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Forsake the Worldly

Bloodbraid Elf, for Magic the Gathering.  Artwork by Steve Argyle

It's not usually coming up with an idea that's hard.  It's deciding from among the swarm-legion spawned from my head-hive.  While I'd love to nurture every idea, Painting is not a fast process.  Or at least, not for me.  Or at least, not when Overwatch and Rick and Morty and MtG Arena and new Brandon Sanderson books exist.  


Don't act like I'm the only one.

Luckily, for most things, I can pawn off my difficult choices to my art directors.  This was the first piece I got to work with the amazing artist and director, Mark Winters.  I've made his life difficult ever since. 


(My job is pretty much to be a horrible giant hornet with a sketchpad, stinging art-directors with decision-paralysis.)

Nothing says "I dedicate this life, and the next, to you.  My devotion is infinite." like exploding a magic sledge hammer over your head.  Hallmark should really get on that.


Amonket was a terrific set to work on.  Egyptian themes, Great and Terrible gods, a populace fanatical to them, and of course our favorite love-to-hate baby-eating outhouse-lizard, Nicol Bolas.  

The priests of Amonket zealously committed their entire lives to their gods, depositing into their afterlife bank account.  Problem was it wasn't really a lavish eternal retirement, so much as it was a megalomaniacal derpdragon's superzombie-factory Ponzi scheme. 


I can relate a little bit to this horrible cycle of misery, when I think back to my days as a broke student working in fast food.  I imagine Hell being mostly like that, but the textbooks have needly teeth, an unyielding hunger for blood, and they're all ham-handed Creationist knock-offs of "Garfield the Cat teaches Math."  The deep-fryer is a perpetually boiling elemental with an aggressively creepy crush on you.  Even with no eyes, you can just feel it's lecherous leer.  Also giant spiders with backward hats that talk like dude-bros follow you around asking inane questions. 


Is my vision of Hell proof of early dementia, or am I a misunderstood prophet?  Perhaps I am simply hallucinating again from my home-made Mountain Dew Moonshine.  The mercury really adds a nice zing to it.

But seriously, I should make an illustrated guide to the afterlife.  Like Dante's Divine Comedy, but with nightmare muppets.

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