Erol Otus created the cover art on the 1981 D&D Basic Set, and also contributed eight of the more than 30 interior illustrations to the included rulebook. The other illustrators are Jeff Dee, Dave La Force, Jim Roslof, and Bill Willingham.
It is my opinion, having played D&D since 1981, that the early 80’s issues of Dragon Magazine are the best… but that is because that is from when the most nostalgia is for me.
My first… sort of… game of Dungeons & Dragons was while walking home with a classmate after school. It was springtime 1981, I was in the 6th grade and I had just met Paul (if I recall his name correctly) for the first time.