Amy L. Ashbaugh is a fine artist and illustrator based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Her artistic vision centers on the representation of the fantastic from literature, folklore, and pure imagination. Look for her work in such Palladium Books titles as the Dead Reign™ RPG, Dead Reign™Sourcebook 3: Dark Places™, The Nightbane® Survival Guide™, Rifts® Triax™ 2, Mysteries of Magic™, and various issues of The Rifter®.
Amy’s work can also be found in additional RPG and CCG titles such as Fantasy Flight Publishing's Rogue Trader, Dark Heresy, and Black Crusade series; the Warhammer: Invasion and Call of Cthulhu card games; Oz: Dark and Terrible from Emerald City Expeditions; and Apocalypse Prevention International, from Third Eye Games.
Nick was born in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. He spent much of his childhood at home, in the basement, watching cartoons, reading comic books, listening to music and drawing monsters. When he wasn’t reading or drawing, his imagination would carry him away on imaginary adventures and inspire him to draw more monsters and wild characters. When Nick discovered role-playing games and Palladium Books, his imagination really soared.
Nick found school to be a grind, but graduated high school and enrolled in college as a business major. The inspiration for this move was that business and economics interested for him and it was the only class in which he got an “A.” After a year and a half of business studies, a professor asked Nick to meet her in her office to talk. She had Nick sit down, pulled out his midterm exam, and placed it on the desk in front of him. Nick was expecting the worst, but the professor pointed out he was doing excellent, solid work. Then she pointed to the exam paper and the artwork doodled all over it. “This artwork,” she said, “is even more impressive. What are you doing in a business program? You have too much artistic talent.” That conversation got Nick thinking in a new direction that saw him switch his major to Graphic Design.
After six more years of higher education for visual communications, Nick decided it was time to try to get professional work as an artist. The only company he could imagine working for was Palladium Books and he sent in an art submission. The next thing he knew, he was doing artwork for Palladium.
So now, as an adult, Nick claims he spends most of his time in his basement watching cartoons, reading comics and role-playing books, and drawing monsters and wild characters. Only now, those doodles are seeing publication. He has also submitted a number of concepts that are under serious consideration for publication by Palladium. One is a book about angels being written by Carmen Bellaire (art and concepts by Bradshaw). The other is a whacked-out science-fiction setting to be co-authored by Kevin Siembieda. These are two of the secret projects being developed at Palladium Books, so don’t tell anyone.
Nick put himself through college by working as a security guard, bouncer and corrections aide. All left a lasting impression on him – namely bumps, bruises and rumor of minor brain damage from a brawl at Sears. “Only minor brain damage?” said Kevin Siembieda with a grin. “You have to be at least a little brain damaged to work at Palladium. It’s a prerequisite. That’s why Nick was an instant fit at the company.” He must also climb out of that basement sometimes, because he has a long-time girlfriend and a passion for music (rock n’ roll and metal) as well as gaming, art and film.
Mark Dudley is another native of Michigan and the Detroit Area. His love affair with artwork and comics started when he was a child, but his imagination found a new forum when he discovered the role-playing games of Palladium Books. Mark’s first and all-time favorite Palladium RPG: Heroes Unlimited™. His next favorite: Rifts®.
Mark went from a fan to a Palladium contributing artist 16 years ago. His work appears under his own name as well as under Drunken Style Studios in many issues of The Rifter® as well as such notable RPG titles as Heroes Unlimited™ RPG 2nd Edition, Armageddon Unlimited™, Rifts® Ultimate Edition, Rifts® New West™, Rifts® China Two, Rifts® MercTown™, Rifts® Merc Ops, Nightbane® Survival Guide, Heroes of the Megaverse® and many others.
Mark Dudley’s collaborations have gone beyond artwork on numerous Palladium projects, including concept and concept development, talent coordination, and work on one of Palladium’s ill-fated MMORPG projects. Mark led a handpicked crew of artists and writers from Drunken Style Studios to develop a mature-themed Nightbane® animated TV series that Palladium hopes will someday find a home on a cable channel.
Armed with a gritty and urban art style and a savvy understanding of comics, role-playing gaming and fan culture, Mark continues to provide art, concepts and support to many Palladium publications and projects. This unique expertise, talent and vison has put Mark in charge of spearheading Palladium Books’ upcoming line of comic book projects slated to debut in 2012. Mark is a passionate voice and advocate for all things Palladium Books.
