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Monday, December 21, 2020

Holmes for the Holidays 2020


Back for the pandemic, it's "Holmes for the Holidays"!

For this year, I've got an extra copy of Dragon #58 (February 1982), which features the Boinger and Zereth story, "In the Bag"The condition isn't the best: while the front cover looks like fine (see above), the back cover has a tear 2/3rds of the way across (it could be taped pretty easily), and the "Spellminders" counters from the center of the magazine are missing. Buy hey, it's free!

"In the Bag" was the last of Holmes' three Boinger and Zereth stories to appear in Dragon, and also the last of his writing of any kind for the magazine. Chronologically, it is set after "The Sorcerer's Jewel", as Boinger mentions that adventure, which had appeared one year earlier in Dragon #46 (February 1981). Murray and Olaf from The Maze of Peril also return in this story, and there are also references to Amazons and Dagon from that story (which at the time of this story, had been written but not yet been published).

The story is delightfully illustrated throughout by Donna Barr, an artist I'm not otherwise familiar with, but per wikipedia she illustrated other RPG products and comics books. While the Tales of Peril compilation includes "In the Bag", it does not include Barr's illustrations, which means this issue retains some draw for the Holmes collector.

The cover of Dragon #58 is by Clyde Caldwell - his second for the magazine - and features a castle with a skull-shaped gate reminiscent of Skull Mountain or Castle Greyskull (although Caldwell's painting is dated 1981 and it says here that the first He-Man toys were released in 1982). And to me, the lizard-riding, spear-wielding dwarf also recalls the lizard rider image featured at the top of this blog. 

The issue also include an article by the late Lenard Lakofka, "Beefing up the cleric", that details a bunch of new "official" cleric spells, which were later compiled in Unearthed Arcana. The article is introduced by Gary Gygax, who writes "All readers should be aware that Len Lakofka has been of considerable aid and assistance in formulating the whole of the AD&D game system".


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For the give-away I will use the same system as before: 

If interested, leave a comment in reply to this post within the next two days, before automated moderation kicks in on this post. After two days, I will treat the list of comments as a table and roll randomly for the winner, using dice from a Holmes Basic set.

I'll cover postage (media mail) for any U.S. address. I can ship to other countries but I ask that you cover the difference (any amount over $4) in shipping by PayPal; so if you are overseas please only participate if you have a PayPal account and willing to chip in the extra. I'll estimate the exact shipping by weight and refund the difference if I overcharge.

Please note that due to the date I'm starting this that I probably won't get it in the mail until after Christmas.


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12/29 Update, including the Results:


I recruited two dice elves to make the rolls. There were less than 20 comments, so we used a Holmes white 20-sided die (numbered 0-9 twice) and an orange 6-sided die as the control die (1-3 = 1-10, 4-6 = 11-20).

After warming up the dice, we made the official roll...



...which indicates that number 7 is the winner! (the control die being a "1" means that it's "7" instead of 17). That's The Great Khan! 

Thanks to all who commented, and hopefully 2021 will be a better year for all.

22 comments:

  1. Thank you for all of your work, and for the giveaway! I'm definitely interested!

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  2. Wow! Yes, please, and thank you for the generous offer!

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  3. Thank you for the offer. It is very kind of you to share the extra issue with fellow fans. It sounds like an interesting issue and it is not one that I have read before. It is possible my friend George had it at one time but I can’t be certain. Best of luck to all and Merry Christmas!

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  4. Love the blog! Hope I win. I love Dragon magazine and have begun collecting pre-3rd edition issue since the pandemic began.

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  5. Thanks, this is awesome. Love the Archives!

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  6. Always good stuff here. Hope to win!

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  7. Love this blog, and I'd love to win the magazine too. It's been missing from my collection for decades now.

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    1. Congratulations, you are this year's winner of Holmes for the Holidays! See the update above.

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  8. Thanks for all the work you do Zach. This is a great site.

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  9. I like your stuff Zenopus-man. Cool cover on that Dragon!

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  10. Thank you for a wonderful Blog, and all the work you've put into making Zenopus more useful robust and available to everyone who plays D&D. Zenopus is no no longer locked away in an old hard to find edition of D&D. Zenopus is now available no matter what edition of D&D you play. Enabling DMs to place not just any adventure but, an actual historical landmark to a new or oldschool Saltmarsh or Homebrew Campaign Setting is amazing. Freeing Zenopus, allowing it to stand on its own gave the entire D&D community new and old a priceless usable artifact and Grognards their happy childhood memories returned.

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  11. Love Dr. Holmes' fiction work. Blue box Basic D&D was my introduction to both Dungeons and Dragons and roleplaying games at large.

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  12. Thank you for the work you have done promoting Holmes Basic D&D! Hope to win the magazine.

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  13. My first issue, and still a favorite! :D

    Allan.

    (No need to enter me in the contest, Zach!)

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  14. Donna Barr was particularly active in illustrating issues of the Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society for Traveller, and she would later go on to similarly provide illustrations for the second edition of that game, MegaTraveller. She also worked in comics, with her own books Stinz and The Desert Peach (the latter about Erwin Rommel's prettier brother), continued to be active in roleplaying games (providing some background elements and all of the illustrations for Lace & Steel, for example), and can still be found around and about, both working and also interacting on various social media.

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  15. Your blog and website are an essential resource for me.

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  16. Thank you for another great year of articles and insights. You've helped make this year a bit more tolerable.

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  17. I learned about these stories from your blog. I now own a copy of "Maze of Peril", which was a lot of fun to read. Thank you for introducing me to the Boinger and Zereth stories!

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  18. Thanks for all your work! Happy Holmesian Holidays to you, too!

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  19. Happy Holmes holidays! (No entry requested!)

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