Rafe's 2 Month Birthday

29 February 2012 | sila | | Family Pics

Despite the date on this entry, it has been a long time since the boy's 2 month birthday. It's been a crazy busy time, but definitely a wonderful, and exhausting time for Vin and me. Just look at this entry as a way to show some cute pictures of Rafe :-)

Bright eyed and a little drooly

The above really shows off his gray-green eyes and is one of my favorites.

*Mouse over pictures for captions


The Mysterious Mystery of Alcatraz

24 February 2012 | Hisham | | TV

J.J. Abrams' new show Alcatraz is sort of interesting. The premise is that on the day Alcatraz was shut down in 1963, everyone on the island disappeared into thin air from inmates to guards. In the present day, one by one the people who vanished are reappearing in and around San Francisco. And the returnees haven't aged since 1963.

A team led by Emerson Hauser (played by Sam Neill) is tasked with stopping the crimes perpetrated by the returning inmates, finding out where they've been for 50 years and who took them.

However I do believe the show can be improved by having the intro monologue end differently each time, like a Simpson couch gag.

On March 21, 1963, Alcatraz officially closed.

All the prisoners were transferred off the island. Only that's not what happened.

Not at all.

In lieu of "Not at all", the producers can also insert "Not by a long shot!", "This is what happened!", "Something else happened!", "No no no!", "Oh hell naw!", "No way, man!", "Nuh-UH!!!", "The island did it!" and "WAAAALT!"


43 Months

23 February 2012 | sila | | Family Pics

So another month has passed. Another fast and hectic one! We are settled in and pretty well adjusted to the new member of our family, and Kak Yaya is doing a great job of being an older sister!

Mama, look at me!

* Mouse over the pictures for additional captions


Quick Run To Kinokuniya

19 February 2012 | Hisham | | Books, Comics

I am in school. Second year plus change. Which means I am eligible for the RM200 book voucher giveaway for university students.

With voucher in hand, the boy and I quickly dropped by Kinokuniya Sunday morning before the overwhelming weekend herd shambled in. Without consciously deciding to purchase only horror books, we ended up with them anyway!

Irfan wanted the Hellboy and The Walking Dead books. I checked out the storylines online before deciding he was old enough for them. I also bought for him Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. I grabbed for myself Charlie Stross' The Atrocity Archives because one day I want to play the Laundry RPG.

If they weren't free I wouldn't be able to buy them.

You'd think two hundred is a high number and could buy a dozen books, wouldn't you. Sigh.

Well, I suppose four is better than nothing!


Cover for Azamar: The Paradise Fragment

18 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Apart from some interior art I did for Wicked North Games' Azamar RPG supplement The Paradise Fragment - as seen in a previous post - I was also tasked with the painting of the cover for the book.

It took me three different tries to get it right. The floating city of Adrya Orth proved adifficult factor in painting it because I tried putting the city and a couple of characters before it in an action pose. This caused characters to partially block the city. Finally I just put more characters in the picture but positioned them further away, and voila:

I wonder what the real estate value of a house there would be

For a closer look of the cover art, check out its entry at my DeviantArt gallery here.


Cover for The Adepts Book 2: Empath

16 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Books

The sequel to The Adepts Book 1: Furato will soon be released and here's the cover I painted for it. The blog entry about the cover for the first novel can be found here. Without further ado, here's the red-tinged cover painting for The Adepts Book 2: Empath, continuing the star spanning adventures of the powerful Adepts and their guardian Payan warriors. The novel will be on sale at the Amazon Kindle Store very soon.

Red cover is red

For a larger view, please check out the cover at DeviantArt.


Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places: Barlax

07 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

A new commission for Ben Gerber's Encounters ~ Plots ~ Places Kickstarter project is a book. Well, I draw a book. You can't find this book at Barnes and Nobles because of its unearthly, eldritch and trickster nature. So you can probably search for it at Amazon.com.

This should be in a library


From the Kickstarter update page descibes this sapient book:

A magical tome that assists in translating just about any language in existence. It also has its own wicked sense of humor and considers practical jokes to be wonderful things!


The Queen of Air and Darkness

06 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games, Star Wars

The Queen of Air and Darkness is the title of T.H. White's second novel of his Once and Future King series. In the Star Wars universe, the Queen of Air and Darkness is a sabacc face card that possesses a value of negative two. There was a request on the Star Wars Artists' Guild by one "Lord Cygnus" of a starship in his Star Wars RPG campaign named The Queen of Air and Darkness which I picked up.

The ship is a heavily modified Corellian Engineering Corps YV-545 light freighter and this is how it turned out after about 90 minutes of work:

That's a lot of guns, maaaan.

Here's the original request thread and here's the final image on SWAG.


Azamar: Paradise Fragment 2

05 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Here is the final interior artwork for the scenes in Azamar: The Paradise Fragment RPG supplement. Instead of including it with the group of artwork in the previous post, I shall describe how the illustration came into being using work-in-progress photos.

First, pencils are made for the half-page sized illustration. Something stalks the characters as one of them pushes open the strange stone door from a previous picture, then a dragon swoops down. Is it attacking? Is it warning the characters of something?


A close up on the partially inked artwork. Pencil lines are still visible with the inks - but you can't really see it thanks to the blurred photo.

Left side partial inks

A close up on the other half of the artwork. The details on the dragons are added using brushed ink.

Right side partial inks

The image is scanned, then GIMP is used to add ziptone / newsprint shade effects to the final black and white illustration.

Final artwork! Includes ziptoned dragon!

Voila! Add garnishing and serves four!


Azamar: Paradise Fragment 1

04 February 2012 | Hisham | | Artwork, Role Playing Games

Here are some interior artwork for the Azamar role-playing game's upcoming supplement The Paradise Fragment. Player Characters (PCs) are sent to the deserted and floating city of Adrya Orth on a mission and uncover a deadly secret. What is the secret? Don't look at me I'm just the illustrator, not the writer. However, the publisher's art order requested that a series of sequential artwork was created as if it was a comic and I had the discretion to direct the visual flow of the story if not the actual story.

Let's see how the game story ends up!

Watch this space for the upcoming release of the publication soon!

The party... striking a pose of some kind.
First snag of the adventure? Or is it?
Ludosaurs take the adventurers up to Adrya Orth