Eye of the Beholder...
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Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons

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Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 134
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I just found a fun documentary on Amazon Prime, and I very much enjoyed watching it.

I recognized the voice of the first person to speak in the movie, as it was Jeff himself!  He's interviewed a number of times throughout the film, along with many of the other TSR artists from 'back in the day'.

I'm sure many of you would appreciate and enjoy this.

And towards the end, they talk about how much of the original art ended up being tossed out as trash.  It really echoed what Jeff had explained before, about how some of those amazing works that people put so much work into just got casually thrown away.  A tragedy, really.

[Jeff, I hope it's okay to post this here, as it really wasn't about MP/V&V; there doesn't really seem to be a catch-all place to post other things anymore]

V&V GM and player since 1982, my current campaign is 29 years old

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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 112

Thanks for the recommendation, @majestic!

Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 26

Thank so much for mentioning this, Doug!  I just watched it and it was excellent.  I never would have known about it absent your post.

Three things maybe struck me most:

1.  Errol Otis looked and spoke so "normally." A short haired, clean cut, clear-eyed guy.  Back around 1981/82-ish, when I would ask my mom to drive me to a mall bookstore to buy AD&D modules (when I was younger than my 12 year old is now, amazingly), I always bought one that was next in sequence to the last one I had bought and played, and then a 2nd one with either a Jeff Dee or Errol Otis cover.  I totally imagined Errol Otis as a wild eyed, long haired old guy who'd dropped too much acid in the 70s/80s.  Not so, as it turns out.

2.  Darlene describing the coloring of the maps from the original World of Greyhawk, one of my personal favorite RPG publications ever, by cutting out tiny pieces of colored stickers using and x-acto knife. Amazing.

3.  I thought the film slightly underplayed how jarring the transition was from the funky/young artists on TSR's staff up to 1981-ish, to the point (circa 1983?) where Larry Elmore (and, apparently, Jeff Easley and others)  was hired.  I remember seeing Larry Elmore's artwork for the first time on a D&D product and thinking to myself, "the quality of this art is so much more polished/professional than what came before, that it's like going up 3 notches - not just 1; but also it looks more 'clean' and PG-rated and less punk/rebellious/DIY (which bummed me out a little). "  I totally lost interest in D&D around this time, coincidentally or not.