Bold and Busy

The holiday season is always a maddening blur of activity, be it the craziness of end of the year work or the dramatic increase in social and familial obligations. Now that it’s all done for me I can refocus on the various projects I have stewing in my brain.

From Zero…

My rekindled love for Dungeons & Dragons has taken the forefront in my free time, thanks in large part to Roll20 and the ability to play in real time using amazing tools. A huge part of this for me is reconnecting with old friends from high school and continuing to build the world we were playing in when we were but wee nerds. I spent so much time back then with graph paper and colored pencils crafting maps and dungeons and now, some twenty years later, I’m able to do that again using modern technology like Photoshop in place of my wretched drawing skills. As I’ve continued to grow this world the more I want to do with it beyond just running campaigns there. As I continue to build maps the ideas for more stories starting popping up. At some point soon something will have to be done with them, be they prose fiction shorts, comic series, or some mixture of the two.

to Hero (with a lot of help from Photoshop brushes)

I also did a little character building experiment on my Instagram where I rolled up four sets of stats for characters and then, using just random rolling on tables from the 5e Player’s Handbook and the recently released Xanathar’s Guide to everything, I created four characters from those stats. Everything, from race, class, and background were generated randomly. I did it in part because I was surprised at how few players and DMs embraced the challenge of truly random character generation. Pretty much no mater what you’re handed you should be able to find a unique and entertaining character to play with from those results. What I came up with was posted on there with the hashtag #4Characters so feel free to take a look. As with the mapmaking these four individuals may appear beyond their character sheets at some point in the semi-near future. Anyway, on to other business.

My comic project with Claudio Munoz continues and I’ve been absolutely delighted in the results. The last of the art should be done by the end of the month and then it’ll be on to the next chapter in this delightful set of post-apocalyptic mythology based stories. Making comics is slow but I certainly would love to have at least this story ready for perusal and purchase by the time I starting hitting conventions this year. The currently slate of shows (all very tentative) are Captain’s Comics Con in Charlotte, SC; Gem City Comic Con in Dayton, OH; Hunstville Comic Con in (shockingly) Hunstville, AL; and C2E2 in Chicago. Also hopefully ready by then will be the next Winston & Churchill collection FALL OF SHADOWS. Yes, I was hoping to have that all wrapped up neat and tidy come the beginning of this year but that’s coming. I assure you.

Artwork by Claudio Munoz

In the “other things that have been taking up my time” department I’ve been absolutely in love with Star Trek: Discovery. As a lifelong Trek fan this may go down as my favorite series of all time. Bold words, I know, but I stand by them. Yes, TNG and TOS are classics but until now I’ve been craving something that had the emotion depth and storytelling prowess that Deep Space Nine had. As much as I’ve loved two-thirds of the rebooted Abrams-Trek (despite the bitter taste it leaves in my mouth that Enterprise is now the only “canon” Trek show) I’ve been craving that weekly Trek fix we used to get. Discovery has delivered all of the things on my Star Trek wish-list, so much so that I had to stop the recent second-half of the season premiere and ramble on about Trek continuity and the genius of the Discovery writers. Do yourself a favor and check it out if you’re in any way Trek inclined.

Alright, fare thee well folks. Go Boldly or Go Home

About The Author

Thacher Cleveland

Thacher E. Cleveland is a contributing writer & columnist for PanelsOnPages.com, co-host of the Super-Fly Comics & Games PodCast, novelist & comic creator. Originally from New Jersey and previously from Yellow Springs, Ohio, he currently lives in Chicago. You can find him on Twitter (@demonweasel), tumblr, his personal website and even on Google+

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