TTLG: What was the inspiration for Garrett’s design and Thief in general, movies, music, books etc? Tell us about the development behind the visual style and illustrations.
Daniel Thron: The initial look for the character was developed by Marc Lizotte and Rob Waters, two great artists, and the whole thing started as a concept called Dark Camelot. So though it was a more sinister looking than similar settings, the first designs were still very armory and Excalibur-looking from what I remember, but the longer Marc and Rob worked with them the further it drifted from classical fantasy into something meaner and leaner.
Ken Levine was writing and designing for it at the time, and I seem to remember that he and Tim Stelmach were referencing more and more 30’s pulp material, which was the root of the pseudo-modernization of the setting. Lot’s of Fafarhd and the Grey Mouser being passed around. Musically I don’t remember much, but we started talking about movies like The Third Man (we even took a company trip to it when it played at a local arthouse), this kind of stuff. Thief’s style still looks fresh to me today; it’s one of the most original settings I’ve ever seen.
TTLG: Ok, what about the The City? What historical eras inspired you, what kind of architecture, technologies, clothing?
Daniel Thron: Mark Lizotte was easily the most informed in terms of art history, and he led the charge in realizing the Dickensian/Baroque mix, I think we were both in love with the idea that these styles showed the maximum possible difference between the rich and poor — the rich were ostentatious beyond reason, and the streets between their houses were something out of Oliver Twist. I think it made the idea of being a thief seem pretty attractive I had also just read a book by Caleb Carr called ‘The Alienist,’ and the both the story and setting of that were very inspiring — but it was the cover really hooked me: it was a photo by Alfred Stieglitz — and from that, many of his shots became the source of how I thought about the City.