I believe that in many ways Warhammer and D&D can be taken as representative of the cultures which created them. On the one hand you have a cynical, nasty, bleak and darkly humurous setting whose dominant idea is decay. And on the other you have a game basically founded on the principles of rugged individualism and self-betterment - in which a set of characters fight to success all on their own, without much in the way of a helping hand, or else die trying. In a strange sort of way, you don't get anything more representative of British values than Warhammer, nor anything more representative of American values than D&D.
You can see this in Fighting Fantasy too. And the tone is set by the artists who worked on it. By coincidence, Zak, here, and -C, here happened to put up posts with two of the most prominent of those guys over the last 24 hours or so. They are, respectively, John Blanche:
And Russ Nicholson:
I'm sure you can see the connection here and the kind of tone that I'm talking about.
This vein in Fighting Fantasy art was a huge influence on me as a kid, and I think it's influenced me ever since. To this day images like these have always struck a chord with me, and I think when I imagine stuff that appears in a fantasy RPG - goblins, dragons, trolls, whatever - the visions that appear in my mind always manifest as Blanche- or Nicholson-esque in tone: a little bit dark, a little bit grimy, a little bit weird, a little bit twisted.
I strongly believe that art has a big but not well-acknowledged influence on gaming style. The sort of work that Nicholson and Blanche deal in just lends itself to my type of game, being more interested in strange concepts and grim vignettes than heroics and grand themes. The sort of person who really responds to Nicholson's art, I think, is precisely the sort of person who is comfortable with save-or-die; the kind of person who appreciates the picture of the halfling being abducted by goblins probably also has an appreciation for the abstract, detached and uncaring universe envisaged by Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay or OD&D. If you like one you'll probably like the other.
Maybe this could be a test I could use if thinking about introducing somebody to one of my games. Instead of an extensive interview process, I could just hold up a picture like this:
If you like it you'll fit in. If not, move along, there's nothing for you here.