Sat
Sep 20 2008 2:57pm

Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr release. Or, I can only talk to artists.

Christopher Paolinii, Brissingr

BrisingrLast night I went to the Christopher Paolini Brisingr release party at the New York Barnes & Noble on 17th Street. There I learned I will never be a reporter—I was surrounded by adorable ten year olds and way too shy to ask the burning question for every Inheritance Cycle fan: What do you think about John Jude Palencar’s artwork on the covers?

Instead, I had to settle for calling John and chatting with him a bit. “We wanted something more intimate than the typical grandiose, epic fantasy cover. Something that would hint at the psychic connection between Eragon and Sapphire. I was thinking of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as I was working on Eragon. The response to this series is overwhelming, just these past two weeks I talked to 15 different countries about the rights to the Brisngr cover.” John also mentioned he has had a number of conversations with Paolini, mostly talking about the creative process. It seems Paolini is an art fan, having discovered John and Brom through Spectrum and “tuckerized” both of them in his novels.

Christopher Paolini, Brisingr release,

The Barnes & Noble was packed tonight, with a line around the block (to the puzzlement of Friday night club-goers.) Once inside it was full of whooping and cheering as Gerard Doyle, the Inheritance Cycle audio books actor, read from Eldest and then as Paolini read from a copy of Brisingr freshly pulled from a carton, cut open at midnight on the dot. (With the tired mom next to me Brisingr releasesaying, “I can’t believe I’ll be back here in a few hours to buy cheese and tomatoes at the farmers’ market.”) I haven’t read these books but it’s hard not to be moved by a crowd of people from seven to not-so-seven cheering and staying up late to buy a fantasy novel.

As I was milling about, I was finally able to get up the nerve to talk to one young man, Louis Philippe, but only because I overheard him talking about Palencar to his friends, and because he was sporting a very cool Japanese edition of Brisingr. When I asked him what he thought of John’s work, he grinned from ear to ear, was speechless for a second, and said, “He’s amazing. He breathes life into images.”

To see more of John’s work, check out Origins: The art of John Jude Palencar and his 2009 calendar, Mystic Visions.

John Jude Palencar

6 comments
Sandi Kallas
1. Sandikal
I really like the covers of the Eragon novels. I see from the cover of "Origins" that John Jude Palencar did the cover of "Somewhere to Be Flying" by Charles de Lint. That cover is one of my all-time favorite book covers. There's so much mystery and emotion in it. I don't usually buy art books, but I may have to make an exception for "Origins".
Eric Braddock
2. EricBraddock
JJP's work is amazing. I was lucky enough to have been a student at UArts during a time when he graced our Illustration department's private gallery with some of his work, including sketches and finished pieces of all different stages of his work. It was incredible and his work is extremely inspiring.

As for the covers for the series, they're brilliant. I remember the Eragon cover was actually the first Palencar artwork that I was introduced to and from then on out I've been hooked. He did some covers for the Lord of the Rings series as well, no matter what the challenge, JJP tackles it in such a unique and beautiful way, it's difficult NOT to stare at them, inches from the surface.
Irene Gallo
3. Irene
It's a heartbreaker but, that Someplace to be Flying painting was destroyed when a crane fell on his rep's office. At least 200 paintings were ruined in that accident.

Funny about Brisngr: My mom called me out of the blue to say that he was looking at a NYTimes ad for a book with a dragon on it that was, "_very_ expressive." I don't think she's ever mentioned the art on a book ad before.

Eric - if you;r ever in midtown during the day, i can show you his painting for de Lint's Forest of the Heart.
Irene Gallo
4. Irene
By the way, the good folks at Suvudu have a decidedly more bookish account of the evening:
http://www.suvudu.com/2008/09/brisingr-released.html

Including video:
http://www.suvudu.com/2008/09/brisingr-videos-paolini-speaks.html
Eric Braddock
5. EricBraddock
Aw yeah that is tragic, I still can't believe that all happened back in March.. One of my favorite Sterling Hundley pieces was lost in that accident too, I believe. The whole incident happening was really just horrible.

Wow, I would so totally love to check that out, that is such a beautiful piece. I just might have to take you up on that offer the next time I'm in the city!

Also, thanks for sharing the links, it's interesting hearing other types of artists in different fields of creativity discussing their work.
brotherbear-fasho
6. brotherbear-fasho
I also like the covers of the whole "Inheritance Cycle" however i didn't like Eldest as much as Brisingr and Eragon. I wonder what the last book's cover is going to be?=]

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