Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Here's my recently-completed cover illustration for the forthcoming Steve Niles thriller A WORLD OF HURT. Niles is the co-creator of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. AWOH will be a major hardcover release this fall from Simon & Schuster. I'll update when I hear more about this one.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Moorcockian Odds & Ends

Michael Moorcock in this past weekend's edition of the Financial Times: A diary entry as he and Linda journey along the Mississippi Delta...

Mark Van Name on Michael Moorcock: Why Mike is The Greatest...

The fourth of Del Rey's six ELRIC omnibus books is now in stores. This one's DUKE ELRIC and the cover and interiors are by Justin Sweet. He'll be illustrating the fifth book as well.

Excited -- I just got the call late last week to begin work on the cover illustration for the sixth ELRIC omnibus from Del Rey. This book will include THE REVENGE OF THE ROSE, "Black Petals", and more bonus material.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Massive Stephen King Art Book!

Remember the gigantic H.P. Lovecraft art book that blew everyone away (me included) last year? Well, the publisher of that book, Centipede Press, is back again with KNOWING DARKNESS: ARTISTS INSPIRED BY STEPHEN KING. The book is in production right now, and the image at left by Michael Whelan is apparently NOT the final cover image, according to Centipede Press' website. Last year's Lovecraft art book had spectacular production values, and I imagine this new King art book will have the same quality, when it releases in November.

I've been commissioned to do an all-new 'SALEM'S LOT illustration, exclusively for this book. My wife is a longtime fan of Stephen King's books and when Jerad Walters hired me to do an original illustration for the book, he asked which King work I'd like to illustrate most. I immediately phoned Traci and let her make the choice. 'SALEM'S LOT was one of her all-time faves, so that was my pick, and it was a good one. Check out this list of artists also contributing originals: THE DARK TOWER (Michael Whelan); "One for the Road" (Stephen Gervais); IT (Bob Eggleton); THE SHINING (Douglas Smith); HEARTS IN ATLANTIS (Les Edwards); DUMA KEY (Don Maitz); "The Lawnmower Man" (Jason Eckhardt); THE TOMMYKNOCKERS (Alex McVey); BLACK HOUSE and CELL (Zach McCain); "Weeds" and THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON (David Ho); and more. Can't wait to see the rest of these originals! I'll unveil mine when it's finished. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ford Fiesta!

No, I'm not talking about the midget car made by Ford Motor. I'm talking about two Jeffrey Ford trade paperback editions just released from Golden Gryphon Press. THE FANTASY WRITER'S ASSISTANT AND OTHER STORIES and THE EMPIRE OF ICE CREAM are both now available again. Just received my copies and they're looking good. Of all the covers I've illustrated, these two are amongst my faves. Both books are short story collections, and both were World Fantasy Award finalists. In fact, TFWA won the World Fantasy Award back in '03. Originally released in hardcover, TFWA has long since sold out, and EMPIRE's hardcover edition is about to do the same.

Just noticed that Jeff Ford has himself a new website called THE WELL-BUILT CITY. And if you missed it, the mighty Charles Tan recently interviewed GGP publisher Gary Turner. Good stuff!! Check it out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DROOD is here!

Subterranean Press' limited edition of Dan Simmons' DROOD has arrived. Received my copies this week and wow, they look dynamite!! It's a big, fat-daddy of a book (note the spine) and the printing job is first-rate thru and thru. Last I heard, this one's still available via Subterranean. However, as of this morning, only 40-50 copies remain. Big congrats to Bill Schafer and SP for yet another major success. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good news / SPECTRUM #16!

While I was on the road at Coastcon, the list of artists selected for SPECTRUM: THE BEST IN CONTEMPORARY FANTASTIC ART #16 was announced. Yours truly is amongst them. :) As always, I'm thrilled to be in the book because my understanding is that it gets harder and harder to make the cut each year. So I never take it for granted. In a few weeks, SPECTRUM will mail out the notices that state which artworks actually made the book, so I'll share here when I find out. The book itself should release sometime this November.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back home from Coastcon 32

This photo makes me smile. Check it out. This is the marquee of The Shed, the barbecue joint where Traci and I ate this past weekend in Mississippi with Mark Van Name and Jennie Faries, who were two personal highlights this past weekend at Biloxi's Coastcon 32. The Shed is out in the middle of nowhere and when you roll up to experience some of the best barbecue of your life (no joke), you see this sign that translates to "Yes, you've arrived in Meat Heaven." Not only is this the kind of legendary barbecue joint that attracts a blues god like Buddy Guy, but I love, love, love that they've got Trent Lott's name flipped over like a voodoo curse against all things bigoted and backward. Epic.

On to Coastcon -- madly catching up here in studio now that I'm home. I was Coastcon's Artist GoH this year and it was a memorable weekend with friends new and old. It was my first trip to Mississippi and I didn't know what to expect post-Katrina, since the town is still recovering from the brunt of one of Mother Nature's toughest punches three-plus years ago. Biloxi's on its way back though, and Coastcon's doing the same, which is doubly admirable in a soul-crushing recession. The con committee really busted its tail to create a successful con under tough circumstances, and I thought they largely succeeded. Highlights:

Enjoyed every moment hanging out with Michael and Linda Moorcock, two of my favorite people on the planet. Mike and I presented a slideshow called THE ART OF ELRIC and it was a real pleasure to look back at the history of Elric art with him. We did a few signings together as well. It was gratifying to meet Elric fans new and old, and hear that my Elric artwork fires them up.

