Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Ads Of The Dragon Issue 55

I don't have to tell you how awesome my players are, I've mentioned that numerous times here at the Home Brew. Clay, who is now running our Savage Worlds game, picked up this little relic from his home state of Nebraska. Cover by Erol Otus no less too!

Now I'm sure we've all walked through the pages of Dragon Magazines loaded with classic treasures and anecdotes of bygone eras and this one is no different. A great little article by Gygax about his 200+ page Temple of Elemental Evil Module (release date pushed to early 1982), there's a great little Basic D&D dungeon, and dinosaurs galore. This issue falls just after that imaginary border-line of the Dragon when it began to be more of a promotion for AD&D and less about OD& D (great post about this over at Original Editions).

But what I always find more interesting in these 'vintage' magazine (comics and pulps too) are the ads. For all you sociologists out there, the ads can give you a great snapshot of the underlying culture surrounding the publication.

Let's take a look, shall we? (click to enbiggen)
Great little ad illustration by Gene Day for a Wild West RPG.

I love all of the ads for the hobby shops carrying RPG products. Truly a golden age!
And you thought Play By Post took forever!
Get you geek on with a cool dragon tee-shirt then get beat up wearing a not-so-cool Unicorn belt buckle.

I don't think I ever knew what the flip this was. It looked ugly as hell. But it was a gaming aid so it couldn't be all that bad, right?
Back cover ad for some old school computer gaming action!
(Check out James' Crush, Crumble and Chomp Epyx ad)

And finally, this beautiful ad for White Dwarf illustrated by Emmanuel, cover artist for The Fiend Folio (and new banner image for The Warlock's Home Brew).


  1. Wow, issue 55 was the first Dragon I ever owned; I think it was an xmas gift in fact. What weird cover too! I think that one, or maybe 54, also had an extended poem about a dude canoing thru a hostile swamp, with pictures of trees with faces.

  2. "Cover by Moldvay no less too!"

    Actually, that cover is by Erol Otus, who also illustrated the cover of the Moldvay edition of Basic D&D. :)

    @mikemonaco: Hey, issue 55 was the first Dragon I ever owned as well! Great memories...

  3. Also, I love that Emmanuel picture!

  4. Moldvay! Otus! What was I thinking??
    I think I just lost some old school cred!
    I'd like to blame that on cramming this post in at work but there's no excuse for that mistake!
    A No Prize for you Akrasia!

  5. Bliss: Hahahaha, on your wife sending you after the asparagus monsters. You're a good husband.

    I ate mine with scrambled egg and jalapenos. Oh yeah, and hot pepper cheese. It was nummy.

  6. "A great little article by Gygax about his 200+ page Temple of Elemental Evil Module (release date pushed to early 1982"

    I just went back and looked at the issue. Crazy grognard could have been list he lays out there: Castle Greyhawk with Rob Kuntz, the City, and the Temple. Sad that other things derailed this.

  7. @chutalik - yeah I thought that was a very interesting article. Also note that Gary copyrighted the article to himself.

  8. Glad you are enjoying the mag! Also, Im digging the new look for the site!

  9. Damn, man, that's a walk down memory lane!!

  10. Good times Good times

    That Wild West RPG brings back a memory or two. I think I am one of the few people who have actually played the game. I tell you it was a bit of a challenge playing with a group where half had never seen a Western.

    I can't say more than that though as I won't tell you about my character (nobody likes that) and I don't remember the mechanics much.

    Amusingly its also one of the few games FGU published that is actually out of print so it must not be all that either.