Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Old Swordsman

Marion Zimmer Bradley had a brother, Paul Edwin Zimmer. He was also a writer and turned out long fantasy tales which dealt mostly with warfare. He was also a chain-smoking eccentric who always wore a kilt in public even though he wasn't Scottish. The Wikipedia article that I linked to has a satisfying level of detail about Zimmer and his world, which was much less socially conscious and feminist than Marion's. He lived in Marion's California compound which was the home of many refugees from the 1960s as well as Pagans, fantasy writers, and hangers-on.

This portrait is of Paul's main character, Istvan diVega, a master swordsman who bore a magic sword which could detect and destroy monsters of the Darkness. In Zimmer's "Lost Prince" series, Istvan is aging but still masterful, and he is tired of a lifetime of warfare but knows he must continue as long as he can. The sword he holds is modeled on the famous Japanese katana sword, which has become ubiquitous in fantasy literature and images the world over. If the character looks familiar, it's because I modeled his face on my favorite actor, Alec Guinness.

Ink and watercolor on illustration board, 7" x 9", November 1985.

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