Sunday, November 23, 2014

Oldschool Orcs

What makes a proper oldschool orc? Or, what happened to our green friends along the way? I have been thinking about this question for some time now.

What changed?

Let's look at old lead. Back in the days orcs were closer to human physique, than gorillas. Look up some Kev Adam models and you will know what I mean. Aren’t those wonderful? Let me know if those are not Kev Adam models - lead is not my strength.

I love Ian Miller drawings. Ian has the talent to bring out the worst of any character. The Otto Dix of fantasy. His orcs were thin, nasty and evil creatures. He didn’t draw a lot of them. Looking at the few below gives me the creeps. You wouldn’t make fun of those. Would you? 

Tony Ackland illustrations are always a pleasure to look at. There is something intriguing about them.

Orcs had character. They were misshapen. They looked evil.

I compare the later orcs more to their Paul Bonner versions. They started to look... funny. Don't get me wrong Paul's style is amazing. His illustrations set the tone for Blood Bowl. It is was a perfect match. Anyhow, I personally don't think their comic style fits into a world of danger and despair. I don't think their character makes up for interesting encounters in an RPG - beside mocking and killing them. They became cannon fodder.

Oldschool orcs do! They are nasty. They are ugly, foul and misshapen. They stink. They might keep you alive, licking their lips in anticipation. You will regret meeting them. They are cunning, not 'kunningz'. 

Modern orcs managed to look like a weird mixture of village idiot and superman. Their snouts started hanging downwards - becoming longer and longer. Their heads managed to grow out of their bellies. Somehow they nearly lost their noses, but got compensated with humungous teeth. Looking at their bowed legs I probably would offer them a chair. They are packed with muscles.

They all look the same to me.

Gone are the cunning facial expressions, character and their wonderful ugliness. The once characterful and nasty individuals got replaced by brute, stereotype, ape like goofballs.

I prefer their ancestors. What do you think? Cunning, or 'kunningz'?

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