I first met Timothy Reynolds about three years ago, gaming online. We played (and still play) on the RPGTO; this is the virtual table that Wizards developed but discontinued. It is still going strong, but that is another story.
Tim aka "Morpho" aka "MorphoPractix" aka "SarialMorphoPractix" is the consummate gamer-the exact person you want playing at your table. Courteous, friendly, creative...anyone that has played with him remembers what a cool person he is to game with. I am lucky enough to have played dozens of sessions with him. Everyone likes Morpho.
Slowly but surely we got to know each other a little bit, and I began hearing more about his real life. "Morph", as I prefer to call him, alluded to the fact that he is a stage actor. Didn't surprise me at all, as he is a great roleplayer. I started hearing more about his parts in productions; he mentioned "Penny Dreadfuls" and "Varney the Vampire" one session, and I felt hip to know that I knew what the hell he was talking about. Anyways, I had let people know that I was working on a 4e fanzine, and Morph ended up emailing me about it. It turns out that he is a Renaissance man, and that drawing and painting are also among his many talents. Again, not really surprised. Turns out Tim is many things: an actor, playwright, poet, designer, and a visual artist. He is also my place to crash next time I am in Brooklyn, NY (half-kidding).
I am not a fan of modern RPG art. I love the classic stuff: Sutherland, Trampier, Otus...I don't like anything that feels overwrought or tortured. I want to feel an artist's character. I don't know if that makes much sense, but you can probably still appreciate how awesome it was when Morph sent me these images that he drew for a storyboard/treatment of a friend's upcoming outer-space sci-fi film. This is exactly the kind of art that I wanted to see in an RPG. It is visceral, fluid, and most importantly, it has character.
|Slime on the foot? That's a BAD THING in outer space.|
|Space jealousy? That's even WORSE.|
|Uh, yeah, but space cutting is worst of all...|
How awesome it is to have an artist with that kind of talent contributing to my little fanzine. Thank you so much Morph!
I asked Morpho a few questions in a vain attempt to unravel the enigma. Here are his responses:
1. How did you get into gaming?
I first began with Basic D&D in 1977, moving quickly onto AD&D.
2. I know you are a creative guy, you act in the theatre, you paint, etc. How do these tie-in to your gaming?
RPGs tend to attract actors and artistic types. I always have drawn during game sessions - characters, combats that were happening, etc. It has always fueled the game for myself and for my fellow players, as I tend to do character portraits for my companions and the DM.
3. Any projects or plans for the future with your painting?
I will always do artwork and I am contemplating a tarot deck series of paintings.
The tarot thing sounds amazing. Morpho is a true talent, with an incredible knack for interpreting text and conveying it in an image. Everything I gave him was like a sentence or less, and he did incredible things with it. You will see for yourself soon enough. I do not want to publish his email, but if you want to contact him let me know and I will pass on the information. I can see him doing a lot of OSR work, as his artwork is perfectly suited for it. I will certainly be hitting him up for issue #2.
The Tuesday release is creeping closer! In the meantime, you can check out this awesome sneak peek at an original Morph image from the 'zine. I asked him for "zombies". No detail or anything. Look at how awesome this is! (Note the dude in the bottom left...super-creepy!)
|"Zombies" by Timothy Reynolds|