Vicente Segrelles was born in Barcelona (Spain) on September 9, 1940 during the postwar period after the Spanish Civil War. His childhood lapsed in a peculiar atmosphere: his father loved paintings and inventions, and his uncle, José Segrelles, had international prestige as illustrator and watercolorist. This atmosphere influenced his innate passion to drawing, to which he dedicated any free moment, and just inclined him towards illustration.
But at that time things were not easy, specially to take a risk with such a uncertain business as art was, so at fourteen he entered in the training school of ENASA, the factory of trucks from Barcelona that produced Pegaso. There, a kind of high school focused towards technical specialisation, he learnt mechanics, technical drawing and knowledge of materials. At seventeen years old he was already draughtsman and soon he passed to the department of technical publications of ENASA, where catalogues of instructions and replacement pieces were carried out. Segrelles contributed with new ideas, completely revolutionising the artistic concept of publications, and was soon well-regarded by his superiors. Anyway, the job did not yet satisfied Segrelles, still in love with illustration, although it provided him with great ease in perspective, line drawing and other matters that would be very useful to him in the future.
At the same time, Segrelles had been continuing his self-taught formation in artistic drawing, to which he dedicated any spare time. He experienced with different art techniques (watercolor, Chinese inks, gouache, oil treated as watercolor and so on) and prepared samples. It was by 1960 when he got in touch for the first time with professional illustration through Afha Editorial, to whom he illustrated Homer's Odyssey and Iliad.
Finally, at 23 years old he left ENASA and, through a press advert, he entered in Ruescas McCann Erikson, a publicity agency in Barcelona, as a figure and colour specialist. One year later, he moved to another agency in Zaragoza as designing director. He lived in Zaragoza for several years, there he married and had the first of his two daughters.
But his inclination towards illustrations moved his to look for new matters and by 1968 he contacted with Editorial Bruguera, in Barcelona. By correspondence, he made for them several collections of coloured prints and also illustrated some books. In 1969 he contacted with an artists' agency called Selecciones Ilustradas and initiated collaboration with a series of illustrations on western weapons. This meant for Segrelles the discovery of a new world, the world of international, elite illustration. By 1970 he finally decided to abandon publicity and devote exclusively to illustration.
By that time he retook his collaboration with Editorial Afha, illustrating many reference books for several years. He also wrote some of these books, since they dealt about topics he is very fond of: inventions, ships, airplanes, weapons and so on. Most of the publishing business in Spain was located in Barcelona, so in 1974 he decided to come closer and settled down in a small seaside town 50 km far from the capital, where his second daughter was born and where he still lives. By 1976 and 1977 he collaborated with a recent magazine from Barcelona, INTERVIÚ, creating B/W illustrations for their articles during 30 issues.
At the same time, Segrelles continued his career as a book cover illustrator, firstly through Selecciones Ilustradas and later through Norma Agency. He specialised in fantasy and science fiction topics, though he also painted covers on western, terror, war and detective stories. By mid seventies, while he was already affirmed in Europe, Segrelles entered the severe North American market and began producing illustrations and covers for the best publishing houses in the USA.
In 1980, attracted by comics, Segrelles created THE MERCENARY, a character who reported him world-wide reputation and was even praised by film director Federico Fellini. Painted in oils and published in 14 countries, THE MERCENARY was a beautiful fantasy comic-book in full colour that evidenced all his experience and hobbies. Little by little, he spent more and more time in graphic novels so early on nineties he discontinued his work on book covers to fully devote to THE MERCENARY. However in 1991 he briefly tackled comic cartoons with two volumes of a new character, SHERIFF PAT. Tired of time-consuming oil technique, Segrelles decided in 1998 to try on with computers for the creation of his graphic novels. Some images made with this tool were finally included in the tenth volume of THE MERCENARY series, GIANTS. Subsequent volumes of the series, which reach now book 13 with THE RANSOM II, have been completely created with computers.
In 1999 Segrelles published an ART HANDBOOK explaining many of the secrets of professional illustrators. The complete series was finally reissued under his own imprint in the Spanish language in Summer 2004. On the other hand, Segrelles has just ventured in the field of children's books with an illustrated tale entitled THE MAGIC WATER, which he has also written and was published by Ediciones B in Autumn 2004. The amazing story has been illustrated with computer tools but in a different style from THE MERCENARY.
