So I made some Darksiders minis...
Who cares? why does it matter? well it matters to me and that's all that matters. This is a bit late since the project was unveiled a while ago, I posted the pieces a while ago and they did ok on several communities, a top row in Zbrush central, a couple staff picks here, I got to do an interview and breakdown on it for 80lv and a couple weeks ago I started playing Darksiders Genesis Co-Op on my couch with my wife. We're busy people so we're still getting through it, but it's a lot of fun. I also got to play the board game with our minis at least once so far with one of my friends.
So why is it a big deal to me? well here's one of the reasons why... these below are some of my oldest comics from back when I was like 13. Back in the old days when Wizard Magazine was a thing and X-men comics were selling lots thanks to the Fox animated series. My teenage comic geek eye noticed something... yeah the Jim Lee comics were amazing, Silvestri, but there was this newcomer doing some interesting stuff with his sequential art and comics covers. Dude's name was Joe Madureira and he was one of the most exiting artists at the time. He was a bit of a mystery at first, but eventually the magazine articles and interviews with him made their way into Wizard mag. Turned out he was one of the youngest guys to break into comics ever, he started drawing professionally for Marvel around age 16. He was also big into video games (one of the reasons his books were often late) and anime, and he was bringing these influences into his Xmen art. Suddenly the X-men were drawn with these hyper stylized proportions, super dynamic poses and the comics were selling like crazy. Back then I was still drawing a lot, and Joe was one of the guys that made me want to stick to this art thing and for a while there I was really into wanting to become a comics artist.
After his years at Marvel Joe went on to do his own thing and created his own IP and company, he teamed up with Humberto Ramos, and Scott Campbell, two of my other favorite comics artists. He created Battle Chasers, Campbell created Danger Girl, and Humberto created Crimson... man those were the days of super fun comics with amazing art.
I was so into these artists and the whole comics scene that I eventually even bought a Marvel Try-Out book and gave the whole thing a go. For the younglings and non-comics nerds out there, Marvel Try-Out was an official book that Marvel used to publish with a script and some instructions, and even blank comics pages for you to draw the scripted story and show Marvel editors what you got. I was about 18 back then and by my count two years late on catching up to Mr. Madureira... I really wanted this thing. I drew my pages, inked them, and even colored them, no photoshop digital colors. These pages were colored with color pencils, before age 20 and around 1999 I had never really had access to a computer for graphics or software like Photoshop. I gave it my all, the pages took me several days to complete and eventually I sent them in. I don't remember if I never heard back or if I have my Marvel rejection letter tucked somewhere in a box at my parents home. It was worth a go, and if I hadn't been de-railed into computer graphics by watching Toy Story and other new options, I would have given comics many more goes still.
So going back to Darksiders: Forbidden Land, why does it matter? Again it matters to me because it comes nicely full circle to coinciding to at least a small extent with one of the guys that inspired me, Joe Mad didn't necessarily start this whole art thing for me, but his work was for sure an inspiration and a goal post at a certain turning point... it was stuff that kept me going so for me it's a big deal that he later moved into video games, started Vigil, created Darksiders and that last year I got to work on something related to that IP. I pulled together a small team of artists and in a couple of months we did all the figures for that board game.
It's kinda weird how things line up at times. Some people might know already that THQ kinda died some years ago, their IPs got sold off and Vigil games became collateral damage to that shake up. Later on the remains of THQ were bought by Nordic. That became THQ Nordid and one of their main offices is here in Austria, in Vienna. I'm Mexican, I lived in the US, Netherlands, Germany, and these days in Austria... the company that brought me here to Austria went bust some years ago, by then I had already been freelancing for some years, but one of the people that I knew from that company went on to work at THQ Nordic and she gave me some gigs to work on for them. That eventually led to doing the Darksiders board game minis... I often say it's a small world, and an even smaller industry.
Back in the 90s I read an interview where Tod McFarlane, creator of Spawn and McFarlane toys, pretty much bragged about having a collection of around 300 rejection letters from comics companies. Not sure how many people can take that much rejection or be that damn persistent, but whenever I had rough times I thought about stuff like that. I never got to be a comic book artist, but I did get to work on some stuff designed by one of my art heroes, Joe Mad.
Back in 2013 in my second year freelancing I got to work on the Mega Man board game. Mega Man being one of my fave game characters and Capcom being one of my favorite companies that influenced and inspired me as an artist for decades.
Darksiders: Forbidden land was a super fun project for me and it was a nice cookie to get from the universe last few years. I'm grateful for the wins I get and I keep getting great projects to work on, wait till you see the stuff that is still coming this year. I leave this now with some pics of my first round of playing the game with my friend, Leo, who also worked with me on that project.
If you want to see a more thorough breakdown of the project and the interview I did for 80lv with my friends that helped out on that project you can find that here: https://80.lv/articles/working-on-miniatures-for-darksiders-board-game/
You can find the figure projects posted in my gallery here and I guess my main point was to do the thing, be creative, keep persisting and improving. Things may not go exactly according to whatever very specific plan you might form in your head, but good things come to those who wait and work their butts off. So yeah, do the thing, whatever the thing is for you, keep at it... git gud and keep getting better. :)