Someone is spying on me! I’ve been secretly (silently) reading Mary Stewart’s Merlin/King Arthur trilogy while snacking on honey and bread – are your snacking habits influenced by what you’re reading at the moment? – and then I got a package in the mail:
It’s an advance copy of Peter Ackroyd’s retelling of The Death of King Arthur. Actually, Ackroyd’s retelling has been out since 2010, but they’ve decked this printing out in new digs. Also, it’s not just one, but 2 advance copies! Do you want one? I’m going to give away the second copy. Will involve helping me with my next art project but it will be fun, interesting, and easy – you can do it online from your computer. Details to come next week.
Anyhow, back to oggling new art:
I don’t know if my photos do it justice. When the book slipped out of the courier packaging I literally gasped.
The cover art is really well done: contemporary design, more romantic and interesting than the previous covers (see this version, and this version). Getting a comic book artist to make medieval relief or illuminated manuscript-style images is pretty smart. Rendering the story with a contemporary folk art aesthetic is brilliant – Christian symbols against a pervasive backdrop of paganism.
All the cover art is by illustrator and comic book artist, Stuart Kolakovic. It seems like his work is everywhere! Particularly if you live in the UK, which is where he’s based.
I don’t live in the UK but when I was in Paris this summer, there was a Marks & Spencer a few steps away from the hotel. They had these in stock:
Package artwork by guess who? My suitcase was already full of tea, paprika and other goodies from Hungary, Italy and Switzerland, otherwise I don’t know if I could have resisted picking up several boxes of their “Reviving” herbal tea. (I was born under the sign of the Rooster; it’s not often that you see attractive, beautiful renderings of roosters. Pigs, tigers, horses, rabbits, yes. Roosters, no. Yay for Kolakovic!)
Here is Kolakovic’s cute bio which I found on his agency’s website (what did we used to do before Google stalking was possible?):
Stuart Kolakovic was born in the Midlands, UK – home to Black Sabbath and industrial pollution. Graduating from the Illustration course at Kingston University in 2007, his final major project, Milorad, an 80 page comic about his Serbian Grandfather, won a D&AD New Blood Award and came runner up in The Observer / Jonathan Cape,
Graphic Short Story Prize. He works from home, in the town of Rugeley, where he grew up. It is from here that he can stare out of his window, gently musing on an idea whilst munching on a bowl of cornflakes. If he is lucky, which is frequently, he can spy deer outside his window, munching on their favourite bit of pasture.
You can see more of his work here. If you haven’t seen his maps in the Lonely Planet magazine, go check them out!