Worlds apa rt Cover king Marc Si­mon­etti’s col­lec­tion of stun­ning and var­ied art gets the large for­mat show­case that it de­serves

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Au­thor Marc Si­mon­etti Pub­lisher Mi­lady Price £27 Web www.mi­ 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.

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