Saturday, 22 December 2012

Spotlight: Patrick James Woodroffe

Not to be confused with the amazing lighting designer of the same name, Patrick James Woodroffe is an English artist, etcher and drawer, who specialises in fantasy science-fiction artwork, with images that border on the surreal. His achievements include several collaborations with well-known musicians, two bronze sculptures displayed in Switzerland and numerous books.

"I feel at home in my own imagery," he says. "I live in a world of my own, a planet with portraits and landscapes far too pretty to be called 'modern art'.

"My 'Text & Images', which come just from my memories and my imagination, are nearly always limited to optimism. Tragic stories and ugly imagery never make me happy."

His web site is here: "My website is here for good purposes - to keep in touch with friendly contacts, to meet up with new ones, especially with collaborators and sponsors for my ambitious projects. If this applies to you, then contact me by e-mail."

Patrick Woodroffe

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Original War of the Worlds illustrations revealed

OK, it's not modern SF art, but I couldn't fail to be impressed by this work. I was just sent some stunning work by Warwick Goble, who I'd not heard of before, but it prompted me to do a quick Google search and I found this post featuring his War of the Worlds illustrations from the story's first ever publication in Pearson’s Magazine in 1897.

War of the Worlds author HG Wells apparently didn't really pay a lot of attention to thinking the mechanics of the Martian's war machines through, some feel. He  described them as moving like a milking stool being bowled along the ground, then later talked about them being like spiders.

"I tried a 3d animation of a Martian tripod walking once and it’s really hard," says John Guy Collick, who unearthed these illustrations (and by the way, you should bookmark his blog, it's packed with SF goodness). "It’s not a natural leg arrangement.

"The third leg is a problem. Even sets of legs are easy because they work in opposition. A third leg just gets in the way.

"Here’s an example – the back leg just trails behind..."

Warwick Goble, an illustrator of children's books, is not as well known as his contemporaries Arthur Rackham and Dulac, nevertheless he contributed his own mastery of watercolour to the golden age of illustration.

Born in November 1862 in Dalston, North London, Goble was educated at the City of London School and Westminster School of Art. Initially he worked for a printer who specialized in chromolithography and made numerous contributions to the illustrated newspapers and magazines of the day such as the Pall Mall Gazette, Strand Magazine and The Boy's Own Paper.

• There's more of Goble's fantasy art here:

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

On the trail of Erin Starfox

Writer-Artist Will Jarvis has just launched his new sci-fi novel Erin Starfox on Kickstarter, illustrated science fiction that's just a little different.

"It's not a comic or graphic novel exactly, but it shares some elements of that form," Will told me, "and some of the folks who worked on it also toil in the comics field, so there might be some interest from the comics community. Some of the writers and artists are British, others are from the USA and Australia."

Written by Will along with Simon Guerrier (writer of Doctor Who and Professor Bernice Summerfield stories), Tessa Schlesinger and others, with art by Frank Brunner (Marvel Comics artist of Doctor Strange and Howard the Duck), plus Carolyn Edwards, Marcus Jenkins and others, the book explores life and relationships in the far future.

"Erin appeared in my mind one day and I haven't stopped writing about her since," Will says. "She's a multifaceted character with wit and charm and love of life. Her stories are timeless and endless, and the world (the universe) she inhabits abounds with wonder and delight, and is a joy to explore in words and pictures.

"The book was inspired by stories that influenced me as a reader such as Home From The Shore by Gordon R. Dickson (writer) and James R. Odbert (artist); Dan Day's illustrated versions of the Sherlock Holmes stories; Gil Kane's Blackmark; and Jim Steranko's Chandler graphic novel, and other works of visual literature."

Will is a published author and artist, with experience as a magazine and book editor. "I know the steps necessary to take a project like this from start to finish, " he says of the project. "I've done it before. The first and most important challenge I faced with this project was coming up with something different, something worth publishing.

"I thought long and hard for a couple of years, let various ideas percolate around in my brain. When the characters and concepts coalesced, I wrote a Writer's Guide and then invited other writers, and artists, to contribute to the saga. The positive response from them, plus the positive response I got from speculative fiction fans when I took the Starfox concept to SF conventions convinced me that Starfox was something that should be pursued.

"I raised the money to pay the writers and artists for their work, then set about editing the manuscript. Once I was sure that we really had something, I began looking into options to get the book printed and published. A friend of mine, who had successfully funded her book via Kickstarter, suggested I give it a try. Starfox has been a group effort practically from the start, so crowdfunding seems quite appropriate."

"I believe in the message of hope and promise in Starfox," enthuses Terry Brussel, co-founder of Live The Dream (a Los Angeles area sci-fi group), "and believe that message could be as important as the message in Star Trek. Polyamorous civilizations, human drama, great characters, amazing stories, beautiful illustrations; Starfox has it all."

• The Kickstarter page is here:

• More about Erin Starfox:


Sunday, 25 November 2012

Smuzz brings SF touches to new picture book

British artist Smuzz - whose credits include award-winning illustrations for the SF magazine Interzone - has just launched his own children's book as a delightful digital edition, with a number of images tipping a hat to his 'day job'.

In If I had a Dog, a little boy imagines all the exciting things he could do if only he had a dog. In the end, it's not the dog, but his imagination that makes the magic...

"If I had a Dog began as one of a series of drawings to entertain my four year old son in between 'serious' work," says Smuzz of the book's origins.

"The book incorporates all the things most popular with him on Library visits."

The illustrations are just stunning - these small samples below don't do Smuzz's work real justice - and it's a moving read.

Smuzz has been an illustrator and comic book artist since 1987. He started work as Sms, but is now known as Smuzz to avoid confusion with mobile phone services. He has won two "British Science Fiction Awards" and been regularly voted best artist for the UK SF magazine Interzone and is currently working on Crucible, a comic strip with John Freeman, out in 2013.

The strip has no actual dogs but lots of strange animals.

• If I had a Dog is now available to purchase in pdf format, readable on iPad, Android tablet and Kindle Fire via Gumroad:

Find out more about the book on the If I Had a Dog facebook page and to download some free colouring-in pages

• Check out more Smuzz artwork at


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Charting the best in SF? Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010

If you're looking for a book as a Christmas present for the SF fan in your life that will potentially keep them quiet for hours - not just reading it, but the novels they buy as a result of reading it - then Non-Stop Press' Science Fiction: The 101 Best Novels 1985-2010 might be just the ticket.

Released earlier this year, the book, compiled by Damien Broderick and Paul Di Filippo, was Inspired by Interzone editor David Pringle's landmark 1985 work Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, this volume supplements the earlier selection with the present authors' choices for the best English-language science fiction novels during the past quarter century. Employing a critical slant, the book provides a discussion of the novels and the writers in the context of popular literature.

"The chance to pause and take a look backward at the genre helped refresh my sense of the marvels the field had recently achieved," says co-author Paul Di Filippo, "and to inspire future goals of my own. Luis Ortiz at Non-Stop Press also makes such beautiful books!"

Of interest to SF art fans, hence its mention here, is that each entry features a cover image of the novel, as well as a plot synopsis (warning: some spoilers in these, as well as the "mini reviews), making it an ideal go-to guide for anyone wanting to become reacquainted with an old favourite or to discover a previously unknown treasure.

The selected works include Orson Scott Card's Enders Game, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, Perdido Street Station, The Time Traveler’s Wife and many other better known novels, rubbing shoulders with books some argue have no place in such a list, such as Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

With a foreword by David Pringle, this invaluable reference has already provoked conversation and debates among SF fans and devotees judging from online reviews, and just like Pringle's 1985 work, I'm sure it's one that will continue to do so for some time to come.

Here's a list of the books featured: Which ones do you own?

  • The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
  • Ender’s Game (1985)
  • Radio Free Albemuth (1985)
  • Always Coming Home (1985)
  • This Is the Way the World Ends (1985)
  • Galápagos (1985)
  • The Falling Woman (1986)
  • The Shore of Women (1986)
  • A Door Into Ocean (1986)
  • Soldiers of Paradise (1987)
  • Life During Wartime (1987)
  • The Sea and Summer (1987)
  • Cyteen (1988)
  • Neverness (1988)
  • The Steerswoman (1989)
  • Grass (1989)
  • Use of Weapons (1990)
  • Queen of Angels (1990)
  • Barrayar (1991)
  • Synners (1991)
  • Sarah Canary (1991)
  • White Queen (1991)
  • Eternal Light (1991)
  • Stations of the Tide (1991)
  • Timelike Infinity (1992)
  • Dead Girls (1992)
  • Jumper (1992)
  • China Mountain Zhang (1992)
  • Red Mars (1992)
  • A Fire Upon the Deep (1992)
  • Aristoi (1992)
  • Doomsday Book (1992)
  • Parable of the Sower (1993)
  • Ammonite (1993)
  • Chimera (1993)
  • Nightside the Long Sun (1993)
  • Brittle Innings (1994)
  • Permutation City (1994)
  • Blood (1994)
  • Mother of Storms (1995)
  • Sailing Bright Eternity (1995)
  • Galatea 2.2 (1995)
  • The Diamond Age (1995)
  • The Transmigration of Souls (1996)
  • The Fortunate Fall (1996)
  • The Sparrow/Children of God (1996/1998)
  • Holy Fire (1996)
  • Night Lamp (1996)
  • In the Garden of Iden (1997)
  • Forever Peace (1997)
  • Glimmering (1997)
  • As She Climbed Across the Table (1997)
  • The Cassini Division (1998)
  • Bloom (1998)
  • Vast (1998)
  • The Golden Globe (1998)
  • Headlong (1999)
  • Cave of Stars (1999)
  • Genesis (2000)
  • Super-Cannes (2000)
  • Under the Skin (2000)
  • Perdido Street Station (2000)
  • Distance Haze (2000)
  • Revelation Space trilogy (2000)
  • Salt (2000)
  • Ventus (2001)
  • The Cassandra Complex (2001)
  • Light (2002)
  • Altered Carbon (2002)
  • The Separation (2002)
  • The Golden Age (2002)
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)
  • Natural History (2003)
  • The Labyrinth Key / Spears of God
  • River of Gods (2004)
  • The Plot Against America (2004)
  • Never Let Me Go (2005)
  • The House of Storms (2005)
  • Counting Heads (2005)
  • Air (Or, Have Not Have) (2005)
  • Accelerando (2005)
  • Spin (2005)
  • My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time (2006)
  • The Road (2006)
  • Temeraire /His Majesty’s Dragon (2006)
  • Blindsight (2006)
  • HARM (2007)
  • The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (2007)
  • The Secret City (2007)
  • In War Times (2007)
  • Postsingular (2007)
  • Shadow of the Scorpion (2008)
  • The Hunger Games trilogy (2008-2010)
  • Little Brother (2008)
  • The Alchemy of Stone (2008)
  • The Windup Girl (2009)
  • Steal Across the Sky (2009)
  • Boneshaker (2009)
  • Zoo City (2010)
  • Zero History (2010)
  • The Quantum Thief (2010)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Art stolen from Suydam Studios

