Something really wicked!

Something Wicked This Way Comes - hideaway book box
I was contacted in December last year by talented artist Ruth Fabiano, who designs and sells wooden boxes that look like real books. She was keen to create a box using my artwork for Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes – one of my favourite fantasy stories from the master storyteller. I was more than happy to see her use my design to make one of her fabulous boxes, and as you can see above she has done a great job in capturing the cover with her wood-burning and hand-decoration techniques.

Here’s my original cover design:

Something Wicked This Way Comes
You can check out further images of the box here on Ruth’s Etsy site, where you can also view her many other designs for such books as The Lord of the Rings, Peter Pan, A Game of Thrones, The Mists of Avalon, Alice in Wonderland, and many more.

ToQ: Beyond the Morning Mountains fantasy adventure gamebook

ToQ: Beyond the Morning Mountains
Today I’ve finally announced my gamebook project set within the fantasy world of Quahnarren. Beyond the Morning Mountains is a very ambitious project, featuring over 120,000 words it is extensively illustrated throughout, and is the first in a planned series of adventures that will take readers to all corners of the world that I am creating.

Visit the Tales of Quahnarren site to read more about the book, and if you’re completely new to the adventure gamebook genre you can also preview a few written sections to gain some understanding of what these books are all about.

The Indian Wars

The Indian Wars

Custom typography for The Indian Wars. The vector letterforms and composition were created in Illustrator, with the final textures and effects added in Photoshop. This was a design concept requiring a specific style of hand lettering that I’d had in mind for some time – happily the final outcome is still very close to my original idea, even though a number of changes were made during the design and construction process.

This piece was then used in my book cover design concept, along with an illustration of attacking Indians, which was also created in Photoshop (detail image below).

The Indian Wars book coverIndians!

SF & Fantasy masterpieces: cover designs

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I’ve read a wide variety of science fiction and fantasy novels over many years, so thought I’d follow the creative footsteps of the many designers and illustrators who have created their own cover designs for favourite and popular books. From all that I’ve read there are a few that stood out as both great works of fiction, and also as stories offering different visual styles to design with. I decided to call this collection the ‘Modern Masterwork’ series, which would therefore define these as special edition covers.

Above is the fantastic Something Wicked This Way Comes from Ray Bradbury. I’m yet to encounter another writer who can paint a picture and convey a mood quite like Bradbury can – he is a true master of elegant writing that captures the spirit of his characters and the times they live in. The story is based in Green Town, which set the colour tone for my design, and also features some quirky hand lettering to match the dark carnival theme.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The central icon on the cover above for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy came to me as part of another idea, but quickly transitioned to this cover design for the intergalactic Douglas Adams novel. I was always wanting this to be a quite basic and very graphically sharp design, which to me fits the written style of the series, particularly in comparison to the other two chosen books. I’m amazed at just how many phrases and concepts from Hitchhiker’s have made it into popular culture – a true phenomenon!

Neuromancer

William Gibson is the most acclaimed writer of what is known as the cyberpunk genre. Gibson is credited as devising the term ‘cyberspace’ in a story published in 1982 – a description that soon became commonly used when referring to the internet. The award winning Neuromancer is the first novel in his Sprawl trilogy, a landmark series that has had a heavy influence on arts, media and technology, since release. This novel was a sensory explosion when I first read it, as the concepts involved were mind bending in their depth and complexity. Gibson had expertly created a futuristic vision of a down and dirty technological corporatized state, populated with some seriously cool and unique characters.

I’ve chosen to create an uncluttered design that shows a hint of the stylistic look of the 80’s, with significant space and deliberate prominence given to the author and title. The pattern hints at neural networks and the hacker process within the mind.

Murdered by Hitchcockian methodologies

Murdered by Hitchcockian methodologies

Book cover design for a fictional thriller novel. I wanted to create a visual style that maintained the spirit of the classic promotional posters for films by the master director, and have referenced three classic Hitchcock movies within the design – can you name them?