Thursday, February 28, 2013

Reading: Gygax Magazine #1

Well folks, I finally got issue one in the mail of the quarterly Gygax Magazine. And it's a print issue to boot! As you can see from the pic to the left, Gygax Magazine is a throwback to the old days of Dragon Magazine and boy does it show! From the tone of the cover art and logo to the interior fonts and table of content layout, this magazine makes you nostalgic from the get-go.

Not only does Luke and Ernest Gygax get articles spotlighted inside there is a good mix of classic authors featured such as Tim Kask, Lenard Lakofka, Dennis Sustare and James M. Ward. Sprinkled inbetween is a cavalcade of new faces and current industry leaders like Steve Kenson and Wolfgang Baur. All the articles are supported by traditional black and white illustrations, some by artists you'd expect to see in a Dragon Magazine clone like Jeff Dee, Diesel and Tom Wham. And of course, what D&D magazine would be complete without a trio of full color comics? Rich Burlew (Order of the Stick), Jim Wampler (Marvin the Mage) and Phil Foglio (What's New? with Phil and Dixie) all offer up their best at the end of this magazine.

The content of the articles themselves varies from reminiscing about the early days of D&D to your typical insights on bridging the gaps of D&D editions and gamer generations. There's no word whether they'll be allowed to use official D&D settings yet, with this lineup one can only hope someday. There is useable game offerings in this issue though for current systems like Pathfinder. So hopefully there's bound to be something in here for everyone. You'll have to buy a copy yourself to see. ;)

What impressed me most about the issue however, was that I read it from cover to cover. Not just the articles but the game ads, the credits, the artwork. It may have been the newness factor, but I once relished getting Dragon in the mail just like this and would immediately pour over every inch of it. That is till around the end of 2nd and the beginning of 3rd edition, then something changed in the tone of the magazine. I can't put my finger on it but here was no heart I think. I started to cherry pick articles to read (no pseudo-Greyhawk related material in Gygax #1 btw) that would apply to the game I run and then ignore the rest. It also may have been an overwhelming focus on crunch and full color art that assaulted my brain back then. With Gygax Magazine I think they found that old school formula again. My only complaint is I have to wait three months for the next issue!

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