This is a really long Rambling, so make sure to CLICK THROUGH to the full column, to see the Really Cool Pictures at the end!

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I’m down to the last few Munchkin Booty cards. It’s a position in any project that I have mixed feelings about.

On the one hand, it clears up a lot of time, over the next few weeks, for other projects. It’s a similar feeling to when I’m almost done painting a new gaming army:

I’ll be close to the end, for example, of my Flames of War 15mm Desert Rats British 8th Army armored division, and find myself daydreaming about a 28mm Steampunk skirmish game with a British armored column (gatling-armed steam-driven Automatons coming from the Great Rail Wars) in Afghanistan, with native tribes supported by the French Foreign Legion causing trouble (yay for G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T rules).

I have several armies I’ve never actually fielded, because I’ve wanted to move on to other projects as soon as they’re done. I’m a sad man, actually.

On the other hand, Munchkin Booty has been a joy to work on. I’ll miss drawing it. Even though I’ve drawn to the point where my hands hurt at the end of the day, I love it. I think it’s going to be a spiffy-looking stand-alone game, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I seem to have more and more fun with every new set. I’m tremendously fortunate to be associated with Munchkin, but even luckier to have a job that I truly love. The best days are those when I can take my work down to the lake, and just sit and draw, draw, draw.

Especially when Steve comes up with card ideas like these:

“Piano Tuna” (yes, you may groan now):

I gave the Brits very bad teeth for this set, as one of their visual identifiers. But that’s OK, being British m’self, I have no problem making ‘em goofy. Of the races, the Spanish are actually sternest and least silly. I had a fun time drawing the giant French wigs, too. But here’s a Brit – “Sir Francis Drake” (I knew that having the Golden Hinde so close to my sister’s place in London would come in useful, one day):

One of the simplest drawings in the set, but one of my favorites. “Prince of Whales”:

It amused me to think of a shark in a rowboat on a “Wandering Monster” card. Why would a shark need a rowboat to get from place to place on the ocean, for heaven’s sake? I just loved this. I’m easily amused.

Why do I enjoy Munchkin so, especially when I’ve lost every game I’ve ever played of it? because I get to draw “Viking Kittens” cards!
Wheeeee!

And yes, I should have KNOW this one was coming. “Poop Deck”:

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The Dane County Farmers Market returns to the Capitol Square tomorrow morning! Huzzah, huzzah!

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As stated before, I can’t make it to GTS this year. Far too much stuff to do here in Madison.

Have fun, everyone. And play Flip Flop Deluxe (aka, “Froggy Machine”) for me, if you find one.

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Several entries, to be filed under “Coolest Thing EVAR!” today.

Thing the First:

Oh, sweet mercy HOLY CRUD!

What does Steve Jackson Games have to say about them?

No, these aren’t currently available; what you see here are prototypes from a very skilled manufacturer. We’re quite happy with them, because no matter how cool they look in this photo, they’re cooler to hold, and to whack the table with. The noise from the hammer is loud enough to get heads poking into the room from halfway across the building.

“If they WERE available, what would they cost?”, you ask. The best answer we can give is “not cheap.” Google for stores that sell foam weapons for LARP and cosplay, and you’ll see what we mean.

Nevertheless, we anticipate a certain amount of “Must Have!” from you, our loyal readers. We will have these at GTS next week, and will get a feel for the demand in the retail sector there. If your FLGS is sending a representative, encourage them to stop by our booth (#506) and check them out.

If you’d like to voice your desire, nay, your demand for weapons carved from mighty foam, designed by the legendary forge of Jackson and Kovalic, let us know on the forums

THEY MUST BE MINE!

Who’s with me on this one? Comment below, if they must be yours, too.

(As an aside, I do like the sound of “Jackson and Kovalic,” although, when shortened to Jackson/Kovalic, it’s got that sweet, sweet “Jackson Pollock” ring to it…)

(Contract it further, as someone noted, and it becomes “Jackolic,” which sounds like something related to the Jackalope…

…which would just be silly.)

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Thing the Second:

From a Livejournal user over at the LJ Dork Tower syndication feed (now well over 5,000 subscribers, and counting), concerning this week’s strips:

They’re pinky and the blue. Pinky and the blue
One is a genius, the other’s misconstrued.
They’re Igor’s gaming dice, but they’re not very nice,
They’re pinky, they’re pinky and the blue blue blue blue blue.

Before the night is done, their plan will take it’s toll
Make Igor roll a one, it will be a failure roll.
They’re pinky and the blue, yes pinky and the blue
Their gaming night mission is so very true
To prove their dicey worth, they’ll remove Igor’s mirth
They’re dinky, they’re pinky and the blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue NARF!

I’m having a total blast with these strips, by the way. After this series ends, I’ll definitely be bringing Pinky and the Blue back…

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Thing the Third:

Sent by Andy Otto, who writes:

I was at the University of Chicago for an SCA event today. All of the lettering on the doors in this rather gothic-looking hall are in gothic-looking script. Now, you can tell that someone has messed with the lettering, but still…

It’s a picture of a Dark Room.

Wait…did I say DARK Room?

Funnily enough, I was just down at the University of Chicago a couple of weeks ago.

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Thing the Last:

Munchkin Quest is announced, and coming in August!

Steve Jackson Games announces for release in August, 2008:
Munchkin Quest

Kill the monster, grab the treasure, stab your buddy. That’s what it’s all about. Now, Munchkin comes to the boardgame.

Cooperate with the whole group, adventure with a partner, or strike out on your own. You don’t know what’s behind a door until you open it . . . then another room is added to the dungeon. Battle monsters for power and treasure, or send them after your friends. Reach Level 10, and then get out alive if you can!

Designed by Steve Jackson, and illustrated by John Kovalic, this boardgame doesn’t take itself seriously. Except for the loot – munchkins are always serious about that!

Coming in August to game rooms everywhere . . .

11.75″ x 11.75″ x 3.5″ box, with two dozen 3.5″ square heavy cardstock room tiles, dozens of link connectors, 170 full-color cards, over three dozen monster standies, dice, rulesheet, and enough tokens, level counters, and sculpted plastic pawns for four players. Stock #1470, ISBN 978-1-55634-767-2. $49.95.

Plus, it’s sunny, 70 degrees, and I’m gonna head outside to finish up some more Munchkin Booty cards!

It’s a good day.

- John

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