Please help a visual journalist publish a RPG setting book

Let’s see a show of hands: How many of you are old-school role-playing gamers?

That many, huh? Hmm. Not bad.

A friend of mine in South Africa has written a setting book for a game called Savage Worlds. It’s called Winter Eternal and yes, it’ll be an official licensed product.

Here’s a sample…


Morné Schaap has completed the writing, but now he’s trying to fund additional artwork for the e-book. To do this, he’s launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, which works much like Kickstarter.


The good news: He’s raised more than three quarters of his goal of $2,000. Another $490 and he’ll get there. The campaign will close on Monday, Oct. 6.

The bad news: Well, actually, there isn’t any bad news. The book sounds awesome and the sample artwork Morné has posted looks awesome. With a little nudge from folks like us, he can meet his goal and pay for the art that will illustrate the e-book the way it should be illustrated.

Morné posted a video to help explain his project and where he’s going with it.

As usual, there are a number of contribution levels and perks available. For the higher levels, you can even name characters in Morné’s book. Check out the entire list here.

If you’re into RP gaming — and especially if you’re into Savage Worlds — please consider supporting Morné’s project.

I’ve had the happy opportunity to work with Morné several times during my multiple teaching visits to South Africa.


A 1998 graduate of North West University, Morné Schaap spent five years as an artist for Beeld in Johannesburg and then nearly five with die Burger in Cape Town. Media24 combined its graphics departments in November 2010, so now he works in an umbrella department that serves all the company’s papers. Morné still works out of the Cape Town offices.

Find Morné’s Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Tuesday, Sept. 30

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five talented visual journalists…


Siyabonga Africa is a fellow for Code for South Africa, which hosts data journalism workshops and projects in South Africa. A 2006 graduate in International Relations and Public Management at the University of Pretoria, Siyabonga earned a graduate degree in journalism from the University of Stellenbosch in 2007 and then worked as a reporter and a columnist for the Sowetan, Joburg Style magazine and ITWeb. In 2009, he moved to the U.S. via a Ford Foundation fellowship to study new media. Siya earned a master’s degree from Indiana University in 2011, after having served internships in various online or social media capacities with the Ford Foundation, Blueline Style and Media Productions, the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction and Indiana Public Media. He moved back to South Africa in 2012 and has worked for marketing firm Trigger/Isobar and media giant Media24. Find Siyabonga’s web site here and his Twitter feed here. Siya turns 29 today.


Cori Faklaris is engagement producer for the Indianapolis Star and Indy Star Media. A 1995 graduate of the University of Illinois, Cori spent a year as a correspondent for the Peoria, Ill., Journal Star before joining the Star in 1997. She designed news and served as the paper’s CCI super user. She was moved to the Star’s digital operation in 2013 as Local Network Editor. She moved into her current position earlier this month. Find her work for the Star here, her personal web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Kerry Johnson is art director and special publications manager for the American Physical Society in Washington, D.C. A 1990 graduate of Ohio State University, Kerry worked as an artist at the North Hills News Record and then the Post-Gazette, both of Pittsburgh, before becoming graphics director of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 1998. He moved to the Baltimore Sun as graphics editor in 2002 and moved on to the APS in 2005. He also does cartoons and caricatures on the side. Find his web site here, his Facebook fan page here and his Twitter feed here.


Kathryn Morton is managing editor for design at the Central Penn Business Journal in Harrisburg, Pa. The holder of both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, Kathryn worked at the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel, the Daily Sentinel‘s Buzz magazine and the Stephen F. Austin Pine Log before moving to Pennsylvania in 2005. She’s married to designer Chris Anderson. Find Kathryn’s Twitter feed here.


Heather Price is a copy editor for eMarketer of New York. A 2009 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Heather served as slot editor for the student paper there, the Daily Nebraskan, and interned for the L.A. City Beat before moving to the American News & Farm Forum of Aberdeen, S.D. After a year there, she moved back to Lincoln and spent two years as a copy editor and page designer for the Journal Star. She moved to New York in 2013. Find Heather’s Tumblr blog here, her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Heather, Cori, Siya, Kathryn and Kerry share a birthday with actors Lacey Nicole Chabert, Jennifer Mary Butala (better known as Jenna Elfman), Monica Bellucci, Eric Stoltz, Francine Joy “Fran” Drescher, Anthony “Tony” Hale, Angeline Brown (better known as Angie Dickinson) and Barry William Blenkhorn (better known as Barry Williams); musicians Faheem Rashad Najm (better known as T-Pain), Ernest Giuseppe “Trey” Anastasio III (of Phish), Robert Carl Takac Jr. (of the Goo Goo Dolls), drummer Bernard “Buddy” Rich; Marc Feld (better known as Marc Bolan of  T-Rex), Marilyn McCoo, Franklin Joseph “Frankie” Lymon and John Royce “Johnny” Mathis; sports greats Martina Hingis (tennis), Dominique Moceanu (gymnastics), Justin Smith (football) and Robin Evan Roberts (baseball); chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.; politician Lester Garfield Maddox and writers Truman Streckfus Persons (better known as Truman Capote) and Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel.

