Our inaugural guest post comes from blogger Dom G! Dom's 365daysofcomics.com started out as a comic book blog that allowed him to work on his writing skills while writing about something he enjoyed a great deal...comics. He wrote a post every day of the year last year! After a year's worth of writing every day Dom is clearly right-up there with Dickens, Tolkien, and the guy who wrote the Sesame Street song when it comes to skill and execution. Unfortunately for us, he now writes at his convenience which means only a few posts a week. Some say he has gotten lazy. Others say he got a girlfriend. Whatever the case may be for that lazy lonely sucker, I'm glad I was able to get this little ditty from him before he gave up writing entirely and moved on to his true love...dance!
There was to be a gathering.
I was about 10 years old and new to the San Francisco Bay Area when I was introduced to my mother’s co-worker’s child. I didn’t have many friends yet, and my mom set me up with this unknown kid on one of those play dates that parents think are so cute. I was not comfortable with it. But hey, I’m the kid and mothers know best.
My mom was, and still is, one smart motha- (Shut yo’ mouth!). Just talk’n bout my motha!
This kid opened up my eyes to the world. When I went to his house to hang out and spend the night I had the awakening of my life. I was introduced to many things such as the fact that the Michael Jackson song from the end of the film Free Willy was on the “Dangerous” Album, and that you can eat clusters of granola by the handful…and it tastes like heaven. While these things were amazing new experiences, they were just the tip of the iceberg. Ironically enough, when the sun set…I saw the light.
I didn’t quite get it. The set seemed a bit cheap. But there was something about this “Late Night” duo of Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter that appealed to the core of me…or maybe that was the granola. My new pal and I stayed up late and laughed the night away: about what, who knows? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I had fun because of some goofy red-head and a shorter blond…and to this very day (even when Andy left the show for awhile) the duo is still bringing a smile to my face nightly.
After the hour of comedy ended we watched “Red Dwarf”, a British comedy that I didn’t get as much, and then moved on to a strange new card game which involved pictures of creatures and plots of land that somehow gave dragons the power to attack. I was introduced to, and taught, Magic: the Gathering.
Magic at this point in 1993 had just been created and few people (including myself) had known about it. I was instantly hooked. Powered by a few plains, my Serra Angel with a sword could own, but like whatever.
I came home with a pack of cards the kid gave me for free so that I could play with others who also wielded the knowledge of Magic, and of course, the cards. Oddly enough, I never saw or heard from that kid again. It’s like those old movies where a supernatural friend helps someone out and at the end of the movie the main character and the supernatural friend are talking, but the main character looks away for a moment as he is talking and says, “I think it’s all gonna workout, don’t you?” Then the main character looks back to see the supernatural friend is gone because it served its purpose and the main character no longer needed the supernatural friend. A friend steps into frame and says, “Don’t I what?” The main guy looks around then smiles to himself and says, “Nothing. Come on, let’s go home.”
It was just like that for me and that kid. I don’t even remember his name. (sigh)
Like I said…there was a gathering.
When I went home I found that none of my small group of friends were interested in playing Magic the Gathering. Plus, the local comic shop did not sell the cards right away (they later did the next year). I was a bit down on Magic until I saw a random flyer at the grocery story about a Magic the Gathering convention coming to town. I wrote down the time and place and began to mentally prepare.
When my father dropped me off, with $10 for lunch, at the old airplane hangar in town called, “The Barn” (makes no sense) I had no idea what I was in for. I had never been to a convention before and assumed that I would walk into a large room of tables with people playing Magic: the Gathering, so the only thing I would have to worry about is finding a seat. I was a little off with my convention prediction.
There were a bunch of tables set up for vendors selling everything from cards, to art, to bags of gems. Apparently, the gems were your life points. Every time you were attacked and took a certain amount of damage you had to swallow a gem or something…? The first person to choke…loses! I guess I’m still not too clear on the point of a sack of gems.
Past the vendors was what I expected to find: chairs, tables and nerds. These guys looked legit. Several stacks of cards and just the right amount of mana covered the tables. I was young and alone so I felt a bit uncomfortable, but eventually I decided to just take a seat next to some older guys and watch. I learned how to become a skilled chess player by watching my dad play, so I thought I might as well sit next to an older guy to learn strategy.
After walking the vendor’s tables and watching a few games I realized my deck was out classed, so I did the only appropriate thing I could do. I spent my whole $10 lunch money on one card which would make my whole deck better. Adding one card was sure to turn the tide in any match. I believe that card was a “Wraith of God” card which kills all creatures currently on the board, but I can’t say for certain because it was so long ago and so not worth $10. I eventually traded in that card to a card collectible shop for a few baseball cards which unfortunately did not kill all of the creatures on the Red Sox.
After losing a few games to people who would play me, my father came and got me at the designated spot, at the designated time, because that’s what we did before cell phones…we planned ahead. I remember feeling like I had a fun time and when my father asked me what it was like I played it cool and said something along the lines of, “It was alright. Just a bunch of geeks at a gathering.”