One of the most refreshing aspects of both Leviathans and Cosmic Patrol is that I can be freakishly open, including sharing way, way behind-the-scenes materials. In this case, I just signed off on the art notes that are now in the hands of the wonderful Leanne Buckley; she tackled all the art for the Core Rulebook and is on task for generating all the art for the next book, Into the Cosmos.
And just to show you how these things work, here are those art notes, completely un-cut (remembering it’s an internal document):
INTO THE COSMOS ART NOTES
by Matt Heerdt | Cosmic Patrol
2. Male Martian
3. Female Venusian
4. Rogue Robot Soldier
6. Frog Men/Green Blight (Neptune)
7. Zhop the Humungulous
8. Ro-Men (Ro-Man/Robotic beings that enslave biological beings with a special helmet)
Cat folks are cool. In Cosmic Patrol, Annorans (or panthera erectus) are not stupid creatures – they understand the concept of tools, clothes and the like, they just don’t care. They’re totally content living on their jungle world, sleeping in trees, hunting prey. But they’re jerks too.
This illustration shows two Annorans – alien cat people mentioned in the Cosmic Patrol Core Rulebook. Annorans are barbarian cat people that live in the jungles of Annora, their home planet. Annorans don’t use weapons, but rely on their claws and teeth. There are two Annorans in this illustration – one is super furry and dark colored. The other is short-haired and has a smooshface. They are wearing simple clothes made of skins and giant leaves pulled from jungle plants.
MALE MARTIAN – EANDO
We had a female Martian in the core rulebook, so I’d like to feature a male Martian here.
The male Martians are a lot like their female counterparts: barbarians with axes. So obviously, think Space Conan. This guy should be all muscle-y with a thick beard and shaved head. He has his arms crossed over his chest, a victorious smile on his face, an axe strapped to his back and his leg up, foot mounted on a dismembered Eiger head.
FEMALE VENUSIAN – VALAIN
Same as with the male Martian, we had a male Venusian in the first book, so we’ll feature a female Venusian here.
As with Yawtiz in the first book, the female Venusians wear goggles to protect their weak eyes. Valain should be skinny with very short hair and dressed in a Venusian space suit…something like this: but without the top – make it fully sleeved and no boob bracers. Instead of a gun, let’s have her holding some kind of analyzer.
ROGUE ROBOT SOLDIER
Many cultures depend on robots for their dirty work, but some go further and use them as soldiers. Whatever race this guy belonged to turned defense and security over to robots, only to have them go rogue. The Patrol doesn’t know where this guy is from, but he’s a great example of what happens when a culture puts too much dependency on robots.
This robot is very thin and spindly and is constructed of cylinders and ball joints. It has four arms and two legs. Check out my incredibly bad Photoshop sketch:
There are no visible sensors or holes – the entire body is one sealed piece. There are some worn symbols on the robot’s face and torso, but they’re illegible. It should be holding four swords, one in each hand.
The Hakhaze were mentioned in the Cosmic Patrol Core Rulebook on page 45. The Hakha are a young race that evolved in what is called the Coalsack Dead Zone, a volume of space what was subjected to complete annihilation millenia ago. Over time, a different kind of life evolved, based on different biological structures than we’re used to.
This illustration shows a Hakhaze with a big frown or grimace. The Hakhaze are like big, leathery eggs with short, muscle-bound arms and legs. Hakhaze don’t have separate heads, but a large, toothy mouth across the middle and eyes at the top. It could have frills running from its forehead down its back.
Frogmen have been a staple of pulp science fiction forever. We must have them.
Frogmen are man-like frogs. They’re smaller than an average man and walk on two legs like men. They look like this: but I want mine to wear a cape and carry a short, hand-made trident.
ZHOP THE HUMUNGULOUS
The Humungulous are a race of giant (compared to humans) explorers that roam the cosmos in their huge, slow ships. Zhop is just one of them, a captain of a small cutter.
Zhop is a standard Humungulous: large oddly shaped head with big bug eyes and short stubby antennas. Their torsos are round and only slightly larger than their heads. They have spindly legs and arms that look much too thin for their bodies. The arms end in hands, but the finger don’t look like they have bones, resembling short tentacles more than fingers. They wear very basic clothes – tight-fitting tunics. For this illustration, Zhop should be looking down between is feet with a very curious look on his face. He’s looking at a Cosmic Patrolman who only comes up to Zhop’s knees.
Based on these bad boys.
Ro-Men are based on the terrible, terrible movie “Robot Monster.” Check out this still from the movie: The “monster” was a dude in a gorilla suit wearing a space helmet. In-game, the Ro-Men capture other living beings and plant a helmet on their heads. The helmet attaches itself to the being and takes over its body, adding another Ro-Man to the Ro-Men forces.
