Monday 11 July 2011

Russ Nicholson: master of fantasy

One of the best things about Fighting Fantasy is the superb artwork that honestly dwarfs most roleplaying art to this day. Yet few can come close to the immense fantasy illustrations of the man who created the Warlock of Firetop Mountain himself - Russ Nicholson.

Any hard-core Fighting Fantasy fan can instantly recognise one of Nicholson's intricate line drawings that brought the dark and deadly world of Titan to life before our very eyes. His art is impossibly detailed and evocative of an unwelcoming fantasy realm, from magnificent cityscapes to blood-chilling monsters from the dark.

Read more after the jump.

The Scottish born artist illustrated the first ever Fighting Fantasy book: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in 1982, where he showed off his artistic prowess that would carry him into his subsequent career.

Nicholson went on to illustrate many more books by Livingstone and Jackson, including The Citadel of Chaos and Masks of Mayhem, whilst also expanding into artwork for the Fighting Fantasy novels and the FF roleplaying game.

His style clearly caught the eye of other gaming companies and soon he was drawing monsters in TSR's Fiend Folio for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, various Games Workshop projects and rival gamebook series Fabled Lands.

Few can top Nicholson's eye for detail and obvious passion for his work. He became an inspiration for artists who came after him and left his stamp on the world of Fighting Fantasy.

Nicholson now blogs at The Gallery where he shares his amazing work with us mere mortals, so be sure to check it out. 


  1. Many thanks for your kind words.

  2. @Russ Nicholson No thank YOU! You defined a generation of fantasy art. Keep up the good work and thanks for the comment.