As always, I had a blast with my pal Chris Roberson. Drank and traded laughs poolside with he, Diana Rowland, and the aforementioned Mark Van Name, and Jennie Faries. Ate great seafood. Ate my first Waffle House meal. Walked the beach with Traci and threw some frisbee shoreside. Had a great time meeting diehard Southern sf/fantasy fans of all varieties, costumed and uncostumed, who are the warmest people imaginable. On the way home, Traci and I spent a few hours in the airport with Virginia Hey of FARSCAPE fame who was also a featured Coastcon guest. She's terrific and I wish we would've crossed paths sooner at the con.

Shoutouts to a few concom folks who outdid themselves: Ray Boudreau (who may have cloned himself being in so many places at once. Thanks for everything -- take a bow, Ray!); Leanne Allen (who never stopped having fun even when juggling twelve things at once); Jason Fisher (who did a terrific job with tech -- thanks, man!!); Alexis Tucker (who took good care of me and my work in the Art Show); Michael "Scotty" Scot (who gave me and Traci timely car rides with tourguide excellence); Frank and Claire in hospitality who gave me timely internet access when I needed it (thanks to Scotty too for that); and Randolph Allen (who managed the toughest job of all, which is programming). More good folks, much appreciated: Lindsey Hooten, Cheri Slaughter, Rob Cerio, Ken Grimes, Wayne Trovinger, Wayne Hergenroder, Mike & Tiffany Brown, Pauline & John Grigsby, Amanda & Jeremy Lepoma, Matt Duprel, Don Fallo, Stephen Gill, the art auctioneer (his name escapes me at this moment), and of course, the Chairwoman behind it all, Rebecca Smith. Thanks to all, and to any I've regrettably forgotten, thanks to you too for a memorable Coastcon weekend.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hooray!! 2009 Hugo Award Finalist!!

I'm proud, thrilled and honored to be a Hugo Award Finalist for Best Professional Artist! I'm at Coastcon 32 in Biloxi, MS at the moment. Normal routine returns Sunday night. In the meantime, I'm really happy. Congrats to all nominees in all of the categories. I'm especially proud to be in the company of Bob, Donato, Dan, and Shaun. And special shoutout to Lou Anders for his Best Editor nom, and the two noms for FAST FORWARD 2, of which I illustrated the cover. Gonna be a great weekend. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Here's my final cover illustration for the forthcoming Pyr edition of Mark Chadbourn's AGE OF MISRULE: BOOK 2 / DARKEST HOUR, the second book in his forthcoming US debut. I'm happy to see this one much improved from the initial catalog version (which you can see at Amazon before it's replaced by the final below). 'Good to see that first version receive so much praise, but while I knew the concept was solid, I wasn't happy with my execution. Now I am.

Here's the way the book will look when it hits US shelves in June. The first AGE OF MISRULE book will release in May. Onward to finish the cover of AGE OF MISRULE: BOOK 3 / ALWAYS FOREVER -- I'll soon have the final version of that art to share with you.

Monday, March 16, 2009

CoastCon 32: Coming very soon!

CoastCon 32 in Biloxi, MS is right around the corner. Looking forward to quality time with Mike and Linda Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Diana Rowland and Toni Weisskopf. I'm the Artist Guest of Honor so I should be pretty visible and available. Come say hello anytime. I'll have work for sale in the Art Show, and I'm doing three fun visual presentations:

The Art of John Picacio -- I'll present a look back at some of my favorite recent work and offer a look at the very newest stuff I'm working on. Questions welcomed and encouraged.

The Art of Elric -- Mike Moorcock and I will present an hour-long visual survey of the history of Elric art with commentary and occasional anecdotes from both of us. It'll be a digital slideshow and will include work from Michael Whelan, Brom, Robert Gould, Jim Cawthorn, P. Craig Russell, Walt Simonson, and many more. This is gonna be fun.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly -- Mike, Chris Roberson, and I will present an hour-long discussion of some of the best (and worst) covers in sf/fantasy, with audience applause and razzing encouraged.

Should be good times!! :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shoutout to San Antonio

If you currently live in San Antonio, TX, and consume science fiction, fantasy, or horror (whether it be reading it, drawing it, watching it, buying it, or god forbid, even creating it), consider this a roll call. Say hello. If you're feeling especially generous, share a little about what genre things matter to you most, especially if it's of the reading or artwork variety.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wyeths on Wyeth

Awesome. Andrew Wyeth and Jamie Wyeth talk about N.C. Wyeth and his mural "Apotheosis of the Family". Some terrific bits of vintage footage here as well....if you love N.C. Wyeth like I do, this is must-see. Note to the film world: how the heck is there not a comprehensive DVD documentary about the Wyeths? A friend told me there was an N.C. Wyeth program back in the 80s available on VHS, but I've never seen it, and it's not available on DVD. Until then, enjoy this...