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Author Topic: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?  (Read 2972 times)

JeffB

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #60 on: August 01, 2021, 08:46:13 AM »
4E art is just as hit or miss as any other WOTC edition for me, and I don't care for the style in that piece above at all.

BUT


The interesting bit about that RH piece  is there is a counter piece to it in the DMG where the monsters (can't recall what..Kobolds, Orcs?) are  in that cave looking out to the Adventurer's as they are entering the monster's domain. I enjoy the concept, it reminds of the types of scenes we would get from Bill Willingham and Jeff Dee circa 80/81.

jhkim

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #61 on: August 01, 2021, 11:26:22 AM »
The philosophical basis of the SJW movement is based around the erasure of history (this is year zero, and next year will be, too) and the "democratization" of the arts (with democratization defined as allowing the ordinary practitioner the same prestige as a master of the craft).  This is exemplified in the "Cal-Arts" style of animation: a simplistic style that is easily replicated and doesn't require great expertise to draw (which also makes it commercially appealing, as it is cheap to produce).  Many other modern artistic disciplines also distain technical expertise in favor of more pedestrian (and political) styles.  Politics (or the implicit philosophical underpinnings of a particular politics) has definitely had a large effect on the kinds of art that have been produced in the last 20 years plus.

This sounds to me like exactly the same thing that people have been saying about modern art styles for over a century - not just the last 20 years. Detractors often say artists in newer styles like Picasso and Pollock were too cheap and/or lacked technical expertise -- "They're too lazy and just not good enough to do _real_ art." Given how frequent the complaint is, it may be true sometimes, but as a broad complaint, it's off-base. It's fine to dislike newer styles of art - everyone has their own tastes - but the changing styles isn't because artists aren't good enough to do the old styles. They're deliberately engaging in the stylization of their times, whether that's Cubism or Expressionism or later style.

Within animation, the thin-line "Cal-Arts" style of animation isn't just cheap to produce -- it also allows more dynamic animation. In a lot of animation with more realistic art, the cost is prohibitive, so you end up with a lot of characters standing stock still as just their lips move or other minor adjustments. The Cal-Arts calls back to earlier thin line styles like Looney Toons when the animation is more the focus, and you can get a lot more dynamic action in a scene. I don't like a lot of modern shows - but then, I thought the animated shows of my youth in the 1980s were even worse.

Regarding RPG art - I generally agree with Ratman,

Certainly. The second image has a "collage" look, where everything looks like it's been cut out of a magazine and pasted onto a background.
But then, a lot of art from older D&D is pretty bad. Or pretty good, depending on the piece. Quality isn't a defining trait of old school.

I agree. Old-school tended to have simple black-and-white line art of highly varying quality. There are some great uses of art, like the POV illustrations of dungeon scenes in Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, but a lot of books were hit-or-miss in the art - even if the book content was good.

Eirikrautha

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #62 on: August 01, 2021, 12:20:22 PM »
Within animation, the thin-line "Cal-Arts" style of animation isn't just cheap to produce -- it also allows more dynamic animation. In a lot of animation with more realistic art, the cost is prohibitive, so you end up with a lot of characters standing stock still as just their lips move or other minor adjustments. The Cal-Arts calls back to earlier thin line styles like Looney Toons when the animation is more the focus, and you can get a lot more dynamic action in a scene. I don't like a lot of modern shows - but then, I thought the animated shows of my youth in the 1980s were even worse.

No, it does not "allow" more dynamic animation.  It makes it cheaper and faster to make frames (which is what I said above and you repeated).  The dynamism is not a feature of the style.  A company can choose to create more expensive dynamic animation not using that style if they want.  Cal-arts is low effort and low quality.

Pat

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #63 on: August 01, 2021, 03:16:58 PM »
Oh, there is Lidda too in there! You are right!
Post-intervention Lidda. She looks ugly and pissed off because she's in withdrawal.

HappyDaze

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #64 on: August 01, 2021, 03:39:45 PM »
Oh, there is Lidda too in there! You are right!
Post-intervention Lidda. She looks ugly and pissed off because she's in withdrawal.
It's the after effects of the 'roids she took when auditioning for the role of Teela.

Aglondir

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #65 on: August 01, 2021, 04:02:52 PM »
4E art is just as hit or miss as any other WOTC edition for me, and I don't care for the style in that piece above at all.

BUT


The interesting bit about that RH piece  is there is a counter piece to it in the DMG where the monsters (can't recall what..Kobolds, Orcs?) are  in that cave looking out to the Adventurer's as they are entering the monster's domain. I enjoy the concept, it reminds of the types of scenes we would get from Bill Willingham and Jeff Dee circa 80/81.

I love the way some of the old school art would tell a story. Or make you think of one. Who was Emrikol the Chaotic? Why was he on the run? Did he commit a crime, or was he being persecuted unfairly? What were the effects of that magic beam? Did he light the guy on fire?

But 5E is great for this too. Why is this poor halfling in such agony? Is it because an evil wizard shrunk her feet, and the pain of supporting her upper body is too much to bear? Or is it because someone randomly drilled extra holes in her flute? Why doesn't she remove that heavy bedroll before her performances?

Every picture tells a story!

Dapig

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #66 on: August 01, 2021, 04:07:35 PM »
I have never played travelled but try OSE b&w line drawings make me want to explore the game. 

I have some trouble knowing how much is nostalgia vs other factors but looking at older game art (D&D or AD&D) gives me a sense of mystery and wonder and makes me want to play…
AD&D 1e, D&D 5e

Pat

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #67 on: August 01, 2021, 04:10:50 PM »
I love the way some of the old school art would tell a story. Or make you think of one. Who was Emrikol the Chaotic? Why was he on the run? Did he commit a crime, or was he being persecuted unfairly? What were the effects of that magic beam? Did he light the guy on fire?

But 5E is great for this too. Why is this poor halfling in such agony? Is it because an evil wizard shrunk her feet, and the pain of supporting her upper body is too much to bear? Or is it because someone randomly drilled extra holes in her flute? Why doesn't she remove that heavy bedroll before her performances?

Every picture tells a story!
Early second edition had some great art. The full color plates of a wizard being carried away by fairies, the fighter holding the ogre's nose ring, the band of adventurers standing proudly around the (tiny) dragon they killed, etc. As whimsical as earlier editions, but more fairy taleish.

Ratman_tf

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #68 on: August 01, 2021, 04:14:50 PM »
I have never played travelled but try OSE b&w line drawings make me want to explore the game. 

I have some trouble knowing how much is nostalgia vs other factors but looking at older game art (D&D or AD&D) gives me a sense of mystery and wonder and makes me want to play…

Yep. I miss the line art. Little snippets of adventuring life tucked in the corner like those Mad magazine (back when it was a magazine) pages with the little cartoons on the page edge.
Fun stuff.
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Dapig

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #69 on: August 01, 2021, 05:26:54 PM »
We started playing becmi with my kid recently.  Don’t know if the 70s/70s or what but the old art is evocative.  It seems in fantasy we used to tolerate alien and otherness.

I am afraid that in our crusade to make everything contemporary in values and aesthetics we are losing mystery.

Old modules were far out.  It was so different to me it seems to have grounding in another time and place.

The recent homoerotic Star Trek/creature cantina prom picture in strixhaven looks like a bunch of millenials from Seattle.  I mean whatever but I don’t hear ancient music in the background while they cut a rug and joker smile at each other.

It does absolutely nothing for my creative juices or sense of wonder.  It’s only one example but when I saw frank frazetta i assumed there was something other than 21sr century reality….


AD&D 1e, D&D 5e

DocJones

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #70 on: August 01, 2021, 05:47:48 PM »
Oh, there is Lidda too in there! You are right!
Post-intervention Lidda. She looks ugly and pissed off because she's in withdrawal.
She's having her monthly visitor.  Subtract 1 from wisdom and charisma.
My personal pronouns are I, me and mine.

Reckall

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #71 on: August 01, 2021, 07:22:44 PM »
Re: "Ancient Art", I still remember when I first saw what is still my favourite fantasy illustration ever. I was running Dragonlance, buying the modules as they came out. One day my LFGS's owner told me that "DL 8 - Dragons of War" had arrived. While my wallet was going to the register to pay for it, all by itself, the owner handed me the module. And I saw this:



You need one second to grasp the scene and realise that it will going to be AWESOME. It is not even a spoiler, but it is a full blown trailer in a single image. What's happening? Where are they? Who is this dragon, the coolest I ever saw? And the rider? Why is everything exploding? Did "The Empire Strikes Back" just entered "Dragonlance"? (don't ask me why, but the first thing I thought about was TESB). It is the very pinnacle of the whole "Warrior vs. Dragon" concept.

And when I ran the module it was AWESOME. Interestingly, this scene didn't happen in "Dragons of War", but later in the campaign, and grew organically from events down the line. And when it happened it was AWESOME.

Today?



"Once you recover from our all out assault to the concept of 'fine arts' you will understand that our adventure is great!" (nope; no, thanks).
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palaeomerus

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #72 on: August 01, 2021, 07:39:14 PM »
Don't be so mean. Tieflings can extra-crust up their faces and form a Linkin Park tribute band if they want to. Nu-metal isn't a crime. Yet.  ;)
Emery

S'mon

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #73 on: August 02, 2021, 12:35:00 AM »
Here, for example, we have an illustration by Ralph Horsley. I guess it depicts a cool scene - once you have worked four days to decipher it:


I see a tiefling with elephant man's disease, a zombie elf who appears to be all torso, an armored warrior, and Lidda attacking a beard-tentacled dwarf and his rabbit and bird friends.

Oh, there is Lidda too in there! You are right!

I think that's Lidda Tordek & Regdar from 3e. They seem to have been the Iconics in the early 4e books too.

What I meant is that I totally didn't see her. I was straining my eyes trying to understand if the magic user in the middle was one or two characters.

It certainly is horrible art!

I'm playing 4e again currently, so seeing a lot of this stuff over again. It is quite painful.

Steven Mitchell

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Re: When did the "New school" of fantasy begin, exactly?
« Reply #74 on: August 02, 2021, 08:12:40 AM »
It certainly is horrible art!

I'm playing 4e again currently, so seeing a lot of this stuff over again. It is quite painful.

Yes.  That is so so bad that even someone like me that doesn't understand more than a little of the very basics of art can see it is bad.  Like a person with a poor ear for music and no training being able to tell that the band is grossly out of tune.  Not sure what to blame it on, but the piece as a whole doesn't work.

I kind of like the leaves.  No idea if they are done well or not.  Besides the piece being too busy, I don't care for the heavy use of purple for the magic and shadows.  And I like purple.  There's something about it that is confused, as if the artist was trying for a particular mix of fantastical and realistic, but made the realistic elements fantastical and vice versa.

The paralleling of the familiars wings and the tielfings horns I'm sure is done on purpose for symmetry.  Both look contrived.  Better to leave the familiar out?  No, let's leave the tiefling out!  Then the familiar can go where the tielfling is. :D