The Art of Fast & Fhtagn

Published by: Atlas Staff

Please enjoy this guest post from Fast & Fhtagn illustrator Anthony Hary.

While participating in an event at Source Comics & Games in Roseville, MN, I was made aware that Fast & Fhtagn game creator Jeff Tidball was in the store. More than that, he was previewing the game for customers. Even more than that, he had with him a full production copy of Fast & Fhtagn, and at that I knew I had to get away from what I was doing and see this game!

Though I had drawn all of the art for the game, enough time had passed from when I had completed my work that seeing the game felt completely new. Looking at the game with these refreshed eyes, I was struck with a real level of excitement and energy for this game.

Jeff and his team at Atlas Games have done a superb job constructing Fast & Fhtagn, and it is a privilege to have been a part of that process. As an Illustrator and Designer my eyes were first drawn toward the look and feel of the cards, the street mats, and the integration of old elements to help make Fast & Fhtagn able to utilize cards from its predecessor Cthulhu 500.

Seeing some of the cards left me struck with the question "Did I draw that?". Thats how great this game looks. It looks so slick as a complete item that it left me wishing I had provided the art for the game, and the best part is, I did!

If you're a player, a gamer, a retailer looking to spin this game around your table and see what kind of torque you can get out of it, I'd like to share a couple nuggets about the art and my approach to it.

1. The Cover is a Lie.

No, not like the cake is a lie (i.e., Portal game reference). There is no life in danger here. Rather, I am referring to the cover of the game box not being the original cover illustrated for the game. Now this is of little consequence since the production cover is awesome and looks far better than the original cover. The production cover is far more cinematic. Thankfully the original game cover art did not go to waste. You can find it on the back side of the street mats, and utilized in part within other areas of the packaging.

2. It All Started with a Tryout.

In the art world there are far too many aspiring artists and designers who believe they should never have to do art for free. This is simply not the case. Much like we interview for jobs, we sometimes invest our time into a potential relationship with a company so they can see whether we're a worthwhile fit. I did two sample pieces of art for Atlas, after meeting with the production team, to show how I would approach a Cthulhu-infused street racing car.

My mind first went to muscle cars. I drive a Dodge Charger, and my dream car is a '69 Ford Mustang. In my sample art I drew sketches based on those cars.

When I received my full assignment, however, there were no American muscle car references for the game. Dom would be unimpressed. So in an effort to still get some muscle cars into the game I snuck in an easter egg of sorts on the "Quiet Kid with Unsettling Capabilities" card. On his shirt is my car. As in, my personal vehicle, a 2011 Dodge Charger. To top that off, since this is a game spun around monsters, the phrase on his shirt is a line from my favorite monster movie, Jurassic Park. During that film, while being chased by a T-Rex, Dr. Malcolm says that line — "Must Go Faster" —as deadpan as you can with a 20+ foot tall beast chasing you. It felt like an appropriate line for this game.

3. Biggest project. Biggest challenge.

Fast & Fhtagn is, to date, my biggest professional project. It also contained elements of work that challenged me more fully than any other project I had experienced. This was a large part of what motivated me to join the team. More than Jeff's excitement for his game, which was evident, and more than my respect for Atlas Games and my interest in creating with them a game that players will love. As a creative professional I knew going into this game that when I was done I would be a far more developed illustrator than I was at the onset.

Monsters are fun! I love drawing people, creatures, monsters, and all that rich organic stuff. I could draw that stuff all day long. Cars are intimidating and hard to draw, or at least they were for me. But having made it through this project I now find myself roughing out cars freehand and loving it. This was *not* the case for me going into working on Fast & Fhtagn.

I point this out in case you are reading this as a creative person. Do not be afraid to take on projects that are outside your typical scope of practice. Push yourself, and allow yourself to find growth within your work. More than that, have fun!

Fast & Fhtagn is a fun, beautiful, slick game. Play it, share it, and feel free to let me know what you think of the art. I welcome your feedback. Also if I am doing an event or convention in your area, I hope you bring the game by as I'd be happy to sign your copy.

Thank you again goes to Jeff and Atlas Games for this awesome experience. Also a huge thank you to you who are supporting this game, as a retailer or a fan. Thank you so much! Enjoy the game!

*You can find Anthony Hary on the web at, and on Twitter as @anmph.


Fast & Fhtagn