The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition – review
Oct17

The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition – review

I have a confession to make. To my shame, I never bought the first version of this book – The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey – when it was first published back in 2006. There, I feel better now that’s off my chest. However, I feel that now it may have been a good thing. You see, if I had of made that purchase – it may have spoiled me for the beautiful book I received in the post just yesterday, an extended edition of that book, which had me exclaiming “whoah!” to a room devoid of other people as I unpacked and turned it’s pages for the first time. Yes, this book has impact. If, like many of us, you were messing around with home computers in the early 80s and live in the UK you will undoubtedly have heard of and seen Oliver Frey’s now legendary cover art for the likes of Crash, Zzap! 64 and Amtix! The book, which was funded via Kickstarter in April this year, is both the story of Oliver Frey’s career as an illustrator and a showcase for the amazing fantasy art he produced both for the Newsfield videogame magazines and his many other commissions. These covered everything from children’s history book covers to the inlays for the videogames themselves. Inside the book The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey – Extended Edition by Roger M Kean (Reckless Books) is a large-format hardback book, measuring approximately 23 x 29 cm and protected with a full colour glossy dust-jacket. Starting with a foreword by Roger Kean – former managing director and senior publishing executive at Newsfield – then heading straight into a 26 page biography, it tells the fascinating story of the Oli’s life and career both in his country of birth – Switzerland, and in England. As might be expected, a lot of focus is put on the video game boom and the prolific Newsfield years, with some great photographs of Oli working on Crash artwork and other images of the team behind the now fabled monthly magazines working from their offices in Ludlow. But let’s face it. As interesting as all that is – and it really is – what this particular publication is about, is the artwork. And this is where the book really comes to life, with the remainder of the pages dedicated to showcasing that artwork as vividly as possible with none of the graphics and other text which originally obscured much of his magazine and book illustrations. Beautifully printed, glossy, full colour spreads, split into genres, capture Oli’s work and turn this publication into the premium artbook it...

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The Masters of Pixel Art Volume 2 Kickstarter campaign launches
Sep15

The Masters of Pixel Art Volume 2 Kickstarter campaign launches

We see a lot of retro books being launched via Kickstarter these days, don’t we? And a lot of them are, well, a bit ‘same old-same old’. Occasionally though, one pops onto our reading radar that we just have to get involved with. One such book is The Masters of Pixel Art Volume 2, published by Nice Pixel, which launched its Kickstarter campaign this week looking for funds of kr130,000 (Swedish Krona) – or around £11,500. Unfortunately – and I have no idea how –  Volume 1 totally passed us by, which is unfortunate because it looks amazing too. The Masters of Pixel Art Volume 2 Double pack with Posters Double pack with Volume 1 The Masters of Pixel Art Volume 2 will be 216 pages of high quality 150g silk coated paper, featuring 41 artists and a staggering number of pixel art images – over 350. The cover is finished in white textile with silver foil, making it a stand-out book on your book case’s retro shelf. The book features images from the Commodore 64, together with pixel art from other 8bit machines such as the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari XL-XE, Commodore Plus/4 and MSX. Featured pixel-artists included in the book are AcidT*, Archmage, Carrion, Clone, Deev, Duce, Electric, Helm, ilesj, iLKke, Jailbird, Joe, Ken√´t, Leon, Louie64, Made, Mermaid, Mirage, Nero, Odyn1ec, Ooz, Oys, Pal, Piesiu, pRof, Prowler, ptoing, Redcrab, rexbeng, Sander, SIT, Skurwy, Slayer Grafix, STE, Stone, The Sarge, Twoflower, Valsary, Veto, Wayne Schmidt and Yazoo. Luckily for those who, like us, missed the first offering, this campaign has a Volume 1 and Volume 2 bundle pledge. Other pledge levels include: Poster collection : 32 sheets with 1 image per sheet, by 32 different artists (16 from vol. 1, 16 from vol. 2). Perfect to frame and put on the wall. Bookmarks : 50 unique bookmarks with images from 50 featured artists. Postcards : c64 PETSCII, pixel art images and c64 & Amiga pictures by Prowler See the Kickstarter Campaign page for further details or to pledge for one or more of these wonderful looking books.     Links Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nicepixel/the-masters-of-pixel-art-volume-2/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themastersofpixelart/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themastersofpixelart/ Publisher website: http://nicepixel.se/ Book website:...

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Commodore Amiga in Pixels Kickstarter goes live and hits goal in one day
Jun13

