OK... enough of life's sad losses. Let's take a look at those who are still with us and inspire anew each day! Caesar102 ( caesar120.deviantart.com/
) , known to legal documents as Michael Vilardi, is an old friend and illustrator whose work constantly raises the bar for me… like a mean old bully who took my lunch and keeps it just outside of reach
Mike's always had mad drawing skills and began to seriously pursue it by attending the Rhode Island School of Design… but life gave him a wedgie and the plan changed. But there's no putting a damper on skills like his.
I met Mike sometime in the 80's (insert wholly fabricated war story, here). When I became art director at Digest Group Publications I opened the door for him there where he produced some great art and proved himself to be the definitive artist for the Aslan alien race. I pulled Mike with me over to do work for West End Games on Paranoia and ultimately the Star Wars RPG.
Mike's Star Wars work left the rest of us in the dust. The opportunity to work on that license seemed to make his already considerable illustrative fires burn even brighter. We were there as the doors began to open on The Expanded Universe, allowing both of us to leave out fingerprints on the visual look of some key characters and hardware. Mike was one of the first artists to bring Mara Jade's image to life.
These days Mike's ( caesar120.deviantart.com/
) still doing some sporadic gaming work, as well as taking on private commissions. And his work still embodies all those elements that make space operatic SF so much fun to dive into.