James has run two successful publishing businesses: Hogshead, which he founded in 1994; and Magnum Opus, which he still runs. Hogshead was the largest UK publisher of RPGs since Games Workshop had left the business five years earlier, and to make it work James created and refined a revolutionary business model that proved a UK company could compete in a global market then dominated by the Americans. His model is used today by Mongoose Publishing, Cubicle 7, Pelgrane Press and most other UK RPG companies.
James sold Hogshead Publishing in 2002, after changing the RPG industry twice more: he created and published the first small-format story-games (starting with The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen) which gave birth to the indie explosion of the early 2000s and the current story-game movement; and he smashed the $40 price-barrier for tabletop RPGs with the release of the lavish coffee-table game Nobilis, featuring art from Charles Vess, Mike Mignola, Bryan Talbot and many more. Hogshead picked up a number of international awards including Origins Awards and the French Grog D’Or and remains a watchword in the industry for innovative design and high production values.
James was part of the team that created and launched Bizarre magazine for John Brown Publishing in 1996. He was the magazine’s managing editor for its first two years, and stood in as editor during the title’s transition from bimonthly to monthly.
Subsequently he was the launch editor of Crazynet magazine (Freeway Press) in 2000.
From 2000-2001 he contributed a column to the Sunday Times internet section Doors, as well as sub-editing and proofreading the technology section of the paper, and working on a new section of the paper that was cancelled after 9/11.
Other professional credits include the Sunday Times; Rolling Stone; Harpers & Queen; White Dwarf; Fortean Times; Arcane; Games International; Games Review Monthly; Adventurer; Fantazia; Skeleton Crew; Fear; Mega; Fantasy Advertiser; Estates Gazette; Magazine Week and UK Press Gazette.
He holds an NCTJ Postgraduate Certificate in Periodical Journalism from the London College of Communication.
Publicity and Marketing
Former senior writer for the Picture Production Company, creating film trailers, radio and TV advertisements, and marketing material for films including Shaun of the Dead, Van Helsing, the Chronicles of Riddick, Love Actually and Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
James has designed more books than he can count. He won an Origins Award for the graphic design of Nobilis (2000), and was nominated for a design award for The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen (2008). Both books are set almost entirely in different weights and styles of Caslon.
From 1999-2000 James co-hosted the weekly show Download Extra on Sky’s [.tv] channel. He has since done several TV and radio appearances.
- Script-writing for 404 Not Found (Illumina TV, 1998), with Dave Green and Danny O’Brien
- Development and script-writing for Noise (pilot for Channel 4, unbroadcast but it was amazing) (Illumina TV, 1998)
- Development and script-writing for Skyrocket primetime Saturday-evening show (Sky 1, 1999)
- Robot Revolution: the Making of I, Robot (shown on ITV1, 2004)
- Star Wars Heroes (DVD give-away with the Sun newspaper, 2005)
- Star Wars Villains (DVD give-away with the News of the World, 2005)
James is a trained and experienced copy-editor and proofreader, with more than a hundred titles under his belt. He copy-edited the New Adventures of Doctor Who series for Virgin Publishing for several years, as well as many less savoury titles for the same publisher, and copy-edited and proofread all of Hogshead Publishing and Magnum Opus Press’s output. He may edit and/or proofread your manuscript for you if you ask nicely.
James spent five years on the committee of the Abbeville Fete, a local event that raises £15,000 annually for charities in south London. He ran the silent auction which usually makes around 40% of the fete’s total revenue, as well as mastering the website and editing the programme book.
I know you’re bored but we’re almost done. In addition to setting up and maintaining six interlinked publicity blogs for the game Crime Scene, commissioned by the Office of Criminal Justice Reform, James runs six different websites, most notably his blog Cope, an oblique look at games culture, games design and creativity, which has received over 18,500 hits on a single day.