Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I'm off to Japan and Worldcon in less than 24 hours. Apparently, Random House and Amazon have both posted solicitations for Del Rey's forthcoming trade paperback release of ELRIC: THE STEALER OF SOULS by the legendary Michael Moorcock. If you click their cover, it doesn't yet show a larger version of the new cover. I'm already seeing some cyber-buzz about the impending release of this book, so I thought I'd finally give everyone a look at the final art, sans final typography. When I receive a jpeg of the final cover layout from Del Rey, I'll post it here as well. ELRIC: THE STEALER OF SOULS will be volume 1 of a series and will contain lots of b/w illustrations by me. Forthcoming February 2008. Enjoy! More when I return....

Monday, August 27, 2007

Flying the Geek Flag

My alma mater, The University of Texas, publishes a slick bi-monthly alumni magazine called THE ALCALDE. Lately they've been running a feature where they solicit alums to submit their personal Top 10 List of Most Influential Works. As you might expect, lots of lawyers, doctors, and successful professionals have submitted their lists with impressive tomes such as THE BIBLE, THE BOY SCOUTS' HANDBOOK, and WAR & PEACE amongst their choices. Mine reads a little differently...I will say that my interpretation of the word "influential" was over the course of a lifetime as opposed to what are my most influential "right now"...but yeah, I'd say that each of these works inspired and shaped me at one point or another, and some of them still do....so without further ado, in no particular order:

Andrey Tarkovsky

Dir. By Ridley Scott

Dir. By Wim Wenders

Neil Gaiman / Dave McKean

THE SANDMAN (comics)
Neil Gaiman

GUSTAV KLIMT: 1862-1918 (artbook)
Gottfried Fliedl

Jane Frank

Jorge Luis Borges

Dir. By Irvin Kershner

Michael Moorcock

Anyone out there care to share their own Top 10 List of Most Influential Works?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chris Merle Interviews Me

When I was Artist GOH at Conestoga last month, Chris Merle included me in his running series of podcasts with sf/fantasy creators and luminaries. I've done lots of interviews in the last several years, but to my knowledge, this is the first podcast I've ever done. So if you're interested in hearing me prattle on for 38 minutes, check it out. I think Chris did a terrific job, but admittedly, I'm not used to hearing the sound of my recorded voice and all of my vocal idiosyncracies. Yikes. Despite that, I hope some folks out there find it entertaining.

Check it out: SF Awards Watch

Science Fiction Awards Watch -- Terrific new website that just recently launched, courtesy of hosts Cheryl Morgan and Kevin Standlee....it's a blog and virtual town hall where folks can discuss and debate the various awards in the industry. Looks like a lot of fun, and I expect this website will be really popular as word spreads.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Where I'll be at Worldcon 2007

The folks at Nippon 2007 have just posted the complete program grid. Lots of great panels and events. You can find me at the following on Friday and Saturday at this year's Worldcon...


Fri 1400
A slide presentation of John Picacio's artwork.
(One and all are invited, whether you pop in for a few minutes or stay for the whole show....images move briskly; lots of new work will be presented; and folks are welcome to interject with questions at any time about process, techniques, or anything they can think of. Totally casual.)


Sat 1000
Participants: Bob EGGLETON, Jennie FARIES, John PICACIO,
Is it realism? A particular color? Many editors return to
the same artists again and again. What sets these
paragons apart? Style? Originality? A distinctive look
or varied approach? Reliable telepathy? (Oh, and must
the artist read the story, or what?)

Sat 1200
John PICACIO / Eileen GUNN / Geoffrey A. LANDIS

Sat 1300
(Betsy Mitchell will run the show and I'll make a brief cameo appearance to talk about ELRIC: THE STEALER OF SOULS by Michael Moorcock, for which I'm doing the cover and interior art. Betsy will present some of my interior art for the book.)

Beyond those events, I'll be at the Chesley Awards (Fri 1600), the Art Show Reception (Fri 1800), and the Hugo Awards festivities (which kick off Sat 1600), and of course in the hotel bar with pals Lou Anders, Paul Cornell, and anyone who wishes to join us. If you're attending, say hi (or "konnichiwa"/"kombanwa") and I look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, August 13, 2007

The 2007 World Fantasy Award Finalists

Via Locus Online, it looks like the list of the 2007 World Fantasy Award Finalists is officially out. The World Fantasy Convention happens this year Nov. 1-4 in Saratoga Springs, NY and the winners will be announced there. A few quick thoughts about the list: Wow, I'm a World Fantasy Award nominee in the Artist category!! Too cool!! I'm thrilled and honored. Very pleased to be in there with Jon, Edward, Shaun, and Jill. They've all done breathtaking work in the last 12 months. It's a terrific list of nominees in all categories. I can't imagine it's easy for the judges to make a list like this, but this one is as solid as any year I've seen. Names that gave me a big smile when I saw them here....Jeff Ford (3 times!!!), the mighty Mark Finn (his first nom....Finn, do the monkeywalk), Deanna Hoak (this may be the first ever for a copyeditor), John Klima (thrilled for JK...well-earned), Kim Newman (yay MonkeyBrain), Norm Partridge (hurrah for DARK HARVEST), Scott Cupp (happy for Lansdale as well, but this is a breakthrough for Scott), and Greg Ketter (tireless behind-the-scenes warrior who really deserved this nod....great call by the jury on this one). There are other names that I'm excited about, but I'll stop there. Like I said, it's a helluva list, and I'm proud to be a part of it. Final note -- congrats to Chris Roberson and Allison Baker at MonkeyBrain Books for having three MonkeyBrain works on this ballot.

