<em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story. The Angelus Guns July 16, 2014 The Angelus Guns Max Gladstone There's a war in heaven, outside of time.
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Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
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A Long Overdue Nod to SciFi and Fantasy’s Best Librarians
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Greg Ruth
Showing posts tagged: illustration click to see more stuff tagged with illustration
Tue
Dec 17 2013 4:30pm

Altered States of America Sweepstakes!

We suppose the state capitals are important, but isn't it more crucial to know the exact location of Marty McFly’s hometown, or remind yourself of just where Beetlejuice occured? This illustrated map of America from The Chopping Block populates the states with legendary characters and events from science fiction, fantasy, and horror, depicting where some of your favorite stories and zombie attacks took place in a format you can hang on your wall.

One winner will recieve a giclée print of the Altered States of America, plus a regional map of their choice! (You can check out a larger version here and all the regional prints here.)

Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on December 17. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on December 21. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Fri
Dec 13 2013 2:05pm

Bloomsbury’s New Harry Potter Illustrator!

Jim Kay, Hogwarts

Harry Potter is being reimagined at Bloomsbury by a brand new artist! Award-winning artist Jim Kay has been asked to fully illustrate new editions of the Potter series. Check below to see what tiny eleven-year-old Harry looks like!

[Adorable, that's what.]

Tue
Aug 13 2013 9:00am

How Concept Art Helped Sell the U.S. Space Program

Collier's March, 1952; Chesley BonestellTo most Americans in the early 1950s, a period of post-war optimism but down-to-Earth practicality, the idea of manned space flight seemed solidly in the realm of science fiction.

At the time, commercial aircraft were still prop powered; widespread use of jet airliners was several years away. Movies like Destination Moon and Rocketship X-M, and a growing market for science fiction stories, sparked a bit of interest in the idea of space travel, but to both the general public and the government, real rockets were just experimental weapons, and not particularly interesting ones at that.

That perception would begin to change when a series of illustrated articles appeared in the popular magazine Collier’s, starting in March of 1952 and running through April of 1954, that outlined a vision for rocket-powered manned space travel under the title “Man Will Conquer Space Soon!”

[Read more]

Wed
Jul 31 2013 2:00pm

The Dark and Light of Virgil Finlay

Virgil Finlay Houses of Iszm Jack VanceIn the 1930s, readers at a typical newsstand could choose between two basic levels of magazines: those known in the industry as “glossies”—printed on glossy coated paper that permitted crisp text and refined images—and “pulps”—printed on rough, low quality paper made from cheap wood pulp.

A glossy magazine would set the reader back 25¢ (not an insignificant price for entertainment in the midst of the Great Depression), but for a dime, a reader interested in adventure, mystery, fantasy, horror, or science fiction could go home clutching a digest-size pulp magazine full of stories and illustrations.

Though pulp magazines had glossy covers—the better to lure your dime with lurid, sensational cover art—the interior black and white illustrations were much simpler than interior illustrations in glossies because of low page rates for artists and the limitations of reproduction on the cheap paper.

That changed noticeably in December of 1935, when Weird Tales first published the work of an strikingly different new illustrator named Virgil Finlay.

[Read more]

Fri
Jan 4 2013 11:00am

All Yesterdays: An Alternative Look at Dinosaurs

All Yesterdays: An Alternative Look at DinosaursI touched on some of the issues of illustration in biology when I read Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu and Patrick Gries’ Evolution, and while that point is largely moot when it comes to everyone’s favorite subjects—dinosaurs—there are points of the argument that are still illuminating. Dinosaurs—any extinct prehistoric animal, really—require interpretation, guesswork and assumptions. The trick is, at some point those assumptions become part of the subculture, turning into an unofficial visual canon. Popular culture plays a role in this, as well; dinosaurs are tremendously inspiring and evocative, so people have strong opinions about them. Opinions unrelated to science. We’ve seen this in the reluctance of scientific illustration to adopt the “feathered dinosaur” motif, just as we had foot dragging on the topic of whether dinosaurs were ectothermic reptiles or “warm-blooded” like birds. All Yesterdays, by Darren Naish, John Conway, C.M. Kosemen and Scott Hartman, takes a look at that cutting edge of speculative paleoart, trying to look at things “outside the box.”

[Read more]

Fri
Oct 5 2012 5:30pm

The Manual of Aeronautics: The Art of the Leviathan Trilogy

A review of The Manual of AeronauticsI was at a reading for Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan when he mentioned off-hand that it would be a trilogy… with an illustrated guide to the world he was building, in the style of the Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World.

Now, there are a lot of reasons that I liked the Spiderwick guide—I’m a big fan of Tony DiTerlizzi, for instance—but the deep reason is that I’m gonzo for apocrypha. Those sorts of bits and extras that deepen worldbuilding, whether they are art books like Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Art of the Animated Series or in-world mythology like The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The icing on the cake with The Manual of Aeronautics is that Keith Thompson does the art for it, as he did for the series.

[A review]

Mon
Dec 26 2011 10:30am

Designing Sherlock: The Influence of Sidney Paget

Who’s this?

