Thursday, May 5, 2016

Lythande: A stranger in the tavern

During its publication history, "Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine" usually included a story by MZB in each issue. If it was a story about  Lythande, the gender-bending wizard, I got the call to do the illustrations. Lythande, as some of you may recall, is a woman passing as a man while wandering around the countryside helping folks with her magic. She is not a transsexual but she is forced to pass because of the circumstances of her magical training. She disguised herself as a man to train at the all-male university of magic, but her gender secret was discovered. In this system, every magic user has a major secret which must be maintained for their magic to be effective. She was allowed to continue as a magic user as long as she kept her true gender secret.

Here in a story dealing with the discovery of a "portal to hell" outside a remote farm town, Lythande is regarded with deep suspicion by the customers as she sits alone in the local tavern. 

Black ink on illustration board, 6 1/2" x 6 1/2", December 1994. Published in 1995. 

The ink in my fantasy illustrations is not tech pen ink, it is real india ink on a sharp pointy dip pen, and I still do them that way, which is quite inky and messy but looks good when you're done. This is one of my favorite small black and white illustrations.

No comments: