Jun 27

The Warriors! Coming to a local leisure centre near you!Click for full image

Art Direction: The real question is, what can’t we put on the cover? I want everything, a dragon, a muscle bound man in tights, a wizard and even a dwarf. Oh and the standard 80’s teenager thrown into a world they don’t understand but slowly come to love. All emerging from a fine mist.
Published 1985

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.49 out of 10)

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34 Responses to “Guardians of the Flame”

  1. SI Says:

    I can’t help but think of this as some amazing stage show.

    Staring mostly ex-Eastender’s actors and the occasional bloke from The BIll.

  2. jerk of all trades Says:

    Wow. All it needs is a catperson and a lens flare and it’d be the textbook example of a completely uninspired cover.

  3. Phil Says:

    Yeah, where’s the catperson, lens flare, ting and font problem? The artist has overlooked some major options there. It’s good to see Chuck Norris with a new hairdo, though. And Andy Hamilton peeking in on the right.

  4. THX 1138 Says:

    Man, the X-Men have really gone downhill.

  5. Ian Says:

    I assume the Guardians are protecting the dragon (and his/her Flame). Seems to be a bit sickly for a dragon.

  6. Jane Says:

    I see either a very bad Renfaire or the Village People.

  7. Brendan Says:

    I thought it was Chuck too at first, but why would he need a sword? Surely he could cut through anything a sword could just by using the side of his hand.

  8. Tom Noir Says:

    The title seems rather redundant. One would expect that the guardians of said flame would be warriors, no? Is there another book in the series entitled “Guardians of the Flame: The ACCOUNTANTS”?

  9. Jane Says:

    @Tom Noir, please write that book! (It would be up there with “God Accountant of Dune.”)

  10. Smith Says:

    I can’t actually see any flame at all. I wonder if they’ve lost it.

    And is the kid on the left on work experience?

  11. fred Says:

    The stereotypical berobed old man w/white beard must be bringing up the rear.

  12. Adam Roberts Says:

    What nails it for me is the apprehensive expression on the face of the dwarf. ‘Oooh kay, I think I’m going to loiter behind Buxom Satin-Dress Lady and hope no-one notices me …’

  13. James Says:

    Could be the worst episode of Glee ever, and thats saying something

  14. arch9enius Says:

    Buxom Satin-Dress Lady ‘s either got huge hips or She’s trying to obscure the Elf with her butt. Her dress appears to be seethrough so I shall continue to do research….

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Guardians of the Flame:

    Guardians of the Flame:

    Guardians of the Flame:

  16. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    So are they all standing on the dragon’s belly? If so, I think the warrior in the back must be sinking in a very large bellybutton.

  17. Dalton H. Says:


  18. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    @Dalton I think that kid is John Travolta in his younger years. You can see by the way he is posing that Saturday Night Fever must be playing in the background. They decided to give him a sword to make him look more “fantastical”.

  19. Steve Says:

    Well I heard all of you. This was directed by the Art Director. I knew it was a silly cover and stopped working for them right after that. yet at the time it was a big hit. Go figure. I paint much better than that . And this art was changed as soon as I had it back. I know, the kid was so bad. It was my brother.
    I wish I had the opportunity to sit down side by side with you guys and draw something. Boy that would be hysterical huh? Watching you all squirm and draw like idiots.

  20. Tom Noir Says:

    And that, boys and girls, is why you should never Google yourself.

  21. Phil Says:

    Steve, that would indeed be hysterical. The funny thing – wonderful thing – about this site is that we admire the artistry that goes into a lot of these covers, at the same time that we laugh at some of the crass marketing decisions that have motivated them. The highest-rated covers are beautifully executed, but totally crackers, thus deserving the cheer “Good Show, Sir!”.

  22. Steve Says:

    Phil. I get it. This is a funny platform. I am one of those artists that ran away from the heavy handed direction that leads to the absurd covers. I even can show you a few more that are so bad you’ll need a tissue to wipe away tears of laughter but believe me when I tell you no one laughs harder than me.

  23. Steve Ferris Says:

    Hey: Here is a link where the art was changed and put to rest.
    Actually liked in there.

  24. Phil Says:

    On THAT version, I see a TING!

  25. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Thor! Stop showing us your arm pits and get your genitals out from the flame! We’re supposed to be guardianing it, not rogering it!’

    ‘But…it feels so…comfortable…’

    ‘No. No, and that’s final.’

    ‘…tee hee…’


  26. rev Says:

    ..and that brings up a tidy half century for the barbarian and a marvellous effort that…

  27. Noel Says:

    I have a strange urge to roll a 20 sided dice.

  28. GSS noob Says:

    “Hey, Steve, there’s some space left on this cover — throw in a levitating teenager, will ya?”

  29. L.B. Says:

    Guardians of the Flame; Pantomime edition!

  30. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @LB: BEHIND YOU! And, behind YOU! and behind YOU!

  31. GSS ex-noob Says:

    That’s a wizaaaaard. Dwarf is beard-wielding, as is Chuck Norris on steroids. Everyone is Behind You. Damsel is showing her devil’s dumplings cleavage.

    At least there’s only 2 different fonts, and they’re only in one color. Someone other than the art director must have decided that part.

  32. GSS ex-noob Says:

    “Artist in comments”, and quite amiable about it.

  33. Monty Says:

    @tag Could use ‘artist in the comments’ tag.

  34. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Monty I said that over a year ago (along with some other hints) and no love.

    I wonder whatever happened to Steve’s little brother?

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