Fair warning here: Spoilers. If you haven’t read the Dresden files…
Well… first off. If you haven’t read the Dresden Files, you’re missing one of the best fantasy series in existence and you really should consider checking it out. Really really. Seriously.
Secondly, if you haven’t read the series, this blog isn’t for you. Partly because I’m going to be talking about stuff that won’t make any sense if you don’t know anything about the books. But *mostly* because some of the stuff I’m going to say here has really significant spoilers for the series.
Specifically, I’m going to be talking about stuff that happens in the most recent book: Skin Game. Big stuff that happens at the end of Skin Game.
So… yeah. If you read this it’s going to ruin big character and plot arcs that progress over the course of (does a quick count) nine books.
So stop reading if you don’t want that ruined.
As an alternate, you can go check out this video of me doing an interview with Jim Butcher a couple years ago.
Or you can go vote on which Kingkiller t-shirt designs we’ll end up using in the fundraiser next week.
Last Warning: I’m not going to be coy. Real spoilers for Skin Game below…
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Over the years, I’ve been pretty clear about my love of Jim Butcher’s work, especially the Harry Dresden series.
As evidence, I submit for your perusal my embarrassingly gushy Goodreads review of Skin Game.
I first read this book more about two years ago. Yeah. Before it even came out. I’m enough of a rabid fan that I sweet-talked my way into getting an advance reading copy.
Since then, I’ve read/listened to the book at least two more times.
And every time it gets to the end of the book… at the very end outside the carpenter’s house where everything is at its most bleak…. I laugh my ass off with pure joy and delight when Butters takes up the sword.
Because of this, for years now, I’ve wanted a t-shirt that shows a hand holding up a katana hilt with a lightsaber blade. Underneath it the words: “Polka will never die!”
My desire for this t-shirt has come and gone over the years, but it’s never gone entirely away. And recently, when I re-listened to Skin Game, it came back full force.
So I told my assistant Amanda about it (she’s a big Dresden fan as well) and her face lit up. “I want one too!” she said immediately.
Then she said, “We should make them for Worldbuilders.”
This shows she’s a better person than I am. I just wanted one for me.
At this point in my career, I’m lucky enough to know Jim Butcher a little bit. We’ve met at conventions a couple times. Had a few dinners together. He’s really a delightful guy. A proper geek, funny and smart. If you ever get the chance to catch him at a signing or hear him speak at a convention, it’s well worth your time.
What’s more, he’s helped out Worldbuilders a couple times in the past. So I plucked up my courage and dropped him a line, asking how he’d feel about letting Worldbuilders do a t-shirt as part of our upcoming fundraiser.
And he said yes.
It’s hard to squee when you’re a baritone, but I gave it my best shot. (Have I mentioned that Jim is a really delightful guy?)
That e-mail exchange was just last week, and we *just* managed to get the paperwork tied up. So now all we really need is a graphic for the shirts.
Here’s the thing: we could design this in house. But neither of the two artists I work with the most, Brett and Nate, have read the Dresden books. (Shameful, I know. I gave both of them a stern talking-to.)
I could hire someone to do it too…. but honestly, when I do a project like this, I firmly believe there’s no substitute for the passion and enthusiasm of the fans. Whenever I reach out to y’all creatively, you come back with things so much better than I ever could have imagined.
So I’m reaching out to the artistic geeks among you to see if any of you would like to take a shot and making this t-shirt design.
I won’t lie, our timeline is a little ridiculous. The fundraiser starts on June 1st, so we only have a couple of days.
But if you’re a fan of the Dresden Files, and you have the ability to art, and you’re interested in putting your skills to use for a good cause…. Well… that would be pretty awesome of you. You’d make a lot of geeks happy, and you’d be helping feed hungry kids, too.
A few notes:
- Keep in mind that this design is for a t-shirt.
- I asked Jim to confirm the color of the blade, and he said: “In the books, the blade is white edged in gold, like bright sunlight.”
- Submissions go to: tshirt (at) worldbuilders.org
- We need the entries by 12:00pm Central Time on Saturday, May 30.
I know. It’s not much time. But we can’t wait any longer because we’ll need to sort through submissions, e-mail back and forth with artists, fine-tune the design, and still launch it with the rest of the fundraiser on Monday, June 1st.
So there you go. I’m kinda silly excited about this. It’s like an early birthday present for me.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them down in the comments.
If you haven’t voted on the kingkiller t-shirt designs yet, you should check them out over here.
Lastly, I’m trying to think of something nice I can do for the artists who have been submitting designs for us. So if you are one of those artists (or if you’re just a clever person) I’d welcome any suggestions down in the comments.
Thanks for being awesome everyone,