Since I’ve started the blog last October-November, one of the things I’ve enjoyed writing the most are articles showcasing the various artists that contribute to this game, whether they be the Hero, Player, or Encounter cards. The Lord of the Rings and the world of Middle Earth as a whole has been interpreted by many different artists for decades, and not just in a print medium. This card game is a great not so little example as to the various takes that people have on Tolkien’s world and the characters and places within.
Some time ago, the Lord of Eagles, suggested one of these many artists be given the spotlight in a future article. So here it is! Today we will talk about Sebastian Giacobino and his wonderful additions to the card game!
Sebastian Giacobino is an artist from Buenos Aires (at least according to his blog) that specializes in illustration, comics and and painting. He is quite prominent in some of FFG’s popular game lineups with Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings card games as examples.
As for the LOTR: LCG he is responsible for the iterations of some popular characters in Tolkien’s world. Haldir (Hero), Galadriel (Ally), and the recently released Erkenbrand are just a few examples of Mr. Giacobino’s hopefully growing list of artistic contributions to the game.
What really draws me into his work is his excellent use of lighting and how he uses it to balance out his very vibrant colors. Sometimes in this game cards are often defined by grays, browns, and greens and though that isn’t a bad thing, it’s always good to shake things up and I’m happy to see that Mr. Giacobino is doing just that. I can’t think of a better example than his depiction of the unsung hobbit hero, Fatty Bolger.
Fatty’s hero card itself aside, as a character I feel like he is often forgotten in the scope of the story, yet his role is nothing to laugh at. A good friend of Frodo, Merry, and Pippin, Fatty is the Hobbit that stays behind and decides to ward off any shady characters that may come knocking on Frodo’s “new” home. Given just how dangerous things are becoming in the Shire, I wouldn’t call Fatty’s decision to stay behind a less frightening option.
Mr. Giacobino’s portrayal of Fatty does a great job of not only portraying the character well, but setting a scene that Fatty was probably all to familiar with throughout the events of the novel. We see your typical hobbit, beardless, fresh faced and full of curiosity, looking out into the dark unknown with nothing but a small lantern to provide some light and certainly no protection. Despite the vibrant greens, reds, and blues that are within the image the scene is no less mysterious and a little bit eerie. You can’t help but wonder what Fatty is responding to, what noise or shadowy image prompted him to step out of his hobbit home and into the night.
Not to get too long winded, I’d like to lastly go over a more recent addition to our lineup of Heroes illustrated by Mr. Giacobino. That hero is none other than Erkenbrand. One of the soldiers of Rohan, Erkenbrand was best known as Lord of the Westfold. At the time of the novels, Erkenbrand came off of retirement from Theoden’s service, only returning after news reached him of the death of Theodred, the king’s son. Erkenbrand took charge and was quick to fight for the Westfold as it was under assault from the Uruk’s of Isengard and the Wild Men of Dunland. His name deriving from two Old English words which meant Precious and Sword respectfully, Erkenbrand was a key factor in the victory at Helm’s Deep after Gandalf brought him away from one battle into another. After the War of the Ring Erkenbrand was given the title Marshal of the West-Mark by King Eomer.
Needless to say without Erkenbrand Rohan, even with the free people being victorious in the War of the Ring, may have been in an irreparable state. Without Erkenbrand the Westfold would have fallen and Theoden, last of his line, would have likely fallen in the Battle at Helm’s Deep. Though he’s not so much in the spotlight as characters such as Eowyn and Eomer, he is no less significant and Sebastian Giacobino’s portrayal of such a character is spot on. Here we see a figure, mighty and victorious, ready to take evil head on. Behind him is a golden sky, with a host of Rohirrim at his back, and before him are sure to be frightened enemies, as Erkenbrand’s expression is not of fear but of courage. It’s a very inspirational image and is only more so since Erkenbrand’s card effect makes him a valuable defender. And, like the rest of Mr. Giacobino’s work I have mentioned, he does a good job of using vibrant colors, in this case red and gold, and use clever lighting to keep the image from being cartoonish. This is an image you could imagine being hung up in a tapestry in a grand hall of some kind.
Unlike the other two artists I’ve spotlighted so far it’s safe to say that Sebastian Giacobino is here to stay for a little longer, since the smattering of Heroes he has done are from the more recent APs. I’m very much looking forward to more contributions from Mr. Giacobino, be they encounter cards, player cards, or Heroes.
-The Secondhand Took
To view other great artists who have contributed to our game check out my Art Page!