Alien Genocide by Arthur Suydam
New York-based comic artist Arthur Suydam is seeking help in the recovery of two pieces of art which were recently stolen from his studio.

Little Devil by Frank Frazetta, drawn from memory by Arthur Suydam after its theft from his studio
The two artworks are Alien Genocide by Arthur Suydam (gouche painting, image above) and Little Devil by the late Frank Frazetta (ink drawing 8 1/2 x 11” - note the image below is by Arthur, drawn from memory).


If you see these artworks or have any information on their location, please contact Arthur at or call 001 212 475 4840. All personal information will be kept confidential.

Award winning creator and Marvel artist Arthur Suydam’s meteoric rise to superstardom for his work for the smash hit series Marvel Zombies broke graphic novel records. He was recently honored with the Spike TV Scream Award, (best writer, best artist, best comic of the year). Suydam’s short story Christmas Carol was chosen for inclusion in The Mammoth Book of Horror and Legends for best comic horror stories of all time and The Art of Painted Comics (2008).

Suydam’s popular covers have graced the covers of Deadpool, Marvel Zombies, Batman, X-men and many more.

• Web Site:


Monday, 17 September 2012

BioShock Infinite art book in the works

Dark Horse Comics has announced plans to publish a comprehensive art book for BioShock Infinite early next year, tying in with the game's planned release.

BioShock Infinite, developed by Irrational Games, won over 75 editorial awards at E3 2011, including the Game Critics Awards’ Best of Show.

In The Art of BioShock Infinite, fans are invited delve deeper into the world of  the game and the city of Columbia — the fabled floating metropolis built by the US government in the late 1800s to serve as a floating world’s fair.

This deluxe hardcover features production designs and concept illustrations focusing on main characters Booker, Elizabeth, and Songbird from the highly anticipated BioShock® Infinite video game. See the evolution of the Heavy Hitters, the populace of Columbia, the Sky-Hook, Vigors, airships, and much more.

The Art of BioShock Infinite, due for relase in March, also features an introduction from BioShock Infinite creative director Ken Levine.

In this first-person shooter game, due for release in February 2013, the player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, who is sent to Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so they may escape from a city literally falling from the sky.

DeWitt learns to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and harnesses the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.

BioShock Infinite is in development for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and Windows-based PC.

• For more information on  BioShock Infinite visit

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Create your own Cyborg!

Art © Oliver Wetter
Sci-Fi Art Now contributor Oliver Wetter has created a Cyborg Tutorial for the new Advanced Photoshop Magazine.

"This image of a cyborg that matches the style of my Android Legacy piece, is a workshop I've done some weeks ago for the 100th issue of the Advanced Photoshop magazine, a truly memorable number," he says on his blog.

"I was really glad about being asked to create a cyborg image," He says. "This year I made some progress on digital painting techniques and found it easy to apply these to photo manipulation works as well."

The issue not only includes Oliver's tutorial but 100 photoshop tips too.

Advanced Photoshop offers easy-to-follow and exciting tutorials in every issue. They are written by Photoshop experts and cover digital painting, photomanipulation, photo editing, new media, typography and graphics.

Buy Advanced Photoshop Magazine Issue 100 here

• Read Oliver's full post on the creation of the Tutorial on his blog here

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

IlluXCon Symposium returns in November

The Fifth Annual IlluXCon Symposium - the only US convention exclusively dedicated to fantastic art - wil take place on 8th-11th November 2012 at the Altoona Heritage Discovery Center - 1421 12th Ave Altoona, PA 100601.

As ever, IlluXCon will welcome artists, students, collectors, and fans to a four-day celebration of the field.

IlluXCon features the largest gathering of fantastic art and artists in the world. The 2012 show will feature nearly 60 artists in the main exhibition, with many more included in the IlluXCon Showcase. Several hundred original paintings and drawings will be on display at the show, along with demonstrations, lectures, round tables, art director portfolio reviews, and small group workshops.

Moe Info:


Artist Paul McCaffrey takes on TMNT' 'Fugitoid'

The Fugitoid
Sci-Fi Art Now contributor and British comics comic creator Paul McCaffrey is the artist on the latest issue of IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Microseries: Fugitoid.

Also available digitally as well as in comic shops, the story centres on Fugitoid, a Mirage Studios character co-created by the founding fathers of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

This comic Is a one-shot, released as the eighth issue of IDW's TMNT "Micro-Series" line written by Paul Allor and introduces Fugitoid to a new era of readers, the strong familial themes in his story and his personal connections to the TMNT. The adventure leads the new 'Fugitoid' to Earth, and stands to affect the Turtles’ future in an unexpected and crucial way.

The story serves to set up an upcoming TMNT ongoing story arc, and writer Paul Allor has nothing but praise for Paul McCaffrey's art.

A page from Fugitoid, drawn by Paul McCaffrey
"Paul does a really amazing job with action sequences," Allor told Comic Book Resources news. "He's able to make sure you know where everyone is, what's happening and what the stakes are for each character. He's a masterful storyteller in that regard.

"He's also fantastic at the character-acting part of the job," he added. "He's able to pick just the right body language, the right expression to tell you everything going on inside a character's mind. That's why one of my favorite moments was the scene... between Honeycutt and his wife, as they have an important conversation. It's a quiet, domestic scene, and Paul nailed the emotions behind it, the interaction of these two characters.

"The Fugitoid is an early creation of Mr. Eastman and Mr. Laird, pre-dating even the Turtles," he says of the character. "In the original continuity, he was a scientist named Professor Honeycutt who becomes trapped in a robot body and finds himself on the run from intergalactic factions. Eventually he hooks up with the Turtles and hijinks ensue!

"In the IDW continuity, Dr. Honeycutt is working for Krang before deciding to defect. The new IDW continuity is focused so strongly on family and moral questions of right and wrong, the proper use of violence and peace and how to do the right thing in such an imperfect world. Our new iteration of Dr. Honeycutt fits into these themes quite well."

"!We seem to have been getting generally positive reactions," says Paul of the book, which marks only his latest foray into US comics, having also worked on the Men of War mini-series for DC Comics.

A page from Fugitoid, drawn by Paul McCaffrey
Paul McCaffrey graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic (as was) with a BA in graphic design. Since then, he's mainly worked in the area of children's educational illustration, so he's done a lot of work you'll never see for books you've never heard of. Some of this can be seen on his web site or or his agent's web site.

Over the past few years, his comic strip work has appeared in UK indie titles such as Omnivistascope, Violent! and Zombies Vs Robots: Adventure. When he's not scribbling away, he makes music with The Phase 4). (Also

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles digital comics are now available to fans outside of the US, including the UK, Australia, the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey), Ireland and New Zealand.

The comics will be available in the TMNT Comics app, the IDW Comics app, Comics by comiXology apps for iOS and Android, or online at

- Paul McCaffrey's web site:

- Read a 2010 interview with the artist on the SciFi Art Now blog

- Read Paul Allor's interview about the Fugitoid comic on Comic Book Resources


Saturday, 8 September 2012

SciFi Postcard Book to be released in January 2013

Sci-Fi Art Postcard Book
Just through my door yesterday: an advance copy of the Sci-Fi Art Now postcard book ILEX asked me to compile earlier this year.

With a cover by Patrick J. Jones, it features some art used in the Sci-Fi Art Now book and other illustrations - 30 gorgeous SF-inspired postcards in total.

The artists featured are: Larry Blamire, Matt Gaser, Rian Hughes, Stuart Jennett, Paul McCaffrey, Aaron Jasinski, Patrick J. Jones, Michael Kaluta & Lee Moyer, Tom Kelly, Yigit Koroglu, John Malcolm, Sergey Musin, Nemons, 2012 Hugo and Chelsey Award-winning John Picacio, Neil Roberts, Steve Sampson, Smuzz (who I'm working with on the Crucible comic), John Sullivan, Dave Taylor and Oliver Wetter.

My thanks to them all for being part of this spin-off, which is set to be published in January and looks absolutely fantastic! Thanks also to editor Tim Pilcher and the ILEX team for creating another great book.

The collection is one of a series of Postcard books published by ILEX, which have been well received and sold very well in the UK. They include:  

Army Camp! 30 Postcards That Do Ask and Do Tell! - A riotous introduction to the unintentionally homoerotic side of military life. Classic images date from between 1914 to 1946, when armies everywhere were crying out for fit, toned men to join up, bond together and make the world a better place.  

Fantasy Art - Includes art by Robert Chang, Matt Dixon, Raymond Swanland and Matt Gaser featuring modern twists on traditional themes such as dragons, orcs, fairies and adventurers.  

Lovelorn - 30 of the very best in cult romance comics of the 1950s. From Brides in Love and Romantic Hearts to G.I. Sweethearts and Romantic Adventures there are dozens of romantically quirky postcards ready for you to send to your beloved!  

Tales of Terror - 30 of the scariest, most bizarre and downright strange horror comics covers. These pre-code horror comics make an ideal gift and are perfect to send chills in the post, or to simply keep and laugh at the uncanny covers. Each cult postcard includes the title, artist, publisher and publication date on the back.  

Tattoos: 30 Postcards to Colour and Send - A fun, interactive postcard set includes 30 of the coolest designs by top manga artist and tattooist, Jian Yi. All the designs are clear line drawings of everything from fairies and flowers to dragons and tigers, and are easy to complete and colour, before wowing friends and family with a piece of original art through the post.  

Vampires: 30 Postcards - Artists from different backgrounds and cultures share their versions of the vampire in their chosen medium. Each postcard includes the titles, artist, publisher and publication date on the back.  

