A few months ago I was approached to make covers for the relaunch of six Fighting Fantasy books, five of the original set plus a brand new choose-you-own-adventure by Ian Livingstone.
These books have a special place in my affections, coming along at just the right time (I was around nine years old) when I’d read the Hobbit, the Narnia books, and had struggled with the Lord of the Rings and wasn’t quite ready for Michael Moorcock and more ‘adult’ fantasy. That came later.
The trouble is, most of the covers held a special place in my affections too with that original set reading like a who’s who of my childhood artistic heroes. The original Forest of Doom in particular is a classic, beautifully realised by Ian McCaig. I wonder what happened to that guy.
To even think of competing with those guys was folly, so I put it from my mind and tried to make simple, direct covers. Each one has a simple dominant colour to differentiate it, with similar compositions to make a set.
The idea is that with the bright colours they’ll leap out of the shelves, and hopefully leap into another nine year old kid’s hands.