Blog Archives

Tea’s Weird Week: Milwaukee Rolls the 100-sided Die

Podcast//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

Rather than a typical Tea’s Weird Week column, today I’m just giving some show notes on our latest Tea’s Weird Week podcast episode, the “season one finale,” that is filled with stories about Dungeons & Dragons & Milwaukee. Much was discussed and here’s a rundown of relevant links. Just click on the highlighted text and you’ll find the website/article cited.

Dungeons & Dragon’s Wisconsin origins: Gary Gygax of Lake Geneva, WI, founded the Lake Geneva Wargames Convention, later known as GenCon. The convention eventually settled in Milwaukee– til 2003, when citing lack of hotel space and an unsatisfactory convention center, they moved to the more exotic locale of…Indianapolis. It remains one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world. Gygax co-created Dugeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson. The game was first published in 1974.

The Rare first ten D&D games: My friend Jan Christensen was given one of the first ten copies of Dungeons & Dragons. After playing it a few times, it sat in storage until 2016, when looking for something to sell so she could enjoy a road trip, she found this treasure. She shared with us the exciting story of it’s sale via Ebay to the Strong National Museum of Play in Buffalo, NY. Jan is the former editor of the great community newspaper, the Riverwest Currents.
The pandemic has been tough on independent journalism, please donate to their GoFundMe here: www.gofundme.com/f/help-riverwest-currents-stay-alive-and-printing

Factions: Battlegrounds: Last year I met Peter Ferry and Jason Clayton, two childhood friends who have followed their dream of creating “a multi-player fantasy combat boardgame representing diverse cultures and mythologies.” So cool! And they had a successful Kickstarter, met their stretch goals, and games should be delivered early this summer.
You can read an interview I did with them for the Shepherd Express here: shepherdexpress.com/arts-and-entertainment/off-the-cuff/friends-create-diverse-fantasy-battleground
Check out their website and pre-order a game here: www.factionsbattlegrounds.com

The Manticore Consort: If you’ve visited the Bristol Renaissance Faire, you’ve probably spotted the Manticore Consort, who add greatly to their atmosphere with their hurdy-gurdy and other renaissance instruments. Check out/ buy their music here: manticoreconsort.bandcamp.com

Faklandia Brewing: They brew their own beer, serve food, are an event space, AND are built around a fantasy theme, incorporated into their business on a multi-media gaming front. Faklandia is a realm of it’s own, but you can find it in Saint Francis (just outside of Milwaukee). It’s a wonderful place to visit. Find more at their website: faklandia.com

Tea’s Weird Week Facebook group: We mentioned a D&D poll conducted in this group, it’s a clearinghouse for weird news of all sorts and hella fun. Join us here: www.facebook.com/groups/359809171918389

Satanic Panic: Heidi’s source for details of the Satanic Panic comes from this article, “Why Satanic Panic never really ended,” Vox.com.

Implanted memories: Heidi also mentioned this Wall Street Journal article, “False Memories Can Be Planted and Then Reversed, Researchers Find.”

Lil Nas X: Congrats on starting your own mini-Satanic Panic! Here’s the video we talked about, in case you have yet to see it:

Rev. Bob Larson: I recalled the time I saw Rev. Bob Larson’s “exorcism” session in action. It was one of the strangest things I’ve experienced, and believe me you, that is saying something. I wrote about it in a chapter of my book Monster Hunters. You can see for yourself at the Bob Larson: Real Exorcist YouTube Channel. Content warning: everything.

Robert Wardhaugh’s longest running D&D campaign: We ended by talking about Robert Wardhaugh of London, Ontario, whose Dungeons & Dragons campaign has now been running continuously for 39 years! CNN’s Great Big Story did an article/podcast on him here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/20/us/dungeons-and-dragons-longest-game-great-big-story-trnd/index.html

Fight Dice: We ended the show with this great new multi-media music project that has a D&D theme. Really fun stuff, the have an EP coming out very shortly. Can’t wait to see more of Tim’s art!

Check out their music here: fightdice.bandcamp.com/releases and see art on their Facebook.

