[LUCCA 2023] meeting with Adrian Smith, Paul Bonner and John Blanche

I came back yesterday from the annual Lucca Comics, the 2nd biggest comicon in the world.

[Warning - Long Post and PIC HEAVY]
TL;DR check out the pics in the second post! Scans for last!

This year I had the chance once again to meet up with Paul Bonner and Adrian Smith, and here is where I’ll tell you about this experience, and I’ll show you below the sketches they made for me, and for us CDO!

As I greet them, we started talking about their staying there in Lucca and about their upcoming projects.

Paul Bonner told me his new artbook will come out live soon early next year, while Adrian Smith told me about his HATE novel that went sould out in 2 hours the first day (out of 5 total!) and doesnt know exactly how and when it will be sold again, but he’s trying to make it directly purchasable from his site.

At this point I introduced them about the Golden Eggplant hauhuahau I gave them the Eggplant keychains and the whole set of 6 eggplant me and my friends sculpted, they were both as confused as intrigued, I also told them to keep an eye open as the Golden Eggplant will become bigger than the Golden Daemon in a couple of years hauhauhuahuahua

I asked Smith if he could sign my old warhammer codex

while Bonner his own Art book and the 3rd edition Confrontation + Espansion rulebooks

I asked both if they had the time and could make a quick sketch and they both gladly did so, Bonner took a bit quieter approach to it and started working on the Confrontation rulebook, making a beautiful ogre mug shot.

In the meanwhile I was talking with Smith about this year golden deamon and that sculpted entry of his old Orc boss on boar, he took and decided to redraw him after 20 years!
After working his magic he apologized to me saying “I’m sorry, it’s not that good, havent make it in long years” ADRIAN STOP IT, CMON!!

I could even get a pic with them both! I was a fangirl at that point ahuhauhauhua

After that I left the stand, walking around the area I saw the Hollowpress stand, they are the guys last year John Blanche was with, and he had his Voodoo Forest book.
This time he wasnt there, but his new artbook Scions of Voodoo was!
Talking with the guys at the stand it ended up there was a special (and pricey) bundle where you could get the book, a signed print and an original from the book!

I was very indecise, but they still show me the whole 30ish originals they had.
It was incredible to see Blanche artwork live. I cant even imagine how it’s for @Filmdeg to own some and to be friend with the man himself! I really liked a sort of blue beast man, even because it’s rare see him using the color blue!
I left the stand after long time, because it’ was a decision i had to sleep on before make.

At the stand there was Adrian Smith and Dany Orizio (Italian artist, a lot of magic cards, some warcraft/hearthstone cards and board games too) and i could talk bit more with Smith as that day his queue wasnt that big (I was first in line)
There, after talking for a bit, I told him about CDO and if it was possible for him to make a Chaos Dwarf
A: “I dont even know what do they look like nowday”
E: “that’s even better, if i may!”
A: “They have tall hats and horns, right?”
and there he goes, while for the orc of day1 he took 10-15 mins, this time he took more like 20mins for make the sketch. the result is so great, nothing i could ever picture in my head!

I was mindblowned, utterly speechless and he saw that. I thanked him, gave him a hug, then left to buy him some tiramisù to thank him again.
On my way back I crossed Bonner, told him that day was my birthday (shit, now I’m 34) and if the day after he could make a sketch of a Chaos Dwarf for CDO as well.
He was a bit doubtfoul as he never did any CD in his entire life, as I described them roughly he remembered them and told me he’ll do something the day after.

After that i went to the Hollowpress stand for Blanche art, after thinking the night before, i decided to buy it, as the chance was one in a lifetime.
But which one? It was impossible for anyone to chose one, every one of them was unbelievable!
after 25 minutes mumbling and breaking my head, i ended up with those 5 to choose from.

The choice was impossible, but i ended up with the blue beast man of the day before, although i was in love so much with the slug as well.
One was more than enough, and it’s incredible to have such piece!

