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Italian Archmage Karsus
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 04 Dec 2023 :  23:57:55  Show Profile Send Italian Archmage Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi, I'm trying to figure out the artist for every card in TSR's TCGs. It's been kinda tough.

There are five card sets I've been able to identify so far. Of them, only Blood Wars has a list of every card with its artist.
1. Monster Stat Cards
2. AD&D Trading Cards
3. Spellfire
4. Blood Wars

Set 1 (Monster Stat Cards) has a limited number of artists, but it's still a lot of guesswork as to who drew each card art that was not signed.
Set 2 (AD&D Trading Cards) is egregious in the extreme. The 1991 set has some art I've been able to nail to its proper source with some persistence, but more than half is new art in unfamiliar styles that don't turn up again. The 1992 and 1993 sets are almost completely made of unfamiliar art. Hell, I've been able to identify cards made by Dale "slade" Henson, yet I can't find art credits for literally any of them.
Set 3 (Spellfire) is even worse.
Set 4 (Blood Wars) had online credits for its artists. Thankfully it's the only one that has them.

Short of getting in touch with Jim Ward (set 1991) or David Wise (Set 1992-1993), I am not sure how to figure out the artists for each AD&D Trading Card. And there's a lot of them that would look pretty cool in the wiki, or in fact, just about anywhere, just not cool at all if left uncredited. Artists *should* have been credited.

Any ideas?

Karthak
Seeker

63 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2023 :  09:49:39  Show Profile Send Karthak a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's kind of a long shot, but maybe try contacting LordGosumba on twitter, https://twitter.com/LGosumba

He's mostly focused on greyhawk, but he's probably a good contact due to all the people who he's chatted with that were involved with making d&d, it's possible that one of them has information or those sets of cards and might know the artists names.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7982 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2023 :  15:15:13  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/AD%26D_Trading_Cards
https://waynesbooks.games/2022/08/15/add-collector-trading-cards-1991-3-silver-gold-and-ruby-oh-my/

"The cards featured monsters, NPCs, or items, with art pulled from TSR archives or commissioned specifically for the card project. On the reverse side were the stats."

I do recognize many of the images from all sorts of other AD&D products. Some have been cropped or edited in some fashion to focus on the subject in a generic context.

I also recognize some specific images by Clyde Caldwell and Larry Elmore and Keith Parkinson which I haven't seen in any published AD&D products. So I'm guessing that they submitted collections of random illustrations which TSR/WotC used (for card games, etc) as they saw fit. And I'm guessing that if you lookup the websites of other known AD&D artists then you might be able to match images from their works.

https://orkerhulen.dk/legendary-d-amp-d-artists
https://www.enworld.org/threads/best-1e-ad-d-artist.701430/
https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Artists

FWIW, my favourite AD&D artists are probably Tony DiTerlizzi and Eric Campanella (who may or may not have worked for WotC), the guys who basically defined the visual theme for Planescape and for Planescape: Torment. I'm not into Magic: The Gathering or post-3E products so I'm probably missing out on a lot of good artists and illustrations.

[/Ayrik]
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Italian Archmage Karsus
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 11 Dec 2023 :  21:45:26  Show Profile Send Italian Archmage Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, Ayrik, I'm already doing that - a lot of that art came from covers, including a few Endless Quest ones. I'm writing those down as I identify them, but damn it's slow, especially since I'm only familiar with the FR covers, the others stump me more often than not. The unsigned, fresh art, however, is stumping me.

I've identified at least one artist - I strongly suspect much of it was Robin Raab's art, but I can't be entirely sure of that, BECAUSE it was unsigned, and much of it feels quite samey with the signed art.
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Karthak
Seeker

63 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2023 :  10:52:26  Show Profile Send Karthak a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll keep looking, but here's what I've been able to find about the Monster Stat Cards set thanks to an ENWorld post on the Zorbo pointing me to Dragon Magazine #61, hopefully it's useful info.


From Dragon Magazine #61 - page 51

For the record, the new monsters and their creators are: Zorbo (Allen Hammack), Grippli (Brian Pitzer), and Mishtu
(Dave Cook) in Set 1; Galeb Duhr (Mike Price), Land Urchin (Brian Pitzer & V.J. Koffler), and Thri-Kreen (Paul Reiche III) in
Set 2; Sea Wolf (Lawrence Schick), Tunnel Worm, and Wemic (both by Dave Sutherland) in Set 3; Hybsil (Dave Sutherland),
Korred (Harold Johnson), and Obliviax Moss (Lawrence Schick) in Set 4.

Artists who contributed to the project include Jim Holloway, Harry Quinn, Jim Roslof, Steve Sullivan, Dave LaForce, Darlene
Pekul, Jeff Dee, Bill Willingham, and Erol Otus. The portraits they painted are shown on the next two pages, in dimensions
one-third as large as the actual cards.
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Italian Archmage Karsus
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 13 Dec 2023 :  22:42:22  Show Profile Send Italian Archmage Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, I already have that information, Karthak, thank you. It's only so helpful, but the main thrust of my problem is in the trading cards now, and then spellfire.

Edited by - Italian Archmage Karsus on 13 Dec 2023 22:43:33
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Italian Archmage Karsus
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2023 :  14:06:46  Show Profile Send Italian Archmage Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, made a teensy discovery.

Some of the blank background cards are part of other art. 743 and 744 in series 1991 for instance are from Clyde Caldwell's "The Principalities of Glantri".

I thought they were bespoke pieces, but they aren't! I should keep an eye out for such things in the future. Also will be inquiring what's the deal with that with CC himself, if he deigns himself answer.

EDIT: So before I asked, found out... he sells something on his site called "color preliminaries", so apparently such art exists on his part.

The big problem is going to be figuring out which ones are his'. It's his rendering style that's characteristic; I can't ID his art with a color preliminary.

Edited by - Italian Archmage Karsus on 16 Dec 2023 14:10:29
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Italian Archmage Karsus
Learned Scribe

124 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2024 :  16:18:59  Show Profile Send Italian Archmage Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A Big Damn Update, thanks to Karthak who found the Spellfire card credits in Spellfire Reference Guide. I made a website for Series 1991, showing where each card was, for the ones I've been able to spot so far.
https://italiankarsus.github.io/ADnDCards1991/

Also, I noticed two of them were obvious traces from Caldwell art, but identical images are credited to Robin Raab on the Spellfire Reference Guide. The ones credited to RR that are traces from Caldwell are all white background; I suspect that Robin Raab was asked to trace Caldwell pictures into a white background, and thus, maybe all the white background ones in the set should be credited to Raab. There are other arts of RR, original ones, I don't know if they were taken from elsewhere. They might just be, or might not be... my search for RR continues.
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