Fighting Fantasy. Same Place – Different Maps

Leo Hartas - Fighting Fantasy Isles of  the Dawn Leo Hartas - Fighting Fantasy Isles of  the Dawn

Two maps from the Fighting Fantasy series of game books that I painted in 1989 and 1991 that I found recently in a long forgotten folder. The series was started by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone and went on to become a cult success before computer games took the attention of adolescent boys. In many of the books a colour map was printed on the inside cover which became a regular job for me before I even started art school. These two maps were late on int he series when I was becoming more sophisticated with framing and decorative ideas. I was usually only ever given a very rough map scrawled by the author on the back of an envelope and virtually no other information about the story let alone a chance to read the script. From my point of view, pure heaven! I was left to my own devices, and it shows. The lower map was painted in my usual way with watercolour, but the top map, the one carved on a floating rock was my first attempt at painting with acrylics mixed with a glossy medium. You cannot see it in the scan, but the original has a lovely depth and richness.

The Tower on Etsy

3_Tower_Leo_Hartas_Illustration web

Searan Tower Print

I’ve been updating my Etsy shop to make this drawing available to buy as a digital download to print and frame. Imagine having this fabulous detailed drawing ornamenting what would otherwise be a dull featureless wall in your house to intrigue and delight you and your guests.

Even if you don’t want to buy it please like and share it đŸ™‚

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St. Malo comics festival – Quai Des Bulles

Pirates of St. Malo - Leo Hartas illustration

Just returned from a wonderful weekend visiting the Quai Des Bulles comics festival in St. Malo, the amazing pirate town on the northern Brittany coast. I went with Jo and Freya and returned with our bags full of comic albums and our heads full of inspiration. I am always amazed by the huge variety and quality of the French comics scene where every subject is aired, from epic fantasy and sci-fi to kitchen sink drama, and even eye-popping bedtime stories. So unlike American superheros that seem to dominate the UK to exclusion of almost everything else. I am also struck by the wide variety of readers who include the whole family from children up to grandparents. Apparently a half of all books sold in France are graphic novels. My only problem is that I can’t read French so have to make do with the drawings alone which is no bad thing. Viva la bande dessinĂ©e! Doddle above from my sketchbook while in St. Malo.