In addition, today is Blasphemy Day, International Translation Day and Ask a Stupid Question Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have an excellent birthday today!

Birthdays for Monday, Sept. 29

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six wonderful visual journalists…


Tan Ly is president of Visually Dynamic, a firm that designs digital and print products and based in Washington, D.C. A 1996 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Tan spent four years as a designer for the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and then three more with the San Jose Mercury News before joining the Washington Post in 2003. He served as financial design director, A1 and enterprise designer and lead Sunday designer before being named deputy news editor and business design director. He left to open his design firm in 2012. Tan also spent four years as president of the D.C. chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Find his company’s Twitter feed here.


David Newhouse is editor at large for Advance Publications. A graduate of Cornell University, David spent ten years in retail, with his children’s store named “Best in Boston” by Boston magazine. David went to work for the Times of Trenton, N.J. as a reporter, working his way up to assistant managing editor. He moved to Harrisburg, Pa., in 2001 and was editor of the Patriot-News for 11 years. In 2004, the Patriot-News was named one of Editor & Publisher‘s “Ten That Do It Right.” In March 2012, David was awarded the Benjamin C. Bradlee award by the National Press Foundation as editor of the year in the wake of the Patriot-News’ Penn State coverage. The next month, of course, the paper won a Pulitzer for that coverage. David stepped down in May of that year.


Bill Pitzer is senior visual information designer for Kwikpoint, a publisher of visual information guides based in Alexandria, Va. A 1981 graduate of Glenville State College in West Virginia, Bill worked at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and the Virginian-Pilot before moving to the Charlotte Observer in 1998 as news graphics editor. He left the Observer in 2011. He has created top-quality freelance infographics for a number of clients including National Geographic magazine. He earned a master’s degree from Appalachian State University in 2006 and now teaches — via the web — at West Virginia University. Find his online portfolio here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here.


Laurie Mansfield Reiter is an editor for Fox Sports in Los Angeles, Calif. A 1998 graduate of Ohio University, Laurie earned a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Laurie spent five years as a features reporter for the Des Moines Register before moving to the Kansas City Star in 2007 as assistant features editor. She was promoted to assistant managing editor a year later. She launched Ink, a free tabloid, in January 2008. When her husband, sports columnist Bill Reiter, moved west last summer, she moved as well. Find Laurie’s Twitter feed here.


Werner Walters is a senior applications and system specialist for Media24 in Cape Town, South Africa. A graduate of two different technological schools, Werner worked in customer support for technical support firms before joining Media24 in 2005. Werner turns 33 today.


Lynne Wynn is a stay-at-home mother of three in Centerville, Ohio. But 30 years ago, she wrote and edited for the Johnsonian, the student newspaper of Winthrop College. Where she worked with me during our senior year.

Tan, Werner, Laurie, Lynne, David and Bill share a birthday with actors Zachary Levi Pugh, Madeline Gail Wolfson (better known as Madeline Kahn), Paul MacKenzie Crook, Alexis Cruz, Jill Whelan, Lawrence Lavon “Larry” Linville and Andrew Clay Silverstein (better known as Andrew Dice Clay); musicians Orvon Eugene “Gene” Autry, Leland Michael Postil (better known as Mike Post), Jerry Lee Lewis, Suzzy Roche (of the Roches) and Dallas Green (of Alexisonfire); TV host Bryant Gumbel; director Stanley Earl Kramer; sports greats Kevin Wayne Durant, John MacBeth Paxson (both basketball), Warren Livingston Cromartie (baseball), Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko (soccer), Calvin Johnson (football) and Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips (football coach); physicist Enrico Fermi; English naval commander Horatio Nelson; Medal of Honor recipient Gary George Wetzel; authors Norman Colin Dexter and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Australian prime minister Julia Eileen Gillard and labor leader-turned-Polish president Lech Wałęsa.

