Big Dumb Objects, Schlock Mercenary Book 16, is almost ready for the printer!
This coming Tuesday we’ll begin the pre-order process using Kickstarter¹. The project will run for about a month, ending shortly before Thanksgiving, and will include some fun and fancy stretch goals like Planet Mercenary content, challenge coins, and stuff so cool (but so not-yet-approved) that we don’t even dare hint at it.
The project will definitely include a slipcase fitted for books 12 through 16.
We’ll also do some videos for this one. The cover art isn’t done yet, so we’ll take this opportunity to stream its creation over at twitch.tv/howardtayler, starting with pencils, and moving all the way into final inks. (The coloring won’t be streamed. Travis colors these things off-camera.)
We hope you’ll join us next Tuesday (or maybe Wednesday?) and help us fund the creation of a book so big we promised ourselves we weren’t going to do a book this big².
¹ We’re aware of Kickstarter’s position with regard to unionization. We support the unionizers at Kickstarter United, and agree with them: boycotting Kickstarter will hurt all the wrong people. (Yes, including us.)
² At 256 pages Big Dumb Objects is the same size as Massively Parallel — the book which convinced us to stop doing books this big. Maybe putting words for “large” in the title is the problem here.
I don’t know if video exists¹ beyond this short clip from Brian McClellan’s phone, but for four hours on Thursday I role-played as a bard, while loosely interpreting the game on an overhead projector.
It was a blast.
It was also terrifying.
No preliminary sketches, no templates, no “undo” function—I drew on paper, with markers, and we put all the art up for quick sale, proceeds going to the UCASA charity. For just $2.00 audience members could grab one of my sketches AND drop a suggestion in the jar, assigning an action to an NPC named Gallant.
Gallant was a dog. I decided it would be fun if Gallant was that rare, hardy breed commonly known as a were-poodle. It was a risky decision, and during the course of the evening Gallant looked more and more like a demonic sheep².
None of the pictures of Gallant stayed on the table long enough for me to capture them with my phone. One particularly memorable sketch featured Gallant, airborne, urinating on the paladin’s sword. Per the audience’s suggestion, of course. That’s not a thing I’d just DRAW³.
The Typecast RPG Newsletter has lots of pictures in it, and will have many, many more as the game continues. Subscribe here!
¹ If you were there, and have video, send it to @TypecastRPG on Twitter or Instagram so we can share with the world.
² In the future I’ll be grabbing reference art for poodles AND sheep before starting, to make it easier to (HA!) tell the sheep from the fluffy, fluffy wolves.
³ Then again, I did draw a nude-but-for-boxers tiefling sprawled all come-hithery on a petal-dusted bed, so perhaps my standards for these things are lower than any of us thought.
Tonight’s episode is the next installment of the Gods of Vaeron story, using the D&D 5e ruleset. Dan Wells is our Dungeon Master, and the players will be Natasha Ence, Mari Murdock, Charlie Holmberg, Ethan Sproat, and Howard Tayler (←me).
I’ve been experimenting a bit with sketch cards during the game sessions. It’s possible we’ll have our art cam up and running tonight. Eventually these cards will be giveaways for our Twitch subscribers. It’s possible we’ll figure THAT out tonight, too, and start putting things in the mail!
Today, June 12th, 2019, marks the 19th anniversary of Schlock Mercenary on the web. The comic has updated daily, every day, without fail, for nineteen years now. Not because I’m a machine, but because I plan ahead, and have always had smarter people than myself handling the automation.
Still, nineteen years. That window is large enough for there to be people who began reading the comic when they had no children, and who are now grandparents.
I don’t think that’s likely, because the starting audience was not large, but that’s what nineteen years looks like.