Sega Force Mega Vol 2. issue 3, 1993 Thunderhawk

Roger Kean remembers that Autumn 1993 was a busy helicopter season for Oli in SEGA FORCE MEGA Vol 2. issue 3, 1993 – Thunderhwak

Sega Force Mega Vol 2. issue 3, 1993 Thunderhawk

‘I’d just done a spread centrefold in the September issue of Commodore Force featuring an Apache in full blast for Gunship,’ Oli says. ‘And then Steve Shields approached me with one of those “don’t blame, me, Guv, it ain’t my fault” sort of looks.’ In June, Europress Impact Magazines (successors to Newsfield Ltd) had split Sega Force magazine into Sega Master Force and, to concentrate on the Mega Drive (Genesis in the US), Sega Force Mega and Steve was managing editor of both publications.

Commodore force gunship by Oliver Frey

‘His apologetic demeanour was because he wanted to feature another blasting gunship helicopter on the cover of Sega Force Mega issue 3 for the game Thunderhawk. “There’s even a compo to win a radio-controlled helicopter,” he told me, as if that would be compensation for having to repeat myself.’

Reflections seem to feature often in Oli’s work – think of Crash issue 1, Space Invaders seen in the alien player’s eyes, the Leader Board golfer in the girl’s sunshades (Zzap issue 15), the reversed Zzap!64 logo in Apollo 18’s helmet – and that idea offered the way forward. ‘I was able to concentrate the main helicopter image as a reflection seen in an opposing pilot’s HUD visor. Sadly, in the printed cover the damned barcode obscured his clenched teeth as he watches the missile he’s just unleashed home in on the enemy.’

Oli had allowed for a relatively blank centre, knowing the headline would slant across the cover and asked for the barcode block to be moved to the middle at the bottom of the cover. ‘The Europress powers refused to see sense, insisting on a “standard look” and so spoiled the dynamics of the picture. But,’ he sighs with the resigned shrug of a frustrated illustrator, ‘that’s the kind of thing you have to put up with in publishing.’

This article was published in FUSION magazine

Published by Oliver Frey Art on (modified )

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