Jul 31 2008 3:48pm

Chris McGrath and the Dresden Files

Chris McGrath is the artist for, among many other things, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I noticed on his website that there will be a 2009 calendar, available in August, dedicated to his work on these books, so, I threw him a couple of questions:

How did you get the first Dresden commission?
“I had done a couple of these futuristic detective covers for Roc at the time and they had a gritty urban look that they thought would work well for the Dresden series. They really didn't know what they wanted for the cover, other than the main character standing on a street corner in Chicago with his staff, hat, and duster jacket.  So, I did a few sketches and they picked one that I ended up changing a bit.  In the end they loved the cover and had me redo the rest of the series plus the upcoming titles. That book was a definite turning point, not just for my career, but artistically as well.  I really had found myself and "style" with that illustration.”

What are the pleasures and pains of working on an ongoing series?
“The Dresden Files is a fun series to work on because it's a cool concept with a cool character, but after eleven books it can be difficult to come up with new ideas. I’ve started to bring in some of the background characters on the cover I just finished, letting covers evolve and open up a bit. I do drop by the Dresden forum once and a while to get some feedback from the fans—they have a lot of cool ideas that I need to balance out with Roc’s Marketing Department. I'm always excited when the project comes around every year.”

Rose Fox
1. Rose Fox
One of these days I'll get around to looking up the Japanese characters on Dresden's staff. I was rather hoping one of the questions would be "So... uh... why Japanese?".
Michael Ellis
2. mkellis
The characters are, in katakana, 'Ma To Ri (tsu) Ku Su', i.e. 'Matrix'. Katakana (as you know, Bob) is often used for emphasis and foreign loan word. It's also common, when speaking, to drop or elide the final vowel of a charcter if it's a 'u', here to aggregate multiple consonants in a foreign language. The 'tsu' is being used to put a bit of a 'stop' in the word for emphasis.
Larry Scroggins
3. LeisureSuitLarry
I love the new artwork for the Dresden Files covers. They're grittier than the older covers and it fits the character more. The cover for Turn Coat is available on Jim Butcher's website as a desktop wallpaper, if anyone wants it.
David Fowler
4. model217
A Dresden Files calander that's cool. Now if we could get the tv show back all my world would be complete.
Rose Fox
5. Epitome
yeah, if only. the show was so freakkin amazingly good, but they changed A LOT
Blue Tyson
6. BlueTyson
His cover for Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis was really good, too.

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