by Mike 'mortellan' Bridges|
It all begins with a map...
The Plains of Ullinois, circa 1982, an old friend of mine introduced me to the splendor of the two folded maps that make up the World of Greyhawk. Like the people contacted by aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind I became one of those attracted to this fantasy world and ever since then you cannot tear me away from it. The map is perfect, from its texture to the calligraphy, to the mysterious names for everything. It became a life-quest to learn everything about everything on that map. Then once that is accomplished, move on to places OFF that map! My first (and most treasured) D&D book was the 1E Dungeon Master's Guide. Naturally that would become my nerdly calling in life. I was always keen on writing and drawing since grade school. My fascination with maps and medieval/ancient times just seemed to mesh perfectly with the game. It's a common story for alot of us I'm sure. Needless to say I've been running Greyhawk for 25 years now, and even though I've dabbled in Forgotten Realms, and Mystara, and a slew of non-D&D games, I have always come back to Greyhawk like a boomerang.
25 years of gaming in a nutshell...
My campaign can be broken down into three distinct campaigns.
Golden Age Greyhawk: 1st Edition. Total Monty Haul gaming from my teenage years. At first the simple stuff is tackled like Tomb of Horrors and White Plume Mt. Then the players raise an army and totally conquer the map.
Silver Age Greyhawk: I pull a 'Dallas'. Golden Age was a dream! 2nd Edition stuff, more mature high school/ college age gaming. Adventures like Greyhawk Ruins, Temple of Elemental Evil, Vecna Lives and City of Skulls are among the best I've ran.
Current Age Greyhawk: 3rd edition leads to a new start up and new villains are used besides the usual Iuz and Vecna. Notably Eli Tomorast, Iggwilv and Abi Dalzim. Characters go Epic and find out how out of control 3E can get. A second generation campaign is started 20 years later, 615CY. Dungeon's Maure Castle renews the rivalry with Eli Tomorast! Will this generation ever finish Maure Castle? Will the Epic characters return from exile? Will Age of Worms work out?
Cartooning on the brain...
Since grade school I've been doing comic art. I am a life long fan of Marvel's Mighty Thor(Currently has over 400 issues) and Sergio Aragones' Groo the Wanderer. I tried my hand at serious super hero comics, but was never successful, it's too much work. In high school I started a long running sci-fi comedy series called Space Force that is based on my friends and me. In Space Force we get involved in parodies of classic scifi movies like Empire Strikes Back, Aliens and Dune. Parody would continue to be my M.O. as I did a couple years worth of a webcomic called Realmz. This title was a comical spin on the subculture of online freeform fantasy roleplay. From there I returned to my Greyhawk roots and employed the techniques and comedy I honed on Space Force and Realmz into creating the comic you read today, W.o.G.
My modest publication history...
I won't lie to you, I'd love to be a published writer or artist for D&D or Dragon and Dungeon Magazine. The only thing stopping me has been myself. However I have taken the next best route and at canonfire.com and Oerth Journal I am among the most noteable if not single minded authors to be published there currently. My body of work is not too shabby, if one likes the barren plains of Ull:
The Dagger of Misfortune
See Ull…and Die! Part 1
See Ull…and Die! Part 2
Planes of Retribution
Random Encounters in Ull
Blink Camprat (Kund)
Magic Items of Ull: Part 1
Magic Items of Ull: Part 2
The Yellow Cartel
Minotaur Mask of the Ulsprues
Map of the Great Oerik Flood
Bruzharag the Misbegotten, Orakhan of Ull
Ull Gazetteer: Ulakand the City of Horses, part 1
Ull Gazetteer: Ulakand the City of Horses, part 2
Ull Gazetteer: Trade Town of Kester, Part 1
Ull Gazetteer: Trade Town of Kester, Part 2
The Altar of Dhawar
Gazetteer of the Flanaess: Ull (Oerth Journal #19)
My Ulltimate goals for future publication
I have attended the last three year's Gencons and it has opened my eyes to many new possibilities and purposes. I have met authors and artists there that have fueled my desire to do more. Meeting other Greyhawk fans there is always a high priority and after the untimely removal of Paizo Publishing's license for Dragon & Dungeon Magazines I feel I have an inside track to many industry folk there as well. I hope we can even someday host a seminar there for all displaced Greyhawk fans, that will be attended by both readers and writers of the setting. I also intend to stay closely attuned to the Greyhawk community until the setting is relaunched because the last time Greyhawk went 'underground' I became detached (I wasn't online much then) and missed out on the renaissance that produced people like Gary Holian and Erik Mona. So with any luck I will be there to provide my humble insights on Ull and perhaps more. Ideally I'd love to do a comic that is somehow publishable(and profitable). Ideally Greyhawk related. Ideally if someone else owned the I.P. rights. I can dream, right? Until then I am aiming to get to 200 regular issues of W.o.G and as long as I can stand it, doing side comics to promote canonfire's new articles. One of these days I'd like to write a novella on Greyhawk too. We certainly need more Greyhawk fiction out there. Well that about does it. Anything more you need to know about me or Greyhawk in general come to Greytalk (links are posted at canonfire.com) where we chat almost any night. See ya on the forums.