A heavy set dark skinned woman with big lips and a bone. Similar to caricatures of savage Africans.
The sports team in vaguely Central American-ish attire proudly holding a severed head and leg. This is from the Oenkmar section which is explicitly pre-Columbian Central American themed.
Breakdancing and boomboxes, with spikes in their heads (in one ear out the other for one because there is nothing in between apparently). Looks like it can be taken as a depiction of stupid orcs as 80s American Black people.
I didn't think anyone would take these pictures as just depictions of general silliness without racial or ethno-national connotations.
Okay, I see what you're getting at Voadam. And I see the relevance.
I just don't want to make scattershot accusations where it's not certain. I try to focus on what is certain. And text is often more straightforward than imagery.
Ruin Explorer said:
Quite. It's extremely hard to read some of that art as anything but heavily racially-coded. I'm sure the artist thought it was "just good fun", but it's fun at the expense of specific ethnicities (ones which were not having a great time and still aren't). I think the out-and-out racial animus in the text is probably a lot more obvious, possible to research and easy-to-demonstrate though, what with the "Red" and "Yellow" Orcs being racist from the name down.
There's arguably more things going on with the art - the breakdancing one for example has elements of punk and hiphop cultures jammed together, but that doesn't really make it better when it's clearly trying to imply they're all literal morons (likewise the central American one is clearly shoving basketball and Central American culture together - but the fact that most basketball players are black is not lost on the viewer). Showing people the pictures, most people of today (including pretty much everyone in this thread) is going "Oh my god!" because it's obviously racist, but to break down and detail why it's racist on paper (as opposed to just knowing it) kind of takes a different skill-set to what the OP has, so I think it might be unfair for us to require him to do that too. You'd really want an art historian with a speciality in racial propaganda and stereotypes in the 20th century.
Ruin Explorer, I generally agree with how you characterize my approach and research limitations.
I can see that the first image Voadam shared could be interpreted as a parody of a Black woman. The modern-style spandex top contributes to that perception. Yet it's not as straightforward as the textual elements. If this illustration was for a "Black Orcs" section of the book, then it would be certain. I'm definitely willing to call TSR/WotC/Hasbro to the carpet; but analyzing stereotypical motifs within imagery is beyond my expertise, unless it's certainly obvious. Still, Voadam, you make a valid point.
As for the image of breakdancing and the boombox. As others have expressed, my initial impression is that it is a primarily a parody of punk culture (the mohawk and piercings), of boombox culture, and of breakdancing culture. I could see that the fact that breakdancing arose in an African American context could be problematic. I'm not sure of the nuances here though. If any of the humanoids were depicted with Black/African physiognomy (e.g. kinky hair or black skin), it would be more obviously problematic.
Yes, there's a parody of the Mesoamerican Ballgame. I acknowledge that the goofy depiction of the Mesoamerican Ballgame is an appropriation of Nahuatl / Indigenous Mexica culture. I wonder what parameters a professional Nahuatl cultural consultant would suggest in regard to fantasy depictions of the Mesoamerican Ballgame.
I've started to look more closely at the Oenkmar chapter. Yet another reason for my "skipping" over that chapter is that I have not seen a racial slur associated with the Oenkmarians, in the way that the term "red orcs" and "yellow orcs" are close to real-world racial slurs. My goal in the OP was not to document every real-world cultural motif which is found in GAZ10 (or Mystara as a whole!). I went into extra detail with "Red Orcland" and "Yellow Orkia" simply to nail down the fact that the racial terms "red" and "yellow" are definitely referring to "Indigenous American" and "East Asian" parodies.
Yet I'll state again that my research is not inherently opposed to fantasy adaptations of Mesoamerican, Indigenous North American, or East Asian cultural elements. My research is opposed to racial slurs of any sort, and to disrespectful adaptations of real world cultures, especially marginalized / indigenous cultures.