INTERZONE #208

Reviewed by Chris Cartwright

Editorial Interjection

Most reviews are produced by writers, and so the artwork in a magazine often doesn't get the attention it deserves, is mentioned only in passing or not at all.

At Whispers we like to do things differently and so when Chris Cartwright, the only artist on our team of reviewers, offered to take on the latest issue of Interzone, a magazine lauded for its visual content every bit as much as for the written word, it seemed like an ideal opportunity to redress that imbalance, and so we asked her to comment only on the artwork and ignore those pesky blocks of text.

Our apologies to the writers, but hey, you guys get plenty of brickbats and bouquets in other places (a few of which we'll list after the review).

The Art Review

Cover art by Kenn Brown

When I first looked at Interzone's cover I thought “Wow! What a fantastic cover!” The image by Kenn Brown illustrates the story Softly Shining in the Forbidden Dark by Jason Stoddard. This image shows a human like creature wearing a suit of armor-like material. The most unusual part of the image is the spine and rib cage which protrude upward out of the top of the head gear. The figure is standing in front of, what appears to be, an explosion of a planet and zooming past this creature/human is a very strange space ship. The space ship has a smooth surface with a long “tail”. The surface appears to be a soft metal, almost like pewter, in my opinion. The creature/human must be huge from its perspective to the planet and ship. I love the colors in this image. The stones from the explosion, which are pieces of the planet no doubt, are placed close to the viewer in front of the creature/human and inside the ribcage, which gives the image depth. Kenn allows the spine, atop the head gear, to twist upward into darkness which gives the image drama and draws you into the painting trying to see where the end of the spine goes. Fantastic work Kenn!

You can see more of the image inside the magazine. It is a very powerful image which makes you want to read the story.

Empty Clouds by Douglas Sirois

The illustration for G. D. Leeming's story Empty Clouds features a Chinese police officer, with sword in hand. The style of this painting reminds me very much of a Norman Rockwell type of image.

The shading of shadows and the highlighted areas give the image a very realistic look. I love the folds and wrinkles in his clothing. The background has more of a water color look to it and I, for a moment, thought that more attention could have been given to the clouds and sky, but on second thought perhaps that would take away from the main image.

Spectacular work from Douglas Sirois.

Islington Crocodiles by Vincent Chong

The two illustrations for Paul Meloy's story Islington Crocodiles are the type of images nightmares are made out of! I love them! What an imagination.

Attack of the Toyceivers brought to mind a cross between the orcs in the Lord of the Rings movies and Salvador Dali's works. The faces are orc-like, but distorted somewhat. Also the image has a 3D look to it. The faces' textures have a sickly pale dead person look to them. Ewww... Very well done!

Nurse Melt made me think of the movie Darkness Falls, that creepy tooth fairy! The face looks like it is in pieces, like a jigsaw puzzle that was clumsily pieced together. The eyes...black with a spec of light. Which are perfect ingredients for a demon look. It is a unique and very well done image.

The Star Necromancers by Jim Burns

Now this image for Alexander Marsh Freed's story is very sci-fi looking! We have a human like figure wearing a uniform of a silver blue shiny metallic material. The figure is squatted down or possibly hovering in front of a large orange sphere which looks like it could be the sun. The silver blue against the orange gives good contrast. The figure is positioned symmetrically, both hands on either side of a large ball which has a hole at the bottom with a spinney thing protruding from it. The spinney thing is set upon a pedestal which is shaped like a flat topped pyramid. It looks like it could possibly be a living thing that has been kept safe for a long time. The image looks 3D set against a 2D background. The uniform the figure is wearing shows great detail, especially on the hands. Perhaps the many detailed sections allow more movement for the hands. I would have liked to see the uniformed figure lightened up more because it was a tad dark or maybe give the eyes some type of light or life. All and all though it was a very well thought out and executed image.

Artist Websites:-

Kenn Brown--www.mondolithic.com

Douglas Sirois--www.dougsirois.com

Vincent Chong www.vincentchong-art.co.uk

Jim Burns www.jimburns.co.uk

Other Reviews of Interzone #208:-

Tangent Online

Sci-Fi UK

Velcro City Tourist Board

Best SF Net

Interzone, edited by Andy Cox and published bi-monthly by TTA Press, 5 Martins Lane, Witcham, Ely, Cambs CB6 2LB, UK. A4, 68pp, £3.75/$7US or £21/$42US for 6 issues (for other countries see ordering details on website).

Website: - www.ttapress.com


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