Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lazzaretti vs. Disney

I realize that my last post was a bit lacking since I didn't have any kind of visual reference to illustrate how astounding Rob Lazzaretti's maps are. This is what I'm talking about:


Start at the bottom of the page and go up to get to the goodies.

I love how simple and colorful the maps are without making things appear too cartoony. I want my adventures to take place in medieval/fantasy towns and villages, not the Disney theme park version of a medieval/fantasy town or village. I like the ambiance of dwarves and halflings wandering about with brigands and sell swords, not Snow White and Mickey glad handing 5 year olds.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A good week to be a geek

Can you believe it? Another post within a week of the last one? I'm a little surprised my own self. Guess I got a bit used to splashing something only every other month or so. Anyway, just thought I'd share another of my faves and brag about the new awesomes I got (yes, the awesomes mentioned in my last post).

A week ago I spent a doosie of a hangover at the local "game and geek", it's a brick and mortar hobby shop known by the name of Hastur Games and Comics. Except for the occasional rattle of dice from one of their many tables and a raucous burst of laughter from geeks enjoying their sanctuary, it was rather quiet and pleasant. I was even surprised and impressed to see females in the store - I guess geekdom knows no gender bias. And why should it, really? Anywho, I grabbed a pile of 5 or 6 Pathfinder and D&D books to flip through at a corner table and stumbled across some Pathfinder Map Folios on the book rack. I consider myself a bit of a wordsmith, but I honestly cannot convey how spectacular these maps are!

I was gaping at the artwork/cartography of Rob Lazaretti just on the plastic wrapped covers. I swore to myself that I would return Friday when I got paid. Being a huge map geek I didn't even wait until I got off work Friday evening - I went over on my lunch and nabbed them! It's a good thing too, the nice cashier (another female) said they'd just got them in the previous Friday and she was amazed they'd lasted as long on the shelf as they had. I of course opened them at work and showed them off to another writer/geek friend of mine. I think I got a few concerned glances when I oohed and aahed at what must have appeared to be a multi-panel centerfold to folks who couldn't see anything other than the glossy back of a poster. I think they were especially surprised when my bud Megan came down and agreed at their amazingness and laughed stating she'd never seen me so happy and excited.

I looked on Amazon and Google to see what else might be out there along the same lines and I'm very excited to find several other map folios by the same artist(s) in the same unlabeled style so I have much more freedom with them for my own uses. In fact, I ordered another one today.

Anyway, blah blah mappity blah - that turned out to be much longer than I intended, but I seriously cannot shut up about these new funzies!

And to finish things off, here's another fav link:


This Red Dragon Inn site is great for just about everything! I love that people take the time to post/keep up resources like this! Many thanks to all y'all.

I mostly use the Armoury's name generators and Sal's Outfitters. I just love how the names sound, especially the dwarf names, and the fact that you can use "Realistic" or "Fantasy" for both given and surnames. The elf names sound elfish without being too touch-twistingly Tolkien. Sal's Outfitters is great for having an established base for gear, tack, weapons, etc. Having a dice roller is great too - especially for those days that you might need to generate a random roll, or several, without wanting the thunderous racket exacerbating your hangover :) To drop a Matrim Cauthon reference on you, sometimes I hate those bloody dice rattling in my head.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Oldies, but goodies

I really feel I owe it to the blogosphere (blogger-verse?) to be more on top of posting. It's not like I have a shortage of ideas for content or a limited cache of resources. But it does make me feel a lot better to realize that several other bloggers also get a bit behind....then it makes me feel a lot worse because I realize it's because they're actually producing the content that goes in their posts.

As such I shall spoil y'all with these 2 (that's right, count'em, 2!) links to more of the awesomes from my favs list:


This is one I came across forever ago while browsing http://conceptart.org/. All in all a fantastic site with a horde of remarkable talent, but I always get lost while cruising. Or I'll find a really awe inspiring piece (like ALL of them!) and it will get stuck in my brain, but I can't remember which insanely good artist did what, how, where, etc. It's maddening!


This is another treasure that I found whilst obsessed with landscapes as keys to inspiration. Can you believe these aren't actual places? They make for incredible wallpapers.

