Wednesday, 22 March 2017


It's no great secret that I love genre art. I tend to share heaps of it on my social media feeds, and I fanatically follow (or stalk) artists whose work I adore. 

In my opinion there's nothing better than a beautiful piece of artwork (except an amazing book). It's one of the reasons that I grew up loving things like Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer 40k. The dynamic and colourful depictions of Wizards and Space Marines were what drew me in in the first place. Art has power like that, and since those early days I endeavoured to support and promote artists as much as I possibly could. 

And that brings me to recent times. I'd long been thinking about investing some cash into bringing some of my favourite speculative fiction characters to life, and a few weeks ago I decided to finally take the plunge. Once I made that decision I had to pick a character, and then I had to pick an artist to bring them to life. 

The first part was easy. I settled on Elric of Melnibone because he holds a special place in my heart. My dad loved Michael Moorcock and his work, and I was raised from a young age on a heady mix of the albino prince and his dark brand of sword and sorcery. He's also one of the most iconic characters in all of fantasy fiction, so my decision there was a relatively simple one. 

The next part in the process was more difficult. I wanted to find a talented artist to do him justice, but I also didn't want to pay thousands of dollars for it (I'm not loaded, and I have a family to care for). Another stipulation early on was that I wanted to give a relatively new artist a crack at depicting Elric in all of his dark glory. After a few days searching around I eventually settled on artist John Anthony Di Giovanni. He came highly recommended to me by author and friend Michael R. Fletcher, and I was absolutely blown away by the cover work that he'd done for Michael's books prior to that. 

So I dropped him a line. We spoke for a couple of days about ideas and costs and I was very impressed by his professional yet incredibly friendly approach. We settled on a deal, and he got to work. Just like that. No hassles, no delays, nothing. Five days later he sent me this rough image so we could establish which pose I preferred.


I was blown away. Speechless. Not only had he nailed my brief, but he had taken it places I never imagined it could go. I spent then next day or so just staring at the image and thinking to myself just how happy my old man would have been with all of them. Alas, decisions had to be made. I had to pick one so Anthony could move forward, and to be honest I struggled. I loved all of them so much for different reasons. After much deliberation though I made another leap and picked two! I had confidence and faith in the ability of John Anthony Di Giovanni to deliver, so I figured why the hell not? And fuck me... deliver he did.

I got these 'roughs' a few days later... 

Then, after some suggested tweaks and brainstorming, he sent me the final products a few days after that.

Behold, Elric in all of his dark and wonderful glory... 

Brilliant right? I still am blown away every time I look at them. And as I type the high resolution images are with a specialist printer waiting to be printed and framed up!

Honestly I just can't wait to see them on my wall in the near future. John Anthony Di Giovanni did an amazing job, and was ultimate professional throughout the whole process. He listened when I had ideas, and made suggestions when he needed to. I was so happy with him and the finished results that I immediately booked him in for another two pieces!

And hey, you're all in luck. He's taking bookings at the moment, so be sure to stop by his website here to view his portfolio and contact details.

Well... what are you waiting for? GO! 

Until next time people... be nice to each other and keep on reading (and making art!).