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2012 Hugos: Best Professional Artist

This is another category that I don't think I have ever voted in before, but the Hugo Voters Package has enabled me to educate myself. I found this very difficult to choose; while I didn't much care for any of the Don Dos Santos pieces, each of the others had submitted at least one work that I found breathtaking, and I rearranged the order of my top four several times. In the end, my ranking is as follows:
5) Don Dos Santos. Four sexy people looking more or less combative. My favourite was the slightly improbably dressed heroine of J.A. Pitts' Forged in Fire. I found the zombie girl with a cigarette a bit disturbing and the other two a bit derivative. Nothing very surprising in any of them.
4) Next up is Bob Eggleton, who has won eight times before, presumably because he tends to deliver what the punters want; this is from the Analog cover illustration for Brad Torgersen's story "Ray Of Light", and whatever the other faults of the story and editorial process, the front cover did it proud. The cover for Heinlein's Starman Jones is also excellent, though I was less convinced by the monsters and dinosaurs of the other two entries.
3) John Picacio. Three interesting pictures of people, two of them illustrations of two of the Stark kids for the GRRM Song of Ice and Fire calendar, and also this excellent cosmic front cover for a Poul Anderson collection, Admiralty. (I did not much like the other piece, a cluttered cover for Ian McDonald's Planespinner.)
2) Michael Komarck's pieces are all about people either readying themselves for combat or actually fighting. But they are beautifully done of that sub-genre, with lavish attention paid to the protagonists and both foreground and background detail. I've chosen the cover from the new edition of Wild Cards II: Aces High, which has the only woman and the only urban setting of the submitted works, but the other three are all good action pieces with misty backgrounds and swirling debris.
1) Stefan Martinere. There's a good bit of sensawunda and fantastic detail in all four of Martiniere's peices; this is his cover for the Nelson / Rutti comic Rage, where an inverted alien and a young woman seem to accept each other's presence in a sparsely realised structure. Two of the other pieces feature vast futuristic machines; the last shows the hero of Diane Duane's Omnitopia series contemplating his lot. I'd be tempted to buy all of them based on the cover art, which I guess is the key test. (Martiniere has won once before, in 2008.)
So, once again I have been educated by the Hugo Voter Package and will vote in a category I would previously have left blank..

See also: Best Novel | Best Novelette | Best Short Story | Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) | Best Fan Artist

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
inuitmonster
May. 27th, 2012 11:48 am (UTC)
As the subjects of illustrations, women seem to outnumber men three to one. This is progress.
nwhyte
May. 27th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
And an inverted alien!

But there is a selection bias operating here.
glitterboy1
May. 29th, 2012 10:22 pm (UTC)
I haven't yet firmly decided on my middle order, but I'm with you on Don Dos Santos in 5th.

I think I differ, though, in my first choice: I liked Martinere's 'Rage' cover, but the others appealed less. I think my first choice will be Komarck, despite the similarity of theme. Second may well be Picacio, but I'm going to allow myself a while longer of indecision and procrastination....
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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