The legacy of Frank Herbert’s Dune has stretched across many different media and iterations over the nearly 50 years since the novel’s original publication. David Lynch’s film version is divisive at best, the Sci-Fi Channel’s miniseries adaptations were well done but remain obscure, and the road not traveled of director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s aborted film version has become the subject of an acclaimed documentary. But one incarnation that might never have hit your radar was a collectible card game put out during the mid ’90s. And it’s a collection worth revisiting, because the games artwork was flat-out beautiful.
Dune: Eye of the Storm was released in 1997 by Last Unicorn Games, and it pit “two or more players against each other, each in control of a minor house vying for entry in the Landsraad.” Artist Mark Zug provided artwork for some of the cards, and his take on the Dune universe is striking, gorgeous, and just begging to be blown up and hung on my office wall.
Zug says that initially he was told to base his art on the designs from Lynch’s film, but that edict soon changed and he was told to instead “to avoid similarity to Lynch’s visuals.” Ah, licensing issues. You can see the Lynch callbacks in this image of a Guild Navigator.
I particularly love this image, which reminds me of Australian Aborigines for some reason.
You can see more of Zug’s Dune art work on his website.