News from The Keep

I've begun spending a lot more time down at Dragon's Keep. So much, in fact, that the owner offered to scrounge up a drafting table for me to use. For some reason I'm doing some of my best pencilling and inking there. Maybe it's the background conversations, which are all over the geek map. Maybe it's the fact that I'm in a shop that is filled with the work of artists who are far better than I am. Well, Shaggy (yes, the shop is owned by a grown man named "Shaggy") came up empty-handed on the table, so I put out a quick plea to the Live Journal crowd. Chalain pointed out that he had a table (I knew this -- it's a nice one) and that he wasn't using it (I didn't know that). So Monday I picked up Chalain's table, Tuesday I assembled it down at the Keep, and yesterday I pencilled a week of Schlock Mercenary on it. There are still some kinks to be worked out of the system. For starters, we need to elevate my chair about eight inches. We may want to get a lamp, too. And we may want to publish a schedule for when you can come down and watch Howard work on the comic. Because, you know, you CAN. I don't mind at all. I do my best work when people are watching... I'm that much less likely to take shortcuts. Right now I'm there on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, usually after about 2:00pm, but sometimes starting as late as 5:00pm. If you call Dragon's Keep and ask, they'll tell you whether I'm there yet. I have it on good authority that they don't mind having people they've never met before come into the store. Wednesday and Friday nights are RPG nights for me there at the keep. Last night we played Shadowrun -- Shaggy GM'd a great session. My character, Ian "Aspect" Rasmussen, is an elven shaman who serves as the "Face" for our crew of runners. Fast-talking and highly charismatic, he's the guy responsible for making sure there's no shooting. And in last night's session, he talked the party into and out of a secure facility, extracting a corporate researcher out from under the noses of his watchers. Sure, our hacker made Aspect's fast-talking believable, and there were a couple of hitches, but we never needed that rocket launcher we picked up. I think that makes up for the fact that Aspect totally botched an attempt to slip through a security checkpoint in order to go shopping. Fortunately for him, the "knockout" spell is very effective when over-cast, and if you talk fast enough, everybody may just think that the guard is having a seizure. Or at least they'll think that long enough for you to run away. Aspect seriously needs to buy himself a nice, shiny, CLEAN fake ID. And since the team just got paid, maybe he'll spend his cut on something besides Ork Pop bootlegs and tea.