Interview with the vampire illustrator


Some of the many illustrators of Bram Stoker’s Dracula are the subject of a six-page feature in the latest issue of Illustration magazine. The writer of the piece, Simon Cooke, asked me a few questions about the edition I worked on for Editorial Alma in 2018 (previously), and he devotes two pages to analysing my illustrations. I was a little unnerved by this since Alma asked me to produce 27 full-page pictures—one for each chapter—in five weeks, which isn’t the kind of deadline I prefer for work that requires so much historical research. Consequently, I still feel the book is compromised but people evidently like the end results so I should stop complaining. Illustration magazine is available from Cello Press.


As for my work of the moment, the Joe Banks Hawkwind book will be published by Strange Attractor in the next few weeks, so everyone will finally get to see my Frank R. Paul-derived wraparound cover. And there’s more science fiction on the way with a new cover design featuring a robot as its centrepiece. Watch this space.




Previously on { feuilleton }
Hawkwind: Days of the Underground
Illustrating Dracula

3 thoughts on “Interview with the vampire illustrator”

  1. Your work is great John. And I look forward to see what you do next.

    Having worked at an animation studio for nine years, I can assure you that no one is more critical of illustration than the artist of his/her own work. Always noticing something you could have done better etc.

    Now having a magazine based on illustration actively dissecting your drawings is next level anxious I’d imagine.

  2. John, I have been a subscriber to Illustration for many years as well as an admirer of your work and I was pleased to see your illustrations featured in this issue – it was well-deserved. Keep up the good work (as you always do)!

  3. Jay: Thanks. I think it’s the same for any creative endeavour, there’s always a gap between your ambition for the work at hand, and the end result. I try to remind myself that people only ever see the end result, so this is all that really matters.

    Andimac: Thanks again. I was very pleased to be featured in the magazine, not least because I often feel that my illustration work is somewhat removed from the world of “pure” illustration (for want of a better term) by being incorporated so often with graphic design. I feel closer to the illustration world than I do to the design world but I do enjoy working with typography and other design elements when I’m designed book covers. It’s a curious hybrid zone. The Alma books were a good opportunity to concentrate solely on the pictures.

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