Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tales of Peril - Front Matter

This post is part of the Tales of Peril Book Club, indexed here.

Previously I looked at the dust jacket for Tales of Peril. Here, I'll cover the "front matter" - all of the sections before the main content. I'll go over these briefly since I want to get to the actual stories, and because Allan covered a lot of this material in the previews on his blog, which are linked to below.

Signature Page - each copy of the first edition (200 numbered copies, plus comp copies for contributors) contains a page signed by Chris Holmes, Allan Grohe and myself. Allan has a picture of the signed page for copy #1 here. I had fun signing these pages in person together with Chris and Allan at the North Texas RPG Con in 2016 when we participated in a reading and discussion panel, which Allan has archived here. The signed pages were then bound into the books during printing.

Title Page - this uses the same evocative font for "Tales of Peril" as on the cover, which I believe is Perigord Regular.

Copyright Info - one page (v), the first numbered page.

Credits - one page (vi), a formal list of the contributors to the content and production. 

Thanks - one page (vii), acknowledgement of the work of various contributors and others who helped make the book possible.

Table of Contents - two pages (viii-ix). Allan shared the list of contents here. The chapters of Maze of Peril are listed out separately, a nice addition not found in the original printing. 

List of Illustration and Artwork - two pages (x-xi). Allan shared the list here. In addition to the covers by Ian Baggley, the interior art is primarily by Chris Holmes, with one story reprinting artwork by the late Jim Roslof from Dragon Magazine.

Introduction by Allan Grohe, two pages (xii-xiii). Allan gives an overview of Holmes' career, and discusses the organization of the tales in the book. These follow the development of the characters Boinger and Zereth, and so begin with the tale that chronicles their earliest adventures - the Maze of Peril. Allan briefly describes the non-fiction material in the book, and the work of the artists. Near the end, Allan teases a possible follow-up project: "Eric's cache of original manuscripts and campaign materials ... If Tales of Peril is well-received, these may be published in the future". There is a wealth of material here, I've personally seen more than a hundred images from this material, much of it hand-drawn maps by Holmes for adventures he mentioned in his writings!

Bonus content: Allan recently shared his Holmes Basic origin story, originally written up for an early draft of this introduction.

Onward to the Tales!

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