Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My New Promos + Pyr Party @ Worldcon

Attention all Denvention/Worldcon attendees -- good news! FREE stuff!

Hot off the press -- the grainy photo above shows the front, middle, and back of my spiffy new art promo that will be available free at Worldcon. This quick snapshot doesn't really do justice because they printed perfectly. I'm really happy with them. Get 'em at my autographings and also at my Worldcon Art Show display. (Schedule here.)

Big news -- Lou Anders and the good folks of Pyr are sponsoring a big bash at Worldcon Friday at 8pm. A signed 17"x22" archival print of my cover art for FAST FORWARD 2 will be raffled off at the event and they'll be serving crazy Brazilian beverages in honor of the Hugo nomination of Ian McDonald's BRASYL. More details below. The best part is you're invited, so don't miss it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Denvention/Worldcon Schedule

This show is coming FAST, and I'm racing to get things finished before it arrives. Here's where you can find me, as well as in the Art Show from time to time. Question: anyone know which hotel bar will be the place-to-be this year? I'm guessing the Hyatt Regency?


33 Cover Art in the Internet Age

"Don't judge a book by its cover." How does this maxim
work in the internet age when books are sold online (with
small images of the cover), or even more so in e-books.
(John Picacio (m) / Laura Givens / Lou Anders)
2:30pm / CCC Korbel 4CD


124 Autographing (75 minutes) -- John Picacio,
Kevin Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Wil McCarthy
11:30am / CCC Hall D


Stroll with the Stars

9am / Meet at CCC near the Big Blue Bear (A Lobby)

Signing at the Asimov's Table
11am / Exhibit Hall

Pyr Party
8pm-11pm / Sheraton Party Floor / Room TBA at the 5:30 Pyr Panel Friday


452 The Art of John Picacio
Hugo finalist John Picacio presents a slideshow of his recent and upcoming sf/fantasy illustrations, as well as the process and thoughts that created them
10am / CCC Room 507

503 Cover Art and Culture:
Selling to Readers in the UK and the US

Publishers put different covers on the same novel to sell it
in the US or the UK. Panelists show examples and discuss why
this really seems to work. (Beth Meacham (m), Bob Eggleton,
John Picacio, Stephen Segal)
1pm / CCC Korbel 1C

Hugo Awards Ceremony

7:30pm / Wells Fargo Theatre / CCC

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Special Guest-Blogging at Joe Mallozzi's!

Right now, I'm special-guesting over at the blog of STARGATE ATLANTIS executive producer-extraordinaire Joseph Mallozzi. Joe graciously invited me last week, and his readers fired a barrage of terrific, wide-ranging questions in the meantime. Read my responses and feel free to ask more in his comments section. In totality, it reads like an extensive interview, so check it out. :) Thanks again, Joe!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Elric in the NYT, and More

Been away from here for a while....working on several fronts at the moment, including preparing my artwork for shipment to the World Science Fiction Convention in Denver next month. Oy...shipping art is such a hassle. Now fingers crossed that it arrives intact!! Right now, I'm reading DARKEST HOUR, the second book of Mark Chadbourn's AGE OF MISRULE trilogy. I'll be doing covers for all three books for Pyr's releases next year, the first time the books will be available in the US. It's an amazing dark fantasy epic so far and I'm blown away by its depth of mythic detail. Other assignments are on the burner here. More on them when they're finished.

News and notes:

1. launched this past weekend. Nice mini-gallery of my stuff over there, and overall, just a terrific and dynamic site. Check it out if you haven't already.

2. Several folks have emailed me that Dave Itzkoff reviewed ELRIC: THE STEALER OF SOULS in the New York Times. All kindly mention that Itzkoff's review fails to mention Alan Moore's intro or my illustrations. Happily and most importantly though, the NYT piece shines a glowing spotlight on the greatness of Mike Moorcock and the book itself, which is all that really matters to me in the end.

3. Attn: anyone living on the upper east coast of the US -- Philcon 2008 has now opened their hotel room block and is taking reservations. However, their website doesn't yet display that info, so here it is. Philcon is this November 21-23 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, NJ. To reserve your hotel room before they sell out, call the hotel directly (800-381-9553) and be sure to mention "Philcon" to get the con rate for the room block. Remember to specify "quiet" or "hospitality" floor. Online hotel registration will be available as soon as the web site is updated. Guests of Honor include Tim Powers as their Author Guest of Honor (or Principal Speaker as they've dubbed him); Scott Christian Sava as the Special Guest; and yours truly as the Artist Guest of Honor. I'll have new never-seen Elric original art on display there, and lots of other goodies for sure. Be there. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Soon: Guest-Blogging @ Joe Mallozzi's

executive producer and man-of-the-world Joseph Mallozzi has invited me to guest-blog over at his place and he's soliciting questions right now. So if there's anything about covers or art that you want to talk about, feel free to pile on and ask away over at his place. In yesterday's entry he gives a shoutout to Lou Anders' forthcoming FAST FORWARD 2 anthology. Go Joe!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Cthulhu Landed On My Porch Yesterday

