Thursday, July 14, 2011

Probably just the sour grapes talking...

Before I set about whining, I'd just like to mention an Oz author who did not make it onto my big list. Ron Baxley Jr. He wrote the book "The Talking City of Oz" which was originally published by March Laumer's Vanitas Press back in 1999. He recently teamed up with an Oz author who is on the list, James Wallace III, to write Of Cabbages, Kings and Even (Odd) Queens, an Oz/Wonderland crossover novel. Both of those works are in the process of receiving second editions later this year, so hold on to your wallets until these guys have a chance to wow you.

If you want Ron to be noted as your favorite Oz author, just choose "other" in the poll on the side and then add a comment to any blog post declaring your love for Ron. And do it soon, as the poll closes in just two weeks.

Now on with the whining,

Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road has not made a huge splash in the gaming world. That's not surprising, as I don't have a large promotional budget, or a big budget at all, really. So when the Ennies rolled around for this year, I decided to go for it. It seemed like the process was deliberately designed to be accessible to the little guy, so I thought I had a chance. Especially with the good reviews that I've gotten over the past year.

But when the nominations rolled around, it quickly became clear that this playground had already been claimed by the big boys. No room for the little upstart with a small budget and a big dream.

While I was munching on sour grapes over in the corner, I stumbled upon this. Wundergeek mostly focuses on the pit of misogyny that is the video game industry, but she does take some time for us tabletop gamers every now and again. I feel slightly better now, knowing that AiO would likely pass her criteria for a successful female depiction on the cover of an RPG. (Note that I have not asked her to examine this at all, so she has not endorsed this in any way shape or form.)

While there is only one female figure in the image, that female figure is A) centered in the image and B) not sexualized at all.

So I feel slightly better. There is some standard by which I am clearly better than those pesky Ennie nominees.


Anna Kreider said...

Hi there! This is Wundergeek, and I just want to say that your cover is, like, a million times better than any of those boring Ennies covers. Holy crap, it's awesome. And yes, your female character is awesome. She's covered, not sexualized, and kind of disturbing - which is in my books awesome. I hope you sell the crap out of this book.

Doug Wall said...

Your actual approval is 9000 times better than your assumed approval. Thank you so much!

Scraps the Patchwork Girl is one of several very awesome female characters that Baum wrote about. I think I just found my next blog topic.

Unknown said...

I didn't notice how nice the female portrayal is until it was pointed out (I'm still learning in this regard), but I did notice several other successes to the cover that I've commented on elsewhere, and might as well comment on here now that we're on the topic:

1) It shows a distinctly Ozian group mirroring Dorothy's party, that even those only familiar with the movie or other sources can recognize as being "of Oz".

2) Despite that, it's not Dorothy's group, going in with the tagline that it's "fantasy roleplaying beyond the Yellow Brick Road".

3) They're all characters from the books -- unless I miss my guess, Ojo, the Hungry Tiger, the Patchwork Girl, and Captain Fyter -- giving those who are familiar with the books a good idea that they're in for something that borrows from and remains faithful to them.

Nathan said...

Not sexualized? I think the Scarecrow might have a differing opinion on that matter!

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