Scattered through various WFRP1 books are hidden likenesses of famous figures and GW staffers. Graeme Davis has previously highlighted many of them in his excellent article ‘Secrets of the Warhammer Artists’ in Warpstone 6. Drawing on his article, I have pulled together illustrations of these visual puns. This post covers those in the WFRP1 rulebook, and the next post will contain those in WFRP1 adventures.
The cover of the WFRP1 rulebook features two likenesses of then GW Managing Director Bryan Ansell.
Warrior and wizard (cover)
On the back cover there is also a self-portrait by artist John Sibbick.
Severed head (cover)
The careers drawings by Tony Ackland feature a host of GW employees. The Bawd is Warhammer writer Richard Halliwell.
Artist John Blanche is the Beggar. He also appears in an illustration of the disorder Megalomania. It may not be a coincidence that he is portrayed in unflattering circumstances: Graeme Davis comments that there was “occasional friction” between Ackland and Blanche.
Beggar (p22) and Megalomania (p85)
The Scribe, Charlatan and Cleric are all GW figures.
The Cleric’s religious symbols are based on the logo of Volkswagen cars, which Ellard drove.
The Illusionist is Steve Jackson, co-founder of GW.
There are also some homages to movie characters, namely Indiana Jones and The Man With No Name.
Tomb Robber (p41) and Spot Trap (p57)
Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Bounty Hunter (p23)
Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
Finally, the zombie in the ‘Evil Races’ colour plate bears a resemblance to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, or at least her Spitting Image caricature.
Zombie (‘Evil Races’ colour plate)
Margaret Thatcher puppet from Spitting Image
There is one more lookalike that I have not been able to show. Tony Ackland has stated that there is a likeness of GW staffer John Stallard somewhere in the rulebook, but I have been unable to identify it.
In the comments below Pariah has suggested that the illustration of the Student might be John Stallard. There is some resemblance and it seems to me the most promising candidate for the drawing Tony Ackland mentioned.
The second part of this post looks at resemblances in the art of WFRP1 adventures.
Thanks to Tom, Hallucyon and Pariah for providing copies of the ‘Evil Races’ colour plate.
Title art from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Internal art by John Sibbick and Tony Ackland. Used without permission. No challenge intended to the rights holders.