Games Workshop has hired waves of artists to help us imagine epic clashes in the far future or ancient past. Many influenced the rules themselves and even created new games to match their image. As art imitates wargames, wargames imitates art.
Images of a gothic future that was further than the year 2000 AD (I am being careful what I say here!) all hooked us, especially the raw work by John Blanch, Dave Gibbons and Alex Boyde. Their illustrations were often very busy, but portrayed action and a very alien future.
In the early 2000 everything was action in wargame imagery. Muscled men roaring through the cascading brass casings from thundering guns. Comic illustrations appeared “cleaner” and had more symmetry. Wayne England was a painter and artist whom to me unified the Warhammer and Warhammer 40’000 universes. Wayne’s Illustrations were very clean, larger than life and action packed. His heroes had strong jaws and huge muscles, his villains had a look of menace or twisted savagery. Wayne to me wasnt an artist, he was a psychic photographer whom drew the Warhammer 40’000 universe as I saw it!
Wayne died suddenly this morning. He has continued to work his magic for other games companies over the years, including Wizards of the Coast, Flight of Fantasy and Avatars of war.
Below are some of my favorite images by Mr England.
Rest in peace mate, hope where you are is less grim, but just as awesome as your art.