The Golem does not get it.

“The Golem doesn’t get it!”

This is the first sentence in a newletter/spam that came today from ‘Paizo’:

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game™ from Paizo Publishing is one of the world’s best-selling fantasy roleplaying games, in the true spirit of the classic dungeon crawl (more ad copy follows).

Whaaaaat?  “…the true spirit of the classic dungeon crawl“?  Since when? I mean, I’m hardly one of the “I learned to play D&D as a child sitting on Gary Gygax’s knee” people (I first played in 1978 in a location very far from Lake Geneva), but to claim “the true spirit of the classic dungeon crawl” for Pathfinder (a re-write of the 3.5e D&D rules, which were written to ‘fix’ everything that was supposedly ‘wrong’ with ‘old’ D&D) seems like a load of shit. D&D 3e and it’s iterantions couldn’t wait to tell people, “Hey, we fixed D&D!” and now that some people are saying that they liked the way it was, they are tring to climb aboard that bandwagon as well. It’s as bad as hearing Mitt say, “I know what the common man thinks and feels because Ann and I own a lot of common men, along with a stable full of dressage horses…”

The people who like Pathfinder probably don’t WANT a classic dungeon crawl (at least, none of the fans of Pathfinder that I know do).  And that’s fine.  But, please, lay off the ‘true spirit of the classic dungeon crawl’ shit, ok?


Hello Kitty

Up until today, I never knew who ‘Hello Kitty’ was.  I still don’t know very much; I only read the first paragraph of her wikipedia page. I have seen her image on shirts, hats, shower curtains, backpacks, etc., like I have seen ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ and ‘Mickey Mouse’ on hats, t-shirts, etc., but I had this idea that ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ was a ‘real’ character (insofar as he seemed to have some sort of ‘existance’ as a fictional cartoon character outside of being a reason to sell merchandise, and, one might argue, the popularity of the cartoon helped sell the merchandise). As far as I could tell, there was no cartoon behind ‘Hello Kitty.’ ‘Hello Kitty’ seems to have existed in order to sell stuff first, and THEN they made the cartoons, comic books and video games.  Which seems pretty backwards but maybe it’s just post-postmodernity in action.

Didja know you can get a ‘Hello Kitty’ AK?  They also make a Hello Kitty AR15.


Smart ads that are not

So I was looking at an online story about that dude who threatened to shoot up his coworkers and had a bunch of guns at home this morning and check out the ‘smart ads’ that popped up:

Ads for bullet proof vests and armor plate embedded in a story about someone who apparently threatened to duplicate the Aurora theater shooting? I don’t know if the content server’s analytics are genius or shit… I mean, reading about someone shooting up the movie theater or workplace might make me want to buy body armor, on the other hand, if I were to be in the bullet proof vest business, do I really want customers associating me with people who go ballistic (oops a pun) and shoot their coworkers or fellow movie watchers?  Probably not.


Dungeon Alphabet Re-Released by Goodman Games

Pole and Rope’s Michael Curtis recently announced that a new edition of his popular ‘Dungeon Alphabet’ book is being released (soon) by Goodman Games (product description and pre-order info on Goodman site is here). The new edition increases the page count to 64 from the original 48 pages and I did a couple of new interior pieces as well. 

If you are not familiar with the original, “Dungeon Alphabet” started out as a series of blog posts by Michael Curtis at “The Society of Torch, Pole and Rope.” For every letter of the alphabet, he came up with a post dealing with that letter and then generated tables of cool, creepy, interesting stuff — good not only for fantasy role playing game fans, but also just a fun read.  Someone observed, “This ought to be a book!” and Goodman eventually published it, which is really cool since it is like a book that just grew organically out of blog posts that Curtis made just for the hell of it.  If I remember right, I illustrated “C is for Caves” and “X is for Xenophobia” as well as “M is for Maps.”  The new edition has a few more entries and some new artwork (I haven’t seen the whole thing, just the pages I worked on).

Other well known artists/illustrators whom you may know from their work in Goodman products illustrated the book; the list includes Russ Nicholson, Jeff Easley, Jim Holloway, Peter Mullen, Doug Kovacs, Michael Wilson, and Brad McDevitt.

I think you can get it with either the original Otus cover or a new gold foil cover by me (that features an ‘A’ on the front and a ‘Z’ on the back).  The gold foil cover will look something like this, but more shiny:


Indie-a-go-go for LOTFP and Barrowmaze 2!

Crossposted from my wordpress blog…I’m still catching up with all sorts of stuff, so pardon me is you have heard this already: Barrowmaze 2 is availible for crowdsource funding via Indie-a-go-go (click here for more info). Since I’m doing some of the artworks for it, you know it will be smashing! Contribute and maybe I or another artist will illustrate a monster YOU design for the Barrowmaze 2!
Here is one of the images I did for Barrowmaze 2:

Better roll up another cleric!

Also, Jim Raggi IV, metalman of Finland, is also doing an indie-a-go-go for a new hard cover edition of LOTFP the Role Playing Game… and, if enough money flows it way into his coffers, different artists and writers will write custom adventures for YOU… and I’m on that list so send in your cash and see what I kick out! This fantastic art (not by me, obviously, but by Jason Rainville) shows what happens in LOTFP-land when Miss d’Artagnan gets all “Apocalypse Now.”

