One of the rules I adhere to in life is, when Robert Khoo scribbles a note that says Hey Gary, we’re going to go gamble, want to come?, the only appropriate answer is Yes. Particularly when the note comes during a session that is….
Okay, I want to be extra-fair here, because everybody at the NCS I’ve met has been been terrific. Tom Richmond, the president, has put on a great show, and Jerry Van Amerongen¹ has put together a great slate of presenters and presentations. That being said, when soliciting presentations and/or presenters, it’s possible to have content described in a way that makes it sound better than it actually will be; usually it’s a matter of content and tone clashing with the audience.
Had it been a matter of me being the wrong audience because I’m not a cartoonist, I would have stayed out of respect for the speaker, but when it’s a case of somebody so very off the rails that you hope everybody else in the room is as uncomfortable as you are, because it means they aren’t being suckered in²? When Robert nodded in the direction of the door, getting away from the room just made sense.
Which was great, because after finding a table with open chairs together, and Robert declared open interview time. I double-checked with them some of the details on the new Paint The Line game (availability at San Diego: check), and admired the new First Party polo that Mike Krahulik was wearing (it’s moved onto the “definite purchase” list for San Diego, and may I say again that the First Party upgrade program was a customer-care stroke of genius?). Then we got down to the really good stuff: Lookouts.
You may have noted the news last year that Lookouts is being made into a tabletop RPG/board game. You may have seen art teasers from Mike earlier in the week. What you probably didn’t know is that Cryptozoic Entertainment, developers of the game, will also be publishing an ongoing Lookouts comic book, the first two issues of which are already completed. Mike’s very happy with the work done on the interiors, and the cover image he showed me (the teaser is just a small portion of it) looks gorgeous.
The plan is for electronic distribution, but I really hope that a print edition can be made at some point — although Penny Arcade and its projects have always been designed for adults, they’ve had plenty of creations that reach down the age spectrum: Cardboard Tube Samurai³ could easily overlap with the younger readers of, oh I don’t know, Usagi Yojimbo. Lookouts and The New Kid can be enjoyed by an even younger audience — if you’re comfortable with your kid reading BONE, these two stories are no problem (which pulls us down to seven or eight years old). Kids don’t have enough comics that they can call their own, and Lookouts would slot in nicely next to Adventure Time in the local comic stores. Just sayin’.
¹ Who did a cartoon back when I was in high school that has stuck with me — it involved a doberman throwing himself out a second-story window after realizing the family had named him “Binky”. I told him how funny that strip was to me and I think it pleased him that somebody remembered it for goin’ on 30 years.
² I’m being oblique here in details because the topic of the talk was getting free publicity for yourself, and the tone was just so … infomercial that I decided I didn’t want to reward the speaker with the name-check he repeatedly made clear he desperately craves. Also, upon leaving the room, I made sure that I had not accidentally signed up for a time-share in a condo. Seriously, bragging about getting on the local news by exploiting a tenuous connection to Elizabeth Taylor on the day of her death in order to promote your animation business? That is not something that non-horrible people do.
³ And my goodness, has it really been three years since a CTS adventure?