Posts Tagged ‘conventions’
Diversity in “the fandom” (by which I mean a broad umbrella term that encompasses SF, fantasy, comics, conventions, and such related geeky pursuits) is a big issue lately, which is an awesome thing. But it’s one of those things which, because it involves human beings, tends to be complex and confusing at times.
I’m thinking just this moment of John Scalzi, who picked up a Hugo at WorldCon for his book Redshirts. I have not read the book myself, but Mrs. Gneech has and declared it an enjoyable read– I don’t have any doubt that it deserves the award. And Scalzi is certainly someone who at least tries to champion the broadening of horizons.
And yet… well, and yet… given recent events, I’m not sure how I would feel in Scalzi’s place. Scalzi, like so many Hugo winners, is yet another privileged white dude, and on some level, does that cheapen the accomplishment, no matter how hard he may have busted to get it?
I ask this because, although I’m certainly nowhere near being in contention for a Hugo myself at the moment, given my upcoming career change it’s not an unreasonable goal for me to shoot for… and I am also yet another privileged white dude. Scalzi and I share a lot of qualities, and a lot of opinions, and a lot of sensibilities, so it’s not hard for me to project myself into that place and wonder how I would feel there.
Certainly if he has any of these thoughts, he hasn’t said so, and I honestly don’t know if it wouldn’t be churlish if he did. The whole topic is fraught with peril. If you are a Scalzi here, what are you supposed to do? Turn down the Hugo? Recuse yourself from the running all together and throw away a valuable career opportunity? Use the moment to call for change (while still benefiting from the system)? Or just do as he has done, smile and say “thank you” and be yet another privileged white dude who won an award when some other just-as-talented, just-as-worthy author not in that category didn’t?
I don’t have a good answer for this. I’m open to suggestions!
While crunching away on everything else, I have managed to do a few bits of art in-between. And here they are! Because I love you.
Finally, after however many years, I’ve got revised business cards on the way, with new avatar, the current websites, and a new funny bullet.
Graveyard Greg asked me to do up a Ghostbusters-themed badge for BLFC. The theme is ’80s-tasticness in general, with emphasis on pink and purple, so I went with more of the “Real Ghostbusters” style than the movie guys. And of course, with a GB pic, I couldn’t resist a little self-insert.
I have no idea who the wolf gal is, but she’s blonde and she’s got glam stars on her cheek– that’s ’80s enough for me!
It’s almost time for Jenny Everywhere day, 2013! My submission this year has Jenny catching a ride on a handy airship! I decided to make her human, just to be different, using Nichelle Nichols as my inspiration.
If any woman ever deserved a steampunk fantasy action show of her own, it’s Nichelle Nichols!
If you’ve never heard about Jenny Everywhere, check her out: www.jennyeverywhereday.com.
I honestly can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it here or not, but the organizers of another con seem to have taken leave of their senses and named me a GOH, specifically FurTheMore 2014. This year’s theme is “Pirates vs. Ninjas” (or is it “Ninjas vs. Pirates”?), so both myself and co-GOH Redcoat Cat are doing covers, with the book flipped halfway through so that each side is “the front.”
So here we see Quoth the Raven (the FTM mascot) commanding a daring raid on a feudal-era Japanese castle… and being met with some unconventional resistance…
Aside from said piece of art, this weekend was spent working on The Escape Plan, which is another thing I honestly can’t remember how much if anything I’ve said about here. But in a nutshell: I am working on going full time with my writing/comics/creative work, and part of that plan involves selling our current house (fond as I am of it) and buying a much more affordable one, as I’m expecting to take a severe financial hit as part of the process. This weekend we rented a van and moved a lot of our more visibly geeky things into storage as step one, so we can stage our house for a more general audience. Of course, it was a babillion degrees out while we did this, because we seem to be incapable of moving during nice weather. (The last time we moved, if I recall correctly, there were torrential thunderstorms for most of it. Or perhaps that was the time before? It’s all become a blur.)
Early on in this process, I had a few freak-outs. The Hobbit Hole is the first house we bought and the first place I’ve ever felt like was really “my home”– even when growing up I was shoved into the guest room because I was an unexpected child– so the prospect of losing that really hit me hard. However, as we’ve buckled down and started working on it, most of that has ebbed. Now I’m getting really excited by the prospect of finding a new place where we aren’t such slaves to the mortgage, and of course at the prospect of doing my writing/comics/art as my day job, instead of the thing I have to hope I have enough energy left for at the end of the day.
