Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Appendix B: Chris Holmes Manuscript Artwork

As a further bonus to the Holmes Manuscript series, here are pics of some of Chris Holmes' artwork from the earlier (2nd) draft of the manuscript.

Each of these images, except for the Dragon, was previously posted publicly on the grizzlebanged tumblr by someone who works with Billy Galaxy. I've cropped a few so they will show off the artwork better in the blog format. The Dragon picture was sent to me directly by Billy as part of the missing page of the final version of the manuscript. I believe they are all cell phone pics; if I ever get good scans of these I'll make an updated post.

I've ordered them based on their appearance in the published rulebook, and added some of the descriptive text from the published rulebook. Chris sticks closely to the given details.
As noted previously, Chris drew these illustrations directly on the manuscript document.

Carrion Crawler
"This scavenger is worm shaped, 9' long, 3 feet high at the head and moves quickly on multiple legs ... The mouth parts are surrounded by eight tentacles, two feet long, which produce paralysis on touch..."

Displacer Beast
The beast "resembles a puma with six legs and a pair of tentacles which grow from its shoulders. It attacks with the tentacles which have sharp horny edges", which Chris captures perfectly.  I'm not sure a Displacer Beast had been illustrated previously in D&D. Gygax's original inspiration for the creature was the Coeurl in the Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. Van Vogt.


"As depicted in medieval architecture, gargoyles are reptilian, horned, taloned, fanged, winged beasts of hideous aspect."

"A huge lion-bodied monstrosity with human face, dragon wings, and a tail full of iron spikes. There are 24 spikes ... and they can be fired, 6 at a time..."

Ochre Jelly
The text of the entry refers to it as a "giant amoeba", and Chris has given it a large central nucleus like their real-world microbial kin.

You can see more of Chris' illustrations on his website, HolmesWest.

Go Back to Appendix A: Manuscript Copy Order Form
Or Go Back to Start: The Holmes Manuscript


  1. "You can see more of Chris' illustrations on his website, HolmesWest."

    No you can't...I mean, there's very little there (I've been checking back there off-and-on for months). Which is too bad, because these illos are pretty darn good (well, they're to MY taste anyway). I wonder if I can hire him to do some art for me?

    1. I'm sending him a link to this post, so perhaps your comment will spur him to post more! You can also see some of his work with the Boinger & Zereth story "Trollshead" in Dragon #31, Nov 1979.

    2. He did offer to do some art for BLUEHOLME™ (which I'm going to take him up on!), so I'm sure he'd entertain the idea. It's a pity the carrion crawler and displacer beast are his favourites, as neither are in the D&D SRD. But, you know, weresharks ...