What do you guys think of this illustration for my gamebook, Trail of the Demon Hunter?


#1


#2

I think it looks damn good. Reminds me a lot of 80s-early 90s graphic novels.

Will there be a background?


#3

@Cataphrak
Thanks:)! I think I will add backgrounds.


#4

There’s a distinct lack of any women in the picture, as such it doesn’t look at all appealing to me. I suppose it depends entirely on the context of the illustration though.


#5

I like it, very fighting fantasyish. As Fairy said a girl might be a decent addition though, but I do love the art style in any case.


#6

@FairyGodfeather @derekmetaltron
There actually is a woman but she’s a hidden archer! I didn’t include her in the illustration because it’d give it away. I’ll be posting an illustration of the female archer as soon as it’s done, just so you won’t think this is unappealing.

And thanks, derekmetaltron!


#7

Five people in that image, and you say you have one female archer to balance it out? That’s not really balancing as such.

The portrayal of women in both comic books and the fantasy genre (actually the media at large) is a problem. While there’s nothing precisely wrong with that artwork, it’s very typical of the artwork you’d find in any gamebook, or roleplaying book.

I’ll be blunt. All of the men in that image range from plain to ugly. Where is the eyecandy? Of course I’ve no idea what that image represents yet.

Now the ugliness iss not a bad thing, but I’d hope for a similar level of ugliness in the female characters. So I’m about to suggest something crazy. You could remove the beard from the guy in green and maybe tweak the jawline, and then suddenly you’d have a rather interesting female character. I take it that line on the chest isn’t meant to indicate cleavage though, but it did rather draw my attention.

It’s a good picture. It’s an excellent illustration for what you need it for.


#8

@FairyGodfeather
You’ve seen a grand total of 5 out of 21 of the characters in my book and you assume they’re all ugly and male. And I deeply apologize for a group of bandits not being sexy females. That’s just desperately trying to be inclusive when there’s no need.

The first 3 characters that you meet are actually three witches (one of whom is pointedly “sexy”) or 2 witches and a warlock (whom is pointedly “sexy”) depending on where the reader’s sexual orientation lays.

Then there 10 bandits, 9 of whom are men and one of whom is a female (who will be similarly ugly, like the men in her group)

Then there is the mage who is the leader of their group.

Then there is the vampire, who is a male.

Then there is the cave troll who is a male, but the sex of a cave troll is hardly pertinent.

Then there is the demon, who’s sex is ambiguous.

Then there’s the boggart, who is male (solely for the sake of simplicity and because his gender hardly matters, especially because he’s non human)

and then there’s the demon hunter, who is a girl or boy depending on who the reader wants to be.

So all in all, there are

2 ambiguous characters, 4 woman, and 14 men (and keep in mind that the bandits don’t even have names, are static as far as the plot goes, and are only in about 10% of the whole book, and the boggart’s and cave troll’s gender don’t matter much, at least in my opinion). Personally, I don’t think that’s that bad…I could make more of them woman, but I don’t see a pressing need to. In the world of combat, there are more men, whether we like it or not. And don’t forget that there are very important female characters in the book.


#9

Overall it is very good, but I have one complaint (other than, like both FairyGodfeather and derekmetaltron, I want at LEAST one female character, but that has already been addressed), and that complaint is: have your artist fix the green guy’s hand! I realize it is a tiny detail, but it keeps drawing my eye to it because it is obviously wrong! The smallest finger looks entirely two-dimensional, and the angle of the sword is pretty much impossible: look at the angle of the grip versus the angle of the hand. All the weight of the sword is on the little finger.


#10

@Galador
Did you read my previous comment?
And alright I’ll give my illustrator a word.


#11

@Samuel_H_Young Yes, I have seen it now. I was actually just editing my previous comment when you replied to me. Your comment before was not there when I was typing my previous post, so I couldn’t have known that you already addressed it in much more detail than you did before.

That said, I’ll stand by what I was typing in my edit: you have a fantasy world, and in fantasy, it is perfectly fine to have more female characters doing physical actions such as adventuring and fighting than is normally “acceptable.” Especially with elves, the females tend to be much more involved with the combat and such.

You say that there are “very important females,” and that makes me wonder just HOW important. You said that the bandits are only about 10% of the book, so unless the female is the “main” bandit, she wouldn’t be considered important any more so than are the male bandits. The other three females are the three witches. How large a part will the witches play? I assume they have a very large part based on your previous comment.


