Today is a very good day for Talislanta fans! Just about anybody reading this knows that Talislanta creator Stephan Michael Sechi released his 20+ year RPG, for free, to its adoring community of fans; ultimately closing the door on any new Tal RPG material from being licensed or published ever again. However, some of you may not be aware that Talislanta is far from being retired. Please turn your attention to Exhibit A, which is a snipped from my interview with SMS entitled The Origins Of Talislanta;
Marques: Surely this doesn’t mean that Talislanta, as an intellectual property, is being retired indefinitely?!
Stephan: By cutting ties with any further paper RPG editions of Talislanta, I thought it might just give me the incentive to try something else with the Talislanta setting. For instance, I’ve always wanted to create a Talislanta comic book or graphic novel. We came very close to getting one published back in the late 80s, but the company that wanted to do so went out of business 3 months before our title would have been released. At the very least, I plan to do an online comic. Kind of a dream of mine since I was a kid.
Khepera Publishing is working on a full-color art book that I think is going to be a very cool thing. Jerry’s take on Talislanta is really, really interesting. I’m currently working on a couple of ideas for licensing a different era of the Talislanta milieu in other media. I’m still hoping to license Tal as a video game. Ever since I saw that video game, Myst, I’ve been thinking: “how cool would it be if there was a Talislanta video game?” That would really be cool. I’m still licensing Talislanta, but not as a paper RPG.
Jerry Grayson of Khepera Publishing has released the first images from the upcoming Talislanta art book! Each one of these should be considered a work-in-progress. At this point in time he really wants to hear from the Tal community; specifically any suggestions, feedback, or critiques you have to offer. Please consider leaving a comment for Jerry, as well as casting your vote in the poll below.
I would really like to share my thoughts on this subject with all of you now. To be honest, I have been fearing this very day. I love Talislanta. No seriously, I LOVE Talislanta! Nothing would please me more than to see a completely new wave of non-Tal-aware folks introduced to something that has bestowed so much happiness upon me. A well done Talislanta Art book, the kind that truly invokes images of wonderment in the mind of a reader, could very well spark a wave of new Talislanta fanatics.
This book has the potential to achieve so easily what this website, three forums, and the Tal mailing list collectively cannot. For the first time in the history of Talislanta, a product is being released that targets a completely new demographic. One whose majority is composed of non-gamers. On top of this, art books have been successfully boosting the ranks of wargamers for well over 20 years (I’m looking at you Warhammer FRP and 40K).
As a Tal fan I have been afraid of what Khepera might produce. I have seen many art books released for my favorite IP’s in the past, and 4 out of 5 times I have been rather disappointed. I think IP based art books are a rather difficult item to do well. One of the biggest ways such a book can fail is by using a unique art style that diverges greatly from the established, and often iconic, standard of existing published illustrations. Given that Talislanta is well known for its unique and defining art style (oh P.D. Breeding Black let me count the ways in which your art completes me), I pessimistically waited for Khepera to confirm my worst fears.
Nothing could have eased my fears more than what I laid my eyes upon this day. I am just blown away by the art style and use of color. This is absolutely amazing work! Writing the part of this article that covered my collective fears has made me feel… dirty. In the wake of such awesomeness I feel like a heretic. To every last soul at Khepera Publishing, please accept my apology. I will, quite impatiently, be awaiting further news and previews with baited breathe. Jerry and the fine folks at Khepera, utterly fantastic work! Your portrayal of Talislanta is undeniably EPIC!!