An IT Professional by education, Mark Dudley co-founded Drunken Style Studios, a cadre of local artists, who did artwork for Palladium Books for many years until they began to pursue their individual interests in 2005. A scholarship recipient from the world renowned Cranbrook Educational Community and a 1992 graduate of Cornell University School of Economics, Mark came from humble beginnings. Mark is currently pursuing yet another bachelor’s degree in Animation from Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and has written various well received pitches and treatments for both film and animation.
Mark Evans studied at Pratt Institute on a full scholarship in the very early 90s. After graduating, he has been storyboarding for commercials and illustrating for the odd book or game ever since. Mark has been lucky enough to work on some of the most exciting properties in existence today. These have included Rifts®, Star Wars, Star Trek, A Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft, Everquest, Warhammer, Warhammer 40K and the Lord of the Rings. There are even greater projects on the horizon.
Mark’s work for Palladium Books has included the Rifts® Collectible Card Game, Rifts® Madhaven, Nightbane® Survival Guide, Splicers®, and The Rifter® #38 and 43.
Joseph has been drawing as long as he can remember. He likes to talk about art too, and takes any advice he can get from more experienced artists and tries to put it to good use. He has dedicated five years to tattooing and three spent working in Photoshop.
Joseph caught the eye of Palladium Books when he entered a few pieces of art in the 2010 Rifts® Art Contest in the Black and White category. Though he came in second place, Joe’s work caught the eye of Publisher Kevin Siembieda. Joe also made an appearance at the 2010 Palladium Open House where the art was displayed, judged and winners selected. He made a good impression with Kevin and several of the other freelance artists. The next thing Joe knew, he was getting an art assignment for an issue of The Rifter® and then another and another. Joe has contributed to several issues of The Rifter® since and his art will soon begin to appear in other Palladium publications.
“I've always wanted to be an illustrator and freelance artist,” said Joseph, “and now I'm living the dream.”
Mike is a creative properties developer with a focus on animation and multimedia web based delivery mediums for his work. He grew up watching the classic animation boom during the 80s which, at the core, informed his aspirations toward art as a potential future career. Animated shows like Robotech® fired his imagination and began his love for animation as a viable storytelling medium. Old school, classic anime films like the 1987 The Wings of Honneamise Royal Space Force and the 1989 The Venus Wars inspired and drove his passion for visual design and world building. The imaginative world building aesthetics in Honneamise also galvanized his fierce commitment to working toward original creations rather than parroting his inspirations or producing fan works.
As Mike’s love for art grew into a professional endeavor, he founded the indy studio Vulne Pro, which has a strong focus on conceptual design and visual world building in I.P. development. Vulne Pro has gained a following on the web and is known for their original mecha sci-fi drama Theos KE Polemos, and also other works such as the web comic EBEJEEBIES, which had a short run on Coast-to-Coast AM.com.
Mike Majestic has worked as a freelance artist since 1996. Mike came to freelancing for Palladium through a gracious invitation, by Mark Dudley, to assist Drunken Style Studios on one of the Palladium titles the studio was working on at the time, and has worked on various books ever since. Mike has also done work with these clients, among others:
Fantasticon: Artwork and support for Drunken Style Studios’ Hypertide web comic project that ran on the, now deceased, site.
Event Solutions International: Automotive event gigs for Chrysler, Jeep, and Bridgestone.
Dreamwave: Colorist for Warlands Age of Ice, issue 9, Transformers Armada, issue 6, Transformers More than Meets the Eye, issues 1-8.
DJ? Acucrack: CD cover art for the band's release Dope King.
Morrigan Press: Helped to re-launch The Terran Trade Authority for a new generation, setting up the art team and doing extensive art for the TTA RPG handbook.
Thunderbean Animation: Background layout clean-ups and color design for a short film commissioned by the University of Michigan.
Encode Media: (in collaboration with Mark Dudley and Vulne Pro writer Jeff Lilly) Extensive work in animation development from scripts, storyboard, animation pitch materials, I.P. development, etc.
Ubisoft U.K.: Character design and artwork for the Nintendo Wii title Emergency Heroes.
