Art of the Genre

Today I’m going to take a look at one of my favorite games, Star Frontiers.  The oddity of that claim is that I’ve really only played Star Frontiers once, for a single two month campaign back in 1988.  Therefore, I can only see Star Frontiers as appearing so high on my list of favorite games for one reason, the artwork.

The second boxed set, Knight Hawks, brought forth a series of space adventure modules that continued to feature great artwork and one of the best would have to be the 1984 release of SFKH1 Dramune Run.

Written by another of my favorites, Douglas Niles, Dramune Run is the tale of a single man and his crew [your characters] on the run from the intergalactic mob.  Now seriously, what could be more fun than that?  Well, maybe space pirates, but still, this has to be a close second!

Featuring an incredible cover by artist Keith Parkinson, I’m always blown away by how both he and artist Jeff Easley could completely switch gears artistically and go from painting character driven fantasy adventure pieces to rather epic 1970s standard space opera covers. 

Parkinson works his is genius here, pure and simple, and I’m ever blown away by his ability to do this kind of painting.  Lord knows, I’d give my eye teeth to own ANY original Parkinson piece, but still, of all his work, this might be the one I’d most appreciate having in my collection.

Inside, we find that rather uniquely, the module is completely illustrated by Clyde Caldwell.  This is odd for two reasons, A: Caldwell typically did covers, and B: Caldwell rarely did b/w illustration, but here is proof positive he was good at it and should have been utilized more.

Caldwell’s work is very sublime, well detailed, and is a throwback to a kind of early Buck Rogers feel that I really enjoy, even if it doesn’t completely fit with the established SF universe.

In all, I love this little piece of work.

Artistic Rating: 4 [out of 5]

Written by Scott Taylor — July 12, 2013

Comments

Jay:

Hm, the fat alien guy appeared in the Gamma World art you posted, too. Just devoid of his body guards.

July 12 2013 at 12:07 PM

Scott:

Jay: Yep, you got it right! :)

July 20 2013 at 11:07 PM

Clayton Callahan:

If you like Star Frontiers, may I be so bold to recommend an RPG called Star Run. It is being given away free this month at quickandeasygames.wordpress.com

August 02 2014 at 04:08 AM

Scott:

Thanks for the info Clayton!

August 13 2014 at 10:08 AM

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