Sunday, June 17, 2012

NTRPGCon 2012 - Part IV

The Art Panel

After narrowly avoiding being roped into an exceedingly long Battletech game, I headed to the pool to collect my thoughts and sober up. You know you hit the bottle a little too hard when you wake up 10 hours later, still drunk. Prior to the swim, however, we ate breakfast at Taco Cabana and Jason told a story about Sergio Aragones killing Marty Feldman in Mexico. Any story involving Mexico and death usually contains alcohol abuse, donkeys, prostitutes and stabbings, but this one was much more innocuous in content which led me to question its veracity. Jason used Wikipedia as his proof which didn't help convince me in the least. He also said Aragones was a huge asshole; I can buy that part.

Much of the time following the "pool experience" was spent browsing through Carcosa...I'll post a review sometime this week, but I can honestly say if you ever need a diet aid, the book works wonders on appetite suppression. Wanting to heckle Jason was at the top of my list of things to accomplish, so I headed to the main conference room to do just that. The art panel was made up of Erol Otus, Jason Braun, Jeff Dee, Diesel LaForce and Janelle née Paul Jaquays. The premise of the panel was to discuss careers, art and to draw some monsters submitted by select con-goers.

First, the drawings were pretty good, given the amount of time the artists had to work with; I can honestly say I was impressed at the production quality. Some of the descriptions were long, some short, and a few of the people present who submitted ideas agreed the end results were excellent. I guess that's  why they're pros. Still, the discussion was much more interesting, to me anyway. Diesel (a nickname due to his initials: DSL) was the most vocal of the group, Jeff Dee being the most subdued. His (Diesel's) stories were extremely informative and gave a lot of excellent insight into the halcyon days of TSR. He also stated that Virgil Finlay was his biggest inspiration, a name I had never heard before. Looking up some of the art on the internet, it's easy to understand why. Otus said he liked Trampier, and I was waiting for someone to ask what he was doing but no one broached that subject. Unfortunate because he did some great stuff. The artists were also asked their favorite thing to draw, to which Jason replied, "Children are present." (it's dicks, case you care...he can say it's not but I know it's dicks).

One of the more interesting questions concerned "favorite medium", mostly because four of the five all preferred pen/ink/paint, the Old Way of doing things. I was actually surprised at that answer as I thought more of them would like the speed of using a computer, at least during the editing process. Jaquays definitely liked the digital medium much more, which makes sense given her extensive work in computer gaming. Dee did state he preferred to add color in Photoshop after scanning the image, Diesel liking pens most of all. Speaking of pens, Jason had to let Erol borrow his pen to do the drawing as he didn't even show up with anything sort of drawing apparatus. Celebrities!

After the panel ended, I went to get a beer at the bar, and saw Erol Otus once again. I told him I always liked his art but it was extremely creepy, to which he replied, "I'm very happy to hear that."

Raffle Time

Last year I talked about how I didn't even submit my ticket to the raffle because I was 1) drunk and 2) stupid. This year I made it a point to put my ticket into the hopper and get drunk afterwards. This worked to my advantage because I actually won. I didn't want to be in the room while the raffle/auction took place, hence my drinking beer at the bar as it went on. A text from Jason simply stated I had won the "free raffle", which was cool because I never win anything. He told me he'd get the stuff from Mike for me, which was even better. When I told Mark (someone I haven't mentioned yet but who was pretty much with me the whole time; no, it's not like that) that I had won, he thought it'd be awesome if I got one of the battlemats and I agreed. I wanted one of those for eons.

We headed back up to the room and I saw a battlemat on my bed which caused great excitement. Fuck yeah, I won exactly what I wanted! As we made out way back down to the dealer's room, Mike asked me if I had got the rest of my stuff from the raffle, a question which puzzled me. You mean there was more? Hell yeah there was, a rather hefty bag filled with a bunch of OOP Judge's Guild Traveller modules and other miscellaneous items. Perusing through the bag, I added more $1 Traveller modules from Mike's table, getting a massive haul of crap I'll probably never use. I have to run a Traveller campaign now, lest those books go to waste.


  1. Wait, Aragones was/is an asshole? Man, that's a shame. Dude's drawings always made me happy.

    Congrats on the raffle win! You should totally run Traveller (especially if it gets you to not shank our PCs on G+. :P )

  2. To qualify the asshole comment, the single time I met him at GenCon as a young little nerdling, he was harried and brusque. Huge disappointment since I, too, was a giant fan of his work on Mad and Groo. Maybe he was just having a bad day. Or maybe he's a giant asshole.