|click to embiggen/right-click + view image|
After I ran the piece the other day about Nick's iconic Villains & Vigilantes character (Nick Law), he reminded me that, during the heady days of the HeroPress play-by-mail game, the high street glossy magazine Fantazia published an article (penned by me) on his famous alter ego.
He added that he used to have a copy of the article pinned up by his desk at work!
This was in issue six, from the early '90s, and profiled the original British iteration of the character, although still with a heavy dose of Doc Savage about him.
You can read the article if you click the picture above (it should open a larger version of the scan).
The article also ends with some waffle about other "mega-corporations" in Royal Wells (the main city base of operations for the UK branch of the campaign, which served as a prototype for my current Knight City setting).
I believe the spiffy illustration of businessman-adventurer Nick Law is by Joe Ahern, but that was added by the Fantazia editorial staff, so I can't say for certain.
Fantazia described itself as "the definitive superhero magazine", and this was a pretty niche market in that pre-Internet/pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe/pre-Berlanti-verse TV shows' time, so I kinda feared its days were numbered when I signed on...
But its publishers (Pegasus) had agreed to publish HeroPress - one of my players was involved in the magazine's launch, which is how we got drawn in - and wanted me to write background articles for every issue to help promote the play-by-mail game.
It was never a great magazine - being a mish-mash of press releases, part-interviews (always tagged with an irritating "this is part of a longer interview..." line, rubbing the reader's face in the fact that - without an Internet to talk of - they would never know what else the interviewee would have to say on that particular topic), pretty decent art, gaming material, comic book news, information on forthcoming films etc -
However, looking back I'm very proud of my contributions and, through rose-tinted glasses, of the role Pegasus took in the life of HeroPress.
It certainly helped raise the profile of HeroPress for a while, even though (obviously) it never made anybody any money (being more a labour of love, given the amount of time it took to type out individual story-turns for every player).
Going in to the partnership I explained upfront the game was very labour-intensive for gamesmasters as well as my belief that nobody could ever make any money out of it, but that didn't stop them.
HeroPress got a glamorous 'reboot', with new card-covered rule books and new gamesmasters and players, but quite quickly the people behind Fantazia, and its gaming spin-off Gamesmaster, realised I'd been right about the workload and the postal game's doomed business model.
We parted company amicably. Gamesmaster and Fantazia went belly-up soon after this. I don't think there was any connection, except that their fanboyish enthusiasm for their hobbies probably outweighed their business prowess at the time.