Just published by Snowbooks is You Are the Hero by Jonathan Green, a chunky 270 page volume on the history of Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.
I confess I've never been into Gamebooks, or role playing games. I don't even follow the fantasy genre. However, 30 years ago I created a strip entitled Derek the Troll for Warlock magazine and it ran in that mag (and then White Dwarf after Warlock was canceled) for several issues. Apparently the character was well liked by readers so when he was compiling this book, Jonathan Green commissioned me to produce a brand new Derek the Troll page, which I was happy to do. The strip is in there, along with a reprint of a classic Derek strip (Derek the Troll's 'Orrible Troll-Playing Game) and a short background to the character.
So, that was my incentive for buying this book, but what's the rest of it like? Well, considering I know virtually nothing about Fighting Fantasy it still looks very interesting because it seems to be written for both Joe Public and the hard core gamer, which can't be a bad thing. It reveals the behind-the-scenes story of the Gamebooks that Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone created back in the 1980s, as well as covering the stories within the books, and the artists involved.
The book is well illustrated throughout with numerous images, including many full page book covers without the cover copy so that you can fully appreciate the art.
From what I can tell this is the definitive book on Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks thanks to Jonathan's exhaustive research and knowledge. Copies are available in hardback and paperback from booksellers and online stores such as Amazon.
Copies will also be available at the Fighting Fantasy Fest event this Sunday, 7th September, in Ealing, London. (I was invited but had to decline as I'm busy.) For full details go here: