Today I was going back through and reading The Voyage of the Princess Ark – an article that ran in Dragon Magazine for a couple of years back in the 80’s or 90’s. My mind is a little sketchy right now on the exact particulars. When I ran across one of the illustrations and happen to see the name Jim Holloway. I quickly Googled him and found a site either done by him or someone dedicated to knowing as much about his as possible. I would like to share that with you now. The Art of Jim Holloway
Enter Jim Holloway
For some reason I thought I had read somewhere that Jim had given it all up and chucked the gaming community and everything to do with it right down the drain. I am so happy that I was crazy that day (not much different from any other day really).
Mr. Holloway’s art has been instrumental in bringing to life so many stories from so much of the material I read that I can say without a shadow of a doubt that if the illustrations were not there I would not have been nearly so interested in those particular modules, stories or campaign material as I was when I saw a picture by Mr. Holloway.
I think what drew me to his work the most was the expressions he put on his creations. That and the funny situational scenes that he captured so perfectly. I am so glad that he is still working and creating the wonderful pieces that he is so well-known for.
I think one of my favorite pieces is the Goblin standard-bearer and a couple other injured goblins are surrounded by elves. Rightly entitled “The Last Stand.” It graced the cover of Dragon Magazine #127. A person had written in and mentioned this material so I am cribbing from the material name and magazine issue#. If I am wrong…sue me!
Enter Erol Otis
As I was researching/reading about Jim I ran across another great artist and I would be remiss if I did not talk about some of his work that really got my imaginative juices flowing.
His official website according to Wikipedia is http://www.erolotus.com/. It is under construction but you can visit a fan boy website dedicated to Erol. This site is, according to Wikipedia, used with permission. If interested in seeing some of his work you can go there and visit the gallery section and take a stroll down memory lane. Fansite for Erol Otis.
His art is more organic centered as best as I can describe it and was also very thought-provoking and imagination inspiring. I had a great many of the source books, modules and magazines he did work in and I enjoyed everyone. As I mentioned with Jim Holloway, without the artwork I would have not have been so inspired to read further. If I can go out on a limb here I think it is that was for a great deal of people. If you agree or disagree send me a note and lets talk about it.
Enter Larry Elmore
His official website located here – Larryelmore.com. Of the artists I listed here I think Larry was the most known to me. He did prints and was more commercial that the others. For a time in the 90’s I worked for a comic book distributor – Second Genesis – and had the opportunity to see the myriad of material that came in. I remember seeing Larry Elmore prints and cards. Like trading card sized cards.
Like the other artists mentioned Larry had a unique style you could always tell was him when you saw it. Often a solitary figure set in the foreground with a landscape backdrop. I remember Larry doing many works for the Dragonlance series. Man I loved those. He really brought them to life for me.
Enter Den Beauvais – Official Site (I believe)
You remember this guy right? The name doesn’t sound familiar? Remember the fantasy chess covers he did for Dragon Magazine? Thought that might strike a nerve with you.
I would be remiss if Den was not mentioned among the other great artists I have mentioned here earlier. His art is so electric and memorizing it draws you in and makes you almost believe that the extraordinary images you are seeing are real. Like there had to be someplace where he kept all of his wonderful and fantastic creatures where he would enter and shout “Okay so here’s the next thing we need to do. You over there, ya you beautiful evil woman in black, yeah put the hogie down and grab a couple black wands. Mr. Seahorse get the black knight up on your back and get a lance. Places everyone. Where’s the white queen? Has anyone seen the white queen?” Kinda like a backlot of some major movie studio.
Man those were awesome. It made me want to read the magazine just because of the cover art. Zoinks! Get it? TSR knew their market and what worked for a draw.
All I can say is that these four artist plus countless others have greatly increased my love for an industry and game that I love some much.
Thank you guys!
More to come…