Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Trolltooth Wars.... during April Showers.

I wrote before that I would be posting some pictures, thanks to Andy and others, that I did for The Trolltooth Wars, which was the first in a series of written stories in the Fighting Fantasy mythos. It was written by Steve Jackson, then the last two, Demonstealer, and Shadowmaster [as far as my work is concerned] were written by Marc Gascoigne.

The first was the most interesting in that I was given the opportunity to choose the scenes to illustrate, after reading the galley manuscript, and this also included me selecting the layout of where, and how, the pictures would appear from its double page frontispiece and title page to the split illustrations and the double page spread, which in hindsight, I think was let down by the gutter 'split'.
Below are the two 'wings' of the frontispiece and title page [though I had nothing to do with the typography or text layout].

When I was offered the job I had to also do a sample to see what 'they' at Penguin, and I assume, Steve thought. My first drawing was apparently rejected because the shading I used was thought too 'real' and not as stylised as the work I was 'known' for. It taught me a lesson, stick to what you're considered good at. lol. Mind you, on occasion I still try to vary what I do. 
Below see the final 'split' picture, which is the same layout as the one rejected, just stylised with less 'shading' [ cross hatching] to the inks. The idea was these two pictures would frame the text and hopefully add to the scene.

OK. Now onto a few more examples from the original book.

I 're-worked' our friend above recently for the Le Grimoire 'shop'. I'll post more about this at a later date.

The book finished with a scene that showed all that had gone on had been but a game of greater gods. Steve, I remember, remarked that a lot of his script never saw print.

Sorry for the poor quality of these but they were 'lifted' and scanned by that infamous collector of images a.n.other.

To my mind, the whole project was a lot of fun, but in the end it was let down by the fact that the print paper selected did not do justice to the drawings. This is even more apparent if we look at one of the pictures scanned from the title 'Shadowmaster'.
Finally, a couple of other pictures from other titles, such as Blacksand, to round of this post.

Till the next time .... and after I've been to the première of the movie Death! , by Martin Gooch, this coming Saturday, and it is so good to hear the film has been selected to open the SCI-FI-Film Festival, London, in May.

Besides that I'm fairly busy, which is nice [grin] even if I'm recovering from an annoying bronchial infection. No worries though .. bye for the now.


  1. Marvelous work, as always. Greetings from Spain.

  2. Wonderful work, Mr. Russ! It makes me want to spend more time at the drawing board.

  3. Thank you all! As mentioned off to the private premier of 'Death' at the Bafta cinema on Saturday and legend has it so will Ian Livingstone who also features in the film .... maybe we will meet?

  4. Amazing detail! (I don't any of the Trolltooth Wars, Demonstealer or Shadowmaster books, I may now have to spend the rest of my life wrestling in bid-wars on Ebay for them. SNIPE!)

    Hey, that king looks a bit like Ollie Reed. :)

  5. Beautiful images, Russ. You were always my inspiration when I was doing Art A-level back in the 80s. You still are! When I think of fantasy novels and games, your images always keep coming back to mind.

  6. That Trolltooth War artwork is amazing Russ! Top man!

  7. I am blown away. Just fantastic work. Love it.