The 2007 World Fantasy Award Nominees

Stephen King: Lisey's Story
Ellen Kushner: Privilege of the Sword
Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora
Catherynne M. Valente: In the Night Garden
Gene Wolfe: Soldier of Sidon

Jeffrey Ford: Botch Town
Kim Newman: The Man Who Got Off the Ghost Train
Norman Partridge: Dark Harvest
M. Rickert: Map of Dreams
Ysabeau S. Wilce: The Lineaments of Gratified Desire

Short Fiction:
Jeffrey Ford: The Way He Does It
M. Rickert: Journey Into the Kingdom
Benjamin Rosenbaum: A Siege of Cranes
Christopher Rowe: Another Word for Map Is Faith
Geoff Ryman: Pol Pot's Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)

Scott Cupp & Joe R. Lansdale, eds.: Cross Plains Universe
Ellen Datlow & Terry Windling, eds.: Salon Fantastique (Jeff, Ed)
Joe R. Lansdale, ed.: Retro Pulp Tales
David Moles & Susan Marie Groppi, eds.: Twenty Epics
Sharyn November, ed.: Firebirds Rising

Susanna Clarke: The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories
Jeffrey Ford: The Empire of Ice Cream
Glen Hirshberg: American Morons
Margo Lanagan: Red Spikes
M. Rickert: Map of Dreams

Jon Foster
Edward Miller
John Picacio
Shaun Tan
Jill Thompson

Special Award Professional:
Ellen Asher for her work at The SFBC
Mark Finn for Blood & Thunder: The Life of Robert E. Howard
Deanna Hoak for copyediting
Greg Ketter for Dreamhaven
Leonard S. Marcus for The Wand in the Word

Special Award Non Professional:
Leslie Howle for her work at Clarion West
Leo Grin for The Cimmerian Magazine
Susan Groppi for Strange Horizons
John Klima for Electric Velocipede
Gary K. Wolfe for Reviews in Locus, and other contributions to the field.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Armadillocon Wrap

Got back home yesterday after a short 24-hour stint at ArmadilloCon in Austin. I needed to be back in San Antonio Saturday night so it was an abbreviated trip this year. As usual, the FACT folks run a terrific regional show. There was good buzz and energy everywhere. Visited briefly with Ben Yalow, and Laurie and Jim Mann. I'm impressed that they come down from the East Coast to do Armadillocon. L & J came because they wouldn't be at Worldcon and picked Armadillocon as a consolation summer con getaway. I think that speaks volumes about the job that FACT does with this show. Logged some precious bar time with some of my favorite people....Chris Roberson, Allison Baker, Jess Nevins, and Mark Finn. Got to visit with good people I don't see very often including Jay Lake, Scott Cupp, Rick Klaw, Chris Nakashima-Brown, Laura Anne Gilman (her first Armadillocon), Matthew Bey of Revolution SF, Joe Lansdale, Ellen Klages, Sara Felix, Bill Crider, Shai Mohammed, and Paul Benjamin. Hadn't seen Matthew Sturges in ages, and it was great to see him. Gary Lippincott's watercolors in the Art Show were sheer dynamite. He's a solid cat and I look forward to seeing his work at WFC. Enjoyed being on panels with Gary, Cat Conrad, David Lee Anderson, Matt Taggart, Rocky Kelley and Sherlock. Saw Mikal Trimm, Sharyn November, and many, many others all too briefly. All and all -- a great, albeit concentrated, dose of convention goodness.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The British Fantasy Awards 2007

The finalists have been announced, and lo and behold I'm amongst the five nominees for Best Artist. Wow, wow, wow. Les Edwards, Edward Miller, Dean Harkness, and Vincent Chong are my fellow finalists. I'm honored to be in their company.

Overall, there's some terrific and worthy work throughout the categories. MonkeyBrain Books got their first British Fantasy Award nom with Kim Newman's THE MAN FROM THE DIOGENES CLUB amongst the finalists for Best Collection. I'm pleased to see that. Congrats to Chris, Allison, and Kim! It's a terrific read, and I had fun illustrating and designing the cover.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Armadillocon 29 / Austin, TX

It happens this coming weekend (Aug. 10-12). I'll be there for the first half, but unfortunately, this year I won't be there Saturday night or Sunday. Because I wouldn't be around for Art Show Checkout hours, I decided not to participate in the Art Show this time. If anyone attending wants a print of any of my past work, email me or leave a comment here and I can still deliver to you at the show. Prints are generally 16 x 22 (sometimes 18 x 22, depending on the proportion of the original) on Somerset Velvet watercolor paper and they're signed and numbered in editions of 100. Each print, $100 even. If you want a bigger size, let me know and we can work that out.

My panel schedule is as follows. See you there!

Sa1000PC Autographing
Sat 10:00 AM-11:00 AM Phoenix Central
Picacio*, Benjamin, Crider, Dayton

Sa1100De Cover Lovers Anonymous: Confessions From All Over
Sat 11:00 AM-Noon DeWitt
Anderson*, Taggart, Picacio, Foster, Kelley, Lippincott, Sherlock
Join us to discover things about covers and the people responsible. Who chooses artists and how? What is the process from selection to conception to production? How do anthology covers get designed?

Sa1400R The Masters of Art
Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Robertson
Picacio*, Kelley, Taggart, Foster, Conrad, Lippincott, Sherlock
What artists of long-ago have had the most influence on your work?