Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Japanese Detective on Darkover

Some time ago I mentioned that among the endless archives of Darkover fan writing published in 'zines was a story featuring a Japanese detective stationed as part of the occupying Earth force on the planet. This character, whose name I have forgotten, is based on the movie detective character played by Peter Lorre, "Mr. Moto." In the story, the elegant and erudite Japanese is forced to live in rustic circumstances, where he has built a teahouse environment to remind him of home. In the case he must work with a Free Amazon, whose uncouth ways he dislikes, and finally to teach her some manners he performs the Tea Ceremony for her. I had no idea how a Japanese Tea Ceremony was done, so I bought a couple books for research purposes, which I still have, 33 years later.

Original is black ink on illustration board, 8" x 10", winter 1984.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mid-Century Moodle remix

After scanning and Photoshop coloring, I color in the tiny drawing with "conventional" coloring and re-scan it for the blog. Here is the "remix" of the "Mid-Century Moodle" from earlier this month. I think this one looks better than the earlier one though the colors in the earlier design were more "authentically" mid-century modern. 

Going through the myriad photos of my family history I love to see the design of the artifacts that the family had in their homes. Some of them are quite chic but others are ordinary. I have not seen any avocado green appliances yet.

Original drawing in black ink, colored with colored pencil and markers, 4" x 3", August 2017.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wonder Woman of TV

With all the miserable things happening this year and indeed this week, I thought I'd retrieve a vision of goodness and power with an image of Wonder Woman. This is the famous  Lynda Carter, in the role of Wonder Woman popping out of the TV. This is what we followed on TV back in the mid - 70s, not grisly nihilistic sagas of blood, guts, and monsters. This is from a fan article I illustrated many years ago. You saw more of these little vignettes earlier. One of these days I'll get around to seeing the recent Wonder Woman movie.

Black ink on illustration board, 4" x 5 1/2", January 1981.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Ogre of Kallitechnia

One of the weirdest features of seemingly Utopian Kallitechnia were the ogres and the battles that the citizens fought against them. As the Client described them to me, Kallitechnians in their youth and young adulthood were required to do battle with a series of musclebound, monstrous-looking ogres, in order to gain fighting skills and courage to face adversity. The ogres were played by bodybuilders from the outside world who were paid to come to Kallitechnia and play their role, dressed in "primitive" gear and costumes and wielding what appeared to be crude weapons. At the time of the ordeal, which was kept secret until the moment, Kallitechnians were sent through a constructed forest environment where they were attacked by ogres. The utopians had to fight back with whatever they could use from their environment (presumably placed there by the contest runners). The main question for me was, were these battles for real or was it non-lethal and symbolic? The Client didn't answer but my assumption was that the whole ogre battle was staged and designed to scare rather than actually hurt either group of participants. Here is my concept drawing of an Ogre in full ugly regalia. 

This Ogre marks the end of my Kallitechnia series as published in this Blog.

Ogre original is black ink on illustration board, 7" x 10", spring 1998.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Transforming Hellhound

Here's some more art from the game I illustrated for Mayfair, "The Evil Ruins." In this scenario, the players are in a cave and they encounter what looks like a crystal effigy of a very large dog. Pictured here around the monument are, left to right, a Moon Priestess, a Mediocre Wizard, and a Half-elven Thief. As soon as the Mediocre Wizard uses magic, the statue activates and transforms from crystal to flesh and attacks the group. Without a stalwart warrior to defend them, they must either flee or use what resources they have to evade or defeat the reanimated Hellhound. I have the game book with details of the possible outcomes but I don't know where it is. Somewhere in Dustworld, I guess.

Original is black ink on illustration board, 11" x 7", fall 1983.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Tolkien fan art

This piece of action fan art is from the publication of a short fan fiction by Marion Zimmer Bradley set in the world of J.R. Tolkien's "Ring cycle." Interesting that though Tolkien was seriously influenced by Wagner's opera and its own universe, no one writes Wagner fanfic at least that I know about. Maybe in Germany but then Wagner has  unsavory connotations of past dreadfulness and Tolkien managed to launder most of it out of his Anglo-based world.

I did this piece in the style of old-fashioned Victorian/American ink illustration art, of which I never get tired. For more on this Tolkien pastiche, you are invited to visit this earlier posting of this Blog.

Black ink on illustration board, 7 1/2" x 5 1/2", summer 1983.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Geometrikon OMG Lost again in the city

Don't you just love driving in the city? Maybe you really do, but I don't and I have been having to do a lot of this recently. There are some places which I visit over and over again (friends and consultants) and I have never left them to go home without getting lost driving around. OK maybe once or twice I ended up on the road I wanted but not today. The area I am driving in is now under construction, with no end in sight unless you believe that they're really going to be finished by the end of the year. So you have to follow detours to get where you don't want to go. This Geometrikon is a colorful impression of what it's like to drive around here. There's lots of orange, the color of "Road Work Ahead" signs and safety cones.

Black marker on sketchbook page, colored in Photoshop, 3 1/2" x 2 1/2", August 10, 2017.