Segrelles also likes painting seascapes on canvas. Heavy seas are his favourite.
Jean Giraud est né le 8 mai 1938 à Nogent-sur-Marne. Ses parents divorcent alors qu'il a trois ans et il est élevé en partie par ses grands-parents. C'est toutefois grâce à son père qu'il fait une découverte importante pour lui, entre quinze et seize ans : celle de la littérature de science fiction, qu'il lit dans les pages du magazine Fiction. Après deux années aux arts appliqués, il démarre la bande dessinée en professionnel. Il débute dans Far West et collabore à des journaux catholiques comme Cœurs Vaillants. Vers 1955, il part rejoindre sa mère qui vit au Mexique, où elle s'est remariée. Là, il découvre en même temps la marijuana, le be-bop et les expériences de l'âge adulte. A plus d'un titre Jean Giraud considère le Mexique comme une terre de prédilection, jusqu'à dire que d'une certaine façon Mœbius est né au Mexique...
Le retour en France le fait déchanter. Il part à l'armée, passe seize mois en Allemagne et le reste en Algérie où il est d'abord standardiste puis attaché à la surveillance d'un dépôt de matériel. Il ne se bat pas; il passe tout son temps libre à dessiner.
De retour sur le continent, il prend contact avec Joseph Gillain, dit Jijé, un des piliers de l'hebdomadaire belge Spirou. Giraud devient son élève et collabore à une des créations du maître, le western Jerry spring, pour l'épisode intitulé La route de Coronado. En France, l'hebdomadaire Pilote, fondé notamment par René Goscinny, souhaite avoir une série western. Sous la signature de Gir, c'est le début de la collaboration avec Jean Michel Charlier. Elle engendre Fort Navajo, appellation d'origine des aventure de Mike Steve Blueberry qui se poursuivent aujourd'hui encore.
Apparue dans le numéro de Pilote du 31 octobre 1963, la série rencontre un succès toujours plus grand à chaque nouvel épisode. Elle compte aujourd'hui plus d'une trentaine d'albums en collaboration avec d'autres scénaristes et dessinateurs tels que Vance, Wilson, Corteggiani et Blanc-Dumont pour des séries intitulées MARSHALL BLUEBERRY et LA JEUNESSE DE BLUEBERRY, tous périodiquement réédités. A travers cette série, qui constitue le véritable apprentissage de Giraud, le dessinateur se dégage peu à peu de l'influence de Jijé. Sous son impulsion, le scénario évolue également et intègre des éléments venus du cinéma, de John Ford à Sergio Leone en passant par Sam Pekimpah. Blueberry acquiert ainsi un ton moderne et une densité dramatique qui dépasse les modèles de la bande dessinée franco-belge pour la jeunesse. De l'avis des amateurs, les meilleurs épisodes sont les deux volets de la mine de l'Allemand perdu et le spectre aux balles d'or, et le cycle Chihuahua Pearl, l'homme qui valait 500 000 $, ballade pour un cercueil, le hors-la-loi et Angel Face (je dois avouer que j'ai un gros faible pour Chihuahua Pearl, on s'en lasse pas...).
La signature "Giraud" ou "Gir" représente à ce stade le dessinateur d'inspiration classique ou néoclassique. Toutefois, un autre versant créatif se développe chez lui, pour lequel il signera Mœbius. D'abord pour aborder une veine satirique, dans la lignée du magazine américain Mad. Ce sont les débuts du label Mœbius, pour le mensuel bête et méchant Hara Kiri, où il dessine de courtes histoires d'humour noir. Mais bientôt la dualité Giraud / Mœbius va prendre une toute autre ampleur.
En 1965, un nouveau voyage au Mexique se solde par une déception : Giraud se confronte à la solitude et l'angoisse. Il expérimente pour la première fois les champignons hallucinogènes. Lorsqu'il rentre, il se consacre bien sûr à sa production pour Pilote mais aborde également la science-fiction par le biais de l'illustration et de l'affiche. Il collabore régulièrement avec les éditions Opta, pour le club du livre d'anticipation ou les magazines Fiction et Galaxie.
