Booty & the Beasts: Erol Otus Monster Art
My Sunday Game had some interesting distractions yesterday, two of which deserve their own blog posts. The first distraction was the copy of Booty & the Beasts for the the current RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Mini-Drive. None of my players had seen a copy, so got talked into getting it out for people to look at before the game. One of my players decided to get some pictures of a few pieces of Erol Otus’ artwork with his phone camera. This proofed to be a comedy of errors with people trying to hold the book open while keeping their hands out of the pictures combined with a phone camera that apparently did not like the lighting in my living room. With the curtain open and the afternoon sun coming in, the drawings were washed out in pictures. With the curtain closed and the light over the table on, there were strange chromatic effects (in pictures of black & white art).
Some pictures finally got taken and I received a set of slightly cleaned up in some photo program pictures in email this morning. Booty & the Beasts has two major sections, one for monsters and one for treasure. The monsters section has over 30 illos, all by Erol Otus. Here are the ones we were able to get pictures of. Note that I think the aspect ratio is different in these pictures than it the book. They seem a bit vertically stretched to me, although the photographer thinks it is my imagination.
The first four pictures are of fairly original monsters.
These last two, however, are obviously borrowed. Very obviously in the second case.
The “Arachnatroid” based on the Jonny Quest episode “The Robot Spy”. “The Neila” is based on the alien from the movie “Alien” which had just come out in 1979, the year Booty & the Beasts was published.
Here’s the description of Fungus Men, the very first entry in the book, to give an idea of the monsters are like:
FUNGUS MEN: Hit Dice: 1-3. Armor Class 6. Dexterity 3-18. Movement 12″. These grungy little creatures look like a cross between midgets and toadstools. The generally stand between two and foot feet tall and inhabit dim, wet caves going outdoors only at night. The Fungus Men use stalactites for weapons which hit as daggers and giant mushroom tops for shields. When in greatest danger they are capable of emitting an opaque cloud of spores 15 feet in diameter which serve only to obscure vision to cover their escape. Fungus men are encountered in number from 3-30.
While Fungus men are not very dangerous, they are one of my favorites from the book. Most of the monsters in Booty & the Beasts are much more dangerous. The Neila is every bit as nasty as the one in the movie, for example.