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Dungeons & Drawings

If you're a geek of a certain age and inclination, you remember the Monster Manual -- a compendium of monsters for Dungeons & Dragons, including vital statistics (does the monster breathe fire, resist acid, turn you into stone with its gaze, etc.) and creative illustrations. Depending on your age, you probably have a single edition of the Manual that "seems right" -- for me it's the 1983 Monster Manual II, though I also had the Fiend Folio. In any case, two enterprising illustrators going by "Blanca M." and "Joe S." have created a blog in which they re-imagine the monsters. Their work is called Dungeons and Drawings (though for the record, I think they're really missing out by not using an ampersand). Pictured above, a few Kobolds, which Blanca describe, in part, like so:

Kobolds are a pretty common early-level encounter. They're small and have a very low challenge rating, which means you can throw a whole pack of them at the players without worrying too much about murdering them too early in the game. Even the Monster Manual goes to some lengths to describe how pathetic they are. "Kobolds speak Draconic with a voice that sounds like that of a yapping dog," says the Manual. They're the chihuahuas of the D&D world.

The pair describe their blog as follows:

Two crazy young illustrators take it upon themselves to bring some new creative juice to the multiplicitous monsters of Dungeons and Dragons.

Each Sunday we'll be taking it upon ourselves to create and post an image of a monster of our choice, with a brief description of the creature in question. All the monsters are taken from any one of the so-called Monster Manuals, with a particular emphasis on everyone's favourite 3.5 Edition.

As such all content is technically the intellectual property of Wizards of the Coast, but it's all done in good fun and I don't really see how you can copyright a dragon, anyway.

Well, maybe your favorite 3.5 Edition, ya whippersnappers! Enjoy the illustrations at Dungeons and Drawings -- the latest entry even includes a brief video!

(Via @brainpicker.)

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8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists
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Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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