Tuesday, May 23, 2023

History Is Our Story

 That the future may learn from the past.”

Colonial Williamsburg mission

Bamse samples: artwork by Julie Campbell and writing by Colin Maxwell.

I enjoy learning about various periods in history, from the broad picture to the smaller, more personal stories and everything in between. My engagement spans the vast landscape of media, from non-fiction books and documentaries to the more embellished films, historical novels, and, of course, games. And even comic books. So when I discovered Colin Maxwell of Maximized Comics Kickstarting another history based comic book, The Adventures of Bamse, I didn’t hesitate to back it. I’d previously backed and enjoyed his earlier true-war stories, Raid on the Forth and Flight of the Eagle, two relatively obscure episodes from World War II (well, “relatively obscure” to those of us who don’t live in Scotland...). Both draw on events related to his own local history, so I couldn’t resist supporting publication of the story of “the dog that became the mascot of the Free Norwegian Forces during the Second World War.” (At the moment the project still needs funding in the final days of the campaign – which offers the chance to also get the previous two comics, all well worth the price even considering shipping from the UK to the US.) These comics remind me how history consists of many stories great and small, far-reaching in scope yet also personal. Humans have loved storytelling throughout time...and history is our own epic tale, a larger-than-life story we can also draw upon for our games, whether historical wargames, board games, or even roleplaying games.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

WEG Memoirs: The SWAJ Dinner

Memories of my West End Games days some 25 years ago are gradually fading into mushy nostalgia...so I’d better tell the tale of the Star Wars Adventure Journal dinner I hosted at GenCon 1996 before it dissolves further into my foggy sense of the past. It came at what seems like the high point of my time at West End, when the Star Wars Roleplaying Game enjoyed great popularity, especially with special editions of the original trilogy and <gasp> even talk of new movies on the horizon. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Like many events in our lives, it’s a confluence of numerous factors leading to a single, memorable point....