Cast your Vote, then Place your Bets

Remember that I excitedly announced that 13th Age was up for a 2014 ENnie Award or 3?  Well, evidently the winners are selected by popular vote.  If you are so inclined, please follow this LINK  to the ballot and vote for 13th Age in categories Best Game, Best Rules, and Product of the Year. (Then go ahead and place your bets secure in the knowledge that you rocked the vote.) Voting ends tomorrow, so don’t hesitate.

PCOptions_croppedDetail from an illustration in the core book, page 73 seen here: 13th_Age_pg-73And here’s the original sketch.  Hey! The numbers keep changing, don’t they?!  That bookie can’t be trusted!OptionRaces4_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…

13 True Ways Commander

Behold, a dwarven commander whose troops carry the flag of the Emperor!  Read Rob Heinsoo’s notes on the commander at this post.BattleCaptDwarf

I’ll work backward on the process this time around, for some variety. Below is the original image that I sent Lee Moyer.  Lee added the Emperor’s flag to the final illustration, as you can see above, not to mention greater contrast and golden light illuminating the scene. (Could that light be reflecting from a guarded treasure trove, perhaps?  Or perchance they have encountered the fleeting essence of The Gold Wyrm?!)BattleCaptDwarf_ThumbA

The charcoal sketch:BattleCaptDwarf_Pencils

And a preliminary sketchbook drawing of the Commander in repose:BattleCaptDwarf_Sketch

13 True Ways Necromancer

It’s a process post for 13 True Ways!  I had fun doing these posts for some of the 13th Age core book art about 2 years ago that I called “Behind-the-Illustration”.  The first image below is a preliminary pencil sketch in blue and red col-erase pencils.  You can see a little thumbnail scribble in blue, top left:  NecromancerDead_PencilSketchI added some color and Lich King symbols fused with Archmage emerging from the volcanic rock below her feet before turning it over to Lee Moyer: NecromancerDead_ThumbAAnd Lee gave the image an ethereal quality as if the adventurers witnessing the scene can’t be sure if their eyes are playing tricks on them or not: NecromancerDead3  Rob Heinsoo wrote a fun mechanic for the necromancer that you can read here.

Also, I’d like to invite anyone interested in 13th Age to consider contributing something to the first issue of a 13th Age Fanzine called ICON that is currently accepting submissions (deadline for the May issue is April 24th).  Click the banner below for details: blog-header-icon

Teaser 3-19-14

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Teaser 2-28-14

Teaser_059_Pl3The first teaser to offer a clue what this comic might be about!  Above are the inks and below the color by Matthew Bogart who is helping me color this book to meet the deadline.  I love the warm morning light he brought to this panel.  It’s delicious!  (And probably more delicious than the liquid breakfast these poor children are drinking!)

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The Latest

Francavilla Cover

Savage Sword 6

News!  I will be drawing Part 2 and 3 of a 3 part story adaptation of Robert E Howard’s Dark Agnes published in the Dark Horse anthology Savage Sword #6.  I stopped by a comic shop yesterday and had to look in the back issues  for Savage Sword #5 released in August 2012.  Here’s a preview of 5 that includes a couple pages from Dark Agnes Part One drawn by Francesco Francavilla.  I’ve been a fan of Francavilla’s pulpy artwork and couldn’t be happier to fill in for him on this adaptation.  In addition, the adaptation is written by Periscope Studiomate Paul Tobin!  Paul and I went to a Portland dive and smashed flagons of ale over each other’s morions to get in the right frame of mind for this tale.  (Maybe I only imagined we did that, because in actuality the book was late to press and I started working on the pages immediately after I got the script.  It’s all a blur whether the ale is to blame or not.)  I’ve been approved to post preliminary drawings for the story here on my blog, so I’ll get that rolling with a character sketch of Agnes in the forest!

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More News!!  The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation will be released next week!  Here’s a link to the listing on the HarperCollins website.  There are already some favorable reviews that will become public very soon, but in the meantime may I remind you of the excellent website with videos, annotations and more available at graphicgettysburg.com  Below is another process image from the book: Inks to final colors.  But I don’t have my comps yet, and if you pre-ordered a book there’s a possibility you’ll get your copy before I do…(I’m making this up, just tryin’ to keep things exciting here at aamcconnell.com…truthfully I know nothing about the distribution process.)

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And speaking of printing, I’ve been enjoying these delightful teaser images of 13th Age going to print courtesy of Pelgrane Press.  One day I’d like to actually visit a print shop when one of my books is being printed, but I have a feeling printing people like to keep illustrators removed from that process to avoid any unreasonable demands or unnecessary interruptions.  These pics, though, are giving me an appreciation of the process from afar. Also, there’s a new review of 13th Age at RPG.net.  Spoiler…they like it.

13ACoverPrintingMonday-6-17-03813ACoverPrintingMonday-6-17-03613th-Age-043113th-Age-04113th-Age-044113A_Pelgrane-Press-and-Bindery-00713APelgrane-Press-and-Bindery-00613APelgrane-Press-and-Bindery-00513ACoverPrintingMonday-6-17-037

And finally, here’s an illustration I did for a start up gaming company Unrestrained Games.  “Orc of the Spires” (aka “Lord of the Flies” since orcs are basically teenage hulks).  Thanks for following my blog!

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