Boltstrike Pillar

Boltstrike Pillar is a massive stone column that twists and
turns seven stories into the air. The tower has been a node of
supernatural forces for ages. It may have started as a moreor-
less natural formation, but over the centuries it has been
partially hollowed out and carved into living spaces and magical
workshops. Around the tower is a walled area with a few stone
and timber dwellings and storage structures, a well, etc. Other
features of the living space outside the wall depend on which
icon holds power.    -p. 301, 13th Age Core Book

BoltstrikePillar_Pencil_ABoltstrike Pillar appears in Chapter 10, the “Blood and Lightning” adventure in the 13th Age core book.  Below is the rough draft and a bonus sketch for a different adventure that Rob was toying with at the time.BoltstrikePillar_Thumb_A UpTheStairway_Thumb_A

13th Age Nominated!

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2014 ENnie Awards Nominees

I have a couple years to go before I can say I’ve been a freelance illustrator for over a decade, but I have been doing it long enough to know that receiving any kind of accolade for a project is an extremely rare occasion.  So it was much to my delight to discover that 13th Age has been nominated in three different categories including Best Game in the ENnies, The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards.  Cause for celebration IMHO, and especially humbled to be considered among the other nominees.

I couldn’t help waxing nostalgic about how I got involved in this project back in 2012.  I had no idea how many hours and how much enthusiasm I would foster for the project between then and now.  My very first illustration for 13th Age was a pencil drawing of the Archmage, if I remember correctly.  You can see this Announcement Post about that piece back then.  I was trying to remember which interior piece I worked on first and I don’t know if it was the absolute first, but the Clerics were definitely one of the earliest.  These are the clerics as seen on page 188 of the core book: 13th_Age_page-188 I hadn’t seen what Lee Moyer did to finish this piece until I saw it printed in the book, 2013.  You can image what a treat that was for me.  My memory of the piece was the pencil version that I handed over to Lee the previous year as seen here: Clerics_Pencils_A Below is the rough sketch that I submitted to Rob Heinsoo.   I hadn’t figured out how I was going to depict those spirits emanating from the male cleric’s magic item, and apparently it was compromised by the Diabolist because demonic spirits seem to be escaping rather than angelic ones!Clerics_Sketch_A The clerics in this sketch were a bit light on armor for Rob’s taste, so I think he sent me some snapshots of tabletop miniatures for reference, but I can’t find them!  It was all the way back in 2012 after all.  Seems like Ages ago…

Preview 13 True Ways

Pelgrane Press offers a Preview of 13 True Ways and it includes this double page spread.  Enjoy!AzerDoublePages

13 True Ways…Incoming!

13 True Ways has arrived. The first expansion book for 13th Age is now available to pre-order from the Pelgrane Store. Kickstarter backers will get the PDF before Monday, and pre-order customers will get it June 30. http://www.pelgranepress.com/shop/

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Final Hours Of Dust and Blood!

Today is the final countdown for backing Of Dust and Blood by Jim Berry and Val Mayerik.  The original graphic novel is funded, so backers are guaranteed a book, but the Kickstarter has a stretchgoal for getting the book in full watercolor by Val!  I did the drawing below to support the cause and the original is currently available as one of the pledge goals.  India Ink on Bristol paper, 22″ x 13.5″.  Please consider contributing to the project.  Thank you!

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Original art detail (click to enlarge):

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Friday the 13th Age

Good thing I check in with the 13th Age twitter regularly.  Today, I see they are selling the PDF of the core book for $13.  A nice opportunity to get it for a steal!  I think it pleases this greedy imp…Imp_13TW

 

Stepping Out and Kicking In

Stepping Out: I left Portland a couple weekends ago to meet my dad in San Diego for the Reuben Award weekend, and the days have just been ticking away since then.  I think meeting and just sharing the room with so many legends in cartooning set my brain on fire and it’s still smoldering.  I “talked shop” with  Sergio Aragonés and Russ Heath, shook hands with Mel Lazarus and Rick Geary, just to name a few.  Here’s a picture of my dad with some of the cartoonists at our table during the award ceremony.  Can you spot a Dan Piraro or a Matthew Diffee?IMG_5614a I’d like to do a thorough report of my experience.  It really was a remarkable weekend, but I’m going to have to put that on the back burner for the time being.NCS_NewMember

Kicking In:   I would like to direct the attention of anyone in the industry to the National Cartoonists Society because they are looking to expand the roster of qualifying members. There are new perks for being a member that are in the works.  That’s right, “Perks in the Werks!”  You can find out everything you need to know about joining at the newly renovated website HERE.

Kicking In:  I recently contributed to a Kickstarter that my friend, photographer, comic book collector, and comic book writer Jim Berry is running to fund the production of a thrilling graphic novel about The Battle Of The Little Big Horn (Greasy Grass) featuring art by legendary illustrator, Val Mayerik.  Please take a look at the Of Dust and Blood Kickstarter and consider pitching in to make this book a reality. ODAB_Kickstarter

Stepping Out…to the comic shop, I encountered a number of excellent books coming out right now.  Probably at the top pf my list for entertainment is Starlight written by Mark Millar with art by Goran Parlov that is just riddled with nods and homages galore to the late, great Moebius.  I’ll sign off with this piece of Starlight fan art that was created in everyone’s favorite new graphic software, Manga Studio 5. Stepping out of my comfort zone to learn this new tool, after kicking in some cash to buy it;-)  Starlight_FanArt

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