So, Nintendo Gamer magazine is to close, thus ending the Future Publishing unofficial UK Nintendo magazine line that started way back in 1992 with Super Play and continued on through N64, NGC and NGamer before ending up in its current incarnation. To be honest I thought it would at least hang on until the Wii-U (do you write that with a hyphen?) hit, just in case fortunes turned around its dwindling sales figures but it was not to be.
It is, of course, a sign of the times with many gamers now getting up-to-the-second news from the net and feeling they no longer need to patronise a printed mag but those that stayed with it knew the secret; it's not just about the information.
I've been genuinely touched by all the messages commiserating the end and all their tales of gaming childhoods growing up with the mags. Knowing that I had a tiny part in some of those mags gives me an immense amount of pride and so it was really nice that I was asked to do one more cover. Well, actually two; one for the newsstand and another for the subscribers copy.
So, here's the normal one:
Yes, yes, I know that Mario should really be in his white and red Fire Mario outfit.
and here's the subscriber copy pic:
I hope they're OK (last minute etc. etc. excuses) and I do wish I'd been able to do something slightly more epic and off-the-wall but there you go. Can't imagine I'll ever get to do another games magazine cover now unless I do my own. Now there's an idea...
Today, somehow I feel a little bit more like a proper illustrator. I now have an agent (the delightful chaps and chapesses at Lemonade
) who will represent me worldwide. Look, here's my page on their site
Clickty-click to visit me at Lemonade
I'm amazed (and not a little intimidated) to be amongst some fantastic talents such as my friend Neil Roberts
and am proud to be part of their push into the States. Look at this poster. There I am, tucked in near the top with the latest dinkybox
So, why do I need an agent, especially in this world where I can have a website that the whole world can see along with a presence on countless other artwork and networking sites? Well, I guess the easiest answer is for the sort of exposure and introductions to potential projects I would never normally get through just having this webpage. It, sort of, marks you out as being serious about what you do and, dare I say it, professional. It also, hopefully, leaves me to get on with the artwork and doing the thing I'm (supposedly) good at. What I hope to do is mix that grown-up side with my own home-grow projects (a bit more on this later) so this is where the real hard work starts.
Even though I've never actually played a proper game of Dungeons & Dragons I love the books and artwork of those early RPG years. You know, the 1970s Monster Manual with it's scratchy, slightly amateurish artwork. At that time I felt that, with a lot of practice, I could do pics like that, too. If I was that young now I don't think it'd even cross my mind that I could do the amazing paintings that adorn role playing books today.
There seems to be quite a resurgence in old-school RPGing with fanzines like Fight On!
, new rules
that pay service to the original D&D boxset and even metal miniatures
based on those original designs.
The above was for a project a few years back that never went anywhere. It's just one of a gazillion sketches that got done trying to flesh out some NPCs but I quite enjoyed it and this sort of thing is, probably, the nearest I've got to role-playing work. There's always just one sort of Troll in video games - big, mean and with some armour on so I thought it'd be fun to try and do a whole family.
Ooh, life reset! Who pushed that button?
Well, after 11 years I'm out of the games dev business. I can't say I'm sorry, although having a full-time job is always a nice thing. I'll miss the friends and colleagues I worked with but it was the right thing to do at the right time.
The future's bright, there's lots to do and daft pictures won't draw themselves y'know. At least I get the time to update this site a lot more now.
Don't all cheer at once.