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Artist Appreciation: Head In The Clouds #74
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Monday, Sep 21, 2015

Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, continuing a thought I started last episode. You see, the more I forced my friends and family to repeatedly watch and rewatch my previous segment, the more I pondered its list of things about board games, other than the gameplay itself, that there available to enjoy.

(CLIP) See, there’s many different facets about modern board games to appreciate, and each for different reasons. This variety of features is one of the things that I love about this hobby. There is, of course, the enjoyment of the gameplay, competition, and puzzle solving. Not to mention the social interaction, artwork, components, and even the collectibility aspect.

Well, as the proud owner of a Bachelor Of Fine Arts degree -- which I absolutely do put to use each and every single day of my life, thank you for asking, Mother -- my ponderings naturally turned next to artwork.

I’m a big fan of artwork that emphasizes linework and color, a style traditionally seen often in comics. Some of my favorite comic artists include: Joe Madureira, especially his nine-issues of Battle Chasers (a series that ended way too soon), Gary Frank’s run on The Incredible Hulk, Keith Giffen’s work on Justice League, and Brian Bolland, whose Joker -- in my opinion -- is the definitive model for that character.

But interpretations of this style are found outside the world of comics, too. Popularized by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein in the 60’s, and still present in the work of the late, amazingly talented Quinton Hoover. As for board games, the artist whose style I think most closely can be categorized in this style (and coincidentally my favorite board game artist) is Josh Cappel, whose artwork has adorned many titles, including Belfort, Scoville, Kings of Air and Steam, Martian Dice, Wasabi, Norenberc, Skyline 3000, and Pirates vs. Dinosaurs.

Now, while I will admit that pretty much every comic book I’ve purchased since 1986 was primarily for its artwork, I’ve never purchased a board game based solely on the same reason. But it’s certainly been a determining factor. Case in point, Garden Dice. I was on the fence about it, but I’m glad I allowed Josh’s artwork to be the factor that persuaded me to get this underrated little tile placement game.

What about you? How influential is a game’s artist in your decision to buy? Have you ever purchased a board game based solely on its artwork? In the comments below, let me know not only if you have, but who your favorite board game artists are too.
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