I am a nerd -unabashed, unhesitating, full-frontal nerd, and I will gladly say with no shame in the matter that I had an absolute blast at Games Day (evisceration included; thank you Skarvald).
I believe this effort would make my fifth dalliance at a Games Day event over the span of 10 years.
The first year I skulked about, ogling the tables for a bit, but then left after having only stayed an hour or so feeling both awkward and vaguely disappointed. I went alone and spoke to no one while was there.
The second year, I entered a few models in the Golden Daemon contest that I thought were quite good for my standard… and immediately regretted that decision once I saw what real painting talent produces for that competition. I was shattered and embarrassed to see my models next to the professional efforts; I felt humiliated. I spoke (or rather, was spoken to by) only one person, Dave Taylor –who was kind enough to compliment one of the models I had entered. Those kinds of things stick with a fellow.
The third year (and possibly fourth, they blend together a bit), Ref Pitmann came along and we wandered about the hall for a good while. Pitmann left early, and I stuck around to speak with a few folk from the UK studios.
I even entered the Speed Daemon contest and placed second in my heat with this beastly Orc (the first photo ever to appear on A Gentleman's Ones as a matter of trivial fact, and not a bad effort for only 45 minutes and a broken club for a brush). One of those years, I also entered the Golden Daemon again and earned an honorable mention for a ghoul of all things. I was thrilled beyond reckoning.
This year, I genuinely got involved; so much so, that I think it fair to say that I was in way over my head (why be dull, right?). The HoA tables, of course, dominated my participation for weeks up to the event and for most of the day as well (this post will conclude with a veritable bucket of images of those tables -feel free to skip down if you like).
But the real matter for me here is the simple lesson that I seem to need to learn again and again: one gets out what one puts in. If I failed to enjoy the experience in my first year or so, it was positively because I failed to make the effort. I appeared on the scene and expected the scene to entertain me in ways that I had not even bothered to imagine. No wonder I was disappointed; I expect most people are when they haven’t genuinely come to grips with their own expectations. If I left feeling rather isolated, it is entirely because I had been shy and isolated myself. tsk. tsk.
This year was amazing. I met a ton of really quite incredible people from across the blogosphere and beyond –tremendous crowd, genuine ace individuals, one and all. I entered the Speed Daemon contest once again, and once again placed second in my heat with the Legolas above (by the way, has anyone seen my Legolas? Jawa? Cho?).
Oh, and the table. There will be more, to be sure, many more in the coming days. With the next two posts, I intend to outline in some detail the two dramatic influences that helped shape the HoA table (in no relevant order: photos from around town and Porky’s Expanse). Until those posts, however, enjoy.