Leo Hartas

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Leo Hartas is an illustrator whose work has appeared in many Fighting Fantasy publications. He is perhaps more well known in Fighting Fantasy circles for his wonderful cartography, his maps appearing in more publications than any other artist.


Early LifeEdit


Leo Hartas began illustrating professionally in the 1980s although his passion for drawing with was him as a child.[1] He has a 1st BA in Illustration and an MA in Seqencial Illustration and Editorial Design. Although his initial training was in traditional illustration he is also known for his skill in digital painting and 3D CGI. He has worked for a number of book publishers both illustrating and writing about commercial art and the games industry. Clients have included:


Map Illustrator

Fighting Fantasy GamebooksEdit

Leo Hartas' contribution to the main series was through the many maps he produced for the books. Many of these were colour maps printed on the inside front cover, and he was on a number of occasions explicitly cited as the copyright holder of the map of the book. It should be noted that up to and including Robot Commando (#22, 1986), maps had only appeared in three books, and these had been in black and white within the book. From Masks of Mayhem (#23, 1986) to Tower of Destruction (#46, 1991) inclusive, colour maps became the norm on the inside front cover of the book with only four books in that period not having a colour map. Of the eighteen that did have colour maps, Hartas was responsible for twelve. The books he produced colour maps for are, in order:

Tower of Destruction appears to have been the last book to carry a colour map. The next book that had a map was Moonrunner (#48, 1992), but this was in Black and White. Interestingly, the book in between, The Crimson Tide (#47, 1992), did have a credit on the copyright page for Leo Hartas as the copyright holder of the map, but no map appears to have ever been published for this book. It is not known if this was to be the last colour map, or the first map of the new "Black and White Era". Either way, it again would have been by Hartas.[2]

  1. The colour map accompanied the second edition of the book (ISBN 0-14-034625-2).

In this period two books made use of Hartas' colour art on the inside front cover, but not for the standard maps. They were:

In the "Black and White Era" Hartas was responsible for the first 3 and then stopped producing maps for Fighting Fantasy with Return to Firetop Mountain (#50, 1992). The three books were:

He also created maps for the following books outside of the main series (maps prior to 1992 are in colour):

Fighting Fantasy NovelsEdit

Advanced Fighting FantasyEdit

Other Fighting FantasyEdit

Interior Illustrator

Additionally he was credited as an illustrator for the following:

Fighting Fantasy NovelsEdit

  • Skullcrag
  • Demonlord

Warlock MagazineEdit

Other Fighting FantasyEdit

Non-Fighting Fantasy GamebooksEdit

Golden Dragon Fantasy GamebooksEdit

Dragon WarriorsEdit

  • (#1) Dragon Warriors
  • (#2) The Way of Wizardry
  • (#3) The Elven Crystals
  • (#4) Out of the Shadows

Panurgic Adventures/Virtual RealityEdit

  • (#2) Down Among the Dead Men

Beyond Fighting FantasyEdit

Leo Hartas continues to work prolifically within the games industry. As well as authoring numerous best-selling children's books, he continues to create digital imagery for computer games, video animation and TV programmes.[3] He has said that he lives in a rather shabby cottage believed to have been built during the time of the Spanish Armada.

See AlsoEdit


  1. Leo Hartas website
  2. This was perhaps a cost cutting measure on the part of Puffin Books as the dividing line is the end of 1991 and the range has already begun to wind down with fewer books published each year. See also the removal of the bronze foil embossed on the front covers from 1993 to the end of the range as another possible cost cutting measure. Further evidence for this is the removal of colour maps/diagrams from the books in post-1993 reprints (see Legend of the Shadow Warriors (3rd Impression) for an example of this.
  3. Ilex Press Interview with Leo Hartas

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