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I hope the artwork used in Marvel Champions is as inspiring as the art choices I see in other Marvel themed card games. So far most of it looks great. However, based on the core set previews, I wonder whether some of the art choices made by FFG might be falling short of the standards set by their competitors

The art used doesn’t always have to be amazing but it definitely needs to ascetically pleasing and be thematic. For instance, the art chosen for her obligation card or her Legal Practice event portrays the importance of being Jennifer Walters to good effect, which is thematically great. The art for her Gamma Slam attack is wonderfully thematic too, it really makes you ‘feel’ like you’re delivering the big hitting damage.

So what happened to Black Panther’s claw upgrade? The card is about delivering damage, tearing up the villain, yet the art chosen to portray this is decidedly underwhelming.

And while I’m at it: what’s with the Ironman hero card art? Hero cards are those that will be in front of the players the most and need to impress; yet with decades of fantastic Ironman artwork out there, from classic four colour to digitally touched masterpieces, the art chosen for the Ironman hero card is plain and well...bleh! My personal opinion of course.

I’m sure it’s too late to reconsider art choices for core set cards now, but going forward could FFG ensure that whomever is given responsibility for art choice is someone who wants to feel inspired by how the artwork represents the purpose of the card. Whomever chooses the artwork has the power to colour our game experience, and with great power comes great responsibility.

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I expect a lot of fan-made cards to hit the internet after release, so you soon can choose the Iron Man Hero Card of your liking. Or make it yourself with a template and some scanned comic art. I might even start being creative myself! 

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I think there is a debate to be had here about Panther Claws.  Panther Claws (as an item you put in play) should depict that thing clearly so you can get a good idea of what it is the card represents thematically.  If it was instead an event called Panther Claw Attack I could see an argument for it to be more an action scene of Panther jumping out of a tree and clawing some villains. Whether the actual art of Panther Claws is good or not is subjective though.  I think it's fine.  Not amazing, but it's serviceable. 

In all of FFG's LCGs they solicit a ton of card art.  They pull from many artists not just one.  Some art will jive with you and some will not.  What does and doesn't jive isn't necessarily consistent across individuals.  Some card games have one artist do the whole line, but those games tend to have a smaller pool of card art than your average FFG LCG.

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Posted (edited)

I don't know that that is a correct statement.  Maybe some of this is reused, but I can't identify any of it specifically to be honest and I read a ton of Marvel stuff.  Also some of it was definitely uniquely drawn for this game like the box art for example.  If people can clearly see where some of this art was lifted then please share.

If they need to only reuse art then that makes it even more difficult to a job since now beggers can't be choosers if you example you need a close up of Panther's claws for example.  Not all comic art is great and most of the time tons of stuff is happening on panel that could make art unsuitable for an item or character card.   My guess is some of it is reused and some of it is uniquely drawn.  They probably have a budget and when they can't get something to reuse that would be right for their vision of the card they just solicit it.  I do suspect that strongly since there's some consistency in style with some of the character work here and I can't place the artist for it.  Usually the cards for LCGs write the artists name on it somewhere.  I wonder if will be the case here.

Add: Yup.  In the article some of the do and some of them don't have an illustrator credit on the bottom left.  I bet the ones that don't were reused art they got from Marvel.

Edited by phillos

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@Janaka
"So what happened to Black Panther’s claw upgrade? The card is about delivering damage, tearing up the villain, yet the art chosen to portray this is decidedly underwhelming. 

And while I’m at it: what’s with the Ironman hero card art? Hero cards are those that will be in front of the players the most and need to impress; yet with decades of fantastic Ironman artwork out there, from classic four colour to digitally touched masterpieces, the art chosen for the Ironman hero card is plain and well...bleh! My personal opinion of course."

I think this can be chalked up to beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as I find the Ironman card art fantastic.

It, like the other art, is either directly inspired by or pulled directly from the comics (Invincible Iron Man #1)

Re: the upgrade art, remember the claws are an object, not an action, so it makes more sense to showcase the gloves themselves, not what they do per se. 

Differentiating card types by the type of art they display is a good game design short-hand for players to recognize, at a glance, without necessarily having to read the card itself.
i.e. upgrade/item cards show the objects. Action cards show some kind of well, action; ally cards just show an ally, location cards, just a location.

