Friday, April 29, 2011

Harry Quinn

Does anyone out there know much about Harry Quinn, who produced a number of illustrations for TSR between 1981 and 1983, including this one from the Gamma World mini-module, The Albuquerque Starport?

I've always found this piece particularly evocative, both for what it illustrates but also for its Virgil Finlay-esque style. So I started to wonder about Harry Quinn and what became of him. If you have any tidbits of information about the guy, I'd love to hear them. He seems to be a forgotten TSR artist, producing stuff for a number of products over a couple of years and then vanishing from the scene. It's puzzling.

8 comments:

  1. Do you think this might be the same guy?

    http://hquinnportraits.com/HQuinnPortraits/Harry_Quiin_Portraits_Contact.html

    Since he's in Lake Geneva and all.

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  2. Are you sure that art wasn't meant for Tékumel? That could easily be a Ssú!

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  3. That is a really cool illustration!

    @phf: The monster is pretty darned Ssú-like so I bet there is at least some influence there. One of the humans has some kind of pistol in her hand so maybe its a proto-Humanspace Empires illustration.

    ...and the plague zombie has four digits on its hands instead of three that a Ssú should have.

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  4. Harry Quinn did (I believe) a fair amount of the better illustrations for the Monster Manual II.

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  5. He was most active between 1982-83, and is sometimes credited as "Harry J. Quinn".

    He worked on TSR board games, Endless Quest books, and tons of RPG stuff, including Monster Manual II, Castle Amber, Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, and Dwellers of the Forbidden City.

    He also illustrated the childrens' book He-Man Smells Trouble (with skunk-themed villain Stinkor).

    There's very little personal info about Harry Quinn on the web. He seems to have worked with Larry Elmore quite a bit, so he might know more....

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  6. Harry was married to Terri Quinn, who worked in TSR's PR department. In those years, if you got hired at TSR, the company would always try to find a slot for your spouse or significant other, too. I don't recall which of them was hired first. Harry did interior illos and maps and a few covers. He got laid off in the '83/'84 purges, IIRC. Terri got elected to the Lake Geneva city council. I can't say for certain that Harry is the portrait painter linked above, but it certainly looks like his work.

    Steve

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  7. Steven wrote:"Harry was married to Terri Quinn, who worked in TSR's PR department. In those years, if you got hired at TSR, the company would always try to find a slot for your spouse or significant other, too. I don't recall which of them was hired first. Harry did interior illos and maps and a few covers. He got laid off in the '83/'84 purges, IIRC. Terri got elected to the Lake Geneva city council. I can't say for certain that Harry is the portrait painter linked above, but it certainly looks like his work."
    If this is true, it's another wonderful piece of TSR history. "Albuquerque Starport" was an awesome GW module. and I appreciate Mr. Quinn's contribution to the hobby.

    BTW, thank you James for your recent delving into the original GW material. First edition GW was one of the greatest RPG's ever in my opinion, so I love to see some attention given to it.

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  8. The Harry Quinn you are speaking about it my father. He is still very active in the art world, living in Lake Geneva, and married to his wife Terry. It was incredibly interesting for me to read this post and the comments about my dad's work. I remember him showing me a lot of his earlier work from TSR when I was a little kid, I especially loved the He-Man books. If you would like to touch base with him and see what he has been working on lately his websites are: www.vrdsn.com & www.hquinnportraits.com.

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