• March 2021
    S M T W T F S
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
  • On Facebook

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Comic Blog Elite

    Comic Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

My First Larry Elmore Dragonlance Prints

To say that Larry Elmore is my favorite Dragonlance artist would probably be an understatement. To say that he is THE definitive such artist would be muuuuuch more accurate.

At least to me.

dragonlance_prints_framed

Way back in 1995, I was at a used books store with Mom. We were visiting my grandparents, and it was a shop that Grandpa frequented…and that I remember Mom liking to visit when we were there.

I’d then-recently been introduced to Magic: The Gathering and Netrunner through other guys in my Boy Scouts Troop. I was also aware of D&D, I think. And I came across a Greyhawk book–I believe it was a vol. 2, by Rose Estes (amazing that I remember that name after all these years, especially for a book I did NOT get!). [OK, apparently it was a #3, as 1 & 2 were written by Gygax. And it was Greyhawk Adventures.]

Near, or next to the Greyhawk book(s) were a couple other books, for something called "Dragonlance." Where the other did not have a volume 1 present, these had books 1 & 2. And whatever other context…I got to leave that store with two new books, set in some fantasy setting that perhaps I thought would "impress" the other guys, or give me more "insight" or even let me introduce them to something…who knows.

The books were Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Winter Night.

dragonlance_prints_autumn

Autumn Twilight began my journeys through Krynn, and over 25 years later still holds a key spot in my heart/nostalgia. It introduced me to Tanis Half-Elvin, Flint Fireforge, Sturm Brightblade, Goldmoon, Riverwind, Tasselhoff Burrfoot, Caramon and Raistlin Majere…Kitiara, Tika, Laurana, and so on.

This group of friends that came back together after five years apart. At 14, that was more than a third of my lifetime, and I barely had any conscious reference point for it. (Now as of this typing, 5 years goes back to early-2016, and I’m farrrr more consciously aware of the block of time 5 years is, as well as how it’s both a long time and yet also not all that long, especially when it comes to bonds of friendship).

dragonlance_prints_winter

I went pretty much right from Autumn Twilight into Winter Night as I recall. But I did not have Spring Dawning right away. So for a chunk of time, I only experienced 2/3rds of the original, core story.

Of course, it wasn’t that long til I was able to read it; along with the Legends trilogy (the first three making up the Chronicles trilogy). And using Christmas money from my grandmother, I got a "collector’s edition" volume that collected all 3 of the Legends books into a single book, with another iconic, favorite piece of art.

And somewhere in those "early days" of my Dragonlance experience, one of the guys from scouts shared some images with me that he had. I recognized some of them then–from these books, as well as from various cards in the TSR ccg Spellfire. But one in particular stood out to me: with zero prep and a single glance, with no captions or anything, I immediately recognized exactly who the character was, and full context of the scene…the very moment it represented. A rather iconic scene from Winter Night with Laurana, Sturm, and Kitiara.


Which is all just scratching the surface of my thoughts and memories.

But the art from those book covers? Larry Elmore.

That image that conveyed that specific moment from the book, that fit description and imagination in the same way I later heard tell of why scenes in The Lord of the Rings were done as they were?

Also Larry Elmore.

And for years now, I’ve been aware of the artist’s website and that one could order prints of some of these key pieces of art. Hardly like owning "original art," but still a way to own large versions without book/publisher trade dress and such…and certainly suitable for framing and hanging. "Actual art," not just some generic poster or some such.

But after procrastinating and never quite pulling the trigger…earlier this year I decided to go for it. Wasn’t about to order all the prints I’d want, but had realized that was part of my issue…so much of my favorite Dragonlance art is his…and since I couldn’t order it all at once, I ended up not ordering any.

And while the Test of the Twins is absolutely another I’d love to have, I’d decided I was going to be able to get two prints for present.

So it went back to the very beginning for me.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Winter Night.

