Chris Van Deelen

Happy 150th Canada!

Last week I posted the blog in which I reviewed the RPG Mutant Crawl Classic.

Call this blog a clarification, or explanation, apology, cop-out, whatever you desire.

That particular review has generated a lot of controversy because of the one statement I made… I fucking hate the art.

I had a lot of people comment on the various FB pages where I posted the review, and all were shocked by my simple statement.

Despite the fact I was clearly impressed with the game itself and gave it a 5 out of 5 rating.

Let me clarify a few things about this statement.

First, I stand by what I said. I hated the art. When it comes right down to it, I’m a art snob and I have very high standards for what I consider to be good artwork. Almost all the commissions I have purchased over the past several years have been from a single artist, Alfonso Maesa. He has never failed to impress me and has always charged reasonable rates.

I always disliked the style of art used in OSR games, even back in the day when I first got into Dungeons and Dragons.

I have stated over my various blogs numerous times that just because you’re doing a retro or OSR game doesn’t mean it has to emulate the crappy art!

A friend came to my defense and stated back in the day many publishing houses couldn’t afford the art! Many of the artists probably did the work for free, or were just out of art school or were just beginning their careers. Many of the artists have gone on to be very successful and have built amazing careers.

Not quite the same today, although many smaller publishing houses can’t afford high-end art.

Now – this will shock a lot of people, but I’m going to say it anyhow.

The people who did the art I hated… well, they are talented! They have their own unique style, and were as I write and design, they drew! They got PAID for their work, which automatically makes it great in my view. If I were to attempt to draw, at best I’d do stick figures and no one would want to purchase my so-called crap.

The fact they have a talent which I don’t possess and get paid for it means the one in a hundred person (me) who didn’t like the art – my opinion means absolutely NOTHING!

They can look at the statement where I said I hated their art and be smug and realize what I said about being published and paid for their work automatically makes my statement null and void.

Folks – it’s all a matter of personal taste. I don’t like it, but it doesn’t mean the vast majority of people out there have the same opinion. Obviously they don’t!

Just look at the overall review in which I gave it a five out of five. That is what is most important.

I’ll also mention a comment which was deleted by the poster on my video. The name the user posted under speaks volumes to me – The Spaceturd.

Think about that.

Should I put any stock into comments made by a person using such a handle? I really don’t think so.


To summarize the comment, which clearly he (she?) deleted because it had to be approved, was mocking me because I hated the art. I couldn’t read the whole statement but this person started a sentence ‘considering what you use’ and that was as far as I could read since the original comment was deleted.

I’m guessing here, but I have a feeling he was going to say. ‘Considering what you use in your Wisdom from the Wastelands’. This is the most probable statement.

Um…. I never said I liked the art, but I am not the guy who picks and chooses (for the most part).  We use a lot of free stock art for the publications and Mike modifies them to suit the publications.

If I had a choice and the cash, I would use folks like Alfonso to do all the work. So, like the old days Skirmisher uses what it can afford.

Stock art or free images.

And that’s all I have for this week. Just like last week, if I went over the things I wanted to talk about when it comes to Starfinder, I would have another thirty-minute plus blog.

Even I don’t have that much of an attention span. So… maybe next week?

One thing I will mention though is I am reposting my epic ‘Buck Who?’ a chapter a week, every Friday or Saturday night. I’m also publishing it on the Fanfiction sister site Fiction Press.

Of course I’m hoping to generate interest in the novel by doing so.

So Happy Canada day and 4th of July to my American readers! Enjoy the hell out of the days and stay happy and safe!