Fighting Fantasy

So, I’m having another nostalgia rush following the news of Fighting Fantasy reissuing a bunch of their classic Gamebooks from the Eighties, along with a brand new book written by Charlie Higson of The Fast Show fame.

I still have the original first three - Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Citadel of Chaos, Forest of Doom - along with Sorcery! books 1-4. But I was inspired to go to the nearest bookshop. What I saw horrified me.

The new prints have new cover art, naturally. They also have new interior art. And while I know the audience, especially through publisher Scholastic, is kids rather than grizzled middle-aged men, the new art is so poor I don’t really know what they’re thinking.

The amazing artwork, especially Russ Nicholson and Iain McCaig, was a key part of what brought the books to life for me and my friends. Through FF I discovered White Dwarf, and through that, D&D. They were a huge influence on me, and the glorious artwork played a central role. Crisp, black and white line art. I can still see Nicodemus from City of Thieves even without the book.

The new reissues, however...

The art is derivative (largely redrawn from the originals), inferior in quality, almost cartoonish. And most puzzlingly, clearly colour work rendered black and white leaving the pages which should be clear and impactful, instead grey and washed out. I think kids today would react to the original artwork the same way I did; I think the changes are very negative and won’t aid immersion, which is a shame, if it comes to pass.

I’d post pics but tbh with the shelf giving me the choice of new Deathtrap Dungeon with crappy internal art against one copy of the previous reissue (new cover of skeleton in chair but original internals), well, frankly, yoink! I took the latter.

Anyone else seen the new ones/have any thoughts?

log in or register to remove this ad


Well, that was fun
Staff member
I’ve not seen the new ones, but have my old ones. Sorry you didn’t like the art, I guess?

I’m playing the new mobile app right now. I’ve cleared out Firetop Mountain. It’s awesme!

An Advertisement