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Elmore, Larry

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1948-    ) American artist, sometimes credited as Larry D Elmore. After obtaining a BFA from Western Kentucky University in 1971, the draft forced Elmore into military service for two years; he then did artwork for the American government, National Lampoon, and Heavy Metal before accepting a position with TSR in 1981 to create and supervise their game-related art. During the next six years, along with many paintings for TSR books and games, Elmore produced a serialized Comic for Dragon Magazine, Snarfquest, which was later published as a graphic novel. Since 1987, while still undertaking assignments for TSR, he has painted book covers for other publishers, produced artwork for comic books and toys, and co-written one unheralded fantasy novel, Runes of Autumn (1996), with his cousin Robert Elmore.

Given his background in fantasy art, it is not surprising that Elmore has focused almost exclusively on illustrating works of Heroic Fantasy, although he has done occasional covers for sf books, including two instalments of Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars series, Poul Anderson's Inconstant Star (coll 1991) and Jerry Pournelle's, S M Stirling's, and Dean Ing's The Houses of the Kzinti (anth 2002), a 1992 edition of Anderson's Operation Chaos (coll 1971), and Ing's Firefight Y2K (coll 1987 as Firefight 2000; rev 2000). He has also done covers for Amazing Stories and Dragon Magazine. His style might be generally described as decorous, dignified, and unadventurous, no doubt precisely in keeping with the wishes of publishers seeking to attract readers to their decorous, dignified, and unadventurous fantasies, such as those regularly produced by Elmore's former employer TSR. All things considered, it is surprising that Elmore's art has been celebrated in several compilations [see Checklist below], although these elusive items seem inspired more by the artist's self-promotional energies than by popular demand. Still, in certain assignments Elmore can convey a wry sense of humour, as in his Chesley Award-nominated cover for Esther Friesner's anthology The Chick is in the Mail (anth 2000), showing a woman warrior who has attacked a mailbox and impaled a letter on her sword. Perhaps, then, this artist has unexpected talents so far veiled by his sharp commercial instincts. [GW]

see also: Frank R Paul Award.

Larry D Elmore

born Louisville, Kentucky: 5 August 1948

works (selected)


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