5E A noteworty gripe for 5e
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  1. #1
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    A noteworty gripe for 5e

    So the rules are good, the play is smooth(ish) and everything is right withe the world...

    Except the artwork. Not that the artwork is bad, quite the contrary, some of it stellar, the problem, who the hell did what? With the exception of the cover art which is tagged in the credits, there is really no way to tell unless you contact the artists themselves, and most of them aren't talking (NDA evidentally). For some reason WotC has removed all the artists tags from the art, which in editions of old was one of the best ways to find out who did that awesome monster, scene, item pic you were drooling over.

    Thoughts, comments, explanations. Please enlighten us.
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    I do wish they had a note in the gutter or margin of each page, with the artist's name.

  3. #3
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    Intellectual Property Devourer. It's a hell of a monster...
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    I was extremely insulted by the lack of direct credit - while I don't particularly like most of the art, I won't deny its obvious quality. Not having the names is quite frustrating.

    I'm not sure where the idea came from as WotC usually has a great relationship with its artists (such as the credits on the MtG cards, and etc.) However, I'm pretty sure this falls in the category of things for which companies can never give the truthful answer (lawsuit, fan backlash, rapid -and rabid- infernal otters, etc, etc) so I'm pretty sure we'll never get to know the real reason... which is sad.

    On a side note : anyone know the artist for the cockatrice?

  5. #5
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    Once again, I can only speak from the experience of a very different publishing field math and science textbooks, rather than gaming products but I've personally never encountered interiors credits on non-photo art, having now worked close to eleven years as an illustrator and editor). I imagine that part of the issue under modern laws would be ownership claims if the (some of) published art had integrated signatures while others didn't (the interior photo credits one sees in books is specifically in regards to other-owned art used under license), while extra names in the gutter would be confusing on the page, since a book like a D&D manual had such a non-standard layout. I'd recommend, if anything, an art credit's listing (referencing by page number) at the back along with the index, but WotC isn't known great backmatter in their books; I'd be afraid to see what their backmatter files look like in layout...

    So, I agree that the issue is a valid one, but it's a complex one too. I understand personally as a low-end technical illustrator that no one's in fervent demand of the trains leaving Chicago & Denver simultaneously, but having documented credit of this work is important, even IF it's in a work-for-hire project like D&D. Unless I start hearing about the problem from the artists, I'll assume that WotC has done what they can to support those working on their projects (both materially and in terms of professional credit).

    Edited to add: BTW, in reference to the signed art in TSR books such the old Trampier pieces in 1st edition: remember that TSR was effectively Gygax's small press shop at the time of 1st edition's release (before AD&D became huge), and part of the artists' payment WAS in ownership of their actual pieces, as far as I've seen discussed in a few places. That policy changed over time as the company came into other hands, such that the only signed art would be those, such as covers and major pieces in the magazines, which could have facing credits. Dealing with interior art of book owned by a HASBRO subsidiary in 2014 is a very different process than that of a small-press operation like early TSR still was in the late 1970s (and like much of the small press and OSR roleplaying publishing industry remains today).
    Last edited by AmerginLiath; Sunday, 7th December, 2014 at 04:40 AM.

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    It's worth noting that AD&D's peculiarities in how it allowed signed art pieces fundamentally changed the gaming industry to be one of the most artist friendly fields in publishing.

    I'll note that many textbooks I've worked with do include artist credits... but not in the form of signed art; a block of fine text in the chapter end notes or (for smaller texts) on the credits page, as page number references. A few games have done likewise, and this is really the best compromise, IMO.
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    Now that you point this out, it annoys me too. I do love how they handled the art for the licensed adventures, you can buy the art directly from the artist. Wouldn't that have been nice for the core books?

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    I only know a few artists... elmore, easely and brom (sp?), and only coz they let them put their name in their pieces!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoutonRustique View Post
    I was extremely insulted by the lack of direct credit
    Are you one of the uncredited artists?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
    Now that you point this out, it annoys me too. I do love how they handled the art for the licensed adventures, you can buy the art directly from the artist. Wouldn't that have been nice for the core books?
    You can buy Mike Schley's DMG art.
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