Mixing them up would serve to confuse players, so even though items might then be more aesthetically plain, keeping them that way is serving a relatively important function.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Janaka said:

So what happened to Black Panther’s claw upgrade? The card is about delivering damage, tearing up the villain, yet the art chosen to portray this is decidedly underwhelming.

And while I’m at it: what’s with the Ironman hero card art? Hero cards are those that will be in front of the players the most and need to impress; yet with decades of fantastic Ironman artwork out there, from classic four colour to digitally touched masterpieces, the art chosen for the Ironman hero card is plain and well...bleh! My personal opinion of course.

I’m sure it’s too late to reconsider art choices for core set cards now, but going forward could FFG ensure that whomever is given responsibility for art choice is someone who wants to feel inspired by how the artwork represents the purpose of the card. Whomever chooses the artwork has the power to colour our game experience, and with great power comes great responsibility.

I've been thinking all of these same things.  When we were told that some of the art was "preview" I thought, phew they have time to change Ironman.  I don't think we will be so lucky.   I'm guessing the artwork is coming from the comic pages.  Captain Marvel's art is from Issue #5 (2012).  You know that FFG is going to be offering alternate-art as they do for everything.  Let's hope Ironman and Tony Stark... yuck, (who solders like that?) will get first dibs.  Imagine if we got some of the Adi Granov stuff, it would go to a whole new level.  

Edited by urloony

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44 minutes ago, urloony said:

I've been thinking all of these same things.  When we were told that some of the art was "preview" I thought, phew they have time to change Ironman.  I don't think we will be so lucky.   I'm guessing the artwork is coming from the comic pages.  Captain Marvel's art is from Issue #5 (2012).  You know that FFG is going to be offering alternate-art as they do for everything.  Let's hope Ironman and Tony Stark... yuck, (who solders like that?) will get first dibs.  Imagine if we got some of the Adi Granov stuff, it would go to a whole new level.  

Granovs art would have been too dark and broody, it doesn’t fit the bright tenor of the game, it’s more call of cthulhu

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I like the art. They’ve clearly gone for a mix of comic book styles which I think work nicely together as an eclectic whole.

Some people are going to prefer certain art styles and that’s fine, but there’s nothing wrong with any of the art I’ve seen for the game so far.

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15 hours ago, Derrault said:

@Janaka
"I think this can be chalked up to beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as I find the Ironman card art fantastic."

 

I accept that wholly.

I suppose I’m being overly critical because I want to get my hands on the game but for now I have to settle with card previews. The gameplay is the real crux of course, but until I have the game in my hands I only have the on-line visuals to stare at.

Not meaning to sound contradictory to my original post, but I don’t necessarily think the artwork has to be the greatest all the time. I’m just as fond of four colour comic panel art as I am modern splash page masterpieces that are designed to impress.

What the card art does have to be is thematic; it has to hold your imagination. I think it’s important that the art showcases the purpose of the card.

The only time I believe the artwork absolutely needs to be top-draw is for the hero/alter-ego card. These cards are in front of you the whole time and need to impress.

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I suspect (strongly) that cards with an artist listed are commissioned by FFG, and those without are pulled from some subset of Marvel offerings.

I doubt (less strongly, unsubstantiated) that Marvel will allow old art. I bet everything we see will be from the last ten years (or somesuch) or so. I don't think we'll be seeing any Demon in a Bottle art, Tony with a mustache, any time soon.

I expect that art for the heroes is probably going to be required to be the heroes in their most current form. There's a brand to maintain.

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Posted (edited)

Frankly, when I saw the first cards it was going to be a hard pass from me. I only reconsidered when I realized this was going to be an Arkham Horror LCG-style collaborative game. May be it's not the art  per se, but the card layout/design that makes it somewhat underwhelming to me. The truth is all Big Two licensed games have this uninteresting style (VS, HeroClix, etc) so maybe it's more a licensor imposition than a publisher's decision... after all, FFG is making many other games that look cooler than this.

Edited by Mon no Oni

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6 hours ago, Mon no Oni said:

Frankly, when I saw the first cards it was going to be a hard pass from me. I only reconsidered when I realized this was going to be an Arkham Horror LCG-style collaborative game. May be it's not the art  per se, but the card layout/design that makes it somewhat underwhelming to me. The truth is all Big Two licensed games have this uninteresting style (VS, HeroClix, etc) so maybe it's more a licensor imposition than a publisher's decision... after all, FFG is making many other games that look cooler than this.

Personally, I like the aesthetics of both HeroClix and VS, so I guess it's just different preferences.

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