HOW DID YOU GET INTO DOING ART FOR GAMES?
It was actually a bit of a coincidence - or rather, a series of coincidences. I used to be an editorial cartoonist for the local (Madison, WI) newspaper. Steve Jackson, at Steve Jackson Games saw an editorial cartoon I had done, and asked me if I wanted to illustrate their comic feature "Murphy's Rules." I'd been a gamer since I discovered hobby games in the 1970s, so I leaped at the chance.
This led to a few illustrations on a game of theirs that Out of the Box founder Mark Osterhaus collected and played. He met up with me, and had me sign some cards for him at a local (Madison, WI) convention. When Out of the Box was actually started, Mark asked me to be a co-founder and co-owner of the company. The rest, as they say, is history!
HOW MANY TOTAL GAMES HAVE YOU WORKED ON?
Honestly, right now, I'm not sure. I stopped counting after it reached 100 games and game supplements. My best guess is it's around 125, at the moment. But I need to look back through my files. It's a lot, though.
DO YOU PLAY GAMES YOURSELF?
I love games! I'm an across-the-board (pun intended) gamer. I do everything from party, board and card games to historical miniatures and collectible card games. And of course, I create the "gamer" comic book and comic strip "Dork Tower."
The bitter irony, though, is that as I've worked on more and more games, I've less time for actual gaming! On the flip side, though, one of the great things about being part of Out of the Box is that there are games we're working on that I literally can not WAIT to get produced...so that I can have my own copy to play.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE OUT OF THE BOX GAME TO WORK ON? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE CHARACTER?
OK...THAT is a great question, and a hard one to answer. My "favorite game" is usually the one that I'm working on at the moment. There's an upcoming game called "Can of Words" I'm truly excited to start work on...and I've had a ton of fun creating the bugs for "Bug Out," a great new OTB game for 2011. I loved the characters in the game "Gold Digger" - there are some terrible puns in them thar cards! The "10 Days" series is always a blast, because it's so different from most of the other illustrations I do. But I have to say - I still have a very fond place in my heart for the old Apple from "Apples to Apples"...
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I *just* finished the last of 36 different bugs for "Bug Out," and I'm coming up with some characters for Out of the Box's "Word on the Street." That's proved an enormously popular game, and it's one of my very favorites. But I've definitely been thinking about "Can of Words": that will be some VERY different packaging for an Out of the Box game, and I'm really anxious to get started on it. It'll be amazing!