This was another library find that caught my interest. One of my favorite things to do when I get a new ttrpg book is to page through and look at the new artwork. I am not an artist, and I have a great appreciation for those who have that gift. I picked up this book thinking I would find just cool fantasy art but instead I found some D&D art history and a new-found appreciation for this book.
Right away I was impressed by the line art and some of the complex pieces he was able to do (the sword crest opposite of the Realms title page gave me an inspiration die just looking at it). We start with two high compliments for Tony DiTerlizzi’s work by both Guillermo Del Toro and Christopher Paolini. Throughout the book you will find other praises and thoughts from other well known names as well. There is an image of his 1982 Displacer beast that was done for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual at the beginning of the Preface written by Tony DiTerlizzi talks us through how he started drawing D&D monsters.The rest of the book is filled with a collection of original artworks from Tony DiTerlizzi’s archives and his fantasy filled Realm. Explore some of the creative 2nd edition art pieces and relax reading about some of your favorite monsters on an artists level.
Why I recommend: If you like learning the history behind D&D this might interest you. I also love seeing the artwork that was published along with some unique pieces that never made it to the D&D printing press. This let me look at a lot of beautiful 2nd edition D&D art without having a copy of the Monster Manual or Planescape Campaign Settings book and it had beautiful pieces. I really loved the page spread on pages 36 & 37 that showed the Mind Flyer (Illithid) from line sketch, to physical miniature to a colored art piece. I didn’t realize the shambling mound used to look more humanoid and fey like. I personally enjoyed reading through this book. Section 3 with the fey and Changelings were some of my favorite art pieces from the book. And check out the amazing gate on page 101. Images like the ones that can be found in this book can be used for your own fantasy inspiration for writing or creating character ideas.