D&D 5E Check Out Joy Ang's Alternate Covers for the D&D Gift Set

Next week's Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set comes in at $169.99 and also includes a slipcase and a DM Screen. In addition to the standard version (featuring Grzegorz Rutkowski’s art on Modenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse) there will be versions with alternate cover art as a hobby store exclusive with art from Joy Ang.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Divine1943

Explorer
As an artist myself, and having worked with professional artists for the past 20 years, I have to take some issue with this.

First, Manga is just a different style, it's not any less skilled or "cheap" than any other art.
It’s just weird that you felt compelled to defend the integrity of manga when I said that this cheap looking art looks like they could come from one of my kid’s “how to draw manga” books. I’m a huge fan of anime and manga, I’ve been called a weeb! but my son’s manga drawing books are cheap looking—I called his books cheap, not manga in general hahahahaha.

The special edition art is bad. You aren’t a bad person for liking it, but I do wonder why people feel so compelled to insult others as to “not getting it” when they point out that this art, and this whole project, stinks. I wonder why people feel so compelled to defend this cash grab attempt on the behalf of WotC so vigorously. Hasbro is a billion dollar company whose primary concern is to make money, not produce anything of originality, quality, or integrity. Everything about this project is superfluous, designed to separate easy marks from their money. You might not like that, you might think I’m wrong, but I’m not. WotC doesn’t care about you.
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
It’s just weird that you felt compelled to defend the integrity of manga when I said that this cheap looking art looks like they could come from one of my kid’s “how to draw manga” books.
Which again, shows that you really don't know all that much about the cover art, because those "how to draw manga books" don't have nearly the detail or work that was used for the covers per reasons I gave above (hue, saturation, shading, etc layers). I felt the need to defend it because quite frankly, it's insulting to the artist to say that level of work is the same as a "learn to draw manga" book. It shows a complete lack of knowledge into how art is actually created.

The special edition art is bad. You aren’t a bad person for liking it, but I do wonder why people feel so compelled to insult others as to “not getting it” when they point out that this art, and this whole project, stinks.

I'm not insulting you for not getting it because you don't like the art. I'm specifically pointing out how by using your comparison to a "how to learn to draw" book, you in fact don't have any idea how art is actually created and what goes into to it (like all of those layers I mentioned).

You can not like it. You can think it's a cash grab. I don't care about that. I'm not insulting you about that. I'm saying you don't get how art is created or the work that goes into because it appears by your comparisons that you don't.
 

Divine1943

Explorer
You can not like it. You can think it's a cash grab. I don't care about that. I'm not insulting you about that. I'm saying you don't get how art is created or the work that goes into because it appears by your comparisons that you don't.
I think we are talking at cross purposes here. I understand the process of how said art was created, and I can even respect the process, but respect and understanding need not translate into positive appreciation. I don’t like it, for the reasons articulated, and I think it does a disservice to both the artist and the consumer. Everything about this project feels derivative and exploitative of everyone involved in it. That doesn’t mean that somehow I don’t understand “how art is created” or “the work that goes into it.” I do—that doesn’t mean that the art here is magically good or whatever.
 

Arilyn

Hero
Joy Ang is a professional illustrator specializing in children's books and whimsical fantasy. She is a well respected artist and the work on the gift set books is not a cheap knock off or hastily thrown together. These are alternate covers, which usually have a distinct style. Implying that she was caught up in WoTC's cheap grift is an insult. Not liking Ang's style is fine, not agreeing with WoTC's business practices is more than fine but people should not be dismissive of the art just because they are annoyed at WoTC or don't appreciate whimsy in D&D.

I haven't seen any genuine reasons to declare the work as bad. Sacrosanct gave us reasons to acknowledge the effort and skill. And since he's an artist, he probably knows a few things...
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I like the images themselves - but not too keen on them as book covers, personally. They are a bit like the old Monstrous Compendium volumes in that there's a big white background with a splash of art, but they're not doing much for me compared to most other D&D books over the editions. They're more like the hard cover compilations that DC put out of their comics, but in white instead of black.

Interesting how the titles are demoted so far below the art. Kind of another way they stand out as different/alternative but I'm not sure it's in a good way.
 

Divine1943

Explorer
Joy Ang is a professional illustrator specializing in children's books and whimsical fantasy. She is a well respected artist and the work on the gift set books is not a cheap knock off or hastily thrown together. These are alternate covers, which usually have a distinct style. Implying that she was caught up in WoTC's cheap grift is an insult. Not liking Ang's style is fine, not agreeing with WoTC's business practices is more than fine but people should not be dismissive of the art just because they are annoyed at WoTC or don't appreciate whimsy in D&D.
Thank you for providing context on Joy Ang—I looked her up and she’s a very talented artist whose work isn’t well served here in my opinion. I think that’s a shame. I appreciate the effort to explain a little bit of the context of how she operates as well.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Well, the good news is that they are alternate covers, and you have a more traditional/standard option if you feel so inclined to purchase this set.

I personally don't like the art, and am not into "whimsical fantasy" in general, but it also makes sense for WotC to produce an alternate set geared more towards those who do.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Furthermore, why are these more "grifty" than any other alternate covers? And really, I don't see the alternate covers as a grift: they're just an option for collector's who like shiny stuff.

This isn't early 90s Marvel comics, where they kept re-booting series at #1 with tons of alt covers with the implication that they'd be valuable someday. And almost none of them were, because so many were printed (think, X-Men #1 in 1991 I think). At least the WotC alt covers are actually limited editions that increase in value, for the most part.

Of course this sucks for folks such as myself, who missed out on the funky Xanathar's alt cover and don't want to spend $3-400 on ebay for it. But, alas, First World Problems.
 



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