The second in my 'Childhood Villains' series of illustrations, this demonic nightmare fuel is Venger, the "Force of Evil" from the 1980's cartoon, Dungeons & Dragons.
My most prevalent memory of this cartoon was how perpetually depressing it was. Like other shows with the same concept, characters trapped in another world trying to get home, like Quantum Leap, the children would get a glimpse of returning home almost every episode but it would never work out. I think they got home once but had to return because Venger came with them, or something like that. Even as a small kid I got this sense of shattered hope with every episode and how miserable the characters seemed at points, trapped in a harsh, dangerous world, forced to wear stupid outfits and hang out with an old midget (The Dungeon Master). I much preferred He-Man. You knew what was going to happen with He-Man.
Worst of all though was Venger. Often seen riding his black stallion with hooves of fire, Venger was the demonic, vampiric, bat winged embodiment of evil in a big skirt always trying to capture the children's power to locate his lost horn (as I remember it, correct me if I'm wrong). There's something about his design that would terrify me as a kid, partly I think it's the white face and dark eyes, with the snub nose and fangs making him almost snake like. The giant bat wings don't hurt either. But I think it's also the disturbed symmetry of his design that on a more subconscious level lets us know that something is amiss with him. I've tried to emphasize that with my depiction of him, that he's perfectly symmetrical apart from the long, thin, scythe-like horn protruding from the side of his head. Either that or he's just one bad mother.
Happy Nightmares, kids!
Next week: Charn!