An Interview with Tyler Sowles, artist of Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion

The City of Gloomhaven can be a tough place to make it as an adventurer and being in the right party is key to survival. The Jaws of the Lion are the top of the mountain in the hierarchy of the city, but their latest job goes sideways, and Anaphi, the mindthief, is to blame! Artist Tyler Sowles is here to tell you how he brought he first comic from the wildly popular GLOOMHAVEN game to life.

What’s it like to draw the Jaws of the Lion crew?
It’s pretty cool to be able to do our own take of the Jaws crew. We want them all to be recognizable as the miniatures from the game, yet have some distinct personalities and traits that sets them apart. It’s really important for me to try to stay true to the game while making sure to gift each character their own identity and purpose.

What most excites you about working with Gloomhaven?
I’ve always been a big fan of fantasy stuff, and have been an avid D&D player since I was a kid. Gloomhaven has a really unique take on the fantasy genre and it has some really cool characters and settings to illustrate.

What was the process in deciding how to best represent the world of Gloomhaven on the page?
Oh man. There’s been a LOT of conversations about this. A lot of back and forth between the guys at Cephalofair and Travis and me and everything. We know it’s fantasy, but it’s different. We need it to stand out and really capture the feel people have while playing the tabletop game. Right now it’s sort of a trial and error thing – I sketch what I see in my head and they get back to me about how it fits into the Gloomhaven world.

What’s it like working with Travis’s scripts? Do you have a lot of creative freedom when designing a page?
Working with Travis is a complete chore and he’s a big turd. No, Travis and I go way back and it’s awesome to be working with him on something like this. He was nervous about the script when we first started throwing ideas around, but I think it’s absolutely awesome and really highlights the attitudes and uniqueness of the Jaws crew. We’re old friends so emails between us are not always the most professional… and that’s the way I like it.

What are you most excited about Gloomhaven fans seeing in Fallen Lion?
The SECRETS. I’m not telling. Also there’s a few panels that I absolutely love. Dok and Powder just eating sandwiches… is probably my favorite thing in the whole book. I also really feel for Anaphi, I want her to display a lot of emotion, which is a challenge since she’s basically a rat-person.

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion hits shops Dec 30.

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