My D&D Group
It may come as somewhat of a surprise to you all, but I am indeed kind of a nerd. I've been playing tabletop RPGs since the mid-1990's when the owner of the restaurant I worked at told me he ran a game on Sunday nights, and I wondered if experimenting with live-action story-telling would help my writing (SPOILER ALERT: Kind of).
|You know . . . that game that lets television audiences know the characters are socially awkward but really smart?|
Another member of the gaming group, Shimkus, is the guy who first introduced me to Neil Gaiman's Sandman on the ride over to Bunch's Amazing Sinking Home and D&D Parlour after I had mentioned that I was a fan of Gaiman's fiction (an indirect result of my having roomed with the third member of the gaming group, Chris, for a few months after college and finding a copy of Good Omens laying around my first week there).
My Oldest Friend
|Pictured here are (l-r) Jack, me, and a classmate at the Huntsville Space Center about the time we met in 7th grade|
Jack Mayfield is responsible for a lot of who I am today. He introduced me to the work of Douglas Adams, helping make me a lifelong fan of both The Hithchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. He also recorded for me every episode of Grenada's Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett, at a time when we didn't have cable, and our antenna was all but useless for picking up the local PBS station, turning me into a lifelong Sherlockian long before Robert Downey, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Johnny Lee Miller refused to wear the deerstalker.
|Shh. Don't tell anyone, but the those three gentlemen to your right? Rank amateurs.|
My Older Stepbrother
|I don't have a picture of BJ, so here's a picture of Jim Carey. Close enough.|
BJ, may be the most important person for this list since he first introduced me to comic books in general. As a kid, I was (and remain) a huge Star Wars fan, and when my mother remarried, my new stepbrother had every issue of the original Marvel run of Star Wars comics. He gave me the first one for free, but like any good drug dealer, he gradually raised the price.
|"C'mon, man, you know you want a little more. Look at that art, so smooth. Smell that newsprint, intoxicating. Five dollars, and the next one's yours."|
Eventually, I moved on to harder stuff. I was reading Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, sometimes even the odd Daredevil. When Marvel wasn't enough, I moved on to DC: Batman, Superman. I once even sank so low as to read an entire run of Plastic-Man.
|Sadly, I never recovered.|
I hope they're happy.
Next month: The countdown continues.