Sunday, July 30, 2006

R.I.P. David Gemmell

I was really saddened to hear the news of David Gemmell's passing a few days ago. The folks at Ballantine/Del Rey approached me a few years ago and asked me to do a cover for a U.S. mass market paperback edition of Gemmell's ECHOES OF THE GREAT SONG. They wanted a more modern graphic approach for his U.S. editions and at the time, I was incorporating a lot of photography in my finished mixed-media works. They liked this, and they liked that cover, and it led to several other Gemmell covers for me. I think I liked the cover for LEGEND the most (pictured here). These days, I don't favor using much photography in my finished works anymore, but I still like this one. For many Gemmell fans, this is one of his most-beloved works, and I'm glad I was a part of its tradition.

I met David and his wife Stella at San Diego Comic-Con a few years back. He was big and gracious, and he made time for everyone that day. It's the only time I ever had the pleasure to spend time with him, but I'm glad that he left such a legacy of beloved works for generations to enjoy. Condolences to David's family and all associated with him over at Ballantine/Del Rey.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Pocket Gang at San Diego Comic-Con

Beginning in September, Pocket will be releasing an all-new mass-market STAR TREK paperback trilogy called STAR TREK: CRUCIBLE. It's written by David R. George III, and I did the cover art as a triptych so that all three covers connect to form one picture (see above). The trilogy is part of Pocket's 40th Anniversary celebration of the original STAR TREK series, and it was a real pleasure to be a part of this.

I had a blast hanging out with the Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books gang at San Diego Comic-Con. Pictured below are (left to right) Elisa Kassan, Margaret Clark, Marco Palmieri, and Ed Schlesinger. Not pictured is the one-and-only Jennifer Heddle.

The hard-working Pocket gang handed out promo materials galore for the STAR TREK books all weekend long, and their Comic-Con booth was buzzing non-stop. I'll be posting more upcoming covers that I'm doing with this company, in the near future.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Home again

I returned home late last night from San Diego Comic-Con. Tremendous show. My main agenda up there was to promote my art book, COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO, and that went extremely well. Between my table, MonkeyBrain's table (that they shared with BenBella), Bud Plant's booth, and Mysterious Galaxy's booth, the book sold nicely over there. Thanks to all! I spent the vast majority of my time at the show in Artists' Alley. It was my first time in that area and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I was located between Dave Seeley and Jon Foster and they're both terrific guys and tremendous illustrators. Thanks to Clydene Nee, Jean Goddin, Mike Willmoth, Jackie Estrada and all the Artists' Alley folks for making it all run smoothly.

When I wasn't in Artists' Alley, I was running around the con, meeting with clients and having a blast. It was crazy over there though. Last year's attendance was officially 104,000, and by the end of Saturday this year, rumor had it that the attendance had cracked the 130,000 mark, and that was with a full Sunday still to go!! I spent a lot of time with good buddy Chris Roberson, and whenever we stopped to compare notes, we always wished we had body armor to survive the onslaught of the massive crowds. I've never seen anything like it...

Friday, July 14, 2006

San Diego Comic-Con 2006!

I'll be set up there at table CC-15 in Artists' Alley. Jon Foster and Dave Seeley will be set up on either side of me, and I'm looking forward to seeing those guys. Come by and visit us! I'll have copies for sale of my art book COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO. I'll have a portfolio full of goodies and ephemera for sale, as well. MonkeyBrain Books is the publisher of the art book and they'll be set up in the Exhibitor Table section along with BenBella Books (table F1, right around aisle 800 or so).

If you miss me in Artists' Alley for some reason, I'm scheduled for the following:

Saturday, July 22: 1-3pm -- book signing at MonkeyBrain/Benbella table (F1)

Sunday, July 23, 1:45-2:45 -- book signing at the Simon & Schuster/Pocket booth (#932), along with David R. George III, author of the upcoming 40th Anniverary STAR TREK trilogy, CRUCIBLE (I did the cover art for all 3 books.)

In addition, I'll have a framed print over at the mighty Bud Plant booth (#1500), and Bud will have this as part of his big Comic-Con giveaway promotion. He'll also have plenty of copies in stock of COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO.

Should be a great weekend, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone out there!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Belated thanks RE: The Locus Poll

Frank Wu made a comment below and he reminded me about something I had forgotten to acknowledge. Thanks to all who voted in this year's LOCUS MAGAZINE Poll, and I'm very honored and grateful to be listed at #3 in this year's list for Best Artist. The great Michael Whelan won his 26th Locus Award for Best Artist in the Poll (congrats, Michael!), and Bob Eggleton finished in second. Dave McKean and Charles Vess rounded out the top five. I was thrilled to hear this news when it happened, and it certainly was meaningful to me, but I was working on so many cover deadlines at the time, that I just clean forgot to acknowledge it. I'm not looking for props or for congrats on this. I'm just glad to keep working on my stuff and keep drawing and painting and keep improving, because that's what it's all about. However, I didn't want it to pass by, without saying a heartfelt thanks.

So thanks to Master Wu for reminding me to acknowledge it. Congrats to him for finishing in the #12 slot on the list! Sweet!

You're invited... a party. If you're anywhere near San Antonio, Texas, that is. I'm doing a book signing for COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO this Saturday night, July 15th. THE SAN ANTONIO CURRENT is celebrating their 20th anniversary as San Antonio's weekly alternative newspaper, and they're throwing a big bash at the Southwest Arts and Craft Center (300 Augusta). Party starts at 6pm. Budweiser and Bacardi will be sponsoring, and Barnes & Noble will be sponsoring my book signing. In addition, THE CURRENT will be auctioning prints of past covers that I've done for the paper. All proceeds for the auction benefit the Southwest School's adult art-education scholarship fund. The event is open to the public. Should be big fun!!

2006 Chesley Nominations

The 2006 Chesley Award Nominations were just announced last night. Congrats to all of the nominees. I'm honored to be nominated in two categories, Best Interior Illustration for "The Second Hunt" (see above) which appeared in TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE MAGAZINE (January 2005), and for Artistic Achievement, which is the "Artist of the Year" award for the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, or ASFA.

Thanks to all who voted, and I look forward to being at the Chesley ceremony at Worldcon in Anaheim next month!