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Gargoyle!

Written by Marc_Radle - Published on July 11, 2014

pen2This is another illustration I did for the Behind the Monsters Omnibus from Tricky Owlbear. I was pretty happy with how it turned out and even happier when the publisher told me the illustration reminded him of those old school illustrations from First Edition AD&D. Since I loved those BW drawings and idolized the artists, such a comment was high praise indeed to me!

I started playing AD&D in the mid to late 70’s when I was around 10 or 12 years old. Since I was also an aspiring your artist (my mom often got comments from my teachers like “Marc is a good student, but can you please get him to stop drawing pictures in the margins of his tests and homework?”) I spent a huge amount of time studying the artwork. In fact, I’m sure I spent more time when I was a kid studying the artwork in the original Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide and Monster Manual than I did actually reading the rules!

Anyone remember the cartoon about these guys?  It had almost every member of STtNG in it.  Seriously.

Anyone remember the cartoon about these guys? It had almost every member of STtNG in it. Seriously.

I alone among my fellow 12 year old gaming friends could identify the work of David Sutherland, David A. Trampier, Jeff Dee, Bill Willingham, Erol Otus. I day dreamed about what it must be like to be one of those guys and actually have illustrations in a D&D book or module. Soon, I also discovered and fell in love with the likes of Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell and Keith Parkinson and learned to distinguish their art styles. 12 year old me absolutely revered these people – they inspired my dream to become an artist, especially those early BW artists I loved so much!

I owe them all a debt of gratitude and a massive “THANK YOU!”

So, when anyone tells me my work reminds me of old school BW D&D art … well, it makes me smile.

A LOT!!!

Coolest Comment

Tell me who your favorite D&D artist from the early days is and why. Best post gets the Gargoyle original illustration

Written by Marc_Radle

I’m a professional graphic artist and designer by trade. In my copious amount of spare time, I also do freelance illustration, writing, and graphic design. I’m also the Art Director for Kobold Press (sleep is highly overrated!)

I started playing D&D as a kid in the late 70s—good old 1st Edition AD&D! My friends and I also played many other RPGs back then—Marvel Superheroes, Champions, Elfquest, FASA’s Star Trek, Star Frontiers, the list goes on—but it always came back to AD&D! I faded out of gaming sometime after 2nd Edition came out—partially because 2nd Edition just didn’t quite do it for me (although I did play 2nd Edition a little though and certainly enjoyed some aspects of it) but also because my gaming friends all turned into grown-ups, got real lives, and moved away when I wasn’t looking!

The 3rd Edition of D&D really pulled me back into the hobby again, and I’ve since become a HUGE fan of the Pathfinder RPG.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with lots of great game companies, including Kobold Press, Super Genius Games, Raging Swan Press, Jon Brazer Enterprises, Tricky Owlbear Publishing and even Last Unicorn Games (back in the day)

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One Response to “Gargoyle!”
  1. Changing_Man says:

    I would have to say that my favorite Old School artist was Jim Roslof. I mean, how can you NOT like his epic depiction of Thor vs. the Midgard Serpent? But aside from that (and let’s not forget Aphrodite- va-VOOM !), so many of his illustrations just really helped to shape- in my mind’s eye, at any rate- what adventuring was like. I think a lot of it had to do with the ‘believability’ of the characters depicted. The average joe character didn’t strike me as über-dude, but rather very much what you tended to roll up as a character back in the day. That, and I really like the way he used light and shadow in his art; it helped to ‘drive home’ the idea that your torch or lantern’s reach had limitations, something crucially important in Old School.

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