The prints themselves are a bit "lighter" than I expected, "brighter" in a way and not as "dark" as I had in my mind’s eye…but that’s likely largely due to having a white border rather than the dark red fading into black, or dark blue into black. Also a fact of being larger, and being mass "prints" that may or may not be directly from the original art in a way the 1980s’ editions of the novels were.

The prints are something like 18" by 19 3/4" and it does not seem that any standard frame sizes include those exact dimensions nor even slightly larger for 18"x20". While on the one hand, I shouldn’t be concerned with frame price for what I paid for these two prints–even "on sale"–I knew I was not intending to go the "custom frame" route nor looking for anything big or expensive at present, period.

Then after seeing a photo someone posted in a Facebook group I’m in showing one of these prints in a larger frame, I realized it wouldn’t look as "off" as I’d thought…and snagged these poster frames and got my prints framed.

Next step is to actually get them hung or mounted…though I also have a couple of TMNT posters to pick up from a friend and get framed that will also need a home, so we’ll see where stuff winds up!

dragonlance_prints_blogtrailer

Booking Through Thursday: Cheating

imageDo you cheat and peek at the ends of books? (Come on, be honest.)

superman075For the most part, no. If I don’t already know the ending, I don’t want to know it ahead of time. The only reasons I really ever have to “peek at the end” of a book is to check the pagecount of the story itself (doing my darnedest to view the page number while forcing myself to NOT visually register the words on the page) or to see if there’s a “preview chapter” of some other book lumped at the end that’ll throw me off by a couple dozen pages with the true end of the book hitting too soon.

Now, the main exceptions come from graphic novels. At the bookstores or occasionally comic shops, if there’s tons of internet buzz and no one’s spoiling online, I might take a peek to see what the hype’s all about. I also have the problem occasionally with hardcovers, where I’ll remove the dust jacket so I can carry the book around and not worry about the DJ getting screwed up. Occasionally while pulling it away from the back side of the book, I’ll wind up catching a glimpse of a page or two at the back, which might grab my attention just enough to see what, exactly, is going on there.

The other primary exception comes if I’m trying to determine if I’ve already read something—such as a Star Trek novel I may or may not have read 15 years ago…I may look at the end to see if I remember it, as I have an easier time recalling endings than I do beginnings.

endersgamemmpbANECDOTE: If you’ve read Ender’s Game, you know that that has a doozy of an ending. It’s that ending that draws me back to the book on occasion (and partially influenced me on Ender’s Shadow a couple years back). Early in college, a friend was telling me about the book, and I convinced him to sum it up for me, as I didn’t see getting around to reading it. Sounded interesting, but having been told, I mentally filed it away as one of those things, and life went on.

A couple years later, for some reason or another, I happened to get a copy of the book, and got pulled in enough to read the whole thing. And I was blown away by the ending…only later realizing that this was THAT book my friend had told me about. And here I was “lucky” enough to not have made the connection, so I was still taken by surprise.

DragonsofAutumnTwilightIt’s this sort of phenomena that causes me to see re-reading books as a bit of an analogy for the time-travel experience, were it not fiction.

Having read the book, if you go back and re-read it…you’re traveling to the past, and re-joining characters who don’t yet know what’s going to happen…but as the reader…you DO know what’s going to happen. Or at least, have access to it. Of course, you can’t change what’s going to happen…but you’re aware of it.

Yet, there are details that slip away, and you might only remember the broad strokes and biggest players.

highlordskiesI’m near the end of Dragons of the Highlord Skies, and something’s just happened to a couple characters that has me on-edge, as I’d swear this isn’t something that happened to them, and I thought I remembered them doing something else. But this book delves back to a time between-pages of Dragons of Winter Night, which I haven’t actually read in a decade or more now…so I may be thinking of other characters.

Just as, if someone were to travel back 100 years…they might know big details, broad strokes…but not have any clue of what roles people play in the smaller stuff.

But I digress from the topic at hand.

%d bloggers like this: