Tuesday, January 30, 2007


New Cover Story Review

Paul Di Filippo has reviewed Cover Story in his latest "On Books" column in the March 07 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. He has this to say:
There are over one hundred and sixty full-color paintings in Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio (Mon-keyBrain Books, hardcover, $39.95, 200 pages, ISBN 1-932265-16-3), and every one of them is practically worth the price of admission solely on its own. But in addition, you get innumerable B&W sketches, Picacio's insightful commentary, and a full interview with the artist. I call this the best bargain in art books to come along in a while.

You've seen Picacio's art if you've so much as stuck your head in a bookstore over the past five years or so. He's provided cover images for everyone from Silverberg to Moorcock to Pohl, as well as a host of newer authors, such as Justina Robson and Dale Bailey. His covers all leap off the page with a bright palette, iconic tropes, and sophisticated compositions, often featuring layered planes of images. But he also does full-blown moments of frozen narrative, such as his cover for the first volume of the Adventure anthology (page 133). Some of his most striking work involves Cornell-style shadowboxes (one weighing forty-five pounds when completed!). In all cases, his art reflects immense thought, taste, and intelligence. He's able, as John Clute says in a blurb, not only to "illustrate" but to "illuminate" a work. This book, designed by Picacio himself, is a wonderful compendium that succeeds in illuminating a career that is barely begun but already rich with accomplishment.
Thanks, Paul!

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