Scott Adams and Adventure International, 1982

Adams MH 5-21-82

Adams MH 5-21-82-2

Adams MH 5-21-82-3

The photos are from a 1982 Miami Herald story and show Adams inside and outside Adventure International’s Longwood, Florida headquarters. According to an interview I found in Antic, Adams moved into the “custom-built geodesic dome” in 1979. By summer of 1983 Adventure International had 40 employees and, according to The Free Lance-Star, was a “multi-million dollar company.” Many of Adams’ classic games appear in the second photo, including Adventureland.

Geodesic domes are largely DIY and “often identified with the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s.”

Commodore Power/Play #6 (1983): ‘Are You An Adventurer?’

Comm 1983-1Comm 1983-2











Comm 1983-3

Comm 1983-4










Comm 1983-5Comm 1983-6










Comm 1983-7Comm 1983-8










The Scott Adams mentioned in the article wrote the first adventure game for the PC, Adventureland (1978), and went on to found Adventure International. Here’s how Diane LeBold, who started Power/Play in 1982, describes the game genre.

If you’ve never played an adventure game, you may be a little mystified by all this. So let me backtrack a bit. First, adventures, unlike most of the games you are probably used to playing, are not… graphic wonders. In fact, all you see on your screen are words… True, Scott Adams and others have developed graphic adventures, which provide pictures as well as words. They’re great fun. To be frank, however, I prefer creating the pictures in my head… the pictures I create in my mind are uniquely personal, mysteriously intimate. Someone else’s interpretation is almost always something of a disappointment to me.

As you respond to the words on your screen you are led, piece by piece, into a small, self contained three-dimensional world.

Some day some genius programmer could create a game that’s so believable you may have a hard time separating it from the real world…

It’s interesting that she talks about graphics getting in the way of the gaming experience as early as 1983. In a 2012 post I compared old school box art to old school games and talked about how “There’s no longer a need to use the imagination to fill in the gaps left by all those 8-bit games.” Greg at Lefty Limbo expanded on the idea in a post called Filling in the Blanks (a much neater phrase). The same point was made in a Verge article published over a year after my original post, and the author used almost exactly the same language: “Because of her [Atari cover artist Susan Jaeckel] painting on the cover of the box, you knew that you were actually venturing through a hedge maze with three huge dragons lurking inside. It filled in the gaps left by the game’s rudimentary graphics…”)

I have some early press photos of Scott Adams I’ll post a little later. If you want to read more about adventure games, Gaming After 40 has hundreds of smart, comprehensive reviews and walkthroughs, along with other cool stuff related to golden age gaming.

You can read full issues of Commodore Power/Play magazine at the Internet Archive.

Board Games: Dungeon Dice (Parker Brothers, 1977)

Dungeon Dice 1977-1

Dungeon Dice 1977-2

Dungeon Dice 1977-3

“ESCAPE… is all you think of when you live in a cold, dark dungeon.” Well, to be honest, some of us had other ideas about what to do with dungeons. Dungeon Dice was designed by Paul J. Gruen, who invented the Parker Brothers bestseller Pay Day in 1975.

TSR’s Dragon Dice (below) came out in 1980/1981, although TSR was selling sets of polyhedra dice prior to 1977.

Dragon Dice 1980

(Images via Board Game Geek, eBay, and Dragonsfoot)

LJN’s Dune Toys: Sandworm (1984)

Dune Worm 1984

Dune Worm 1984-2

Dune Worm 1984-3

Have you no shame, LJN? If only it vibrated…

This one’s for you, Don.

Lincoln High School Students, 1982






All of the photos were taken by Gary Fong as part of a 1982 fashion shoot for the San Francisco Chronicle. Peter Hartlaub resurrected them for a three-part “flashback project” at SFGate. Abraham Lincoln High School is a public school, obviously. “Local 69 Muff Dive” didn’t fly in prep land, where all the rich kids wore pink shirts with little alligators on them.

You want to know if I found all the t-shirts the kids are wearing, right? I did.









Spaced Out Disco by The Galactic Force Band (Springboard, 1978)

Spaced Out 1978-1

Spaced Out 1978-2

Spaced Out 1978-3

Spaced Out 1978-4

Listen to most of the album here. More space disco here.

Michael Jackson Rub n’ Play Transfers (Colorforms, 1984)

Jackson Rub 1984

Jackson Rub 1984-2

Rub ‘em here! Rub ‘em there! Rub ‘em EVERYWHERE! Ages 3 and up (4 and up if you want a piece of the “rubbing tool”).

Too easy, people. Too easy. Now beat it!

(See more Rub n’ Play “magic” here.)

Dungeons & Dragons TV Series Promotional Poster (1983)

D&D Promo 1983

D&D Promo 1983-2

The art is by a young Bill Sienkiewicz, and was used later for the cover of the board game Le Sourire du Dragon. Too bad the atmosphere and look of the promo didn’t make it into the actual series.

Executive producers David Depatie and Lee Gunther also worked on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

(Images via eBay)

The Art of Earl Norem: Marvel Super Special #10 (December, 1979)

Norem Super Special #10 12-79-2

Norem Super Special #10 12-79

Star-Lord’s second costume. You’ll notice that the original painting, posted at Comic Art Fans, has only Norem’s signature. The final cover has a second signature: Peter Ledger. I don’t see any differences between the two pieces, though Ledger presumably added some additional colors. Ledger also shared credit with Norem on the outstanding cover of The Hulk! #15.

The Art of Earl Norem: Tales of the Zombie (1973 – 1975)

Norem Zombie #5 1974-1

Norem Zombie #5 1974-2

Norem Zombie #9 1975-1

Norem Zombie #9 1975-2

Tales of the Zombie (1973 – 1975) ran for 10 issues and an annual. Boris Vallejo did the first four covers, and Earl Norem did the rest. You can see them all at the Marvel Wikia.

Norem was a much better all-around artist, in my opinion, even though Vallejo is the one who became famous. Norem could paint anything, electrify and dramatize any scene (see the falling flashlight and erupting chunks of earth above), catch the details (rain-soaked leaves sucked through a thrown open door, the textures of leather, denim, clean hair, dirty hair). Boris, on the other hand, was a one-trick pony. What he did he usually did well, but never as well as his master, Frazetta.

(Images via Fantasy Ink)



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