Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ImagineFX #64!

Just arrived yesterday in my mailbox -- the December issue of ImagineFX Magazine, #64. Inside is a deluxe six-page interview featuring Yours Truly. Above is the opening spread.

I'm still trying to figure out how the editorial staff crammed so much art and text onto six pages and made it flow so naturally. There's a LOT of info in this interview, and although I give plenty of interviews these days, this one was a special pleasure.

ImagineFX is the best English-language magazine about sf/f art because quite frankly, it treats sf/f art with the most scrutiny and respect. It's a UK-based mag, and I first encountered it several years ago at a Borders bookstore. The cover price was daunting ($16!!!). I gave it a try. Overall, I was impressed, but the mag skewed toward technical know-how for Photoshop purists and pixelpushers. Not so much for me, as my work was a hybrid between traditional and digital media, and I very much enjoyed interviews and insights from traditional media artists as much as digital ones. In other words, it was an exciting mag, but the scope seemed a bit limited and incomplete.

As the years have gone along, the mag has expanded its scope and diversity, becoming richer and more balanced across all media and geography. It's maintained the early digital purist roots but there's much more coverage of the entire artist spectrum of sf/f -- traditional, digital, and in-between. One of ImagineFX's great strengths is its international flavor as it spotlights artists around the globe -- US, UK, Australia, Thailand, China, France, Germany, and round and round. So good, and so eye-opening. So much so, that I started subscribing last year, and it's become the only industry magazine that I take time to read anymore. Frankly, while there are several better-known sf/f magazines that cover the sf/f field, none of them treat sf/f art with the columnspace and critical insight that ImagineFX does. I love reading about the writers of sf/f and there are tons of publications and venues to find that stuff, but when I want to see inside the head of a particular sf/f artist, very few print venues regularly offer insightful interviews about the current scene. ImagineFX tackles that task month after month, and that's why I keep coming back (ditto to Sidebar Nation, which is also the Real Deal for sf/f art interviews, but in podcast form).

At any rate, I'm honored to be profiled in the pages of this latest issue, which is packed with great stuff, including an overview of the history of Dungeons & Dragons Art. US readers -- the issue should appear on your newsstands within the next couple of weeks. Definitely worth your hard-earned nickels this Xmas season. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Happy day here: just received SPECTRUM 17: THE BEST IN CONTEMPORARY FANTASTIC ART. This is one of the year's big art celebrations -- a juried competition that annually selects the best in sf/f art and compiles the selections into one breathtaking collection.

The cover illustration this year
is by one of my favorite artists, Gregory Manchess, and of course, the book is edited by its founders, Cathy and Arnie Fenner. I have two pieces included in this year's annual, both in the Book category. The first is my alternate artwork for James Dashner's THE 13TH REALITY: THE JOURNAL OF CURIOUS LETTERS (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin), art directed by Lisa Vega (above). The second is my cover artwork for Mark Chadbourn's AGE OF MISRULE: WORLD'S END (Pyr), art directed by the incomparable Lou Anders.

Thanks to these two art directors for making these illustration assignments possible, and huge thanks to the Fenners and the SPECTRUM jury for including me in this year's magnum opus. It's a phenomenal set of art and artists. I'll spend the next week carefully savoring each page on my work breaks, absorbing it all for the first time, which has become a favorite November tradition.

Word to the wise: the hardcover editions of these books sell out remarkably fast, so if you're a hardcover hound like I am, you should get yours now. No joke. :)