Friday, August 29, 2014

Come see me at the Fairfield Community Arts Center on Wednesday September 3

If you are in the southwest Ohio, please consider coming to see me speak at the Fairfield Community Arts Center in Fairfield, Ohio at 7pm on Wednesday September 3. I will be a guest of the Lane Library system. I am especially excited about this event because this is the first time I will be discussing both my previous work on Moby-Dick and Heart of Darkness as well as my current work on Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities and my Bestiary project with writer Robert Kloss. I'll also be answering questions and drawing in books at the end. Hope to see many of you there.

More information can be found at this link.


Title: Witch-king
Artist: Daria Tessler

I'd posted a few photos of this piece as it was work in progress, so you can imagine how excited my wife and I were to finally see the finished painting arrive at our home. It's very strange because Daria Tessler's art seems so deeply connected to the children's picture books and illustrated stories I fell in love with as a child that I feel as if I have been a fan of her work for over 40 years. Which is obviously impossible because I don't even think Daria is that old! Still, there is something about all of her art - her drawings, paintings, and silkscreens - that truly transports the viewer to someplace else. Someplace strange, a little unsettling, completely enchanting and absolutely wondrous. This is a large painting and simply stunning in every respect. I've got quite a few of Daria's prints, but it is even better to finally have an original piece that will soon be hanging on our wall. And what a fascinatingly strange vision of the Witch-king!

Daria's web site is here, you can look at and buy her prints here (and you should, they are SO amazing!) and you can follow her tumblr here.

My art, in Massachusetts...

This piece, I am told, now hangs in the office of Dr. Hannah F. in Boston. This is honestly one of my favorite pieces from the whole Moby-Dick series and I was very very close to keeping it. I have so very much art though, both that I have made and that others have created, and it felt right to let this one go. I am very happy to see it again, now years later, framed and hanging in the office of someone who I believe appreciates it as much as I do. And so close to the epicenter of American whaling too. A double bonus!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Title: The Witch-king of Angmar 2
Artist: Tyler Bohm

Oh, yes, did I mention that Tyler told me he was so inspired by the idea that he felt compelled to create not one but two Witch-king illustrations? This is the second, as amazing as his first (posted just below this). I feel like I could look at Tyler's work all day and never get tired of it.


Title: The Witch-king of Angmar 1
Artist: Tyler Bohm

In unexpected ways, Tyler and I have been crossing paths for a number of years now, but it was only recently that we finally spent some time talking face to face. I remember seeing Tyler and his wife Anisa, who is a gifted poet, at one of my book events in Ohio, and from time to time after that I would see he and Anisa in a crowd somewhere. I'm not sure how I discovered that Tyler was also an artist, but I remember finding his tumblr Covert Garden first and marveling at the deceptive simplicity and intricate beauty of his drawings. Tyler also regularly creates illustrations based on Anisa's amazing poetry as well, which is a true delight, and you can see a number of those at his tumblr too.

I had no real idea if Tyler was aware of or even cared about The Lord of the Rings so I was hesitant to ask him about this commission. Thankfully, not only was he very aware and a great admirer of them, he was also a genuinely fantastic human being. He readily agreed to take on the commission and just this past Sunday, my wife and I were able to have lunch with Tyler and Anisa and make two fantastic new friends. This is absolutely the best kind of art to hang on my wall...amazing work from a good friend who I truly enjoy spending time with.

Tyler's web site, showing an astonishing variety of art and three dimensional pieces is here, and his tumblr Covert Gardens, which focuses on his drawings and his collaborations, is here.

Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this.

A pin-up of Dave Bowman, from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, that I contributed to an upcoming zine of Bowman-inspired art. I'll post details once the zine is available for sale.


For a group art tumblr I am a part of called Character Wednesday.

Title: History shows again and again how nature points up the folly of men. (Godzilla)

8.25 inches by 11.75 inches
acrylic paint on watercolor paper
August 27, 2014


Title: World's Best Witch-king
Artist: Chris K.

An angry and resentful office drone sentenced to what seems like a lifetime of drudgery in a miserable poorly lit cubicle. His days seem to be an endless repetition of tiny injustices, each one slowly chipping away at his happiness and self-esteem until his soul is ground down to a nubbin. A good friend of his loves art and has this collection of Witch-king drawings. As a tiny but essential way of striking back at his corporate overlords and an attempt to snatch some tiny bit of enlightened happiness in the hell he calls a job, he spends company time and draws this picture. The art is given to the good friend, and happiness reigns.

I know this guy. And this gift from him really made my day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


The 22nd of Calvino's Invisible Cities and my eighth illustration for the project, the dual city known as Sophronia. You can see the entire series so far, along with amazing work from my fellow travelers Leighton Connor and Joe Kuth, at our group art tumblr Seeing Calvino, which is updated every Wednesday with new art.

"The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is the great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death-ride with crouching motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half-city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the palaces, the slaughterhouse, the school, and all the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half city."

10 inches by 8 inches
ink on watercolor paper
August 27, 2014


Title: Witch-king
Artist: Abraham Diaz

Any artist that closes their "About Me" page with the phrase "Send nudes" is automatically going to be someone I respect, so I was eager to see what Abraham Diaz would do with this Witch-king commission. His art is delightfully wretched, ratty, obnoxious and grotesque and that appealed to me a great deal. Abraham chose to show the Witch-king stabbing poor Frodo with the Morgul blade on Weathertop, but somehow he managed to make that scene both chilling and hilarious. As he himself remarked in an email to me, this piece looks like some long-lost drawing by a prominent Mad Magazine artist. A wonderful addition to the collection.

Visit Abraham's tumblr here, and buy his comics and zines and more at his store here.


For a group art tumblr I am a part of called Character Wednesday.

Title: Ack. (Bill the Cat)

8 inches by 10 inches
ink on watercolor paper
August 16, 2014