The book, put together by both Ian Miller and Tom Whyte is loaded with over 300 pieces of Ian’s totally unique work and is backed up with detailed descriptions on the creative process, inspiration and general artistic philosophy. Suffice to say It’s a must read for any serious fantasy or sci-fi illustration aficionado. Here’s the feature.
A varied selection of retro SF and Fantasy book art. Sci-Fi-O-Rama was pretty much built upon the back of posting forgotten book and games art, so with a renaissance in blog activity what better than to revisit the archives and excerpt another sampler.
What’s most fascinating with each of these examples is though the whole might not always fully hit the mark there’s always something of interest or worthy for reference. This then might be a style of colouring, a technique in rendering, the choice and application of a typeface, or even something as obscure as the design of a motif. In short even the most subtle fragment of detailing can flick a creative switch, it’s all about your own imagination. That isn’t however to say that every Sci-Fi book cover has merit – au contraire – they most certainly do not. But that’s what we’re here for, to filter and serve only the very finest…
OK, as promised, I’m very proud to present an exclusive Sci-Fi-O-Rama feature, this time with Swedish Design and Illustration superstar Kilian Eng. Here we have a total tour de force of the imagination, gloriously twisted, washed in 80’s technicolor and blending only the very finest Sci-Fi and Fantasy references…
I’m quite sure you’ll be familiar with Kilian’s work, he’s built a considerable following since first proliferating through the major design/illustration blogs. Interestingly it was in fact Dan McPharlin that first put me onto Kilian with a post over at But Does it Float, and I’d put these two in the same bracket, pretty much the finest contemporary Science Fiction Illustrators on the planet. Another totally enviable fact is just how prolific Kilian is, check his primary portfolio site at behance.net/KilianEng for a vast array of interstellar work, amassed in just a few years.
A polar expedition about to be ruined (in a big way) by a bizarrely crowned, giant furry humanoid…
This is the work of zany Belgian Illustrator Brecht Vandenbroucke, an artist who specialises in mixing playful cartoon like, video game visuals with horror and general weirdness… Suffice to say then, that his portfolio includes some pretty far out work, definitely raises a smile for me!
To see more of Brecht’s work check his Flickr Photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/brecht_vandenbroucke/ or blog http://brechtvandenbroucke.blogspot.com/
Continuing on with the freaky portraiture I thought I’d start 2010 with a piece I’d earmarked and scanned right back when I first began this blog, and I guess some extremely sinister character art from blog favourite Ian Miller, is as good a way as any to kick off a new decade!
This Illustration is scanned from one of the few Fighting Fantasy books I still have in my possession – FF28 “Phantoms of Fear” – published by Puffin back in 1987 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantoms_of_Fear. The game plot revolves around a hopeless near suicide mission (is there any other sort?) battling through a blighted forest and eventually infiltrating a vast demonic fortress… The adventure takes place in both the physical and dream worlds, but what really makes it stand out are of course Ian’s fantastical warped illustrations, I can’t think anyone else better to illustrate a chaos tainted army of darkness. If your a fan of Ian’s I definitely recommend checking this rarity out, its available on Amazon for next to nothing: http://ow.ly/WWP2
Some pretty far out and slightly Horrific Psychedelic Fantasy Illustration from English artist Patrick Woodroffe. this piece used a cover art for the 1974 edition of Micheal Moorcock’s ‘The Oak and The Ram’ published by Quartet Books, London.
Art is via Flickr User: Jovike, I highly reccomend checking out his Photostream over there, loads of super cool stuff including retro SF novel covers and Record Sleeves….. Also Check his Blog: http://www.enkil.demon.co.uk/
A small sample of Irish Illustrator’s Harry Clarke’s (1889–1931) work for Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” first published in 1923…
More notes coming soon…
Originally spotted via butdoesitfloat.com
Rock Music Poster Art is arguably one of the coolest facets of design & illustration, (at least in my mind anyway) and here’s a sample from one of said genre’s modern masters – American artist Alan Forbes.
Alan’s produced poster’s for Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against The Machine, White Stripes etc – check out more of his work here: http://www.gigposters.com/designer/1303_Alan_Forbes.html
This freaky spectral beast is a special effect from the 1992 movie Pet Sematary 2, sequel to the the original 1988 film Pet Sematary that was in turn based on Stephen Kings 1983 novel.
(SPOILERS!!) (SPOILERS!!) The basic premise is that the Pet Sementary in question is actually built near to a certain other type of burial ground (wonder what that might be) and (gasp!) burying a dead pet there will in fact resurrect it, only of course the reborn pet is not exactly the same as the old one… I’ve not seen either film (I have read the book) so didn’t recognise this when I originally spotted it via FFFFound, when backtracking through my bookmarks and came across it’s source; the absolutely awesome kindertrauma.com and that’s really what this post is about….
If you’ve even the slightest bit interested in Film Horror from the 70’s / 80’s / 90’s particularly of the B-Movie variety, then I wholeheartedly recommend a good peruse through kindertrauma.com – a lovingly devoted site to all those slightly obscure films you might just remember being tucked away at your local video store…
Check out http://www.kindertrauma.com “Your Happy Childhood ends here”
I’ve been running sci-fi-o-rama.com seriously for over a year now and have gathered together and annotated a fairly wide range of material totaling over 200 posts (thanks for all the support!). Obviously some of the featured work I have a fondness for more than others as I’m sure you do to…
What I’m getting at is that this post then – the work of Swedish Artist Simen Johan – is, bar none, is my absolute favourite, I could simply stare at his haunting art for hours, it’s both disturbingly eeire and majestically uplifting, firing a range of emotions. You may also notice that I’ve tagged this with Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy – and you might think what is SF about this work? well personally I’ve always seen the medium as spanning far beyond it’s conventional preconceptions of ray-guns, flying saucers and transmorphing robots. Science Fiction is not just future gazing and escapism it’s about crafting and exploring alternate realities, what ever they might be…
Simen’s work is a merger of traditional film photography with digital methods creating a composite image made up of sometimes as many as 100 negatives. See the full set of ‘Until the Kingdom Comes’ at Simen’s home site: http://ow.ly/kaMI
Orignally spotted via FFFFOund
The Werewolf mythology depicted here in three Old World Etching/Woodcuts. These scans are taken from a lengthy essay featured in Man Myth and Magic Issue #107 ( from around 1971?).
Article synopsis: “Stories of men having the power to change themselves into ravening beasts have gained currency in almost every part of the world; a universality which suggests that the under-lying idea emanates from deep within man’s own mind”
Mention Werewolf and it’s impossible not to think of scenes from John Landis’s 1981 Horror / Black Comedy An American Werewolf in London particularly the stunning metamorphosis sequence and the immortal lines “Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors – Beware the moon, lads”. This article predates that film by 10 years or so, and references material back to antiquity, most interesting is it’s discussion on the mental illness known as Lycanthropy a kind of insanity in which the patient believes himself to be a beast, especially a wolf. Although this condition was diagnosed as far back as the 16th Century it had little effect on the superstition, the articles surmise is that known instance of werewolves attacks and tyranny probably had more to do with the rapists, maniacs, and serial killer’s of the day…
The Scans relate to: (Top and Center) The Werewolf of Eschenbach, Germany 1685, said to have preyed on children. (Below) Werewolf attacking a man, from a 15th Century German Work.
Full article scanned and hosted over at Flickr: http://twurl.nl/drh3qo