John Sibbick (Artist)



  • Image : Gotrek & Felix.
  • 1st Gotrek & Felix painting!
  • Gotrek has both eyes!
  • 1st published in :
  • His painting appear in :
  • Notes for Warhammer Fantasy RPG(1st edition) iconic cover from John Sibbick:
    • It is the famous cover of Warhammer Fantasy RPG(1st edition) (published in 1986). It is also the cover of White Dwarf #82(Oct 1986) and used in many more cases since then(such as Advanced HeroQuest).
    • Many assume that the TrollSlayer is Gotrek and some also that the human next to him is Felix. Their ‘proof’ of this is that:
      • i)The third Gotrek and Felix short story, ‘The Dark Beneath the World‘, contains this exact scene – I’m sure the author set up the plot and characters just so he could feature the scene.
      • ii)Also, ‘Red Thirst‘ book has a part of this image(the Slayer) as cover. Inside this book the only story with a dwarf Slayer is Bill King’s story ‘The Dark Beneath the World‘.
      • iii)This picture is surely the source of that scene (even down to the fact that they don’t get their magic weapons until later in that story if memory serves me right).
      • iv)It is used in Skaven’s Claw story in White Dwarf #153 (1992).
    • But on the other hand :
      • i)in White Dwarf #82(1986) the credits of this painting are only Warhammer, John Sibbick, 1986(nothing else).
      • ii)another Warhammer Fantasy RPG fanatic (Heironymus Blitzen, from (article: Where are they now? Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Cover Painting Discovered in Canada!) writes :
        • My group and I have been playing Warhammer Fantasy RPG since 1987, and I have been collecting since then. I contacted Mr. Sibbick about purchasing this piece about six months ago, and he said it had “Been sold long ago.” Additionally, when I brought up everyone being left-handed, he said he never really noticed that, and never intended it.
          The story The Dark Beneath The World was indeed inspired by this painting. If you look closely, however, the Dwarf in the painting has both eyes, and Gotrek, in the stories by this point, has already lost his eye, and it’s even mentioned in the story. Also this painting was done before William King created the duo.
      • iii)In William King’s Games Workshop Interview (From, William King’s old official site, in 2001) he is asked about Gotrek and Felix art. There  it mentions all artists and their paintings(until 2001). This list includes John Sibbick but NOT this paint. He has drawn another one (interior in Ignorant Armies)!
      • iv)If you look in the rulebook (page 289 in the paperback version)(my note:I couldn’t find it the rulebook so this info is NOT 100% accurate….) there are models of the guys on the cover. The fighter in the armour is Aldred Fellblade. The wizard is Johann Zauberlich. The guy on the stairs in the green isn’t Felix though, I think he is a ranger or thief. The Dark Beneath the World was written some time after this was painted and the writer just used the scene as inspiration.
      • v)This image was first published in 1986 as a cover of Warhammer Fantasy RPG. As you can see in the sketches it is John Sibbick’s 1st Games Workshop commission! Red Thirst / The Dark Beneath the World were(first) published in 1990. Gotrek & Felix were created in 1988.
      • vi)The Slayer wears a mail shirt! Gotrek as all Slayers NEVER wear any kind of armour!
      • vii)In his introduction from the 2013 edition of Trollslayer(Black Library Classics), William King revealed that :
        • The third story, ‘The Dark Beneath The World’, was an invitation to illustrate the scene on the cover of the role-playing game. It was a picture I loved and I was happy to do it. The characters were illustrations of the painted miniatures shown in the game. I lifted their names from the pages of the book, gave them some backstory and sent them on their way. The story was a chance to look at some of Gotrek’s dwarf heritage and to do a classic dungeon crawl. As with ‘Wolf Riders’, I pretty much made the plot up as I went along and stopped when I had reached the required word count. The characters carried the tale, as they always did.
      • viii)In his introduction from the 2019 edition of Trollslayer(20th Anniversary Edition), William King revealed that :
        • A few more stories were written for the GW Books anthologies – ‘Wolf Riders’ was the title story of one of the collections. ‘The Dark Beneath the World’ was written so that the original cover illustration from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1986 edition) could be used as a cover for that anthology. That idea fell through but it does explain why the supporting characters in the story have the same names as some of the miniatures in that old rulebook – the ones for the characters on the covers.
  • Conclusion :
    • The Slayer in this painting is NOT Gotrek and the human is NOT Felix.
  • Notes :
Gotrek & Felix by John Sibbick.