In addition, today is International Coffee Day, VFW Day, World Maritime Day and National Attend Your Grandchild’s Birth Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a truly great birthday today!

When numbers are the story, make numbers the centerpiece

Looks like a big percentage of the money pouring in to campaign for Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and his opponent is coming from outside the state. The nation’s investment bankers re supporting the Republican incumbent. Trial layers and labor unions are supporting Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, reports the Courier-Journal of Louisville.

The race looks like it’ll be the most expensive senate campaign in U.S. history.

Typically, a story like this would be illustrated with pictures from the campaign trail. Bar and pie charts would be displayed inside.

That wasn’t the case for today’s paper. Click for a larger look:


Kyle Slagle of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville tells us:

We’ve exhausted our stores of McConnell and Grimes file art, and the story was all about the numbers anyway. So the package became all about the numbers.

Looks like a great choice. Several sets of data are represented here, including where the “bundles” of contributions are coming from…


…the number of billionaires contributing to one candidate or the other…


…the amounts each candidate has received from political action committees…


…where the contributions are coming from…


…and, of course, the total amount of money donated.


In addition, there were two more inside: Contributions by zip code…


…and a look at the percent each candidate received from “small money” contributors.


If you think it looks like McConnell is stomping Grimes in most categories, you’re not alone. The paper reports today the Grimes campaign is “sputtering.”

Average daily circulation for the Courier-Journal is 154,033.


Kyle Slagle is a designer for the Gannett design studio in Louisville, Ky. A 2007 graduate of West Virginia University, Kyle spent nearly three years as a designer for Matthews International, a signage design firm in Kingwood, W.Va. He moved to the Gazette of Charleston, W.Va., in 2010 as a features designer and was promoted to design editor in 2011. He moved to Louisville in 2013.

Find Kyle’s portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

That front page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Birthdays for Sunday, Sept. 28

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four excellent visual journalists…


Latane Avery is a stay-at-home mom in Norfolk, Va. A 1984 graduate of the University of Virginia, Latane spent several years at the Virginian-Pilot, including serving as features editor. She turns 52 today.


Clif Page is a freelance photographer and designer in Pittsburgh, Pa. A 1977 graduate of Ohio University, Clif supervised the photo department at the New Castle (Pa.) News before joining the Beaver County Times in Beaver, Pa., in 1988. He spent 21 years there until the Times laid him off. Since then, Clif has worked as a freelance shooter and as a designer for the Greensheet newspaper in Pittsburgh. He turns 59 today.


Nicole Vas is a designer for the Gannett Design Studio in Phoenix, Ariz. A 2010 graduate of UCLA, Nicole served as assistant design director and then design director of the student newspapers there, the Daily Bruin. She also worked internships for Tokyopop — a publisher of manga and graphic novels — and the Daily Journal, a legal newspaper in Los Angeles. She earned a master’s degree from Syracuse last year and started work in Phoenix immediately after. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.


Michelle Moriarity Witt is managing editor of the History Factory, a research and publishing firm in Washington, D.C. A 2000 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Michelle spent two years as a copy editor for the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune and then another year editing for the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer before moving to the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., in 2003. She earned a master’s degree from N.C. State University in 2005, left newspapers in 2008 and worked in a series of public relations and content generation positions before joining up with the History Factory in 2012.

Nicole, Michelle, Latane and Clif share a birthday with actors Janeane Garofalo, Hilary Erhard Duff, Naomi Watts, Mira Katherine Sorvino, Jeffrey Duncan Jones, Moon Unit Zappa, Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot and Arnold Stang; musicians Cora Walton (better known as Koko Taylor) and Benjamin Earl “Ben E.” King; comedian Howard Gerald “Jerry” Clower; TV host Edward Vincent “Ed” Sullivan; sports greats Se Ri Pak (golf), Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling (boxer), Ryan Wallace Zimmerman (baseball) and Steven Michael “Steve” Largent (football player-turned-politician); CBS founder William Samuel Paley; music journalist Chuck Taylor; cartoonist Alfred Gerald Caplin (better known as Al Capp) and Chinese philosopher Confucius.

In addition, today is National Good Neighbor Day, World Rabies Day, International Right to Know Day, National Drink Beer Day and Gold Star Mothers Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, guys! Have an wonderful birthday today!