Columbus, OH!
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RPG NEWS – Gamers in the WA State Senate

From Gen Con’s March 29th, 2019 newsletter (Gen Con at Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019):

 

Gamers in the WA State Senate

This week, Gen Con President David Hoppe joined a select group of industry professionals invited to present at the Washington State Senate’s first-ever work session focused on the tabletop gaming industry.

The work session was designed to inform Senate members about tabletop gaming’s impact on the Washington state economy and included representatives from Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Loan Shark Games, and Green Ronin Publishing. The committee, which included Washington Senators Mark Mullet and Steve Hobbs, heard about each company’s experience in starting and developing their business during a series of panels Tuesday morning on the Capitol’s campus.

The information and experience shared were invaluable in educating the state legislature on the tabletop gaming industry and community in Washington.

Gen Con at Indianapolis August 1-4, 2019

The Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo – A Review

As I wrote last week, I had a table at the 5th annual ASFE this past weekend.

Most conventions have some kind of fee to gain access to the creators and products within. I remember many years ago discovering that these smaller conventions even existed (this is pre-internet, where it felt like to find anything out about anything took rumour and innuendo and all sorts of luck). And while that one wasn’t all that big and could be walked through in less than an hour, it was cool to be able to interact a little bit with the creators.

I’ve always thought that the ASFE was a little like that except it was completely free.

Obviously, given its location in a mall in the northeast Atlanta metro area, the hope is that people who are going to see the latest Marvel movie decide to swing by the Expo and see what all the commotion is about. What this really means is that you get an interesting cross-section of people who wander through the area. There are obviously the people who know about the Expo and have come to check it out or they know one of the independent creators are going to be there with their wares. You have some people who like to support the local artists. Then you have the people who are completely unaware an event might be going on, but then are almost forced to walk through the area and hopefully, something catches their eye.

Having been there for the first one and pretty much all the other ones in between, it’s been an interesting process to watch. While there certainly has been table growth since the early days, it is more about the other stuff surrounding it where I see the greatest growth. The number of panels over the two days has increased probably ten-fold.

One of the products decorating my table space.

As to the actual interactions with the public, obviously, I am there to get my products in people’s hands. I came with copies of The Gilded Age Graphic Novel, The Gilded Age COloring Book, The Dark That Follows and Hollow Empire novels. And like any convention, you have an uphill battle in trying to convince them to purchase your wares. Of course, with some people, those who want to support the local artists, it really becomes a matter of making sure they don’t walk away empty handed.

Personally, I think I have a decent enough pitch for my stuff, but I’m sure, like everything else, it could use some refinement as well!

And, no convention would be a good one without the ability to see old friends. So many people over the last decade-plus that I’ve gotten to know through the old Terminus meetings or at these smaller conventions or those friends who always come out to support me. It is appreciated beyond what you know!

So that closes out another year of the Expo. See you next time!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

March 9-10 – The Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo

 

This weekend I will be manning a table at the annual Atlanta Science Fiction and Fantasy Expo.

Here’s the thing that makes this event so cool – it’s FREE to attend. Located inside North Dekalb Mall, you can wander in, walk through the tables and check out the various wares people are selling. Tons of creative types from artists to writers to cosplayers to comic creators and a bunch of other things I’m certainly forgetting about.

I’ll have copies of the Gilded Age Graphic Novel (something that hadn’t come back from the printers in time for last year’s Expo) as well as copies of my novels.

I’m also doing a panel with Robert Jeffrey II on the tv show Sliders at 4 PM on Saturday. So if you were a fan of the show come check us out.

Check out the website to see what other activities they have going on!

***

John McGuire is the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. The Trade paperback collecting the first 4 issues is finally back from the printers! If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!

Want to read the first issue for free? Click here! Already read it and eager for more?

Click here to join John’s mailing list.

His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow EmpireBeyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.

He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com

Con Life: On the Road Again

February has come and nearly gone! Almost every day this month has been filled with convention preparation and art making. That’s typical for February. Besides ChattaCon in January, March is when the convention season really begins to ramp up all over the country. Unlike last year, I have two conventions coming up, back to back! I’m currently prepping canvas prints and originals in my actual studio. In my extended studio, I’m working on the display for behind my table, bagging and boarding prints, and boxing up playmats, books and other merch.

My display and inventory has tripled in size over the last three years. That means I’m bringing more to each show, but it also means I’m less worried about not having enough inventory. I will have a dealer table at my next three events. It’s going to be a busy spring!

