|The Broken Road - John Blanche, 2016|
After an illustrious career defining and shaping the world's of Games Workshop, John Blanche retired last week. It is impossible to overstate how important John was in helping Games Workshop become what it is today. His boundless creativity and vision has touched all aspects of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, epitomizing the dark style that now defines it. For the three of us, his artwork literally brought us into the hobby. A large cardboard standee featuring the central Blood Angel Space Marine from John's cover for the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40,000 beckoned to us from the window of a local hobby shop. This led to us getting a few blister packs (we recently repainted one of the first trio of models we got from that very store) and eventually the 40k boxed game, and the rest was history. His evocative artwork kept us engaged in the hobby since that time, and his Blanchistsu articles in White Dwarf helped inspire us to push ourselves beyond what is featured on the box art and create our own sliver of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. To our continued amazement, this creative journey led us to the Inq28 movement and John Blanche himself, when we participated in Iron Sleet's Pilgrym event in 2016. When starting the hobby, we would have never imagined meeting John, let alone playing Warhammer 40k (or Mordheim!) with him. We feel incredibly blessed to count John as a friend, and want to wish him a wonderful retirement and are excited to see what he does next!