Before I get to the wonderments of Gygax Magazine #1, I have to set the stage a bit…
When Kobold Quarterly announced it was closing its doors on the magazine, I was crushed. Years before I struggled with the decision whether to subscribe to the classic Dragon or Dungeon magazines of our youth. But other than a few single issues I picked up on rare occasions, I never pulled the trigger. Most of the time it was simply because I couldn’t afford to, truth be told.
So when I finally had the disposable income to finally jump on a KQ subscription, I was very excited. Not only would I be able to read a few issues online as PDFs as I’d been doing, but I’d also be able to hold a printed copy in my hot little hands once a quarter. There’s something magical about print vs. electronic. I’m a paper guy at heart. The feel and smell of paper does something to engage the senses that an e-copy simply can’t do.
That said, I still understand Wolfgang’s decision to pull the plug. I worked at a magazine for a while in the 1990s and they’re always on the edge of financial stability balancing ad revenues, paper, and printing costs, not to mention paying for good art and content. KQ held it together a long time and I’m thankful I got to enjoy it while it lasted.
But where would I get my print magazine gaming fix now?
Thankfully the universe abhors a vacuum and about the time KQ was closing up shop, Gygax Magazine was starting up courtesy of a reborn TSR. I eagerly waited for any scrap of information I could find and on launch day subscribed without a second thought. Even through the small videocast of the launch, the art looked great, the content wide-ranging, and it had strong ties to one of the beloved founders of D&D – Gary Gygax – through his family,
friends, and the community all wanting to honor his memory.
Well, let me say with glee that if Gygax Magazine #1 is any indication, I hope Gary is smiling from somewhere on high. Weighing in at 68 pages with solid paper stock, a beautiful cover from artist Daniel Horne, and great content, it didn’t take me long to read the whole thing end to end within hours of taking off the wrapper. From “The cosmology of role-playing games” by James Carpio to the new Order of the Stick cartoon from Rich Burlew, I was captivated and probably even read all the ads!
Even after watching the launch party, as they went through the issue feature by feature, I don’t think I was prepared for the magazine to sweep me away that quickly. A bit of history. A bit of the Old Guard. A bit of the new. Some content, theory, and new tools…
Like a great recipe, all the ingredients for success are baked right into the very first issue. No stumbling in the dark trying to figure out how it all works. It even has a home for some KQ content in the “Kobold’s Cavern” from Wolfgang and the crew.
Honestly my only question is why do I have to wait three more months for the next issue!? I guess patience really is a virtue.
Though I still miss KQ, Gygax Magazine is keeping the light bright. And I look forward to seeing issue #2 and plan for #100 or more.