TORG: Tokyo Citybook, 1993

It’s always nice for an artist, especially one with a long resume, to surprise themselves on an assignment. This project did that for me.

It was my second time illustrating a TORG sourcebook for West End Games, and the job was HUGE. Over 40 illustrations from a genre-bending scenario of Earth beset by inter-dimensional invaders. (My first TORG project can be seen here.) The setting was future Tokyo, and though it would be another 14 years before I started visiting Tokyo in person, my head was already there via the worlds of anime and manga.

I’d been inking my own comics for over two years at this point, having gained a lot more confidence with the brush. That’s why, as the images made their way out of my head onto the paper, I was delighted to see how solid they looked. (This was the part where I surprised myself.) The subject matter was all over the place, pushing me to draw things I’d never drawn before, but none of it felt beyond reach.

One thing that made it easier was that West End encouraged me to reuse the same “storm knight” characters I’d drawn in the previous TORG project. I ended up illustrating the entire book myself, and it was a thrill from beginning to end. On the other hand, the repro quality in the finished book was a bit off in places, so what you’ll see below is actually an improvement.

This was my last project for West End Games, closing a relationship that began two years earlier. It had nothing to do with any disagreement. I was now a full-time staff employee of Malibu Comics by day and a freelancer for Malibu by night, and there just weren’t enough hours on the clock to do more. If not for that, I would have happily kept going. Certainly after an enjoyable assignment like this one.

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