I’M BACK? AT least, I am coming back. Kinda.
For the last of couple years, I have been … let’s just say “preoccupied” … while working to complete Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. It only took two and a half years to do it.
Now the game is finished. The pdf has been released at DriveThruRPG, and the dead trees edition is at press. If you want to keep up to date on happenings about dT&T, I recommend the dedicated Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls blog, presently maintained by Steve Crompton. There is also Trollhalla for the hardcore fans.
Blogging fell off my agenda, one of many things. And by “blogging” I mean the chatty or philosophical posts, not the ones begging you to please buy mah artz! I’d like to get back to talking with you, whoever you are out there, even if I don’t post like clockwork.
At some point, I may write about what a wild ride this project was. It was epic. We used and over-used the analogy of the Fellowship of the Ring, first in silly jest and later in gritty deathmarch determination. The effort to get the Ring to Mount Doom (getting the book to press) seemed to be all that.
It seems to have been worth it. The Ring has been delivered, I still have all my fingers (not for lack of trying to burn one off early in the project), and the Shire is cleansed. Fans seem happy with the new edition and all is right with the world.
Well, what next? Follow me over the jump and let’s talk about that.
HYMN TO TOURACH was not a title that made an impression on me initially. At the close of a long convention — Origins, I believe — I was saying goodbye to Sandra Everingham who was then Magic’s art director with Wizards of the Coast. Around us, booths were being torn down, curtains between stalls shoved aside as people loaded boxes to ship home, forklifts and pallet loaders rumbling by.
“I’d like to have you do this card,” she said.
The name went in one ear and out the other, half-heard in the din. “What is that supposed to be?” I asked.
“Three or four people working together to cast a spell.”
“All right,” said I. “I can do that.”
I had no inkling the picture would be the most iconic Magic card I would ever paint.
MY THANKS GO out to everyone who talked to me about the paintings. There was a wee bit of last-minute interest, but the auction is now closed. And no bunnies died, David!
I recognize that original art is a luxury item. For most people these days, “luxuries” extend little further than eating out at a restaurant, or simply paying bills on time. Decades ago, someone told me “Art is priceless. Any specific piece of artwork is worth exactly what someone will pay for it.” I sincerely appreciate these good men who elected to spend some disposable income on my art.
In my own case, paying bills and not having the dogs look woefully at me over their empty dinner bowls makes me much happier. If I still had a cat, I would always be accused of malice should a dinner bowl turn up momentarily empty. Dogs are more understanding but the bleakness of sad puppy-dog eyes can rip out your heart.
In any case, my deep congratulations to the winners! I am always glad to know my work is going to a good home. I know that is certain with these two pieces. Thank you all!
I hope to write a proper post before the year is done (but don’t hold me to it). Thank you all, for this has been an amazing and memorable year.
I’VE BEEN DOING a lot of catch-up after being sick for so long. August was still hit-or-miss in the health department, but now — mid-late September — I’m pretty much back to feeling like myself (FINALLY). I want to say thank you all for the kind wishes, notes, and gifts you have sent while I’ve been down. I am unbelievably fortunate to have such folks as you in my life.
All in all, however, I completely lost a good three months as far as accomplishing all the things I had planned to get done. I’m returning to my work now, and one of the somewhat unexpected results has been a driving desire to DO MORE STUFF. This is more than “omg it’s all behind schedule!” (although it is that, in part) but also my Muse has been riding my back about being A Maker* again.
SO, HI THERE. It’s been awhile because this is approximately how I’ve been feeling.
Krovikan Plague, from Magic the Gathering (Alliances)
I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this sick.