But it was just something James mentioned that sparked this post. Speculating on why these great articles weren't included in the Best of the Dragon compilations:
"I can only suppose that the TSR policy of appeasing the Satanic Panic crowd, kept them from including the articles in one of their Best of compilations."It's a good theory considering the times, but my mind immediately jumped to my favorite magazine Dragon ever put out: Best of Dragon Vol. II. That was chock full of awesome possibilities as well as lots for evangelists to abhor. There was the Antipaladin for one, the section on poisons, and actually an article on the politics of Hell by Alexander von Thorn.
But what I want to focus on was related to another thing I always wanted to achieve in D&D, and like venturing into Hell, never managed to do-- becoming a lich.
To cut to the chase, there was a little comic that ran under several articles depicting a mage in the process of becoming a lich. It was drawn by Timothy Truman. And the beauty of the design was the layout that had it running under relevant articles. Two pages into an article about vampires, the strip starts with a mage entering the lair of a vampire (pg 57). Then two pages later, under a different article about vampires we see the mage defeating the vampire. Two pages later, under a page about lycanthropy, we see our hero killing two werewolves. And finally, two pages later we're at the article on becoming a lich called Blueprint for a lich and our hero nestles into a coffin of his own.
I thought about presenting the comics here for you, but the beauty of it was how they went so perfectly with the reprinted articles. Putting them in sequence won't recreate what I experienced first seeing them. All I can recommend is that if you see it, snap it up.
I don't know who made the design decision to run the strip under the articles the way they did, but I'm thankful to whoever it was. The credits at the front of the magazine list:
Edited by Kim Mohan
Design by Bryce Knorr
Production by Marilyn Mays & Gali Sanchez
It seems a shame, after all, to talk about this without you seeing any of it so here is the first section as a teaser: