World Fantasy Awards


Presenting some of the cover art and interior illustration from 2011 which won me the World Fantasy Award for best artist in Toronto on Sunday. (The complete awards list is here.) It was a surprise to be nominated, and even more of a surprise to win since working in different areas—book, music, comics—is never a good way to get noticed for doing one particular thing. It’s also the case that sf/fantasy art awards tend to favour painters or virtuoso digital artists over people such as myself who I suppose are more illustrator-designers; that’s not a criticism, just an acknowledgement of the strength and popularity of highly-refined pictorial art in this area of the literary world. The recognition hazard works in the opposite direction: the design world often gives the most attention to graphic design alone, with the illustration quotient being regarded as secondary content.

I’m not exactly sure what the judges were looking at of my work so these examples have been chosen for being published during the year under examination. They’re also covers that people seemed to like a lot, especially KW Jeter‘s Morlock Night (even though I still prefer Infernal Devices!), and those for Mike Shevdon‘s books. The Jeter and Shevdon volumes are all published by Angry Robot who will also be publishing Lavie Tidhar‘s The Bookman Histories early next year sporting another of my covers. Lavie’s novel Osama won best novel in Toronto while Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (editors of the Lambshead book below) picked up a best anthology award for their monumental The Weird. And to add to the good company, my regular publishers Tachyon saw one of their authors, Tim Powers, gaining best story collection. Congratulations to everyone, and a big thanks to Ann for collecting my award.

I’m always using these posts to point to other artists so it’s only right that I encourage everyone to go and look at the work of the other nominees. Here they are (although Jon Foster’s site appears down at the moment):

Julie Dillon
Jon Foster
Kathleen Jennings
John Picacio

John Picacio has a rather gorgeous calendar due out soon, details here.



Title page for The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (Harper Voyager).





Published by Strange Attractor.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Bookman Histories
The Courts of the Feyre
Somnium by Steve Moore
The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities
Steampunk overloaded!

19 thoughts on “World Fantasy Awards”

  1. Don’t you mean Best Artist in Manchester on Sunday? There’s one for each day of the week, after all…

  2. ,,but seriously congratulations. Are you going to show us a picture of what the award looks like when you get it?

  3. They’re big HP Lovecraft busts:

    Not always a popular choice, and I’ve wondered myself why Lovecraft was chosen for a fantasy award.

    I’ve been to Brighton once, yes. A great town: Aubrey Beardsley’s birthplace, eccentric pavilion building, large gay population, nice beach, etc. Dunno about the convention, though. I like meeting people, just not in a convention atmosphere.

  4. Congratulations! Well deserved, especially for the Somnium artwork…a bewitching and hypnotically beautiful piece of cover art for a bewitching and hypnotically beautiful work. You’re illustration captures the luminous and fragile feel of Moore’s novel exceptionally well.

  5. Congratulations, good to see the judges thinking beyond and casting the net farther than ‘what you see is what you get’ fantasy painting, be it old-school or digital.

  6. Terrific, John! Well deserved. If as you say you are to be considered an “illustrator-designer” then surely one important aspect of this award is to honor your willingness to push the boundaries and explore the borderlands.

    And I agree with G, SOMNIUM is breathtaking work.

  7. Thanks, Thom. :)

    Pam: Thanks too, and perfectly understandable missing this what with the election and all.

  8. John, your professional world is ‘another country’ for me, and l so enjoy you escorting me through its alley-ways and by-ways. Bravo on achieving an acknowledged role and voice in your profession:))

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