Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio

There is not a better cover artist working in speculative fiction today than John Picacio.

I frequent SF conventions, and invariably spend a lot of time in the art exhibits. At World Fantasy Convention 2005 in Madison, Wisconsin, Picacio had a number of his works on display. I had noticed the cover art for the recent re-release of Gateway by Frederick Pohl, and thought it to be perhaps the best cover art I had ever seen. At WFC, I saw a large print of the cover art and was floored by it.

Now I'm a collector. I buy first editions, and I buy them in hardcover. I own an inscribed first edition of Gateway, and prize it highly, but for the first time in my life, cover art forced me to buy an additional, and not very collectible, trade paperback reprint.

That is the power of Picacio's art -- it pried money from my grasping greedy hands.

So now Picacio releases his first art book, and it not only collects his wonderful art, it explains the unique process he takes to create it. I'm not one to throw my weight behind an art book -- hell, I've never bought one in my life -- but Picacio has me sorely tempted.

If SF art is your thing, you owe it to yourself to get your hands on a copy of this book. You even get an introduction from the peerless Michael Moorcock.

(and remember to vote for John for Best Artist at this years Hugo Awards)

Post Script:

Some Bastard outbid me at the last minute for the print on sale at WFC of the Gateway cover. I spit on you from afar, you unknowable heathen.