I don’t use to blog about what I like or dislike since I think there are better ways of fun in life than reading my rants. But this time I think I should tell you about my last crushes: Tales of the Arabian Nights and Rene Bull
Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to grab a copy of the board game Tales of the Arabian Nights. In the game you take the role of one of the characters (Aladdin, Ali Baba, etc) travelling the lands of the Arabian Nights tale in search of adventures and magical places. This is an extraordinary board game, an unusual hybrid, closer to a roleplaying game than the usual board games. Because of this oddness some people love it, and some people hate it. The game focuses more on the storytelling experience and the sense of adventure, than in the competition between players to get an overall winner.
Seeing a few images of the Z-Man Games edition I decided to get a copy. The work in the Z-Man edition is awesome, the quality of the edition worths the price, the overall look and art direction are great, but the most shocking experience was with the art in the box.
After unboxing the game I spent several minutes mesmerized by the art in the box lid, it features three illustrations of René Bull, I have to confess I never heard about him before.
I made a little research about his person to learn (to my shame) René Bull is a classic artist (1872-1942) and I have to say all I have seen of his illustration work is awesome, it makes me think in other illustrators of the same period like Arthur Rackham, Ivan Bilibin, or Howard Pyle.
The color plates for the Arabian Nights book are great, but my preference goes for their small black and white pieces, I love the expression in those thick curvy lines and the weirdness of the charismatic characters depicted.
To know more about him check the wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Bull