Magma concert poster, 2017. Art by Jofre Conjota.
• The Dream Foundry is a new venture with a mission “to bolster and sustain the nascent careers of professionals working in the field of speculative literature.” This includes artists as well as writers, and to this end I was asked to answer a few questions about my work as a creator of book covers. I also offer some advice about visibility as an artist which I tried not to hedge with too many caveats. Related: my cover for The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga was one of the covers of the month at Muddy Colors.
• “…for a band that were so compositionally advanced, they were adept at producing primordially insistent and hypnotic rhythms.” John Doran on Magma (again), appraising the band’s music and history before presenting Christian and Stella Vander with questions from appreciative musicians.
• Mixes of the week: FACT mix 731 by Meemo Comma, mr.K’s Soundstripe vol 2 by radioShirley, The Ivy-Strangled Path Vol. XIX by David Colohan, and The Pumpkin Tide by Haunted Air.
• At Dangerous Minds: Roddy McDowall reads HP Lovecraft’s The Outsider and The Hound. Related: David McCallum reads HP Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror and The Haunter of the Dark.
• “Mathematics is not unique in drawing out charlatans and kooks, of course…” David S. Richeson on cranks, past and present.
• “I plan to take psychedelics again…” Helen Joyce, the finance editor of The Economist, takes a trip.
• The City of Light and its shadows: Brassaï’s Paris.
• At Dennis Cooper’s: Dennis Hopper Day.
• Paris (1958) by Perez Prado And His Orchestra | Paris 1919 (1973) by John Cale | Paris 1971 (1971) by Suzanne Ciani
My latest cover for Angry Robot Books was unveiled this week on the Barnes & Noble blog. The Resurrectionist of Caligo is an atmospheric Gothic fantasy for which the cover art veers close to the illustration work I was doing recently for Editorial Alma, Frankenstein in particular:
With a murderer on the loose, it’s up to an enlightened bodysnatcher and a rebellious princess to save the city, in this wonderfully inventive Victorian-tinged fantasy noir.
“Man of Science” Roger Weathersby scrapes out a risky living digging up corpses for medical schools. When he’s framed for the murder of one of his cadavers, he’s forced to trust in the superstitions he’s always rejected: his former friend, princess Sibylla, offers to commute Roger’s execution in a blood magic ritual which will bind him to her forever. With little choice, he finds himself indentured to Sibylla and propelled into an investigation. There’s a murderer loose in the city of Caligo, and the duo must navigate science and sorcery, palace intrigue and dank boneyards to catch the butcher before the killings tear their whole country apart.
Some covers present more difficulties than others, this one being an awkward layout in its early stages due to the multiple demands of the brief. Not only was the book title a lengthy one, there were also two author names to accommodate plus a variety of pictorial detail that required placing in a harmonious arrangement. I don’t always begin a design with the title layout but in this case this was the first priority, so the cover is designed around the title rather than the title being applied to the cover at a later stage. All of this caused me some headaches for a few days while I tried to find a type layout that would look pleasing, be readable from a distance and also not interfere too much with the background. None of the struggle is evident in the final work, of course, which is as things should be.
The Resurrectionist of Caligo will be published in September.