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Monday, March 2, 2009

The Economy, Hobbying, and Other Musings

So I'm not sure how many people saw this announcement last week, but Turn Signals On a Land Raider is ending soon. It appears the creator is losing his job, and the cost of producing his comic far outweighs any return he could use to support his family. He contacted Games Workshop about being able to publish his comic strip in book form, but regrettably GW had to say no as a means to protect their intellectual property.

This sucks.

Not that I'm mad at Games Workshop, because I'm not. They have to keep a watchful eye on how their property is used. But having just discovered TSOALR a couple weeks ago, I'm bummed that they are going away before I got to really know them. I'm reading the archives, and I hope to be caught up before he's done, but I can't imagine if I had been reading this strip since 2003 how this would feel.

But it got me thinking. We live in some scary times. The United States is facing the scariest recession since probably the great depression. I talk to Baby Boomers and they don't remember it ever being like this. Money is tight, people's sphincters are even tighter with fear. How do hobbies like 40K fit in? If I was a veteran player it would fit in nicely. I would have enough units that if something were to happen I'd still be able to play and enjoy the game with the army I have. I may not be able to pick up anything else, but I'd survive.

As a newcomer to the hobby it's different. I have the beginnings of an army, but I still have investments to make to get to a spot where I have a playable army that I could use in various scenarios and army points values. Ideally I'll eventually get to the point I'll have an army capable of an Apocalypse battle. But I'm nowhere near there yet. So I have to find ways to save money. That's why I don't use the Citadel paints or brushes. I use stuff from the local crafts stores. I may not have the selection available, and I may have to find substitute colors (my orks are based in Noel Green as opposed to the Citadel Orkhide...or whatever it is), but I'm saving money. Which I can then turn around and use for more figures.

But I understand TSOALR's sentiment. I almost feel bad when my family is hungry because I spent our food money on some Nobs. When my daughter cries because all she has to eat is mush it breaks my heart, until I crack open those new Stormboyz. When I see the sunken cheeks and listlessness of my family the only thing I can do is crack open some McDonald's and paint some figures. These times even test me.

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