Zubby Newsletter #36: A Little Nod

My writing schedule has been intense this Fall, but Stacy and I are slooowly but surely making our way through Baldur’s Gate 3. I’m in the final act of the game, wrapping up side quests and preparing to take things to the finish line as I relish each bit of fun character interplay and obscure bit of Dungeons & Dragons lore that the Larian crew has jam-packed into it.

After recruiting Minsc and Boo for my adventuring party (which is quite the task, I must say), I chatted with the butt-kicking Rashemen about his past and these two bits from my D&D comic run came up in dialogue-

“Did Minsc bravely fend off the seductive wiles of a succubus in the cloisters of Candlekeep?”

“Did he take a bath in the River Styx and temporarily forget himself?”

Minsc is notoriously brain-addled and forgets things all the time, so he’s not sure if those stories happened, but longtime fans know the truth. At the end of Dungeons & Dragons: Infernal Tides I did indeed have Minsc take a dunk in the River Styx and lose his memories so he’d be a ‘clean slate’ for the video game team since I knew BG3 was in development even though it hadn’t been announced to the public at that point.

This also leads to one of my favorite scenes at the end of the mini-series, where Boo (Minsc’s companion) tries to fill him in on his past adventures and he delights at hearing about his own legend-

Line art by Max Dunbar, colors by Sebastian Cheng, letters by Neil Uyetake.

Everyone likes to be acknowledged, even if it’s just a little nod.

Thanks, Team Larian! I really appreciate it.

Doing the research and making stories sync up helps it all feel personal and interconnected, which is one of the many reasons why people get attached to these characters and ongoing worlds in the first place.

(I went into this in more detail in Newsletter #4: Connectivity and Continuitywhich is worth reading if you didn’t see it back in March.)

50 Years of Dungeon Delving

Speaking of D&D, I’m doing back-to-back conventions in March to celebrate 50 years of the world’s biggest and most famous RPG where it all began. I’ll be at both Founders & Legends (March 16-18) and Gary Con (March 21-24) in 2024.

In theory I’m a guest at both these shows (and will be on some panels and running some games) but, honestly, I’m heading there as a lifelong fan and really looking forward to hanging out with industry friends and meeting some of the amazing people who helped build the game that ignited so much of my creativity.

Spatch For The Win

It’s been a while since I covered a recipe here, so let’s correct that now – Spatchcock Chicken, do it!

Taking the back out of your bird of choice (chicken, turkey, duck, etc.) and roasting it in the oven is the best way to cook the whole thing at once, period. It’s way easier, much faster, and far tastier than you might think, and you can use the leftover bones for soup or gravy stock!

My local grocery store has specials on whole chickens – it costs less than $10 for a 3½ pound bird that turns into at least 4 meals for Stacy and I – roast chicken dinner, sliced chicken breast on a bun, chicken salad sandwich, and chicken soup. Plus, when I make soup stock the whole house smells like my grandma’s place did around the holidays, a flood of amazing sensory memories.

I cooked a 12-pound turkey in just over an hour using the same method back in 2021 (turkey-specific recipe video HERE) and it was one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. No more waking up at dawn to start the roasting and basting process where you have to babysit the bird all day. This approach solves it all.

Don’t be intimidated by a whole chicken or turkey. Follow this method and you can save money (whole birds are way cheaper per pound than separated breast, thighs, or wings) and make soup without stressing over whether the white meat will be dry or the dark meat will be undercooked.

I should have posted this recipe up last week, before American Thanksgiving. Oops!

Links and Other Things

  • Daniel Warren Johnson is doing stellar stuff in comics and his new Comics Journal interview is a lot of fun. My buddy Derek raved about Murder Falcon and Do a Powerbomb and I finally fell in headfirst and enjoyed the hell out of both of them. (I know, I know. I should have read this stuff many months ago.)
  • Wizards of the Coast posted a video where some of their staff posit on What D&D Monsters Taste Like, which is both amusing and awkward. In a fictional world you can absolutely have all kinds of unusual flavor options, but if a creature is capable of carrying on an intelligent conversation with you then it’s probably a fantasy form of cannibalism.

Okay, that’ll cover things this time. Have a fantastic week!

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