L. A. Spooner

Illustration: Puss With Guns

Our Art Editor, Sarah Ennals, recently interviewed Luke Spooner about his artwork. Here are three samples:

"Puss With Guns" is from a little series, again an on—going one, that I like to add to every now and then called "Imagined." I love fairytales and fables as I think they are one of the most effective modes of story telling and help a lot of us to learn and appreciate the fundamentals of the most basic of life lessons. I really liked the idea of expanding or re-imagining those stories that meant so much to me for a more contemporary audience, still retaining that sort of child friendly edge but maybe expanding on it. I say child—friendly but we all know how dark these kinds of stories are in nature and that was one of the most alluring parts for me. I always produce one image for each story, but it's usually accompanied by a very short summary or story of the piece and it's usually left open ended so that whoever reads it can then allow their mind to go on a nice little ramble and come up with there own "What happens next?" I think the little stories are included with each image on my site . . . if not then anyone can drop me an email and I'll email a link to the last post I made with the story attached ⌣

"Idle Ghosts" was actually a university project, I sat in open spaces and just absorbed conversation before translating it into illustrations. The idea behind was the idea of ghosts. The very definition of ghosts suggests something that has...

"Zombie Boy" Dolls

Happy Valentine's Day

Kat Caro of Melancholy Kitties custom paints ball-joint dolls. Zagzagael is a photographer and tattoo afficianado. Last year they collaborated on a series of images inspired by tattooed model Rick "Zombie Boy" Genest. Zagzagael comments on her photos of the dolls:

The Sleeping Prince

"I closed his eyes in Photoshop"

Black on White

"...This selective focus is also a good choice for this doll—helps calm the viewer down. He's very busy!... He's my wide-open sincere boy... it's amazing."


"Surprising how expressive a skeleton can be!... I don't even recognize the unpainted boy in him anymore.... (Kat) just found this skeleton inside wanting to come out..."

Happy Valentine's Day

Deborah Mills, Woodcarver


An interview with Deborah Mills, woodcarver, whose images grace the covers of The Choir Boats and The Indigo Pheasant

My "Here There Be" series of sea monsters were inspired by Medieval and Renaissance maps. In fact, that project traced a full circle: I started looking at old maps to get ideas for illustrating my husband Daniel Rabuzzi's first novel, The Choir Boats, and I just couldn't get enough of the wonderful monsters roaming them. As I had an upcoming exhibition, I decided to play with the imagery for my own series of sea beasts. Then a couple of years later, ChiZine asked to incorporate one of my carvings into the cover design of Daniel's fantasy novel. So what began as research for Daniel's novel took on a life of its own and then, transformed by the magic of Eric Mohr, became part of the gorgeous covers of the novel and its sequel, The Indigo Pheasant (which ChiZine Publications will publish in September 2012).

Q: How much of your work is commissioned by private individuals and how much by institutions?

A: My commissions are mostly from individuals. Often architects or designers call me to add custom...

Martin Springett

Pattern Scars Illustration - Colour

Our new Art Director, Sarah Ennals, caught up with Martin Springett and discussed his collaboration with ChiZine Publications on the 2011 titles, The Pattern Scars and Napier's Bones.

ENNALS:  . . . You were saying that you did get to read [The Pattern Scars] first?

SPRINGETT: Oh yes, yeah, [Caitlin Sweet] gave me not necessarily an unedited manuscript, because she’d been through it first, and Sandra obviously went and did her thing. So this is what I worked off of. It certainly barrelled along, I loved reading it; and at the end—of course my work day is very flexible—I work when I want, as long as I get the work done it can be at any time of day. So I finished it and sat down on the couch and picked up my sketchbook, and I had, lately, wanted to get into the whole thing of improvising: directly, with a pen, not sketching.

ENNALS: Not using a pencil first, but as they say, “Taking the line for a walk?”

SPRINGETT: Yeah, yeah, “Taking the line for a walk,” and of course, you know, I’ve been scribbling ever since I was a kid so I felt fairly confident, but in this case it was just a matter of “I’ll set down my initial thoughts, my initial little emotive thoughts,” and just strangely enough as I continued doing it, the imagery started to build and build, until everything I did for that book was drawn in an improvisatory way, and with no preparation at all. It was great to do, and at first what I handed to everyone was me saying “These are...