It’s fair to say that every piece of artwork is a story within a story. Or at times, several stories within a story. In the case of today’s work, it’s certainly the latter. I started the concept for the Gloom Trolls awhile back, and circled back this past weekend for some polish work and to update the font.

Gloom Trolls a unit type within GREEN KNIGHT who can carry an intriguing selection of large technological gadgets that are capable of further augmenting the group shielding mechanic that I’ve previously discussed. Thus, they are yet another useful tool in your arsenal of oddities. Their only real downside, though, is their size, as they take up several panels:

Fuck I’m hungry.


In the gallery up above, you’ll see the first pass digital sketch which I started out with, an I/O error in Illustrator half way through, the full color version, and finally, the finished concept artwork, fresh from the oven. The Gloom Troll’s hoard of treasure, seen below his waist, actually took some thought. and involved a bit of a field trip to an antique store awhile back for some inspiration.

I admit, such places intrigue me.

At an antique store, anyone can pay a few dollars per month for a bit of floor space, and sell anything they choose. It’s here that the leftover crust of an era is laid bare, often on sale, consistently dusty, and poorly organized.

Although, according to Wikipedia, only items over a hundred years old are, technically, antiques:

A true antique (Latin: antiquus; ‘old’, ‘ancient’) is an item perceived as having value because of its aesthetic or historical significance, and often defined as at least 100 years old (or some other limit), although the term is often used loosely to describe any object that is old.[1] An antique is usually an item that is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features. It is an object that represents a previous era or time period in human history. Vintage and collectible are used to describe items that are old, but do not meet the 100-year criteria.

So much history. So much… junk.

But the colors

Gas masks, saw blades, pocket knives, portraits, clocks, clarinets, books, tank banks, and a million other oddities. It’s a riot of colors, a scattering of memories, and at times, a somewhat dismal reminder of the passage of time. As I walk, adjectives simply spring to mind, unbidden.

Creepy. Bizarre. Gilded. Tarnished. Speckled. Faded. Rusted. Mottled. Sordid.

There are wooden ramps leading to shadowed alcoves, and small rooms no bigger than a closet dedicated to various holidays. Employees sometimes pass between the aisles, holding boxes and guiding elderly here and there. Some of the other patrons stop to stare at me, and others cast glances I can still see from the reflections on glass.

What is it they’re thinking? Why are they scrutinizing me? To them, am I an outsider? A threat? A stranger?

I’m just here to look! Honest!

There’s so much to see!

Jelly jars. Scimitars. Coral displays. Ivory carvings. A key to… Chicago..?

Who needed a giant, fake marlin for their wall? Who owned a set of… deer hooves…? Was there a head to go along… with… it…?

Who knew there was a muppet named: “Uncle Deadly”? And vintage ammo is a… thing? Like, literally old shotgun shells??

And so much turquoise!

So many questions, yet no answers to be found. So much swept away by the tides of time, left to rust, to fray, and crack apart with age and disregard.

I found a few nuggets of inspiration, and a couple of them made their way into the hoard of treasure heaped at the Gloom Troll’s feet. Nothing big, nothing distracting, just a few trinkets. In truth, you can’t really see them in the final work, but that’s fine.

A jaunt through such a weird little world of obscurities is always welcome.

By the way, I made a few recent entries to the meme dump, if you feel like a chuckle or two.