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ranger_of_the_unicorn_run
Learned Scribe

USA
292 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2008 :  15:19:22  Show Profile Send ranger_of_the_unicorn_run a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Poll Question:
Hello! I'm curious about something. I have heard people comment on how they like the new cover art for FR and D&D books in general since the switch to WotC and illustrators like Lockwood came into the picture.

I really like the older cover art because to me it feels more homey and it brings back memories of when I first started reading the books.

How do you feel about it? Do you like the old covers better or the new ones?

Choices:

Old Covers
New Covers

(Anonymous Vote)

Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3193 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2008 :  15:33:34  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-I prefer the new covers to the old covers, because a lot of the older covers have artwork that I consider "80s-esque", but I'd personally like different covers, neither old or new.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31518 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2008 :  17:08:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I came into this hobby back when all of TSR's artwork was done by Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson, Jeff Easley, and Clyde Caldwell. I loved their art, and in fact I remain a huge fan of Elmore's stuff.

Some of the new artwork isn't bad, but it's not as good as what those guys did. And some of it is downright horrible. I think that the function of cover art is to get your attention and make you want to read the back cover blurb. Seeing something that makes me say "What the hell is that?" does not accomplish that purpose.

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DragonReader
Senior Scribe

USA
371 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2008 :  21:13:23  Show Profile  Visit DragonReader's Homepage Send DragonReader a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like some of each, so I don;t really know how to respond. I guess in terms of style I tend to prefer the newer covers, but there were alot of gems in the old TSR days as well.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31696 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2008 :  23:16:49  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was Elmore and Easley's art from the earlier editions that I've found to be the most attractive.

There are certainly some later edition-covers that I've come to love just as much [mainly from the MIDNIGHT campaign setting], and a few 3e FR books. Most of the 3e DL covers were rather interesting as well, though not as visually attractive, at least to me, as Elmore's DL art from the 2e days.

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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
3025 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  00:32:14  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I voted new.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
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thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  01:13:36  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I came into this hobby back when all of TSR's artwork was done by Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson, Jeff Easley, and Clyde Caldwell. I loved their art, and in fact I remain a huge fan of Elmore's stuff.

Some of the new artwork isn't bad, but it's not as good as what those guys did. And some of it is downright horrible. I think that the function of cover art is to get your attention and make you want to read the back cover blurb. Seeing something that makes me say "What the hell is that?" does not accomplish that purpose.



Actually, I find the new covers grab my attention more than the old ones. For the most part I enjoy the new art better, but there are certain old covers that I will never tire of (the Avatar novels I preffered the old covers, but most of the Drizzt novels, especially the Legacy of the Drow ones, I MUCH prefer the new ones). There have been a few cases where I thought "What the hell is that?" also, with some new ones and some old ones (Drizzt looks like an arthritic old man on the original Siege of Darkness and/or Starless Night).

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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  01:25:25  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I can't vote, because there are covers both old and new that I like (and hate).

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
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scererar
Master of Realmslore

USA
1615 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  01:59:21  Show Profile Send scererar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
mostly old. Can't beat Elmore, Easley, and Caldwell Art. I do like many of the newer covers as well though.

"Yap,yap, little dog!" - Riven - page 326 Shadowbred, by Paul Kemp

_________________________

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Arion Elenim
Senior Scribe

933 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  02:28:43  Show Profile  Visit Arion Elenim's Homepage  Click to see Arion Elenim's MSN Messenger address Send Arion Elenim a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We now have a black (not pink!) Drizzt. How can that not be better? :)

My latest Realms-based short story, about a bard, a paladin of Lathander and the letter of the law, Debts Repaid. It takes place before the "shattering" and gives the bard Arion a last gasp before he plunges into the present.http://candlekeep.com/campaign/logs/log-debts.htm
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GRYPHON
Senior Scribe

USA
520 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  08:36:56  Show Profile  Visit GRYPHON's Homepage Send GRYPHON a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The older stuff is more to my liking...
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  09:03:38  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I loved Elmore's original cover for The Crystal Shard, as it was not only incredibly detailed, but relatively subtle and low-key compared to all the swashbuckling and spellbound covers of the other books at the time. Less was more.

But Caldwell's "Yosemite Sam"-esque Bruenor is a classic.

Lockwood's stuff is miles and miles beyond Easley's old-man Drizzt, but I still wish somebody could help him to make his pics match the little details in the text even more accurately. While the earlier editions' cover artists had the excuse of being commissioned to do the art before the books had even been published yet, Lockwood doesn't really have that excuse. True, he still almost certainly has too little time to read every book he's asked to paint for, but even then...

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
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<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  12:05:16  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BEAST

I loved Elmore's original cover for The Crystal Shard, as it was not only incredibly detailed, but relatively subtle and low-key compared to all the swashbuckling and spellbound covers of the other books at the time. Less was more.




Have to agree on that. From that trilogy though, of the three original art pieces, the one for Streams of SIlver was my fav (Bruenor just looked pissed!!)

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

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Zapato
Seeker

Netherlands
38 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  13:18:27  Show Profile Send Zapato a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I voted new, like Dagnirion said: "80s-esque"

It's a bit like when I played Baldur's gate II and Neverwinter Nights all those years ago. When I created my character, I put most of my time in choosing the portrait that 'sucked the least' ("They can't ALL be THAT ugly can't they?").

Thing is.. I'm not just a big fan of Forgotten Realms but all roleplaying in general, including those wel known japanese RPG's. However that doesn't mean I want my guys to look like girls and my girls to look like porn stars. But there are limits.. and most old Forgotten Realms art makes my eyes bleed, sorry

Good:
http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/f/f1/Artemis_and_Drizzt_-_Todd_Lockwood.jpg
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/4/47/Crown_of_Fire2.jpg
http://img.jeuxvideo.fr/photo/00009153.jpg

Bad:
http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/e/e9/Imoen_-_Baldur%27s_Gate_1.jpg
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/2/29/Siege_of_Darkness.jpg
http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/6/65/Exile_cover.jpg

Guess it's a generation gap or something

EDIT: However there is ONE exception http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/4/45/Streams_of_silver_cover.jpg
Bruenor was just an awsome character.

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women."
-Conan the barbarian on what is best in life

Edited by - Zapato on 09 Dec 2008 14:54:17
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3079 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  14:00:37  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I honestly can't vote on this... I love the old fiction covers, with Elmore 'defining' the look of D&D for my youth, while the new Lockwood paintings are just masterpieces in their own right. Meanwhile, I think the design of the 3.0/3.5 Realms RPG products did a terrific job of selling the setting and showing it's uniqueness from the D&D core (in contrast, the Eberron RPG books get 'lost' in their design compared to the core books).

I also have to agree with the Space Hamster on a lot of the new artwork on the fiction books. A lot of the books have art that looks like they painted it with watercolor, then ran it under the faucet for a bit, creating too much blur and not enough definition.

And yes, 'old man Drizzt' was something that was just wrong. Especially with the 12-year old Catti-brie on Starless Night.

Edit: Found a link.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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Edited by - Ashe Ravenheart on 09 Dec 2008 14:01:58
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  14:50:05  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart
And yes, 'old man Drizzt' was something that was just wrong. Especially with the 12-year old Catti-brie on Starless Night.

Edit: Found a link.



YUCK

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
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ranger_of_the_unicorn_run
Learned Scribe

USA
292 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  15:19:55  Show Profile Send ranger_of_the_unicorn_run a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I actually have the collected series on The Dark Elf Trilogy and Legacy of the Drow so I have never seen some of these. However, I really like some of the old Elmore covers. I also like the Moonshae covers, the earlier anthologies and I love the covers of the Finder's Stone trilogy. To me, the somewhat fuzzy looking pictures of heroes striking heroic poses is what fantasy artwork should be like. I guess I'm subconsciously influenced by Frazetta or something.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31518 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  16:07:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Though I generally do prefer the old artwork, there are some exceptions -- and a lot of those were the Drizzt covers after the original trilogy. He does look like an old man in that one pic, and I never understood where that funky gold headpiece came from...

And though Elmore got Drizzt's skintone wrong on the cover of The Crystal Shard, that remains one of my all-time favorite Realms covers. It's just an incredible bit of artwork.
http://www.o-love.net/realms/covers_large/pic_ice1.jpg

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 09 Dec 2008 16:10:50
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Alisttair
Great Reader

Canada
3054 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  16:18:20  Show Profile  Visit Alisttair's Homepage  Click to see Alisttair's MSN Messenger address Send Alisttair a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Though I generally do prefer the old artwork, there are some exceptions -- and a lot of those were the Drizzt covers after the original trilogy. He does look like an old man in that one pic, and I never understood where that funky gold headpiece came from...

And though Elmore got Drizzt's skintone wrong on the cover of The Crystal Shard, that remains one of my all-time favorite Realms covers. It's just an incredible bit of artwork.
http://www.o-love.net/realms/covers_large/pic_ice1.jpg



Yeah the skintone is the only problem I have with that one also. Overall it is a masterpiece.

Karsite Arcanar (Most Holy Servant of Karsus)

Anauria - Survivor State of Netheril as penned by me:
http://www.dmsguild.com/m/product/172023
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Arion Elenim
Senior Scribe

933 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  18:46:04  Show Profile  Visit Arion Elenim's Homepage  Click to see Arion Elenim's MSN Messenger address Send Arion Elenim a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just don't understand why the skin tone was SUCH an issue for artists. Somebody in the know (Salvatore?) said that it had a lot to do with the fact that black skin is 'harder' to draw. Since Lockwood fixed the issue so brilliantly, I have to wonder why the artists TSR hired could never quite it get it right, let alone why instead of giving the drow brown skin or gray skin opted with PINK.

Another boon of WOTC, I s'pose.

My latest Realms-based short story, about a bard, a paladin of Lathander and the letter of the law, Debts Repaid. It takes place before the "shattering" and gives the bard Arion a last gasp before he plunges into the present.http://candlekeep.com/campaign/logs/log-debts.htm
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ranger_of_the_unicorn_run
Learned Scribe

USA
292 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  19:07:03  Show Profile Send ranger_of_the_unicorn_run a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It probably had something to do with the fact that they use computers to alter the art now. They didn't have the same level of editing technology before, so artists would have to do an oil painting or something along those lines pretty much without computer help. Now some artists create the entire work on a computer. Some things are just harder to paint without editing help.
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3079 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  19:23:21  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, remember that in those days printing was not digital either. A big problem was the 'bleed' factor of really dark colors.

Even Lockwood's pictures aren't as dark as a dark elf should be. You can only go so far with a dark base before you lose the contrast lines to develop shape and depth. And the only way to do so with pure black is to use lighter tones as the contrast lines, which leads to the image taking on the 'film negative' look.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31518 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  19:44:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Arion Elenim

I just don't understand why the skin tone was SUCH an issue for artists. Somebody in the know (Salvatore?) said that it had a lot to do with the fact that black skin is 'harder' to draw. Since Lockwood fixed the issue so brilliantly, I have to wonder why the artists TSR hired could never quite it get it right, let alone why instead of giving the drow brown skin or gray skin opted with PINK.

Another boon of WOTC, I s'pose.



But I don't buy that argument, because we have some old TSR artwork that shows black-skinned drow. http://home.flash.net/~brenfrow/gh/gh-wg12.htm

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Arion Elenim
Senior Scribe

933 Posts

Posted - 09 Dec 2008 :  20:42:27  Show Profile  Visit Arion Elenim's Homepage  Click to see Arion Elenim's MSN Messenger address Send Arion Elenim a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well if I recall, Salvatore once said the infamous "Clint Eastwood" cover from The Legacy occured due to a misunderstanding between his take that Drizzt needed to look "mature" and the artist's intrepretations...

Where the earrings, muttonchops and pink flesh came from, none have said.

My latest Realms-based short story, about a bard, a paladin of Lathander and the letter of the law, Debts Repaid. It takes place before the "shattering" and gives the bard Arion a last gasp before he plunges into the present.http://candlekeep.com/campaign/logs/log-debts.htm
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scererar
Master of Realmslore

USA
1615 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2008 :  02:11:30  Show Profile Send scererar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Though I generally do prefer the old artwork, there are some exceptions -- and a lot of those were the Drizzt covers after the original trilogy. He does look like an old man in that one pic, and I never understood where that funky gold headpiece came from...

And though Elmore got Drizzt's skintone wrong on the cover of The Crystal Shard, that remains one of my all-time favorite Realms covers. It's just an incredible bit of artwork.
http://www.o-love.net/realms/covers_large/pic_ice1.jpg



+1. This was one of the novels that first drew my attention to FR

"Yap,yap, little dog!" - Riven - page 326 Shadowbred, by Paul Kemp

_________________________

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
- J. R. R. Tolkien
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scererar
Master of Realmslore

USA
1615 Posts

Posted - 10 Dec 2008 :  02:12:47  Show Profile Send scererar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

I honestly can't vote on this... I love the old fiction covers, with Elmore 'defining' the look of D&D for my youth, while the new Lockwood paintings are just masterpieces in their own right. Meanwhile, I think the design of the 3.0/3.5 Realms RPG products did a terrific job of selling the setting and showing it's uniqueness from the D&D core (in contrast, the Eberron RPG books get 'lost' in their design compared to the core books).

I also have to agree with the Space Hamster on a lot of the new artwork on the fiction books. A lot of the books have art that looks like they painted it with watercolor, then ran it under the faucet for a bit, creating too much blur and not enough definition.

And yes, 'old man Drizzt' was something that was just wrong. Especially with the 12-year old Catti-brie on Starless Night.

Edit: Found a link.



now I concider this cover "new" art. I am getting old I imagine we are talking pre and post 3E art

"Yap,yap, little dog!" - Riven - page 326 Shadowbred, by Paul Kemp

_________________________

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
- J. R. R. Tolkien
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