Friday 12 August 2022

Lion Rampant: Second Edition

My contributors copies of Daniel Merseys Lion Rampant: Second Edition arrived earlier this week, and it's due for general publication next week so took the book outside into the blazing solar heat of the ecopocalypse, to have a quick look through.

Epic front cover by Mark Stacey

As the Daniel states in his introduction to the book, Lion Rampant isn't a "detailed and scholarly simulation of combat" but rather "favour(s) abstraction and stylisation", taking influence from popular-culture representations of the broad historical period of medieval combat -incuding imaginary kings who pull swords from stones and vikings with mohawks and eyeliner. So for this set adopted my 'high medievalist' approach, drawing on the traditions of the medieval illuminated manuscripts with it's formal stylisation and idiosyncratic quirks of the scribe, as much the Arts and Crafts medievalism of Beardsley, Morris and Gill as our anonymous monastical scribbler.

12th C Frankish Archer

13th C Frankish Knight

13th C Mongol Mounted Archer

12th C Frankish footsoldier

12th C Mounted Saracen

10th C Foot Viking

The labels are my own, rather than Daniels or Ospreys -  Frankish being short-hand for 'occidental' covering the broad types from which the characters are drawn, much like Saracen covers multiple diverse cultures and periods. Like all medieval illuminators inevitably do, I brought in various elements of flora and fauna to embellish the work, but rather than purely decorative, used them to reflect the material and literary cultures of the characters. 

The 13th C Frankish Knight is accompanied by a squirrel and fox echoing popularity of the folk hero Reynard the Fox in the period, and have them on an Oak bough, with it's associations of.  The 12th C Mounted Saracen, tulips and peacocks both long held motifs of turkish art. The 13th C Mongol mounted archer rides along the birch used in construction of the recurve bow, the 12th C Frankish footsoldier a small hedgehog perhaps reminiscent of a spear formation, standing on the ash of the traditional ashen spears.  Beside the 10th C Foot Viking are two ravens, sent by Odin, no doubt, perched on the white pine the vikings hew their shields from. The 12th C Frankish archer, inevitably featuring a small bird offering advice and standing on the yew from which his longbow is made. Slightly whimsical quality that perhaps lends them something of the peculiarities and universality of medieval manuscripts.

There is much more art in the book than just my linework - theres a lot of full colour miniatures photography from the author, Daniel Mersey,  Henry Hyde and the Wargames Illustrated team, featuring models from Perry Miniatures, Gripping Beast, Crucible Crush, 1st Corps, Claymore CastingsBad Squidoo and many others. 

Miniatures from Bad Squidoo

And quite a lot of gorgeous full colour artwork over double-page spreads that make the book quite the visual treat, including painted work by Angus McBride, Graham Turner, Johnny Shumate and others. On a personal note, it has to be said, having my work in the same publication alongside that of McBride - whose work I've admired since boyhood is really quite something.

Back cover with my linework in blue

And no word of a lie, at this point my phone overheated, refused to take any more pictures, and shut itself down for my own safety.

Lion Rampant: Second Edition is available to order from the publishers, Osprey Games and all good bookshops.

Monday 14 March 2022

Rick Rhodes and the Pirates of Luna City

In the world of 7TV, Rick Rhodes and the Pirates of Lunar City is a 1940s retro-sci-fi cinematic serial following in the footsteps of the classic Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials, with a bit of King of the Rocketmen - and perhaps a slight hint towards a proto-Star Wars and later pulp sci-fi escapades. 

In reality, Lunar City is a collection of miniatures and a skirmish wargames campaign pack. Some of the artwork and sundry designs I produced for the game:

Retro Rocketeer Gal

Crash landing on in the volcanic valleys of Venus can the heroic Radium Raiders escape the foul beastmen and fearsome Magma Apes?  Only YOU can decide in this exciting two player tabletop battle skirmish narrative wargame!
Argh! It's the Ice Pirates

In the Ice Fortress of the Iago - The Pirate King sits on his cosmic throne, surrounded by his Brooklyn accented Ice Pirate lackeys, who've just finished hastily raiding the wardrobe dept. before going on guard duty. Dare YOU face the Pirate Kings challenge to fight on the floating gladitorial disk and win the fabled Horn of Saturn?

