Posts Categorized: Art

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

So, let’s talk about the recently revealed cover for The Way of Kin— err… wait, I mean Words of Radiance, the second volume in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I won’t ever blame you for mistaking the two books, so, please, afford me the same luxury.

Now, let’s talk a little bit about one of publishing’s biggest catch-22 arguments. Fans have cried ‘foul’ time-and-again when publishers step in and change the style of a series’ covers midway through. It’s great when a completed series gets a re-issue, but, I think I can speak for most fans when I say that it’s nice to have a matching set of books on your bookshelf. On the flip side, though, there are a lot of cases of lazy design work, with the publisher, or at least the art department, jumping on board with what worked in the past and riding it until it keels over from exhaustion. A good example of this is the early cover for Brent Weeks’ The Black Prism. Orbit found huge success with Weeks’ first trilogy, in large part because of the striking covers. Back then, the hooded dude was still waiting tables, just trying to catch a break. Now, he’s everywhere, we’re sick of him, but he established a strong brand for Weeks and his Night Angel Trilogy. The first cover leaked to the public looked like a sequel to Weeks’ first trilogy even though it was an entirely new series. The cover was changed before publication. And then a new cover was issued for the recent trade paperback edition of the novel. It’s gorgeous. Orbit has done a great job of recognizing the need to create a strong brand for Weeks, but not at the expense of driving the concept into the ground. Read More »

Khoa Ho’s Superheroes – Past/Presentkhoahosuperheroespaspresent6khoahosuperheroespaspresent5khoahosuperheroespaspresent3

Every good superhero has an origin story. In fact, I’d say it can be argued that every good superhero, and supervillain, must have an origin story. A drive to do good, to right the world. A motivation for revenge against their past sins, or to ensure that the mistakes they’ve made are not repeated. San Francisco-based artist Khoa Ho explores this collision of past and present in his series of posters, titled Superheroes – Past/Present.

Ho and his art are profiled on My Modern Met by Pinar:

California-based artist Khoa Ho’s poster series titled Superheroes – Past/Present features iconic superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Spiderman as creatively designed silhouettes revealing their former struggles and current strength. The series draws inspiration form the Batman Begins quote: “It’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you.”

The graphic designer’s simple silhouettes are both wonderful to look at and a real treat for comic book lovers. Anyone who knows the stories behind each of these heroic characters will be able to identify the lower half of the image that alludes to past trials and tribulations that have helped form the brave vigilantes they are in the present day.

The ability of these posters to tell the stories of their heroes is simple and effective. One cannot know the hero without first understanding the boy or girl who they once were. These posters capture that history with appropriate melancholy.

To learn more about Khoa Ho, or to find more of his art, you can visit his official website. He also has a collection of art on his Behance page, where he says he’s, ‘just trying to make the universe a better place.’

Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

I’m completely and utterly gaga over this series and this cover. Seriously, if you haven’t, read my reviews of Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars to find out why I think this trilogy is “one of the finest fantasy trilogies of the past decade.” It’s extra wonderful that Tor has wrapped the three books in such unique, gorgeous art from Donato Giancola. There are few books slated for 2014 release that I’m anticipating more than Steles of the Sky.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.J. CareyYesterday, Orbit Books released the cover and first blurb for The Girl with All the Gifts by M.J. Carey. Early impressions (mostly from within Orbit, it seems, and those who’ve read unbound galleys) are extremely positive. Given how far release is, this sort of hype and raised expectations is expected, but, golly, that cover and early teaser blurb are mighty enticing. I generally associate Orbit with their more traditional fantasy and science fiction releases, like Brent Weeks, N.K. Jemisin and Daniel Abraham, but I’m always pleased to see them go out of their way to find quirky, off-the-beaten path genre novels.

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’.

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The first thing to come to mind when reading the blurb for The Girl with All the Gifts is Irrational Games’ Bioshock Infinite, released earlier this year for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, which features a similarly confined girl, manipulated and educated by her captor in an effort to gain access to whatever secret power lies within her. Most intriguingly, the blurb doesn’t call on any outwardly SFF elements, but there’s just enough of a hint in the final paragraph, and the obvious efforts at guarding Melanie, that, though she might not realize it, and the blurb doesn’t say so, uncovering Melanie’s origins and the threat of her power, even in the body of a young child, will be central to the plot.

M.J. Carey is a pen name for Mike Carey, best known for his work in comic books, including 2011′s crossover series, Age of X , and the Felix Castor novels, which begin with The Devil You Know (buy: book/eBook).

Yesterday won’t be soon enough to get my hands on this book. The Girl with All the Gifts is set for a worldwide release in 2014 from Orbit Books.

With the upcoming release of Scott Lynch’s The Republic of Thieves, the long-anticipated third volume in his Gentlemen Bastards sequence, excitement among fans (especially creative ones) is higher than ever, to the point that Lynch recently released a statement regarding fan fiction in his universe. One of those fan projects is the video above, by filmmaker Milena Aijala. Aijala created title sequence for a hypothetical television series based on the series, and discusses the process on her blog. It’s a gorgeous piece of animation. Even cooler is Lynch’s excitement and endorsement of the project. There’s no television series in the works, but, dammit if this doesn’t set my mouth watering for one.