CRASH magazine celebrated in new book from Fusion Retro Books

A new book celebrating the art, artists and legacy of the British computer games magazine CRASH has just been published by Fusion Retro Books, who are also publishers of FUSION magazine.

CRASH The Legacy (Fusion Retro Books, 2023)

CRASH The Legacy is a 108-page A4 book that offers a look back on, and reproduces, the first 48 issues of CRASH, a magazine that was dedicated to the ZX Spectrum home computer, primarily focused on the games, published from 1984 to 1991 by Newsfield Publications. The new book also includes full non-strapline artwork of the magazine’s covers for the first time.

Fusion Retro Books, owned and run by Chris Wilkins, signed an agreement with Roger Kean and the late Oliver Frey for the transfer of the digital rights of the art produced by Oliver for the hugely popular magazines CRASH, ZZAP, The Games Machine, Fear, AmtixCPC, Sega Force and N-Force back in 2020. In addition, the contract covered the respective magazine logos, oli bugs, section intros, game maps, posters, calendar images, review awards (SIZZLER, GOLD MEDAL, AMITX Accolode and CRASH SMASH) and any other art produced by Oli in each issue of these magazines.

Now, that agreement is bearing fruit again with this latest, stunning-looking book, to the delight of longtime fans of the once popular computer magazines.

CRASH The Legacy (Fusion Retro Books, 2023) - Sample Pages
CRASH The Legacy (Fusion Retro Books, 2023) - Sample Pages

“I have been an avid CRASH reader since I was 13 or so,” Chris explains on the Fusion Retro Books web site. “I didn’t get the first initial issues of CRASH back in the day, but do have my original Issue 4 onwards to Issue 34. Studies then took over, and the skills the ZX Spectrum taught me in coding, along with my degree, helped me carve out a career for myself in programming and management in the IT industry.

“Becoming close to Roger Kean and Oliver Frey only increased my love of CRASH and all things Newsfield.”

Roger and Chris first worked together on The History of Ocean Software, charting the history of innovation, expansion and triumphs that established the company as a global brand.

They also worked on creating the comic strip collection, The Collected Adventures of Jetman. “Rog scanned the comic strip from each issue of CRASH and merged them together into a book,” Chris recalls, “with Oli finishing the story with a final brand new strip. We took it to Kickstarter, and printed paperback and hardback versions and it proved very popular.

CRASH The Legacy (Fusion Retro Books, 2023) - Sample Pages

“With this new publication, we have once again gone back to CRASH [and] looked back on the first 48 issues of CRASH and, along with the covers reproduced as they were on the actual magazine, talked [with Roger] about the production of each issue, who also gave a little insight into what was going on at Newsfield at the time.

“We have extracted the text from those issues using OCR software and tidied it up where appropriate. With the help of Gary Arnott, we have created cleaned up digitial versions of the covers that did not exist.

“We now have the first 50 covers of CRASH in hi-res digitial version format withouht straplines (i.e. CRASH logo, text etc). So for this publication we swapped out the cover art as published originally, with just the cover art – so we can all marvel at Oli’s talent.

CRASH The Legacy is available direct from Fusion Retro Books

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Fusion Retro Books are creating a bi-monthly A5 Crash magazine – 60 pages, full colour and high quality – which you can subscribe to via Patreon here

Read our tribute to the late Oliver Frey

Categories: Art and Illustration, downthetubes News, Games, Magazines, Other Worlds

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