Commodore Amiga in Pixels Kickstarter goes live and hits goal in one day

The date is Saturday 11th June. The venue? The Centre for Computing History, Cambridge, England and another exciting Kickstarter launch event for Chris Wilkins and Fusion Retro Books, who’s previous works include the The ZX Spectrum in Pixels Vols. 1-3, Ocean The History and The Story of US Gold amongst others. This time it is for a book on the mighty Commodore Amiga entitled The Commodore Amiga in Pixels. Relaxed faces prior to the Q and A session Q and A session in progress with Darrell Etherington, Roger Kean, Oliver Frey, Archer Maclean and Ben Daglish Stoo Cambridge signing a Sensible Soccer canvas Mevlut Dinc signing a canvas perk Archer Maclean signing IK+ canvas perks Stoo Cambridge, Mevlut Dinc, Archer Maclean and Robin Levy Q and A session with Robin Levy, Mevlut Dinc, Stoo Cambridge, David Pleasance and Archer Maclean One day later and the book is already 110% funded (at the time of writing) and heading towards the stretch goals, which currently include a new album by Allister Brimble that will include re-imaginings of 10 of the best tracks that David Whittaker composed for the Commodore Amiga and a copy of Retro Now!, a new 68 page magazine covering all aspects of retro games, movies, cartoons and comics. I these weren’t enough to get your retro appetities truly whetted, Chris has just announced the latest perk; an Amiga version of the Spectrum and C64 classic Starquake, which is being produced by Galahad with the full blessing of original programmer Steve Crow. This perk will feature a boxed disk version of the game with artwork by Trevor Storey. Stretch goal: Alister Brimble CD Stretch goal: Retro Now! magazine The book itself will be a high quality 268 page hardback or softback featuring the usual ‘in Pixels’ treats; a foreword by David Pleasance – former managing director of Commodore UK, double-page games reviews and over 30 memoirs from Amiga luminaries such as David Lowe, Stoo Cambridge, Archer Maclean and Jez San. Also featured within The Commodore Amiga in Pixels will be an article on the history of the Amiga computer written by Roger Kean, joint founder of Newsfield Publications who gave us Crash, Zzap! 64 and The Games Machine. This section will contain new images of each and every Amiga released by Commodore taken by Johnnathan Taylor who took photos of his C64 collection for The story of the Commodore 64 in Pixels which we reviewed here. You can back this awesome looking book by pledging on the Kickstarter page here.     Links Fusion Retro Books website: http://www.fusionretrobooks.com Kickstarter page:...

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The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition Kickstarter launches
Apr29

The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition Kickstarter launches

This stunning new book; The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey Extended Edition, published by Fusion Retro Books and written by Roger Keane is a follow on from the extremely popular original book by the same author. Those of you who read Crash, Zzap 64 or Amtix will need no introduction to Oli’s work, his iconic magazine cover art will live with us forever. Book cover This hardcover-only book covers the history of the man behind the artwork and groups his artwork together in sections from monsters and aliens to heroes and villains. The 224 page book, which is already completely written, also contains an extra 52 pages over the original, highlighting some of Oli’s more recent work. As you have come to expect from a Retro Fusion Books Kickstarter campaign, there are also some unique perks on offer including signed books, signed 16×12″ canvasses of Oliver Frey’s art and postcard packs. Pledge your support for this beautiful new book here. Canvas perk Canvas perk Canvas perk Links: Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/47744432/the-fantasy-art-of-oliver-frey Fusion Retro Books website:...

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Nintendo 64 Anthology launches Kickstarter campaign
Apr14

Nintendo 64 Anthology launches Kickstarter campaign

An English adaptation of the popular hardback book; the Nintendo 64 Anthologie by Geeks-Line and penned by Math Malent is 98% complete, primed and ready for funding via Kickstarter. We are proud to announce that Retro Games Collector is supporting this campaign for this amazing book which covers Nintendo’s highly influential console which sold over 33 million units worldwide and became reknowned for being the first true 3D-based gaming console. As one of the most prolific collectors of Nintendo 64 games in the world Math Malent is well qualified to pen this comprehensive book which takes the reader on a journey through a complete history of the machine alongside a detailed description of it’s complete software library and interviews with those involved in the design and development of the console at the time. With over 350 pages, the entire game library of 388 games, cancelled games, accessories, collector’s editions and all the Nintendo 64 console variants included, this beautifully finished hardback book really does cover it all. Interviews include Martin Hollis (Rare – GoldenEye), Eric Caen (Titus – Superman) which encompasses both the most sublime and the worst of what the machine had to offer. There are several versions of the book on offer; The Classic Edition, The Collectors Edition – featuring a limited edition cover and slipcase, The Box Art Collection which includes a box art collection of over 750 of the games published for the N64 and the Custom Zelda Edition Pack which includes a limited edition and signed Zelda Nintendo 64 custom painted by American artist, James Harvard. The release of the book is has been set to coincide with the 20th Aniversary of the launch of the Nintendo 64 – September 29th 2016.   T The Kickstarter campaign launched today (Thursday April 14th) – check it out here.   Links Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2099439603/nintendo-64-anthology-the-ultimate-book Twitter:...

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Fusion Funding – new funding website launches
Apr05

Fusion Funding – new funding website launches

‘The Little Book of Spectrum Games’ ‘The Little Book of Spectrum Games’ Not dissimilar to other well known crowdfunding sites visually Wouldn’t it be great to have a new crowdfunding site, specifically for the retrogaming community? After all, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are awash with retro projects at the moment and having one tailored to retro gamers would make life easier for us all. Thankfully, Chris Wilkins – founder of Fusion Retro Books and author of the ZX Spectrum in Pixels Volumes 1-3 (see our reviews here: Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3), as well as books on Ocean and US Gold has now launched his very own funding website (Fusion Funding) to be used for smaller projects and for third party retro projects in the future. Fusion Funding also has a social side to it too and has features that will enable it to be used as a hub for the retro community to use for news and to share and promote ideas. Chris says: “I have successfully used Kickstarter to raise funds to produce the books I have published to date, and will continue to use the platform going forwards for the larger projects. I thought it would be a good idea to do spin off projects to the main books like producing mini books full of just the games on a platform like the ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64. So I came up with the idea of putting together a site called Fusion Funding. The site has a social element like Facebook – a wall where you can post, videos, photos, events etc. It also has a campaign manager a little like Kickstarter. So I put the site together – added a campaign to raise funds to produce a book called ‘The Little Book of Spectrum Games’ and pressed the ‘go’ button. The response has been great so far. In a few days the funding is up to nearly £700 and over 60 retro fans have joined the site. If this initial campaign is successful, then I will be opening it up to others in the retro community who would like to run their own projects on the site.” We wish Fusion Funding every success and really look forward to seeing the first campaign come to fruition along with any that follow, whether by Chris or others in the retro community.   Links Fusion Funding: www.fusionfunding.co.uk Fusion Retro Books:...

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