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First isse of DC Comics' Avatar, adapted from the TSR fantasy novels.

First issue of DC Comics' Avatar, adapted from the TSR fantasy novels.

Huh?

Yep, forget the James Cameron movie for a minute, and let’s go back to the first half of 1991; when DC Comics published Avatar, adapted from the TSR fantasy novel trilogy.

Well, let’s back-up even more to the late ’80s. You may remember that DC secured the TSR license. Yes, most people correctly associate TSR with the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, but they were also aggressive in the fantasy (prose) novel business. (Often the novels worked in tandem to support the games.)

TSR’s Dragonlance line of novels kicked off with, “The Dragons of Autumn Twilight,” which reached the top of the New York Times Best Seller list in 1984. Then in 1988, DC debuted their ongoing Dragonlance comic series, which went a few years.

Avatar was a separate limited series in 1991, with each issue running 94 pages, at a hefty $5.95 cover price!

More info / resources:

TSR’s Wikipedia entry is here; interesting to read about the rise and then slow decline of the company, with Wizards of the Coast (the Magic: The Gathering people) eventually buying them out.

Back issues of DC’s TSR books are generally inexpensive, so try your local comic book store or convention, and then there’s always mycomicshop.com!

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