Zubby Newsletter #21: Gen Con, On and On

The Hyborian Age is Back, Baby!

Conan the Barbarian #1, the launch point for a new era of Hyborian Adventure, is finally out in comic shops nationwide on Wednesday, August 2nd.

Thank you for your patience. We think it’s worth the wait.

If you pick up a copy (before they vanish and our second print drops), let me know what you think and, if you like it, tell a few friends as well. Building a readership in for the long haul is even more important than our launch numbers.

The Best Four Days In Gaming – Every Year

This week is the mighty GEN CON, North America’s largest tabletop RPG, card, and board game convention. I’ll be there, as always.

When I was a kid, my brother and I would read that an adventure we owned was “originally used for the official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Tournament at Gen Con” and our imaginations would run wild

What if, some day, we could GO to Gen Con? What would that be like?!

18 years later, I’d finally find out-

In 2003, I attended my first Gen Con as a rep for the UDON studio. It was the first year the show set up in Indianapolis (instead of Lake Geneva, which is its namesake) and the locals were thrown off by over 20,000 gamers descending on their city (in 2023 it’ll be more than 70,000. Thankfully, Indy is now well prepared for the invasion.).

It was amazing and I met so many incredible people, many of them still dear friends to this day.

Gen Con 2003 – Roll for initiative!

In 2011, Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary, Writing Excuses) invited me to hunker down at a corner of his booth with his friend Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance, Ravenloft) so I could promote my new fantasy-comedy comic called Skullkickers.

Gen Con 2011 (left to right: Laura Hickman, Jim Zub, Howard Tayler, Tracy Hickman)

I’ve been set up at the show with Howard and our convention family (Sandra, Darrin, Mike, Robin, and many others) every year it’s run since then. My career keeps growing, bit by bit, and when we get together at Gen Con we celebrate, commiserate, and keep planning for the future.

Much like San Diego, my head spins a bit when I look through photos and see so many memories. Twenty years has gone by in a flash. I’m deeply thankful I’ve had these experiences and met so many amazing people who love games, comradery, and sword & sorcery as much as I do.

Sooo~ at GEN CON 2023, we’ll be set up at BOOTH 1249. If you’re at the show, please come on by and see us! Lots of books, games, artwork and good conversation. We’ll also have the Dungeons & Dragons Ultimate Pop-Up Book on display and a chance for visitors to win a free copy each day of the show.

While you’re there, make sure we grab a photo so 20 years from now I can look back and be amazed at how damn young and vibrant we looked.

Next year is the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, so Stacy and I are looking to widen our travel circle even further with conventions we haven’t been to before so we can promote our work and celebrate the hobby that means so much to us.

Nights Of Endless Adventure

Speaking of D&D

Solicits are out for Dungeons & Dragons: Nights of Endless Adventure, the second D&D comic omnibus collecting volumes 4, 5, and 6 of my Baldur’s Gate heroes getting into trouble in grand and unexpected locales-

If you missed out on Evil At Baldur’s GateInfernal Tides, or Mindbreaker (which also acts as a prelude to Larian’s massive Baldur’s Gate III video game launching this week), in October you can get all caught up thanks to this rockin’ tome.

When I wrote the return of fan-favorite characters Minsc and Boo back in 2014, I never could have imagined that scene would appear in a video game, let alone in such an epic way-

(If you don’t have D&D comic volumes 1-3, they’re collected in D&D: Days of Endless Adventure!)

Between the Nights omnibus, two D&D Young Adventurer’s releases arriving soon (details here and here) and other projects yet to be announced, I have a lot more D&D on the horizon.

Conan? I’m Shocked! Shocked, I say

I know, I know. The Conan guy is talking about Conan.

• At SDCC, editor Matt Murray and I chatted with Fanbase Press about the relaunch and how it ties into a 90+ year legacy of sword & sorcery:

• The solicits for Conan the Barbarian issues #3 and 4 are now out. Peep those covers.

Advice in the Mighty Marvel Manner

Marvel’s The Art of Storytelling digital training course is now rolling out on Proko and my sections on Story Development, Scripting, and Ideation are the first ones out of the gate, so the studio put together a free video with clips from some of the supplementary interviews I did in and around the formal lessons. Lots of good advice and the production quality is really nice too.

(My voice isn’t normally this smokey sounding, but these videos were shot the day after SDCC last year, so I was coming off of a week long talking binge at the convention.)

Links and Other Things

• An architect breaks down design traits of the classic American Diner and it’s a fascinating little bit of culture and history.

• Some art tips from the Helioscope studio, including a couple things I teach my students every year.

• Painter Chris Fornataro breaks down a crucial technique that adds clearer structure when rendering forms. His examples use oil paint, but the technique involved easily transfers to other mediums.

• Ben Eblen discusses how he improved the line quality in his drawings. Good analysis and technique here as well.

Have a great week!

  1. Hey Jim, which of your street fighter comics do you like more, legends:cammy or legends:ibuki?

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