That’s the way to do it!
Creepy storytelling RPG Puppetland is back in print for the first time in a decade. We speak to the artists behind the resurrection of the cult classic
“To me, puppets are like masks – there’s a weird freedom to them,” says Heather Hudson, one of the fantasy illustrators involved with the recently revived RPG Puppetland. Back in print thanks to Kickstarter, Puppetland is a unique indie game created by John Scott Tynes, which sees players act out nightmarish stories in a warped realm inspired by Punch and Judy.
By taking inspiration from YouTube clips of Punch and Judy shows, as well as the films of animator Jan Švankmajer, Heather was able to create sketches and digital art for a quirky world where the puppets are aware of their situation. “Puppetland isn’t a smoothly polished world, and the art needed to reflect that,” she says. “I think Puppetland hits that sweet spot of darkness and innocence,” agrees Hollie Mengert, who has also provided illustrations for the project. By sticking to a brief that specified the art should look roughly drawn, her artwork, rendered with worn, scratchy brushes, is “Playful enough to not be too heavy, but creepy enough to keep things interesting”.
The deluxe edition of Puppetland released by Arc Dream Publishing is made up of 17 lavishly illustrated tales with a stunning cover painting by Alejandro Terán, and an accompanying short story by John Scott Tynes. Released in September, we have 10 digital copies, worth £15 each, up for grabs. For a chance to win, answer this question:
John Scott Tynes’ RPG Puppetland was first released in which year? A) 1995 B) 2005 C) 2015
Please submit your answer online at
http://ifxm.ag/puppetland. The competition is open to entrants worldwide. The closing date is 12 October 2016 and the prize is non-transferable.
For a full set of competition rules please visit http://ifxm.ag/ifx-comp-rules.
The new cover by Alejandro Terán is a mixed media piece that features specially made puppets. The beautiful and deliberately rough art in Puppetland is wildly at odds with the more refined work Heather Hudson normally creates.
Heather Hudson’s artwork echoes the theme of a horror story that offers reprieves of humour and playfulness. Heather Hudson’s career has spanned Magic: The Gathering cards and Cthulhu Christmas greeting cards – perfect preparation for the dark realm of Puppetland.
Vintage puppets and care-worn dolls inspired Hollie Mengert’s art for the Puppetland revival.