Bill Owen Q&A
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:53 pm 
 

Zenopus wrote:Bill, if you could be so kind, please take a look at my post about The Judges Guild Journal issues M (June/July 77)


"The publishers of National Lampoon have begun publication of an adult-fantasy magazine... definitely rated 'X' (we cannot recommend this one)."

How does this apparent reference to Heavy Metal relate to that oh-so-creepy blurb on the Holmes box: "The Original Adult Fantasy Role-Playing Game"? The people demand answers!

  

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Post Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:09 pm 
 

As H. L. Mencken said about the people: Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

So, no other answer for you people! :)


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:32 am 
 

Has anyone seen James Mishler's announcement of pdf game aids? http://adventuresingaming2.blogspot.com ... games.html

I hope everyone buys something from him because he directly took the mantle from Bob and got burned by the lack of response then. And at $8 his pricing is equivalent to us producing the first City State package for 50 cents in 1976 dollars.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:26 pm 
 

Hey Bill,

I was going to ask you an off-topic question.

Do you have any idea on what is going with McAfee and the Belize government?

Some of it reads like a spy/action novel from Fleming or Ludlum...

Best regards,
Ronald

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:13 am 
 

Not really. I've read a bit too. He's over on the main island that most people visit (Ambergris Caye). I'm on the mainland, 75 miles inland on Guatemalan border and much more sedate and secure here.

Many of have wished for great wealth and he may be an all-too-common tale of how that might work out.


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:16 pm 
 

Bill Owen wrote:Not really. I've read a bit too. He's over on the main island that most people visit (Ambergris Caye). I'm on the mainland, 75 miles inland on Guatemalan border and much more sedate and secure here.

Many of have wished for great wealth and he may be an all-too-common tale of how that might work out.


Hey Bill,

Thanks for the reply.
I guess we'll see how it plays out.

Best regards,
Ronald

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:32 pm 
 

Just as a little aside. Rich people here attract attention. And of course if you're a foreigner they assume you are rich. And the reality is that a middle class person (like me about a median as they come) IS relatively rich compared to most of the people in a 3rd world country.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:23 pm 
 

2 bits of news here from the Tower of the Elephant:

One of my acquaintances is friends with a McAfee buddy who came down to Belize. He told my pal that McAfee has made it out of Belize alive so that chapter of intrigue is over.

My 2nd edition, big whopping, hardcover, full-color, 80-page, coffee-table JG History is available for 50% off the 25% discount price off $149.95, so instead of $112.46, you get an addition 50% off that price or $56.23 or $56.23 final price. Total Savings: $93.72! You go to http://www.lulu.com/gamedesign and enter coupon code IHEART50.*

*Hurry offer ends Feb 08, 2013 at 11:59 PM PST.


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:40 pm 
 

I was talking to a printer and relayed how I got into large scale printing in 1977 with KK Stevens web press. He said his dad (about my age) was a big fan of D&D and asked if I would send him some old stuff. We'd talked about how our printing capability had upgraded from Hectograph gelatin pan, to mimeograph, xerox and offset ...before JG started and it was pretty obvious that I was influenced by Avalon Hill's professional quality of reproduction and also SPI's lack of fear to produce utter trash (reproduction wise) to get things 'out the door'.

Anyway, since he was kind enough to send a sample pack of his company's work to Belize by postal mail (Fed Ex etc. we have to go to Belize City to pick up), I sent him a few items. And this is what I wrote:

    Because you are a printer, I will also send 2 older newsletters from 1970 and 1971 that illustrate our graphic progress from Hectograph gelatin reproduction (our 48th page at that point from 1968 starting point hand-typed Samzidat repro) and 1971 (our 70th) which is Xeroxed and so the Prestype is hollowed out because at that time copy machines had a problem with large solid areas. There's something I just noticed which is that we manually right justified columns with the film-ribbon typewriter. It's obvious we were aping traditional publishing without the cash to do it 'right'.

So why I am posting today... would anyone be interested in buying my collection ICD Newsletters? These small-run letter-sized (mostly 1 page though we had a 'magazine' called A-Elim which was 8-12 pages occasionally) started in 1968 and probably peaked by 1972 then revived during 1980 as Bob was having regular gaming and so he wanted to drum up local interest and attendance.

This is also where we started numbering the pages like National Geographic did sequentially over editions so by April, page 500 for them and page 70 for us by 1971. This fussy pagination was carried over into JG where we were always concerned about giving enough value to warrant the price.

I may have the most complete (if only) volume of these newsletters out there. And I always assumed that it had no value to collectors because effectively it was too rare since the early days we had a circulation 4-10 copies! And fewer existing... and so not like IFW monthly zine. So I just sort of figured it was irrelevant. But because it was the precursor to JG and what produced the skill set, I have always seen it as a continuum.

PS One concern I have about living in a high-humidity land like Belize is that I will wake up some day and discover that much of our paper goods is growing fuzzy mold, eaten by termites or soaked by a hurricane-liberated roofless house (or all 3). So maybe it's best to move this along.


