In late 1976 I attended a party of Boston science fiction fans which changed my life. At the time I was a miserable graduate student at Harvard, attempting to study Greek and Latin and not enjoying it at all. I used to frequent the "Science Fantasy Book Store" near Harvard Square for escape. I became friends with the proprietor and he introduced me to his fan friends, who invited me to the party and asked me to bring some of my art. I did and immediately sold a piece and got some commissions. Many of the commissions were for nametag miniatures. This piece wasn't commissioned at the party but it came from people contacted at the party. The "John" lettered here was a fan of the "Elric" saga by Michael Moorcock which was very popular at the time. I loved the Elric stories too, of the ill-tempered, cursed albino aristocrat wielding his demonic sword, "Stormbringer." In my opinion no artist has yet gotten Elric right, though some artists like Michael Whelan, Robert Gould, and Barry Windsor-Smith have come close. After the realization that someone would pay me for my art, I never wanted to be an academic again, though it took me two years to get out of graduate school.
John's Elric nametag is ink and watercolor on Fabriano paper, 3 1/2" x 2 1/4", Spring 1977.