Since my last post about The Oracle reprint, Tim Hutchings has sent me a review copy of the reprint, and it does not disappoint. When Tim says that the zine was “almost single-handedly” created and published by teenager Christopher Bigelow, it’s not an exaggeration. Bigelow, who wrote a comprehensive introduction to the reprint, put the zine together with a word processor on loan from his dad’s secretary, served as the entire editorial staff, contracted all the contributing talent, and wrote many of the articles (under pseudonyms)—while still in high school!
The Kickstarter has 8 days to go and was fully funded many moons ago. However, there’s an incredible new stretch goal promising to recreate the sixth issue of The Oracle promised—but never delivered—at the end of 1983’s issue #5. Who will contribute the articles mentioned in that more than 30-year-old teaser? Here’s Tim:
The Dungeon of Kroom Level III, Sarah Richardson of the Ennie award winning Contessa blog.
The Medieval Town in Literature, Timothy Connelly, frequent contributor Gygax Magazine among others.
New AD&D Character Class… This is the one which makes me so invested in a sixth issue. A sadly departed gamer who wrote up a proposal for an Oracle article on the Empath character class will have his article finished by his son.
Expanded Crossbreed System, Erol Otus. Yes, THE Erol Otus. The man whose artwork defined D&D for me and maybe most of a generation. I grow giddy at the prospect. The Erol contribution will be based on his crossbreed rules for the Island Town game scenario.
Right. And all we need is “$100 of monthly contributions lined up” to keep the PlaGMaDA archive going. It’s a good cause, and you can go here to back and donate. A PDF copy of the reprint is only 5 bucks!
If you’re on the fence, here’s one more interesting note. As I was perusing my review copy, I ran across the below ad (phone number edited out) in the last two Oracle issues.
Laird is also credited with the cover of issue #5 (first image above), published in Autumn 1983. The name struck a chord, and I realized that Peter A. Laird is the co-creator (writer and artist) of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The original black & white comic was published in May 1984, less than a year after his Oracle work. As if the project weren’t historical enough already…