Russ Nicholson “Chasms of Malice”

Russ Nicholson “Chasms of Malice”

Amazingly intricate fantasy illustration by Russ Nicholson, somewhat reminiscent of Art Nouveau and specifically Aubrey Beardsley but swap his mythological erotica for Russ’s orks, elfs and what have you… Anyway I’m not a huge fan of fantasy stuff these days, although I will admit to owning several of the 80’s Fighting Fantasy books (good toilet reading material) from which this illustration was taken.

Russ Nicholson Illustrated a number of Fighting Fantasy Books right through the series (82-95?) and he also produced work for other Dungeons and Dragons / RPG work from that era. I’ve always thought his work is excellent and certainly formed part of my early inspiration to learning to draw….

** Addendum:  3rd March 2009

If anyone wishes to contact Russ please email me: kiekelly [at]

18 thoughts on “Russ Nicholson “Chasms of Malice””

  1. Still illustrating! I commisioned a painting from him a few years ago and he sent me links to a couple of pictures he had produced a year or so ago, for Games Workshop.

  2. thanks, I appreciate the comments. I’m rather ‘under-used’ these days but still working and teaching.


  3. your web site gets better and better. The book chasms of malice had a big influence on me I remember doing a pick a path book in a similar style when I was about 14 for English. And looking at it now I can really see an influence on my drawing style.

  4. I can’t find a website for Russ. Is he still interested in taking commissions? Does he have an agent? Is there a way to contact him?

    Thanks for any assistance!

  5. Hey Cal.

    Russ himself posted a comment just above – I have an email address for him so I’ll mail that to you…. I think his work is absolutely amazing! – I’d love to see any Sci-Fi stuff he’s done… I must feature some more scan’s when I dig out the old fighting fantasy books

  6. I’m a huge fan of Russ Nicholson from his work on Fighting Fantasy, the Blood Sword series et al. Would love to be able to get in touch with him regarding his art if you have a contact.

  7. Ah, Russ Nicholson! What a talent! I picked up Fiend Folio in my early teens and must have spent hours and hours over the years staring at the brilliant illustrations. The Grell stands out in my mind’s eye, and the full page Githyanki pic… I still have it, in fact, just for Russ’ art. So many great drawings! And I can remember his illustrations for White Dwarf, the Skaven, the wood elves… just absolutely fantastic.

  8. Hi – cheers for the comment!

    yeah for me if it’s Fantasy Art and not Russ or Ian Miller then it’s probably not really for me…. there are exception’s but that’s my rule… would love to own originals from both Artist’s

  9. I agree with all of the above.

    I’d also add that if Russ were to have a site where people could buy his illustrations – either originals, limited prints or mass-produced posters – I’m sure it would be a success. There’s a lot of print-on-demand services out there so he wouldn’t have to invest in a lot of stock for most of it.

    I’d willing spend a couple of hundred for an original/ limited print. Does Russ have a current stock list anywhere?

  10. Hi Stephane – thnaks for the comment – No I have not heard of him! Google does not seem to either – do you have a link?


  11. I love Russ Nicholson’s work, it was unique in its linear style. I just bought the 25th anniversary edn. of ‘Warlock of Firetop Mountain’ just to see the work in there again. He’s truly excellent.

  12. Cheers for the Comment Jason…. you’ll be pleased to know I have a Russ Nicholson Special feature coming up very soon!!

  13. When I was a child I spent many an hour wrapped around a Fighting Fantasy gamebook. I didn’t know who Russ Nicholson was but I always recognised his work. When it came time for me to decide which gamebook I was going to buy next, I’d flick through the pages of the books in the store to see if I could find one with Russ’s illustrations.

    Now I know who was responsible for bringing the Fighting Fantasy world to life for me and for firing up my childhood imagination: Russ Nicholson. What a wonderful artist!

    Russ, if you read this, I still get shivers every time I see your illustration of the two guards – the ape with the dog’s head and the dog with the ape’s head – standing outside the citadel in Steve Jackson’s The Citadel of Chaos. The atmosphere is wonderfully evocative. Thanks for the childhood memories.

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