Enfin, entre 1973 et 1974, il signe pour Pilote quelques histoires au ton nouveau et libre qui annoncent la révolution Mœbius, en particulier La déviation qui marquera (yes!) des générations de dessinateurs. Mais c'est alors un phénomène plus vaste qui s'amorce : la naissance en France de la bande dessinée d'auteur, ou si l'on veut, de la bande dessinée "adulte", dont Mœbius sera l'une des plus importantes références à travers de magazine Métal Hurlant.
Un différent survenu avec son éditeur français, Dargaud, à propos de Blueberry, conduit à l'interruption provisoire de la série quatre années durant, de 1975 à 1979. Le création du magazine L'Écho des savanes en 1972 et le mouvement de la bande dessinée "adulte" en France, dérivé de l'underground américain et du désir de se libérer de la censure ou des limites imposées par la presse jeunesse, permettent à Mœbius de s'épanouir. En 1974, il publie aux éditions du Fromage (une émanation de L'Écho des savanes) Le Bandard fou. La même année, Étienne Robial publie le premier album de bande dessinée qui ne mentionne sur la couverture que le nom de l'auteur (et non celui du personnage) : c'est Gir, chez Futuropolis.
1975 est une nouvelle date historique : elle voit la réunion de Mœbius, Druillet, Dionnet et Farkas pour la création de Métal Hurlant et de sa maison d'édition les humanoïdes associés (que serions nous devenus sans cette louable entreprise !?). La signature Mœbius y trouve tout son sens et engendre, avec un grand bonheur expérimental et une nouvelle force d'expression, des créations régulièrement citées parmi les chefs-d'œuvre incontestables de la bande dessinée : Arzach en 1976, cauchemar blanc en 1977 (pour l'Écho des savanes), les yeux du chat avec Alexandro Jodorowsky en 1978 et Major Fatal ou Le Garage hermétique en 1979. Chacune à leur façon, ces œuvres révolutionnent la compréhension de la bande dessinée et en repoussent les limites créatives.
Une nouvelle période s'ouvre alors pour Mœbius. Sa rencontre avec Alexandro Jodorowsky sur le projet inachevé du film Dune, d'une part le mène à la création de L'Incal, d'autre part le lance sur de multiples collaborations cinématographiques : Alien du réalisateur Ridley Scott, le dessin animé de René Laloux Les maîtres de temps, Tron de Steven Lisberger qui intègre des séquences animées par ordinateur, et plus récemment Le cinquième élément de Jean Luc Besson.
Parallèlement, Mœbius connaît une remise en cause existentielle radicale : se passionnant pour les doctrines spiritualistes, il rejoint bientôt le groupe Isozen dirigé par Appel-Guery. Il abandonne tabac, alcool ou toute autre substance ouvrant sur des paradis artificiels, pour devenir végétarien, s'établir pendant quelques années dans le Béarn près de Pau, puis s'envoler pour Tahiti quand le groupe va s'y implanter. Son séjour sera de brève durée. Attiré par le cinéma, il s'installe à Los Angeles et prend ses distance avec Isozen. L'Incal devient un succès et l'équivalent en notoriété pour Mœbius que Blueberry pour Gir ! Il partage alors son existence entre Los Angeles et Paris. En 1984, il crée avec Jean Annestay et Gérard Bouysse une petite maison d'édition à Paris : AEdena, qui se consacre aux tirages limités des tirages de Mœbius, aux recueils de ses illustrations, ainsi qu'a un nouveau cycle en bande dessinée : Le Monde d'AEdena, aujourd'hui repris chez Casterman.
A Los Angeles, il crée avec sa femme Claudine, Jean Marc et Randy Lofficier une société qui le représente, starwatcher graphic, et qui va permettre la traduction complète en luxueux graphic novels chez Marvel, couronnant ainsi sa dimension d'artiste international. Se pliant volontiers aux coutumes locales, Mœbius dessine même en 1988 deux épisodes d'un super-héros légendaire : le Surfer d'Argent, sur un scénario de son créateur Stan Lee. L'un de ses projets les plus importants consiste à reprendre son personnage fétiche, le Major Grubert, et à étendre le garage hermétique aux dimensions d'un cycle à diverses facettes dont nous avons déjà pu nous rendre compte avec l'édition de deux tomes du Major Fatal chez les Humanoïdes associées (Le garage hermétique en réédition et l'Homme du Ciguri ).
