Picture Thursday 2: Battle with Trogdolytes by Darlene Pekul

Battle with Trogdolytes, from the back cover of "In Search of the Unknown," drawn by Darlene PekulDarlene Pekul is responsible for a lot of artwork in AD&D. In addition to the iconic unicorn which graces the inside cover of the Dungeon Master’s Guide, Darlene’s loopy signature shows up a few dozen more times elsewhere in the book, as well as on other products from that period. And while her personal website is down as of this writing, it had a lot of cool stuff on it when it was online. Hopefully it comes back soon. [Edit: It is back online, and you should check it out!]

I particularly like this piece from the back cover of In Search of the Unknown, because I love snapshots of adventuring parties. These characters aren’t iconic. You don’t know who they are, why they’re fighting Troglodytes, or even what class they belong to. The characters have no established personalities or traits. They are expressed entirely through this piece of artwork, which gives the viewer a lot of leeway to imagine.

I also like that the majority of party members in this piece appear to be women. Rock on, Darlene!

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2 thoughts on “Picture Thursday 2: Battle with Trogdolytes by Darlene Pekul”

  1. That is such a familiar image to me, I owned Search for the Unknown – it made no sense to me as a kid, but I bought it based entirely on the art.

    I enjoy images of adventurers from the 80’s as well they look pretty rough and not equipped with fancy stuff. Like destitute fools ready to investigate the forgotten and demon haunted ruins.

    1. I know how you feel about oldschool fantasy art. Even though the lines are a little sketchier, and the anatomy a little wonkier than the art found in most modern books, there is a quality to pieces like this which has been lost. Something which fundamentally connects to the game.

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