Illustrators # 13 (magazine review).

February 19, 2016 | By | Reply More

Just in case you think I’m only going to focus on back issues of ‘Illustrators’, # 13 is now available containing a mixture of pop art and traditional, making a combination that should find something to your taste and even the odd surprise.


For pop art, this is pretty much Mitch O’Connell’s territory, blending a lot of styles but giving something recognisable when he draws film actors. One ability of cartoonists that tends to be overlooked is the ability to caricature and its only a short step to making them look a little more life-like. The strength of O’Connell’s work comes from his bright colouring and his balancing of them so that although they might look a little gaudy, there is a strange attraction to the eye.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

The real highlight of this issue, for me, is the work of Sep E. Scott from over fifty years ago. Although I doubt if the name is familiar, if you’re only old enough in the UK to remember the different lone sailor on the Player’s cigarette packets then you have only seen only sample of his art. He’s done far more than that. Looking at the opening pages of the art with the article, my immediate thought was Scott would surely have been nabbed to work on the Ladybird children’s books and I was delighted to be proven right further in. Even more remarkable was Scott turning to illustration as well when he was in his 70s and continued to do so for 15 years until his death his 1965. Looking at his work, there’s a certain amount of vitality and that rare gift of freeze-framing motion without making it look forced which even more remarkable in gouache. Even when he borrows a pose from a photograph, he still changed things to match what he wanted. Truly an artist we can still learn from today.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Coming back to modern day, we have Jeff Miracola. Largely influenced by Boris Vallejo’s art when growing up, he shows he found his own style although you can spot the colour similarities, He certainly has an eye for fantasy but also for practical movement with a dash of humour.

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd (c) The Book Palace

All contents copyright The Book Palace Ltd
(c) The Book Palace

Brooke Boynton Hughes illustrates children’s books in a more simplistic style but adds a dash of emotion which must surely appeal to kids whether it’s in menace or sympathy.

Finally, there’s a brief sampling of Tor Upson’s art. An upcoming artist who looks like she might well end up in theatre design.

If you love art in all its forms, then the quarterly schedule ‘Illustrators’ is going to appeal to you and you’ll always find something you’ll like or can learn from. If anything, I’m enjoying the surprises it can bring filling in the odd gaps in my modern artists education.

GF Willmetts

February 2016

(pub: The Book Palace. 98 page illustrated squarebound magazine. Price: £18.00 (UK), $21.99 (US). ISBN: 978-1-907081-33-0. ISSN: 2052-6520)

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Category: Illustration, Magazines

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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