Volume 4 of "The Brutal Blade of Bruno the Bandit" is coming together at this moment. The book is largely compiled and is just waiting on a pinup and a couple of spot illustrations (I guess I'd better get those done, huh?).
A huge step forward for this volume is the fact that I've just received the cover art for the book, and let me tell you, it looks great! Rather than keep you guessing, let me introduce the cover artist for BBoBtB Vol. 4, Mark Oakley!
Those of you who know Mark's work must surely be as stoked as I am to have him aboard for this issue. Those of you who don't know Mark's work owe it to yourself to get out there and get your hands on some of it as soon as possible.
Mark is the creator of the popular and incredibly good comic book series "Thieves & Kings", as well as the more recent and likewise good series "Star Drop". As both a self-publisher and a comics creator his work has been an inspiration to both Ian McDonald and myself. I count his work on Thieves & Kings as one of the two major influences on my design decisions for the current incarnation of "The Journals of Simon Pariah".
I was lucky enough to meet Mark at a local signing a few years ago, and have run into him at several events since then. I think I've had him sign just about everything he's ever published for my collection (be sure to check out all the items for sale in the sidebar of his site to see the wide variety of work he has available).
.After the last Hal-Con, I finally got in touch with him about doing some art for a collection of Ian's work, and just this past Sunday, I was delighted to hold in my hands a Bruno the Bandit original by Mark Oakley!
One of the best perks of publishing Brutal Blade so far has been that I get to do color work under art by some of my favorite artists in the fantasy genre. This time, I'm going to get the pleasure of working with Mark's art, and just hope that I can do it justice.
Meantime, while I'm bringing it all together, here's a preview of one of his character sketches from the Brunoverse, the foul dread lord Numth'kul. Enjoy!