Saturday, December 20, 2008

Darkover Village

In the mid-80s, not only was I drawing pictures of Cambridge houses and New England coastal amusement parks, I was doing a lot of "fan art" for small-circulation magazines. These were independently published with editions of no more than 100, and usually much less than that. These "fanzines" contained stories and illustrations about characters and scenes borrowed from an author's imaginary world. Almost all of my illustrations for these publications were unpaid, though at some points the editor managed to pay me a few dollars for my efforts. I received a complimentary copy of anything my art appeared in. Printed paper fanzines have all but disappeared, as the whole fanzine thing has now migrated online.

Darkover, the world of the red sun, had more than one fanzine. I did art for many of them, and this little sketch is a piece of "zine" art. I imagined the villages of Darkover to be these Renaissance European, stone and stucco affairs, with cobbled streets, creaky carts, and picturesque signs for the illiterate inhabitants. In that character, I drew Darkover art as if it were woodcuts or early printed illustrations. I had no idea that I'd be scanning them into digital form. This little sketch, 3" x 5", dates from 1984.

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