“If ever a man, anywhere in all the lands, should be brought to justice…it is him. Kurzhon, the Life-Taker!“
~ King Tandy IV
A Matter of Utmost Importance
My Lords, and other esteemed men of worth,
This letter is issued from the very hands of your Lord and Master, King Tandy IV.
Forthwith, all reasonable measures within your resources are to be taken to capture or kill the man so depicted in the letter you hold.
His given name is Kurzhon, from parts unknown. Dubbed “The Life-Taker” by unwashed commoners. He is held in fearful regard by those of low station, but to us of higher rank we know him as nothing more than a cowardly, lone troublemaker.
Though alone, this man has managed to foment chaos of a most disagreeable nature. His actions have been known to disrupt the normal operations of our good Kingdom and also cause irreparable harm to the good names of our men of Noble stature.
No more. The call has gone out not only to you, but to those men of lesser repute who are known to deal with these types of miscreants.
Below is a list of the known crimes committed in our realm:
- Good Hiram Blacke’s farm was burned to the ground. Although Good Hiram had a rocky relationship with those of his own station, he never failed to deliver a more than honest deal to the crown -its loss will be sorely missed. Due to the fire, Farmer Blacke’s livestock were set free to wander the fields. Many were lost to wolves and some wandered over the border into the lands of Myosia, never to be reclaimed.
- The villain took advantage of Earl Stendon’s wife, Lady Tabitha – apparently on numerous occasions while the Earl was out with the King’s hunting party. Although for some reason Lady Tabitha begged us to let the matter go, honor was at stake! So the good Earl, your peer and friend, set out after this man to exact justice.
He never returned.
- Sir Derek Stendon, younger brother of the Earl, set out after the villain soon after. He also has never returned.
- Count Radduc set a party of his finest Knights and archers after this man. Their mangled bodies and their live (but frightened) horses were found some 5 nights later.
- In fury, Duke Herron unleashed an entire company upon the brigand. They chased him through the Mountains of Mircea for over a month. Sadly, as time passed many of the Duke’s company fell victim to untimely accidents, and some simply became lost in the snowy cliffs. After the company had been whittled down to naught but a handful, the Duke’s men thought it best to return and report their findings.
As you can no doubt surmise, though cowardly, he has a coward’s guile, cunning and luck. We must not take this for granted. Your King demands this filthy wastrel be caught or killed within the fortnight!
Sad and alarming news
The King has been in contact with the Elven Patriarchs. Those of you who have been privileged to meet an Elf during your lifetime will know that they are wise, kindly and benevolent beings, always eager to impart the wisdom of their long lives to us.
Unfortunately, the man whom we discuss has committed an almost unthinkable act. He has taken the life of a harmless female Elf who held the position of High Warden to the Elven Kingdom to the east. Elven High Wardens act mostly as envoys and ambassadors between the human and Elven realms.
In any event, the Patriarchs inform us that she was set upon and killed as she made camp one dark evening. To think that she was murdered almost on our very doorstep by this vile example of our species is unbearable!
As many of you know, the good Elves have had rough treatment of late at the hands of our most disagreeable neighbor, King Myos. If it were possible, I would suspect the Elves dislike the petty, criminal King even more than we do.
The presence of this “Life-Taker” so close to us, Myos, and now this incident with the Elves could mean a possible alliance between him and Myos. It just may be that the man is an agent of Myosia and therefore an enemy to freedom everywhere!
We have promised the Patriachs a swift resolution to this embarrassing situation.
Your King demands you take the following actions immediately.
- Have your scribes duplicate the pertinent sections of this letter, including the depiction of the villain, and post it everywhere men of action might see it.
- Any Bards or Fools singing of the deeds of this man are to be arrested immediately, then publicly hanged in the Center Square. This human refuse will not be glorified within this Kingdom!
- You are to allow the King’s Questioners to poll any household members of your family or staff, lest they mistakenly withhold information that we should know (sometimes men do not know what they know until asked in a particular manner).
Thank you for your cooperation and your hand in the destruction of this pussing sore of a man!
~ Father Harrold, Arbiter of The King’s Affairs
Behind The Life-Taker…
Those of you who have absolutely no idea what the heck is going on and want to know more, check out these Life-Taker comics from back in the time of legend!
Oh, alright, from just a few months back then. Not exactly legendary.
Anyway, I decided recently that even though doing regular comics are a huge struggle for me, maybe doing regular illustrations wouldn’t be so difficult for me to keep up with.
I had so much fun doing my recent Nova artwork that I thought I’d go ahead and keep the party going with some of my own characters.
I started with The Life-Taker because I got a great response from him while I was doing my Monday Comics series. People seemed to get a real kick out of this character so he was an easy choice to make.
Since this one is done in 3D, I already had the model, so I was able to pose him and light him as usual. Although with that said, I’ll just mention that the Life-Taker portrait in wanted poster above is hand-drawn -the first time I ever actually drew him.
The background map I made up in Illustrator, since I find things like moving type around to be a lot easier in Illustrator. I just ended up distorting the map and putting a lot of perspective on it in Photoshop.
That nameless Elf chick was just another render right out of Daz Studio. She’s gone but not forgotten, I guess…
All in all, this piece didn’t take too long (a couple of days). I mostly had to make it larger than I usually would since I’m planning on offering these for sale.
Print-on-demand at Imagekind
I’ve really only placed a few pieces up for sale before. Frankly, it just doesn’t make sense why I don’t do it more often.
So with that in mind I’ve started restructuring my site a bit to make it easier for folks to find and buy art from me. I’ve had my Imagekind.com store for awhile now, but I’m going to start taking more advantage of it and seeing if people might be interested in purchasing some of these pieces.
The thing I like about Imagekind is people can pick and choose different matts and frames right on the site so they can easily see what it’s going to look like hanging on their wall. Hopefully this will take some of the guess-work out of the online artwork purchasing process.
Of course, my work is kind of genre-specific, but it will just come down to reaching those people into sci-fi/fantasy and comics artwork.
But enough about my master plans, check out this Life-Taker piece in a larger size. I made 3 different versions with subtle color variations, mostly because I thought all 3 looked good and I couldn’t make a decision on which one I liked best. Since it’s not like I had limited gallery space or some physical space factor that would force me to choose, I just went with all three (click to view larger):
And for those of you who actually read the Life-Taker comics, check these out:
As you can see, I actually placed the entire “Return of the Life-Taker” 3-part series onto one image. I didn’t put the very first comic on there since I was almost out of room anyway.
There’s one in there without any of the words, too, in case all the text balloons get in the way. The majority of this stuff is available on my Art for Sale page.
Ok, so this is the start of something new here on the site, and there will be more changes coming down the pipeline.
I’ve made more changes to my Artwork page and added an Art for Sale section so people can easily find my available work.
Plus I’ve made changes to the display of pretty much all the comic stuff under the “Comics” heading up in my main menu, including a Black Super-Hero Month gallery and slideshow, to boot!
All in all, I’m going to try to keep it more creative around here, so let’s just see where this whole thing goes. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you guys next time!