Some of you have signed copy of one of my games. In most cases it means that you have cow inside your box. I know. It may be not exactly what you expected when you approached me to sign your copy of Stronghold, Robinson or other title.
Time to explain. Time to answer a question: ‘What the hell is wrong with Ignacy.’
It was a damn boring lecture. Seriously. I was really scared. There was a real thread of death in the room. It was possible some students may actually get killed by lecturer. Cause of death? Boredom.
I was scribbling in my notebook and at some point I drew a cow. I added balloon with funny comment about this lecture and passed it to the student sitting next to me. He smiled and passed it to the next guy. He smiled and passed… You know how it works. We all were in school right?
Since then every time we were stuck at boring lecture, I was passing funny drawings with cows. People had fun.
I was a resistance hero. I saved them from death. I saved them from boredom.
At this point I was publishing RPG magazine called Star Pirate. I draw few cow’s drawing and showed in the office. Cows were talking about playing RPG and it was quite funny. Feedback was very positive. So I kept drawing them. After few months cows were a must in each issue. RPG players really liked them. And then madness began…
We announced that we are going to publish Polish edition of Cheapass Games Falling. Our fans asked: ‘What if Polish edition of the game had cows instead of businessman…’
So I was forced to send to Cheapass Games an email that said something like: ‘We do respect your IP and your ideas and we do really like the idea of businessman falling from skyscraper but you know, here in Poland… Could we re-theme the game and make cows falling in our edition? Would it be an issue for you?’
Luckily James Ernest has sense of humor. He agreed. So that is how Polish Falling looked like:
And if you think this is peak of this madness, you are wrong. Oh, yeah…
At this time, year 2006, when Internet was young and was full of new possibilities, we were trying different ways to stay in touch with our fans. One of them was chat. We run chat rooms for our fans twice a month. We were talking about our plans, we were gossiping about our work and we were running auctions. We have loyalty program in Poland, you can earn points called GAMBLE for supporting us and then you can spend them on different products.
At one of this auctions I said: ‘I’ll draw a cow for you. Price: 5 gamble’
And auction began.
Few second later I was rubbing my eyes with wonder. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. People went crazy. I don’t remember how much the winner paid but it was something like 500 gambli (for 50 you could have brand new book for Neuroshima RPG with our signatures). It was madness.
I felt terrible. I meant it as a joke, but people treated it very seriously and one of them was happy to pay all his loyalty points he had to have my cow.
So I sat on my ass and I draw a comic book. Winner of the auction didn’t receive a drawing of a cow. He received 6 pages long comic written and drawn by me.
I hope he was happy.
Never again I offered drawing of my cow for money or points or whatever. I felt really bad that I made him pay for cow.
Since then I draw cows as a signature. And I do try to make every signature unique. Every time I draw a cow, this cow says something. Each time it is something different, and each time I do my best it is more or less funny. Of course it is not possible to draw super funny drawings every time, but I do my best. I do my best that each of you have unique cow with unique dialog.
If we have a geek list here with photos of those cows, I do believe that about 80% of signatures we gather would be unique. Every time you approach me at convention and ask for a signature, I do my best to draw you a cow that is unique, drawn especially for you. I hope you like them.
And time for post scriptum. In 2012 I was in Modena. I met there super cool guys. One of them is Toy from Ludus Iovis Diei gaming club. He was helping me at convention, was king of guide in Modena. He saw me drawing cows for 2 days long and at the end, on Sunday when I was getting to leave, he asked me to sign his copy of one of my games.
He was hoping to have a cow.
He didn’t know, I can also draw a pig.
You should see his face when he looked at the box when I passed it to him…
Post scriptum II. In 2013 I was back in Modena. I met Toy again. And again he was my guide and supported me for 2 days long. He is super cool guy and he has a great sense of humor.
At some point I was signing a box for Italian geek. I draw a cow. Geek was in shock. Toy saw that. And spotted a good opportunity. He approaches us, pulled box I signed in 2012 and said to Italian geek: ‘At least he didn’t draw you a pig…’