Late the day before @Fabelzel told me he was interested into that Blanche bundle as well, but without the original.
Guys, that was a call made directly from my guts. The fate was against my wallet life span. In the morning I rushed to the stand and bought the bundle once again, paying what was the difference for the original, and now I own the slugman as well!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Also, i’ll give Fabz the book in couple of weeks at Milano Wargames convention.

Both Smith and Bonner were back at that stand, only Bonner was supposed to be there that morning, so I was double happy as I could chat again with both.
I first went to Smith asking him if i could have pay him for his work and time, because now I have 2 awesome original sketches and i felt i was wronging him not offering something back. He replied that my reaction was worth to him more.

Then Bonner told me to come back in 1h or so, that he would make the drawing in the morning while there at the stand, signing magic cards, posters, post cards and more. I gravitated the area for almost the entire time, it was pure madness and magic being able to be there with them, i was mesmerized.
After 1h-ish he finished the drawing and handed it back to me.

Took another photo for the community and asked him if i could offer him something for his time, work and skill. He wasnt that sure about what to say, then just told me that 20euros would have been fine. I gave him 50, I wanted to recognise and let him know i truly appreciate what he did for me, as I told him the day 1, he’s the reason i fell in love with Confrontation so many years ago, the reason i’m still around painting models and loving skirmish games.
He accepted my offer after asking me a couple of times if i was sure about it, then took back the drawing and kept drawing more and more details and the whole beard.

Those 2 are legendary, exquisite and kind people, i loved every single moment in their presence, and being able to chat again this year, it was amazing and heartwarming for me.

Adrian Smith, Paul Bonner and John Blanche are my personal Holy Trinity.

HD pics below


John Blanche

Adrian Smith

Paul Bonner

This is a gift i wanted to share with you guys as well!
Those pics can be used for our own personal use, but not for sale/design and sell 3D/models of any kind.

Praise Hashut you basterds"


Wow, absolutely fantastic… that Chaos Dwarf drawing could make part of of an absolutely epic banner for future artisans contests, among other things… He is awesome. Thank you so much for being willing to share these. So exciting to see what you got up to as well!



This is amazing Eddy! Glad to see you out and about doing the legwork. I’m green with jealous rage haha


Slugman was just about my choice of the 5…so I can understand you going back and getting him too! I can’t get enough of retro art like this.


Sounds like an amazing time. That ogre picture looks like my granddad! He was actually a nice guy and not an ogre, but the resemblance is so close.


These are great pictures, you can’t help but feel a little envious. :wink: Thank you so much for sharing them with us! :hatoff:


What a story, and what an incredible gift to CDO! Very jealous of your Blanche originals too, that snail man is just choice.


@Nicodemus yes it could indeed! for our personal use it’s fine to have them around! we could make banners indeed! it’s not like i was willing to share, instead i went there with this exactly in mind hauhuahuahua

@Stumpy if they will be back next year, i guess i’ll be on a mission from God (Hashut) once more hauhuahuahau

@harvestmouse man, there were 30ish of blanche originals, it was impossible to choose just one to have, i was doubting every single decision in my whole life hauhauhuahua so glad the opportunity came up and i was able to get the 2 i was indecise from!

@cornixt you bet it was a fantastic time! hauhauhau yes that big nose has generally great dad/granddad vibes xD my dad has the same humongous nose huahuahuahu glad i took my appearance from my mother side xD

@Zanko my man, this is only honest work for Hashut, it was indended to be done! (and I can undestand the envy as well, as we all are envy of damn Tom living next to Blanche house hauhuahuahu)

@flagellant04 then keep an eye on Hollowpress! they are an incredible and deal directly with Blanche, you can find his work on their site as well!
I also suggest you to check out the beautiful Vermis, a detailed stategy guide on a game that doesnt exist, inspired by Berserk and Dark Souls alike, all in a retro pixel-ish art!