Sunday, July 12, 2020

Creature Feature: Contests

The Dragon ran two "Creature Feature" contests.  In the first, a monster had to be named and described, based on an illustration.  In the second, a monster was to be illustrated, based on an excerpt from a story by Fritz Leiber.

The Dragon #8 (July, 1977): Name that Monster!

Illustration by Erol Otus

I would have called this creature something like a "Dust Devil".  It appears to be able to hurl boulders, like a giant, and wield its tail, like a mace, in battle.

The Dragon received almost 100 entries.  The winner and runners up were announced in The Dragon #13 (April, 1978):
Winner: Conrad Froehlich "The Jarnkung"
1st Runners Up: Thomas and Edward McCloud "Cursed Crimson Crawler"
2nd Runner Up: Ann Conlon "The Ulik"
The complete write-ups, together with honorable mentions, were published in The Dragon #14 (May, 1978).

Creature Feature Contest #2 "Paint that Monster"

The second contest involved either drawing or painting a creature described in an excerpt from Fritz Leiber's "The Bleak Shore"

The winners were published a year later, in The Dragon #24 (April, 1979):

Illustration by Robert Charrette

The two creatures which emerged in the gathering dusk held enormity even for the Mouser’s drugged mind.  Shambling things, erect like men but taller, with reptilian heads boned and crested like helmets, feet clawed like a lizard’s, shoulders topped with bony spikes, fore-limbs each terminating in a single yard-long claw.  In the semidarkness they seemed like hideous caricatures of fighting men, armored and bearing swords.  Dusk did not hide the yellow of their blinking eyes...
Fritz Leiber "The Bleak Shore" (1940)


  1. Hello Paleologos, Thank you for your post! I was honored to have won Dragon Magazine's first contest. While I haven't been naming monsters lately, I continue to seek adventures. Keep up the great work! Conrad Froehlich, Director, martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum

    1. Hi Conrad - thanks for dropping by! I thought "The Jarnkung" was a really imaginative take on the creature depicted. Glad you're enjoying the blog.

      On another note, I was very intrigued to learn about the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum. Will be sure to drop by, if I'm ever in Kansas!