Russ Nicholson death: How did the British illustrator die? cause of death and obituary

Russ Nicholson
Illustrator Russ Nicholson passed away


British illustrator Russ Nicholson, who is best recognized for his fantasy black-and-white artwork has passed away. Let’s see how did the artist die and his cause of death in detail.

How did Russ Nicholson die?

Russ Nicholson, a famous Illustrator and well-known Fantasy Artist of Gamebooks, Fantasy Games, or Fantasy-related magazines, passed away on May 17, 2023.

Original Oldhammer Artwork  posted the death news of the artist, Russ Nicholson in the following statement,

With the greatest sadness, we have to report the passing of Russ Nicholson.

Russ was an incredibly talented artist who brought to life many fantasy worlds and worked on both Games Workshop and the Fighting Fantasy franchises including the very First FF book The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

Thank you so much for doing what you did.

He had produced excellent work for Hogshead’s Warhammer FRP line.

Who was Russ Nicholson?

Russ was a famous fantasy artist who created amazing artworks for Game books, Fantasy Games, and Fantasy-related magazines.

He attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland, which later became part of Dundee University.

In the 1970s, he relocated to England, where he stayed for the rest of his life with the exception of a brief stint in Papua New Guinea. 

Russ Nicholson
Russ Nicholson’s artworks


Russ contributed to numerous important gaming-related products, including The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first in the illustrated series of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone; he went on to illustrate 16 more in the series. 

Additionally, he drew the illustrations for various creatures in the UK’s original contribution to the first edition of the Fiend Folio Advanced Dungeons.

He also designed artwork for Dragons game book, the six originally published “episodes” of “The Fabled Lands” by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson, as well as numerous Games Workshop items, such as Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Warhammer 40,000 in their magazine White Dwarf.

Over the course of more than 40 years, Russ has worked for numerous organizations and publishers, including Puffin, Pan, Collins, Hodder & Stoughton, TSR, Games Workshop, Hoggshead Publishing, DC Thomson, Le Grimoire, and Scriptarium.

Over twenty nations have produced his works. He also taught art at the collegiate level for a long time. Additionally, he created the False Weavers album cover for the Santa Cruz anarcho-folk punk group Blackbird Raum. 

Russ Nicholson cause of death:

Russ has passed away suddenly, leaving the entire art world in a deep sorrow. His cause of death was not immediately released.

Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks also announced this sad news on its social media page and the statement reads,

We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Russ Nicholson, the first artist to bring the world of Fighting Fantasy to life. A tribute will follow soon but for now our thoughts are with his family and friends, and all those who were inspired by his astonishing work. RIP, Russ.

Russ’s Friends, family members, and co-workers have paid their heartfelt condolences on social media after the demise news of Russ broke out.

Our thoughts are with the Russ’s family during this difficult time. His family will announce the funeral arrangement of Russ in the near future.

Leave your tributes on the comment box seen below.

Tributes to Russ Nicholson:

Planet X Games posted,

Sad to hear about the passing of Russ Nicholson. His legacy is undeniable, as one of the masters of our beloved hobby. His talent helped define an entire generation of games and his brightness in this world will be missed. Rest In Peace sir.

Eldritchseer tweeted,

Rest in Peace, Russ Nicholson. Your work in the Fiend Folio was so iconic for AD&D. Thank you for all that you did for us gamers.

Ian Doody tweeted,

Very sad to hear of the passing of fantasy artist, Russ Nicholson. He drew the art that shaped my childhood, in the Fighting Fantasy and early Warhammer 40k illustrations. One of the first things by him I loved, was his work in the very first FF solo adventure book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain back in 1982. Very sad.

Dark Realm Maps (AKA Toby) tweeted,

Crushed to discover one of my heroes Russ Nicholson has died. RIP. He was the first person (via Warlock of Firetop Mountain) to draw me into a rich fantasy world and it is there I have been since,with him by my side. Now he is gone and my fantasy world seems smaller #russnicolson

Sumrow posted,

RIP: Russ Nicholson. His Dungeons & Dragons illustrations continue to be a huge influence. I saw his Kenku in the Fiend Folio as a kid, and Immediately LOVED them and had to make a Kenku character, even though that.was outside the rules at the time. Was my first D&D character to play…a bird! I can trace my own character Whistler (Ravenfolk) all the way back to these images and inspiration. Do yourself a favor and study these. Pure joy and magic in ink.


How did Julian Stefoni die? Musician cause of death & Obituary

Robin Sewell death: How did the Ballroom dancer die? cause of death explained

Follow us on Twitter for more updates.

Leave a Comment