Ces dernières années sont placées en majeure partie sous le signe de nouvelles heureuses collaborations avec Alexandro Jodorowsky pour les albums d'un cycle plus terrien mais non moins surréaliste : Le Cœur Couronné, et un petit joyau de poésie, d'érotisme teinté de perversion : Griffes d'Ange, ainsi que la sortie du premier épisode d'une nouvelle trilogie annoncée, "Après l'Incal - Le nouveau rêve".
Tony grew up in South Florida amid palm trees and year-round sunshine. While he enjoyed collecting insects, snorkeling, and camping, he also loved to draw and read. During this time he was introduced to the works of Norman Rockwell, Arthur Rackham, Dr. Suess, Roald Dahl, and Jim Henson, all of whom inspired him and became major creative influences. With the support of family and teachers, Tony was able to cultivate his natural artistic talents. In college, he honed these talents at the Florida School of the Arts and later, at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he earned a degree in Graphic Design in 1992.
After college, Tony began a freelance illustration career, working for TSR's Dungeons & Dragons role–playing game. He continued to illustrate within the gaming field for most of the ‘90s, working on games such as Planescape, Changeling and the trading card phenomenon, Magic the Gathering, thus forging a place for himself in the field of fantasy art.
After seven years of successful work as a fantasy artist, Tony delved into a new field, that of creating children’s picture books. With the publication in 2000 of Jimmy Zangwow's Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), Tony fulfilled a childhood dream of writing and illustrating his own book. Jimmy, which was lauded by critics, was followed the next year by Ted (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), which also received high praise, including the 2002 Zena Sutherland Award. Tony has also illustrated the Alien & Possum series by Tony Johnston (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers); Ribbiting Tales (Penguin/Putnam Books); and the star-studded Once Upon A Fairy Tale (Viking Books) in which all proceeds benefit Steven Spielberg’s Starbright Foundation.
Continuing with his passion for fantasy, Tony has lent his vision to an array of noted author’s works including J.R.R.Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, Greg Bear, and Peter Beagle.
Tony is now realizing another childhood dream and is bringing to life a whimsical, wondrous, and somewhat surreal story that’s been bouncing around his head for the past 20 years. Tony and good friend Holly Black have created a five-book serial, The Spiderwick Chronicles. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing is launching the serial in May 2003 with the first two installments. The serial will culminate in late 2004 with the publication of Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You.
Born on March 9th, 1965, in Albany Georgia. Brom is the son of an Army aviator and spent his entire school age years on the move, living in such places as Japan, Alabama, and Hawaii. He graduated from high school in Frankfurt, Germany. From his earliest memories he has been obsessed with the creation of the weird, the monstrous and the beautiful.
At the age of twenty, Brom started working full-time as a commercial illustrator. By twenty-one, he had two national art representatives and was doing work for such clients as Coke, IBM, Columbia Pictures and CNN.
Three years later he entered the fantasy field he had loved all his life. TSR hired Brom on full-time at the age of 24 and he immediately introduced his personal vision to the fantasy to all the major worlds of TSR. He would spend the next three years creating the highly dramatic look and feel of the best-selling Dark Sun world.
In 1993, after four creative years at TSR, Brom returned to the freelance market, this time to pursue his love of the bizarre and fantastic. Since that time Brom has been working feverishly on hundreds of paintings for every facet of the genre, from novels (Micheal Moorcock, Terry Brooks, R.A.Salvatore, E.R. Burroughs), Role-playing (TSR, White Wolf, FASA, WOTC), comics (DC, Chaos, Dark Horse), Games (Doom2, Diablo2, Heretic, Sega, Activision), and film (Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Galaxy Quest, Bless the Child, Ghosts of Mars, Scooby Doo.) Brom has been active in the 3d world as well with a line of Brom fetish toys from Fewture and a series of bronzes from the Franklin Mint.
Brom’s powerful and haunting visions can be found in his two art books "Darkwerks" and "Offerings", both available from Paper Tiger.
Brom resides with his family in the Seattle area of Washington State. There he is ever painting, writing and trying to reach a happy sing-a-long with the many demons dancing about in his head.
