Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Artist Identification

So, I was reading issue #3 of The Judges Guild Journal (August/September 1977) and I came across the above illustration. Though it's not visible in my scan of it, the piece is signed by someone called "Gil Dea." A note beneath it reads, "Illustrations by the Sorcerors Guild, all rights reserved." Additional artwork with the same style and signature and bearing the same copyright notice can be found in several subsequent issues of the Journal.

Does anyone out there in the ether know who Gil Dea is? Is that even the name of an actual person or was it a pseudonym for artists who were part of this "Sorcerors [sic] Guild," whatever that might have been? I'm curious both because I've never heard of this guy before, but also because the artwork is a cut above a lot of the art seen in products of that era.

16 comments:

  1. Yeah, that's easily some of the best RPG art from that era that I've seen. I wish I could help you.

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  2. No idea, but "Gil Dea" is obviously a play on "Guild E.A." or something similar, if that helps.

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  3. No idea, James, but you might ping Shawn and Devon @ Die Cast Games: they're experts on RPG art and artists.

    Allan.

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  4. Dunno if it just means I don't have much of an eye, but if I were to pick a Golden Age RPG artist who might have drawn it, it's Jeff Dee.

    It's less stilted than Sutherland, it doesn't have the hallucinatory voluptuousness of Otus, it doesn't quite have that je ne sais quoi of Trampier (I wouldn't be surprised if it were a Trampier, though). It's got fewer muscles than Dee usually did, though...but more detail than Tramp, and that glum dude in the back with the sword seems more like Dee than Tramp.

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  5. Hmmm... I'm not feeling a Jeff Dee vibe.

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  6. Looks like Bill Willingham to me

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  7. Like Zak said, if it's somebody we're already familiar with, it's probably Willingham... but it doesn't have the looseness of his work from that era. I'd wager that it's not anybody who did other RPG work, though.

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  8. The woman's face center left look a very Willingham-esque while some of the other figures do remind me of Jeff Dee. I also see stylistic things that make me think of Liz Danforth.

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  9. Hmmm... definitely not Jeff Dee. Maybe Willingham, or maybe Truman, but really it doesn't seem like either. My guess is also for a relative unknown.
    (Yeah, I know... not exactly helpful.)

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  10. The way the faces are drawn makes me think of Willingham.

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  11. The shading isn't very Willingham, but yeah, the faces are.

    Definite Metal Hurlant comic-book-Frazetta feel, too, but I think we'll need insider info to solve this one.

    (definitely the wrong post for this word verification: dramaa)

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  12. That is very early artwork, before Willingham, Dee and the others fully developed their style and expertise. I'd put my money on a currently unknown artist, or artists. The "Sorceror's Guild" also did the cover for Wilderlands of High Fantasy, where the artwork was signed with "Mohow & Gidea" or "Mohow & Gildea": http://acaeum.com/jg/ModPhotos/WilderlandsHighFantasy3rdCover.html (next to the horse's front hoof).

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  13. Someone named Steven Gildea was doing cover work for the Sci-Fi zine 'Unearth' in 1977. Wrong style, but suggests an up-and-comer who might also be in a collective.

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  14. James Mohow might still be reachable, for what it's worth:
    http://www.acaeum.com/forum/about7913.html

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