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The Order of Oddfish


The Art of Odd-Fish by DarkshireWarlock

November 29, 2008

Jo in her Aznath, the Silver Kitten of Deceit Armor, (c) 2008 by DarkshireWarlock

Fiona in her Ichthala, the All-Devouring Mother Armor, (c) 2008 by DarkshireWarlock

(Images copyright (c) 2008 DarkshireWarlock)

I was a big Star Wars fan as a kid. As part of my obsession, I loved poring over the Art of Star Wars books, which revealed the production team’s initial concept drawings for the movies’ aliens and weaponry — many of which were wilder and more interesting than what actually made it onto the screen.

So imagine my delight when I got to see concept drawings based on my own book! Back in October, my Google Alert for Odd-Fish brought DarkshireWarlock to my attention, when she and her friends on were inventing their own Eldritch City gods on DeviantArt. I mentioned her in the Odd-Fish article in the Chicago Reader a couple weeks ago, and we’ve been in touch since.

But, back to DarkshireWarlock’s pictures (posted above)! They’re fantastic! Here we have Jo and Fiona outfitted in ceremonial armor for their climactic duel at the Dome of Doom. Dueling tradition requires that each duelist costume themselves as one of the 144,444 gods of Eldritch City. Jo (on the left) is dressed as Aznath, the Silver Kitten of Deceit; Fiona (on the right) is dressed as Ichthala, the All-Devouring Mother.

Right away the first thing I liked about these pictures are their anime style, which puts me in the mood for a kinetic action sequence. I also appreciated that DarkshireWarlock took the trouble to figure out what would make practical battle armor — in the book, Ichthala is described as a shapeless blob of tentacles and mouths, but DarkshireWarlock wisely streamlined Fiona’s costume into something sleeker and scarier. (And those dead, blank red eyes! Masterstroke!) The bold variety of colors in Fiona’s costume make a good contrast with Jo’s various subtle shadings of silvery fur. And I love that set, determined expression on Jo’s face. (Click on the pictures to read the artist’s own description of her choices and process.)

Thanks, DarkshireWarlock, for making Odd-Fish come alive for me visually! It’s always been my regret that I can’t draw at all. Seeing these drawings — along with Paul Hornschemeier’s cover and of course John Meyers’s cover — has been one of the marvelous perks of the experience of publishing Odd-Fish.