So my son is pretty enamored with D&D minis. Yeah you could say he kinda digs 'em. Hmmn....I wonder why. Well yesterday I overheard him from the other room describing with great enthusiasm to my wife the drawing he was working on at that moment. The part that really made me go "huh?" was when he said:
"Look Mama, doesn't it look like a mini? Look! I'm gonna go show Daddy. Wait 'til he see this guy!"
"Wow! That's great!" she said. "Daddy, you should see Bobby's drawing. He's been really concentrated working on it in here."
So he comes rushing into the den and flips the paper around, flashing this fiendish fellow right in my face:
"Woah!" I exclaimed. "Who in the world is *that*?!?!?"
"He's... uhm... Pumpkinhead." he replied. "No, wait!... He's the headless pumpkin!"
"Wow, that's awesome!" I told him. "But I'm not sure a pumpkin *can* be headless, can it?"
(Actually, it's a pretty interesting notion - a headless pumpkin. I should have let him run with it...ah well.)
"Oh yeah. Well what's those things? Ya'know, when we carve the pumpkins?" he asked.
"You mean 'jack-o'-lanterns'?" I inquired.
"Yeah! That's it! He's Jack Lantern-head!" he declared. "Or the Headless Pumpkin Guy...mini!"
(There we go. He got to come back around to the idea of headless pumpkin. Cool.)
As soon as I saw his picture, I couldn't help but think back to a few posts by some veteran bloggers Jeff Rients and James Maliszewski and a phenomenal artist Steve Zieser. You know them from their blogs Jeff's Gameblog, Grognardia, and Curmudgeons & Dragons, respectively.
Anyway, I did a quick search through their sites and found the posts I was thinking of. Here's a post Jeff made which features some pics of a similar looking dude...actually two similar looking dudes. First there's the Knight of Autumn Gate mini from Dreamblade:
Now if you took away this guy's sword and set his head was on fire he'd be a shoe-in for Marvel's Jack O'Lantern. But then... his head would be... well... on fire:
And then there's this pic of an OD&D bugbear, of which Jeff comments in his post as who/what the Dreamblade mini reminds him:
Pretty sweet, eh? Nice stuff there Jeff.
That last OD&D image there is reborn in a work posted at Curmudgeons & Dragons by that blog's own Steve Zieser, an amazing fantasy artist who has that sweet old-school flavor. Steve's work has been featured in such great retro-clone gaming works as the Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game, the very cool Fight On! magazine, and some of the B/X combo-remake Labyrinth Lord's supplements, etc.
Here's Steve's cool pic from Halloween '08:
The last post is this one at Grognardia which James claims this illo by Erol Otus to be "hands down, one of the best depictions of any undead creature in any edition of Dungeons & Dragons.":
One of my faves there too, James. At least the face of this spectre has that carved jack-o'-lantern look to it. That along with the whole clawing-tree-branch, Michael-Jackson-Thriller-video-undead-dance-move-thing, is exactly why it reminded me of my son's creation.
Hey I think she may have been at my '80s themed 40th b-day party this past November...hmmn.
Anyway, three great posts there by three great gaming bloggers. /salute
Now I understand that one could look at my son's drawing and think yeah but what's that have to do with a D&D mini? Well look at the base. He specifically added that black base to the picture, just like the D&D minis that we play with have. Most of the time I try to steer him clear of the old lead figures, painted or not, just to be safe...sorta. Even though I played with them as a kid and I turned out ok...right?...RIGHT!?!?!? Anyway, when he and I play minis we use the plastic ones, mostly from WotC, which all have the black circular base. And so here it is in a full length shot:
Thus as of today, thanks to Bobby's awesome artwork, Jack Lantern-head the headless pumpkin guy is standing guard in my office at work, and I must say he's doing a fine job. In fact folks have been runnin' scared from my cube all day. What a bunch of wussies!