Funnybook Babylon

March 4, 2008

R.I.P. Gary Gygax.

Filed under: Blurbs — Joseph Mastantuono @ 10:49 pm

Here at Funnybook Babylon, we spend quite a bit of time railing against the idea of the android’s dungeon. Today I’m not feeling so good about it.

Gary Gygax died today, the man who created Dungeons and Dragons. I only mention it because once, long ago, my first conscious step into an American comic shop had been at the age of 8, looking for a box game called ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ I had heard about from a friend. Frankly, lots of geeks out there, myself included, spent many years in the interactive wargaming/roleplaying experience that is a good RPG.

I spent a lot of time in high school playing D&D, and it was there that a fellow player told me about Grendel, The Dark Knight Returns, and the Age of Apocalypse. It was there that we had an abortive campaign of an interesting RPG called ‘Aberrant’ where you play a super-hero in a world with burgeoning superheroes who are finding their powers corrupted. It was there where we drank beers, rolled dice, and explored identities in collaborative storytelling among friend. It was geek-culture. And it wouldn’t have happened if that one guy in Milwaukee hadn’t had wanted something more meaningful out of his war-games.

Team Comics didn’t lose a creator today, but they did lose someone who helped geeks and nerds, whether they were Conan fans, Tolkien fans, comic fans, or a multitude of other things, find each other.

So this one’s for you, Gygax, and the horde of unwashed geeks at Magic tournaments, Wolf-shirt wearing dudes, Vampire Larping girls, guys who spent far too much time painting space marines, and of course those of us who hung up our dice bag still faintly hoping for the day where we will once again roll a 20 to strike a critical hit against a Bugbear among friends.


  1. Speaking as someone sent to a Catholic experience! Summer camp to get right with the lord and who came back with a deep need to buy books that had flaming devils on the covers, (much to my parent’s disappointment,) I’m happy as can be that my misspent youth was largely shaped by Gary and his creation.

    Thanks Gary.

    Comment by Bill Nuttycombe — March 5, 2008 @ 1:21 am

  2. That was lovely, Joseph.

    I don’t identify directly with the mourning, but as a satellite nerd who’s sat on the sidelines of a D&D game or two, I appreciate the loss. I’ll pour a 40 and some dice on the curb at Dragon*Con this year in remembrance.

    Comment by Liz — March 5, 2008 @ 10:31 am

  3. find and remove traps
    hide behind the DM screen
    save throw versus death

    Comment by C.Q. Constant — March 5, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

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