Vendor Tips

Here are a few of my vending tips for artists.

  1. Have a bottle of water handy – When you’re talking to attendees all day long your throat will get dry. It’s not uncommon for artists to lose their voice after a long a weekend.
  2. Bring a backup battery – For your phone or tablet. Chances are you’ll be using one of these to run credit cards sales.
  3. Be prepared for anything – That might be easier said than done, but do it. Example: You’re vending at a smaller event. You might be thinking, I don’t need to bring as much inventory to this convention, do I? I don’t really need to bring my big display, do I? I say, whatever the size of the event, you should always be at your best and you never know–that small event could be your best show of the month.
  4. Bring pens for signing stuff – Sometimes it’s the little things that are the easiest to forget!
  5. Stock your own kitchen – I usually bring food for breakfast, snacks if I don’t have time for lunch, extra coffee for the room, etc. You save a money this way if you’re only going out to eat once a day.

Convention Schedule

March

March 9th and 10th – Atlanta SciFi & Fantasy Expo – Decatur, GA

March 15th-17th – MidSouthCon 37 – Memphis, TN

April

April 26th – 28th – JordanCon – Atlanta, GA

Convention Updates

LibertyCon ran into a serious issue with their hotel. They’ve had to not only change hotels for this year’s convention, but also change dates. The con will now be held June 28-30th at the Marriott and Chattanooga Convention Center.

I’ll return with an update in late March!

Con Life: ChattaCon and The Read House

I’ve only been home from ChattaCon a few days. Those first two days were spent catching up on emails and sleep. I’m still working my way through my inbox but I’m nearly caught up. One of the challenges of attending conventions is keeping up with obligations that don’t go away just because you’re out of town. As many artists do, I have numerous responsibilities I juggle beyond my own art. Wednesday was posting day for the Bird Whisperer Project. I had to create the banner for the next Changeling Artist Collective auction and begin enticing our artists to participate. Plus, I’m running a Kickstarter for a limited edition enamel pin! Now, I’m taking a moment to look back at what was a fantastic start to the new year.

Last weekend was the 44th ChattaCon in Chattanooga, TN. My friend, artist Charles Urbach was the Artist Guest of Honor, alongside Timothy Zahn, the Author Guest of Honor. Can you guess the theme of this year’s con? That was no moon in the skies over Chattanooga last weekend!

The Read House

Wow… The 1926 building recently underwent extensive restoration (parts are still unfinished). Staying here is an experience whether you’re attending a convention or just getting away for the weekend.

You can read more about the history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Read_House_Hotel

Every inch of the hotel was stunning, a work of art on its own. Sunday they did have a small hiccup with the elevators, but this only added to the experience. I ended up needing to take stairs down from the hotel room and ended up in an unfinished part of the hotel. It was tempting to explore, but I needed to get to a panel.

I also may or may not have seen a supernatural occurrence…

The Art Show

I won 2 awards this year!! Forest Scouts won 3rd Place for Professional Fantasy and Remnants won 2nd Place for Professional Science Fiction.

Ironically, I wasn’t originally planning to bring Remnants to the Art Show. It ended up being a backup piece when another sold. At the time, I was disappointed. Now? Not so much! If I could have done anything different with this show, it would have been to bring more art. I was caught a bit off guard this winter when I realized how much I’d sold at my last two shows (IlluxCon and DragonCon). Sometimes that’s unavoidable. Selling art is a good thing! I sold a few more pieces at this show, so I have my work cut out for me in February.

Next month I’ll be preparing for two March events. Maybe I’ll share a few photos from the chaos of con prep. I’ll also share some of my personal tips for running a vendor table at a convention, which is what I’ll be doing at both events.

Atlanta SciFi & Fantasy Expo – Decatur, GA

MidSouthCon 37 – Memphis, TN

Convention Schedule Updates

I’ve added two new events since I last posted. I’ll be returning to the IlluxCon Showcase in Reading, PA (October 25th & 26th). Brand new to my calendar is Conjuration, November 15th-17th in Atlanta, GA. I’ll be sharing more on these in the future.

 

Till next time…

PRESS RELEASE – Get Your Gen Con 2019 Badges Now, and Check Out New Shows on Gen Con TV This Week

Gen Con Returns to Indianapolis
August 1-4, 2019!

