2ndEditionBookVisualFollowing the incredible success of Commodore 64: A Visual Commpendium in 2014, Bitmap Books return with volume 2…and there’s four pages of Commodore Format in it. We caught up with creative director Sam Dyer to find out more.

Sam! So first tell us about the obvious. What was the reaction like to the first C64 book? Amazing and better than I’d ever hoped for. People seemed to like what I was doing and the fact that I was focusing on the graphical side of things made the book kind of stand out. I also think that by having good communication and being clear and upfront with any decisions has earned peoples trust and respect with regard to crowdfunding. There’s an incredibly loyal fan base around what I’m doing which I’m very grateful for. Once the first C64 was done and in hands, people were asking ‘what’s next…’ which was hugely motivating to carry on and create the Amiga book. I also learnt a lot from doing that first book and I’ve tried to build on each book as I go.

What’s the reason behind a second C64 book? I always felt that the initial C64 book felt a little dwarfed next to the Amiga book. It was 240 odd pages but the Amiga book was 424 pages and had so much more content such as interviews and developer profiles. So the idea was to bring the C64 book inline with this as there is so much content to include that I simply couldn’t fit inside the first book. I also was lucky to meet some new C64 contacts after the first book such as Julian Rignall. Julian was someone who I tried to get for the first book and producing the second book felt like the perfect opportunity to involve him and a few other new contributors such as Andrew Braybrook, Pete Baron and Bob Wakelin.

Tell us a bit about what’ll be in this one, and the contrast between it and the first edition. Are there names involved that CF readers will recognise again? The second book will still focus on the big visuals but there will also be lots to read. This is a response to a slight criticism that the first book was a little light on text. The second edition has five 2000 word artist interviews (Robin Levy, Karen Davies, Gary Winnick, Paul Docherty and Stephen Robertson). Each interview is conducted by ex-Commodore Format tipster Andy Roberts. Andy has also written five 2000 word developer profiles (Thalamus, Palace, Software Creations, Llamasoft and Graftgold. Also included are some smaller sections on the demo scene, magazines and unreleased games. On top of that are about another 75 games in the same style as the first book! It’s really more of the same but just with more substance. There’s also a really cool couple of spreads on Commodore Format magazine with sound bites from all the ex-editors and key staff. Commodore Format was a huge part of my childhood so to showcase it in the book was fantastic.

And finally, what of the future for Bitmap Books…we hear there’s a NES book on the horizon…Yes! I’m now covering the NES/Famicom in the 4th visual compendium in the series. Graphically it’s not dissimilar from the C64 and with such a rich catalogue of games, I’m hoping it will be a special book. CF

  • Commodore 64: A Visual Commpendium Volume 2 is now being sent out to Kickstarter backers, and will be available on general release on 22nd August. Find out more at http://www.bitmapbooks.co.uk