Art of the Genre

I must apologize, first for my epic failure in finding the artist I’m going to speak about today, and even more so for the ineptitude of Avalon Hill and Chaosium for their lack of artist credits that clearly identify the cover work.

Now that I have that out of the way, I’d at least like to feature the cover for Runequest Deluxe Edition [1993], as well as the product itself.

The cover, much like many Middle-Earth Role-Playing books of the same period, used an incredible watercolor painter to create this universally recognized and sublime piece of artwork. The only indicator of who did the piece, the moniker ‘Jalee’ hidden in the stone at the female warrior’s feet, does not match up with the three artists listed within: Chris Marrinan, Alan Okamoto, and Lisa Free. Of these, only Chris Marrinan has any lasting art presence, and that was in black and white comics, so again I’m left wondering who did the cover.

Still, the mysterious Jalee has done a superb job coupling classic Norse style with the exploration of Mesoamerican ruins. That in itself should make the piece an instant classic, but once you start digging deeper into the use of color, the position of the bodies, and the knowledge of weaponry by the artist you see just how talented he or she was.

Having said that, the remainder of Runequest Deluxe Edition [1993] is a marked failure where art is concerned. This 276 page book is truly lacking in art, with just a scattering of black and white illustrations within, and none of those particularly moving. There are actually whole chapters without an illustration, which for a game a renowned as Runequest, I find a terrible shame.

In the end, the cover makes this a classic, but otherwise it is an epic artistic fail.

Artistic Rating: 3 [out of 5]

Written by Scott Taylor — April 17, 2014


moniker ‘Jalee’

Jody A. Lee,

April 17 2014 at 11:04 AM


Thanks S.K. I’ll check it out!

April 17 2014 at 06:04 PM

Jonathan McLean:

Hi, How much do you think this book is worth. I have a copy for sale and was thinking of listing it on ebay.

June 25 2014 at 03:06 PM


Roughly $40 for the SC in good condition.

June 25 2014 at 04:06 PM

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