An ongoing project by Blanca Martinez de Rituerto and Joe Sparrow.

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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Gelatinous Cube (& Happy 300th Post!)

Gelatinous cubes are a subset of oozes which share the remarkable tendency to settle comfortably into a cuboid shape at rest. While this might seem a uselessly bizarre trait, wizarding opinion speculates that the creatures may have thus evolved to comfortably exist in the man-made structures of abandoned underground structures such as crypts and dungeons. Here they simply "occupy" a cube of space, stretching wall to wall and waiting, spider-like, for prey to stumble upon them, whereupon they absorb and devour it.

Of course, the particular danger inherent in gelatinous cubes is their near-transparency when not feeding. For new adventurers, a seemingly vacant corridor can quickly go from being a symbol of brief merciful respite ("oh, thank goodness there are no hobgoblins here!") to one of  flesh-eating protoplasmic death ("it's eating our cleric!!!! And then it's going to eat me!!!! OH MY GOOOOOOD" etc etc).


So, happy 300th post, everyone! We decided to go for something classically D&D-ish with this one, and as we're always pretty short on Oozes (an amorphous blob of goo is actually pretty hard to make into an interesting drawing, huh) I thought I'd go for one of the more famously silly variations on the creature type. Gelatinous cubes have become pretty iconic among the fanbase (usually depicted with the traditional skull or somesuch floating within), confirming their awkward charm. I don't know the true origin of the creature but part of me suspects that the thing was an inspired by-product of trying to codify an ooze within a system with a grid-based ruleset. They make undeniably great corridor-filling deathtraps, but consider hanging one silently from a ceiling, then dropping it on your unsuspecting party!

Also featured in this particular image is a hapless Razor Boar, which some among you may remember as Blanca's very first image for the blog way back in 2010. Drawing this I actually felt pretty sorry for the little fella. Getting eaten by an ooze is probably not a good way to go, as evinced by the 1988 remake of the classic horror/sci-fi B-movie The Blob (warning, very gory!) and, to a more comical extent, Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (superbly reviewed here by the guys over at Redlettermedia).

Anyway, thanks to everyone who continues to follow us, we appreciate it. We're nearing completion on the second book now, it should be out in the later half of this year, so keep your eyes peeled for more news on that. Obviously thanks to Blanca, too - I feel a bit of a sham filling in for our 300th post when it's mostly Blanca's efforts that have kept the blog going over the years. Here's to 300 more!

- Joe


  1. Wonderful! When is the next book? Use this as the frontispiece?

    1. We can't make concrete promises about a time the second book's gonna be done. We've told ourselves "in about six months" for over a year now. Hopefully, it'll be done by November, assuming some jobs don't come up that tire us out.

    2. Well, I am certainly looking forward to it!