You knew at first glance, didn’t you? Even without facial features or a corresponding story, it’s clear that this is a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes.

Full disclosure: I’ve never read any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories or novels. I’ve read Neil Gaiman’s “A Study in Emerald.” I’ve seen the first Robert Downey Jr. film, and plan on seeing the second. And, of course, I’ve seen the wonderful TV series written by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Yet, despite never having read a single word of Conan Doyle’s, I can describe what Sherlock Holmes looks like. Deerstalker cap. “Inverness” cape. This image of Sherlock, literature’s most famous detective, has come to be used like a proprietary eponym; as a symbol for detectives in general, or as an icon on the spines of books indicating that they are in the mystery genre. It could be argued, and has, that the person responsible for the look of Sherlock is as responsible as Doyle, if not more, for the character’s longevity in the pop culture consciousness.

Well, if that’s the case, I guess we’d better shine a spotlight on him during Sherlock Holmes week, huh? Let’s get to know famed illustrator, Sidney Paget.

[“Paget makes us see the English...”]

Wed
Oct 12 2011 4:30pm

Florida Gets Cute and Creepy

“When the going gets Weird, the Weird turn Pro.” —Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist

“…now is the time to revel in the macabre.” —Carrie Ann Baade, surrealist artist and guest curator of Cute and Creepy

Cute and CreepyFor the past few years, it seems that the Weird have been taking Dr. Thompson’s advice, especially when it comes to the visual arts. In 2010, Tim Burton’s retrospective at the New York Museum of Modern Art became its third most-attended show in its history (Matisse and Picasso hold rankings first and second). Then, earlier this year, the Boston Athenaeum presented a very thought-provoking exhibit on the work and genius of Edward Gorey. What better way to bookmark the year than with Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts fall exhibit: Cute and Creepy?

[More info below the cut]

Mon
Oct 10 2011 4:00pm

Jellyfish, Deerstalkers, and the Weirdness of Unillustrated Text: Scott Westerfeld at Kidlitcon 2011

Scott Westerfeld gave the keynote speech at Kidlitcon in Seattle this year. In the spirit of the just-ended Steampunk Week, just picture my thoughts traveling since that fateful September morning via horse-drawn robot, or maybe very slow walking tank, from my brain to the keyboard, and thence to the screen you see before you. It took me almost all that time to process what he said, because he talked about, well, everything.

[Read on for everything.]

Wed
Feb 23 2011 1:15pm

John Schoenherr’s The Tuvela

I could never resist the beauty and whimsy of this Analog cover by the inimitable John Schoenherr, illustrating a two-part story originally titled, The Demon Breed, by James H. Schmitz.

Two giant otters along with their human friend, Nile, pause high in the tangled limbs of a water world. The strength of the sweeping curve of the main otter draws the eye upward to the adorable animal’s face, placed perfectly next to the magazine’s masthead. Nile is mysterious and sits tantalisingly just off-center for a sense of scale.

[Read more...]

Mon
Feb 21 2011 2:38pm

Endurance Wallpapers from Dan Dos Santos

Green and Endurance by Jay Lake

Since Jay Lake’s Green just released in paperback, it seemed like as a good a time as any to reveal the artwork for it’s sequel, Endurance. Due out in November. Dan Dos Santos was kind enough to let us offer the image as a desktop wallpaper. 

Art by Dan Dos Santos for Endurance by Jay Lake

Check below the cut for a variety of wallpaper sizes. You need to be a registered user in order to see them, but signing up is quick and painless, I swear!

[Endurance wallpaper]

Wed
Feb 16 2011 5:02pm

Six Amazing Fan-Made SFF Movie Posters

Star Wars movie poster by Olly Moss

Star Wars movie poster via Olly Moss

Creating a good movie poster is an artform. A lot of the time, the professional designers get it right. They create works of art that perfectly capture our favorite movies. Sometimes, though, they get it wrong.

[More great posters after the break]

Fri
Jan 28 2011 6:42pm

A is for Artist: Z

A is for Artist: Z by Teetering Bulb

The end. That’s it, here it is, we’ve arrived, we’ve come to Z here in the A is for Artist series. From now on you’ll have to dig up new artists for yourselves. Perhaps you’re worried; how will you feed your eyes? They’ll go thin and fall out. One will roll under the couch and get covered in hair. It’s partner, you catch, but now you’re doomed to hold it in your palm forever, like a witch in a greek myth. Don’t fret, we’ve been addicted a long, long time, and our eyes remain plump and happy. What we’ve shared is just the beginning. A rabbit hole down to the center of the earth and back. Well that last bit is a lie, I don’t think you can get back. No matter, down here it’s warm with company.

[Down here with Z. One slightly NSFW image]

Fri
Jan 21 2011 5:17pm

A is for Artist: Y

A is for Artist: Y

As we near the very end of our journey through the alphabet (only one more left!) some of you may have noticed a slight itching in the back of your eyes. Maybe you’ve felt hunger pains, not in your belly, but at the midpoint of your head. That’s where your visual cortex is found and that hunger signals the beginning stages of art addiction. Other symptoms include a compulsive need to discover all the names of teachers and friends of a particular well-known artist, exploding bookcases due to the weight of too many art books, and a deep knowledge of auction houses and their scheduled public viewings. Lastly, hives.

