Worlds apa rt Cover king Marc Simonetti’s collection of stunning and varied art gets the large format showcase that it deserves
Author Marc Simonetti Publisher Milady Price £27 Web www.milady.fr Available Now
fans of the sort of art that adorns Terry Pratchett jackets will love Marc Simonetti, a French painter and concept artist who’s illustrated a range of notable fantasy and sci-fi books. And even if you aren’t sure, this incredible collection could very well convert you.
As you leaf through this crowdfunded hardback, you’ll discover covers for books you’ll want to own, concept art for video games you’ll want to play, and sketches that will send your head spinning in multiple inspirational directions.
It all kicks off with some thrillingly panoramic interpretations of George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice. You’ll be knocked sideways by Marc’s unique (if unfinished) vision of The Iron Throne, which takes the idea of epic to a whole new level, as well as his passionate defence of why he feels this to be the definitive version.
This sets the tone nicely for the rest of the 258, large-format pages, most of which are dominated by single, framed images, giving the art free rein to capture our imaginations.
We’re taken on a journey through the Discworld universe, where Marc’s inyour-face illustrations capture the innate ridiculousness of Terry Pratchett’s imaginings. Then it’s on to the horror and madness of HP Lovecraft, conveyed through grimly evocative scenes of darkness and desperation. The ensuing chapters explore, first, a series of legendary worlds, then a collection of brain-tingling futurescapes.
Along with way, you’ll find both published and unused work; clever parodies such as an apocalyptic Gone with the Wind poster and a MiddleEarth version of the Abbey Road album art; along with occasional forays into other genres such as hard sci-fi and 20th century war. But generally this is a book of noble warriors, magical creatures and misty landscapes, all executed brilliantly by one of the most accomplished names in the business.
The bulk of the book is taken up by art, each chapter introduced by only the briefest of paragraphs. But over the last 24 pages, Marc shares more of his vision and process, in an original and unusual way: reprinting his discussions with clients over how to interpret their work visually. These idea-generating back-and-forths with authors Sam Sykes, Emmaneul Chastelliere and Terry Prachett – accompanied by work-in-progress sketches – adds a surprisingly honest and fascinating dimension to a masterful collection.
One of many book covers that Marc worked on – this is 2011’s The Gilded Rune, published by Wizards of the Coast.
Marc Simonetti brings to life a motley collection of characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books.