More about Sci-Fi Art Now on its dedicated blog here

Friday, 31 August 2012

John Picacio, Lee Moyer win Chelsey Awards

Congratulations are in order to SciFi Art Now cover artist John Picacio and artist Lee Moyer for their much-deserved 2012 Chelsey Award wins, given by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists each year for excellence in genre art.

Lee secured Best Cover illustration for Weird Tales, Winter 2010/2011 above), while John won the Best Product Illustration category for his art in the George R.R. Martin: A Song of Ice and Fire 2012 Calendar published by Random House.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, who are all listed below and include another SFAN contributor, Jon Sullivan. Wonderful to see the late Jean Giraud, aka Moebius, was recognised for his work this year.

Check out the galleries on the ASFA web site - there's some terrific stuff to enjoy.

Best Cover Illustration: Paperback Book

ASFA Gallery

  • Winner: Matthew Stewart for The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells, Night Shade Books
  • Mitchell D. Bentley for The Alamo and Zombies by Jean A. Stuntz, Yard Dog Press, Dec. 2011
  • Dan Dos Santos for My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland, DAW Books (above)
  • Justin Gerard for Heart of Smoke & Steam by Andrew P. Mayer, Pyr Books
  • Lucas Graciano for The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell, Pyr books
  • David Palumbo for God’s War by Kameron Hurley, Night Shade Books
  • Jon Sullivan for The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder Pyr Books
  • J. P. Targete for The Sword of Darrow by Alex & Hal Malchow, Ben Bella Books
Best Cover Illustration: Hardback Book
ASFA Gallery

  • Winner: Tom Kidd for Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison, Subterranean Press.
  • Stephan Martiniere for Prospero Regained by L. Jagi Lamplighter, Tor Books
  • Lee Moyer for Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kieran, Subterranean Press
  • Cliff Nielsen for The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear, Tor Books
  • Greg Staples for The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard, Subterranean Press
Best Cover Illustration: Magazine
ASFA Gallery

  • Winner: Lee Moyer for Weird Tales, Winter 2010/2011
  • Facundo Diaz for Clarkesworld July 2011
  • Laura Diehl for Fantasy, August 2011
  • Carly B. Sorge for Apex Magazine, September 2011
  • Dariusz Zawadski for Fantasy, May 2011
Best Interior Illustration
ASFA Gallery

  • Winner: Julie Dillon for “The Dala Horse” by Michael Swanwick,
  • Scott Gustafson for Eddie: The Lost Youth of Edgar Allan Poe by Scott Gustafson, Simon & Schuster
  • Ryohei Hase for “Narco Americano” by T. J. English, Playboy, February
  • Greg Staples for The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard, Subterranean Press
  • J. P. Targete for The Sword of Darrow by Alex & Hal Malchow, BenBella Books
Best Monochrome Work: Unpublished
ASFA allery

  • Winner: Raoul Vitale for The Yeti, pencil
  • Justin Gerard for St. George and the Dragon, pencil
  • Stephen Hickman for Siegfried, ink on toned paper
  • Joāo Ruas for Migration, graphite on paper, vellum & acetate
  • Allen Williams for Wood Nymph, pencil
Best Color Work: Unpublished
ASFA Gallery

  • Winner: Omar Rayyan for The Dragon and the Nightingale
  • Stephen Hickman for The Hero of the Apotheosis
  • David Palumbo for Through a Blood Red Veil
  • Eric Velhagen for Fantasy Feast
  • Raoul Vitale for Turin and Glaurang
Best Three-Dimensional Art
ASFA Gallery

  • Tie Winner: Michael Parkes for Moonstruck, bronze
  • Tie Winner: Vincent Villafranca for Robobike, bronze
  • Gil Bruvel for Dichotomy, cupro nickel
  • Thomas S. Kuebler for Baba Yaga, mixed
  • Virginie Ropars for Autumnnalis Venenata, mixed (above)
Best Gaming-Related Illustration
ASFA Gallery

  • Winner: Michael C. Hayes for Distress, 2012 Core Set Magiccard,WotC
  • E.M. Gist for Wandering Elf, Magic the Gathering: Tactics, Sony Online
  • Lucas Graciano for Pathfinder Player Companion: The Humans of Golarian, Paizo Publishing
  • Chris Rahn for Glissa, the Traitor, “Mirrodin Beseiged” Magiccard,WotC
  • Matt Stewart for Creepy Doll, “Innistrad” Magic card, WotC
Best Product Illustration
ASFA Gallery

  • Winner: John Picacio for George R.R. Martin: A Song of Ice and Fire, 2012 Calendar, Random House, July 2011
  • Stuart Craig for production design for the Harry Potter films, Warner Brothers, 2011
  • Lee Moyer for Check These Out, 2012 Literary Pin-up calendar, Worldbuilders, 2011
  • William Stout for Zombies 2012, calendar, Andrews McMeel, 2011
  • Michael Whelan for Gift from the Sea, Dragon*Con 2011 promo art & program book, 2011
  • Michael Zug for IlluXCon 2011 promo poster, 2011
Best Art Director

Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement


Friday, 17 August 2012

2012 London International Creative Competition extends deadline for entries

The London International Creative Competition is inviting all visual artists to submit their creative work for inclusion in the London Creative Awards, which has a top prize of £2000.

