The artwork in our launch title Western Legends is incredible, but where did the inspiration come from?
We spoke with designer Hervé Lemaître about the theme, the inspiration behind the art style, and his input into creating an innovative and exciting board game.
Theme of the Game
Hervé spoke about his love of Western themes and recalled childhood memories where he would spend hours at his grandmother’s house, reading Lucky Luke and Les Tuniques Bleues comics.
Lucky Luke was created by Belgian cartoonist Morris back in 1946. Morris, an incredibly talented cartoonist, wrote and drew the series single-handedly until 1955. Later, he collaborated with other writers such as Astérix creator René Goscinny. French artist Achdé has drawn the series since Morris’s passing in 2001.
The series takes place in the American Old West and stars the titular Lucky Luke, a gunslinger known as the “man who shoots faster than his shadow,” and his intelligent horse Jolly Jumper.
Fifteen years later, Hervé played the game BANG and fell in love. He was inspired by it but wanted to create something with more possibilities and gameplay, and an idea was born.
The style and design of the game were hugely influenced by what Hervé wanted to experience as a player as well as movies, TV shows, video games, and travel.
Being a graphic designer and an art director for a movie company, Hervé created all of the initial graphic design for the prototype. The initial style was photomontage/photo manipulation art. After signing and discussing the direction with Kolossal, the team decided to go with something more comic-like.
Hervé had his eye on a very particular style for the game, a distinct look, and one that paired exceptionally well with the theme. Enter Blueberry, a famous French comic.
Blueberry is comic series created by Belgian scriptwriter Jean-Michel Charlier and illustrated by French comic artist Jean “Mœbius” Giraud. The comics follow the adventures of Mike Blueberry on his travels through the American Old West. Blueberry is not your typical western hero; he is not a wandering lawman who brings evil-doers to justice, nor a handsome cowboy who “rides into town, saves the ranch, becomes the new sheriff and marries the schoolmarm.” In any situation, he sees what he thinks needs doing, and he does it. Hervé knew that this dramatic artwork would be a perfect inspiration.
Another comic book that Hervé is a massive fan of and drew inspiration from is Undertaker, another popular French comic.
Travis, Kolossal Games President, had always wanted to work with Roland MacDonald and saw Western Legends as the perfect opportunity to do so.
Speaking to Hervé, he mentioned that the front cover for Western Legends was very much inspired by Western Spaghetti posters from back in the day.
Western Spaghetti is a kind of western movie that was made in late 70’s by Italian directors, in Italian locations. The most memorable characteristic of Western Spaghetti is the long and dramatic scenes during the duels, creating a unique atmosphere and it made for some theatrical posters. This style of art was perfect for the Western Legends cover art, and Roland MacDonald captured the essence of Western Spaghetti Posters perfectly.
The artwork in Western Legends takes you into Hervé‘s cinematic vision and enables players to immerse themselves in the game.
Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for more articles about Western Legends, coming to Kickstarter in January.