The Other Red Box

Quest for the lost city of Empyrea in Frank Mentzer's Aquaria Setting.
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The Other Red Box

Post by ExTSR » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:18 pm

The Other Red Box

Once upon a time, the TSR folks decided in the early 1980s that the D&D Game had gotten SO big that it could be sold in mass-market retail stores and book stores.

That meant a lot of changes. Tom Moldvay's great new Basic set had only been out 2 years but had to have new artworks at least, probably a whole new edition, to match the slick quality necessary for mass merchandising. (That applied to the brand-new Cook-Marsh Expert as well.) I was tasked to write the text, and Larry Elmore was selected as the principal artist, to do covers and many interior artworks.

Initial cover concepts were similar to the previous edition, portraying a group of adventurers with a dragon. That was almost used, but it bothered Gary. After the color images were ready to be finalized in oils, after a lot of plans were made, Gary changed course. He asked Larry to focus the action on just one fighter and one dragon... and the world-famous Red Box cover emerged.

Recently I was digging through a container of old, long-forgotten artworks, and came across Larry's original, the "Other Red Box" cover. We put it on display for Frankenparty (just before GaryCon IX), and it's been in the living room ever since.

Thought you might like to see it. (Thanx to Jon Peterson for the quality photo, attached.)

Special note: This original Elmore, a historical milestone and monument to 'what might have been', is for sale. It's quite expensive and I do have a pending offer. If you want to get into the fray, pls let me know via pm or email. (The sale should take weeks, so you have time.)

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Re: The Other Red Box

Post by Ashtagon » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:51 pm

That looks like an early version of Dragonlance's Goldmoon in the lower left corner. It's probably just coincidence though.

Really wish i was in a position to bid for this.
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Re: The Other Red Box

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:48 pm

Ashtagon wrote:That looks like an early version of Dragonlance's Goldmoon in the lower left corner. It's probably just coincidence though.
The fighter could be Sturm, for that matter. :)
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Re: The Other Red Box

Post by RobJN » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:50 am

And then there's Tasslehoff in the other corner...(it was the 80s, everybody had perms back then)
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Re: The Other Red Box

Post by Havard » Sun May 21, 2017 7:38 pm

Now you can buy your own print of this image directly from Larry Elmore: ... ncient-red


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