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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Illustrators #14

There's a great deal of pleasure to be had in a magazine like Illustrators, not only in articles about artists you know, but also in the discovery of new talents that you've never heard of. Of the five featured artists, I'd heard of one, Joe Jusko, but knew little about his background and was delighted to see plenty of artwork that was new to me.

The first of three lengthy articles features the often surreal art of Tara McPherson, pastel-coloured paintings influenced by Japanese art, often featuring winsome redheads with heart-shaped holes in their bodies. This particular theme developed after McPherson went through a particularly horrible break-up; she discovered she was able to funnel emotion through her work, with the heart-shaped hole encompassing emotions visually. Some of her work could be described as pop surrealist, other work as just plain weird.

Joe Jusko, on the other hand, is best known for fantasy art that is based firmly in realism. From his debut in Heavy Metal, Jusko has been a prolific cover artist for nearly forty years. After briefly working as Howard Chaykin's assistant as as a police officer in the South Bronx, Jusko found steady work as an artist. Since then he has drawn just about every muscular character you can imagine—Tarzan, Conan, The Hulk, Wonder Woman, Lara Croft, etc., etc.—along with a nice line in big cats.

Maurice Leloir may be a less familiar name. He was a Frenchman who illustrated many fine historical books, born in Paris in 1853, where he died in 1940. Here, author David Ashford concentrates on his 250 illustrations drawn for the two-volume edition of The Three Musketeers published in 1894 and the 1901 edition of Richelieu.

Adam Stower is a children's book writer and illustrator whose work has appeared in educational books, illustrated novels and in magazines, including a regular spot as the cover artist for Money Magazine. He's the author of a number of children's books, including Silly Doggy, Troll and the Oliver and Grumbug.

The tail-end of the magazine includes a brief announcement that Book Palace are currently finishing off the long-awaited The Art of Fortunino Matania—Drawing From History, which I remember being in active preparation back in 2010 (like I can talk—my life is one long trail of half-completed projects!). There's also a handful of reviews and letters wrapping up the issue.

For more information on Illustrators and back issues, visit the Book Palace website, where you can also find details of their online editions, and news of upcoming issues. Issue 15 will feature Dave McKean, Andy Thomas, Jonathan Bull and Sam Peffer.

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