In the early 1950's, Frazetta burst upon the mainstream comic scene with an incredible explosion of talent and energy. He did series for DC ("The Shining Knight" in Adventure Comics), ME ("White Indian" in Durango Kid - see image at right), Toby ("John Wayne" in John Wayne Comics, with Al Williamson); covers for Eastern (Heroic Comics), Famous Funnies (Famous Funnies Comics - the classic "Buck Rogers" covers), ME (Bobby Benson's B-Bar-B Riders, Ghost Rider, Straight Arrow, and Tim Holt); and stories (some solo and some with Williamson and friends) for ACG, Avon, DC, Eastern, EC, Standard, and others. Plus he was doing his own newspaper strip, "Johnny Comet".
In 1953, this amazing powerhouse of energy was harnessed by a combination of laziness, money and his love of goofing off and playing baseball (Frank was scouted by the pros - I'm glad he chose art!). He went to work for Al Capp assisting him on "Li'l Abner" - a position he held for eight or nine years. His comic book work tailed off to nothing by 1955 and he seemed to simply disappear from the world of art and comics, smothered under the Capp house style.
The Capp experience took a couple of years to recover from. When he quit he thought he'd just storm back into comics, but the market had drastically changed by the early '60s. His first jobs were for men's magazines (like Gent and Dude) and for a couple of sexy paperbacks referred to as "The Midwood Doubles". For these, Frazetta did interior drawings which have since been reprinted as The Sensuous Frazetta, The Frazetta You Didn't Know About, and elsewhere.
He never really did get back to comics, though. Roy Krenkel, one of the Fleagles from the EC days, convinced him to try his hand at painting paperback covers and helped him out on his first few jobs - "Tarzan" covers for Ace Books. In 1964 Jim Warren recruited him to do a comic story for the first issue of his new magazine, Creepy. It was to be the last pen & ink comic strip Frank was to do. At about the same time an issue of Mad Magazine appeared with a Frazetta back cover painting of Ringo Starr as a model for Blecch Shampoo and the direction of his career was forever altered. Frank Frazetta wasn't a comic book or comic strip artist, Frank Frazetta was a painter.
The 1965 to 1973 period was as explosive for Frazetta the painter as the early '50s were for Frazetta the comic book artist. Most of the seminal images we're so familiar with were done at this time: the Warren Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella covers, the Conan paperback covers, dozens of other covers for magazines and paperbacks (like Black Emperor above), the movie posters, Science Fiction Book Club ERB Martian series and other hardback dust jackets, and a slew of fanzine appearances that served to keep his reputation as a pen & ink master alive through the years. One of the unusual places his art appeared was in the magazine Elements, published by Dow Chemicals in 1973.
During this period Frank also became the primary influence on the world of science fiction art. Artists like Jeff Jones, Berni Wrightson, Michael Whelan, Don Maitz, Boris Vallejo and many others were inclined, inspired or instructed to paint in this new, dynamic "Frazetta" style. The echoes of his work still resound in the s-f covers of today's bookstores.
The late Seventies and the Eighties saw a series of limited edition portfolios (Kubla Khan, Women of the Ages, Lord of the Rings), a film (Fire & Ice), a five volume series of books devoted to his work (The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta and Frank Frazetta Books 2-5 from Ballantine), occasional paperback covers, limited edition prints (selling for thousands) taken from the covers of The Writers of the Future paperback series from Bridge Publications, a series of paperbacks featuring his Death Dealer (written with Jim Silke), and little else. His impact was still being felt in the art world as Arthur Suydam and Simon Bisley came under his spell.
Much of this time he was fighting an undiagnosed thyroid condition that robbed him of much of his vitality and inspiration. Now recovering, but physically weakened from the trauma, Frank is once again creating exciting and stunning images that will surely serve to inspire another generation of artists. And once again, he's doing it in comics.
Recently, several great books have been published on Frazetta. The Alexander Gallery Retrospective is out of print, but I think Bud Plant Comic Art just got a couple of copies into stock. The trio of Icon@, Legacy and Testament from Arnie Fenner and Underwood Books is not to be missed.
