Sunday, March 05, 2006

Fantasy Artist: Ugurcan Yuce

There are times when I can be a provincial yokel. Save for one family vacation to Niagara Falls ("Niagara Falls! Slowly I turn...") and one night of debauchery in a Mexican bordertown, I have spent all of my life in these here United States. Moreso, I rarely leave my native stomping grounds, the cornfields of the Midwest. Since Dungeons & Dragons and the hobby it spawned are also proud children of Middle America, I sometimes forget the international scope of the role-playing hobby. Sure, I'm vaguely aware that some games get reprinted in crazy moon languages and that France is the homeland of In Nomine, but most of the time I can barely remember that Greg Costikyan got started gaming in the faraway realm of New York or that the UK series of AD&D modules were written by guys who sound like the dudes on Monty Python's Flying Circus. This tendency is especially dimwitted of me because RPGnet is chock full of gamers from Foreignlandia and my dark master RPGPundit is a Canuck living in Evil Uruguay.

Anyway, the nice thing about knowing fellow hobbyists in other parts of the world is that they can turn me on to stuff that I didn't even know existed. Fellow Pundit minion and German gamer Settembrini has recently turned me onto the works of Ugurcan Yuce, apparently one of Germany's premier fantasy artists. Apparently Mr. Yuce has done many covers for Das Schwarze Auge ("The Dark Age"), the big homegrown competition to the German editions of D&D. Here's a sample of Mr. Yuce's work, taken from a mock-up cover for RPGPundit's as-yet unpublished game:


  1. Michael Dingler4:37 PM

    Erm, his technique is quite okay, but he gets awfully repetitive. Bare-chested guys with Wagnerian helmets and huge (huge! I can't stress this enough) mustachios (must be a Turkish thing). If you're looking for an artist in the Frazetta/Vallejo line, he's not that bad, but for RPG covers...

    (He simply doesn't know what the game is about. Take this cover for example. That's supposed to be orcs -- which are short creatues with black pelts in DSA -- in front. Say hello to Lee Majors -- chief orc).

    Interestingly, early editions of the game were done by UK comic book writer Bryan Talbot, currently "Caryad" ( seems to be offline) is the main illustrator.

    And to pick the last nit, "Das Schwarze Auge" translates to "The Dark Eye" not "Age" (okay, literally it's "The Black Eye", but that's been changed for its international release for obvious reasons (the periorbital haematoma is a "blue eye" in German).

    Other interesting German RPG Illustrators would be Franz Vohwinkel and Thomas Thiemeyer.

  2. Thanks for the comments and the lead on this Caryad fellow! I don't know any German, so I swiped the translation from an apparently inaccurate source. And I like heroes in Wagnerian helmets and ridiculous mustaches.

  3. I really love him too. And he got kicked from the gaming line because the fanboys were all complaining about how this is not like in the books. DSA is very detailed in it´s backstory (fifty+ novels over 100 official metaplot adventures, think Forgotten Relams+Battletech), and the fans can get all swiney if anyone dares not to delve into the huge amounts of setting description.
    My basic point is: I went away because DSA books wouldn´t let you do what is on the covers by Yüce.
    That´s why I thought it as a perfect thing for FtA!

    BTW: The Link isn´t quite correct. Yüce Orks look more like:

  4. Take a look here:

    That´s a cover from the present. I think they suck big time.