Peter Andrew Jones is an artist known for his extensive work within the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres, and best known within the world of Fighting Fantasy for being responsible for the original cover of the very first book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
He was born in the 1950s in Islington, North London. As a child his real passion was in aviation and space technology, and he spent many hours drawing fighter aircraft from RAF Leuchars on the coast of Scotland. This led him to a desire to paint aircraft. At school, his art tutor, Robert Spearman, guided him towards applying for and gaining a place at the prestigious St Martin's School of Art where he was to train as a graphic designer. Whilst there he became fascinated with the tales of Larry Niven and Isaac Asimov. A visiting lecturer, Fritz Wagner, suggested he fuse his love of a realistic style of illustration with his imaginative skills. It was the taking up of this suggestion that led him into the world of Science Fiction Art and established his unique style with strong central images and characters set in a fantastical landscape.
Very early in his career he developed his own style of Science Fiction illustration, characterised by strong central characters set in other-worldly landscapes. Jones set up his own enterprise, the Solar Wind studio, to commercially develop this style and his name was made when, in 1982, he submitted his design for a cover to the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. The illustration not only took up the front cover but was a complete wraparound style, covering both the spine and back cover as well. But what made it stand out was that it went against the conformity of the time, by leaving no space at the top of the cover for the title, but rather it left the space in the centre of the illustration. Puffin Books accepted the design, however, and the book was a multi-million seller.
Fighting Fantasy GamebooksEdit
- (#1) The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Puffin, 1982: 1st Cover)
- (#1) The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Puffin, 1987: 2nd Cover)
- (#4) Starship Traveller (Puffin, 1983)
- (#11) Talisman of Death (Puffin, (1984)
- (#20) Sword of the Samurai (Puffin, 1986)
Other Fighting FantasyEdit
- The Riddling Reaver (Puffin, 1986)
- The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Board game (using his cover art from the 2nd cover of the book)
Fighting Fantasy GamebooksEdit
- (#4) Starship Traveller
Other Fighting FantasyEdit
- Features his cover artwork from the second cover of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Talisman of Death.
Jones was also one of the artists who worked on Steve Jackson's BattleCards (published by Merlin Publishing in 1993). All seven main artists had cards dedicated to them featuring a mini-biography but written in the style of mythic fantasy. Also, the artists themselves drew self portraits. In Jones' case it was a vampire like creature sitting in a cross legged pose against a surreal outer space background. This card was number 4 in the US set, and number 98 in the UK set. Notably one of the cards he was responsible for was the near mythical final card, the Emperor of Vangoria:
|US Edition||UK Edition|
|US No.||US Name||UK No.||UK Name|
|4||Peter Andrew Jones||98||Peter Andrew Jones|
|80||Aragon Trueblade||50||Aragon Trueblade|
|81||Forrin Weatherstorm||10||Forrin Weatherstorm|
|82||Baagan the Brave||36||Baagan the Brave|
|83||The Bowmaster||58||The Bowmaster|
|85||The Red Knight||144||The Red Knight|
|86||Zittonian Swordsman||72||Zittonian Swordsman|
|87||Zheena Nightshade||3||Zheena Nightshade|
|88||Venga the Grim||116||Venga the Grim|
|89||Karanga the Ferocious||31||Karanga the Ferocious|
|90||Horo Soga||92||Horo Soga|
|91||Horo Matangi||102||Horo Matangi|
|92||Gargantuan Marauder||41||Gargantuan Marauder|
|93||Gleeta Spee||121||Gleeta Spee|
|94||Sisters of Damnation||146||The Sisters of Damnation|
|96||The Demon of Eelsea||80||Demon of Eelsea|
|97||The Angel of Death||6||The Angel of Death|
|99||Jahnu the Hunter||43||Jahnu the Hunter|
|100||Maglan Vinn1||67||Maglan Vinn1|
|140||Emperor of Vangoria||150||Emperor of Vangoria|
- The Maglan Vinn card specified that the artist was Unknown. This was to facilitate a quest (Lord Magnoble's Quest), where the player had to find the five cards whose artist was identified by a question mark ("?"), rather than by name, and having found these cards, identify who the artist was. In the case of this card, it was Peter Andrew Jones.
Outside of Fighting FantasyEdit
Following on from The Warlock of Firetop Mountain has been a career that has seen his art grace the work of such major authors as:
- Arthur C. Clarke
- Greg Bear
- Harry Harrison
- Issac Asimov
- Larry Niven
- Marion Zimmer-Bradley
- Philip K. Dick
- Ray Bradbury
He has also been involved in television including the following programmes:
Passion for AircraftEdit
Jones' childhood love of aircraft stayed with him and in 1990, around the time of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain he looked to indulge this passion once again, but professionally. He became involved with the RAF Benevolent Fund and a number of World War II pilots including Group Captain Peter Townsend (GC) and General Adolf Galland (General of Fighters, Luftwaffe. WWII). As a result, his works can be found on various aviation related publications. Amongst those who have acknowledged his work are President George Bush (Snr) (a former W.W.II US Pacific theatre pilot).
Amongst Jones' most notable critical accolades are that he was once described by Octopus Books as "The most successful (SF) artist working in Britain today" and by Forbidden Planet Bookshop (London & New York) as "The man who created the (SF) genre."