13 to 1

Here’s the conclusion of the 13th Age countdown in one swift post.

13…Attack on Boltstrike Pillar: the color version and the original charcoal drawing.

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12…Unpublished early concept drawing of Sorcerers of The Three (see the 13th Age GM Screen for an updated version)

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11…Pencil drawing of 2 halflings sharing a pipe in Twisp (toned final art on page 280 of the core book)

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10…The drawing for the cover of the core book on toned watercolor paper and a detail from the concept sketch.

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9…Detail of the original charcoal art for the Gnome class in the core book (page 68)

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8…An unwelcome guest in the king’s court. The painted version by Lee Moyer (found in 13 True Ways) and the original drawing.

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7…Adventurers went to heaven…after some faerie trouble. (Illustration on page 121 of 13 True Ways)

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6…Original drawing on toned paper (color version in 13 True Ways)

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5…Dance of the Dead. A drawing from 13 True Ways with some recent color alterations.

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4…Revised color on an illustration in the core book (page 40) and detail of the original drawing on toned paper.

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3…Kobold guardians of Drakkenhall.  Original acrylic painting for the illustration on page 127 of 13 True Ways.

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2…Darkness Horses from the forthcoming 13th Age in Glorantha.

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1…Unused concept drawing for the Battle Captain  seen on page 29 of 13 True Ways.

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Counting down from 20…19…

13th Age products are going on sale for 20 days at bundleofholding.com, and for the occasion I’m posting 20 pieces daily that were drawn mainly for the core book or 13 True Ways.  Most will include the original pencil or charcoal art, but I plan to sneak in some other unpublished drawings along the way.  The sale started yesterday, so here’s No. 20 (a victorious half-orc gladiator) and No. 19 (a levitating, meditating monk), both from the core book.

3…2…1…ComicCon

I’ll be tabling with Periscope Studio at the Rose City Comic Con this Saturday and Sunday.  I’m currently stocked with copies of the freshly printed 13 True Ways that I will have available among my other books, prints and original art.  I hope to see you there!

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13th Age Core Book Preview

The 13th Age Core Book is finally available from Pelgrane Press!  Buy It Here!  The book has been long anticipated by some patient folks (it was originally slated for release in December 2012), but all new to others.  The game has been available as a PDF for months, but the official book release was at Gen Con this past weekend.  It has been rewarding to see numerous snapshots of the cover pop up on the web posted by people who pre-ordered and received the book by mail.  I’ve seen very few pictures of the book’s interior, though, so I thought I’d make use of my blog and post a few shots of what you see inside when you crack that cover.  Much of the polish and beauty of the interior can be attributed to Lee Moyer who meticulously art directed the overall design, created the icon symbols and various tiles, and painted many of my illustrations.  In addition, Chris Huth is responsible for the stunning page layouts.  It’s a $45 dollar book, but at 320 pages and over 60 illustrations, this is a book that even the Archmage would add to his library of mystical tomes.

Here’s a Preview…

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Those pictures with my hand may just seem like an opportunity to fulfill my dream to be a hand model, but I’m trying to showcase the Icon Ring that came with my comp.  An outer piece rotates and allows the bearer of the ring to randomly select an icon during key moments of game play.  A few of the illustrations showcase characters who in some way are representing a relationship that they have with one of the Icons.  Buy the book and try to find all the connections…then it’s time to start making up your own!  Game On!

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.

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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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Process: 13 True Ways

I met with Rob Heinsoo and Lee Moyer the other night.  After enjoying  a bowl of Lee’s chicken hominy soup we went through the “Art Order’ for 13 True Ways to see where we stand in the process.  There’s a lot of artwork in this book, but a good amount of progress has been made and I will continue illustrating finished pieces this upcoming month.  This weekend at Stumptown Comic Fest I’ll bring prints from the first book including many of the Icons and some interior illustrations of gnomes, elves and other high fantasy adventurers.  Here’s an illustration that will be included in 13 True Ways:

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And the thumbnail sketch:Mantis_ThumbA

Let the games begin!

Axis, City of Swords…capital of the Dragon Empire, one of the 7 Cities.  Axis is a city of wonders, military power, and martial competition. Gladiatorial games, skirmishes between noble houses, and staged holy wars hone the fighting spirit of an empire built on conquest. –Text from the 13th Age Playtest

I think the comparison between gladiatorial games and Kickstarter is appropriate.  “All or nothing” in both cases.  The creative team behind 13th Age, myself included, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an expansion book, 13 True Ways.  Even though the 13th Age core book  is in the post-production stage and won’t be available until after the Kickstarter for 13 True Ways is finished, despite the outcome, the core book is guaranteed to be an object of desire.  So, please consider assisting the creative team in their pursuit to expand the 13th Age universe. 13th Age has been a a labor of love for all 4 collaborators, but we’re at a crossroads and need the financial support to keep it going.  Thanks for your consideration.  I hope you can join me in exclamation, “I am Spartacus!”

Sincerely,

In keeping with my previous “Behind-the-Illustration” posts, here’s an early sketch of the Half-Orc Gladiator at Axis: