Dave Palumbo Paints (on the) Classics

IlluxCon, an annual science fiction and fantasy illustration showcase, was held this past weekend in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Among all the debuted paintings and drawings was a new series from Dave Palumbo inspired by some of his favorite books, painted straight on those books. According to the artist:

“This series, like most of my personal projects, began almost as an accident. […] Another artist had given me some drawings and I wanted to return the favor, but he said he’d be fine with just some books to read. That seemed unfair to me and ultimately I decided to paint on a book cover (a 1963 American edition of Planet of the Apes) and meet him in the middle. The piece was so much fun, I began thinking of other books I might enjoy working with and, before I knew it, I had a monster list which strangely just seems to get longer the more that I do.”

Dave tries to obtain as early a printing as possible at a reasonable price. The history of a vintage copy, even if it isn’t a first edition, adds something to the piece. He is, clearly, as much of fan of the literature as he is of genre painting and has developed a deeply personal way of exploring a love of both. Check out some of the book paintings below!


The original Mercury 7 in Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff:

The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe Dave Palumbo

"To Do Battle in the Heavens"


Severian and his blacker-than-black fuligin cape in Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer:

The Shadow of the Torturer Gene Wolfe Dave Palumbo

"Severian of the Matachin Tower"


Crawling out of a PoW camp in Paul Brickhill’s The Great Escape:

The Great Escape Paul Brickhill Dave Palumbo

"The X Organization"


The Stars My Destination, AKA Tiger, Tiger by Alfred Bester:

The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester Dave Palumbo

"Deep Space is My Dwelling Place"


Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle:

The Man in the High Castle Philip K Dick Dave Palumbo

"Body of Yin, Soul of Yang"


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