This is the cover for the Polish edition of Stephen King’s Joyland, which will be published by Prószyński i S-ka in June.
Below you can see the initial rough sketch, plus a few different work-in-progress variations of the image. The publisher didn’t have the English version for me to read, but gave me a brief synopsis and a list of motifs that appear in the story that I might be able to work into the illustration. One of the things mentioned was the neon ‘Welcome to Joyland’ sign at the entrance, but they wanted it changed to say something else, as they didn’t want it to conflict with the title, so it now reads ‘Enter If You Dare’. The first version was a bit bright so I darkened the overall image to help give it more of a creepy, ominous atmosphere. They also thought the neon sign was too bright, as again, they didn’t want it to detract too much from the book’s title, so I first tried dimming it down, (and also turning off the light on a couple of letters in another version), but in the end I got rid of the neon sign completely in favour of a cracked, painted sign. Another small, last minute change was the translation of the sign on the funhouse.
Here’s a look at my cover art for the US edition Life on the Preservation by Jack Skillingstead, which will be out in June through Solaris Books. Below are various roughs I did, trying different poses for the main characters; as you can see in the final image the publisher ended up wanting a more distant shot of them.
This was a piece commissioned by Haikasoru, an imprint of Viz Media, that specializes in bringing Japanese sci-fi and fantasy to Western readers. Noble V: Greylancer is a new story by Hideyuki Kikuchi, set in the same world as the popular Vampire Hunter D series.
I wasn’t familiar with the Greylancer character or this world (I’d watched the 1980′s Vampire Hunter D anime film years ago so was aware of its existence, but that was about it) and hadn’t read the book, so I was sent some very brief descriptions of the character (apparently the text doesn’t have many detailed character descriptions anyway) and also the existing Japanese cover, which features the character, and was told to draw on this for inspiration for my take on the Greylancer.
I came up with a few different poses initially, as seen in the roughs below. I wanted a pose that conveyed a noble, warrior-like sense. The moon was added to the final composition on suggestion of the editor as it relates to an element of the story.
Here’s my cover design for the third, and latest, book in Joe Ducie’s The Reminiscent Exile series. Knight Fall should be out around July/August and the first two books, Distant Star and Broken Quill can be purchased now in both ebook and paperback editions.
As with the previous two covers, Joe came up with a great concept for the cover image which I then translated into a rough sketch to make sure I was on the right lines before proceeding to the final art.
It was also recently announced that Joe was a winner of The Guardian Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize. So I have to say a big congrats to Joe!
Two winners were chosen from over three hundred entries by a panel of judges comprising of various professionals as well as students from Evelyn Grace Academy and Thongsley Fields Primary School. Joe’s winning YA novel is a thrilling escape story entitled The Rig, about a teenager who has made a career of breaking out of high-security prisons, which has landed him at a specialist juvenile holding facility in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, called The Rig. The book won’t be out till September, but you can read the first chapter online here.
Here’s my artwork for the recently announced Cemetery Dance magazine, #69, which is an ‘end of the world’ special, featuring stories and non-fiction celebrating apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. More details of the contents can be found here.
A couple of years ago I did an interview with Tina Hall for The Damned Interviews, a website which specialized in interviews with authors, artists, musicians and actors. A selection of those interviews, as well as interviews which Tina did for other websites, have now been collected and published in book form as The Damned Book of Interviews, and is now available in Kindle format. A list of those interviewed can also be found on the book’s Amazon page.
Here’s my wraparound cover design for Caitlin R. Kiernan’s forthcoming collection from Subterranean Press, The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories. The book isn’t going to be published till November but to whet your appetite, you can read one of the stories from the collection, One Tree Hill, over at the book’s product page.
Caitlin came up with the concept for the image. Originally, it was going to be a collection of objects representing various stories from the book, but later she proposed the idea of taking all the imagery from the lead story, The Ape’s Wife, instead, and suggested a list of objects for the image that I could use. She also wanted the type design to be an integral part of the image so I had the idea to make it look as though it was part of the map in the background.
Check out the trailer below for SLEEPWORKING, a dark SF short film set in the near future, written and directed by my friend, writer and filmmaker, Gavin Williams.
Sleepworking started off as a ‘taster’ created as part of Northern Film and Media’s SHORTED six hour film challenge, and as one of the three winners, Gavin received funding and was commissioned to make the short film.
It has already premiered as the opening short at the Trieste Science+Fiction International Film Festival in Dec 2012, and has also been accepted as an official selection for SFF-Rated Athens International Film Festival 2013, the Festival du Film Merveilleux, Screamfest LA, and most recently, the SciFi London International Film Festival which takes place in May, and will be its UK festival premiere. So be sure to check it out if you’re attending any of these festivals.
A new edition of Blue November Storms by Brian James Freeman was announced recently. This novella was originally published by Cemetery Dance as part of their Novella Series and has been out of print for a while, but is now available again as a value priced trade paperback. Besides the new cover art I did for it, this new edition features a revised version of the text, an introduction by Ray Garton, and twenty original illustrations by Glenn Ghadbourne, as well as a bonus interview with Chadbourne about his artwork and a new afterward by Freeman.
Special copies are also being sold to help raise funds for the family of Rick Hautala, a long-time Cemetery Dance author who sadly passed away recently. These special copies will be remarqued by Glenn Chadbourne, who is donating his entire art fee to the Hautala family, and Brian will also be donating the earnings from each of these special copies too.
I was excited to hear that I’ve been nominated for this year’s Hugo Awards in the Best Professional Artist category. I was particularly thrilled by the news as it’s the first time I’ve been up for a Hugo.
You can see the full list of nominations for this year here.
The winners will be announced on Sunday, September 1, 2013, at the Hugo Awards Ceremony at LoneStarCon 3 in San Antonio, Texas.