Friday 10 December 2021

RIP Chris Achilleos

I was sad to learn yesterday that the legendary fantasy artist Chris Achilleos passed away suddenly, after a short illness, on Monday afternoon. My thoughts are with his wife Tasha, as well as the rest of his family and his friends at this difficult time.

I first became aware of Chris's work in the 1980s, through his contributions to the Fighting Fantasy series and artbooks such as Sirens.

Many years later, I met Chris when he attended Fighting Fantasy Fest 1 in 2014. I had spoken to him prior to the event and he kindly offered to paint a cover for YOU ARE THE HERO, but I had already commissioned Martin McKenna to do just that. However, when YOU ARE THE HERO Part 2 was scheduled, I took him up on his offer.

This involved two trips to his loft-space studio at his home - which was an experience in itself, seeing where the master worked - and I was made to feel very welcome by Chris and Tasha. On the first trip, we discussed the commission but also ended up talking about his previous work, with Chris getting out pieces of original art from his map chests, including some stuff he had painted for Games Workshop. On my second visit I collected the finished painting, which I have since had framed.

Although Chris couldn't make Fighting Fantasy Fest 2, I am pleased that he was able to attend FFF3, and on that occasion he was interviewed by Martin Noutch about his work.

Chris will be greatly missed, for he was a true master of his art, but the body of work he has left behind is a legacy that will live on for years to come.

Chris Achilleos and his wife Tasha at Fighting Fantasy Fest 3, in 2019.

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