At the same time I started writing the first of the Dark Roads Saga, a talented friend of mine was working on his own speculative art in the same weird west and supernatural world. It was always a thrill to get a new message from Rob announcing he had fresh sketches to show me. I love the style and tone, an expressive character I wished I could capture in my own work.
In my opinion, some of Rob's most interesting works come from studies in horror -- monsters, demons, and humans somehow twisted up among them -- and religious figures and iconry. He manages to highlight such expression and meaning in the symbols and details.
Rob has always had an eye for body language and expression that draws me to the characters. I love the facial expression, the personality, the natural movement in their poses and gestures. His style lends itself easily to comic-style storytelling, and I still hope one day Rob will reveal to me the fantastic, weird west inspired graphic novel he's been hiding away from all of us.
The characters Rob shared with me most were the "Aces and Eights" group, or as some of us began to refer to them, "The River Rock Posse": John Hart, Jack Spade, Derrick Kane, James and Angel Black. These five eventually returned to cameo in The Pact, and continued to be major influences as the Dark Roads Saga goes on.
Rob not only shared my love of the weird west genre and art, he became my first beta reader for The Pact and its sequels. His renditions of Serenity and Rook put me in touch with a side of the characters I hadn't seen in such a way before.
I could share so much more of Rob's artwork, including laugh-out-loud comics and somber, haunting portraits... but these key pieces of his sketchwork stand out to me as some of my favorites. I adore these studies and collections of his speculative work.
I owe Rob a real debt of thanks for sharing his talent with me, and allowing me also to share it with you.