Showing posts with label John Jude Palencar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Jude Palencar. Show all posts

Thursday, January 28, 2010

John Jude Palencar wins the Hamilton King!

I am proud to announce that John Jude Palencar has won this year’s Society of Illustrators’ Hamilton King Award for his artwork on Charles de Lint’s Muse and Reverie.

The Hamilton King is arguably one of the most prestigious awards in the illustration community. It is given to the best painting in the Illustrators annual, as judged by past Hamilton King award–winners. While given to a specific work, it has, unofficially, come to signify a mid-career achievement award. Previous winners include Bernie Fuchs, Leo and Diane Dillon, James McMullan, Mark English, Brad Holland, Greg Manchess, Bob Peak, Donato Giancola....A “who’s who” of illustration since 1965.

The award ceremony and black-tie dinner will take place at the Society of Illustrators in June in conjunction with the Illustrators Fall of Fame inductions.

Not only is John an amazing artist, he is a caring individual deeply dedicated to his craft. I am thrilled for him and proud of Tor’s small part in this honor.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

John Jude Palencar’s Horrid Wings

We recently published Elizabeth Bear’s The Horrid Glory of Its Wings on It’s a lonely and moving story. John Jude Palencar was an easy choice for it -- it needed something quiet and soulful, and a little sad but still strong.

Sketches below. The first was the clear choice...but the second one makes me want to see what John could do with a dark superhero project.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The covers that got away

I got batch of cover designs in today and immediately regretted that the one I liked the best, visually speaking, would never fly for the cover. In this case, with good reason — it looks great but isn’t quite suited for the audience. Luckily, there are others in the batch that also also very good and more appropriate for the book.

Also today, I got sketches in for another book. Here we are clearly we are making the less interesting choice because it more closely resembles familiar territory. The artist is no dummy and will likely reuse the pose on someone else’s very successful book cover. (And I will be jealous!)

This happens a lot in the job. Many times I agree with the final outcome, in some cases I don’t. Below are two older examples of covers that “got away.”

The Mystery of Grace
Illustrator John Jude Palencar and designer Peter Lutjen have been the dynamic duo beyond many many Charles de Lint covers. It’s amazing how well their sensibilities work together, even more so when you consider that Charles, Peter, and John have never met.

When Mystery of Grace came up, when we knew a general outline of the story. John Jude sent in a series of sketches and I was blinded by how much I loved this puppeteer drawing. It makes for a great painting, and even a great cover, but when the author and editor brought up the fact that it was much too dark for the book, it was hard too fight it. It certainly is macabre. This is not the artist’s fault. If I had been thinking more clearly, I would have asked for other sketches. In this case we got as far as printing Advance Reading Copies with the puppet cover before we were able to about-face and start over. (I’m told you can find those advance reading copies on eBay every now and then.)

Since we do have such a long and wonderful history of Palencar covers on de Lint books, there was never a question of what to do — I went back to John, described the book more fully, and gave him a clearer understanding of how we wanted to position it. It was a whole second commission for him — a pricey mistake on my part but, thankfully, not one that I make too often. In the end, the second cover is just as lovely in a different way.

Blood Groove
In this case, it was tough to get the marketing tone right. The initial copy and the title made it sound a bit campy and hipstery. When talking to the editor, the book sounded much more gritty than that, and it sounded much more grisly than the current slew of hot Twilight-y vampires. Designer Jamie Stafford-Hill went to town on the idea of a truly horrific, old school vampire. What you can’t see here is, he even requested a slightly textured varnish to make the cover just a tiny bit pebbly your hand. We did an advance run on the jackets and they looked great. Really great. In the end, though, Sales and Marketing felt that we should try to hit larger audience an go with a “movie-poster” style cover.

Selling more books is good for everybody — everyone from the author, to the bookstore clerks, to the truck drivers moving inventory around — so it’s difficult to say that going more commercial is a bad thing...But truth be told, this was example where I wish we could have stuck with something that was a bit more unique and engaging. While I certainly like the re-do, quite a bit actually, I’ll always wonder which cover really would have performed better.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jon Foster: Boneshaker and sketches

Cherie Priest's Boneshaker comes out at the end of September and it's getting a lot of buzz. I always double-like when one of my favorite covers accompanies a book that all the cool kids are raving about.