Born June 29, 1950, in Culver City, CA. Whelan lived in many locations throughout the West during his childhood, moving with his family on an average of once every 18 months. Thus, he attended five elementary schools, three junior highs, and four high schools. Most of the places he lived at were near the California coast, though he lived briefly near the White Sands Proving Ground (missile testing facility) in New Mexico, in a suburb of Denver, Colorado, and other places. Since his father was employed in the aerospace industry and worked on secret space technology projects "home" for Whelan was often near missile test sites, Air Force bases, and other locations related to aerospace development. [One of his earliest memories is of being put in bed for an afternoon nap when he was a toddler, dozing to the drone of over flying aircraft on a warm afternoon.] Rocket launchings -- and the occasional spectacular failures -- were a part of his life growing up, as were the SF movies, books, and magazines that suffused American culture during the Whelan graduated from Oak Grove High School in San Jose, CA and from San Jose State University in 1973 as a "President's Scholar" with a BA in Art (Painting). He then went briefly to The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles but quit when he received his first professional assignment as a book cover illustrator in 1974. Realizing that virtually all his potential commissions would be coming from New York City, Whelan left California for the East coast and has been living in Connecticut since 1975. He has been married to Audrey Price for more than 20 years and they have 2 children: Alexa, 21 (now a student at Barnard College, Columbia University) and Adrian, age 13. Michael Whelan has been interested in the imagery of the fantastic since his early childhood. Combined with a love of drawing and painting, Michael turned this fascination into a career as the premier fantasy illustrator of the last 24 years. He has created hundreds of paintings seen on book covers, calendars, magazines, and record albums.
During that time, Whelan garnered virtually all available illustration or art awards in the international fields of science fiction and fantasy. For example, he is a fourteen-time HUGO (World Science Fiction) Award winner and three-time (the maximum) winner of the HOWARD (World Fantasy) Award for Best Artist. The readers of LOCUS magazine, the #1 professional and fan resource publication for the Fantasy and Science Fiction genre, have awarded Whelan "Best Professional Artist" twenty-one years running. Several publications have named Whelan as one of the 100 most influential people in the field, a list which includes authors, editors, directors, special effects masters, etc. In 1994 he won a Grumbacher Gold Medal and in 1997 he was awarded a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators and an Award for Excellence in the Communication Arts Annual. The September 1998 Art Forum International Magazine referred to one of his works as "an absolute stunner," and continued, "Whelan excels in creating dead worlds that are tentatively beginning to flower again..." Most recently, he was awarded a Spectrum Annual gold medal for his painting "The Reach."
Nevertheless, throughout his illustration career Michael Whelan has found time to work on "self-commissioned" pieces not initially intended for publication, created solely to realize personal artistic themes. These non-illustrative works differ somewhat in theme and execution from his cover art (though he is quick to point out that all his artwork is, at its most fundamental level, about creating a "sense of wonder"). Most closely allied to the scope and feeling of what is referred to as contemporary "Visionary Art," his gallery painting is imbued with a strong sense of the mystical or dreamlike, and often employs symbolism to convey themes and ideas. After successful one-man shows of his personal works in 1997 and 1999, he now devotes his time exclusively to his gallery work.
Michael's original paintings have been displayed and sold at galleries and museums throughout the United States and around the world. He has had three art books published, the most recent being THE ART OF MICHAEL WHELAN, a deluxe 208-page collection of Whelan art published by Bantam Books. Posters, prints and other items featuring Whelan art are available through Glass Onion Graphics in Danbury, CT.
Upon Graduating from Kendall School of Design in 1980, Keith took a staff artist position at a company called Advertising Posters. Contrary to the way it sounds the company had nothing to do with advertising or posters. They were silk screen printers that printed and generated all the art for the pinball, and blossoming arcade video industry. Keith had a hand in the artwork of many of the most popular games that mark the beginning of the video game industry.
TSR was the next stop. During a five year stint as a TSR staff artist he contributed to a wide variety of projects. These range from book and magazine covers to calendars to game boxes and modules. Various titles include, Dragonlance, Forgotten realms, Gamma World and Amazing Stories.
After the five years at TSR, Keith decided it was time to move on to a freelance career. The next seven years were spent primarily doing book covers for the New York publishing market. Clients include Random House, Bantam Books, Penguin Books, Avon Books, Berkley/Ace Books, Baen Books and Tor Books. Covers for best selling authors include Terry Goodkind, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card, Hickman and Weis, C.J. Cherryh, Terry Brooks and Dennis McKiernan. Keith received many awards during this time for various works; back to back Chesley Awards for best hard cover jacket illustration in '88 and '89 are the most notable.
Since the beginning of his freelance career Keith has licensed his artwork for use on computer games, puzzles, foreign publications and many other miscellaneous uses.
