7 questions for John Kovalic

Picture from Anton Olsen
Picture from Anton Olsen

So it’s been a long time since an illustrator has not responded to the 7 questions. It is time to remedy to this. Who does not know Munchkin or the funny comics Dork Tower? If you do not know, it’s time to change that!

Today is the prolific John Kovalic who is ready to play the game of the 7 questions. John was born in England and lives in the United States today in Wisconsin to be precise. He is a cartoonist, a writer and an illustrator who published his illustrations in the New York Times, The Washington Post and also in Cartoons Magazine. He created and is the co-owner of Out of the Box Publishing company.

Although one of the most famous work of John is the co-illustration of the famous of Steve Jackson’s series : Munchkin. As well as the co-illustration of Love Letter and the illustration of Apples to Apples and more. He also created games like among other Whad’Ya know? and ROFL!

Here without waiting are the 7 questions for John Kovalic.

1 . How old were you when you played your first board game and which board game was it ?

« That’s a tough question. My first GOOD boardgame – or at least one I finally enjoyed – was « Escape from Colditz. » I was probably about 11, and it mesmerized me. My first *hobby* boardgame was « Panzer 44, » the wargame by SPI. I was probably 16 atb the time, in school in England. I had been playing historical miniatures games for a year or so already. But I found this in a model shop in Bristol. It literally changed my life. »

2 . Why and how did you decide to illustrate a game ?

« I was lucky. I never decided on this. By pure coincidence, Steve Jackson found my editorial cartoons – I was working for a newspaper at the time – and he asked me if I wanted to do some cartoons for him. This grew and grew and grew. Mostly through amazing good forune, I illustrated Apples to Apples and Munchkin. And eventually well over 100 other games. »

3 . What are your 3 favorite games ?

« This is an almost impossible question to answer. I have favorite roleplaying games, favorite board games, favorite miniatures games. They also change almost every year. I have favorite classic games that just don’t hole up, anymore, and which i may never play again, and go-to games that I’ll play any time. »

4 . For you, what is the best combination for a successful game ?

« The players must have fun. That is all. For me to have fun, I want a good group of people, a well-written set of rules, and a lot of interaction with the other players. There has to be laughter, and stories to share afterwards. »

5 . How do you proceed to illustrate a game ?

« Slowly and with caution. I try to make every game I work on a little bit different, and better than anything I have done before. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s a good way to start a project. »

6 . What tips could you give to someone who want to illustrate a game ?

« The same tip Charles Schulz gave me, years ago, about my comic strips: « work as hard as you can, and always be yourself. »

7 . Could you give us a small info about your future projects ?

« You’ve caught me at a very busy time. I’m just now completing work on five games that should be released by GenCon, or close to that. There’s a big Steve Jackson games game that has not been announced yet. I’ve also illustrated the new edition of CASH ‘N GUNS from Repos and Asmodee – I *loce* the game and I loved working on this. Plus a new version of SNORTA from out of the Box games, called QUACK-A-DOODLE-MOO, plus a PAIRS deck from Cheapass Games, as well as a Munchkin Version of Love Letter from AEG, and a wonderful movie party game called DOUBLE FEATURE, from Cryptozoic, which I helped create, as well. Wait. That’s six games. Plus some smaller things. It’s been a busy year. For the rest of the year – and next year and beyond, too – I hope to concentrate on MUNCHKIN, as well as my comics, DORK TOWER and DR. BLINK: SUPERHERO SHRINK. »

Thank John to step away from your buzy work to answer the 7 questions. For more information about John’s work : http://muskrat-john.livejournal.com/




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