I sat down to watch this this other day just wanting something I didn’t really have to think about while I watched it, and I thought plus I can see a bunch of cool art that I grew up with. It was all that and more. I got lost in the fantasy art of my youth and the stories of the people who created it. In some cases I finally had faces to names I had seen written in hidden corners or empty sections of paintings for years.
The documentary opens with DMs and Players talking about what they love about the game and how the art helps facilitate the storytelling, and then I felt like I was swept up in the birth of a genre of art and how its evolution changed the landscape of fantasy art today as we know it. Going back to Frank Frazetta and then the early days of TSR and seeing all of the early Dungeons and Dragons art. I was a kid again experiencing all of this that I had seen on the shelves at Waldenbooks when I was lucky enough to go to the mall and peruse the fantasy and gaming section of the store.
The artists tell of the early days working at TSR. They described it like a bunch of pals hanging out everyday messing with each other and creating the art that defined fantasy settings for millions of people. I was and still am a huge fan of Larry Elmore so, getting to hear him talk about art that I couldn’t fathom producing as if its in his eyes never perfect was almost mind numbing. If you get a chance check out this documentary if only for the amazing art.