Artist Ian Miller’s work is mostly in fantasy than SF but a lot of the time, artists in our genre do what they are paid to do. Miller has got paid to do work based off Tolkien, Lovecraft and Melvyn Peake. He also created the backgrounds for Ralph Baksi’s ‘Wizards’ animation film. When you look at some of the nightmare imagery, people have wondered what Miller was on when he draws being fluent in black inks as well as colours but I suspect it’s just being allowed to work unfettered and much of the work in this book is for private commission which would allow that to happen.
Seeing so much of Miller’s work at once it dawned on me when I was doing my analysis that his attention to detail that it can work against him in giving depth to his work from a texturing point of view because there isn’t that much difference in, say, the sky on page 89 to the foreground. There is more of a reliance on the colour work to give this differential. As such, Miller’s work is very stylised and at the same time very appealing. People who like their artists to show that they have spent a lot of time on their compositions will therefore be very happy with the results that they see here. You are also fortunately to see some samples of his work in construction to the final composition which should give you some insight into his technique. For those who want to emulate Miller, its all in the texture.
If you have a nervous disposition, some of Miller’s work will undoubtedly freak you out. He is very good at hitting the emotional nerve which is always a good sign to see from any artist. When you play with the likes of Lovecraft, if he wasn’t capable of doing that then he’s not doing his work correctly. Did I say Miller likes playing with trees? Be prepared to be enthralled. It’s one heck of a ride.
(pub: Titan Books. 159 page illustrated hardback. Price: £24.99 (UK), $34.95 (US), $39.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-78116-779-3)
check out website: www.titanbooks.com