It is long past time we dedicated a whole piece to an amazing member of the Hopeless, Maine creative tribe-Cliff Cumber.
We met Cliff on Twitter a while back, and were lucky enough to lure him to the island. He did much of the art for Tales From the Squid and Teapot (some of the very best of it, I would say) He created the art for the Hopeless, Maine tourist bureau (which we still proudly display at events) and then…when we asked him to contribute art to the Hopeless, Maine tabletop RPG- Travels in Hopeless, he bravely stepped forward. Much of the art in the bestiary section is his. (and I got to colour some of it also! ) His Gnii illustration is one of my favourite pieces of HM art at all-ever. Oh! Yes. AND he has a pin up in Sinners! (Two fantastic Sal drawings) Look here, and you will see some selected highlights from his work for Travels in Hopeless.
Mr Cumber was originally from the UK and moved to the US to marry (exact mirror of my own journey) and now does art for comics and several projects for our great friend Professor Elemental!
Go and visit him on twitter and tell him we sent you!
When viewed through the murk Which lends it a grandeur
And hides things that lurk On the edge of your vision
That watch as you pass That rustle the bushes
And slither through grass Behind you
Speaking of which
If you’re into your plants
The flora is…nice
Though some of it chants
In dialects dead
The language of dust
It whispers to both
The true and unjust
The animal life
Is completely unique
And whether it has
Toothsome grin or sharp beak
Or glowing green eyes
There are certainly habits To keep, it is wise
Lock your damn spoons away
We have many graveyards Really – a lot
So we know where our dead are As often as not
It’s not just the fact
That the corpse can up sticks
But the graveyards themselves
Are not geographically fixed
And the dead wander
The truth is, dear friends
To survive here you’ll need
A guidebook, a reference Something to read
That will tell you the rules Of this Island so odd
And give you some help
On the paths you have trod
And so we have made THIS…
A game, it is true
That will guide you
And give you a clue
How best to endure
On this island of mist
To visit this land
And put up a fist
That cries NO to the demons Which infest our dreams
And wards off the vampires Who suck at our seams
To give us some hope
That out of despair
Something less Hopeless Can take to the air.
Written by the rather brillaint Keith Healing (Creator of Travels in Hopeless-the impending Hopeless, Maine RPG and all around lovely chap) Illustrated by Jacinta Haden-Newman who was our work experience student for a week. I see a bright future ahead of her! (DO look closely at the detail of the lighthouse)
This is going to be a mostly-art Vendetta, and though I have titled it “Visiting artists” they are really both residents. Firstly, you have heard us saying wonderful things about our publisher-Sloth Comics, I assume. (If not, I will just say this is the best company I have worked with in my entire comics career) Well, how many other comics creators get to say that they have a fan art made by their publisher? This is now a thing that we get to say, and to show you. Here is the (utterly adorable) Salamandra-Sloth (she does magic very slowly, I expect) by Nicolas Rossert. He can not really be said to be a visitor only, as we have a long publishing relationship ahead, among many other things.
The second visiting artist who has become a resident is Mr. CliffCumber. He is originally from the UK, now residing in the US. (Just the opposite of me) We found him on Twitter and managed to drag him to the island (I do not specifically recall any kicking or screaming) He is now a regular artist for the Tales from the Squid and Teapot column, and has agreed to do some art for the Hopeless, Maine Tabletop role-playing game also. We consider him to be creative family, and he brings his own vision to the island but shows in every piece that he understands it on a very deep level. Here are two pieces from him. The first is a continuation of the adventures of a certain librarian on the island (We first saw her examining werewolf markings on a vase) The second is Sal (Salamandra) in her(flying) boat. I *may* be going to have to steal that lamp design on the back…
As always, I hope this finds you well, inspired and thriving.
Bill Jones is an artist, writer and performer (As Miserable Malcolm) from that centre of the creative universe that is Stroud, UK. (This enables us to stalk him regularly)
He has quite recently released (Via publisher- Head of Zeus) a new book titled The Life and Times of Algernon Swift which is gloriously saturated with puns, double meanings and artwork like that above. We own a signed copy, I’ll have you know! It can be got via online book selling sites and in all fine book stores (Possibly several middling book stores, but we wouldn’t know, as we don’t go into those) His website is to be found here.
The evening was crisp with an unusually clear sky, which may be why we had one of the best 12th Night turnouts for many years. Torches and masks made a dramatic show as we paraded around the town centre, and the traditional dance was a great success. I know there are some who want to modernise the event with lively tunes, but the traditional, mournful dances and slow airs have a certain majesty that suits the dark time of the year.