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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More WotC "Sneak Peeks" of the Original D&D Boxed Set Reprint Art - What is With The Damn "Flames"?

Is this something I've missed in recent fantasy gaming art? Flames or smoke effects on every piece? If so, it's about as annoying as sitcoms with laugh tracks IMHO.

Anyhow, the first piece, replacing the classic art for Monsters & Treasure isn't to my liking, but does a decent job of evoking the pose of the original - it's the fucking flames that are killing it for me:


WTF happened with the cover of The Underworld and Wilderness Adventures? It went from some winged horse creature that was NOT a Pegasus to a Roc on steroids - with flames of course. There isn't even an attempt to replicate the first cover - the horse had hooves - this eagle from hell has talons.

I really don't get this new art for a classic, iconic reprint. They could have found an artist that could have redone these pieces and still retained an "old school" feel, but it seems that WotC doesn't want to entice old school gamers to pick this up, and new school gamers are going to be disappointed as all hell by the contents. There is no "truth in advertising" left with these covers.

Damn shame.



29 comments:

  1. I would like to think that new gamers will pick it up to see what it was about back in the day. I had hoped that the re-releasing of the old editions would grow the hobby.

    Replacing the art is just another bonehead move by WoTC. I think sometimes they just go through the motions and "play" business.

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    Replies
    1. At $149.99, they are definitely not marketing this product to newcomers. This is for nostalgia and collectors.

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    2. $149.99 is steep. Maybe I am just fooling myself into thinking that new gamers will make that reach to the edition. I hope they at least find out what it's about.

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    3. They will find out that it is a poorly written trainwreck. OD&D is a fascinating read, but I couldn't imagine trying to run a game with it without taking an exacto knife to it and gluing the important stuff in a sensible order to a piece of poster board.

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  2. I have no comment about the WotC art direction, but I do see talons on the forelegs of the original U&WA cover.

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    1. now that i look closer, i'll grant you that.

      still isn't anywhere near being a depiction of the same creature ;)

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  3. They are both supposed to be hippogriffs. The rear-quarters of the hippogriff are hard to see in the second picture, but they are there.

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  4. I wonder if they are going to do the interior artwork.
    I can see the
    Amazon not making the cut.

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    Replies
    1. The Succubus did, so I am sure amazon will too.

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  5. I'm going to go out on record now as stating that I think the whole old school vs. new school stance on art is just silly. Back to my lonely corner now.

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  6. I don't mind the new covers so much, but I do wonder about the flames behind everything. Is there a new trend in comics for the characters to be put on fire every time they turn around? I'm not sure.

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    Replies
    1. It's fog or smoke, probably steam from a frosty morning. Not fire.

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  7. I don't know what the point is of changing the covers. It doesn't 'bother' me; it's just weird and really seems to point up the fairly confused thinking that seems to be behind this project. Who's it for again? Collectors willing to throw down sizable cash...but who don't already have a white box reprint from the 80's? Yeah, there must be, gosh, tens of such people out there. Researchers? The internet is awash in pdf's of the original books for people who just want to study the old rules.

    And yeah, anyone who thinks they're going to learn to play D&D with this set is in for a rough ride. There's about 16,000 retro clones by now, any one of which would be more useful for that purpose. "Okay, WTF is Outdoor Survival and where's the Chainmail booklet?"

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    1. ^^^^^ this ^^^^^
      Really, Holmes is one of the only editions that's nearly impossible to find, even in pdfs.

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    2. They are changing the covers because OD&D plagerized the shit out of their old cover art and WotC is just playing it safe.


      Read the forums.

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    3. And incidentally, Holmes is between 15 and 30 on eBay everyday. Not hard to find at all.

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    4. No, you'd have to look.

      But it is well known that the cover of the original box was a ripoff of Doctor Strange and the cover of Chainmail was taken from some other drawing.

      They are playing it safe because they can't source the other pictures.

      Though I'm sure Napoleon Dynamite wouldn't mind them using the hippogriff for Underworld.

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  8. I've never been interested or impressed by the "fantastic" style of art that's out there now -- modern minis come to mind.

    Seeing it -- to a slight degree -- being used on the covers of the old books just doesn't suit me. The old artwork need some work, I grant you, but no a complete remake in a "modern" image.

    Just my 2 coppers.

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  9. What's alarming is the fact they have absolutely no idea what it is about the particular aesthetic style of the originals that makes them appealing. There's no stylistic nods other than "Oh, they were in black and white, lets just do what we normally do but in black and white, that should do it". There's no effort to analyze the originals and work out why some one would prefer those pictures to the high resolution, super special effects, paint shop pro work that is common now days. That don't understand that the aesthetics of the illustrations actually imply and mean much more than "People just like them for nostalgic reasons". That daggy dragon and hippogriff from the originals implies a whole way of looking at and playing the game.

    It's alarming because if they have missed the point of something as rudimentary as why the artwork is appealing, there's no way in hell there going to understand why the mechanical contents of the game are appealing. It shows the have no comprehension, respect or love for the reprint other than a blatant cash grab.

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    1. I think lots of OSR people like the original art at because it looks like shit they can draw themselves.

      Egalitarian shit line art.

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    2. And I thought I was a grumpy fuck.

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    3. I'm really getting to be a cranky old son of a bitch anymore. I'm nicer when i game.

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  10. Yeah, the new art is completely tone-deaf, but I'm grateful as far as that's concerned. It makes the decision not to spend way too much money on a product I don't remotely need much simpler.

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  11. Why flames? Because classic D&D is SO HOT RIGHT NOW!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV_hDyfmEw4

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  12. If you're going to reprint something, REPRINT it; I really don't see the point of sticking a new cover on it. Especially since the gaudy, tacky covers that WotC created for the AD&D reprints demonstrated all the good taste and sense of proportion of the late Liberace.

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  13. As a young'un, I like the big, stupid, splashy artwork they threw on the cover. It's like, "Yo dog, BOOM these booklets are so fresh the monsters inside them are all exploding!"

    Still, I wish they'd kept the old art. The whole point is making a classic reprint is to keep it classic.

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  14. Maybe the artist was listening to Dragonforce's "Through the Fire and the Flames"? Actually, it's probably for the same reason why in action movies, there'll be an explosion in the background while the hero is walking away - style and the "cool factor".

    They probably should have offered two versions: one with the original cover art and another with the new cover art.

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