Sure, but did these guys even get published? What are they from?
I hate city intrigue and this made me want to run Waterdeep:
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Shit. Back in the day, this made me go back to the MM to check the actual size of Beholders. The classic MM art in this case is terribly misleading! The dude has two pet Intellect Devourers and a pet Drow with 80's hair and aerobics stockings! Tell me more! This is, hands down, THE BEST beholder that has ever or WILL EVAR be rendered. This should be the motherfucking gold standard in every monstrous compendium from here to eternity. amen.
I agree the beholder is well drawn...the rest, not so much. My objection is the ren-faire nature of this scene. Modernism projected into the D&D world was never my cup-o-tea.
I totally agree with you about the S3 and S4 Otis covers. They were going to be some of my top picks. I am also partial to these two by Trampier:
Why, oh why, would you ever replace them in the later printings with these two weak stand-ins that look like low-end 80's comic book pages? So bad.
I also always liked this redo...probably just because of the lighting effects because the environment is weak.
although the original had it's own weird magnetic charm that burns itself into your brain:
Sutherland was pushed to the side an "amateur artist", but there is really is something to his work that captures implies action and mood. I think he was/is under appreciated.
But honestly, the one cover (and I never owned it until recently...so it's not just nostalgia) that hits the D&D sweet spot is the original Sutherland + Trampier B1.
What idiot replaced it with this? (Sorry Darlene!)
Look people...just because something is in full color and painted does not make it automatically "better art". That's the 2e/3e/4e/5e fallacy --- and the modern Photoshop lie. As today's young artists are starting to realize that their airbrush work is all starting to look redundant and boring, everyone is doing the same thing and decorating it with little curly-ques and the like --- aping Alphonse Mucha and the Art Nouveau movement. It's a move borne out of desperation that's become the new digital-art trope that is also
as boring as ditch water.
D&D art went south for me with Elmore and Holloway. Everything became a safe, light-hearted joke.
No to Dungeon Punk. No to statically posed hyper-realism. No to video games aesthetics.
: I totally respect how certain art speaks to you and makes you want to play D&D. Honestly, I could pick it apart on technical grounds, but I would be 100% wrong to do so because THE ART DID ITS JOB---it inspired you. That's all that matters. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we are all different, and what gets you going is often a turn-off for me. Que sera. It's neat we converged in Otis-land.