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:01 pm 
 

Would permission to reprint be included? Something like this should be available for a larger audience of both collectors and hobbyists interested in the origins of JG and gaming in general.

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:18 pm 
 

Yes.


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:45 pm 
 

Bill I'm going to have my friend Doug contact you and talk about these.....I think we might be interested!  Do you have any further info on what kinds of information is included in these newsletters?

Mike B


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:39 pm 
 

Later tonight I will post an enhanced scan of one of the pages* (the print is light otherwise) at this webpage:  ICD Newletter ...so you can see how low wattage some of it is! (I want to lower expectations.) But then I was an age 13-17 boardgamer and miniature gamer through most of the ICD News & A-Elim period. As my teacher said: "Sharp enough to stick in the ground and green enough to grow."

Then a few issues of Jungle Eskimo which was between high school and D&D (ages 18-19) when most of the club activity was nearly all D&D so most of that material is already in collectors hands from ages 20-23.

What makes these interesting to me is: what we thought was significant and the graphic improvements (including color and complete games during the Hectograph gelatin period) ...there's a straight line through all of this that it did not occur to me to include in either of the history because I thought of it as pretty blah. But with perspective, I would never have partnered with Bob on JG if it weren't for these developments.

*This one is where we introduced Doug Cragoe who was a huge leap forward as he was a buddy of Gygax, Reese & Tucker and produced the Condensed Fire Virgin (as we called it) for GRT (later Tractics) and lived about 45 minutes west in Springfield. I still have one of Michael Reese's KV85 (HO scale tank model) that I got from Cragoe. We had already made the 6x10' sandtable in the basement but having his guidance and a temporary copy of the Samzidat ruleset of GRT meant that we would start typing like crazy to reproduce the giant rule set.

This was also the point where I turned "pro" in that I think he invested $10 in my 3/4" hex sheet project (which I drew everyone of those darned hexes by hand) for PanzerBlitz and we sold those so we'd graduated to giving away content to for-profit Publishing.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:10 pm 
 

Bill,
I probably could not complete with Mikes friend, but I am also interested in these publications.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:28 pm 
 

Thanks to all (I have received some private messages that I have not responded to because I wanted to figure out what actually is there) ...I found even a few odd items from Bob's campaign and JG items plus, original art, photographs documenting the 50+ miniature scenarios. So it's a dumpsite of printed materials and one-of-a-kind mementos. I laid it all out and took a photo which I will post asap.

I think that what I will do is post it on eBay and will note it here. I asked the post office what it would cost to send a kilo of documents and they said $12... although it might be wiser to use their Express service from down here (approx. $25).


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:50 am 
 

I have just completed finding all of the game-related stuff and published an overview photo plus snippets of some items.

Go to ICD & Judges Guild

I found some negatives of missing photos including some flier art (of the City State materials) that I don't think was ever used and possibly the photos were never even printed (very common in the 70's that due to cost, to develop your film but only print what you felt was worth it). So since it's unlikely that I will find a old-style photofinisher here in Belize (I think there's only one 70 miles away!) before the auction is completed, I will send the negatives. I found negatives of the guys who moved JG out of the mall after I sold to Bob, including Marc wearing the Woody mask!

I plan to post the auction tomorrow... and will note it here when I do. The last unresolved issue is weighing all this mass of material! But I'm too tired tonight to do even one more thing. :)


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Post Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:47 pm 
 

The residue auction is up at:

** eBay auction listing blocked.  Please enable cookies in your browser for this site and for eBay! **

It will be over 4:30 PM mountain time next Sunday.

I included somethings that I was going to keep but thought that I ought to move them along: original half-sheet flier from our 1st Gen-Con, a Dear Dealer letter from the 1st year on heavy skytone stock, some other old aids: front cover (only) from the 1st Guide to the City State, Wizards Guide and Man to Man Melee table. Plus other things that weren't in the overview photo.

PS I decided I would keep just 3 things from JG's first year: a Guide to the City State, City State and Wilderlands Judges Maps. That's it.

NOTE: the postage appears to be quite high. The post office quoted me $12 for a kilo but I neglected to ask the extra kilo rate... might be less. But with 5 pounds of stuff and a box, it theoretically could be this high. Once we have an auction winner's destination I will discount the invoice any overage on the postage.


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:09 pm 
 

FYI, I added a note to the auction:

NOTES: my estimate of postage to US addresses was much too high. Instead of $36, it is $21.25.

I did not specify how many digital images I am providing to make up for those that got pulled from the photo albums and never replaced. I estimate that it will be around 100. If you read either of my JG History version 1 or 2, then you know which pictures I am referring to. I will not provide special images provided by Bob II and some other JG-specific images. Not all of these were in photo albums but I thought that this would provide extra value for the auction winner.

These scans are in addition to the 100+ original photos noted in the auction listing already.


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