After I completed 34 cards for the collectible card game (CCG) Heresy, Kingdom Come, the doors started to open for me in the gaming world. The first freelance assignment I did for the Mythos CCG (published by Chaosium) was for the limited edition starter set. This was the first of three jobs I did for various card sets for Mythos. I had read many Lovecraft novels before, so I was familiar with the Cthulhu pantheon and stories. I was quite happy to contribute even in a small way to the Cthulhu universe!
One of my favorites was doing the Faraz Najir card. He had a melted face and lived in the Middle east. I happen to love Middle Eastern decoration and artifacts – in fact, the brass candlesticks and the hanging lamp (at the top right) were based on Moroccan objects that were in my living room! I admit I was also probably influenced by an Indiana Jones movie or two…..
It was loads of fun drawing the Deep Ones, or perhaps they are offspring of the Deep Ones, I’m not sure any more. I wanted to create a dark, gothic mood for these, so I used a lot of candlelight and, in this one, stained glass windows. Titled angles create not just a dynamic composition, but also create an atmosphere of disturbance — something is wrong or unbalanced.
I enjoy making fanciful architecture, so I got several houses and streets in this set and future sets. This was a compromise between an ordinary house and a weird gothic house, I wanted it to look like something that could be real, not too over the top. I went a little further for the house in the next set.
The final card in this first set was Robert Marsh. I decided to have him standing on a rock, overlooking the water lit by moonlight – very dramatic and iconic. He needed to wear a crown, so I made a crown that was very fluid and organic, after all, undersea creatures wouldn’t do anything angular, but it would be very organic-looking. His cane or staff is also very fluid and almost like a braided plant or root.