So Scholastic have set the next six #FightingFantasy books into motion. Another five revivals and a brand new title, The Gates Of Death, should be joining us around April. Whilst not many of the die hard fans appreciated the cover art of the first six releases last year, at least they was all done by the same artist and looked generic. Unfortunately we are now met with a change in design. It’s not good.
Though one may argue the artwork is slightly more in line with the classic series (I said slightly) , it has been confined to a tiny circle in the middle of the page with about 80% the rest just a single colour broken by white lines. I’m pretty certain this is a money saving device. When you consider the full cover of art we had in the 80s – 00s this isn’t progress nor very eye catching. With the last six covers Scholastic gave the excuse they was using this type of art to appeal to an era of video gaming children. So why the change? I guess they’re admitting they was wrong and the fans we’re right and now going down the cheapest route tasting sour grapes.
The Gates Of Death will be the first ‘presented’ written FF adventure since Jonathan Green’s wonderful Howl Of The Werewolf, and from the look of it Charlie Higson (of The Fast Show fame) will be the first non series creator to have his name boldly displayed on the front cover. Prestigious that may be, but is this a marketing twist to attract his own fans to buy this new quest? Either way, I am grateful for another new story and hope it goes down well with fans expectations and spurs Scholastic to employ other guest writers too such as the aforementioned Jonathan Green, Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson etc etc
Jam meets Charlie Higson at FFF2
This week was a tremendous one for Fighting Fantasy fanatics like myself. Andi Ewingtons comic version has had issue one released, a bunch of which (there are several covers) arrived to my workplace the other day and I managed to snap this brag pic.
So how has it turned out? In one word, fantastic! The comic is true enough to the gamebook published in 1985 and focuses on the post apocalyptic life of an ex car racer. Society has collapsed and vicious road thugs and motor gangs haunts the highways. Even this first issue has a couple of lovely Easter Eggs draughted in to the frames by the ultra talented Simon Coleby, and Len O’Grady on colours. I hear there are 5 of which I think I have spotted 4 (I refuse to do spoilers at this early stage). The first issue is basically about setting the scene and characted development. We get to see just how rough the world has become and it leaves you on a cliff hangar ending ready for issue 2. My only blast is it ended too soon for a monthly comic. It needs a couple more pages in it.
The front of the book also contains a foreward by Ian Livingstone CBE himself pictured below with an equally handsome Me. He writes about his inspirations behind the book and why he wanted to go more futuristic with book 13 in the Fighting Fantasy book series when his usual mediums are sword and sorcery epics.
Current production is at the cover art for issue four stage so if you love a good post-apocalyptic yarn, get on over to forbiddenplanet.com and order your copies TODAY!
Freeway Fighter Comic:
Pro’s – good production team delivering polished material on time.
- Con’s – bit too thin for a monthly comic. Half a dozen more page sides should do it.