Sunday, February 20, 2011

RBN: In Praise of Zhu

For a few weeks now I'd been calling around local places looking to have tshirts made for our Red Box Niagara gaming group. No specific reason other than a bit of fun.

I started with a shield logo (divided into thirds) that was very rudimentary but served the purpose. I started thinking of some of the "signs" that would signify old school D&D. So I settled on a flail (for medieval weaponry, and medieval fantasy as the base), a bugbear head (for fantasy monsters), and a skull (for death). Muahahaha.

The next part was to find a fun latin motto to put underneath the shield. We batted around a couple ideas but settled with our own personal take on the Geek Chic motto. We decided to go with "Out of Mom's basement!" or, better translated, "Come forth from Mom's underworld!" This really appeals to our sense of humour.

James over at Grognardia facilitated the translation (thank you!) and I figured we should be good to go. However, I still needed to seek permission to use the bugbear head in the shield device. The head I wanted to use was illustrated by Zhu over at the Realm of Zhu. He is an AWESOME fantasy illustrator. His bugbear head reminded me slightly of the Otherworld miniature bugbears which was just a bonus. So I contacted him, told him that I wanted to use his illustration in a not-for-profit way and if that was cool. Not only did he say yes, but he offered to bring his talent to bear on our tshirt design! It was very nice of him to take pity on the artistically-challenged :)

Within a few days he sent me this bit of awesomeness:

Needless to say, we are very pleased and have set about getting tshirts for our group (Zhu gets a free one of course). The tshirt place hasn't gotten back to us yet but we hope to have the shirts soon. I'll post a picture here when we do.

The end result of the tshirt journey, is that I met a totally cool guy and a great artist. In addition, Zhu told me he does character and other illustrations on commission if folks are interested. I encourage you to go check out his thread at Dragonsfoot. If you think his bugbears are good, wait until you see his hobgoblins and pig-faced orcs!

Thank you Zhu!


  1. Hey no problem! It was a fun project, and I'm really happy with the drawing which, I hope, retains enough quirks to be proper old-school!

  2. Fun logo for your D&D group! I should mention this to a tee-printer in my own cadre of dice rollers...