Don’t worry, the addiction is relatively benign and plenty of support groups exist. Just remember, it’s a scavenger hunt which has no list and never ends.

[Read more. Some NSFW]

Wed
Jan 19 2011 11:49am

Sam Weber on the ebook cover for Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy

Mistborn Trilogy ebook art by Sam Weber

It’s a challenge to distill an entire trilogy, especially one as good as Mistborn, into a single picture. No idea seems to do the content justice, and every sketch can feel like a compromise. I can recall reading the novels and thinking naively how easy it was going to be to come up with a cover. Sanderson, after all, seems to write like a picture maker, with description and language that suggests more than a casual familiarity with the visual arts. He even writes from an artist’s point of view, quite convincingly I might add, in his recent novel The Way of Kings. To a pictorially oriented person like myself, the effect is palpable, each chapter begs to be illustrated. And in Mistborn everything, both alien and ordinary, is brought to life effortlessly, the fantastic envisioned with the precision and clarity of the familiar and the mundane made wonderful as if seen for the first time.

[Full art after the cut]

Mon
Jan 17 2011 9:14am

The Art of Hammer

The Art of HammerTitan Publications just released The Art of Hammer, by Marcus Hearn. The amazing thing about the book is that it made me realize how powerfully artwork can out-creep the movies they advertise. The singular vision of so many examples of art has tremendous impact.

Hammer films were the reason my closet was haunted as a kid. Just looking at the artwork on the outside of the theater, presenting attractions for the next shocker, was enough to send me home with nightmares. Perhaps my imagination was acute, but I think the artists that made these visions so frightening were having the time of their lives. They had no idea they were stirring deep primordial fears within children everywhere. Or, well, maybe they did.

[Warning: deep primordial fears ahead]

Fri
Jan 14 2011 4:00pm

Raymond Swanland and the Towers of Midnight ebook cover

Towers of Midnight, volume thirteen in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, will be available in ebook form on January 31st. In celebration of Jordan’s work, we have commissioned fourteen artists to interpret one of the Wheel of Time books in their own style. (Previous editions can be seen here.)

This was a lesson in, “when you have smart people advising you, listen to them!”

When it came time to work on The Towers of Midnight cover, Jason Denzel and Leigh Butler immediately described this sequence of Perrin forging a war hammer, driven by the power of saidin.

As Jason said, “I knew when I read the scene what had to go on the ebook cover.... It was an iconic moment for Perrin, and a chance to showcase everything that makes him the character we love.” Leigh was in complete agreement, “It was wonderful, not only for the inherent coolness of the act itself, but for what it symbolized, which was Perrin, at long goddamn last, finally accepting who and what he was.... it was one of the coolest things to ever happen in the series.”

[Coolest. Thing. Ever.]

Fri
Jan 14 2011 1:24pm

A is for Artist: X

A is for Artist: X by Teetering Bulb

As we near the end of our journey through the alphabet some of you may have noticed a slight itching in the back of your eyes. Maybe you’ve felt hunger pains, not in your belly, but at the midpoint of your head. That’s where your visual cortex is found and that hunger signals the beginning stages of art addiction. Other symptoms include a compulsive need to discover all the names of teachers and friends of a particular well-known artist, exploding bookcases due to the weight of too many art books, and a deep knowledge of auction houses and their scheduled public viewings. Lastly, hives.

Don’t worry, the addiction is relatively benign and plenty of support groups exist. Just remember, it’s a scavenger hunt which has no list and never ends.

[Read more]

Thu
Jan 6 2011 5:58pm

First Look at the Doug Wheatley Cover for Conan: The Road of Kings #5

Click for larger imageDark Horse Comics just sent along the finished cover for the upcoming issue #5 of Conan: The Road of Kings, adapted by Roy Thomas and drawn by Mike Hawthorne and John Lucas.

The cover artist depicting Conan’s forthcoming (and messy, judging from the angle) execution is longtime Conan and Star Wars artist Doug Wheatley. His portfolio is up for persual here.

Conan: The Road of Kings #5 comes out on April 20th, the first issue is on stands now. Thanks to Dark Horse for the sneak peek!

Wed
Jan 5 2011 4:56pm

Constructing the Art for The Satan Factory

The Satan Factory drawn by Gregory ManchessI was an early fan of Hellboy. Forget the comical name or the character himself. What grabbed me from the moment I spotted it was it’s graphic appeal. Mike Mignola designs his panels, pages, story, and dialog. They are impeccable and luscious. I want to linger on every page because my brain is always happy to fill in the blanks he leaves practically everywhere. The mark of a superior designer and draughtsman.

It’s the risks he takes with leaving things out that makes the difference. Huge explosions with barely an indication of detail, and large areas of color that he and Dave Stewart, an excellent colorist, work out together. Creatures and settings drawn from simple outlines or slightly modified cut-outs as figures. That takes commitment to leave out all the dang detail.

[Process sketches after the jump]