Big Shot Toys: Transformers and G.I. Joe toy presentation work intended for pitch meetings with Hasbro.
And, of course, extensive work with Palladium Books® (both independently and assisting fellow Michigan friends Drunken Style Studios) on Rifts®, Rifts® Chaos Earth™, Nightbane®, Robotech® (along with fellow Vulne Pro collaborator Nick Maradin), and undiscolsed pitchwork (in collaboration with Mark Dudley and Vulne Pro writer Jeff Lilly) for potential television animation outlets for a Palladium I.P.
This work, along with the continuing work Mike does on Vulne Pro's original I.P.s with his talented studio collaborators (of which Palladium freelancer Nick Maradin is included), keeps him rather busy and always fuels his love for visual design and storytelling. Mike has enjoyed his work with Palladium and expects good things for the company as they remain committed to being bold and flexible in facing this constantly challenging and changing commercial landscape.
As an artist, Nicholas Maradin enjoys working in a variety of traditional mediums, including but not limited to pencils, pens, markers, acrylics, oils, metalwork, papercraft, carpentry, modeling and LEGO bricks. However, his primary mode of creative operation is carried out through digital mediums such as Photoshop, where he combines traditional style with new technology.
As a freelance illustrator, he has provided artwork in the areas of concept design and promotional art for clients in the fields of comics, animation, toy and music production. He has also contributed mechanical designs and scenic illustrations for various Palladium Books publications, including: Rifts® Dimension Book 12: Dimensional Outbreak™, Rifts® Dimension Book 13: Fleets of the Three Galaxies™, The Rifter® #51 and Robotech®: The Masters Saga Sourcebook.
Nick is also a collaborator with fellow artist Mike Majestic under the Vulne Pro Studio name, and is one of the artists featured in UDON Entertainment’s Mega Man tribute book.
A fan of robots and Japanese mecha anime, he is inspired by the work of Syd Mead, Yoji Shinkawa, Junji Okuubo, and many others.
“From the dawn of time he came, moving silently down through the centuries. Living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering, when the few who remained would battle to the last. No one has ever known he was among you ... until now.”
Mike Mumah has been freelancing on the RPG circuit since 2005, debuting in Palladium Books The Rifter® quarterly sourcebook series. His art appears in many books in Palladium’s extensive library, including Rifts® Thundercloud Galaxy™, Fleets of the Three Galaxies™, D-Bees of North America™, Rifts® Vampires Sourcebook and others. Mike has also been published by several other role-playing game companies, with work appearing in Catalyst Game Labs’ Shadowrun RPG, Mongoose Publishing’s Babylon 5 RPG, Conan RPG, Runequest, and Victory at Sea, a World War II board game.
Mike is an avid comic book reader with aspirations to create comic books and depict tales of heroic adventure. Those aspirations are about to become a reality when Mumah plays a key role in Palladium Books’ plans to create a series of comic books based on its role-playing game worlds.
Mike lives in Michigan with his dog, Fred. They are very happy together.
Creator: Kukuburi, ButterNutSquash
A child of the 1970s, Ramón, eager to embark on his life, was born prematurely to immigrant parents in a small suburban town of southern Ontario, Canada. A visit to a drive-in double feature of Buck Rogers and Battlestar Gallactica at an early age set the stage for his future career.
Now an established cartoonist and illustrator for well over a decade, Ramón's catalogue of work is as diverse as the styles he employs. Winner of both the Honour Book and Official Selection of the 2008 Silver Birch Non-Fiction Awards, his repertoire of clients includes Marvel, DC, Dark Horse Comics, Archaia Publishing, Owl Kids, Wildstorm, Scholastic Canada, Lucasarts, Epitome Pictures, Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast, SJGames, and the people where it all began, Palladium Books Inc.
Recent career highlights include Captain America and the First Thirteen, Deadpool Team-Up #883, Resistance, JSA: Classifieds - Wildcat!, numerous covers for Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars books, illustrations for Palladium Books’ Rifts® game line, redesigning the In Nomine RPG for SJGames, and an upcoming graphic novel in collaboration with a well known film-maker which he can't reveal yet, actually too much has been hinted at already!
