Once again, I’ve added new people to the ol’ Newsletter list here. Several people I met at the Ohio convention and a friend from the past. As per the norm, this Newsletter is a way for my friends, family, former students and probably some enemies to keep tabs on my movements. It’s also a way for me to know that everyone is on the same page.

As much as I’d love to write 60+ individual e-mails, I rarely respond to e-mail very quickly at this point, as most of you are unfortunately aware. It’s not an ego thing, it’s a simple matter of lack of time. If you find this Newsletter thing annoying or don’t want to know what’s new with me, just e-mail me to let me know and I’ll take your name off of the list. No one else sees each other’s e-mail addresses, as I use the BCC column so only my e-mail is visible. If you’re receiving this, then that means I think you’re pretty cool and that you want to know what I’m doing.

With that out of the way, lets hit the juicy stuff. The Origins convention in Ohio was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. I went down with the Udon portfolio to see about expanding our client base with the gaming industry and to enjoy the geekly gaming goodness. What I got was an insane romp with the best the industry had to offer and the potential for a ton of new work for the studio.

I drove down with Denise and Jason, two really cool people who were running a small booth for Mystic Eye Games and EN Publishing. I’d done some freelance work for them previously and when they said they were going to the con I jumped at the chance. We stayed at a hotel with a huge amount of space along with free breakfasts, which worked out really well.

With a portfolio full of Udon’s work for clients like White Wolf, Marvel, Image, DC, Suzuki and Wiz Kids, I felt pretty confident that I could get some new contacts. What I didn’t anticipate was the profound response from some of these studios. Green Ronin, Paizo, Palladium, Sovreign, Eden, Decipher and the biggest of them all… Wizards of the Coast. Everybody was enthusiastic about the material and the fistful of business cards I received along with contact info bodes well. By the second day, I was being invited out for industry parties and talking up a storm with writers and artists who have created stuff I absolutely love to play. It was astonishing.

The boys at White Wolf were particularily crazy and on my way home from the con on Friday they grabbed me (quite literally) and coraled me into a taxi so we could go out clubbing and drinking. Like some kind of chaotic dream, we zipped into places and I watched these guys celebrate like there was no tomorrow. A few times I thought bouncers might kick us all out when a few of the developers from other companies started literally dancing on tables, but unbelievably that didn’t happen. Instead, the game developers just sort of “took over” the club and the whole thing became “anything goes”.

Each day, I’d come to the con a little more sore and tired than the night before. Each day, I made more contacts, promoted the studio, heard the gossip and got free stuff from developers. By the time we went to leave, I had a duffle bag full of new books and experiences that I will never forget. Each time I had a great meeting with a publisher, I realized how great an opportunity this had become. It feels like so much more is possible than it was a few years ago. I’m on the cusp of wonderful things, I just don’t know exactly where it’ll lead.

I’ve got a dozen little “Zub Tales” about things from the con, but they wouldn’t be as zingy in type as hearing them from me in person. Suffice to say that I’m doing incredible and once I get my voice back and my muscles stop hurting, I’ll be on top of the world even more than I am right now.

Happy Canada Day everyone.

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