Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio

Ten years ago at the World Fantasy Con in Corpus Christi, Texas, I met a young artist named John Picacio. He was, in fact, part of the crew that made a now legendary trip to Half-Price Books, the one where I had to out-muscle Joe R. Lansdale for the Gold Medal books that were being sold at half the cover price. I hadn't seen much of Picacio's work then, but I'd seen enough to know he was good. Little did I realize how soon he was going to become one of the best-known artists in the SF community and the first great SF illustrator of the 21st century.

The evidence is all gathered right between the covers of Cover Story. I hate to repeat the old cliche about the picture and the thousand words, but it fits here. Just open the pages and take a look. I don't have to say any more.

But I will, of course. There's more than just pictures here. You also get Picacio's comments on the pictures. Here's an artist who loves what he does and who loves to talk about it. He's also a reader who loves the stories and novels he illustrates. The book closes with a substantial interview with Picacio from 2005.

The book's several years old now, but it's still available. If you like SF art and don't have a copy of Cover Story, grab one soon.


George said...

No, I don't have this book, but I'm ordering it RIGHT NOW! It looks great! Woe be the guy that gets between you and some Gold Medals!

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to picture you outmuscling Joe Lansdale.

Does not compute.



Rick Klaw said...

I remember that dark day.

And he didn't exactly outmuscle Joe. It was more of Bill being a crafty old codger.

We all entered the store and started looking around, when suddenly we realized that Bill was nowhere to be seen.

When we found him, he was quietly sitting on the floor, going through a selection of Gold Medals that were all priced at HALF COVER. When he heard us coming over, he spread out his arms covering the shelves and greedily claiming all the books for himself.

Joe respects OLD men so he let him be. I was tempted to kick Bill in the shin.


PS Cover Story is an amazing book.

Scott Cupp said...

Trust me, Bill outmuscled Joe. I have scars from other trips that were just as violent.

Richard R. said...

Has anyone seen this book on the remainder shelves?

TruTV Re-enactment said...

JL: Hey, Bill, whatcha go--are those 1950s Gold Medals?

BC: [Earthshaking roar]. [Normal voice:] I'm sorry, Joe, what did you say?

JL: [Having fallen into conditioned response into defensive position, while jerking head from side to side to clear tinnitus:] Have you found a stash of Gold Medals?

BC: [While standing, striding forward, picking up the still-defensively postured Landsdale and tossing him with one hand twenty feet down the aisle before Lansdale has time to react] Why, yes, Joe, I believe I have. [Crider sits back down with a dead-eyed look at the other assembled daytrippers, who do not move.]

JL: [Standing with only slight difficulty and attempting to act as casually as possible under the circumstances] Ah, I see. I think we'll all go look over Here at the Other Books.

[The silence is broken only by quiet, careful steps of the others as Crider carefully sorts through the vintage paperbacks.]

Unknown said...

An absolutely accurate account!

Rick Klaw said...

Richard R. said...
Has anyone seen this book on the remainder shelves?

Nope. I don't think it's been remaindered.

It's definitely worth paying full price for.