Monday, March 21, 2022

At the Table

Does anyone know where/when this photograph is from? A reader sent it to me recently and asked if I could identify it. The two men are obviously Gary Gygax and Brian Blume. Based on the products displayed on the table in front of them, I'd peg the year to be sometime in 1981. Beyond that, I couldn't really say. Was this a promotional image produced by TSR? Did it accompany a newspaper or magazine article? I'd love to know more, if anyone has any insight into its origins.


  1. No earlier than August 81, as that is when Dragon #52 was released.

    Also, the Expert set looks like a mock up; weirdly, so does the Monster Manual...

    The DMG is no later than a 6th print, 7th was released in 81.

    I have a bunch of sales stuff from that era, and this is the style they used, though the pile of tattered books in the upper right would be odd for a business photo. I'd say maybe a quick pic for a magazine or newspaper ca. September 81.

    1. "Also, the Expert set looks like a mock up; weirdly, so does the Monster Manual..." how do you figure?

    2. The Expert set seems to have the same washed out look that many mock ups have in other TSR catalogs and pictures of the day. The Monster Manual has no title on the cover.

    3. I figured the Monster Manual lacks a title because it's yellow on light blue and the photo failed to capture it, but I'm probably wrong

  2. The monster manual does not seem to have a cover