Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Iain McCaig to attend Fighting Fantasy Fest 2!

Breaking news! Ace Fighting Fantasy artist Iain McCaig will be attending Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 on Saturday 2 September!

Iain first made a name for himself working on the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, illustrating two classic Livingstone titles - City of Thieves and Deathtrap Dungeon - and providing the cover art for The Forest of Doom and Island of the Lizard King as well.

In 1987 he collaborated with Ian Livingstone again on the puzzle quest book Casket of Souls, and some of his paintings for the book were later re-purposed as covers for The Zagor Chronicles novel quartet.

Iain also worked with Steve Jackson, providing art for Steve Jackson's Battle Cards.

But 2017 has seen McCaig and Livingstone reunited for The Port of Peril hardback collector's edition.

Today, Iain is an internationally recognised and award-winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him on of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today.

He has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the principal designers on Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the ClonesStar Wars Episode Three: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode Seven: The Force Awakens. His work includes the landmark designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul.

His other film credits include: James Cameron's Terminator II, Steven Spielberg's Hook, Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, Neil Jordan’s Interview With the Vampire, Sony/Revolution/Universal’s Peter Pan, and Warner Brothers’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He is also Co-Producer and Concept Design Director on Ascendant Pictures’ science-fiction epic Outlander.

Iain is rarely in the UK so if you are a fan of his work you will not want to miss Fighting Fantasy Fest 2! (Tickets are still available.) He will be giving a talk and taking part in a Q and A, and will also be signing copies of The Port of Peril with Ian Livingstone.

Other confirmed guests* are Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Marc Gascoigne, Peter Darvill-Evans, Jamie Thomson, Malcolm Barter, Alan Langford, Tony Hough, Leo Hartas, Jim Burns, Pete Knifton, Andi Ewington, Simon Coleby, Robert M Ball, Keith Phillips and Jonathan Green.

The cast and crew of the new Fighting Fantasy audio drama The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero's Quest will also be there, as will the designers and developers of the FF video games Fighting Fantasy Legends and Steve Jackson's Sorcery!

* Health and work commitments permitting.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Audio Drama of Firetop Mountain

There are now just three weeks to go until Fighting Fantasy Fest 2.

As well as a host of special guests - including authors, artists and games designers - the event features a number of exclusives, such as the release of the brand new Fighting Fantasy audio drama The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero's Quest.

Listen to the just-released trailer for the audio drama here!

This brand new audio drama is brought to you by FoxYason Productions, whose previous post production credits include Warhammer, Stargate, Robin Hood, Terrahawks, The Avengers, plus over forty titles in Big Finish’s Doctor Who range.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain: The Hero’s Quest is a 60 minute audio drama inspired by the very first gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy range:

"When a Warlock lays claim to the Dwavern caverns beneath Firetop Mountain, an Elven adventurer is sent to end his reign of evil."

The Warlock is played by Toby Longworth, probably best known for being the voice of Judge Dredd in numerous productions, or for his voice roles in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

The heroine of the piece, Vale Moonwing, is played by Rachel Atkins, best known for her voice work on computers games franchises such as Final Fantasy, Broken Sword, Dragon Age and Warhammer.

The hero of the adventure, Cassius Stormblade, is played by Tim Treloar, probably best known for playing the third Doctor in Big Finish’s Doctor Who range.

The production team had one key rule when producing this drama: they wanted to be absolutely faithful to all of the original characters and creations, but not spoil the gameplay of the original book for anyone who reads it afterwards.

Listeners will encounter lots of familiar characters, such as the Warlock, the Ferryman, the Minotaur, the Orc Chieftain and a pair of daring adventurers… but often in new and unexpected ways.

"Simply put, our goal was to bring the fantasy world we loved to life, with a new – but very familiar – adventure story," explains writer David N. Smith.

The production team will be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 to answer all your questions, along with Toby Longworth, who provides the voice of Zagor. They will be giving a short seminar about the production, as well as selling some advance copies of the Limited Edition CD, before the official launch on the 3rd September.

For further updates on the project, you can follow FoxYason Productions on Facebook. Pre-orders are being taken now for the Limited Edition CD and Download, which can be purchased at: www.fightingfantasyaudiodramas.com.

And, of course, if enough fans purchase this pilot episode, the hope is that a full series will follow. So, if you would like to hear more audio dramas based upon Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, pre-order your copy today, and help to spread the word!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Freeway Fighter #4 released today!

The fourth and final part* of Ian Livingstone's FREEWAY FIGHTER is out today from Titan Comics.

Cover A, by Ben Oliver

This four-part mini-series has been wonderfully crafted by Andi Ewington (writer), Simon Coleby (inks), Len O'Grady (colours) and Jim Campbell (letters).

If you missed the Forbidden Planet signing that launched the comic, you can meet the creators Andi Ewington and Simon Coleby, along with Ian Livingstone himself, at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, which is taking place on Saturday 2nd September at the University of West London in Ealing.

Cover B, by Simon Coleby & Len O'Grady

 Cover C, by Tazio Bettin & Luis Guerrero

Are you ready to meet the Animal?

The Animal, by Simon Coleby

* Unless, of course, the collected trade paperback of this first series sells well enough, in which case there could easily be more.

Monday, 7 August 2017

The Signing of Firetop Mountain

Last Friday, 4th August 2017, a number of the faithful gathered at the shrine to geekdom known as Forbidden Planet in London to beg audience with the masters of Firetop Mountain themselves, Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.

As you can see from the pictographic images here (and the ones reproduced within the esoteric Book of Face) the signing brought forth all manner of fans, including those who first discovered Fighting Fantasy back in the 1980s and '90s and newer devotees of the gamebook cult. There were also a few familiar faces spotted among the hordes, as well as celebrity fan Matt Holness*.

If you were unable to attend the Forbidden Planet signing, the next opportunity you'll have to meet Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone will be at Fighting Fantasy Fest 2 in September, where Scholastic Books will be selling the limited edition, signed hardback of Ian Livingstone's brand new FF gamebook The Port of Peril.

* An actor best known for his portrayl of fictional '80s horror writer Garth Marenghi in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.