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Saturday, October 20, 2012

new Holmes Basic T-Shirt

     The retro offerings from Wizards continue to expand... Dungeon Fantastic just posted a link to some new Dungeons & Dragons tees available for pre-sale for $25. And one features the monochrome blue cover of the Holmes Basic rulebook (Wizard Logo version) featuring David Sutherland's art. It's currently available only as a women's tee, but Peter at Dungeon Fantastic mentioned the ad he saw in his FLGS didn't mention this - which means it may be available in other styles once the pre-sale ends. For right now, the Fighting Men will have to be content with this totally metal Trampier Minotaur shirt in Asmodeus Red:

     The sale also includes shirts featuring the Elmore red dragon vs warrior from the Mentzer Basic Set, and the "ampersand dragon" from the D&D logo of that time period, but made entirely of dice. The ad Peter saw also featured a shirt with Trampier's lich from the Monster Manual which isn't available right now. The pre-sale ends 10/29/12. I'm assuming that by using the words "pre-sale", these will be for sale regularly after that, hopefully with more styles/designs.

     This isn't the first time the Sutherland art has been sold as a t-shirt. Back in 1981, the TSR Gateway to Adventure catalog had t-shirts in various styles, including the ones below. IIRC the quality was low (essentially iron-ons) and they didn't survive much washing, making them extremely rare. I've never even heard of one appearing on Ebay.


  1. I had one of the old red ones back in the day, and you're right...they were some kind of cheap, iron-on decal. I have one memory of wearing it, when a girl asked me if I played D&D, and I said "Yes, how did you know?" "Oh, you just have a look about you like someone who does." She kept me going for a few minutes until I looked down.

    I wonder how, with this and with the re-prints, they can use the Trampier artwork. Did he sign all rights away to them, or is someone going to track him down and give him a royalty check?

    1. Good question. I believe he was an employee of their art department at the time, rather than a freelancer they purchased art from, as with most Dragon magazine covers. Being a staff artist, I wold guess that all art he created while at work was probably fully owned by TSR.

    2. I'm sure they bought the artwork as work-for-hire. I don't own the rights to anything I wrote for SJG, for example - they paid for it, and they own it (subject to certain retained rights, basically). I wouldn't expect otherwise - it's really common for companies to own what you make while you work there.

      I'm really, really tempted to get that Trampier monsters shirt. $25 is a lot, and I already have a Trogdor shirt for gaming day, but I could order it through my FLGS and save a bit on shipping . . .

  2. "It's currently available only as a women's tee"

    Well, they certainly know their demographic.