A few months back I shared a couple of sketches for the cover art for The Mason of New Orleans. Thanks to the awesome Drew Baker, that cover art is now complete.

Two Martins for the price of one!

If you don’t know who Drew Baker is, chances are you’ve never played a CCG. Drew has done incredible work for Legend of the Five Rings, Warlords, and of course the granddaddy of them all, Magic: the Gathering. Among others. His work is always detailed, dynamic, atmospheric, and true to the material. If you haven’t really looked at his stuff before, run—don’t walk—to his website (not really up to date, but full of incredible pieces) or blog, and check it out.

Typical Drew Baker coolness.

Drew and I go way back. Many moons ago, as an unpublished artist, he contacted me out of the blue wondering how he could get a gig doing illustration for Millennium’s End. The unsolicited samples he sent through were some of the best Millennium’s End illos I’d ever seen, so I hired him in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, Chameleon Eclectic closed its doors six months later, and his work never saw publication.

But that wasn’t the end of it. One of my favorite games at the time was Ars Magica, and I was writing a sourcebook for Atlas Games about that time. A year or two after my brush with Drew’s work, that book (the Triamore Sourcebook) came out. I received my author’s copies, cracked them open, and lo and behold there were a bunch of Drew’s pieces! I had no idea he had been hired to illustrate it, he had no idea I was the author, and the developer at Atlas Games had no idea we even knew each other.

Drew and I have kept in touch over the years. Back in those early days he was doing interior art in pencil. He later moved on to full-color card and cover art, and I have his first-ever oil painting hanging in my living room. He was the first guy I thought of when it was time to commission a cover for The Mason of New Orleans.

In my next post I’ll share my thoughts about this painting. (Spoiler: I really, really like it. But there’s more to say than that.) Before I do, though, I’d love to get yours. So tell me: What do you think?

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