Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vamp your desktop.

Looks like Sam Weber made his Vampire available as a wallpaper for various formats, including your fancy iPhone. For a limited time via TOR.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

BEASTS! Open Call Results.

Congratulations and thank you to Jennifer Tong, who captured this charming and unsettling glimpse into the life of Nymphs. Her piece will be appearing in "BEASTS! Book Two."

And lest the about-200 other people who submitted feel rejected, I assure you all that it wasn't easy to decide on one piece. There were dozens of great pieces sent in, with styles that ran the gamut of the medium. SO! I enlisted the opinions of four folks here at the Fantagraphics offices. Each of us made a note of our top few favorites and found that we had very little overlap. One piece might be loved by one of us while not on the radar for the rest of us. In the end, two pieces were decidedly favored by all five of us. The Nymphs was one of those and Ian Huebert's Three-Tailed Bavalorous was the other.

To make the ultimate decision on a winner, I researched the story of the Bavalorous and eventually determined that it is definitive "fakelore"-- it is a creation of fiction passed off as traditional folklore (in the story of Paul Bunyan). As such, it doesn't belong in "BEASTS!," which aims to depict true mythological and folkloric creatures that were thought to exist in some way. (Although that line is a very blurry one.)

The piece that was a very close third was the Reptoid by Cassandra Ford. This creature has one of the most compelling modern stories, as seen here and Cassandra's tactile portrait is incredible.

I can't possibly post all of the pieces here but below are some more of the Honorable Mentions, as it were. Also, Michael J. Patrick was awesome enough to help me out by volunteering to start a Flickr Pool of the Beasts Open Call Submissions. Hopefully all the artists can head over there and put their work into the pool for everyone to see, and have a chance to really show off their work. Then we here at the office can sit back and watch as we're straightened out on which piece SHOULD have been chosen for the book!

Serious thanks to ALL of you who have supported the book and took the time to send in a piece.

Above, another of my personal favorites by Joshua Agerstrand.

Above, Spanish artist Mario Trigo.

Above, Toronto's Michael Wandelmaier.

Above, Manchester's Stuart Kolakovic.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Note to Beasts Open Call Artists.

There was an unexpected turnout for the open call slot in Beasts Book Two. I'm excited to see that so many people are interested in the book and took the time to make work to send in. There are over 200 submissions, making it unfeasible to post all the contributions and I'm unsure I can even cull all the addresses to return emails to everyone (for which I apologize). I really appreciate your time and I'll be enlisting the help of my beloved colleagues here at the Fantagraphics offices to decide on one piece to run in the book.

The submitted work is wildly diverse in both artistic styles and in the beast illustrated.* I'm especially pleased to see so many unpublished artists responded, giving me the chance to see a lot of work I won't otherwise come across. I will contact the chosen artist and post a few of the office favorites on the blog sometime next week. (We're in the midst of catalog solicitations and I'm neck deep in freelance work and preparing for fatherhood...)


*I'm not sure which was most popular but it may well be one of the more obscure contemporary creatures, The Maryland Goatman. Surprisingly, there were five or six of these, while classics such as the chimera had only two depictions. I don't think the almighty Pegasus even got touched.