#12

You posted an image without any context and asked what we thought. I gave you my opinions.

I saw the images on your other thread. I could only discern three women, but there seemed to be a marked difference between the styles of the women and those of the men that falls into the typical fantasy stereotypes. Now, I understand that those stereotypes exist everywhere, but I think one of the things Choice of Games should do is to push to shatter them.

I’m not criticising, I’m just making you aware of a problem that exists.

The problem wasn’t to have more attractive images of women. It is that your images of women are attractive and those of the men are ugly. Give us some attractive men, or give us some ugly women. The men in the sketches have a wide variety of different body types, the women, on the other hand don’t.

So of your 20 character portraits, 4 of them are women. That’s 1/5th of the images, which is an extremely low number.


#13

@FairyGodfeather
I did post it without any context, purely because I was asking for feedback on the quality of the illustration itself, not the moral implications. I wouldn’t say that the fire or weapon based witches are attractive, and I certainly wouldn’t say they have the same body type. The weapon based witch assassin (Venefira) is shorter and built. The fire based witch assassin (Hestia) is taller and thin, and then Illusia (the illusion based witch assassin) is attractive and mid height…and the warlock (who wasn’t in the initial batch of sketches, is going to be very attractive, as we had recently talked about in another thread) also, the bandit archer is going to be just as ugly as the other bandits, as is sensical. I’m giving you attractive men, ugly men, attractive women, and ugly women. Oh and there also 3 more minor characters, 2 of which are women. I don’t think I’m reinforcing any stereotypes in my book at all. Plus if you omit the boggart and cave troll from the equation, since they’re non-human, the percent of woman jumps up a little bit.

@derekmetaltron
In our world, woman are seen in battle about 5% of the time. In my book, they’re seen in battle much more than that (about 40% of the time), not to mention the two minor female characters that are seen outside of that. And the witches are in about 20-25% of the book, as opposed to some of the other villains (such as the cave troll, vampire, and bandits) who are are only in it about 15% of the time.


#14

Oops. My last message was supposed to be addressed to @Galador
instead of @derekmetaltron


#15

@Samuel_H_Young 40% is a great number! I like to see that number there in regards to women in battle! For me, it isn’t necessarily about any kind of inclusiveness or anything like that- it’s just that I like to read about strong female characters who aren’t always needing to be saved from danger. Something that comes to mind is an interview I read where one of my favorite authors was talking about some of his characters, and he said something along the lines of trying to stay away from female characters needing to be either “damsels in distress or chicks in chainmail.” Personally, I like reading about “chicks in chainmail” just as much as I like to read about a female character who uses magic or some other methods.


#16

@Galador
Well there are certainly no damsels in distress, but there all of the women are strong (albeit evil) and the witches use a lot of magic.


#17

@Samuel_H_Young None of the women are good? Are any of the men you listed above good either? Surely the main character will not be the only good character in the book, right? Nevertheless, I like that you have capable female characters!


#18

@Galador
Well most of the characters in the first installment are villains, and you’ll see why when I release my demo. It’s basically like this

Hestia the witch assassin- villain
Venefira the witch assassin- villain
Illusia the witch assassin/ Illucio the warlock assassin- villain

Lord Sarrivan the vampire- villain

10 bandits- villains
Callidus the mage- villain

Belluo the cave troll- villain

Mendax the demon- villain

Aside from all the antagonists, there is Beckham the boggart who is your companion, and then a rich merchent, a farmer and a bartender (those three are minor characters).

The reason for this is that the main character is a demon hunter (essentially a benevolent bounty hunter) who embarks on a journey to banish a powerful demon that destroyed his town. Along the way, you face progressively stronger adversaries, who are sent by the demon, as the a way for him to gauge your strength to determine whether or not you are a “worthy” vessel for him to want to possess (i.e. very strong and noble, so he can have the satisfaction of corrupting you and stealing your body, while simultaneously increasing his strength).


#19

@Samuel_H_Young Ah. I get it! And Beckham is there to make sure that you have someone else to write about since you can’t switch perspectives in first person. He’s a way to ensure that your story doesn’t get dull, correct? When there’s only one character to write about, the writer will inevitably run out of things to say and will bore the reader with repeated sections.


#20

@Galador
Yeah, and so that you can build a positive relationship with someone since almost all of the other encounters are negative