When we found out how sick Lobo was, he and I talked about doing something to memorialize his many years as a gamer. It was a hobby he loved, and was good at. He brought such abundant energy to games, with a passion for heroism and a penchant for shennanigans. His love, laughter, and dedication meant so much to a hobby that brings friends together to create stories, and his loss is going to be keenly felt at a lot of tables for a long time.
As gamers, we do a lot to try and create lasting pieces of our rather ephemeral hobby. Photos, character sketches, screen caps, t-shirts, written stories, and (nigh-endless) retellings of the good times. He was passionate about these too. One of his very favorite treasures (in a rather considerable collection of such treasures:) was a movie poster created by Lee Moyer in honor of a much-loved Star Wars campaign:
(sorry about the reflected flash)
And I gotta say, I love this poster. I never played that game, and I didn't even know most of the people that did while it was going on, but I still love to look at it. Partially because I feel like it captures something of the feeling of being heroes with your friends, and how fancy and fantasy can sometimes be made just a tiny bit more concrete...and partially because of the simple visceral squee of HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?
But I digress.
When I told Lobo that what I really wanted to do was to commission Lee to make another commemorative image, one of some of his favorite characters through his gaming career, he kind of lit up, and gave me the specs of what he'd want that to look like. It was a hard choice, narrowing it down to just a few characters...he played in so many games with so many people that he valued immensely, but it seemed like a good idea to make sure the image was one that would still come across in smaller sizes, so people that wanted a print to remember him by wouldn't necessarily have to dedicate a whole wall to displaying it.
He tried to pick characters that would make a visibly interesting combination, that he knew had been significant to others, and would be a comfort to those likely to feel his loss most immediately. It was a lot to choose from, and hard criteria to balance. But we got it all down and sent it to Lee, and he sent us back this rough sketch:
It's not the final-final-final rough (Lee is a little self-conscious about the quality of his roughs, but I think the quality of his final products makes up for it), but it's the general idea.
I would like this to get made. I would like to be able to give prints of it to anyone that wants one, regardless of whether they can contribute to the cost. I would like to create a short accompanying write-up of who all these characters are, and some of their exploits, for people that didn't get a chance to play with any of them. But good work by professional artists is rightfully expensive. The target of this funding project would cover the creation of the piece, complete with the rights to reproduce prints of it, as well as probably-most-but-possibly-not-all of the printing and shipping costs to make sure that everyone that wants one can have one.
Any monies collected above the funding goal would go towards covering additional costs (if any), and sponsoring a team to walk for pancreatic cancer research (more details later). If I fail to raise enough to get the project going, monies will be split 50/50 between cancer research and throwing a really awesome party for his birthday in early September.
In order to feel remotely confident getting this project started, I would want to collect half of the artist's fee ($2500) by the end of July, with the expectation that the prints of the piece would be ready to present at his birthday memorial/bardic circle/mathom-dispersal party in September (to which everyone is invited regardless of contribution, more details later).
Just to be completely clear: I want this project because it will comfort me, and (I think) many of his friends to have something beautiful and tangible as a tribute to his passions and friendship. I get that it's not everyone's best means of coping, or finding comfort, or lending support, or expressing their love, and that's completely valid. I will not *ever* take it wrong if this is just not your cup of tea. I know that feelings surrounding death can be varied and complicated, and I don't want anyone to feel like I consider participation in this as some measure of whether you love him, or me, or gaming, or whatever. I know it's a lot of money, and that money is a very life-conditional resource. Just...it's ok. It'll work out, or it won't, and it's ok.
If you want to check out Deb Davis' work: https://www.etsy.com/shop/NaturalTreasuresDeb
If you want to check out the kind of divinations Del does:
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