I believe it was George Harrison who first said “DON’T give the cat Chee-tos, Honey!”

No. Wait a second. That was Judith. Yup. That was definitely Judith.

Anyway, I’m comfortably sure that at some point it was Harrison who said “All things must pass.” And in that spirit, I finished my last cartoon for Dragon Magazine today.

It was an almost sombre moment. I’ve been cartooning for Dragon since the turn of the century (hot damn, how I love that phrase). To say that having Dork Tower appear in its pages was a thrill wouldn’t even be the half of it.

Dragon was always “it” for me. The summit. The pinnacle. The very essence of the hobby games world, save for the smell, distilled into a few dozen pages each month. One of my most prized possessions is the original art from Phil Foglio’s very first “What’s New” (though I forget what issue of Dragon that was originally in), which hangs in my office for those moments I most need inspiration.

I, sad to say, have the self-confidence of an avocado, and need inspiration often. Yet the fact that Dork Tower’s been appearing in Dragon now for close to a decade is something I find, frankly, magical.

I’ll be driving down to the Lake Geneva Gaming Convention Sunday, to hopefully get Gary Gygax to sign my little white boxed set of the original Dungeons and Dragons. The one I picked up at Games Workshop, in Hammersmith, back when it was still the coolest general gaming store I’d ever seen.

That’s pretty much the shop where I picked up many of the games that influenced me most profoundly over the years. Traveller; Air War; Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, first edition (still in school, I made sure my family drove from Glastonbury to London right after each of the three main tomes’ release); King Maker; Cosmic Encounter. More. Many, many more.

Games Workshop was the shop where I picked up my Asgard Miniatures (wow – I still remember the company name). Dwarfs, wizards, paladins and monks that populated my first campaigns, and which were some superb minis in an age where, if you could make out a face on your mini, and your dice didn’t chip too much, you were doing alright.

(Note: these are now nearly 30 year-old paint jobs, and were done with enamels and a black pen. another note: That’s Laoretha the Enchantress in the back, who later showed up as Gilly’s character when Kayleigh famously took down Igor’s dungeon in Dork Tower #17. Laoretha later appeared in the super-spectacular Dork Tower boardgame).

Games Workshop was the shop where I first saw “bunny troopers” – 25 mm minis of Star Wars Storm Troopers, with bunny ears, to avoid lawsuits (though to this day I’m unsure as to why adding bunny ears to a storm trooper outfit would stop Lucasfilms from going Galactic Republic on your ass). Why bunny ears in particular? Well, you see, they could be snapped off, leaving you with perfectly regular, royalty-free Storm Troopers.

Games Workshop was the shop where I picked up my 25 mm Marvin the Paranoid Android fig, which now graces games of Robo Rally at Chez Muskrat.

It’s also where I first picked up Dragon and White Dwarf.

When White Dwarf became a house organ, it lost much of its interest to me. But despite some ups and downs, Dragon prospered. I’m not sure folks appreciate just what a stunningly good magazine it remained, up to these last few issues.

Games Workshop on 1 Dalling Rd, Hammersmith, is no more. White Dwarf, as an indy, multi-game mag, is no more. Dragon itself will soon be no more, my last strip for it is in, and I’m preparing for a trek to Lake Geneva, to try and catch up with Gary Gygax, co-founder of a magazine that had an amazing damn run.

All things must pass.

And, oh, yes. Don’t give the cat Chee-tos.

****

I suppose it’s not much of a teaser campaign if you actually say it’s a teaser campaign.

But here’s a teaser.

John

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