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Hugo Thoughts: Best Professional Artist

Hugo nominations are now open. You will have until mid March to make your nominations... however, if you were not a member of MidAmericon II, you have only today and tomorrow left to sign up for either That Finnish Convention (this year's worldcon) and/or ConJose II (next year's worldcon) to earn the right to nominate. Act now, or forever hold your peace.

A few days ago I posted a few recommendations for the two Dramatic Presentation categories. Today I'd like to offer a couple of artists for your consideration, staggering talents who did some outstanding work in 2016, and are more than worthy of nomination.

The first of them is MICHAEL KOMARCK, who has been painting our Wild Cards covers ever since Tor revived the series. He's done a bunch of other things too... check out his website... and he is doing the artwork for a Wild Cards graphic novel that is just going to blow your mind, but it's his recent Wild Cards covers that make me want to get up and dance. Here's some of his recent work.

Komarck has been nominated for the Hugo once before, but has never won. Here's some of his older Wild Cards covers. Amazing work.

I had the honor to work with another wonderfully talented artist this year as well: the French artist DIDER GRAFFET, who illustrated the 2017 Ice & Fire calendar from Random House.

There's lots more art in the calendar just as good. Grab and copy and see for yourself.

Of course, SF and fantasy are blessed with all sorts of extraordinary artists, many of whom have been Hugo winners or nominees in years past. John Picacio, Julie Dillon, Donato Giancola, Stephan Martiniere, and many more are worthy of your consideration as well. But any list of recommendations that does not include Komarck and Graffet is woefully incomplete, imnsho.


Jan. 30th, 2017 08:29 pm (UTC)
Wow YES!!!!!
So excited to see something related to Game of thrones, I'm getting that calendar now :)
I love your posts, keep them coming, Hopefully there can be some new's on the game of thrones book :)
Coming soon, going to be a awesome year. I am trying to write a medieval book myself, wow its really difficult if I can do a chapter a month I will be super happy, but I have so much respect for writers when I started writing its not easy.

Hope you win in the Hugo's I won't vote because I have not read the books yet.
Jan. 30th, 2017 09:14 pm (UTC)
Magali Villeneuve?
Daniel Madruga
Jan. 30th, 2017 09:22 pm (UTC)
Illustrations better than what you imagined
I am a big fan of ASOIAF illustrations. I consider you to be my favourite artist. Your work has really inspired me and changed my life for the better. I value art, history and stories much more than I used to, and find your books such a masterpiece, when I read some chapters I realise that I didn't even knew I could love a story this much.
Was there any illustration about something you created (character, place, dragon, Castle, etc) that made you like more the artist version than what you initially had in mind?
Jan. 30th, 2017 10:27 pm (UTC)
I don't know much about the Hugo awards to be honest, but I cannot help but think of Alan Lee and John Howe (and Ted Nasmith). I think their work is absolutely amazing.
Jan. 31st, 2017 12:49 pm (UTC)
Hugo's are for current year work (for a given value of "current").

I'm kind of surprised that Alan Lee has never been nominated.
Jan. 31st, 2017 08:32 pm (UTC)
I may be wrong, but I think Alan Lee was nominated at least once, and maybe twice, when the worldcon was in the United Kingdom.

Your general point is right on, though: he is an AMAZING artist, and he should rightly have won a rocket or two by this point.
Jan. 31st, 2017 09:27 pm (UTC)
I must confess, I only checked Wikipedia, who show the 5 short-listed nominees. Alan didn't make that short-list, but he's there lower down on the lists in several years that I can see. As you say, a fantastic artist (and a stand-up guy).
Jan. 31st, 2017 09:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, only heard about the Hugo's through this blog (and sometimes it's nicer to start a conversation than to simply use google :)

I really hope Alan Lee has been nominated, he is such a gift to fantasy literature (and film). Do hope to see his take on the ASoIaF universe at some point.
Jan. 31st, 2017 10:08 pm (UTC)
I would love that too.
Jan. 30th, 2017 11:47 pm (UTC)
Didier Graffet is great! I met him at the 2013 World Fantasy Convention and he did very detailed illustrations by hand in my convention book when he signed it, then replicated them in my mother's convention book in exact detail. He was incredibly nice and patient.
Kyle Gideon
Jan. 31st, 2017 01:31 am (UTC)

When I first heard about you a few years ago I went to the library and thought you were easily one of the most accomplished authors out there. Like, huge sections seemed to be consumed by massive, angry capslocked George R.R. Martins. Turns out, you're just also a prolific editor. It also turns out, however, that the Wild Cards series is really, really good, and really, really underrated.

Anyways, small question about your editing process. Basically, I've heard through the grapevine that the writer GRRM is slightly miffed by editors, so does the editor GRRM take a more laissez-faire approach? Also, if the editor GRRM edited the writer GRRM's novel, would the writer GRRM be annoyed with the editor GRRM?
Jan. 31st, 2017 02:51 am (UTC)
I am not miffed by editors.

And when editing, no, I do not take a laissez faire approach. Especially not with Wild Cards. Editing a shared world anthology is the hardest kind there is, since you're not just editing for quality but also for continuity. All the pieces need to fit together.
Jan. 31st, 2017 09:43 am (UTC)
Shared Universe
While we are on the topic of shared universes and your enormous experience/skills as editor, I have to ask a quick question, hoping for an answer.

Have you thought about Shared Universe of Ice and Fire, of course after finishing ASOIAF?

Some authors I followed recently finished their main book series, and then decided to retreat to the editor role while other people expanded their universe and wrote other storylines in that universe, which are only loosely connected to the main series.

You already did a similar thing with The World of Ice and Fire, and you could only loosen the grip in the future, since that could be unrelated stories, unlike TWOIAF, which was a part of the backstory very important to the main series and had to be meticulously crafted to provide additional layer to the main story.

That would be so much different from the fan fiction you dislike since you would get money and creative control while your characters probably wouldn't be even used.

Edited at 2017-01-31 09:44 am (UTC)
Jan. 31st, 2017 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Shared Universe
No, I have no plans to turn the world of Ice & Fire into a shared universe.

Kyler Rose
Jan. 31st, 2017 11:23 am (UTC)
Ah, okay, sorry for the misunderstanding. Thanks for the answer, though!
Jan. 31st, 2017 04:57 am (UTC)
Amazing artwork.
Wow where do you find these artists. The renditions of the Blackwater is stunning. Bravo to all these brilliant artists. Maybe a possible tease of what could be coming in a Clash of Kings Illustrated Edition haha. But in all seriousness, I have to commend the skill of these artists, they depict your world so Beutifully. I love fantasy art.
Alejandra Alcal
Feb. 1st, 2017 01:41 am (UTC)
Fevre Dream
Hello Mr. Martin,
I recently read, enjoyed and was extremely disturbed by Fevre Dream, which I believe was part of your intent when writing deeply disturbing images that have stuck to my mind.

One thing I believe I need to know, in order to appropriately mourn the character, is whether that tiny Baby whose fate so shocked me was a baby girl or a baby boy, and any other backstory he or she may have.

It might be trivial but I have not been able to stop thinking about it...

Thank you for all your work.



George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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