The one year anniversary of the passing of Gary Gygax has me remembering not just the man himself but the fact that all three of my big creative influences have left us.
With the passing of Mr. Gygax, who I'd 'spoken' to online once or twice, we lost the iconic embodiment of all things old school in gaming. It was he who started this pastime for many of us, he who had fun before he had vision and he who would argue not for his next dollar but for his views.
Gene Roddenberry left us a 'Wagon Train to the Stars' that also gave us inspiration and hope for a future we could be amazed by and proud of. At a time when I personally feared the world would melt itself down into a sizziling radioactive lump, I would think, "Wait, that can't happen. We'll unite eventually. We have to."
Lastly, Jim Henson...I know it may seem odd to put Mr. Henson here but in addition to his creative genius he managed to prove you could make a living being silly, inventive and by doing things your own way. Henson has always been a major hero of mine and I think his passing effected me most personally because of where and when it happened. I was a college student in New York City at the time and cut class to attend the funeral. Its something that to this day I'm glad I did.
So, my heroes have left but they are by no means gone. Henson's legacy ingites the imagination of my young nephew through Sesame Street. Roddenberry's vision gets an injection of action and adventure on the big screen in a few months. As for Gary Gygax, he's remembered every time I draw a character, read a game blog, write a story or run a game. Come to think of it, that's pretty much every day...
To the Dungeon Master, the Great Bird and the Frog...Thanks. Rest in Peace.