Jean Giraud – Moebius (8 May 1938 – 10 March 2012)

Jean_Giraud_Moebius_Starwatcher_1

This is a belated tribute post to the late, great Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius and whom sadly, as I’m sure you know has recently passed away, following an extended battle with cancer. A gloomy time for the highest echelon of visual futurists, following the recent death of Starwars designer and visionary Ralph McQuarrie, another brilliant blinding light flickers and fades.

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Ralph McQuarrie (June 13, 1929 – March 3, 2012)

Ralph McQuarrie - Hoth

One of Sci-Fi Arts true legends Ralph McQuarrie has sadly passed away aged 82, Ralph was the visionary concept artist and illustrator responsible for the look and feel of the original Starwars trilogy . Born and raised in Gary Indiana, Ralph moved to California in the 60′s where he was first employed as a technical llustrator for Boeing. Ralph left in 1965 before becoming a commercial artist and designer working on a variety of projects such as these film posters. At the end of the 60′s as part of a three man team he animated US TV network CBS’s coverage of Nasa’s Apollo space programme this can be seen here (would love to see more of this). Not too long afterwards McQuarrie was approached by George Lucas to discuss plans for a certain sci-Fi fantasy film…

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The Virtual Art of 80′s Game Worlds

Sci-Fi-O-Rama presents an analysis and artistic appreciation of five pioneering 8-bit and 16-bit computer games.

The era is the mid to late 80′s, a period fabulously rich in gaming concepts and innovation as developers frantically sought to grasp, harness and subsequently wring every last nanogram of creativity from the available platforms of the day. Each title here contained – for the time – an array of groundbreaking ideas and technologies. What else connects them? well of course I played them way back when and thus they are in some way or another forever burned into the hazy mists of my subconscious.

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while but wasn’t sure quite how to start, hence the recent posting log jam. I wanted to compose an extended retro game feature, but not just to give a rose tinted review of gameplay or mechanics. Here then is a more focused look at the visuals themselves, what fascinated back then and what us still so beautiful and relevant today, 2012.

1. Midwinter (1989) Microplay – Amiga/Atari St/IBM-PC

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Kilian Eng (1) Selected Works + Interview

Kilian Eng - Sci-Fi-O-Rama

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.

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Silence Television

Silence Televison

It’s been a couple of months since my last article so time to unplug the cryogenics, thaw out and get writing. A few special features lined up this month, including an exclusive interview with a certain Swedish Sci-Fi Illustrator, but to start with here’s a close up on the super slick work of Peruvian Designer and Illustrator Gianmarco Magnani, better known by his monicker Silence Television.

Before compiling this post I did attempt to get in touch with Gianmarco to help contextualize this article and get an insight into his inspired, idiosyncratic approach, also no response as of yet, but hopefully we can hook something up in the future. in the mean time here’s a run down on this stunning artwork with my thoughts.

Above: Browse Gianmarco’s portfolio (www.silencetv.com) and you’ll notice several recurring themes; glamorous biker chicks, rock paraphernalia, deconstructed retro motor vehicles and bikes. What really stands the style apart is not just the ultra tight rendering, or the faultless craftsmanship but a real meticulous eye for detail that binds beautifully – a rare pedigree that almost looks effortless. This image shows up all those traits, and with such confidence, one could get lost just studying her enveloping tattoo.

Silence Televison

Above: This one uses several graphic tricks, notably rendering in negative for extra graphical punch. Also note that, not only has Gianmarco perfectly fashioned the splintering guitar, he’s also adorned it with a balanced selection of logotypes, nods of course to his influence and driving inspirations…

Silence Televison

Above: This one is pure class, the perfect poise and composition, again great attention paid to the details such as the subtle texture on the skirt and it’s geometric hem. Also really like the ruffled sleeves, emphasizing the girl’s model-type svelteness.

Silence Televison

Above: A definite feel of Katsuhiro Otomo here, and probably the most Sci-fi orientated material of this post (like that matters!). Worth noting that Otomo is another bike fan, there must be a shared connection between these two!

Above: Another superior detailed composition with a subtle but effective overlayed gradient, again you get a feeling a real sense of gleeful joy is harnessed when Gianmarco applies his finishing touches, perhaps here seen with the retro Vavoline and Texaco stickers.

Silence Television

Above: We finish up here with one final bike rendering – this one in negative profile – A lovely balance of hard graphics, and technical Illustration. Superb stuff!

Further Reading: Head straight to http://silencetv.com for the full portfolio. There’s also a chance to buy prints here: http://society6.com/silencetv/prints and depending on how au fait your Spanish is you might also want to check out the Silence Televsion blog http://silencetv.com/blog/ remember Google Chrome will has a translation option. Finally is you want to show some Facebook love, go to http://www.facebook.com/SilenceTV

*Edit November 15 2001* Happy to say that Gianmarco has been back in touch, so hopefully we’ll run a interview soon.