GURPS Supers Adventures, 1992

If you’re not part of the role-playing game world, the title of this page probably makes no sense to you, and maybe even looks like a collection of typos. But I assure you, it’s all intentional.

GURPS stands for Generic Universal RolePlaying System, a one-size-fits-all approach to gaming that accommodates any scenario in any genre. It was invented by Steve Jackson in 1985, the founder of Steve Jackson Games.

Supers was a game published by Steve Jackson Games in 1989, and it was a catchall term for characters with super powers. Think of the name as an alternative to “Super Heroes,” since that term is jointly owned by Marvel and DC. Thus, anyone who attempted to publish a game called Super Heroes would be in for instant litigation.

There were a few editions of Supers, each of which gave you different characters to game with. Supers Adventures was a spinoff, a book of scenarios involving space heroes not unlike those that would later earn worldwide popularity in Overwatch. (Seriously, everything is a variation of something that came before it, no matter how original it seems. Sorry, Millennials.)

This was my second illustration assignment in 1992 from Steve Jackson Games. The book contained four scenarios, and I was hired to illustrate the first one, titled Jupiter Blues. The characters were predesigned, and as usual I was given a list of scenes to put them in (or just generic poses to show them off).

As with my art for Car Wars, I drew only in pencil and the work was inked by Gary Washington. I was inking my own stuff by this time, and in retrospect I wished they’d let me ink these. Gary’s approach was pretty minimal and didn’t add much. But everyone needs to eat.

Below are all of my pencil drawings and the finished pages they appeared on. The character designs were pretty cool. I would have liked to revisit them in another project, but my next assignment from Steve Jackson went in another direction (and came out much better, since I got to ink that one myself).

Not used in the book

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