Forty years of D&D artwork

It would be an incredible feat to include a list of artwork that has appeared in Dungeons & Dragons books over the last year and I just want to skim over the brief aspects and familiarise you and I with some works.

40 years old. Happy Birthday Dungeons & Dragons. The game that has stood central in its genre of table-top roleplaying games for that long. Sure we’ve had edition wars, but 4ed was a big brute, can the Next edition surpass the big feat of keeping the crown on D&D.

I wish to stray away, and focus on some artwork. As some of it has appeared in the Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle adventure. Although the artwork isn’t new, I am highly anticipating incredible works of art for the new books released the summer of 2014.

In Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle we can see some visual images that are black and white and in colour. A black and white image by Darlene Pekul is inspired by your German illustrators, and featured in Gary Gygax’s 1979 Dungeon Master Guide¹ while manga illustrations appear for quite possibly the first time (albeit the Japanese Hobby Japan versions on 4ed).

Darlene Pekul’s work included in ‘Dragonspear’ shows a lean towards including old and new depictions of what D&D can become if you set your mind to it. Giantsbridge’s blog entitled “An Open Letter to D&D Next’s Art Department” brings up the core issues of being politically correct, something that’s expected from any commercial entity. Yet something at least half, if not more, of the player’s I have played with lack. But it’s right, and the artwork of 2nd edition often depicted a pseudo-erotic version of fantasy roleplay. I’d think that this is something a different publisher could handle. Dungeons & Dragons should, and needs, to appeal to a wide audience of geeks and alternative open minded groups without causing offence. They’ll leave that to the players!

Inspired by an article “Essence” By Jon Schindehette (Dragon’s-Eye View D&D Column)


About Fantasy Perception

I mixed colours at college. Scraped 125 credits on my Fine Art (Bachelor of Arts) and applied it to the Decorating and Plastering trade.
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