January -- COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO (MonkeyBrain) finishes on several "Best of 2006" lists, including SFSignal and RevSF.
February -- My covers for Rebecca Ore's TIME'S CHILD (Eos) and Lou Anders' FAST FORWARD 1 (Pyr) hit the streets. The STAR TREK/CRUCIBLE trilogy completes with the release of CRUCIBLE: KIRK -- THE STAR TO EVERY WANDERING by David R. George III. COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO is one of the best art books of 2006, according to Locus Magazine's Recommended Reading List.
March -- Traci and I married on March 17th. Hands-down, one of my favorite days ever. On a sidenote, I'm notified that same day that I'm a finalist for not one, but two Hugo Awards -- Best Professional Artist and Best Related Book. Hard to beat March 17, 2007 as the best day of my entire year. Traci and I begin our double honeymoon in Toronto and following that, I'm the Artist Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention.
April -- Traci and I finish our honeymoon in Europe. We first travelled to the Netherlands where I was one of the special guests at Elf Fantasy Fair in Utrecht, along with Brian Froud, David Anthony Durham, Chris Geere, Lou Ferrigno, and Prof. Roland Rotherham. Following that episode of the Surreal Life, Traci and I moved on to London where we have a glorious time, despite how badly the American dollar sucked.
May -- Chris Roberson's X-MEN: THE RETURN is in stores everywhere. I grew up on X-MEN comics, so illustrating this cover was a dream come true.
June -- George Alec Effinger's A THOUSAND DEATHS debuts with my wraparound cover illustration. I'm invited to the Seattle to have the great honor of inducting Ed Emshwiller into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. As if that weren't enough, COVER STORY is a finalist for the Locus Award for Best Artbook, and I win the Locus Award for Artist -- something I never dreamed would happen. Wow, wow, wow. (And my San Antonio Spurs win their fourth NBA Championship(!), with mass insanity and partying in the downtown streets, not far from our home....:))
July -- Paul Cornell's BRITISH SUMMERTIME releases from MonkeyBrain. Traci and I travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma where I'm the Artist Guest of Honor at Conestoga 11. Soon after, I discover I'm a finalist for two Chesley Awards -- Best Paperback Cover (A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ) and Best Magazine Cover Illustration (INTERZONE #204).
August -- I attend the always-terrific Armadillocon in Austin, TX, which is close to home here in San Antonio, and then travel the furthest distance of my life two weeks later, when my buddy Lou Anders and I head to Japan for the World Science Fiction Convention. I'm not sure if we were prouder that we were both 2007 Hugo Finalists, or that we both survived the 72-hour blitz through Yokohama. Awesome, unforgettable, and we now have cherished friends in Nippon.
September -- I'm a first-time finalist for the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist, along with Vincent Chong, Les Edwards, Dean Harkness, and Edward Miller. Vinny claims the prize -- congrats, Vin! Sometime during this period, I complete the last of the interior illustrations for the forthcoming (Feb. 2008) release of Michael Moorcock's ELRIC: THE STEALER OF SOULS (Ballantine/Del Rey), a huge ongoing effort which I was working on throughout the twelve prior months, along with my other cover work. More news on this after the New Year....
October -- Michael Moorcock's THE METATEMPORAL DETECTIVE (Pyr) debuts. So does 2007 Hugo nominee Bruce McAllister's collection THE GIRL WHO LOVED ANIMALS AND OTHER STORIES (Golden Gryphon). Traci and I attend my 20-Year high school reunion (Holmes High School, San Antonio, '87), and the utterly surreal occurs when the geeky kid who couldn't get a date (me) is voted "Most Successful." A strange life, no?
November -- World Fantasy Con, Saratoga Springs, NY....I'm a finalist for the World Fantasy Award in the Artist category, along with Shaun Tan (congrats!), Jill Thompson, Jon Foster, and Edward Miller. That same weekend, I win the International Horror Guild Award in the Artist category, becoming the first artist to win the IHG twice.
December -- Traci and I celebrate Michael Moorcock's birthday at his release party/booksigning for THE METATEMPORAL DETECTIVE. Mike Resnick's STARSHIP: MERCENARY debuts. My last finished cover work of the year is one of my most ambitious -- the triptych for Jeffrey Ford's WELL-BUILT CITY trilogy which will release next fall in trade paperback from Golden Gryphon.
Whew -- (deep exhale) yeah, 2007, you were unforgettable. Bring on '08. To everyone out there -- thanks very much and best wishes to you on the other side of the New Year!