We were very sorry to hear of the passing of Russ Nicholson last Wednesday, after a short illness, and know that many who read this will be feeling just as bereft as we are.
'Legend' is a word that is over-used these days, but it certainly applies when talking about the man who brought the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook to life. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain was the readers' introduction to the world of FF and it was Russ's illustrations as much as the text that drew children into the deadly dungeon that was the Warlock's lair.
Russ's work also set a high benchmark for others to follow. Oft imitated but never surpassed, when Russ took his pen for a walk across the page he conjured inriguing characters, hideous monsters, whole armies, and entire worlds from the nib. To see him work was like watching a wizard practising his craft; he waved his wand and visceral scenes of action and adventure were brought forth upon the page in ink.