Art of the Genre

Yes, sir, today is a Spelljammer day! Knowing how fun I think this game is [especially if you update it with a bit of Pathjammer like I do] it shouldn’t be a surprise that I enjoy talking about that art from the game.

Unfortunately, this game, like several of the ‘B’ lines from TSR gets the great cover treatment and the blah interiors when it comes to art direction.

That is the case with SJA1 Wildspace, which was produced in 1990. Written by Allen Varney, with ‘special thanks’ to Aaron Allston and Mike Nystul, this supplement’s content is incredibly well done and also includes some absolutely stunning foldout maps by David Diesel LaForce.

The cover for this product is done by Brom, yes THAT Brom, in one of his first ever works for TSR after joining ‘the pit’. His talent here is amazing, showing incredible potential and yet I’m always amazed when I look at it because it’s so… well, happy! Sure, there is a nasty beholder, and there are threatening clouds, but without black leather, whips, and naked flesh is it really a Brom?

Interiors, done by John Statema, are an absolute misery on the eye. I don’t know John, but really, his artwork is so subpar that I can’t believe he made it to publication. They all seem rushed, without lasting form, and simply amateur. His ‘contribution’ to the supplement kills it, and for that my rating takes a substantial hit that not even Brom can come back from.

In all, it is an uninspiring visual product with content that far surpasses what the eye gets to see.

Artistic Rating: 2 [out of 5]

Written by Scott Taylor — April 23, 2014

Comments

Jonas:

Most of the interior art in the Spelljammer series is pretty amateurish. Really sad too because a lot of the material was so fresh in its time.

December 12 2014 at 09:12 PM

Scott:

Couldn’t agree more Jonas. What a GREAT product if TSR had the money to invest in it. I might have to do a Folio set in Spelljammer and really hammer the artwork home!

December 13 2014 at 10:12 AM

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