Wednesday 12 February 2014

Warhammer Armies Book and the Art of Graphology

Last week I paid £38 for a copy of the 3rd edition Warhammer Armies book. This copy in fact:

Warhammer Armies. Average ebay price ~£15

You might (quite reasonably), ask why I paid £38 for a book (albeit in good condition), that normally sells for around £15. Well the answer was a little line in the item description:

"Signed at Games Day '89 by lots of then-GW staff - John Blanche, Tony Cottrell, Brian George, Bil, others whose names I can't decipher."

There was no picture, but I fancied a punt at the book, as I already have a number of signed copies of classic GW publications in my collection.
So to that end, I went to Glasgow to pick up my premium priced book in person (OK, I just happened to be in Glasgow with work & the seller kindly agreed me to collect in person). On being handed the book, I eagerly opened it up, and look what was hidden on the inside cover:
LOTS of lovely signatures
That's right, no fewer than 12 signatures from GW luminaries past and present. Some I can ID, others could be runic inscriptions for all I know!

Here's a rundown of the 'knowns', complete with their Warhammer Armies title:

John Blanche (Art Manager). Notice John's technique to ensure he gets an entire page devoted to his signature alone!

Bil Sedgewick (Graphic Design)

Brian George (Graphic Design)

Tony Cotterell (not listed in Warhammer Armies)

Jervis Johnson (Designer/Developer)
Aly Morrison (Citadel Designer)

Then there's the celebrities of their day, who patiently sat at Games Day 1989, signing book after book, only to be seen as indecipherable scribbles 25 years later:

Could this be Phil Gallagher? The first name looks more like Pam to me

Pretty sure this is Andy Jones

Got to be an 'A' name. Alan Merrett? Alan Perry? Somebody else?

Is it an 'S'...or a 'B'...or a 'J'?

I'm going for a 'B' here. Brian Ansell or perhaps Bob Naismith seem likely candidates.
And finally, I actually missed this one first time round, having been over-signed by Tony Cotterell, Andy Jones and Pam(?). Looks like a 'Mick' to me, but I'm stumped by it.
So there we go, it's like some kind of graphologist's dream. All I need is examples of hand-writing from the entire late 1980s Games Workshop staff, and I should be able to decipher all these signatures.

Any suggestions & verifications welcome!


  1. The B isn't Mr Ansell. I have his signature and it looks nothing like your example.

    1. Excellent - eliminating the potentials is just as good as a positive ID :)

  2. First unknown is almost certainly Phil Gallagher. I remember his sign from my time of dealing with Games Workshop as a licensee back in the mid 90s and he was responsible for intelectual properties back then iirc. I'm, say, 99,95% sure.

  3. Ha! - Your "Andy Jones" sign is his indeed. Same story.

  4. Fantastic! Congrats in nice purchase /Hans

  5. Apropos of nothing, when I used to work GD's, (as a general troll), we used to have the shirts on, and we'd occasionally get overexcited frothers asking us to sign things.

    I have no idea how many copies of RT I signed, so you could have just got a few MO Trolls in there... ;)

    1. Ha! Never knew now I need a list of all GW staff at GD '89 ;-)

  6. Man, your collection never ceases to amaze me, how can you be such a great collector, modellist and painter at the same time with a normal life aside?

    Give us the blueprints of your time machine now !

    1. Very selective output & careful buying I guess.

      And too much time browsing ebay on my phone while my wife watches tv ;-)

  7. Picture #8 is the signature of Carl Critchlow, who created Thrud the Barbarian and did illos for Blood Bowl, Dark Future, and more.

    Pretty sure #10 is Alan Merrett.

    #12 is Mike Brunton. You can just make out the M at the beginning.

    The last one is Nick (can't remember his last name), one of the layout and paste-up folks if memory serves.

  8. Or the last one might have been Nick Bibby, the miniature sculptor. That seems more likely on reflection.