Dragonlance Week: The Art of Dragonlance

Welcome to Dragonlance Week! This week the Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub blog will be celebrating all things to do with this amazing fantasy series. Be sure to enter the giveaway (here) for a chance to win one of two Chronicles Trilogy sets.

Dragonlance is different from your average fantasy series in several ways. One of the things that makes Dragonlance stand out is the truly incredible artists that have lent their talents to the art of Dragonlance throughout the years. From Larry Elmore to Brom, the range of artists, and the varied artistic visions are definitely worth taking a closer look at. Here are just a few of the excellent artists you can find sharing their work with Dragonlance:

Larry Elmore: Like most readers, I immediately think of Larry Elmore when Dragonlance artists come to mind. His artwork has graced the covers of the Chronicles, as well as many other novels, calendars, full sized prints, etc. In my mind, he’s synonymous with Dragonlance.

Credit: Larry Elmore

Credit: Larry Elmore

Clyde Caldwell: With a very distinctive style, Clyde Caldwell contributed much to the art of Dragonlace. His scenes tend to be action packed and his dragons are pretty stinking cool.

Credit: Clyde Caldwell
Credit: Clyde Caldwell

Jeff Easley: Another artist that comes to mind when I think of the art of Dragonlance (or fantasy art in general) is Jeff Easley. I’m not able to use correct terminology when it comes to art since I’ve actually had my toddler tell me my happy faces look wrong, so I’ll just stick with saying it’s awesome. He won the E. Gary Gygax Lifetime Achievement Award this year, and it is definitely deserved.

Credit: Jeff Easley
Credit: Jeff Easley

Todd Lockwood: I am sure Lockwood’s art is pretty recognizable: not only has he done many pieces for Dragonlance, you can also find his work on the covers of R.A. Salvatore’s books. He’s done some of my favorite Dragonlance covers. I’m a huge fan of the way he portrays Raistlin in particular.

Credit: Todd Lockwood
Credit: Todd Lockwood

Brom: Most fantasy aficionados know who Brom is. His art has a dark and gothic feel to it. While Brom mostly lent his talents to the Dark Sun gaming setting, he has contributed to Dragonlance every now and again.

Credit: Brom
Credit: Brom

Matt Stawicki: Matt Stawicki has done a ton of Dragonlance art. Fans of the Magic: The Gathering card game can find his work there as well.

Credit: Matt Stawicki
Credit: Matt Stawicki

The following artists aren’t quite as prolific in the Dragonlance setting, but their contributions are nonetheless fantastic. A few of them are personal favorites.

Kevin Mccann:

Credit: Kevin Mccann

Keith Parkinson:

Credit: Keith Parkinson

Paul Jaquays: I love this particular piece so much that I have a stained glass version of it. Yep, I’m a nerd.

Credit: Paul Jaquays

This is in no way a complete list of the amazing artists who have contributed to Dragonlance. A great book to check out for more excellent artwork is Masters of Dragonlance Art. There is some seriously incredible talent in the world of Dragonlance.

Dragonlance Week: A Celebration

For those of you who have thus far managed to escape my gushing: the Dragonlance Chronicles was my gateway to adult fantasy. They have everything I look for in a book of any genre: excellent world building, engrossing writing, and absolutely incredible characters.

Growing up, I was one of those kids who thrived on fairy tales. I never wanted the dragon to be defeated (because dragons are cool!), but I loved the adventure aspect, and the acceptance of the impossible. As I got older, books like St. George’s Dragon, and East of the Sun, West of the Moon, gave way to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern, Jane Yolen’s A Diversity of Dragons, and Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. They scratched an itch, but were more of a next step than a new beginning.

I’ve always been an advanced reader and around fifth grade or so, those books were replaced with things like Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Grey. I had no idea that fantasy books- the kind I liked- existed for adults too.

I stumbled across the Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman when I was in sixth grade. Those amazing books with dragons, dwarves, mages, kender, and adventure aplenty, complete with complex, flawed characters. I immediately fell in love. I read those books to death.

One of the many wonderful things about the Dragonlance series is it’s huge. There are the Chronicles, where I started. Then the Legends, and (at this point) upwards of one hundred other books written by several separate authors. The world is built so incredibly well that there are more stories to be told, and more characters to follow on adventures. The world of Krynn is fully developed. It’s so easy to insert yourself into those books and feel like you’re battling the Dark Queen, your own darkness, or even grasping for power.

These incredible books rekindled in me my love of the fantasy genre. I read Tolkien, Tad Williams, David Gemmell, Sean Russell, R.A. Salvatore, Patrick Rothfuss, and so many others. I loved them all. The rest, as they say, is history.

I reread the Dragonlance Chronicles and the Legends at least once a year, and I’ve done so for the last twenty years. I could probably recite them from memory by now. There’s something comforting about opening a book you love and know almost by heart. It’s like seeing old friends again. When I’m having a bad day, or just need a bit of a break from things (I’m looking at you, 2020), I pick these books back up.

The news that Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman will be returning to Krynn with new novels soon naturally necessitated a huge amount of geekery on my part. What better way to celebrate the great news than to have a Dragonlance Week on my blog? Some amazing authors, youtubers, and bookbloggers have been more than generous with their time, making this week an awesome love letter to Dragonlance. There are opinion pieces, character profiles, giveaways, a Dragonlance roleplaying session, and an interview with author Margaret Weis herself. Grab your pack, watch out for draconicans, and let’s go on an adventure!

—————–Giveaway!!—————–

Two people will win physical copies of the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy. The giveaway is international.To enter, comment below. And if you’ve already read the books, will you tell me who your favorite character is? I’m curious. Winners will be announced on Sunday, April 11th.