Art by Jon Foster.
Design by Jamie Stafford-Hill.
And check out Cherie Priest's website for series, The Clockwork Century.

The first sketch was a real contender. It had action and might have more commercial appeal than the others. The second sketch looked a little too young-adult so that was ruled out fairly quickly. (Although it would make for a great YA cover.) The third one seemed slightly riskier than the others but also felt like, if all the pieces fell into place, it would be demand attention on the shelves. I'm very glad it's the direction we took.

I have to admit, it does seem as though some authors have good cover karma. (Which unfortunately also means the reverse can be true.) I equally love the John Jude Palencar arted, Peter Lutjen designed, covers on Cherie Priest's "Eden More" books.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Mystery of Grace

I love the creative triad that is Charles de Lint, John Jude Palencar, and Peter Lutjen. For years now, these have often been among my favorite Tor covers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Peak Inside John Jude Palencar's Studio

Bryan Beus, from Richard Solomon Representatives gives us a look at John Jude Palencar's studio, and promises video to come.

Monday, September 22, 2008

John Jude Palencar's Christopher Paolini's Brisingr's post.

I live right next to one of the larger Barnes & Noble stores, where they tend to do a lot of their events. So, despite the fact that I have never read a Christopher Paolini book, I thought it would be fun to walk by and see the party gathering for the midnight release of his Brisingr. Little did I know the B&N crew would be so well prepared for the would-be chaos that anyone standing near got sucked in, corralled upstairs, seated and told to sit still before you could say, "Hey, I'm not with the band." Alas, I ended up in a sea of appreciative ten year olds and their supportive parents. Truth be told, it was fun seeing so many doey-eyed kids excited about the release of a book.

Best of all, the evening was an excuse to have a near-midnight conversation with John Jude Palencar to talk about the covers. Anyone that knows John, knows what I mean when I say, you can ask him about work and in no time you're talking about chipmunks in the backyard, the state of the family pets, and just about everything else under the sun. Email is wonderful but it has taken many of these lovely meanderings away, which is sad.

Anyway, for thems that care, my report of the evening is over at:
"Christopher Paolini's Brisingr release. Or, I can only talk to artists" on

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

John Jude Palencar: Mystery of Grace

It's no secret that John Jude Palencar is one of my favorites. Here is his latest for Charles de Lint's Mystery of Grace, due out next summer. This is one where I got really excited the moment the sketch came in. For a more intimate experience with John's work, check out his book, Origins: The Art of John Jude Palencar.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

John Jude Palencar sketches are in for our new Charles de Lint book and I am very excited. I'll share once the painting is done.

Friday, March 07, 2008

TorDot Wallpapers

This week, Donato Giancola and John Jude Palencar.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America Party

Last night was the annual SFWA schmooze fest. Let me start by saying, Liz Gorinsky is a horrible influence. She’s made me stay out for more 3:00am breakfasts this month then I have in all the years since college. But besides the groggy wake up this morning, I had a great time.

Once again I got a few artists friends to bring in some work for a little mini display of sf/f art. This year we had Dave Palumbo, Tiffany Prothero, Bruce Jensen, Scott Altmann, John Jude Palencar, Eric Fortune, and David Grove. (Thanks again guys!)

You are spared the traditional food eating shot since I had forgotten my camera at that point. (Although the truth of the matter is, I only set up these exhibits/lectures/whatever for the excuse to have good meals with cool artists.) Here are some random photos of the evening:

Jozelle, F. Paul Wilson, Gordon Van Gelder, Anna Genoese, Richard Curtis, Ellen Asher, Michale Swanwick, Jim Frenkle.

Lots of Tor peeps. I think just about every department is represented here: Steven, Melissa, Kristin, Sara, Melanie, Cindy, and Liz.
• Tor authors David Keck and Kate Braillier.
• Liz Gorinski and Diana Fox.

• Jannie Shea and Andrea Senchy
-- the people that make the Chesleys and many, many convention art shows happen.


Some of the artists in attendance: Arkady Roytman, Tiffany Prothero, Dave Palumbo, Doug Beekman, Scott Altmann, Tony Palumbo.