April 19th, 2009
Reminisces Diterlizzi: “If you’ve had a chance to see the Planescape books (especially the early ones from ’94), you’ll see something amazing that happened in RPGs: a new philosophy on how gaming booklets could be presented. It wasn’t just my art — it was the awesome concepts and story hooks, and the (then) state-of-the-art graphic design and production that made these gaming supplements stand out. It was about a great group of people who were really excited about creating something new and imaginative for gamers who were tired of the usual hack-n-slash dungeon crawl. And I was honored to be a part of it.
“I did so much art back in those days. I don’t own much of it anymore, I sold most of it off to my loyal fans over the years at various cons. But there are a few gems that I still treasure and have to this day, and among those are my drawings of the modrons.
“I remember designer Zeb Cook phoning me up while I was working on the campaign setting to tell me that they were toying with the idea of re-introducing the modrons via Planescape. My response was, ‘Those weird little circle and square guys from Monster Manual II?’
“He replied, ‘Those would be the ones,’ and encouraged me to revisit the concept behind them. I did, and knew right away that they HAD to be in Planescape” (p41).
“Anyways, I moved on from gaming to pursue my dream of creating fantastic tales for children, and did my last fully illustrated Planescape book, The Planewalker’s Handbook, in my New York City studio in 1996. Of course, there was a modron in it.
“The rethinking of how a hackneyed or contrived character looks was a very big lesson for me. That type of thinking is what ultimately fueled the designs of the faeries, trolls, and goblins that inhabit all of The Spiderwick Chronicles books that I did later on with author Holly Black…” (p42).