I’d like to see two Ro-Men in the illustration. Since Ro-Men aren’t an actual species, but rather steal the bodies of other species, the illustration will show post-snatch Ro-Men. One Ro-Man is an Uth body with helmet and the other is a Cometarian with a helmet. The helmets should look very similar, but can be different sizes – Uth heads are bigger than Cometarian heads. The Ro-Men don’t use weapons like guns or spears, so their hands should be empty, perhaps up in a predatory stance like the photo linked above.
Also, in the “Robot Monster” movie poster here, the head inside the helmet is actually a skull – so for extra credit, showing an Uth skull and Cometarian skull would be great, but isn’t totally necessary.
CHAPTER INTRO ILLUSTRATIONS
(4 Needed | These are 1 3/4 page spreads like this)
An escape scene! A Cosmic Patrol Intelligence officer is trying to escape from an alien citadel with a vital piece of intel. Let’s use Intelligence Officer Audrey Orion from the Cosmic Patrol Core Rulebook. Orion should be running to her small one-man rocketship while shooting her raygun behind her at pursuing aliens (perhaps Eiger soldiers from the first book or Hakhaze from this one.)
This piece is a compilation scene that breaks into three different sub-scenes.
Scene 1: A Patrolman is wrapped up in a monstrous tentacle, frantically firing her raygun at a weird space octopus.
Scene 2: A Patrol rocketship is damaged, floating in space above a gas giant with rings. A Patrolman is trying to fix the damage during a spacewalk with sparks flying all around him. Another Patrolman – a Martian female – is swinging her axe at attacking cosmo-wasps.
Scene 3: A Moon Man (probably Keal from the first book) is using his mind to attack a Patrolman. The Patrolman is writhing in pain on the ground. Other Patrolmen are gathered around, some trying to aim at Keal while others are yelling, unsure what to do.
The scene should be split by lighting bolt style borders, with a rocketship bordering the bottom. All scenes radiate out from an image of Earth.
Check out my awesome placement example:
A male Martian, female Venusian and a generic Cosmic Patrolman (in bubble helmet) are facing off with a Ro-Man on a swampy alien planet. The three humans are hiding behind a big rock – the Patrolman is shooting his raygun at the Ro-Man; the Martian is yelling, getting ready to attack with his axe; the Venusian is frantically talking on a communicator of some sort. Perhaps the Patrol’s rocketship is visible high in the sky. The Ro-Man is wading through a swampy area, closing in on the three humans, arms up menacingly.
The characters here don’t have to be the same characters from this section, but it’s OK if they are.
A Cosmic Patrol crew made up of a Martian, a few generic Patrolmen and a Venusian are standing on a cliff looking down at a gathering of robots. The robots are setting up a huge energy weapon. The weapon is pointing up, to be used against rocketships or other worlds. One of the Patrolmen, the commander, is pointing at the robots as if to say “Go get ‘em!”
All Patrol (human) rocketships follow the same classic rocketship design motif: pointed cone with fins at the ends.
Patrol Rocketship (small)
These three-man ships are used for a variety of duties. They perform anything from basic patrols to exploration to deliveries. Something like this is perfect: http://bartrop.purrsia.com/Spacepatrol.jpg except it needs to look less post WWII and more Buck Rogers-y.
Patrol Rocketship (large)
Cruisers are much larger versions of the three-man ships and are used as mostly for offensive actions. These guys are sent to hunt down pirates or perform patrols in hostile or unknown areas. They carry many weapons and a much larger crew.
Patrol Rocketship (intelligence)
Cosmic Patrol Intelligence Service ships are sleek one-person ships made to infiltrate hostile space totally undetected. They’re fast and stealthy, with stubby fins and baffles on the rocket thrusters. They have tiny windows up front for the pilot to see out, but little else in the way of visible details.
The Eiger use ships that are very reminiscent of the classic flying saucer. They have a hexagonal armor pattern on the flat areas and weapon ports sticking out at the edges. Instead of one dome in the top center, there are six spaced around the center.
As mentioned in the first book, the Uth hollow out comets or asteroids, attach big, clunky engines and roam space in search of targets to pillage. This ship is a typical example – a big rocky asteroid with two big engines attaches at the end. The hive is very haphazard – there are rickety structures at random locations and craters all about.
The Ro-Men use spherical ships like this:
Instead of the spider legs though, I want six “industrial” legs – rivets and such. There should be no “bubble” at the top either, but just a smooth metal exterior with antennas poking out straight ahead.
Pirates are somewhat like Uth, taking whatever ship they can and keeping it running by any means possible. This ship should be similar to the Patrol ships but in disrepair with dents, raygun blast marks and a fin that looks like it was originally from another ship. It should also have a few welded-on guns. Instead of a standard skull and crossbones, maybe it has a painted on Uth skull and crossbones.
We’ll be running a contest where fans can submit a rocketship design and have it printed in the book. We’re not going to print their exact image, but have you re-do it to match our style and quality.
Hope you enjoyed a sneak peak under the rocketship hood…
Till next episode.