A few months after re-introducing me to Dungeons & Dragons, my friend Paul suggested we visit Backlist Books in Massillon for an afternoon of gaming in the then-newly-relaunched Gamma World. It was the first time I had sat down with a group of strangers (except for Paul, of course) for a role-playing session.
We had enough fun that Fred, owner of Backlist, started a Sunday afternoon Gamma World campaign in a setting of his own creation. It lasted several months, and when we’d completed that quest, Fred asked if I’d be interested in joining one of his Wednesday night D&D Encounters groups. I started in September 2011, and over most of the next year, I played through three adventures with two different groups, and I was learning Pathfinder in the fall when Fred broke the news that the store would be closing at the end of 2012.
Besides gaming, there was always plenty of conversation about books and movies and TV and video games and (for us older folks) 1980s pop culture and alternative music. Fred and I also talked running in the months leading up to the Canton Marathon.
Since becoming a Backlist regular, I made a real effort to order new books through the store and reserve Amazon for buying other things.
Kelsey and I drove over on Monday, Dec. 31, to complete one final purchase:
That’s a Handmade By Fred eight-foot bookcase, now in its new home here in my office. (I did have to fire up the circular saw and lop off about 5 inches from the top, since the room’s ceiling height is only 93 inches.) It’s even constructed with an angled base, so it’s nice and stable. I also really dig having a bookcase with a top shelf that – for me, anyway – requires the use of a small stepstool.
There’s a lot of space on those shelves occupied by bits of former Backlist inventory – books from several editions of D&D; science fiction new (Ready Player One; The Inexplicables) and old (Gateway; At the Mountains of Madness); TSR “Endless Quests” books to replace the ones I bought in middle school and lost long ago; John Green, and Jim C. Hines, and a pulpy-covered paperback collection of vintage Star Wars comics.
All in all, a fine reminder of a few years of really good times.
Looks like something Lovecraftian trying to dig its way out:
And now let’s check in with Giant Vintage Kenner Chewie on the weather conditions at 8:43 a.m. Dec. 30, 2012:
As tradition demands, we’re measuring the current precipitation with the Galactically-recognized Giant Vintage Chewie Snow Scale.
11:48 a.m., Eastern Standard Time. Already a few inches on the ground, but not enough to support our Wookiee – he’s leaning against a ground-level section of 4×4. (And yes, Chewie sacrificed a limb to the winter deities a few seasons back.)
And here, at about 6:20 p.m.:
Further updates as events warrant.
Note: Beyond the map below lie some spoilery thoughts on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. You’ve been warned.
All sold – thanks, readers!
Dec. 7 update: Three of the four copies have been sold! The remaining unused Hasbro cardback is the General Grievous version.
I’ve got one
four paperback copy copies of Collect All 21! leftover from the Akron Comicon, so I thought I’d package a few extras with them for the holidays. Details below the photo.
- One unused cardback from Hasbro’s current vintage-style line. The fronts are done in the style of the old Kenner packaging – which is very cool – and the backs have a little bit of Kenner figure history on them. These have never had actual action figures attached. (Note: Three of these are Boba Fetts, and one is General Grievous.)
- TWO vintage Topps cards from the “Giant Full Color Photocards” set. Yes: These are the actual cards from 1980. (Genuine Nostalgia!) No, there is no giant stale gum.
- A digital version (not pictured – of course) of the extra chapter’s worth of material which was added to the Expanded Edition of Collect All 21! This will be delivered by email and can be sent as a Word document, PDF or in ebook form. It’s only the new interviews and added content – not a digital edition of the entire book.
And I’ll knock 10% off the cover price, so you’ll get the book plus those extras for $13.50 + shipping.
If you’re interested, leave a comment or send me an email at booth (at) fieldsedge.com