GenCon 2016 and other Shenanigans….

Posted by: jon

So when I updated and restarted my blog, I actually kind of felt somewhat caught up with things.Well, that sure didn’t last long! I attended GenCon 2016 for a few days and feel like I’ve been playing catch up ever since (thanks Rob for letting me crash!). They were a fun-filled and surprisingly productive few days though! I got to hang out with some of my favorite artists, and also met a few more awesome ones who I got the privilege to talk with a bit and get to know. These included Christopher Burdette and his wife Achsa (who’re both fun and a riot to be around), Sam Flegal, Mark Poole, Mike Sass, Kat Birmelin, and of course, Larry Elmore, who is always cool to talk to and see for a bit at shows. Christopher Burdette is known for his work on some of the Star Wars and Warhammer Fantasy Flight games, as is Sam Flegal. I’m fortunate enough to own original art drawings and paintings done by both, and they’re some of my most prized and favorite possessions. Mike Sass is well known for a lot of the art done on some of the original Star Wars games created by BioWare, including the widely acclaimed Knights of the Old Republic. I now own an original Rancor painting done by him, and am stoked to have it! Mark Poole is an artist who I hadn’t met until this GenCon, but regret not finding before now. Not only is he an amazing artist who has done work for Magic: the Gathering, Fantasy Flight, Blizzard, History Channel, and many others and has tons of experience drawing birds of prey (which is something I’ve been searching for for a while), but he’s also a fellow bassist, and we instantly struck up a ton of conversation about music, recording, and art, and it was really cool getting to know him a little. Kat Birmelin is a fellow Star Wars Expanded Universe enthusiast and gamer, and I got a really cool Darth Talon original piece from her that’ll look awesome on the wall with my other pieces! Of course, it’s also not a GenCon visit without getting to stop by and talk to Larry Elmore for a bit, whose art on the original Dragonlance novels and AD&D covers were part of what got me into the sci-fi/fantasy world in the first place. I talked to him for a bit about falconry and other odds and ends, and hopefully I get to bring my hawk down sometime and let him check it out. He was also celebrating his birthday (his 68th I believe) at GenCon, so happy belated again Larry! It was definitely fun hanging out with this crew some during the random after con shenanigans and hope that it happens again someday soon!

There were a lot of highlights, but the other awesome high point of the trip was getting to meet Michael Mendheim, the creator of Mutant League Football, one of my favorite video games of all time! I got to play the demo for the reboot of Mutant League Football, which he’s titling Mutant Football League, and I can 100% without a doubt say that it’s going to be every bit as fun as the original, while also staying true to the spirit of the franchise. The current gen graphics add another element to the fun of the game, and I’m confident the final product is going to be nothing short of amazing. He was truly a class act, and I had the good fortune to be able to have dinner with him, his son, and his writer Rebecca one evening after the con closed. We got to talk about the gaming industry, music, odds and ends life stuff in general, and even a little politics, and it was also fun hearing some of his experiences he’s had working on various games. I learned some cool things, and it’s always refreshing when I meet people who’ve inspired me in various ways and they turn out to be genuinely nice people. It’s always disappointing when it’s the other way around, but fortunately I’ve had more positive experiences in this regard than negative. I’ve also submitted some music to be in the game, so hopefully if all goes well, I’ll achieve another bucket list goal soon. Regardless, I’m honored to have had the chance to submit material and contribute to the game, so fingers crossed it works out! He’s planning on relaunching another Kickstarter for the game soon, so check out the video I took while playing the game and keep an eye out for it in the near future.

Other than that, it’s been back to the grind since getting back. I’ve been preparing for Warwick’s Bass Camp, which is going to be here before I know it, and also trying to continue to work towards my DDP Yoga Certification hours, along with the usual family stuff. I’d also like to announce my rekindled artist relationship with Mono, who specializes in making cases for guitars, basses, and other instruments and accessories. I’ve used their products since 2011, so I’m happy to continue endorsing them! I also just landed a gig doing live sound for a local venue, and can’t wait to get started with that as well. Hopefully between running live sound and recording when I can when my studio is finished, I’ll have music in my life more consistently again. I’ve missed it a lot, and hate going through periods of inactivity as an engineer and musician. I’ll also be training a new Harris Hawk here in about a month too, and can’t wait for Falconry season to get started! Definitely have been getting the itch for it, that’s for sure! That’s about it for now. Needless to say, when it rains, it pours, and sometimes it’s a struggle to keep up, but sometimes the alternative can be a drag. Until the next time, take care, and I wish continued success and good health for you and yours!!!!



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