It sounded like a small bomb exploded outside, so I ran to the door. When I opened it, nothing was there but a large cardboard box. The mailman was sprinting back to his truck down the street. The above photo shows you what shook the house. Not the Jess Nevins extravaganza to the left, but Centipede Press' jaw-dropping magnum opus, A LOVECRAFT RETROSPECTIVE: ARTISTS INSPIRED BY H.P.L., edited by Jerad Walters. Nevins' FANTASTIC VICTORIANA is there for visual reference -- so you can see how bone-crushingly massive the Lovecraftian masterpiece is. I've heard the hype. I've heard the giant pricetags. And quite frankly, I was reserving judgement until I saw the book for myself. But now that I've experienced my comp copy, I'm still numb 24 hours later. Two things to say:

1. When I first heard this book would have three editions and the least-expensive would be $395, I asked myself, "Who's gonna buy this thing?!?" However, now that I've witnessed the gorgeous printing, the who's-who list of artists (Michael Whelan, Bob Eggleton, H.R. Giger, Bernie Wrightson, J.K. Potter, etc., etc.), the humongous size and revised question is "who can resist this thing?" Granted -- most of us don't have $400 to drop on a book like this, but for anyone who has a personal library and love of Lovecraft and Cthulhu stories and's the skinny: this book is now an essential Holy Grail that has just made your library incomplete unless you have it.'s that traffic-stoppingly luscious.

2. For the past several years, I diligently fill out my World Fantasy Awards ballot and try to make intelligent nomination choices in each category. In 2009, this book, A LOVECRAFT RETROSPECTIVE, will be eligible for the World Fantasy Awards, and I'm already looking forward to including it amongst my selections for the category "Special Award/Non-Professional". I won't be voting for it because I'm in it, but because I can't imagine an achievement that could top it in the year 2008. It's that good, and that worthy.

Last item: I noticed the following on the back end flap when I was showing the book to my wife late last night. "Following early Weird Tales art by Lee Brown Coye and Virgil Finlay, Lovecraft's personal favorite, to classic examples of 21st century renderings by modern masters like J.K. Potter and John Picacio, this volume's more than 400 pages comprise the best artwork inspired by the Rhode Island icon of horror." Too cool! :)
Above: my spread in the book
Above: a double gatefold spread of a Michael Whelan classic that literally is so big, it falls off the table

Friday, July 04, 2008

FAST FORWARD 2, ed. by Lou Anders

Here's the final cover art for the forthcoming Pyr anthology FAST FORWARD 2, edited by Hugo Award finalist Lou Anders. Art's best when it speaks for itself, but if you want behind the scenes trivia, here's a little. This cover had a few inspirations, not the least of which is the mental tennis between me and Lou. It's not so much Lou saying, "I want the cover to look like this" as much him firing short phrases of things he's seeing in science fiction, and then I respond with what I see, and at some point, I take off and run with the ball. Hard to explain if you're not there, but it's just the way we've always worked. The best of times. Back to inspirations:

1. This image has been in my head illustration by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen featured on the cover of a late-1800's French magazine called Le Petit Sou. The symbolism is so resonant. I don't think that this image was created with the USA in mind, but it reminds me of the ideals that founded this country, and also what it will probably take if the US intends to be great again. I love this image, and it not only spawned the FF2 cover, but at least two more illustrations that I'll be doing for myself (or maybe even for future covers?).

2. Something unexpected and out-of-the-blue....the death of Dave Stevens, the creator of THE ROCKETEER. I've never seen a drawing of his that wasn't full of love and hope. My personal tastes in art have shifted a lot since all those years ago when I treasured his comics, but his recent death still jolted me. In some small way, the cover of FF2 is my way of saying, "RIP, Dave....thanks for the memories."

3. From Paul McAuley...Lou quoted this in FF2's intro...."(Science fiction) not only shows us what could happen if things carry on the way they are, but it pushes what's going on to the extremes of absurdity. That's not its job: that's its nature. And what's happened to science fiction lately, it isn't natural. It's pale and lank and kind of out of focus. It needs to straighten up and fly right. It needs to reconnect with the world's weather, and get medieval on reality's ass."

Thursday, July 03, 2008


As announced this week via GalleyCat, Pyr and British Fantasy Award-winning author Mark Chadbourn have agreed to a six-book deal which includes the first US publication of Chadbourn's epic AGE OF MISRULE trilogy as well as his forthcoming SWORDS OF ALBION books. This morning, I signed the contracts to illustrate Pyr's covers for the AGE OF MISRULE books. I'm already reading the first one, WORLD'S END, and it's fabulous! Gonna be a blast to work on these. More soon....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lovecraft Love at io9

While I was at Apollocon, I missed this. Jeff Vandermeer posted a solid rundown about Centipede Press' massive artbook extravaganza, THE ART OF LOVECRAFT: ARTISTS INSPIRED BY LOVECRAFT. Several of the book's artists are quoted in the article, including yours truly. If you haven't heard about this book, it's a doozy. 400 pages of Lovecraft-inspired art, most in full-color, for a price tag of $395, for the clothbound, slipcased version. And if you're looking for a less-expensive alternative, you're outta luck. That IS the least expensive. The even snazzier editions retail for $495 (cloth, traycase, extra prints) and $2,495 (leather-bound edition, signed, extra prints). Oof...I'm still waiting to get my comp copy, but when I do, I'll bet it's gonna be amazing.

Hugo Voting Deadline Looms

The Hugo Awards voting deadline is approaching quickly -- July 7th, to be exact. I already turned in my ballot, but if anyone's still working on theirs, check out this site -- Spontaneous Derivation. Pretty cool -- they've got rundowns on all of the Hugo Awards categories, and for anyone making last-minute decisions, this could come in handy.