By Lloyd Mangram

December 1987
Issue 47

When you're wandering around a newsagent's, what grabs the attention is a cover with a striking design or image. In taking Incentive's Freescape game Driller as a cover theme, Oliver gave himself a problem: to make it obvious what the painting was about, it had to contain recognisable elements from the game or the adverts, yet those were not action-packer, Driller being a more cerebral game. And of course much of Driller's power came from its peculiar 3-D graphics, which would be hard to recreate without straight copying. So he opted for the fish-eye lens image, a neat notion which wraps virtually 360° of view into one picture.

Judge Death also appeared on the cover, drawing attention to the 16-page supplement inside the issue. This had been set up in conjunction with Piranha, to tie in with their Judge Death licensed game, after their interest in the OINK! supplement.

It was generally agreed that something from 2000AD would be even more likely to involve CRASH and ZZAP!'s readers than OINK!. 2000AD's publishers were unwilling to participate - the title had just been bought by Robert Maxwell's BMPC group - but Titan Books, who held rights not to the 2000AD characters themselves but to all the printed stories and artwork, were about to launch a Judge Anderson reprint series and were liaising with Piranha on the game of Judge Death. Titan were persuaded to contribute the supplement artwork, in colour.

The 2000AD stories were in black and white, so the supplement in colour in CRASH and ZZAP! was something of a novelty. Titan's artist took the original pages, shot them to film to make a black-and-white image, then photocopied each page by a special process which rendered the image in a very pale blue. This gave him a design which he could colour in, the blue photocopy barely registering. The coloured pages were then sent to us together with the monochrome film, and we had the colour laser-scanned to provide the necessary four-colour separations. We combined them with the Titan's monochrome film, and suddenly, there was Judge Death in full colour.

Apart from the supplement - which prevented the third part of this CRASH History going in the issue, because there weren't enough pages to fit them both in as well as all the usual content of CRASH - and the background feature on 2000AD and Titan Books, this CRASH had the first half of Robin Candy's huge feature on tie-ins. It was an appropriate time to examine the growth of tie-ins over four years; licences seemed to be growing ever more important, and CRASH was in retrospective mood anyway.

Issue 46