Wednesday 23 April 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr Shakespeare!

Today is St George's Day, World Book Night, and William Shakespeare's 450th birthday!

Having studied various Shakespeare plays throughout my school years the Bard's work inevitably ended up influencing my own creative endeavours, none more so than my Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

It all began with the first proposal I sent to Puffin Books, Outlaws of Kaan. Even though that adventure was not meant to be, elements of it were recycled in everything from Spellbreaker and Knights of Doom, right through to Night of the Necromancer.

The more obvious Shakespearean influences in my gamebooks include the witches from Spellbreaker (obviously Macbeth), Belgaroth and his fiend-like queen from Knights of Doom (also Macbeth), Balinac and Erasmus's Cell on Bone Island in Bloodbones (The Tempest), as well as Valsinore Castle and a certain ghost in Night of the Necromancer (Hamlet).

Balinac, by Tony Hough.

There are others, some of which are more obscure than others. For example the Spirit Beast on Bone Island in Bloodbones is based on the invisible monster in '50s sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, which was itself based on The Tempest, the invisible monster being that particular movie's take on Prospero's slave Caliban.

Belgaroth the Sorcerer, by Tony Hough.


miniPau said...

Hi!!! Hope you liked my take on your Storm Slayer characters!

Great story to explore and develop concept art...

Sorry I didn´t add your authorship on my post, I fixed that now n_n !!!

Jonathan Green said...

I mustn't forget there are also the Murderers at the start of Night of the Necromancer, and Conor's Ghost in Knights of Doom, both of which were inspired by the play Macbeth.