Monday, January 25, 2010

City of the Fallen Colossus

I have been going through my old papers for 2001 in order to sort them out and recycle the unnecessary stuff. In my filebox for '01 I found this sketch, or rather a copy of a sketch. I remember clearly when I did it, and in what circumstances. I was browsing in my favorite comics and used book store and got into a conversation with a couple of role-playing gamers there. It turned out they were looking for a concept artist to illustrate the background for one of their games. I volunteered, and someone brought me a pen and paper. I created this on the spot as the gamer described the scenario.

Imagine a Colossus, a giant hollow metal image of a man a mile long. It is very old, and the advanced civilization that made it is long gone. It has fallen over on its back, still in one piece, and become part of the landscape. Meanwhile the later inhabitants of the place have taken the hollow body of the fallen Colossus as a shelter and have built a city in and around the figure. The heroic legs which once stood over the entrance to the harbor now form a harbor themselves, extending into the water from the hilly shore. The people have built a castle on the midsection, and carved gates and windows into the metal skin. Inside the figure, where people have built homes and businesses and workshops, are huge ancient engines, but no one has any idea how they work. The Colossus has lain there for centuries, perhaps millennia. And then one day, the people of the "City of the Throne" feel an earthquake. But it is not an earthquake. The Colossus is waking up, and wants to rise again!

I wonder where those gamers are now. I am sometimes old and traditionalist, and used to regard role-playing games as a vast waste of creativity. What is the point of playing games in a fantasy world, when one should be either writing books or more importantly, improving the real world with technological innovations? Back in 2001 I was still much involved in traditional fantasy art, painted on panels and sold at conventions and occasionally published. Now I wish I had taken role-playing game art more seriously, though I don't play the games myself. I am constantly tempted to go back to doing fantasy art.

"City of the Throne," ink on plain paper, 11" x 8 1/2", March 2001


Mike said...

This is a really interesting idea for the creation of a city.

On a side note: Hey look, the Chinese like your art so much, they're spamming you. (I get the same junk on my blog too).

Tristan Alexander said...

Interesting concept...I liked the um, tower at the middle. Also, while gaming can be a waste of time, it can, when done right/well, be VERY inspiring, make you think differently, and stir imagination!