And lo, we have returned from Games Day 2010, which we know to have been the greatest Games Day ever. Ever.
Very, very cool to see everyone (Big Steve must now be re-named Buff Steve - who knew?!), and special congratulations go out to Xhalax’s (yes, let’s call it Xhalax’s) costume posse for its outstanding Titan crew group impersonation. Also, thanks to Xhalax for the fudge, Bambi for the cookies, and who-ever it was for the Mechanicum cake (I wasn't there when that was delivered). Liam and Rachel? I’m sorry, I know who both of you are, but I was suffering from Games Day Daze when each of you came to see me. Thank you to everyone who attended and said hello, in fact. I hope no one went away disappointed. And, dude, was the Ultramarines trailer pant-wettingly exciting or what?
I’d like to say a very particular thank you to all the staff, crew and volunteers who did things like police the queues and man the tills and look after everyone. You know, the people who actually made it happen. Thank you from all of us who were just there larking about and having fun.
Now, a serious note for a moment. As is our wont, us author-types were locked in a very earnest little chat beforehand, and we decided that what we really wanted to do was to enter the arena on the day as a dramatic convoy, each one of us riding or driving an electric vehicle. It would be really, really dignified, and befit our status as, you know, 40K gods. Jim wanted a floor polisher or an airport baggage cart. I wanted to rise aloft aboard a cherry picker. Graham wanted a fork lift, and Aaron rather fancied an zamboni. We decided we’d all have special costumes and stage names, like wrestlers. Jim named me “Doctor Danhattan”, which supposes I want to be both blue and naked, and have CGI work applied to the ‘eye draw’ area. Eye draw. Yes, that’s what we’re going to call it.
Anyway, we’d all have theme music too. "Iron" Jim wanted Rock You Like A Hurricane by Scorpions. I wanted Don’t Fear The Reaper by BOC (which, while we’re on the subject, is my idea of a perfect Sinister Dexter theme). Graham wanted the title music from Roobard and Custard, which would, we felt, require him to lope into the hall. These aren’t big demands, let’s face it. They’re very do-able. We’re not prima donnas, after all. I really don’t understand why GW doesn’t let us organise Games Day one year. It would be full of win. And end after five minutes in a public safety debacle of truly Biblical proportions.
Anyway, let’s examine my photographic record.
PART ONE: THE JOURNEY THERE
Road trip! I call (automatic combat) shotgun!
Matt Farrer finally locates the hard-to-find venue.
Flash photography versus high-viz vests fail.
Inside the forbidding lair. Nik seems perfectly confident in her hand-sewn Titan crew outfit, but Aaron is beginning to get jumpy. "It's too quiet, Abnett! You said this would be fun! Damn you! It's too freaking quiet!"
The atmosphere builds. Deep in the bowels of the NEC, something stirs. Is that...the faint strains of the Roobard music I hear on the sepulchral wind?
Actual people doing actual proper work.
Katie excitedly shows off her augmetic nipple.
PART TWO: THE AUTHORS AT WORK AND PLAY
Nik begins to regret selecting the invisible clone for Games Day duties this year.
At the pre-signing, Aaron busies himself with copies of the Sabbat Worlds Anthology while nobody is watching, crossing out the words edited by in the phrase "edited by Dan Abnett" and replacing them with HI.
Matt chooses the wrong moment to critique Aaron's painstaking and carefully researched Sharpie puppet interpretation of the Horus/Emperor/Sanguinius showdown.
The view from where I was.
Aaron, mate, you do realise your mum can see the gesture you're making at me, don't you?
Then it was Graham's turn to be offered an augmetic nipple.
Jim WILL rock you like a hurricane.
The Next Big Thing.
(Alternative caption: Due to a slight warp mistranslation, Jim Swallow arrives twenty five years too early.)
PART THREE: LUNCH
Om to the nom.
PART FOUR: THE ULTRAMARINES TRAILER SCREENING
Everyone in this room is about to have "a moment".
PART FIVE: DRESSED TO KILL
Winner of the funniest T-shirt of the day competition.
After much shouting and threats of violence, the moderati finally agree which Titan they belong to.
Mrs A and the soon-to-be Mrs ADB wear this season's House Of Mechanicus couture.
Tona and Caff 4 ever.
The Emperor Protects, but it doesn't hurt to have a giant cog-axe as back up.
Clothes by Mars, eyes by Shoggy Domor.
And good night cadets, where ever you are. We salute you.
Next year, they tell me, the costume posse is going for an Inquisitor theme, which is so appealing I might have to join in. While I leave you pondering that shocking development, here are two podcasts - for The Overlords and Seanhammer - that I've done in the last week or so. Thanks again, UK Games Day-ers. See you in 2011 (which, for Jim, will be 1986).