Tea’s Weird Week Patreon: We need your support to keep the podcast going. We have several tiers available with a TON of cool extras– behind the scenes access, bonus episodes, free online and in-person events, signed copies of my books, Tea’s Weird Week shirts and more. Please check it out: https://www.patreon.com/teasweirdweek

Listen: Here’s links to: Tea’s Weird Week episode 13: Dungeons & Dragons & Milwaukee (podbean.com)
Spotify//Soundcloud//Google Podcasts//iHeartRadio//PlayerFM//Apple//Stitcher//Pocket Casts

Check out my books:

American Madness
Apocalypse Any Day Now
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (ebook)

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

03-001

Art by David Beyer, Jr.

Some of you have heard me yak on and on about my next book, Monster Hunters (Chicago Review Press, June 2015). The book is about the lives of people who search for unknown entities which we can categorize under the umbrella term “paranormal.”

I spent a lot of time joining people in the field as they searched for ghosts, demons, Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, UFOs, Skunk Apes (that’s the stinky cousin of Bigfoot) and other things that go bump in the night.

In order to celebrate the June release of the book, I wanted to do something that would be kind of a big deal. Something bigger than myself. And then I thought, why don’t I do something that Milwaukee is currently lacking? By that, of course, I mean a Paranormal Conference.

Here’s what I got so far:

*The conference does have a venue in downtown Milwaukee that is about 99% sure right now. It’s a good spot. I won’t announce it officially until paperwork is signed, though. We are pretty solid on the date which is Saturday, JUNE 6, 2015. It will be a one day, all day event, about Noon-7pm or so.

*The conference will feature a variety of guest speakers from the Midwest, mostly Wisconsinites as well as some guests (hopefully) from Illinois and Michigan. These speakers will give talks on subjects including ghost stories, paranormal investigation, cryptozoology, ufology, and folklore.
I’ve spoken to several (but not all) of the speakers I’d like to feature and have gotten a very positive response. I will soon be setting up a WordPress site for the con and we will begin to reveal guests there in the future.

What else will be going on? I’ll be reading an excerpt from Monster Hunters. There will also be a tabling room where guest speakers and other guests will have books, art, and ghost tour slots for sale. Possibly a documentary screening. We’ll also have a “get your picture taken with Bigfoot” booth. And much more. We’re working on ideas.

This message is just not an announcement. In starting to put this plan to paper, I quickly realized this is not something I would be able to pull off alone. A couple people have already been helpful behind the scenes. Here are some things we need help with:

*Financing. The venue I’m looking at is offering me a fair price for a Saturday in June, but it’s not dirt cheap. Anyone who has done an event knows that other costs will add up quick–printing flyers/posters/programs, printing t-shirts, there will be a lot of fees I haven’t even thought of yet. It will be a lot of money I will have to shell out up front, more than a semi-employed writer dude from Riverwest can afford.

Most conventions would recoup their costs by charging an admission, but see the crazy thing about me is I’m somewhat determined to have this event be Free. Yes, that’s right, admission to the con: free. Or maybe I should say: priceless. Soooooo, that means I need to think of other ways to raise money. One idea I’m keen on is sponsors. If I can find a few local sponsors that would invest in this and have their logo on display on the programming/ advertising, it would go a long way. I suppose a GoFundMe or a Kickstarter might work, too, but the idea of doing one of those makes me kind of googly eyed. What else? Fund raiser/ benefit show? I am open to any advice anyone has on this topic.

*Volunteers. I need ’em. I need a volunteer coordinator, volunteers to help set up and break down, help with the guests, hand out programs, find the Bigfoot, I need tech people to monitor the AV, I need a security person or two, help with the website, help making everything run smoothly. What’s in it for you? You’ll be helping launch an interesting event and we’re going to come up with some cool swag for you.

The next step here is we will get a WordPress site up and running for the con with official name and venue. This will go live on…Halloween (October 31, 2014).

If you’d like to contact me about any of the aforementioned, e-mail is best: teakrulos@gmail.com