A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

06 April 2011

E is for Erol Otus

Erol Otus is an American artist and game designer, known most notably for his work in the early days of Dungeons and Dragons. I would dare say that he should be called legendary. Back in the day, you couldn't swing the metaphoric cat through a D&D product without hitting one of his pieces, either on the cover or inside the book.

Yes, he was that prolific.

And no, I never have actually tried to swing a cat through a book. It might be messy.

Mr. Otus was there with me from the beginning of my addiction habit obsession love for gaming. His art graced the first products I owned. The front of the box itself and the back of the module inside

These pictures both spoke to me on a deep, visceral level as well as to my creativity and imagination. To me, his particular peculiar style defines what D&D was in those days: bold, colorful, quirky, and slightly overfull with tentacles.

And I mean that in a good way.

Erol Otus loved tentacle-y things. For example:
A group of aliens from Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. Yes. I said "aliens." In D&D. And yes, they're standing in an elevator.

His depiction of a roper.

and a depiction of the "deity" Shub-Niggurath.

Even when he wasn't drawing things with tentacles, his pictures still seemed to come out a bit tentacle-y. Don't take this as a complaint, though, neither as a criticism; not by any means. It is simply an observation, a comment upon his style. For Erol Otus has an unmistakable style--it is impossible to confuse him with anyone else. I have seen some modern artists attempt to mimic his style, but no one pulls it off with the same amount of class and skill.

At any rate, tentacles or no, with the passing of so many of the Old School masters in the last several years, it is good to know that the world still benefits and is brightened by the continuing work of an artist like Erol Otus.

May your ink be ever wet and your nibs always sharp, Mr. Otus. Salute!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...