In Aug. of 95, FPG financed and published "Guardians," Keith's first foray into game design. This was a new experience for him and FPG as well. Many of the top artists in the fantasy art field contributed to the game by illustrating Keith's characters.
FPG has also published an art book of all of Keith's best cover work done to date in a 128 pg. book, hardback and paperback editions are available. His first set of art trading cards have long since sold out as well as a subsequent set of colossal cards. Keith also has a best selling screen saver of his work that Second Nature software produced, currently over the "70,000 units sold" mark and still going strong.
In the last few years Keith has devoted more time to writing and has moved the focus of his commercial artwork into the software industry, producing art for the popular EverQuest online game by Sony and THQ’s Summoner. Last November he painted an Everquest piece that appeared on the cover of TV guide.
After spending nearly nine years in southeast Pennsylvania, Keith moved to Arizona in June 1999 with his wife Mary and their two sons, Nick and Zach.
On 3rd January 1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, creator of Middle-earth and author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion was born in the town of Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, where his father, Arthur, had moved to take up a senior position with a bank. In early 1895 his mother, Mabel,returned to England with Ronald and his younger brother, Hilary, exhausted by the climate.
After Arthur's death from rheumatic fever, the family made their home at Sarehole, near Birmingham. This beautiful rural area made a great impression on the young Ronald, and its effect can be seen in his later writing and his pictures. Mabel died in 1904, leaving the boys to the care of Father Francis Morgan, a priest at the Birmingham Oratory. At King Edward's School, Ronald was taught Classics, Anglo-Saxon and Middle English. He had great linguistic talent, and after studying old Welsh and Finnish he started to invent his own "Elvish" languages. 1914 saw the outbreak of the First World War. Ronald was in his final year at Exter College, Oxford: he graduated the following year with a First in English Language and Literature and once took up his commission as a second lieutenat in the Lancashire Fusiliers. Before embarkind for France in June 1916, he married his childhood sweetheart Edith Bratt. Tolkien survived the Battle of the Somme, where two of his three closest friends were killed, but later that year he was struck down by trench fever and invalided back to England.
The years after the Great War were devoted to his work as academic: as a Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, where he was soon to prove himself one of the finest philologists in the world. He had already started to write a great cycle of the myths and legends of Middle-earth which was to become The Silmarillion. He and Edith had four children and it was for them that he first told the tale of The Hobbit, published in 1937 by Sir Stanley Unwin. The Hobbit proved to be so succesful that Sir Stanley was soon asking for a sequel: but it was not until 1954, when Tolkien was approaching retirement, that the first volume of his great masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, was published, and its terrific success took him by surprise.
After retirement Ronald and Edith moved to Bournemouth but when Edith died in 1971, Ronald returned to Oxford. He died after a brief illness on 2nd September 1973, leaving his great mythological work, The Silmarillion, to be edited for publication by his son, Christopher.
Alan Lee was born and raised in London, and studied graphic art and design. Enchanted by myth and folklore from an early age, he gravitated toward the field of book illustration -- following in the footsteps of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, master illustrators of the 19th century. After graduation, Alan shared commercial studio space in London with Brian Froud and a number of other artists, then relocated to a small Dartmoor village with Brian in 1976. There, they created the mythic art book Faeries, which became an international bestseller.
Since that time, Alan has established himself as one of England's preeminent book artists, creating exquisite watercolor paintings for The Mabinogion, Castles, Merlin Dreams, and Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of the Illiad (winner of the pretigious Kate Greenaway Award), among other titles. He illustrated the lavish new editions of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and designed the sets for three forthcoming films based on this work. He has also designed for other films, such as Legend, Erik the Viking, and Merlin.
When not working on film locations, Alan still lives on Dartmoor, in the same small village as mythic artists Brian & Wendy Froud, William Todd-Jones, Terri Windling, and others. He was one of the founders of the annual Mythic Garden exhibition of outdoor sculpture at the Stone Lane Gardens arboretum; and is involved in the creation of a woodland nondenominational spiritual retreat building along with Diana Marriott and the internationally known local sculptor Peter Randall Page.
Alan's interests include fine literature and poetry, music, archaeology, history, long walks through Devon woodland, and international travel. He has two children. Their mother, Marja, from the Netherlands, is a talented painter herself, as well as a Celtic harpist.