The ice pirates have been stunningly brought to life in miniature by Andrew May.  I also put together moodboards and concept sketches for various scenery items, including Iago's Throne, which have been produced as STL files for 3D printing. 

Ice Throne of Saturn Concept Sketches

And alongside that, I also did 5 isometric maps for each of the linked scenarios, which appear on the reverse of an A3 print of Ste Brotherstones magnificent cover art: 


And finally, in the never ending war against naked gamers (ugh, dread the thought!) the logotype I designed for the scenario is emblazoned on a cool black t-shirt. The perfect thing to wear to your local Retro Sci-Fi convention movie night,  while rocking out at your favourite Queen tribute bands gig or just saving the universe.

Despite never having really flexed my Retro-Scifi muscles,  I have a great fondness for those old black and white serials - repeated constantly on BBC2 in my childhood it seemed, and of course Mike Hodges Flash Gordon, and the Filmation serial that broadcast around the same time, so it was great project to work on.  

Rick Rhodes and the Pirates of Luna City for 7TV Pulp, from Crooked Dice Game Design Studio funding on Kickstarter now.

Tuesday 8 March 2022

Rogue Sisters

[ZHU] Industries International Womens Day 2021 T-Shirt Drop 
Rogue Trader Battle Sisters vs. The Clones of Nu-Earth gone Rogue. 

Sustainably produced via UK production and fulfilment house Teemill.

Ltd. 50 pieces worldwide.

Black box-cut tee featuring ombre graphic print, available exclusively through [ZHU] Industries Teemill store:

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Knock! Magazine

A look at some of my drawings appearing in Knock! magazine. 

Self described as "An Adventure Gaming Bric-a-Brac. Being A Compendium of Miscellanea for Old School RPGs. For us OSR weirdos and curious D&D heads alike." Knock! Magazine is an as an A5, full colour, nicely designed, 200+ page magazine, in both print and PDF  published by The Merry Mushmen compilation of mostly gameable and inspirational OSR material for Dungeons and Dragons and its many retroclones. 

The Autnagrag / Knock #2

This was originally drawn for James Maliszewski's Gargant Class, something of André the Giant and Tony Hancock, Little John, Gann from Blake's 7, Alan Humphries from Grange Hill, Simon from Castle Waiting. The thing with drawing archetypes is they can take alternate manifestations, so the drawing been cunningly re-purposed here to illustrate Eric Nieudan's class The Autnagrag. Of course there is much more in Knock! than just this, monsters, magic items, character sheets, non-player characters, classes, maps, all provided by a veritable rogues gallery of high level OSR talent.

Knock! #2 can be purchased in print and pdf from The Merry Mushmen online shop.

Blighter and Eidolon / Knock #3

I also have three 'creature' drawings done for James, this time alongside his rules and background for the creatures in the forthcoming Knock #3,  including a pestilent mutant zombie and a skull faced robed ghost accompanied by some suitably grungy typography, although this is WIP and may be subject to some alteration before going to press. Knock #3 is currently on Kickstarter (at the time of writing the campaign is funded at £62,780, with 1,977 backers and 26 days left to run). As with #2 there is so much good, odd, weird, interesting and well put together material it's impossible to list it all, don't take my word for it, go and have a look!

Knock! #3 may be obtained by supporting the Kickstarter 

Thursday 27 January 2022

The Secrets of sha-Arthan

James Maliszewski recently shared this awesome cover mock up for the Secrets of Sha-Arthan designed by Lester B. Portly featuring my illustration of a mysterious cult deity.

There are 3 exits from this room: