BMQ, the zine that almost was...

Greetings. Welcome to a very special Art Monday. What you see below is a 11"x 17" copy from my sketchbook of some concepts that we, Trevor and I, were working out for our Warhammer 40,000 fanzine in the mid to late '90s.  Our fanzine was going to be called Battle Methodology Quarterly. We had hoped to produce this thing 4 times a year and be everything we ever wanted to see from a 40k zine or even GW publications like Citadel Journal or White Dwarf.  

It's important to know that this was during Warhammer 40,000's 2nd edition. One of the most driving features in White Dwarf at the time were the brilliant battle reports that they used to publish. (They are still oh so lacking now) But we wanted more, and we waned to show some of the stuff that really involved players of the game typically experienced. For example, the GW battle reports never really showed just how cheesey the Eldar of the 2nd edition could be, or the weird and wacky stuff that Orks could pull off, or grenades being used to their maximum potential, etc. And we wanted to show that. A lot. We would also use these as a type of forum to workout and explore some of the more trickier aspects of the rules 

BMQ was going to be robust. 100 pages per issue. If I recall we were looking at something like 50 pages of Battle Reports, 25 pages of articles and a 25 page comic book (by me!). In every issue. In hindsight, I think our bite was going to be bigger than what we could chew. But we were young, hella ambitious, and just enthralled by everything Games-Workshop and Warhammer 40,000. After securing a blessing from GW's Alan Merrit we launched into the thing.

We had all the battle reports played and written for the first issue. Including a Blood Bowl game that Trevor and I played via email. I had most of the art done for the first issue and had some finished or started for the second one. The comic was done for the first issue as well. We had articles written and more planned. The Ornsworld PDF was going to be in issue 2 and issue 3 was going to be a Death World list where the player fields and army of plants. Yes it was ambitious for sure. We had a board game written and play tested and nearly ready to go as well. We even had an interview with Rick Priestly (which we did at Games Day '99 in Baltimore). My brother even designed and launched a website for us (it didn't make into this century sadly).

 But... we took too long. 3rd edition was now coming out so we waited to see what was going to change. So we waited. After all, who would buy a fanzine for last edition's game? Then it came out and was so radically different from 2nd edition that we had the wind knocked completely out of our sails. Also, not long after that, GW got into the comics publishing game with Inferno and Warhammer Monthly. And we were not under the impression that a fanzine with a full-sized comic strip was going to fly with GW. So we moved onto other things. 

 But the art still remains! So here is a concept piece that I hope you get a kick out of :

This is the full page. 

There is A LOT going on here. So let me try to break it down. 

This first bit is an idea that I had to make rules for the Emperor's Youth. The idea is a fusion between the Hitler's Youth from World War II and Boy Scouts programs from my youth (I was in both the American and British Cub Scouts and still have their handbooks).  Even back then the 'Grim Darkness' of the Imperium was not a subtle thing, and an indoctrination / officer recruitment program targeted at the youth of the Imperium's hiveworlds seemed like something that would be a thing. I had even incorporated them into the comic I was working on. So I worked out how their badge program would work, what their kerchief looked like, etc. We were going to do a list for Necromunda and a unit entry to let you take them as an Imperial Agents unit for 40k. What you see here are the concepts worked out, and not what would have been the finished art. 

Best of luck trying to decipher my handwriting

They were going to be led by a Commissar (that smile could be right off of a Propaganda poster couldn't it?*) and the models were going to be converted Necromunda Youths. I imagine lots of green stuff was going to be used. 

Next are the three main characters from the comic strip. The Gothic warship Captain and the Ratling Colonel was shown already in an earlier Art Monday post. I could talk about them more here, but wouldn't you rather that I just post that 25 page comic instead? 

These guys were a lot of fun to draw.

* Indeed, but I wasn't thinking a historical one but rather the fictional one from the original V series from the '80's.  The subversive implications can't be denied. food!