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    • Owlbear

    By: Adrian Burton

    Aftermath was a set we went into with a batch of of new artists Dieter Miller, Immar Palomera, Krzysztof Ostrowski, Nicholas Kay, Zhi Kang Lim and all made a solid showing for their first or second appearances. Numbers wise we commissioned 146 illustrations and had 47 artists on board. With less artists we’ve found that we get to build stories more as each artist has 2 or 3 on average illustrations so I have been more and more trying to give someone a personality and maybe an action or two with that personality featured. As I look over my Aftermath image gallery I find it hard to pick out my favorites for each Clan, they had a pretty strong showing this set across the board. But I must, so lets take a look at what I feel is some of the top notch work this set.

    The Crab have not seen much of their personalities this set. That said they do know they are getting Kaiu Esumi so I’ll speak on him, this is an unpleasant fellow, fiction in general has told us this much. I decided to dress him up a bit in some armor for his second showing and really his face is the key in this one just an ugly sneer showing his contempt for an assistant next to him. We also show off some siege weapons behind him. Jazz Siy drew Esumi, I’ve taken note his work shows up extra dark in printing, we’ve tried to correct better for this on future cards he has done. I feel Jazz did a great job capturing just how sour Esumi is. I’m excited to see if others feel the same way. I’m stoked for the Chris Burdett personality the Crab will be receiving as well it’s a great piece.


    The easy one to pick would be Mario’s Doji Tatsuki Exp it’s as always beautiful. But I’d like to instead focus on Adam Schumpert’s Asahina Umehiko. As many of you know cards change during the design process, and I like to give you glimpses of that process, Umehiko is a prime example, he didn’t start with expendable, costed differently and had an open ability, he was a different fellow from where he ended up in design and I’m sure he changed a handful of times as design tested him. He started with Master Gardener and that was a trait that isn’t seen much or maybe even at all prior so we keyed to that trait and focused on an Asahina who just wanted to be left alone to his gardens. Yet he’s been intruded upon by a bandit type, so his response is to grumble slightly and request that the spirits escort the bandit away. I imagine Umehiko as a bit of an outcast among other Asahina, perhaps he has a temper he tries to keep under control or he has ideas not all find agreeable and he’s been happy to find himself tending the gardens of his temple.

    My favorite was released the day I am writting this, Mirumoto Kalen by Tony Foti. Making sure people actually age has long been a goal and Kalen gets to be one of them. As he has the Yumi of Fire now we wanted to show that off as well the former Topaz Champion has seen better days but finding this artifact very well might put some spring back into his step. We kept his awesome scale armor, color scheme. We debated if he’d keep his helmet but to show off Tony’s skill at faces we went for headgear-less. We modeled the Yumi after it’s original Luis Vazquez art with some minor updates to the grip. I was asked by Kalen was so old looking, when he is only in his 50′s, my answer to that was have you seen someone in their 50′s that’s had an extremely hard a hard life? This is a man who has seen things. Togashi Obote is also a fun one this set, quirky, odd, totally Ize Zumi like to be meditating on a statues head. The arm tattoos came our really nice, I don’t think enough people appreciate how hard tattoos are to draw Hector did a solid job here.

    So Lion got issued the double diptych this set Jason Engle’s Akodo Uehara / Akodo Kano and Mateusz Ozminski’s Kitsu Tamao / Matsu Miura. Both of which turned out really well. I’d like to focus on Mateusz’s as the piece is a bit of an oddity, Lions on a boat. Otemi had a boat but on the whole we don’t see the children of Akodo get on the high seas too much. We imagined these two as Kitsu born twins with mirror image birthmarks on their necks. A strong destiny tie to water, kharmic link, maybe a great destiny advantage. I may be channeling my love of the RPG into this a bit, but my point is this we often build the identity of a personality as if we are building up an RPG character. For Miura and Tamao this was really the case as we just started rattling off their advantages and disadvantages to get an idea who they are in the image. The details he included are just great, thicker ship like rope in Miura’s armor, wave like patterns in Tamao’s kimono. The coloring is also splendid being able to use the darker lion pallet on a boat and not make it all into a mush of browns, but more like a multi-layered chocolate bar in gold wrapping.


    My favorite personality for the Mantis this set is Tsuruchi Shusaku by Hector Herrera. we had this concept of a savant Go Master a bit of a damaged human being but brilliant in his own ways. His scar we added to raise a question, is he brilliant because he is damaged or did being brilliant get him damaged? If I recall right I even had him use a go layout from a high profile game of Go we found online. Shusaku we really saw as a character who’d be strange to interact with, someone who’s not always there always off in his mind playing a game of Go or remembering a past game, planing the next several moves to counter his opponent. As a scout I really imagine him just wandering about in the woods knowing he wont be seen because he knows where the enemy will be and finding them is more a formality.

    You guys have not had your previews and only one spoiled card much like the Crab this time round, I run into this issue every preview cycle. So I will say this about my favorite piece of your’s it’s a critter by Chris Burdett and it has a flow to it that is really fun and Chris really had a great time drawing it. You also have a personality who has a cameo from the Crazy Old Man from The Mystical Merchant and he should really reconsider his purchase, I have it on good authority that The Mystical Merchant once sold a Mogwai to some teens and it ended badly. Pheonix received a keyword personality for everything but void this set so it was fun getting to play with nearly all the elements. I think you will really dig your air personality.

    Hard to pick on this one, but I will say this. You have seen one of your personalities in a card already, she was so awesome I had to find a slot for her somewhere and it finally happened. You last saw her looming large over a battered and beaten Phoenix and her artist is still Adam Schumpert. You also are getting a very strong showing from Nathan Arches in the form of a wolf masked samurai who really likes catapults. The bulk of your characters are women this time around and they are a deadly bunch if I do say so myself. Bayushi Wateru was a fun one, I couldn’t think of a card showcasing a female yojimbo protecting a female charge so Wateru was born from that idea.


    This one is actually easy for me I really fell in love with Carlos NCT’s Daigotsu Endo. The tatters of his cloths, seeing through his forearm bones as he gazes at his undead body it has a haunted “what happened to me?” feeling which I just went crazy for when I first got the sketches. Daigotsu Chiboshi is a fun one as well she and her raised minions crashing down the hill. You don’t get to see it as much in the card but her eyes are very intense in the piece, she has a kill t hem all feeling to her that I really dig.

    Like your sibling clans who have not had their previews yet I really only have Utaku Sakikoto comment on, fortunately she is one of my favorites for the set. I liked the combo of Destined and Reserve on her it adds to the feeling in the art, a feeling on anticipation, she’s ready to go make her mark to find her destiny and we see her in her quiet moments with her faithful friend before the storm. I was aiming to make all destined characters look rather young still and Sakiko really hit that mark solidly, she feels mid to late teens, she looks like she is still learning to steel herself. All of it adds up to a really solid piece from Nathan Arches who will be getting plenty more personality cards as he really proved himself to me this set.

    Aftermath is one of those odd sets were everything really went well and it came out in the same year the art was commissioned in so the set still feels very new and fresh to me and I have a lot of fond memories from it. I hope you’re enjoying the previews, I find myself always stalking the forums looking at peoples comments about the art, and Aftermath has been very well received so far so it just solidifies my feelings that this was a great set and I’m quiet proud of it. Enjoy the remaining previews!

    The post Focus on Aftermath: Art appeared first on Alderac Entertainment Group.

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