Archive for the 'Jim Holloway' Category

Products of Your (Sexist) Imagination: TSR’s Heart Quest Books, 1983 – 1984

Heart Quest 1984

Heart Quest 1984-2

Following the immediate success of the Endless Quest books (1982), TSR released a new series directed at girls. The “Pick a Path to Adventure” tagline was changed to “Pick a Path to Romance and Adventure,” and endless quest became heart quest, because, ladies, your life’s journey ends in the kitchen, seeing as how “you want his love to fulfill your life.” I haven’t actually read any of the books, to be honest, because they’re so rare, but I can’t imagine the quality is high enough to make up for the shameful product. The books are obviously designed to resemble the Harlequin romances of the time, and each volume had “stepback” art, meaning the cover illustration is framed by a cut-out front cover. Turning the cover reveals the full page illustration.

Larry Elmore and Jim Holloway did the cover and interior art, respectively, for the first four volumes, and children’s author Linda Lowery wrote volumes three and five. You can find more information on the series here.

Illustrating the Act of Fantasy Role-Playing, 1981 – 1985

D&D Basic Set 1981

D&D GW 1981

D&D Basic 1982 French

Dicing with Dragons Book Club Poyser 1982

Dragon Warriors Bob Harvey 1985

The illustrations are from (top to bottom) the 1981 D&D Basic Set (Moldvay edition; art by David S. LaForce), a 1981 Games Workshop ad (artist unknown), and the 1982 French edition of the D&D Basic Set (Moldvay edition; art by Jim Holloway). I find it fascinating that the concept of role-playing was once so alien that it had to be explained with thought balloons. And I still can’t get over how awesomely bloody the GW sketch is.

If anybody knows of similar illustrations, please let me know.

UPDATE (2/11/2016): Thanks to Kai S. and Steve Wall, I’ve added two more illustrations. The first one (fourth image down) is the book club edition cover of Dicing with Dragons (1982), with art by Victoria Poyser. The second is from Dragon Warriors: Book One (1985), and the artist is Bob Harvey (see here and here). Brilliant stuff.

D&D Cover Art: Desert of Desolation (1982 – 1983)

Pharaoh FC 1982

Pharaoh BC 1982

Oasis of the White Palm FC 1983

Oasis of the White Palm BC 1983

Lost Tomb of Martek FC 1983

Lost Tomb of Martek BC 1983

desert of desolation 1987

desert of desolation-2

The Desert of Desolation series included Pharaoh (1982), Oasis of the White Palm (1983), and The Lost Tomb of Martek (1983). They were all written or co-written by Tracy Hickman, who co-wrote the original Dragonlance trilogy. The exotic, uncanny module covers are by Jim Holloway.

The modules were released as a compilation, “reworked to fit into the Forgotten Realms setting,” in 1987. The compilation cover is by Keith Parkinson, whose first work for TSR appears to have been interior art for Oasis of the White Palm. Parkinson, with Larry Elmore and Jeff Easley, did much to define the polished, epic look of D&D in the mid-’80s. Here’s a painting I remember well. (See more cool Dungeon covers here.)

dungeon parkinson

Parkinson died of leukemia in 2005. He was only 47.

D&D Cover Art: The Lost City (1982)

Front cover art is by Jim Holloway. Back cover art is by H. Joseph Quinn.

You’ll find some interior art at A Paladin in Citadel, and you can read a review of the module itself (a classic, by all accounts) at Grognardia.

View the whole module here. Download it at




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