The artwork is juried by a board of internationally esteemed artists, writers, curators, gallery owners and other luminaries of the visual arts. There is no limit to creativity. LICC has no boundaries and encourages you to push the envelope of your creativity. All disciplines are accepted.

Each of the 15 Final Selection winners will also receive a segment of the LICC Awards Trophy. When each trophy is fit together, it will form a completed piece of art work, like a jigsaw puzzle. On the 10th anniversary of LICC, all  the artists along with their trophies, will gather together and present their altered trophy. At that time, these piece will be united, combined, and put on display at an exhibition in London.

The categories are: Advertising Design, Architectural Design, Audio/Music, Environmental Design, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Installation Art, Interior Design, NetArt, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Sculpture, Textile Design, Video and Film
Web Design, Writing  and Other Creative Designs

Originally scheduled to end in April, the extended deadline is 8th September  2012. Entry Fee: Professional: £20, Student: £15 Prize: £2,000 cash prize, selected work published in LICC's annual Book of Creative Designs, a feature in the LICC newsletter, and the much sought after LICC Trophy at the London Creative Awards in September of 2012.

• For more information, please visit

Saturday, 11 August 2012

New Disney exhibition spans 90 years of company's incredible history

Here's a gem for California-based or California-bound Walt Disney fans: an exhibition of 500 artifacts from nearly nine decades of the company's history – over 50 per cent of which have never been seen by the public – including models, props, costumes, set pieces and artwork from throughout Disney history.

Organised by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives runs at the Califrornia-based Reagan Library into 2013.

This is the largest exhibition ever curated by the Walt Disney Archives and the largest temporary exhibit ever housed at the Reagan Library. Among the extraordinary Disney collectibles to be featured are:

  • The original script, written by Walt Disney, for Mickey Mouse’s first cartoon, Steamboat Willie
  • A faithful recreation of Walt’s formal office from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, including original furnishings and many of his personal items
  • Hand-drawn artwork and hand-sculpted models used in the production of some of the most beloved Disney animated film classics ever created, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, and Sleeping Beauty
  • Props from classic Disney live-action productions, including Mary Poppins, 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Shaggy Dog, Babes in Toyland, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and more
  • Breathtaking props, costumes, and set pieces from recent Disney classics, including the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, TRON: Legacy, National Treasure and Captain America
  • Intricately sculptured busts of all 44 US presidents created for Audio-Animatronics figures seen in the Hall of Presidents attraction at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort;
  • A salute to Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, showcasing theme park artwork, Audio-Animatronics characters, memorabilia, and authentic attraction vehicles
The exhibition also pays tribute to the long personal friendship and professional collaboration between Walt Disney and US president Ronald Reagan, which began many years before President Reagan’s political career. On 17th July 1955, Ronald Reagan was one of the co-hosts of ABC-TV’s live coverage of the opening of Disneyland, and as Governor of California, he frequently visited Disney’s first theme park.

After leaving the Oval Office, one of his first public events was a return to Disneyland, where he officiated at the park’s January 1990 35th-anniversary celebration, proclaiming it “one of America’s national treasures.”

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club celebrates the remarkable past, present, and future of Disney, taking its name from 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his world-famous company. D23 unlocks the magic of Disney with a host of exclusive benefits, including a quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three, a rich website at, a weekly e-mail newsletter; an array of discounts and special offers; free gifts throughout the year; as well as exclusive events created especially for its members.

Located in Simi Valley, California the Reagan Library houses over 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and more than 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President.

- The Treasures of Walt Disney runs until April 2013. The Ronald Reagan Library & Museum is located in Simi Valley, California, about 60 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles and approximately two hours north of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. More info at and


Friday, 10 August 2012

Here be (Bob's) Dragons...

SciFi Art Now contributor Bob Eggleton has just announced the release of his long-awaited Dragon Kalender (2013), on sale from Austria-based publishers Weltbild.

If you don't mind owning a calendar in German, then for €9.99 (plus delivery) you get 12 amazing images of dragons, beautifully painted by Hugo award-winning fantasy/SF artist Bob in a large-format calendar (35 cm x 51cm. 

The small images here don't do justice to Bob's amazing work - check out the Kalendar's page for larger versions.

Publishers Weltbild launched way back in 1948 as a small family business and have gone on to become one of Austria's biggest mail order company for books, music, DVDs and gifts. 

• Check out their web site using Google Translate if you don't speak German via

• View or buy the calendar at:

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Monty Nero offers online digital painting class

Monty Nero's cover for CLiNT
Volume 2 Issue 3
Ace artist Monty Nero, whose credits include Death Sentence for CLiNT Magazine, is teaching two weeks of live online digital painting classes from 6th August 2012.

These courses, organised by the
Computer Training Academy, who have been running a variety of teaching since March, use video conference and desktop sharing software to link up your computer to a professional artist working in the industry today. In this way you can see the screen and talk live to the artist as they demonstrate techniques and take you through each step of their job. You spend every minute learning and being encouraged by a real pro. 

