JDR Magazine #55: “You are in an Inn…” Episode 3


The Context

🐲 This illustration has been commissioned by a French roleplaying game magazine. This is the second adventure of a parodic roleplaying party described in the Episode 1. and Episode 2. After having fought an epic battle against a Dish Golem in the kitchen, our heroes are asked by the Innkeeper to go through an ancient portal leading to a merciless world : the one of the vegetable garden…

The Illustration

Part of the narrative continuation of “loser anti-heroes unable to earn a single gold coin”, the Innkeeper requires the heroes to venture into the vegetable garden to earn their share. Therefore, the principle remains the one of the absurd, where the slightest household task takes on an epic proportions; and this, in accordance with the codes of role-playing, but always with humor.

The task of the adventurers is then to venture into a magical and dangerous vegetable garden to harvest all kinds of… well, vegetables…the danger residing in the presence of giant carnivorous snails, eager to devour the slightest careless person venturing into their territory.

The article presents the door as being the source of all negotiations between the Innkeeper, the adventurers and his waitress ; therefore, I decided to essentially use the main plot of the article as the main decorative element: the door.

Beyond that, the waitress serves to animate and put the plot into perspective to prevent the illustration from being too static. The author also wanted the elf waitress to have Asian features, as he wanted to pay homage to one of his personal acquaintances. So, I worked from the photograph of this real person to pose the character of “Balls of Fire” (or “Fireballs”), the elf waitress.

The main thing was to synthesize a “dangerous” aspect with a comic touch. Consequently, the gate had to display a heavy appearance, with several superfluous padlocks, chains and locks to caricature its role as a “forbidden door”; at the same time, I lightened the whole aspect with several anachronistic indications and several puns, “tropes” or “memes” specific to fantasy or role-playing games: a road sign indicating “Beware of the snail!”, a pun borrowed from the Lovecraftian universe or several burlesque warnings.

As for the character of “Balls of Fire”, I created her as the perfect stereotype of the curvaceous and sexy inn waitress; and I chose to add a pair of small “fireballs” in the form of jewelry to several places on her person as a pun on her name. The tray she carries is garnished with several burlesque drinks and puns writings, synthesizing branding, role-playing tropes and certain cinematic allusions.

Cover of JDR Magazine #55 in which the illustration appears (click to expand)

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