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Dungeons & Dragons Annuals: UK Invasion - 1986 & 1987
Imagine my surprise as a huge fan of the D&D Cartoon when I for the first time found out the UK had published not just one, but two hardcover books about our teen heroes all the way back in 1986 and 1987!
We didn’t have these in the US, but thanks to 3 “I”-things:
International shipping, and our
Indulgent over-seas neighbours,
I’m able to enjoy and share them with you 37 years later. Thanks for joining me on this visual journey.
Nice fingers, Bro!
Both of these annuals are actually really fun, with some short stories . . .
Comic strips . . .
. . . and Activities:
Oh, and there’s even some short choose-your-own-adventure style gamebook stories!
If you LOVED the D&D cartoon like me, make sure to check out my article about the D&D Cartoon Show Books and watching the cartoon in the 80s!
I couldn’t find who the artist(s) were, but I found the artwork really charming and fun.
Although, it did give me pause about how the scantily clad girls are featured and more than once tied up as damsels in distress - those cheeky monkey artists!
Not sure if you caught the picture of the witch a couple times above? Seem familiar? (Not sure how they got away with that one!)
“I’ll get you my pretty, and your little unicorn, too!” - uhh, wrong witch, but you get the picture.
It was also interesting that the comic strip story that dominated the second annual (1987) was really just a re-telling of the 2nd episode in the cartoon series, “The Eye of The Beholder”. But in the UK, it was called “The Eye of the Watchman“!
You like Beholders (a.k.a. “Watchmen”)? You need to check this out!
I was sad to find out recently that Adam Rich (the voice of Presto) had passed away at age 54 on January 7th of this year.
RIP Adam Rich, who voiced Presto the Magician. Adam also played “America’s little brother”, Nicholas Bradford, in Eight is Enough.
In case you weren’t aware, another Eight is Enough co-star, Willie Aames, also starred in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon as Hank the Ranger! Willie is an award-winning platinum-selling writer, producer and director who is still active today.
Well, that wraps up our short journey through these Dungeons & Dragons Annuals. It was such fun to see Sheila, Diana, Hank, Presto, Eric, Uni, Venger, Tiamat, and Dungeon Master once again embark on some cool fantasy quests.
I’ve been watching the old cartoon on DVD - an episode or so a week so as not to burn through them too quickly - and am having so much fun.
I know you’ve had this happen too, but how strange it is to re-experience something from your childhood that you loved so much. How the joy instantaneously resurges within you as if no time has passed at all. The visuals, music, voices and oh, the stories. It doesn’t feel like 40 years ago at all. It’s so thrilling to have discovered these UK Annuals after all these decades. The British can invade my collection any time.
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(Featuring artwork from Clyde Caldwell & Luke Eidenschink!)