Monday, May 23, 2011

La Marca del Este Setting Artwork

The good gentlemen behind the old school Spanish fantasy RPG, Aventuras en La Marca del Este, were kind enough to share with me the cover to their upcoming setting product.
That's an amazing piece of fantastic realist art by Antonio José Manzanedo that, frankly, is some of the best gaming art I've seen in many a year. I love the landscape in the background, but what I love even more is the fact that these two adventurers not only wear reasonable (for fantasy) armor but that they're bringing a packhorse and a dog with them -- old school indeed! They're also not "posing for the camera," which is something that I really, really appreciate. And I won't deny that seeing a woman who actually looks like she could handle herself in combat rather than on the fashion runway is another big plus.

It makes me wonder once more: why can't North American RPGs look this good?

16 comments:

  1. That really is fantastic. Thank you for sharing it. Maybe with enough buzz we'll start seeing art like that in the English reading RPG market.

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  2. That is a beautiful piece. I hope the game gets a translation and is offered here.

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  3. And check out the re-imagined Tomb of Horrors artwork

    http://www.lamarcadeleste.com/2011/05/la-tumba-de-los-horrores.html

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  4. I have to agree about the composition of the piece, and I love the realistic cast to the characters (and the pack animal is a great plus). My own personal preference goes to a slightly more "photo-realistic" style, like some of the better Elmore pieces, but Elmore can definitely have his characters "pose for the camera" as you say.

    On the whole, I agree; an excellent piece.

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  5. Now that's what I'm talkin' about. Awesome!

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  6. I heartily concur!

    If more old school art were like this, well...I still wouldn't like the rules, but at least I'd have fantastic art to distract me.

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  7. Great piece, I'd love to see art like this become common place.

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  8. european illustrators--especially spanish ones, have, throughout the century, emphasized more traditional, more renaissancey, "painterly" lines and colors than british and american ones. as well as a sort of (very spanish) refusal to emphasize any one part of the surface over any other.

    not usually my bag, but you have to admire that the guy went all out. there's way more effort put into that moutain than 90% of illustrators would've bothered to put in.

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  9. Thats a very nice piece of art and close to the way I want my fantasy games to look. Toss in a little Elmore and the very occasional weird bit and I am good to go.

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  10. @Paladin Believe it or not that is actually the artwork that WotC used for the DM Rewards version of Tomb of Horrors in the last year or so. It is the classic module updated to 4e and separate from the hardcover they launched last year.

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  11. That's just a ridiculously good painting. I'm not sure Anglosphere art or illustration college courses even teach the skills necessary to do something like that anymore. "Art" seems to be just garbage, and even the commercial illustrator courses seem to be more about cartoons and simpler stuff, nothing like that I've seen.

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  12. Manzanedo is a fantastic artist. I'm sure he'll be much more famous soon.

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  13. Manzanedo's art is a joy to behold, He is a wonderful artist.

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  14. You might be interested to know that Manzanedo did the cover for George Strayton's new game Legends & Labyrinths, and will be doing the cover for the first Supplement, too. So he's making some headway in N. America. George has the image posted on his site, Legendsandlabyrinths.com. (Disclosure: I'm playtesting the game and wrote the module for the playtest.)

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  15. Yes, I've been working with Antonio for several months, having commissioned him for 6 paintings so far. The first is already posted on my site and is the cover of the L&L Rulebook. The second one is being painted now for the cover of L&L Supplement 1. All six will be the covers for the L&L books over the next two years (3 releases per year). And on top of being an amazing painter, Antonio is a fantastic guy, too!!

    -George

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