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Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual…
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Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History (edition 2018)

by Michael Witwer (Author)

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204597,886 (4.58)None
An illustrated guide to the history and evolution of the beloved role-playing game told through the paintings, sketches, illustrations, and visual ephemera behind its creation, growth, and continued popularity. FINALIST FOR THE HUGO AWARD * FINALIST FOR THE LOCUS AWARD * NOMINATED FOR THE DIANA JONES AWARD From one of the most iconic game brands in the world, this official DUNGEONS & DRAGONS illustrated history provides an unprecedented look at the visual evolution of the brand, showing its continued influence on the worlds of pop culture and fantasy. Inside the book, you'll find more than seven hundred pieces of artwork--from each edition of the core role-playing books, supplements, and adventures; as well as Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance novels; decades of Dragon and Dungeon magazines; and classic advertisements and merchandise; plus never-before-seen sketches, large-format canvases, rare photographs, one-of-a-kind drafts, and more from the now-famous designers and artists associated with DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. The superstar author team gained unparalleled access to the archives of Wizards of the Coast and the personal collections of top collectors, as well as the designers and illustrators who created the distinctive characters, concepts, and visuals that have defined fantasy art and gameplay for generations. This is the most comprehensive collection of D&D imagery ever assembled, making this the ultimate collectible for the game's millions of fans around the world.… (more)
Member:ValhallaStar
Title:Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History
Authors:Michael Witwer (Author)
Info:Ten Speed Press (2018), 448 pages
Collections:Your library
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Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History by Michael Witwer

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Showing 5 of 5
Put me in the "loved it" category. Yes, in the final few pages there was quite a lot of "at last, we've achieved gaming rules perfection," but up until that point the authors seemed quite open-minded about the plusses and deficiencies of the company and its games throughout its history. And oh, the art!

It's a large book (both in size of each page and number of pages) so it can (a) display the art at a decent scale, and (b) show quite a lot of it, while (c) including enough text so that you do feel you're reading a history, and not merely viewing a coffee table book of pretty pictures.

I pretty much devoured the first half in a single (long) sitting, then polished off the rest in stolen moments over the next two days. There's no better compliment to a book than that I'd rather be reading it than anything else.

(Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s). ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Oct 13, 2020 |
Sumptuous and well-written, this is an absolute gem of a book, a love letter from fanboys to the creators and inheritors of D&D and its many millions of players. ( )
  threegirldad | Apr 26, 2020 |
Whether you're in it for the text or just the pretty pictures, this is a great read for any and all with exposure to D&D. As a relatively unexperienced player, I really enjoyed the completeness of the history of the game, and the modern fantasy industry in general.

Having grown up in the post 2000's, a veritable golden age of fantasy, some of the challenges faced by the initial game designers were baffling. What do you mean, you couldn't just google pictures of dragons? elves? D&D sold copyrights to shrinky dinks and viewfinders?

Outside of the artwork, this book also gives a solid understanding of the underlying canon of D&D lore. While I've played several home-brew campaigns, and am familiar with the 5th edition mechanics, the published worlds and lore were unknown. I enjoyed learning about their creation - as creative content and marketing campaigns - and how the original elements have kept through to today.

---
Received a free copy in a giveaway. ( )
  Pascale1812 | Apr 16, 2020 |
This massive tome delves into the history of D&D through its visual form: the stunning fantasy artwork throughout the years (though perhaps less stunning early on). The quality of the book itself is incredible. I bought the B&N exclusive edition and I forget how exactly it was supposed to vary from the standard, but I loved the color throughout and the fold-out pages that often had things like dungeon maps were a nice touch.

Dragonlance was my big obsession through my teens, and I was happy to see it given necessary attention--and especially that much of that went to Larry Elmore. I have adored his art since I was 12 and own a number of his prints. I was irked by mixed up character names at one point in the Dragonlance section (mix up Caramon and Tanis? How?!), but that was the only such error that stood out to me. ( )
  ladycato | Sep 13, 2019 |
“Art and Arcana offers glorious illustrations, fascinating backstories, and the occasional painful misstep of a franchise entering its 40th year.”

You can read the rest of my review at the New York Journal of Books:

https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book-review/dungeons-and-dragons ( )
1 vote kswolff | Dec 16, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Witwerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Newman, KyleAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Peterson, JonAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Witwer, SamAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Manganiello, JoeForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, LizzieDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elmore, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Legarte, Leonaborder illustrationssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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An illustrated guide to the history and evolution of the beloved role-playing game told through the paintings, sketches, illustrations, and visual ephemera behind its creation, growth, and continued popularity. FINALIST FOR THE HUGO AWARD * FINALIST FOR THE LOCUS AWARD * NOMINATED FOR THE DIANA JONES AWARD From one of the most iconic game brands in the world, this official DUNGEONS & DRAGONS illustrated history provides an unprecedented look at the visual evolution of the brand, showing its continued influence on the worlds of pop culture and fantasy. Inside the book, you'll find more than seven hundred pieces of artwork--from each edition of the core role-playing books, supplements, and adventures; as well as Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance novels; decades of Dragon and Dungeon magazines; and classic advertisements and merchandise; plus never-before-seen sketches, large-format canvases, rare photographs, one-of-a-kind drafts, and more from the now-famous designers and artists associated with DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. The superstar author team gained unparalleled access to the archives of Wizards of the Coast and the personal collections of top collectors, as well as the designers and illustrators who created the distinctive characters, concepts, and visuals that have defined fantasy art and gameplay for generations. This is the most comprehensive collection of D&D imagery ever assembled, making this the ultimate collectible for the game's millions of fans around the world.

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