Here are a couple of sources of free graphics for games I have looked at. I'm partial to the 'lost garden' graphics stile and will be using them for inital work. Browse and post your feedback, if you wish...
So... Here's how I see things shaking out later on to get proper EQ themed, comic style images for map making.
The best would be to get some proper images drawn by Wendy herself. Im not figuring that this will happen, as Im sure she has then next few years of drawing already accounted for.
Next best is fan-supplied drawings. We need to make sure that an artist knows what they need to draw first, though, so Ill prep some samples... Eventually...
Next to last best is to compile a collection of arial view images from the comics. If there are examples of cliffs, trees, figures, machines, rocks, and the like pulled from the series, preferably from the same artist (and preferably from Wendy, if at all possible), then we(I) can wing it and make something work.
Finally, there is the use of photo images or open source tiles. These are free and available, however it will be hard to both match styling throughout all images and parts of the game, as well as making it difficult to keep it unique.
Just a thought to throw out... What wojld everyone think about making the game black and white or greyscale so it's like playing one of the DC digests or some.of.the comics? this would make it easier to match "feel" and cut down on time to generate all new grapbics from scratch if we choose to. It would also be the ONLY game I know of that did this. It would also make it easy to use hand drawings scanned in.
Ill post more image sources and can email the current graphics package if you send me a PM.
You asked about the base ... that's why I try to figure out.
Tutorial on 'isometric' sprites and whatnot. Pretty good as a reference, though we are going to be less boxy with all the trees and stuff....
There is also a page that has a couple of links still good for examples.