Monday 27 September 2010

Mainly photographs

A quick post of mainly photographs. Since my last post I have been fighting and losing a battle with the 'lurgy' [an insidious increasing poor throat, that develops into a cold, then a severe cold, then a 'chest' complete with cough], and can I through the bastard off? Ah you guessed, but I am on the mend, and it was only a debilitating cold and I am not as badly effected as my poor suffering partner who came down with bronchitis.

But to more cheerful matters. For those not bored at looking at someones holiday snaps, and having found my ancient camera [by digital standards] here are a few. For those who are bored by such - look away now before you're damned!

First the hotel views -  from each of its windows [the second was shot through a glass window]

Next from our visit to the Lourve
Walking towards the Pyramid
In the courtyard aliens walked
From the Louvre you can clearly see the Eiffel Tower
In the gardens nearby, as we sat exausted, a young lady fed the birds
As we left a Lion, on guard, distainfully looked on
Hard to see but the face in the tree trunk knows its roots
At the Monde du Jeu, as mentioned I and Joe Dever did a lot of signings. With most of my signings I did little 'doodle' freehand sketches. I recorded a few and have assembled them 'together' so you may see 'what I was up to', as they say.
Paul and Joe look on as Russ uses his ancient digital camera
Having signed I thought it sensible to record a few - most suffered camera shake, but a few turned out reasonably.
So here [below] are a few examples, neither the best nor the worst, of what was done over the three days I was there. A very tiring but also stimulating and enjoyable experience.

So there you have it - some holiday snaps and samples of my 'signing doodles', with thanks to all those who came up to say 'hallo'. I have one more post that I want to do about my time in Paris, related to someone I met at Monde du Jeu. I think his take on a piece of my artwork deserves a wider audience. This will be featured in my next post if the scans arrive on time. Sample below.
If you like this, then wait to see what 'follows'! Till next time.

Thursday 16 September 2010

Update - Monde du Jeu: Paris

Being Mr Efficiency [cough, cough] I've yet to find my camera in my bag and attempt to retrieve the pictures I took. However, others have been been able to send a few more and I'll add some of these below.
Sebastien [Le Grimoire] Angelique 'Rebel' [Manga BoyZ] and Pierre

Authors [Gabriel Feraud, Manga BoyZ], and [Joe Dever, Lone Wolf] while the poor artist slaves on...
Gun toting Manga Boyz model gets my attention, and all she wants is a little drawing
One of the things Joe Dever and I were asked to do was a presentation and talk, supported by a PowerPoint presentation about the Lone Wolf series and examples of some of my work. Not all went to plan, even though Sophie and Paul did an excellent job trying to smoothly interpret my mumblings, for not all the pictures in the presentation were shown. Below are some that were missed [or not enough time was allowed to show them of].
From the Goldhawk series by Ian Livingston

Below are two illustrations supporting a major new fantasy series by horror writer David Wellington.  He's best known for his book "Zombie Island" and his vampire series. The website will be a "multimedia-rich interactive site to support his new series, featuring maps, videos, an interactive glossary and much more".

City map for David Wellington's new project
 Below are two related pieces for First for the 'Sickly Purple Death Ray' blogspot and the second is the half page backcover for 'Marooned across Space and Time' book1 - the first installment in the forthcoming 'World of Yezmyr' series of science fantasy themed adventure modules.
Banner for the 'Sickly Purple Death Ray' Blog 

Back cover illustration for 'Marooned across Time and Space' first in a series for
Went back to my roots with this private commission, which shows a 'reworking' of the Githyanki and Githzerai who first appeared in TSR's 'The Fiend Folio'.
More to post later.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Interim update : back from Paris and the 'Monde du Jeu' convention.

Now, just back from Paris. Very tired. Royally treated by Sebastien of La Grimoire and his team who made my partner and I very welcome, and I met some lovely people and some very loyal fans - and did a lot of signing and drawing. I was glad to have accepted the invitation. Thanks 'guys'! and a special thank you to all those fans who especially came to say hello and shake hands with me.

Here are a couple of pictures from the event.
Myself, Olivier Roux [with his 'Russell' T shirt] and Joe Dever, fellow guest and creator and writer of the 'Lone Wolf' series.
From left to right [facing] Pierre, myself, Paul [both of whom ensured I never got 'lost' each day] and two other dedicated role-playing gamers. Apparently this game was considered curious as it was the only one played in English over the weekend - can't think why?
This was the first role-playing game I'd played in years and - the first where I didn't end up dead. Which was nice.

I'll be writing more about the event and posting more pictures over the next few days.

