I have some very wonderful formative memories of playing the Dark Tower board game from Milton Bradley- It had this giant plastic prop tower that honked and tweeted to let you know you had died of the plague or been hacked apart by hobgoblins or what have you (some wonderful nerds have actually recreated the game in flash here). I was young enough that I probably had no idea what was actually happening in the game, but I was endlessly fascinated with the artwork on the cards and other playing materials.
Bob Pepper was an illustrator who was most active in the 70’s and 80’s, before all illustration was soullessly cranked out in adobe illustrator after being gang-raped in the brainstorming phase by bloodthirsty marketing hacks who demand that each character be ‘25% more extreme’ or ‘rastafied by six degrees’. Pepper lent his unique style of charcoal and watercolor to the iconic Love album “Forever Changes”, as well as a handful of boardgames and pulp novel covers (most notably several Phillip K. Dick books). His style is markedly 70’s – Mucha and Art Nouveau flourishes mixed with a more modern ‘graphic’ style influenced by comics and commercial art. It’s the sort of stoned fantasy illustration that has lost favor today, but which brings syrupy waves of nostalgia over me whenever I look at it.
Check out some Bob Pepper artwork, and read this interview with him.