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26 February 2009

To Your Scattered Body Go...


It's all over my news sources this morning that SF author Philip Jose Farmer passed away yesterday. At 91 years old, it's not exactly a tragedy, except in the sense that humanity hasn't discovered a way of making its better representatives immortal yet, but nevertheless his passing should be noted. In a perfect universe, he'd be on a riverboat with Sir Richard Burton and Tom Mix right now.

Farmer was one of my first and strongest science fiction influences. He, along with Robert
Heinlein, was responsible for blasting open the doors of my developing teenaged mind. "Image of the Beast" remains a very conflicting novel for me, more than 20 years after first reading it, while "Riders of the Purple Wage" was an early philosophical influence. His work on Doc Caliban and the other icons of the pulp age was a clear inspiration to many of my favorite writers and my own writing as well.

Farmer was one of those eclectic writers, like Harlan Ellison or Stephen King, who was capable of going in any direction with his work, often delighting and surprising with an unexpected change of course. From hard SF to eroticism to pulp fiction to dead-on humour, his fiction was always rewarding to read.

If you've never read any of Farmer's work, it's worth your while to seek some out. If you'd like to start out with something on the cheap, why not try the heavily Edgar Rice Burroughs influenced "Green Odyssey" audiobook available for free over at Librivox.

Sail on, sail on, Philip Jose Farmer.

20 February 2009

Join the Sky Club!

An image from one of my recent projects has recently gone online. Late last year, I completed a set of image for an upcoming CD from the band "Sky Club". The album is called "Ipodius" and it's due to be released later this year from Umbrello Records. You can find out more information about the CD on its Umbrello page. Here's the cover:


This is obviously only a thumbnail of the image; you can see a larger version at Umbrello.

One of the cool things about this CD is that one of the musicians is science fiction author Mack Maloney, creator of the Wingman, Starhawks and Superhawks series of novels. Besides being an entertaining author, Mack's quite an accomplished keyboardist, judging by the samples I've heard from this band.
If you're a fan of good progressive rock (of which I don't think there's enough any more), then take it from me that this will be an album well worth listening to. I'll update here as soon as I know that the album's available, and will try to get permission to post another image or two from the insert. Inn the meantime, keep an eye on their Umbrello page for more news and information about the CD, and while you're at it, check out some of Mack's books for some good reading.

 Quick update:
The album is still a go, but it has switched distributors, and there has been a title change, so I've removed the link and the original cover thumbnail.  I will create a new post with new information soon.

12 February 2009

Femmes Fatale

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, here are three ladies of classic horror. Once again, if you have to ask who they are, shame on you. Turn off "Saw the Umpteenth" and go watch some horror with class.


06 February 2009

Three Faces of Evil

Some rough sketches for a piece I'm contemplating; all are based on old publicity stills. If you have to ask who these gentlemen are, then you probably don't need to know.

03 February 2009

Spacehawk Redesign

I recently signed up for Warren Ellis's Whitechapel forum, mainly so I could participate in his weekly remake/remodel sessions. Each week, Warren selects golden age comic characters and invites the more artistic members to redesign those characters for the modern age. It's great fun, and a good way to hone the character design skills.
Here's an example of a recent character that was put up for redesign. I didn't join in time to get in on this thread, but put together a piece, just for the fun of it. The character is Basil Wolverton's "Spacehawk" (see more about him here), and my take is somewhere between Hilary Barta and Tom O'Finland.