Maybe this will keep us all satiated for a while since my computer will not be available from approximately 10/18 - 11/2. If I can find it buried within my tattered soul maybe I'll get something else up in the next week or so. I'm getting some new toys/marvels tomorrow night, but there's a good chance they'll distract me and come 10/19 I'll think to myself "Damn and blast! Why didn't I post while I could and save the new goodies for 'no compie' time?!"

Friday, August 26, 2011

Third time's the charm

So....screw trying to post all my favs links/pages in the same entry. It just was not working. Instead I'll bait you with one each day or so until I run out.

Might as well start at the beginning. This is the fantasy art site that started it all for me. I've always drawn superheroes and the like, but when my sister and wife got me started reading Robert Jordan years ago it was all fantasy since then. Here you go folks: Elfwood! I guarantee you will spend days, weeks, months cruising this site.


In fact I can probably milk this one site for quite a while. Perhaps the next few posts will be some of my favs from my regular Elfwood days. That's right Coalition chums, I'm talking about you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

They just keep coming (aka Just-ified)

Cruising cartoguild again and found these:


Perhaps I missed these pics before, but I can't figure how I would have. Just look at them! This style just jumps out at me. Great maps, great names, great legends - just great!

I keep telling myself "one of these days I'll post maps like that". Seems increasingly unlikely though, as I keep getting lost in other worlds. I've just been falling away from art and deeper into writing lately. Of course nothing ever gets finished. The loose pages of notes and quickly jotted stories just keep piling up. Oh well.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Because I said I would

I find myself stuck at home today with a couple a sick dogs, so I'm wasting hours in front of ye olde compie (as usual).

I didn't know what else to do for inspiration, so I'm cruising fantasy generators online. These are just some of the greats I have saved in my favorites:

- No I don't know why it's called that, nor is it dirty (so stop giggling). It will come up as "Serendipity". It gives great "English sounding" places names, which I can't help but love.

http://www.seventhsanctum.com/ - This one is always fun, if a bit off-the-wall. Warning: there is so much here you will need hours, a potty break or two, and maybe even a map.

I'm very glad these fellows know how to write/manage PHP....I don't even know what the hell that is, I just know it's fun.

Pop on by and leave a post that the Zombiegunslinger sent you.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yes, another map

I have been very neglectful of my posts lately because I've been mussing around with my new CS4 software (thanks Liz!) I'm slowly - very, very slowly - getting the hang of it. Fortunately I have a great network of support from folks who actually know what they're doing...what you would call "professionals" (thanks Kara!) Yesterday I bought CS4 For Dummies so I won't have to pester the pros continually.

I has been pointed out to me that I am a huge geek. It's not that I needed it pointed out, I was already well aware, but it made me think that I finally have the guts to "geek out" on D&D manuals and read R.A. Salvatore in public because I no longer give a rat's ass if people think I'm a geek. I figure that I would rather have the intelligence and creative spark to get super excited over a new map, story, what have you than to just sit around with my thumb up my butt watching reality TV.

But none of that is why I'm posting today. This is what I'm posting for:


This gallery is awesome! I love this style of maps - as you can tell from previous cartoguild links.

I can't imagine how people can't see something like this and not imagine what it's like in this world. The possibilities are endless. This could be the larger part of an even larger continent (think western coast of USA) or it could just be a corner of a vast, uncharted land. Who are the people that live here, are there others races, monsters, demons/gods? I could go on and on. This is the "completed" version of the map - there are others without the forests and rivers placed, which only leaves yet more room for imaginings.

If I ever eventually learn to produce something of this quality and style I will map out my first created fantasy world. But until the time comes that I have that much confidence I will continue to play in, marvel at, and rave about other artists' worlds.

Gracias por la inspiracion folks!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who knew there was a guild? (aka Lots of Links)

As always I was perusing maps online and decided to gander at the thirty something albums at www.cartographersguild.com

I'd found the site a while ago when looking at/for maps of Westeros from George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" (check it out). I highly recommend the series - at least the four existing books -but if my accolades aren't enough to convince you maybe a long drool over this awesome map will get your mind wondering about what's going on in that world:


There are loads of other awesome finds, such as:




Bear in mind, these are just my favorites...so far and in no particular order... and there's plenty more where those came from. Kudos to the fantastic artists that provide me with hours of entertainment and more inspiration than I know what to do with!