Martin McKenna

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Wolf
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I saw a post from Graeme Davis suggesting Martin McKenna has sadly passed away.

His work probably did more to create the visual identity of The Enemy Within than anyone else. If correct , he’ll be missed.
Knight of the Lady
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Very sad to hear. :(
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Chuck
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He was, by far, my favorite WFRP artist. In 2018 I tracked him down through Google and had the privilege of talking to him through email. I let him know how much his artwork meant to me and how Death on the Reik was my favorite roleplaying supplement ever, largely because of his artwork. It turns out he still had the original artwork, locked away in a drawer for the past 30 years. I bought a few of his original pieces from Death on the Reik, and liked them so much I ended up buying the entire set. He even autographed each drawing.

News of his death hit me pretty hard when I saw it on Facebook a couple of days ago. He was only 51, and one of the nicest people I have ever met. WFRP would not have been the same without him.
Wolf
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It’s a terribly young age.

Unfortunately, it appears it may have been self inflicted. Graeme Davis posted this:

“Most tragically of all, it appears that Martin took his own life.
Especially in these trying times, make sure you check in on your friends and loved ones. Even a brief phone call, text, or IM helps. If they seem to be struggling, show them that you care and assure them that they are not alone. If necessary, get them help or encourage them to get help for themselves. A search for "depression and suicide help" plus their location is a good place to start.”

All of which makes it desperately sad and depressing.

I’m sure your words would have meant a lot, Chuck, and you spoke on behalf of many of us who grew up on WFRP and Fighting Fantasy.

Keep safe everyone and look after those you know and love.
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Chuck
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Oh my god. I have no words.
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totsuzenheni
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@Chuck has posted some pictures here: https://www.windsofchaos.com/?p=631 and it reminded me of how characterful Martin's illustrations were and how each seemed like an illustration of a real person. I wonder how much of WFRP's reputation for gritty realism is down to Martin.

@Chuck: WOuld you be able to make it possible to enlarge those photos?
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Chuck
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Here are the full size ones. I can take the Grapes of Wrath pics out of the bag if you'd like.
a07fa083-40be-4661-b7be-3da34d45dca5.jpg
9e3ad36c-48a9-4790-88d7-a3684000a520.jpg
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Chuck
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He also gave me a link to a flicker album of his artwork for Games Workshop here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/153156532 ... 4530506310
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totsuzenheni
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Chuck wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 4:26 pm
Here are the full size ones. I can take the Grapes of Wrath pics out of the bag if you'd like.
Much appreciated Chuck, and only if you're happy to.
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Chuck
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Ha, I did get a little nervous unwrapping them. I don't know how well it shows in the picture, but the technique of these images, like those in Death on the Reik, was a combination of pencil and ink that is just fantastic.

3a715b6d-0272-4206-8e5c-060486ea0eeb.jpg
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totsuzenheni
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Chuck wrote:
Mon Nov 02, 2020 5:18 pm
Ha, I did get a little nervous unwrapping them. I don't know how well it shows in the picture, but the technique of these images, like those in Death on the Reik, was a combination of pencil and ink that is just fantastic.
I bet. Now you point it out i can see what you mean about the combination of pencil and ink. That's a fantastic collection and i'm glad it's in the hands of someone who appreciates it.
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Chuck
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Thanks for the heads up about the memorial fund, Gideon. It's a nice feeling to do something, however small, for his memory.

Totsuzenheni, I cannot overestimate how much McKenna's art sold me on Warhammer. McKenna's art had this life to it that other fantasy art just didn't, and still doesn't. I don't know how he pulled it off, but even the Wittgenstein cockroach in DotR and all those little skulls in Grapes of Wrath looked somehow ... charming. The art has just got so much character.

Our email conversation drifted off in July of last year. I really, really wish I had gotten back in touch.
Robin
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Chuck wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:26 pm
Totsuzenheni, I cannot overestimate how much McKenna's art sold me on Warhammer. McKenna's art had this life to it that other fantasy art just didn't, and still doesn't. I don't know how he pulled it off, but even the Wittgenstein cockroach in DotR and all those little skulls in Grapes of Wrath looked somehow ... charming. The art has just got so much character.
I am absolutely with you on this. I also cannot express how important his work is to me in relation to Warhammer and Cthulhu. I'd drifted away from Fighting Fantasy by the time he started illustrating the gamebooks, but I've picked up a lot since and seen others online. They are wonderful.
Our email conversation drifted off in July of last year. I really, really wish I had gotten back in touch.
Likewise - I exchanged a couple of emails with him some years back, but it's difficult to sustain a conversation by email, especially when it's between people who are essentially strangers. There's obviously more to this story than is publicly available, but I do wish I could tell his family, his son, how important this man was to many of us. We can say it, of course, but sharing the actual feelings we experienced back then as youngsters as we were drawn into new worlds for the very first time is just about impossible. All I can say is that Martin, a stranger and an artist, made a difference to my life.

Regards,

Robin
Wolf
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Those are great pictures, Chuck.

Some of the pictures on the Flickr I think are unpublished sketches, as well.
Gideon wrote:
Tue Nov 03, 2020 12:39 pm
There is apparently a memorial fund:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding ... =EE98eYA9b
I’ve just donated. I recognise at least one other name and I’d encourage others to do so too if they want to honour his memory or like the thought of encouraging children with art.
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Chuck
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I added another image to the front page, so I thought I'd put the full-size one here.

dotr2.jpg
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totsuzenheni
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That's appreciated Chuck. I've always liked that skeleton.
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