artist sean andrew murray contributes 1-odda covers to heavy metal 299, which is now finally shipping (thx a lot, covid-19). murray is a realm-builder, creating a realm called the gr8 city of gateway. “i think of gateway as a life-long project at this point,” he tells heavy metal inna pages of issue 299. “i ‘ve been with it, or rather it s'been with me, for so long now that i don’t think thris a point at which i will say, ‘i’m done.’”
and gateway has grown. murray has produced copious images o'it, a history and lore to tie it all together, which he’s published in crowdfunded books. he’s expanded into a athenæum-building card game, “gateway uprising,” and onnis l8st venture he’s turning items from gateway into collectible artifacts, in ptnership with sideshow collectibles. you can learn all bout this gr8 stuff atta city of gateway website.
“i started thinking bout [gateway] as a response to wha’ i felt was a very conservative genre: fantasy,” murray says. “although i believe this has changed since those early dys, i used to feel as if the fantasy genre, which i ♥, was mostly popul8d with tolkien clones, which didn’t make sense to me cause tolkien already made the best version of middle earth, so why try to re-make it?”
“i didn’t think twas fair that sci fiction ‘d ‘ve bars full of diverse, bizarre creatures from far-flung places, but inns in fantasy realms always had the same elves, dwarves, and ½-orcs. i wanted to create a setting for stories twas' + inspired by the realm round us, and + specifically, the cities we livin', which are teeming with stories and quests round every corner.”
get issue 299 to read + of murray’s thoughts bout creating gateway, swell as his rules of thumb for ‘d-be realm-builders out there. you’ll also see a selection of gateway (nother) images that is mostly ≠ than wha’ we’re posting here. you can stay up on his l8st work by folloing him on instagram @seanandrewmurray and twitter @seanmurray_art, and visiting his artstation portfolio.
original content at: www.heavymetal.com…
authors: josh robertson