• Simon Roptell

Art: the comic, the conceptual and the fan art.

Art and design plays a very big role in Quest for Steel. From the very start it was important to get the style right. Was it to be a historically accurate portrayal of the bronze age or more fantasy? I had always wanted to see a very serious Mike Leigh or Ken Loach style take on a Masters of the Universe style show and knowing that QFS was going to be a 2 year project I wanted to make sure it was not dragged down by the rabbit hole that is historical accurateness. Besides, the fantastical elements that come with sword and sorcery is a very big draw card.

Another design trope I committed to was to root the costume elements in a 20th century past. I am in love with 70's and 80's style, so I wanted a Flash Gordon, Deathstalker, Never ending Story feel to it, so comic book styles of the era, particularly Conan the Barbarian, Heavy Metal magazine and Red Sonja were of course all influences but also machinery art like the type of displays you see on pin ball machines and arcade game covers.

I didn't want to give off an Adobe illustrator feel to the work so I hand drew characters in Pen and then used Photoshop for a collage (see image above). The tag line of course is a play on Einstein's famous quote:

“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

The faces are my renditions of the actresses, Lorraine, Kale, Yuan. Yvonne and Saheba.

Costume art is also important, so illustrations of how the characters should look and what the attire should look like is very important. For the order of the Bo girls, Yvonne and Lorraine were both smaller than five feet five, so there was little adjustment there. Yuan was taller, I think 5" 8 and Kale was around 5" 9 so costumes had to come in varying sizes. Saheeba who plays Sahina was not only tall at over five ten but broad shouldered and busty so the costume notes needed to detail this. Richard who played the mighty Devokore was outrageously tall and built - over 6 feet 5, meaning not only that the armor be roomy but secure. CG elements were also used to complete costume on this character.

Quest for Steel needed to have looked like it was a long established pulp story/comic series that had been running for 50 years so differing art styles were employed. I wanted to show people, especially the cast and crew that this was as sexy as it is violent and that it drew inspiration from Heavy Metal magazine and fantasy art tropes of the times. I wanted all to know that this was not a millennial reconfiguration of the genre but an actual celebratory ode to the golden era of fantasy.

So after a few years of doodling Quest for Steel imagery, it was a great honor to receive tributary art. A very talented Argentine artist who goes by the name of @art_emmanuel sent me this stunning piece featuring Do Jing, Devokore and Cheyne Stoking. For a creator like me that has been working in isolation it is a great honor to receive such a dedication and to see your work through the eyes of somebody else. #art_emmanuel loves fantasy and is an ace life model and erotic illustration artist. I believe he also specializes in portraiture so I urge you to look him up and follow him on instagram.

I hope to receive many more tributes to Quest for Steel as well as make many more contributions myself.

#art_emmanuel instagram page :

#simonroptellfilms instagram page:

#questforsteelart #questforsteelcomics #simonroptellart #swordandsorceryart #fantasyartof2020 #simonroptellfilms #art_emmanuel


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