Skip to main content

Larry Elmore Profile from Dragon Magazine 107 March 1986

 Here is the text of the Larry Elmore's profile from Dragon Magazine 107.

The gruff, bearded, hardened ex-con
vowed to change his life when he was released from the Kentucky chain gang. "Ah have paid mah debt to society," said Cool Hand Larry, "and now ah want to devote mahself to mah art." His murder conviction was recently overturned by the Kentucky Supreme Court, Larry set out to become an artist.
 "Well, it didn't happen that way," said Larry Elmore, "but it makes a good story. In reality, I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, Aug. 5, 1948, and grew up in Grayson County, in the midwestern part of the state.

As a child, I was fascinated by old people telling ghost stories. From them, I became interested in fantasy.

"You'd think that people who live nearest to nature would be least scared of it, but the opposite is true. They create mystery about it."

As a teenager, Larry was into hot rods and the Beach Boys. "The rural school I attended didn't have any art program, so I spent my time drawing and daydreaming. I was a pretty bad student. If I didn't bring home any D's on my report card, it was okay, but when I did, look out! 'D' stood for Dead in my  household," Larry said. "I was always getting into trouble for drawing in class. I wish I had a quarter for every drawing of mine a teacher destroyed.

"After school, I played around with hot rods, and was once grounded for three months for drag racing. I didn't know it at the time, but my future wife, Betty, used to watch the boys drag race on Sundays."

After graduation, Larry went to Western Kentucky University. "I majored in art, because I didn't think I could do anything else. My first art class was a shock. The instructor took a piece of newspaper, crumpled it into a ball, threw it on the floor, and told us to draw it. All semester long. It was awful."

True to form, Larry got A's in art, and worse grades in everything else. But by his senior year, he was selected as one of the top ten students. His senior show was a sensation, and several pieces were stolen.
"The art department had to keep guards at the show all day," he said.

A month after graduation, Larry was drafted and assigned as an illustrator with the U.S. Army in Germany. "There wasn't much art to be done, so I did a lot of girlie pictures to decorate the offices, and did party invitations. We were participating in wargames, and I was an APC driver in the field." After Larry got out of the service, he got a job as a civilian artist for the Ft. Knox Training Aids Department, and married Betty.

"We were working in the same building as the print shop, so I learned a lot about printing, photography, and all the mechanics of the trade. It was a valuable experience."

After three years with the government, Larry turned to freelance work. His first published work was in National Lampoon, and shortly thereafter he sold some work to Heavy Metal. "Then I started selling work at science-fiction conventions in Louisville,"

A friend introduced Larry to the D&DⓇ game around this time. Larry's friend was planning to send in some art submissions to DRAGON® Magazine, and badgered Larry to submit something as well. "I had enough freelance work at the time, and wasn't really interested, but the guy kept it up, and finally I sent a few pieces along with his submission. Well, they took mine and didn't take his. He was kind of
annoyed. Then TSR offered me a job, but I had just bought a house in Kentucky and said no. They flew me up for an interview, but I said I'd still rather freelance. "But they kept asking me, and I decided I
was pretty bored with what I was doing. The government kept trying to get me to do supervisory work, which I hated, so finally I agreed to come to TSR. And you know, coming here was the smartest career
move I ever made." 

Larry joined the TSR staff in November 1981, and has done module and game covers, posters, book covers, calendar paintings, pen and ink work, and much more, including the Snarfquest saga currently
running in DRAGON Magazine. He was the artist in charge of creating a look for the DRAGONLANCE® saga, and did much of the early sketches for the series. "I want to say something special to all the people who have written me letters. I really want to answer all the mail I get, and I
feel bad when I don't, but this job keeps me too busy. I really do enjoy hearing from you, though, and I'm sorry that I haven't written back," Larry said.


Popular posts from this blog

Gamma World

  TSR's Science Fantasy Role-Playing Game A retrospective by Kevin Gamma World, Gamma World, Gamma World If you say it three times while looking in the mirror, I understand you may summon a Yexil swarm! W hat's a Yexil, you say? Why, it is a fantastical beast that dwells in the radioactive ruins of a post-apocalyptic hellscape and would be the bane of Leisure Suit Larry.  Who is Larry, you ask? My, my, you are full of questions, aren't you? Well, Larry is the "protagonist" of a salacious vintage computer game series of dubious moral quality. How does Larry fit into Gamma World? Well, he doesn't really except for the fact that he wears polyester leisure suits as he tries, and usually fails, to seduce nubile young ladies. And you see, Yexils survive by eating synthetic materials. Therefore, Larry would be seen as a tasty morsel. Well, at least his suit would be. He'd be discarded as offal. Gamma World is a weird and fantastic trip which is truly odd

Lenard William "Len" Lakofka (January 10, 1944 - October 23, 2020)

Chainmail and Early D&D  Len Lakofka was living in Chicago during the 1960s and was an avid wargamer. He was so interested in Avalon Hill's Diplomacy that he joined the International Federation of Wargamers. In 1968 Gary Gygax had talked the IFW into organizing a one-day wargame convention at the Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva. By then Len was President. This would be the very first Gen Con. So he traveled to Lake Geneva to set up, run events, and clean up. After the convention ended Gary introduced a new set of miniatures rules to a few people including Lakofka. This game would later be published as Chainmail. Lakofka play-tested and gave advice on balancing the rules. In 1975 he was introduced to the new game developed by Gygax and Dave Arneson called Dungeons & Dragons. As a frequent play tester for both the original version and Advanced Dungeons & Dragon, he was very involved with the creation of the three core books for AD&D. He edited the Players Handbook


  Back in the days when Dragon Magazine arrived in our mailbox every month, The first thing I would read was Dragonmirth. Great comics to give your day a chuckle or two. Some of the more famous strips were Wormy and Snarfquest, which were incredible, great stories and art. Here are some of the one panel funnies, as well as some slightly raunchy poems. Follow me for a bit of fun!     It's always nice to have a barbarian in the party, even of social interactions are a bit difficult.   Some GMs think nothing of throwing you out of your nice, safe World War II game and into Twilight 2000.   Players will play.  Wizards have to do more than just teach their apprentices spells. What is he planning, to scare the dragon to death? You're about to run out of dungeon...   Ever wonder who invented the equipment in your gym? Who you gonna call? The things that players try to get away with. One of the reasons I truly enjoy low level characters, every encounter is a challenge.   Wonder if the