Getting set up takes minutes and is as simple as clicking on the link the Computer Training Academy send you.

All the tutors on these courses have over 10 year's experience as professional concept artists for computer games. Monty Nero tells us technical streaming quality is excellent, with the same one-to-one student attention and tutor interaction as a face-to-face class.

• Contact: for more details.

• The Computer Training Academy homepage:

• A summary of the Concept Art class:

• What you will need for remote courses through the CTA:

• Pricing and class dates:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Recommended Reading: Andrew Loomis

Illustrator Andrew Loomis is revered amongst artists for his mastery of drawing technique and his clean, realist style and his hugely influential series of art instruction books have never been bettered.

Long out of print, early editions of his books have become highly collectible and sought out by art enthusiasts and practitioners but last year Titan Books began re-publishing facsimile hardback editions of the illustrator's guides.

A fourth – perhaps his best known work, Creative Illustration – is due for release in October.
Figure Drawing for All it's WorthFigure Drawing for All it's Worth provides a seminal course covering all the techniques needed to master drawing the figure. Hailed by the American Academy of Art as “one of the most brilliant contributions that figure drawing has ever received” Loomis’s book is packed with beautiful examples to help you master anatomy and capture the human form at any age, in movement and at rest.

Drawing the Head and Hands, also released last year, offer a masterclasses in tackling what comic artists often find the most difficult elements in figure drawing, but world-class illustrator Andrew Loomis’s classic primer offers plenty of solutions.

In May, Titan published Successful Drawing - a superb resource covering all the techniques needed to master three-dimensional drawing that has been many an artist's bible for 60 years. From the fundamentals of proportion, placement, perspective, planes and pattern, through a detailed examination of scale and the effects and capture of light, to the mastery of conception, construction, contour, character and consistency, Successful Drawing is filled with step-by-step instruction, professional tips and beautiful illustration.

In October, Titan will publish the fourth facsimile in the series – Creative Illustration, considered Loomis’s magnum opus, which is aimed primarily at the professional-level illustrator.

It’s divided into seven sections: Line, Tone, Colour, Telling the Story, Creating Ideas, Fields of Illustration, and Experimenting and Studies. The book is filled with instructions, tips, insider experiences, and incredible illustrations and definitely one for artists' wish lists, and a title I've often suggested as a resource elesewhere on downthetubes.

Born in 1892, after studying art, Loomis moved to Chicago where he eventually opened his own studio – working in editorial and advertising for most of the top clients of the time, including Kellogg’s, Coca Cola, Lucky Strike and many others. He also became renowned as an art teacher and his instructional books on illustration and art  - which also include Fun with a Pencil and The Eye of a Painter - are acclaimed classics in the field.

As well as Alex Ross, Dick Giordano, and Steve Lieber, among others, have cited the influence of Loomis on their style and studies. Steve Rude named one of the characters he drew in the Nexus comic book General Loomis.

Andrew Loomis: Wikipedia Entry

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Random Art: Max Bertolini

Megara by Max Bertolini
Max Bertolini, one of the contributors to SciFi Art Now, has had a long, varied and successful career. The image I've featured here - 'Megara,' the cover for the January 2005 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - was shortlisted for a British Science Fiction Association Award in 2005.

Fantasy and SF Magazine January 2005. Art by Max Bertolini
Born in 1967 in Milan, where he lives and works, Max didn't attend art school and his skills are self taught. As a child, he was fascinated by American superhero comics, and the fantasy and science-fiction art he saw on magazines and book covers. But what finally pushed him to life as an artist was the first issue of Nathan Never when it was published by Sergio Bonelli Editore in 1991.

The cover was a revelation for Max, because it combined his old love of science fiction and the Italian adventure comic book genre, and prompted him to send a few illustrations of Bonelli¹s comic book hero to the publisher. Bonelli soon responded, and he has been drawing Italy's best known and best-selling comic serial since 1993. More recently, he's provided some stunning covers for Marvel Comics, featured here in our quick interview with the artist published in 2010.

After a few years working in comics, he began to feel they weren¹t enough for him and started a second career in illustration, his art reflecting a strong concern for the beauty of naked human form, his work encompassing almost every genre, from from fantasy to science-fiction, passing through horror and thriller.

Max says he enjoys depicting far alien landscapes and, as the illustration I've featured here illustrates, they are one of the distinctive features of his art, together with his fascinating and graceful warrior women, all of them represented with a deep consideration for contrast and chiaroscuro.

Max is one of the cover artists of Eura Editoriale and Mondadori, the main Italian publishing house, while in the evenings he even finds the time to teach Cartoon and Illustration at the Accademia dello Spettacolo in Milan.His work is known all over the world with his fantasy and sci-fi cover published in the US, France, Germany, Spain, England, Russia and China.

For anyone interested in Max's art, you might want to try and track down a copy of Revelations: The Art of Max Bertolini, a 128-page hardcover art book published in the UK by Paper Tiger, which collects the best of his work. German publisher MG Publishing has also published another art book featuring his art entitled, simply,The Art of Max Bertolini.

- Check out his web site at:

- Max Bertolini inteview on SciFi Art Now



Friday, 8 June 2012

In Memoriam: Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The following tribute to author Ray Bradbury has been posted on, but I preface it with my own short thank you to a great novelist, whose work I much enjoyed as I grew up in the 1970s, his short stories among those of many SF authors I much enjoyed and which helped shape a lifelong passion for science fiction and comics. 

