Welcome to the Sideshow: The Dark Art of David Hartman

Posted in EpicTable Blog on June 15, 2008 at 11:24 pm

I don’t recall how I stumbled upon David Hartman’s site: http://www.sideshowmonkey.com/. Maybe I don’t remember how I got there because I spent the next couple hours lost in this dark little world he’s created.

Did I mention it’s dark? Yeah, a lot of David’s work is pretty dark, and it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea (which is an oddly inappropriate expression to use when talking about monsters, zombies, and the like), but there’s a comic/pulp feel his work that I really like.

More than just the style, though, there’s a sense of anticipation in a lot of Hartman’s work that I think gamers will find inspiring. There’s almost always something just about to happen. It’s often something not very nice. But the people in these scenes aren’t passively awaiting their fate. As often as not, they’ve got a gun or a knife or an axe, and they’re poised to confront the awful thing that’s closing on them.

My favorites are:

  • Revere – Paul Revere (one imagines) fighting off werewolves.
  • Space Man – a classic sci-fi work with humans and hostile aliens (or, I don’t know, aliens and hostile humans)
  • Sea Killer – Vikings having a rough day

David’s done quite a bit of commercial work for folks like Rob Zombie, MTV, and Warner Brothers. His work includes the Bruce Campbell movie, Bubba Ho-tep, several animated TV series, comic books, and even some work for game industry folks like Green Ronin Press. The biggest surprise to me though, after spending some time on his site, was learning that he directed “My Friends Tigger & Pooh”. I can only hope that the creatures from SideshowMonkey.com live far from The Hundred Acre Wood (or that Pooh is a lot more fierce than he lets on).

The fact that I stumbled upon David’s site only by accident, even though he’s obviously well-known in some circles, led me to point other gamers in his direction. I’ll go one better though–I got David’s permission to use some of his work as avatars for the EpicTable site. By the time you’ve read this, there will likely be a nice, shiny, new batch of avatars in the EpicTable forum, courtesy of David Hartman. So, if you don’t have an avatar of your own for the EpicTable forum yet, make your way over there and pick one out!

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