NO BITTER STENCH OF FUNERAL-STILL FOR YAMARA UNDISCIPLINED. Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace.
That's right, guys, really black mood this time. You've all heard about the Dragon relaunch. As new editor Tony Bryant put it, they're getting rid of the whole back end of the magazine. That includes Yamara. The final strip will run in the December issue, and after that, never again. I pointed out to him that some of our fans had claimed to be demolitions experts, and that some had claimed to live for Yamara. He was not fazed. He said that Yamara's fans were "vociferous" but not a majority.
This sounds like a challenge to me. Chris and I knew that Dragon needed a lot of changes, and Yamara is not the sum-total of our creative output. We are not one-trick ponies, no sir. But we understand from your comments that you love that little hobbit, and that you don't care if the plot is incomprehensible or that we sometimes use extras from Twin Peaks. If you're made desolate by the prospect of Dragon without Yamara, the thing to do is to write to Tony at TSR. DO NOT BOMB HIM. He seems like a very nice guy; we're looking forward to working with him on all sorts of stuff. Conversely, you might choose to petition one of the other gaming magazines to pick Yamara up. If you are responsible for one of these things, give a holler online and we'll talk.
And fear not for us. We are not going to disappear off the face of the earth. Chris is doing lots of cards, I'm writing an Immortal supplement, and we have a rather larger strip due to begin in the third issue of d8 magazine. Yamara fans, be warned. Be really warned. Hob, as we call it, is a departure from what you're used to. I could describe it as a film-noir version of Close Encounters, but that would leave you mis-tantalized. It does feature Chris's best black-and-white art to date, and will give you a realistic picture of the deepest recesses of my mind.
See, we're not going away. Radio Free Wyhtl will continue to run, with witty verbiage and updates on our other projects. We're obsessed with the belief that we constitute a grass-roots movement. If we're wrong about you , and you don't want it, email us and we'll take you off our list. (You may have to nag us a couple of times--we're creative types, lackadaisical, don't you know.)
Your letters are still very welcome. Most of you are responsible critics, and we'd like to hear your feedback on our new projects. This will be an interesting experiment. Now that we no longer have the glue of Yamara-love to bind us together, will you still love us? You may find out we're really weird.
We'll be at Dreamation in New Jersey in January, if you're . If no one picks Yamara up by then, we may even throw a wake for the strip. (Vinny gets to decide how heavily he wants to endorse this event.) Also, we're scheduled as guests of honor at Dexcon next summer. If you've ever wanted to own a T-shirt with Chris's art on it, he'll be doing the promotional art for both cons. He's sketched out an amazon for the Dreamation shirt, but would you rather wear Yamara? Let us know.
So, we hope you'll continue to read Dragon; they have a lot of really good ideas for the relaunch, and it'll probably be a useful roleplaying aid like it used to be. Also watch out for d8 magazine, a very cool organ (Joe, can I call it an organ? They wouldn't let us call Dragon an organ). d8, if you haven't heard of it yet, is devoted to roleplaying culture; the idea that we gamers have similar likes and dislikes, and should have a forum that serves our interests when we're not gaming. Also, you should all start playing Immortal. I discussed it with a lovely youth at Shorecon, and he said he'd seen ads for it, but he'd thought it was one more faction-vs.-faction game. That's the trouble with the RPG market these days, it's easy to miss the really cool things in all the whelter of competitive products. Immortal is not like anything else--but mind the warning on the title page.
Eight years, we've been doing this thing. I know it sounds trite to say it's been "real", but hey, it has. Looking back over the growth of the strip (ANTHOLOGY STILL AVAILABLE FROM STEVE JACKSON GAMES, LET'S MILK IT FOR ALL IT'S WORTH), we feel we've made something pretty outrageous. [Wyhtl national anthem, "I Win, You Win, We All Win, Together" begins to play here] We'll go on to bigger and better things, but Yamara's a landmark; we gave vent to a lot of wild satire in the innocent venue of a roleplaying strip, and we hope we've had a serious impact on your philosophical priorities. Our thanks go out to everyone at TSR, particularly Larry Smith and Roger Moore; to Steve Jackson for commissioning an anthology and going through the legal hassle necessary to let it fly; and especially to you lot, for letting us know there was a reason to do it besides the money. And our love to Manu Eleihu and Stephen Barnwell for keeping our chins up throughout.
On into the blue future.