Monday, July 18, 2016

Reading for the Hugo Awards, part 4: Best Professional Artist

None of my nominees made the ballot, so I am making my judgement based upon the materials provided in the voting packet. I'm going to admit that I get really irritated by finalists who don't take the process seriously. Thus, Larry Elmore who did not submit any samples, and Lars Braad Anderson who turned in only four? Not impressing me. I also wish that Anderson and Larry Rostant had turned in artwork without the overlay of the cover, or possibly had turned in both views.

Michal Karcz: beautiful stuff. Is what gets described as hyper-realist? It's primarily SF but reminds me of Michael Whelan in the 1990s.

Abigail Larson: very cute. Some of it actually caught at my emotions; I really liked "Luca Reptoid" and on second viewing, recognized that many of these illustrations match stories by HP Lovecraft. This hits me right in my sweet spot for illustration styles but I'm not sensing the same versatility shown by some of the other artists.

Larry Rostant: did the covers of a lot of great books. I had trouble stripping the artwork out of the cover, which weakened my view of his work. He seems to specialize in human figures, often off-axis. I'd like to go back and check how closely his artwork matches the author's description of the character, but I don't know if I'll have time. I went online and was able to find some of his work without words sprinkled all over it.

Lars Braad Anderson: only sent in four covers; three were spaceships and the fourth was a gorgeous winter landscape. I looked up his website and saw some really gorgeous work there. I'm currently undecided about whether I should take this into consideration, since it wasn't submitted for official consideration.

Larry Elmore: did not submit any samples. I Googled him and found a lot of nearly-nude women and a few dragons. The images are oddly static, even the ones that are supposed to be action scenes.

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