The Eyes Have It

15 Oct

Just a short post, as work is consuming my brain again this week.

Speaking of brain consumption (how is that for a segue?) I finally put my finger on something that has been bothering me for a while.

Mind Flayers. Illithids. Specifically, why I don’t care for modern drawings of them.

I admit it’s a silly thing, but I could never pin down why I don’t care for how they’re usually drawn these days. By all rights I should like them and they’re still one of my favorite monsters. Sure, there are some illustrations from the 3rd edition era that scream, “trying too hard,” with pointy shoulder armor on warrior variants of the beasts, but the tried-and-true brain eaters aren’t that different. Except in one aspect.

The eyes.

Take a look at the eyes on the original Monster Manual:


Huge, squid-like, soul-peering eyes.

And here’s a more contemporary image:

Tiny, beady little things. Always looks like it’s squinting.

The original seems more vibrant to me, more animated. I could make up some deep explanation, like that squids have the largest eyes in the animal kingdom and that’s why the original strikes such a primal chord with me. Of course the truth is that the Illithids I grew up with had big eyes, so I like them better that way.

Although there is one recent Mind Flayer picture that has become my new favorite, courtesy of the Infinite Machine Tumblr:



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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Fantasy, Gaming, Weirdness


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