Children’s book creator and fantasy artist, Tony DiTerlizzi, explores the inspiration behind some of the most memorable Dungeons & Dragons monsters in his blog post, “Owlbears, Rust Monsters and Bulettes, Oh My!” He explains how D&D co-creator Gary Gygax found his influence for the strange, yet iconic, Monster Manual creatures in packs of plastic “Prehistoric Animals” figurines.
“Gary and I talked about how hard it was to find monster figures, and how one day he came upon this bag of weird beasts… He nearly ran home, eager as a kid to get home and open his baseball cards. Then he proceeded to invent the carrion crawler, umber hulk, rust monster and purple worm, all based on those silly plastic figures.
The one that I chose was known in the Greyhawk campaign as “the bullet” (for it’s shape) but had only amorphous stats and abilities, not being developed. Gary told me to take it home, study it, and decide what it was and what it could do.
The bullette (boo-lay), as it was first called, was the first monster I invented. Why is the more interesting part of the story.” (read more)
photos by Tony DiTerlizzi