I regularly trekked to the library in St. Ives where I grew up to find SF collections - Asimov, Clarke and Bradbury being the principal authors I'd find, although by the 1970s I was also buying SF thanks to Panther Books and New English Library, among other UK publishers. It was Bradbury's short stories I most enjoyed, not just the better known Martian Chronicles but his other one off stories, like the one about the man who kills someone and then spends the entire night trying to wipe his fingerprints from the crime scene - and is still doing it when the police take him away.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury's stories were more about the human condition than hard SF but his focus on character and theme is what, for me, made his work so appealing. 

I've also featured the covers of some of his books that I recall helped attract me to his work, as well as some striking images inspired by it.

Here's the official tribute to a great man.

Ray Bradbury, recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, died on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91 after a long illness. He lived in Los Angeles.

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury has inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree.

In 2005, Bradbury published a book of essays titled Bradbury Speaks, in which he wrote: "In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior."

The Silver Locusts

He is survived by his four daughters, Susan Nixon, Ramona Ostergren, Bettina Karapetian, and Alexandra Bradbury, and eight grandchildren. His wife, Marguerite, predeceased him in 2003, after fifty-seven years of marriage.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, Live forever!

Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."

Rest in peace, Ray. Your fire will burn many forever.


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Fantabulous! An art collection from Oliver Wetter

The artists who contributed to SciFi Art Now are a talented bunch, and always pushing the envelope when it comes to get their work "out there" for their fans and prospective clients.

Oliver Wetter has gone a step further than most with the self publishing of a gorgeous collecton of his art in Fantabulous Visions: The Art of Fantasio.

Very much a collaborative effort, the book features plenty of Oliver's current work, ranging from digital painting to sculpture and photo manipulation to book cover creation and caricature - even whimsical illustration.

"The intention was to make the book a work of art in itself, a showcase of over 50 images," Oliver explains, "thoughtfully selected and graphically framed with tastefully complementing colour schemes."

Utilising the blurb self-publishing platform, the 80-plus page book is being offered in two sizes and in softcover and hardcover. The selction of imagery throughout is stunning, including images featured in SciFi Art Now but much more besides.

The art is gorgeous, displaying Oliver's range and styles with maximum impact and effectiveness. It includes a range of stunning work - but also offers insights into the art's creation, with step-by step 'snapshots' of his creation process.

Oliver's work has deservedly garnered plenty of praise during his career, and author Howard Lewis is effusive about his creations.

"The only thing I have found more enjoyable than writing exciting stories of alien creatures, fantastic spacecraft and galactic war is seeing my concepts come to life in the capable hands of Oliver Wetter," he enthuses on the book's cover.

"This book is an investment any serious art book collector can not afford to miss," he adds. It's a recommendation I have no hesitation in echoing here.

• More info:

Saturday, 3 March 2012

In Memoriam: Ralph McQuarrie

Early Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. Copyright Lucasfilm

We're sorry to report the passing of SF visionary Ralph McQuarrie, aged 82.

Along with artists such as Chris Foss, Roger Dean, Frank Bellamy and Mike Noble, Ralph McQuarrie's singular vision was another influence in my love of SF art that continues to this day. His design work on the original Star Wars universe and the orignal Battlestar Galactica TV series will be most remembered by many, but he also brought his singular vision to other creations, even if some were not used - a remake of Forbidden Planet, for example.

His contribution to SF art is and always will be, immense. His influence on many young artists, inspiring them to follow in his footsteps, is incalculable.

A tribute posted on his official web site reads:

"It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing ofRalph McQuarrie.

"People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. We were all fans of his amazing art long before we were blessed with his friendship. But once you got to know Ralph it was impossible not to become a fan of Ralph the man.

"Ralph was a very special person for many more reasons than his undeniable brilliance with a brush. He was an especially kind, sensitive, deep, modest, funny and fascinating gentleman. And as fine a role model as any one could have wished for.

"His influence on design will be felt forever. There's no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say...

'that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted.'"

He will be much missed and our thoughts go out to family, friends and all those whose work he influenced on this sad day.

- Ralph McQuarrie, 13th June 1929 - 3rd March 2012. Official web site:


Thursday, 1 March 2012

New Scientist launches digital SF magazine

Arc, a new magazine about the future has just been launched by the publishers of New Scientist.

Edited by Simon Ings, author of acclaimed genre-spanning novels The Weight of Numbers and Dead Water, Arc explores the endless vistas opened up by today's science and technology and the possibilities these raise for the future.

The first issue features cutting-edge science fiction and forward-looking essays by some of the world's most celebrated authors - Margaret Atwood, Stephen Baxter, M. John Harrison, China Miéville, Hannu Rajaniemi and Alastair Reynolds.

These are combined with columns by thinkers and practitioners from the worlds of books, design, gaming, film and more - Leigh Alexander, Simon Pummel, Paul Graham Raven, Adam Roberts and Bruce Sterling.

Now all it needs is a kick ass and more impressive SF-inspired cover!

• To find out more visit the Arc website:
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