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An amazing collectable - be cheeky, ask for it to be signed when ordering!

Posted by boyo on May 21, 2010 19:43 (May 21, 2010 19:43)

What distinguished the artwork of Oli Frey was his unswerving ability to capture the essence and highlight the temperament of a computer game in a dynamic yet functional portrait; demonstrating a brilliant underlying perception of his subject and audience.

As a teenager in the early 80’s, I waited on pins each and every month for the new issue of Crash magazine to fall through my letterbox. As well as the informative editorial in each issue, it was the artwork by Frey that captured my imagination and instilled an immediate longing for the next issue.

The Crash covers never patronised the young readership by watering down or over-sweetening their content, at times with adorned with ferocious dragons, demons and other mythological beasts. Others, such as the Christmas specials, captured the time and essence of the season equally well. Each cover was unique and timeless.

Thalamus Publishing have recently compiled his work into The Fantasy Art of Oliver Frey, which not only celebrates his work, but gives an insight into the life of the artist, or ‘commercial illustrator’ as Oli is known to prefer.

The editorial is written by Frey’s close friend Roger Kean. Roger and Oli first met they were studying a course at the London Film School in 1969 and therefore is fully versed with Oli’s career. His prose is informative and proves captivating reading as the link between Oli’s artwork and that of the fledgling computer games industry of the 1980’s is uncovered.

The main body of the book is filled with images from Frey’s portfolio covering the days of Crash, Amtix and Zzap!64 through to Fear and LM, as well as game inserts created for the Thalamus range of titles. The reader is also presented with images that have not found their way into print before and is informed of some of the techniques used by Frey whilst creating his designs.

Looking through this high quality book is like stepping down memory lane and takes your thoughts back to the long summer evenings of yesteryear, flicking through your favourite gaming magazine, be it Crash, Amtix or Zzap!64, and then having one more go at beating your highest score on Spy Hunter.

This coffee table book is a must buy for the retro enthusiast and is on general sale now for the RRP of £16.99 - but if you look out for it online, I am sure you could find it much cheaper!

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