With all the excitement around here this week about my most recent publication — 4 Seconds (still free to read over at Thrillbent!) — I experienced a pleasant kind of kismet when a special package showed up in the mail:
That elaborate box design signals what is inside, but this arrival is no less a surprise, as I didn’t expect to see this book for several weeks yet.
And on the reverse:
Yep, there’s no doubt about it … this box must contain my contributor’s copy of the Grimtooth’s Traps Ultimate Collection! Seems like only yesterday I was promoting the Kickstarter for this anniversary edition, and now it’s here!
Oooh. Slipcase. Very fancy.
Dead dinosaur leather? Hmm.
Inside the slipcase was a massive hardback, bearing largely the same front cover as the first printing of this role-playing supplement, over three decades ago!
And inside, the same cartoon that series artist Steve Crompton drew of a teenaged me, when I edited (and partially wrote) Grimtooth’s Traps back in the 1980s:
And that’s the kismet part! What are the odds that my very first significant professional writing sale would be memorialized in a lavish anniversary edition within days of my latest creation, 4 Seconds, being unleashed on the world?
A bountiful week, to be sure.
But there was one more surprise to come.
My copy thoughtfully included a piece of Steve’s original art from Grimtooth’s Traps. And how do I know it is original? Because that is my printing on the art, labeling this illustration for the “Going Down?” trap. It was so strange to see, and it immediately took me back to that first game design gig, with Flying Buffalo out in Arizona, where I helped launch Grimtooth’s Traps and wrote all sorts of wonderful role-playing things.
Thanks to Goodman Games for publishing this lavish and authoritative edition of Grimtooth’s Traps! I shall cherish it always … provided I can find a shelf strong enough to hold it!
Drop by the Goodman Games site and check out the details on the Ultimate Grimtooth Traps Collection (as well as their line of Dungeon Crawler Classics, and other old school role playing goodies. Tell them Longbox Graveyard (and Grimtooth the Troll) sent you!
I keep this blog pretty laser-focused on comics, but something very cool turned up in my mailbox on Monday, so please indulge me in this little diversion.
What is this?
This is a stack of autograph pages for the anniversary edition of Grimtooth’s Traps, awaiting my signature!
Why my signature?
Well … because the mysterious master of the Longbox Graveyard is also (kinda, sorta) Grimtooth the Troll! Back when I was eighteen years old or so, I edited and (largely) wrote Grimtooth’s Traps, a universal role playing game supplement, for Flying Buffalo Inc.
The book was an instant hit, spawning several sequels. It has remained in print more-or-less continuously since 1981, published around the world in six languages, with something over a quarter-million copies in print.
cartoon of teenage me, circa 1981, by Grimtooth’s Traps illustrator Steve Crompton
It was one of the delights of my early career to be a part of this project, and I was very pleased to make a small contribution to the spiffy new anniversary edition of Grimtooth’s Traps recently kickstarted by Goodman Games.
I’m out of practice with my autograph, but I think they came out OK.
Grimtooth’s Traps opened a lot of doors for me. It provided a substantial professional credit at a very young age, and was instrumental in getting me my first video game design job. It’s a real kick that something I did so long ago is still embraced by fans. I’ve been dining out on the old troll for three decades, and I am so very pleased and proud that the Grimtooth series is getting a deluxe treatment from Goodman Games!
(We now return to your regularly-scheduled comic book content).