Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Unknown Roslof

Though much of Jim Roslof's output during his employment by TSR appeared in gaming products like adventure modules and rulebooks, he was also a regular contributor to the pages of Dragon, starting with issue 42, much of it unseen even to gamers involved in the hobby at the time.

There are many examples of his work in the magazine I could highlight, but five stood out for me as representative of "the unknown Roslof." They all accompanied John Eric Holmes's short story "The Sorceror's Jewel" in issue 46 (February 1981). The story continues the adventures of Boinger and Zereth, who appeared in several other stories, including the novel The Maze of Peril.

10 comments:

  1. I love the loose, sketchy quality of these. Thanks for sharing them, James!

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  2. This is exactly what I hoped you'd do, James: post stuff that many of us hadn't seen. Thanks!

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  3. Great post! There are a lot of hidden gems out there that are rarely spotted: Another case in point is David Trampier's Orcus in Dragon #20 (among many, many others) which is, to me at least, superior to the illustration in the Monster Manual.

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  4. I remember these pictures and that story from an old Dragon (don't remember the issue). The art enhanced the story nicely. IIRC, that is a lich they are fighting in the first picture - and they are outmatched.

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  5. Those are some great illustrations, thanks for sharing them with us.

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  6. You don't see many halflings with mustaches in TSR art. Boinger must have been a Stoor. :)

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  7. Excellent Roslof! The Zereth and Boinger story is equally excellent.

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  8. Loved Roslof's art, which managed to look both historical and fantastical at the same time (I find some similarities in Wayne Reynold's work, actually). He also walked that fine like between cartoon and realism, I think. His work for that story was really effective... sad he's passed.

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  9. Awesome pics! They BREATHE Moldvay Red D&D rulebook, which has the most concise, the most descriptive and best written section for DMs on adventure design and wrtiing.

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  10. I've never seen these illustrations before. They reinforce my preference for his lively pen-and-ink work over his paintings. Thanks for posting them!

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