What is in the pit?
More plugs from our shameless commerce division: Goodman Game’s Holiday adventure, ‘Advent of the Avalanche Lords,’ by Tim Callahan is out today: Official Goodman Announcement. Cover by the most excellent D. Kovacs featuring ‘heat mistress’ and bad elf riding an abominable snow bear and some BW stuff by me inside, including the below ‘splash’ page (the title and credits go in the upper LH corner).
References to 70s era X-mas TV specials abound in this book, but these pass over my head because I was deprived as a child and my mother declared a war on Chri$tma$ long before it was fashionable to do so (explanation: Germans of her generation think ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’ is for suckers).
Another announcement from the shameless commerce division: The Goodman Games / Lou Zocchi ‘Fifty Fantastic Functions For the D50‘ kickstarter is live. I did the cover art and some of the insides — also work by all of the usual Goodman Games suspects. Pledging can get you the book and/or a d50 depending on how many $$$ you want to throw into the bucket.
Here is one of my 2 page spreads from the book (click to enlarge):
In other Goodman news, the DCC 4th printing Kickstarter finished yesterday — very successful! I’m looking forward to seeing that in print.
This one is done. You can look back and see it in process here.
Just got back from U-Con last night. Had a really great time. Special thanks to Roy Snyder who put me up in the Goodman Suite and Doug Kovacs who entertained me with wrestling moves. It was nice to finally meet Bill Webb of Frog God Games and I got to give Roy Snyder some original artwork on consignment (one of the pieces I gave him was this one (above) from Goodman’s ‘The Purple Planet‘). On Sunday night I was supposed to go out for Coney Island with Adam Muskeiwicz, Doug Kovacs, Kevin Wojochowicz and Roy Snyder but I didn’t get the directions correctly and was tired and feeling kind of blech from too much restaurant food and too little sleep so I turned onto the highway and headed home. Sorry, guys.
My presentation on how to be an OSR artist didn’t really come off because when I showed up to give it, there was almost no one there. I would have felt bad about this, but a) there is not a lot of art at this convention, so there are not a lot of artists, and b) one of the Con volunteers told me that even the presentations of ‘guests of honor’ were sparsely attended or unattended. The conversations I had with other creatives at U-Con more than made up for the fact that we didn’t really have the round table (and probably would have made it redundant). Donn Stroud of Drink Spin Run showed up and it was great to meet him; I had heard his voice on the podcast and it was nice to finally put a face to the name.
Highlights included lots of really great conversations, some new friends and renewing acquaintances. I had a really great time in Peter Schwab’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” adventure and loved some of the fun ideas he had for involving players with each other. “Crimson King” involved us (the players) traveling to the court to request a boon of the king – each player had to look at his or her character sheet and tell the group what his or her lowest trait score might be (strength, intelligence, personality, etc.). Peter then asked another player to explain why that trait was so low or why that character wanted to address this flaw. In my case, it was determined that my dwarven furniture maker reeked of sour smelling varnish which explained his low personality score. It was a fun way of getting complete strangers to talk to each other and get involved in the story of the other player characters. Peter was also really good at keeping two very young players involved in the game even when their attention wandered. From the view inside a hobby that sometimes attracts the OCD and socially awkward types, seeing this kind of stuff makes my heart grow a little bigger.
I also had a lot of fun in Adam Muskiewicz’s “Quasquetherion” game which took me back to being 13 years old and exploring the underground fortress of Zelligar and Roghan. My Character, Manfred the Man, cleric of the Jesus Lizard, shall be back!
I have a new portfolio page to show some of the illustrations I have made over the years. It’s under “Illustration” at the top of this page. Most of the drawings/paintings will be familiar to people who know my work; there are a few new ones and I tried to mix in a few different types of things including some of the young adult illustrations for a few books that Annie is writing.
I’ll be at U-Con in Ypsilanti most of this weekend, meeting people and dropping off some of my work with Roy Snyder so he can sell it at the con. I will also be hosting a brief round table for artists and publishers on Sunday at U-Con, so if you happen to be there, find me at Roy’s booth or at the round table (Event 5105 : Art and Publishing for RPGs Seminar, Sunday 1-2 pm, Conference Room C – no admission charge).
Below is one of the illustrations for one of Annie’s books that I like a lot. The young woman, Sima, stands on the deck of her parent’s sky ship, musing about the future while feeding the birds.
those natives finally caught up with him.
Someone just wrote me to tell me that Goodman’s 4th printing Kickstarter update is all about ME today… well, not all about me… but my name comes up more than once. The above pages are special ‘backer’ pages I illustrated for the new printing. People who pledge for the kickstarter will get their names printed on the tombstones and shield up above.
I was thinking of Klaus Kinski’s character in the Herzog film, “Aguirre, the wrath of God,” when I drew that skeleton. The skeleton is all stuck with arrows; I guess those natives finally caught up with him.
This is a page from a ‘rough’ proof for Exqusite Corpses v2 that just arrived from Lulu (not on sale to the general public yet). Here we see the head of an angel with the body of an armored fiend and the legs of a space man alien. If you missed it the first time around, EC is a book with pictures of monsters divided into heads, bodies and legs/feet and by flipping the 3 tabs you can mix and match to create the creatures that mythology was always coming up with that stuck the ass of one thing onto the head of another. EC v1 was a crude product, but the idea was sound… this time I’ve teamed up with LOFP publishing to make it better. You can read old posts from this website on it.
How is it going to be better? The above illustrations, even in this crude proof, are much better than the ones from ECv1 and Jim Raggi encouraged me to do the book in COLOR (don’t be fooled by the fact that this preview is in B&W — this version is just a means for me to proof other issues) so in the final product they will be even better. We went from 26 ‘base creatures’ (for 17576 possible combinations) to 40 ‘base creatures’ (for 64000 possible combinations!). The text was moved off the drawing onto the facing page… so when you look at the angel’s head, everything you need to know (how smart he is, alignment, special powers, etc.; all the ‘gamey’ stuff) will be on the tab just to the left of it, etc. Each ‘part’ (head, body, tail/legs) also has a small table with unique qualities that can be determined at random that is unique to each monster… so the fish entry will have ‘fish-like’ super powers or flaws for the head, tail and body… the ‘angel’ entry will have angel powers (or flaws) for the head, tail and body, etc. Instead of being a ‘Lulu’ product, the new book will be a professionally printed book with die-cut tabs… meaning you don’t need to slit the pages along a dotted line yourself before use. And it will be printed much more nicely (in Finland!).
The book is ‘universal’ system and uses general properties, so it can easily be converted to your game system of choice. If you are not a gamer, the book is still fun for just creating strange, funny or bizarre creatures by flipping the tabs.
Work in progress. Among other things, I want to work on the background and make the greenish ‘pool’ or magic portal more luminous and ‘shimmery’ looking… but part of what I want to teach myself to do is know when to stop and put something aside for a while. And now is the time I need to put this one down for a bit.
Inspired by Wayne Snyder’s “It’s Wizard Time” stickers that came in the mail the other day.
I got a request to draw an owl in flight as a present. Soneone once told me that the owl can see in the night as well as a human can see in the day; I tried to make the night sky in this picture reflect that idea.