“The horror… the horror…”


Barrowmaze 2 AND LOTFP now on Indie-a-go-go

I’m still catching up with all sorts of stuff, so pardon me is you have heard this already: Barrowmaze 2 is availible for crowdsource funding via Indie-a-go-go (click here for more info). Since I’m doing some of the artworks for it, you know it will be smashing! Contribute and maybe I or another artist will illustrate a monster YOU design for the Barrowmaze 2!

Better roll up another cleric.

Also, Jim Raggi IV, metalman of Finland, is also doing an indie-a-go-go for a new hard cover edition of LOTFP the Role Playing Game… and, if enough money flows it way into his coffers, different artists and writers will write custom adventures for YOU… and I’m on that list so send in your cash and see what I kick out!


DCC Update (spoilers for DCC 66.5!)

According to Goodman Games, the DCC is at the printer right now… and I guess pre-orderers have gotten the full game pdf?  At right is a picture of some proofs on his desk that Goodman posted on his forums.  Let me draw your attention to the picture in B&W in the lower left hand corner, a pic by me from the frontispiece of “The Doom of Savage Kings” DCC 66.5!  I think adventure 66.5 is a special for pre-ordering customers.  Spoiler alert: It shows that one of the ‘mundane’ monsters that players might or might not encounter in the adventure ain’t so mundane after all.  Don’t click to enlarge if you don’t want to know more.

Next to it is the DCC RPG front page by Mullen that is so cool; above it are proofs of the color covers.

Lots of DCC art will drop into my etsy store when this thing hits the store shelves; interested collectors should stay tuned!


Crowdsourcing my gadget decision-making


For my birthday this year, Annie (my S.O.) has suggested I upgrade my technology and I’m waffling between three choices — if you have any suggestions or observations, add them:

a) iPad: So many people have ’em and they really make my palms itch with desire. Will use for browsing web, reading, goofing off, etc. Good thing: Currently use an old, shitty and beat up HP laptop and/or desktop for this and replacing the laptop makes me happy. Bad thing: I don’t need more reasons to goof off.

b) smartphone: My current phone is just a phone (it might also have a clock and tip-calculator in there). It doesn’t even get texts. Since so many of my pals use texts, I feel left out. Plus the navigation options are pretty sweet and useful. I don’t know exactly what phones are available from my cell provider, so I haven’t picked a specific phone yet. Bad thing: The phone is the cheapest choice in terms of up-front cost, but the long term cost of the increase in mobile charges probably make it probably the most expensive. Good things: Navigation, music in my pocket and keeping in touch.

c) Mac Mini: The Mini costs around the same as the iPad… and I can chain it with my current PC desktop to share monitor, keyboard, etc. Will use for scanning, archiving, publishing projects, etc. Good thing: Probably most useful and shit I miss the Mac system after having used Windows for a few years. Bad thing: Will have to add adobe suite (driving cost up).

Any opinions/options/ideas I ought to consider? Thank you, internet.


Do I know how to be a famous artist?

I was reading Tony Dowler’s “Year of the Dungeon” blog the other day where he was writing about the art bizness and it made me think about my own ‘career.’  Currently, I make a little bit of ‘supplemental’ income on my art; it is very uneven and hardly a living, and, if I worked out an ‘hourly wage’ including the time I spend communicating with people, looking stuff up, etc., it would probably pay less than flipping burgers, but I love it, so I wouldn’t give it up.

I’d like to get better at the business side of things, however.  For one thing, I think it would be a great spur to creativity. I’m also inspired by hearing that an artist I admire, Skinner, just published a new book: http://theartofskinner.com/blog/01-30-2012/book-release.  I’m hoping I ordered early enough to get the bonus print.

So I have been doing a little bit of reading on the art biz.  These are described as pertinent questions and are lifted from this article(http://www.artbusiness.com/wannafame.html):

(quote) Here’s more of what you have to learn in order to become successful as an artist:

► How to talk and write about your art in ways people understand, regardless of how little or how much they know about art.

► How to price your art and answer questions about your prices.

► How to make people appreciate your art and feel like it’s worth owning.

► How to respond when people criticize your art.

► How to know when you have enough art and enough of a selection to start showing and selling.

► How to show your art in ways that make it appealing to potential buyers.

► How to document your art in ways that increase its appeal to potential buyers.

► How to make sure that anyone who’s interested in your art is able to buy something, regardless of how little or how much they have to spend.

► How to sell your art outside of the gallery system.

► How to sell your art if it’s not the kind of art that galleries sell.

► How to find markets for your art outside of the gallery system.

► How to barter or trade your art for goods or services.

► How to present yourself and your art in ways that don’t sabotage your opportunities to make sales.


Barrowmaze Cover Art!

Kiltedyaksman over at Discourse & Dragons has just done the ‘reveal’ on his latest publication, so now I can show off the cover art I did:

The publication is ‘The Barrowmaze,” an old school dungeon filled with loads of creepy shit and monsters.
I also did a lot of illustrations for the interior in black and white, including pictures of various foolhardy adventurers about to get their comeuppance and several new monsters. No final word on release date, but the details of printing are being worked out right now so it should hit the boards any day now — head on over to the Yaksman’s and buy two copies! (one for the game table and one for the coffee table)

Sadly, before too long this and all the rest of the artwork gets packed up and shipped to Canada to decorate the domicile of the author. Glad it’s finding a good home but (sniff) they grow up and leave the nest so soon!