Outside of his professional career, Ramón is a founding member of the premiere online anthology comics collective, Transmission-X. His Shuster nominated creations, ButterNutSquash and Kukuburi, are both showcased there.
Ramón currently resides in Toronto, Ontario with his three plants and Boba Fett, and is curious where life will take him next.
Chuck’s motto is, “Function Begets Form.” His goals, to illustrate and communicate unique and compelling concepts through visual arts in the genres of RPGs, videogames, and sequential art (Comic Books/Graphic Novel and cinematic mediums) as part of a dynamic and creative team. He also plans to see the publication of his own concepts in the same markets with the intent of delivering an entertaining and thought provoking experience in the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Chuck’s skills include 2D drawing and illustration, conceptual art, sequential art, presentation/pitch development, Adobe Photoshop for Digital Painting, Kaiju, and boss designs, and he has a strong understanding and knowledge of function, anatomy and form when designing and developing new concepts. His versatile range of illustration goes from children's storybooks to anime and Hong Kong comics, to American comics, life drawings and surreal renderings. Chuck enjoys depicting real world animals and creating fictional creatures and aliens for science fiction and fantasy.
He’s been a freelance illustrator and concept artist since 1997 to present for Palladium Books and has contributed to Rifts® Ultimate Edition, Rifts® Arzno, Rifts® China 2, Rifts® Dinosaur Swamp, Naruni Wave 2, Splicers® RPG, The Rifter® #50 Special Anniversary Edition (cover and interior art), and other issues of The Rifter®. However, Splicers® is his current passion, and Chuck has been working on more than one secret Splicers® project over the last couple of years. He is also planning to contribute to the comic book line being developed by Palladium Books.
Some of Charles Walton II’s work outside of Palladium Books includes:
Sarl Role et Strategie Editions (2010 - Present): Traditional 2D & digital fantasy illustrations for an upcoming online RPG videogame (Fantasy Dynasty).
Elysian Atelier, Inc. (2008-Present): Developed artwork for lead characters, weapons and boss designs for pitch/production of action/RPG sci-fi/fantasy videogame.
Mongoose Publishing (2007): RuneQuest Player’s Guide to Glorantha.
Castleberry Toys Inc. (2001-2006): “Supa Dupa Babee & Friends: Got Luv 4 U” children's storybook - cover and interior illustrations, as well as product end cap banner display for Walmart retail outlets and various related design work.
Penturion Systems (1998 -1999): “SPORE: A Star Guide to Extraterrestrial Worlds (1999)” – tri-fold, tri-sectioned, triangular book: Written by John McCoy Interior Artwork and Concept Design for characters, alien races, creatures and alien spacecraft. Worked in conjunction with an art team composed of Jerry Vanderstelt and Brian Rood.
Heavy Metal (1998): “F.A.K.K. 2” Julie Strain Limited Edition, 1,000 signed Lithographs. Pencils & Concept Art for main poster lithographs painted by Rob Prior.
Davdez Arts, Inc. (1998): “Lost Heroes” #0-4: Limited comic book series. Lead pencils for sequential art comic pages, covers, character & creature design worked with a team of airbrush artists: Rob Prior, Jerry Vanderstelt, Brian Rood and edited by DC Editor, Mike Gold.
You can see more examples of Charles Walton II’s work at deviantart.com.
An independent illustrator since 1987, John graduated from the Otis/Parsons Institute of Art in Los Angeles with a BFA in Illustration. Role-playing game covers have been a major part of his career since 1989. His clients include Marvel Entertainment, Playboy, Hasbro, Mattel toys, Berkeley books, Tor Books, Heavy Metal, Wizards of the Coast, the FASA Corporation, Steve Jackson Games, Topps Inc. and, of course, Palladium Books.
His first art book, entitled Lightstrike, was released in December of 2001. His second art book, Rifts® and the Megaverse® – The Art of John Zeleznik, features over 50 covers and preliminary art created for Palladium. His fantasy pin-up art has been published in calendars by Heavy Metal. John has had works in the World Fantasy Art Show, the Society of Illustrators: West show as well as the Pavilions of Wonder science fiction/fantasy show at the Canton Museum of Art. For ten years his work has been selected for Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.
He works on Illustration board with acrylic paints as well as in Photoshop to create his dynamic images. He can be contacted through his website: www.johnzeleznik.com
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