Update:  now has a website 'home', and is decorated with various items of my work. Please check it out.

Update: Kobold Quarterly Magazine is now out and is a very handsome production. Well worth catching if you're into games and role-playing.

Till the next time!

Friday 3 September 2010

A Wordy Post

The work inserted into this post is the result of two recent commissions - see bottom of post for more details.

I previously mentioned that I lost a particular post, one that I'd spent some time on when it 'disappeared'. Ah well, thus is life.

It had three purposes originally, first to reminisce about the gap in my period of working on the FF series. Secondly, to announce that I'm away in Paris next week appearing as a guest at a Games Convention 'Monde de jeu'. Thirdly, to reprint an email reply I made about the 'recording' of my appearance at said con. as I was informed it was worthy of 'broadcasting' I'm not so sure. Mmmmm.
First. I had a very nice email from a fan reminiscing about his Fighting Fantasy collection. He said, "The first one I got was the Citadel of Chaos in the 1980s. Great book and your art really made it shine. I always liked the chaotic style of your fine-line drawings. Great stuff and a fond reminder of my childhood!" This in turn had me thinking about that period and the reason why after finishing book 2: Citadel of Chaos I never did another book until book 30: Chasms of Malice. Originally, in the 'lost' post, when I wrote about this period and being 'dumped' by Puffin I was full of ire [and malice ]. Mainly because thinking back, and being handsomely praised for my work, I was told by the then editor, that they couldn't afford to raise my fee. Also, as I'd announced I was taking up a 'new' teaching post, which I never regretted, in Papua New Guinea I was told Puffin Books did not hire artists who lived and worked abroad. As I was enjoying then enjoying working on the series this was a bit of a blow. Stay in the UK and continue to work on the series leave and that was that.

 It came as no surprise to learn that other publishers were happy to receive work from abroad, and I learned on my return that a artists agent I had known had two artists working on the series soon after I left and they were earning twice the fee I had been. Useful things artists agents.

But there was, and is, an upside. I also learned years later from a teacher friend, when attending teachers conferences, that these first two books in particular, "Warlock" and "Citadel", had a profound effect in helping boys with reading and learning difficulties to engage in reading and the primary motivational 'trigger' was as a result of my drawings.
Second. I had intended to 'announce' this earlier but things have been a little hectic of late. I have been invited to be a guest at 'Monde de jeu' a Games Convention in Paris to be held next weekend. It should prove to be an interesting experience as I know no French. Anyway, this leads to the email I mentioned earlier.
Dearthwood Orc
 Third. I've been doing a bit of work for Ramsey Dow at Calific and I wanted to add at least one picture to the PowerPoint presentation for which I was organising pictures that was from his new Fantasy Science adventure that he plans to launch shortly.

[See his blog  for more information.]

But when he heard I was to appear at this Convention he immediately thought of my presentation and discussion being recorded by video streaming then being 'posted'.
This was my sad reply which he thought both funny and worth posting, and so here it is.

"First I'm sorry Ramsey for the 'double' send.

I was concerned when I tried to leave my email on a site and it wasn't 'recognised ' and wondered if the email address was 'playing up' as one politely states on such occasions, and of course you are usually swift with your replies. Still, I hope the busy was a 'good' busy and not a 'bad' busy. 
Now this message does so alarm me!!  Being recorded? Streaming video? Video file?
I'm the person who cannot even get a simple mobile phone to work properly. I managed once and then the phone just stopped and the local shop where I bought it was suddenly not there. So a few years went by and I bought another in a local supermarket, but made the mistake of not getting it operational there and then: so it still sits forlorn by my desk in bits
and some of the bits seem to have gone on walkabout. Most strange. 

So asking such questions of me... Hell, they probably wont understand my accent. I used to have new students every year say, 'What's you sayin' sir?' Is that a' accent, sir? Is dusz yuz Scottish, sir?' The playful little monks couldn't even say 'scots' not 'scottish'. I'm not a marmalade, for heavens sake! Ah, the sweet memories.

MM this might appear on my blog - or is that too sad git :)

OK - this techno Q. I'll ask if it is happening? Why do you want to hear me rabbit?  As an ex mature student said to me today with a grin, and I'll shorten her reply, " PowerPoint presentation? Can you handle that? Succinct was never your strong point." Bah, who invented students?

So there you have it except to mention a couple of new commissions. The 'originals' have been inserted into the post elsewhere as you will have seen.
The Invincible Overlord
First for Kobold Quarterly Magazine [ ] and second for  Scott Driver [see his blog ].
Next post will be after my return from Paris. Is it me or I the only one who hates organising trips and thinking of a all the things that can go wrong?