Don’t tell anyone but… I even occasionally fantasize… about stopping my writing at 5:00 one day, and saying, “Ah, that was a good day’s work. Now I can relax for the rest of the evening.” Just once! What a rare and strange thing that would be!
Meh, that’s crazy talk, I know. But it’s a fun pipe dream. In any case! We spent the weekend moving. Except for the part I spent drawing. And that’s your Gneech News report.
Just a heads-up, all you happy people! I will be running a “Penciling 101″ panel on Saturday, April 6, 4:30 p.m. at Fur The ‘More: Time Traveler’s Party in Baltimore, MD. This is the first outing of a brand new furry con! It should be fun.
The panel will cover some basic artistic concepts, including thinking in shapes, the magic grid, and dynamic posing. I’ll also do my best to answer questions and offer specific tips as needed. Hope to see you there!
I don’t know why, but I woke up remembering the worst game session evar this morning, and I’ve decided to record it for posterity.
It was at a convention. It doesn’t matter which convention it was, nor really who the other participants were. I will say that we were at least theoretically supposed to be playing Mongoose’s Conan d20 game. My character was a Bossonian archer; my memory is that the other characters were an Aquilonian soldier (P1) and a Zamoran rogue (P2). Basically, except for the Cimmerian barbarian, we were Ye Olde Hyborian Cliché Party.
That’s okay, RPGs are like that. But little did we know what were were getting into from there…
(Note: This is paraphrased from memory.)
GM: You’re in Nemedia, all headed for a tavern. It’s getting dark. Up ahead the road goes through a narrow gorge. (draws the road on the mat)
Me: Uh-oh, smells like ambush. I’ll hang back.
P2: I’ll hang back too.
P1: Well, I guess I’ll march ahead then.
GM: A bunch of bandits pop up out of the rocks and charge you! Roll for initiative. (we do: P1 gets a 12, P2 gets a 15, I get an 8)
GM: Okay, the bandits go first. These three attack you (P1), these two run towards you (P2), these two run towards you (me). (rolling dice) Two hit you, doing 15 points of damage.
P1: Holy crap! Good thing I’ve got 23 hit points.
P2: Okay, my turn. I’ll move forward and attack this one. (roll) 15?
GM: You miss.
P2: Wow, on a 15. What kind of armor are they wearing?
GM: They’ve got a real high DEX.
P2: Oh. Okay.
P1: (roll dice) 20! Let’s see if I crit. (roll) 16?
GM: Nope, not a crit.
P1: Aww, crap. Okay… (roll dice) 15 points of damage.
GM: (frowning) You kill that one.
P1: Sweet! I’ve got Cleave, so I’ll attack one of the other guys next to me. (roll dice) 18.
P1: Miss? On an 18? Seriously?
Me: (doesn’t roll anything like a 20, so I miss) I waste some arrows.
GM: These two attack you (P1) again. These two see their friend go down and break off from you (P2) to go attack the fighter.
P2: Cool! Attack of opportunity time! (starts to roll dice)
GM: Nope, they have Combat Reflexes.
P2: What does that have to do with it? Combat Reflexes just gives you extra attacks of opportunity.
GM: Not Combat Reflexes. The other one. (looks at his notes) Mobility.
P2: So they get a bonus to their AC. I still get to roll, tho.
GM: No, one of my house rules is that Combat Reflexes mean you just don’t get attacks of opportunity against them. You would have missed anyway, this is faster.
GM: (roll dice) Okay, that one hits you (P1) for only 5 points of damage that time.
P1: Cripes! I only have 3 hit points left.
GM: Suddenly this amazingly gorgeous woman comes around the corner. She’s wearing nothing but these skimpy furs, and some fur boots, and a big fur cape. She’s got this amazing flowing blonde hair and blue eyes, and she’s obviously a barbarian. But she’s like, hot. She has 18 Charisma. She’s carrying a big, blood-spattered axe.
Me: Well there’s something you don’t see every day.
GM: It’s her initiative right after the bandits, so she charges the bandit that just hit you. (roll dice) She kills him! She’s got Great Cleave, so she attacks the other two.
Me: Doesn’t Great Cleave mean you can only keep attacking as long as you kill each target?
GM: (roll dice) Well, she does.
P1, P2, Me: Ooohkay.
P1: Well, uh, I guess I’ll move to this guy and attack. (roll dice) 14.
GM: You miss.
P2: I’ll move into flanking position, with the +2 that gives me (roll dice) 18.
GM: You miss.
Me: Guess I’ll shoot! (roll dice) 17.
GM: 15. You’re -2 for shooting into a melee.
Me: You mean the -4? I’ve got Precise Shot.
GM: That’s one of my house rules. Precise Shot means you only get -2.
Me: (sigh) Doesn’t matter, I would have missed anyway.
(next round: barbarian chick easily wipes out remaining bandits)
GM: She says, “My name is Anima. You’re lucky I happened to be here, this road is dangerous. These bandits were probably searching for the cursed amulet I carry.”
P2: No doubt.
Me: I recover whatever arrows I can and say, “Well thank you, Anima. We’re headed for the tavern ahead.”
GM: “I’ll join you, in case more bandits show up and you need my help.”
P1, P2, Me: (exchange dubious glances)
GM: You go to the tavern. Anima orders a huge chunk of meat and just starts eating it right off the bone. Then she guzzles down a whole mug of ale all at once and orders another. She obviously has no idea of what to do in civilization.
Me: Uh huh. Well I’ll go find a seat somewhere and order a meal.
P1: I guess I’ll sit with Anima. I eat about the same way she does!
GM: You spend the meal staring at Anima. She’s hot.
P2: I’m looking around for pockets to pick.
GM: (roll dice) You find about 22 silver pieces from picking pockets.
(fast forward over a painful scene of attempting to do a little RP talking to the innkeeper and such that goes nowhere)
GM: Anima says, “Those bandits were sent by an evil wizard who wants the cursed amulet I’m carrying. We have to go kill him.”
Me: Like, right now? It’s night.
GM: “Yes. We’re going now.” (erases the canyon from the map, then draws almost-identical lines to indicate a road) So after paying your tavern bill, you start heading for the wizard’s tower. You’re walking on a raised road that goes through a swamp. Anima says, “There’s undead in this swamp.”
P1: Bring ‘em on! They need wiping out.
GM: Anima says, “Be careful what you wish for!” (laughs the typical “I’m an evil GM and you’re in for it!” laugh)
Me: I’m not afraid of undead. We’re protected by Mary Sue the Barbarian.
GM: These zombie-things come shambling out of the swamp at you. They all have gemstones in their chest that look like the amulet Anima is carrying. She says, “Oh no, they’re being drawn to the power of the amulet!” Roll initiative. (we do: I get 19, P1 gets 11, P2 get 15) Okay, the zombies go first.
Me: Wow. Before my 19?
GM: Yep, they’re really fast.
Me: Huh. Really fast zombies.
GM: They all shuffle towards Anima. (creepy groaning noises) She snarls and says, “I hate undead!” and attacks.
Me: Because her initiative is higher than 19, too.
GM: (roll dice) She kills that one. And with Great Cleave, she runs over and attacks the next one (rolls dice) but misses.
P1: Uh, I’m pretty sure that Great Cleave doesn’t let you move.
GM: Yes it does. That’s one of my house rules.
P1, Me: (shrug at each other)
GM: Okay, your turn.
Me: (roll dice) 20! I assume I can’t crit these guys.
GM: No, you can’t. Also, you missed.
Me: What??? I rolled a 20!
GM: Yeah, but they’re undead. You need a magic weapon to hit them. Anima can hit them because she’s carrying the amulet that gives them their power.
Shortly thereafter, the session ended due to time. Strange as it may sound, the other players and I did manage to have some fun, but for all the wrong reasons. It was a bit like a cross between a tabletop RPG and living an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The figures are done! After a few sessions of the Savage World of Ghostbusters using the closest minis I had on hand, I decided I had to have proper GB minis. I took a long look at Carmen’s Fun Painty Time set of Ghostbusters minis, and while I don’t have Carmen’s sculpting chops, I am pretty pleased with the final result. For those interested in the process, I figured I’d write up some details here. You can click through any of the pics to see larger versions.