Badge Registration Now Open

Badges for Gen Con 2019 are now available! Head over to gencon.com to create your account if you’re joining us for the first time, or to update your information if you’re a Gen Con veteran. Information about badge pricing and other details can be found here.

Skip the lines! Select USPS Priority Mail during check out to have your items mailed to you. Already bought your badge but forgot shipping? Never fear! You can update this setting on your My Profile page until June 16th.

If you have any questions or run into any trouble,  first check out the Account Information page, and if you still have questions, shoot us an email at customerservice@gencon.com and we’ll get you sorted!

Buy your badge today and secure your spot at The Best Four Days in Gaming! 
Check Out Gen Con TV This Week

Just bought your badge and can’t wait for Gen Con? We can’t either! Four days of gaming and fun just wasn’t enough for us, so we’re bringing a little bit of Gen Con to you throughout the year on Gen Con TV! Below, you’ll find two new shows we’re launching this week that we think you’ll love.

TableTakes Presented by Gen Con
TableTakes is a weekly tabletop news show, streamed live from our studio! Gather ’round the table with our hosts to catch up on the news and geek out with us about all the latest in the world of tabletop gaming! Catch the show weekly on Fridays at 11 am (Pacific) / 2 pm (Eastern) on twitch.tv/gencontv and the recording later that day on our YouTube channel.
Game Night with The Brothers Murph
You know them, you love them, or if not, you’re certainly about to. The Brothers Murph live up to their name in that they’re actually brothers, and on top of that, they make you feel like you’re part of the family. We’ve partnered with them to bring you a great variety gaming show filled with laughter, fun, and giveaways! You’ll find them playing the latest in new releases, and some good ol’ favorites. Tune in every other Monday starting next Monday, January 14 at 5 pm (Pacific) / 8 pm (Eastern) on twitch.tv/gencontv.Live Stream Schedule:
Mondays (bi-weekly) 5 pm (Pac) / 8 pm (Est): Game Night with The Brothers Murph
Tuesdays 4 pm (Pac) / 7 pm (Est): Welcome to the Table – Magic: The Gathering Arena with Kristen
Fridays 11 am (Pac) / 2 pm (Est): TableTakes Presented by Gen Con

We will continue to bring you even more content throughout the year, so follow Gen Con TV on Twitch to get notified of when we’re live!

New Badge Wallet from OffWorld
Give your badge a good home with one of these fantastic badge wallets on sale now at the Gen Con Store from OffWorld Designs! Keep your badge out and easily recognized by our Indiana Convention Center staff and store a few small, but important items in these handy badge wallets.Order yours today!

Con Life: A Look Ahead for 2019

Hello! I know it’s been a while, but I’m back with a new monthly blog series called Con Life. No, I’m not talking about the art of swindling people. Each month I’ll be sharing the in’s and out’s of being a convention artist. I personally characterize a convention artist as someone who has more than five conventions on their calendar for the year. Conventions are a big commitment and sometimes a big investment too. They are hard work, but if you love them like I do, they are worth the effort! For that matter, anything worth your time and passion will be a challenge and involve hard work, determination, and persistence. Before I begin diving into all of that, here’s a look back at where my journey began.

This year will mark 5 years since I began my journey as a convention artist. When I think back, I’m still amazed I was accepted into the DragonCon 2014 Art Show. Since then it’s been like a cascade of dominoes. I followed that with JordanCon in 2015, where I won Judge’s Choice in the Art Show. By 2017, I was hooked on attending conventions as a Professional Artist. That was also the year I won my first award at DragonCon for Best Space Scene. This year I won 3 awards, including Best Space Scene again, and I attended 7 events (plus mail-in to one convention). I’ve branched out to conventions in Tennessee and even one in Pennsylvania.

What is the 2019 forecast?

I have six shows confirmed on my calendar, plus one mail-in convention. There are a couple shows I won’t know about till later, so these numbers could go up. Regardless, it’s going to be a busy year! You can keep track of my convention schedule via my website’s Event Calendar. I’ll be updating it throughout the year.

Right now, I’m preparing for ChattaCon in Chattanooga, TN,  January 25-27. What does that entail?

  • Deciding on the art I’ll hang in the Art Show
  • Print/Frame any new art
  • Check my print inventory–restock if needed
  • Prepare for any panels I might be hosting

I’ll share some tidbits from the convention, and any new convention news, in my next post in late January.