I have to admit that doing an art review on any Dragon Magazine is a tough proposition because the bulk of the pages are filled with rather stunning gaming advertisements. Still, there are three features that you can be assured are always reviewable with the magazine, the cover, the articles, and the comics.
Today, I’ll be looking over Dragon Magazine #103.
Obviously, the first thing that is going to catch your eye about this particular issue is the stunning cover by artist Robert Pritchard back in 1984 [the issue itself is from November 1985]. I don’t know much about Pritchard, but his rendition of a blue dragon mother with crystal eggs really hits a creative sweet spot with me. I’m not really sure about the party of adventurers involved here, but the lightning works, as does the color choice of the artist. The people are stiff, and the composition makes almost no sense, but overall the art for art’s grandeur works.
Inside, I’m happy to report two of my favorite artists appear predominantly in the black and white illustrations for articles on the Gnomes of Krynn and Centaurs.
Artist Larry Elmore does a fine job providing his gold standard pen work for both the Krynn piece and of course his Snarfquest comic that appears in the back pages.
Aside from Larry I got the pleasure of some of Roger Raupp’s work on both Centaurs as well as some Star Frontiers Saurian art featured in the Ares section of the magazine. Truly, anything that features a lethal combat with some Sathar gets an ‘A’ in my book. Just stupendous, and I have to say Roger is one of my absolute favorite TSR freelancers during the mid-1980s. Simply a solid performer wherever I see his stunning work in black and white.
Overall, this issues doesn’t overwhelm, but it holds its own, and that is sometimes good enough.
Artistic Rating: 2.5 [out of 5]