Two new collections of A Song of Ice and Fire artwork have come out this month, and we highly recommend them as they come from two of the greatest living artists to work in the fantasy genre.
First, the A Song of Ice and Fire 2020 Calendar illustrated by the legendary John Howe (recently revealed to be part of the creative team behind Amazon’s forthcoming 2nd Age Middle-earth series) is out today. Focused on the mystical side of the series, it primarily features the strange and exotic creates of Westeros and beyond, including giant krakens, mammoths, direwolves, and ice spiders(!) But it also has a surprise or two waiting within its covers. It looks spectacular.
George R. R. Martin‘s involvement in FromSoftware‘s newly-announced Elden Ring has created a lot of excitement, as well as questions about his contributions to what promises to be a highly-anticiapted, open world action RPG from the famed developer of Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and more. Now some of those questions are answered in an interview with Hidetaka Miyazaki, who reveals he’s been a fan of GRRM’s work going back to Fevre Dream and Tuf Voyaging.
(Disclosure: Linda and I have known Raya Golden since she she gave us a ride to and from the Chateau Marmont for a party during the 2006 Worldcon in Anaheim. Surviving the inevitable L.A. traffic jam and wondering who that starlet who passed us at the entrance was was a bonding experience never to be forgotten.)
Starport, a massive 272 page graphic novel, is Raya Golden‘s adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s unproduced pilot script of the same name. Featuring the travails of Chicago’s police force and the many different alien species who come to visit its starport (one of three built on Earth by the league known as the Harmony of Worlds). Martin himself pitched it to studios as “Hill Street Blues meets aliens”, while Golden has suggested more contemporary pairings—“Brooklyn 99 meets Babylon 5... the cast of NYPD Blue on acid, playing laser tag with Alf,” and those are all pretty apt comparisons for the tone of this adaptation. Humor comes first, but as with all of Martin’s work there’s other elements—drama, romance, and even a wee bit of horror.
The A World of Ice and Fire app (iTunes, Google Play), the only official app companion to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, has received a complete refresh providing a snappier user interface, new maps from The Lands of Ice and Fire, and additional as well as updated entries. Behind the scenes, the app also has had some changes to how data is stored which will make it much easier and quicker for future updates to take place.
Those who already own the app can just update it via the appropriate store, and once you’ve opened it you’ll get the option to restore any of the packs you’ve acquired to extend the information in the app.
Linda and I have worked on this ever since its inception—when it started from the seed of the 70,000 words of “Who’s Who” material we had written for the 50,000 word-contracted The World of Ice and Fire (oops!)—and think Random House has done fine work integrating dynamic map markers and character portraits to give it that much more appeal and usefulness.
The Folio Society, famous for its bibliophile-oriented hardcovers with beautiful binding and interior illustrations, revealed last month that they were working on a new edition of A Game of Thrones with this tweet:
Today, they’ve now released a sneak peek at four of the eight chapter headers their as-yet-unnamed artist has created. Each represents a specific character, and draws from the heraldry of their families.
From the preview e-mail they sent out:
No release date has been announced as of yet, but the Folio Society has set up a dedicated page where there’ll be new information, as well as a way to sign up for e-mailed updates.
After having revealed a few months ago that a Fire and Blood limited edition was in the offing, Subterranean Press has now made pre-orders available for this exclusive edition of George R.R. Martin’s history of House Targaryen (part 1).
This limited edition—52 lettered (all sold out) and 750 numbered—includes some bonuses over the standard edition that was published last month. It contains all the same art from the talented Doug Wheatley, but augments it with full-color artwork (such as the piece above) by the legendary Gary Gianni. Well-worth grabbing if you are a collector, or simply a fan of Gianni’s renderings of Westeros. His illustrations for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms show just how amazing his work can be.
Though the initial, ambitious exhibition fundraiser did not quite pan out, the organizers behind the amazing Unseen Westeros project have bounced back with a new initiative that’s done very well indeed!
The new Kickstarter has already beaten its goal as it provides funders the opportunity to support the artbook, with any funds raised beyond what’s needed to produce the books to be put towards realizing the exhibition in some form (perhaps in a new location, or for fewer days) with a prospective exhibition date still set for January.
There’s just one week left before the Kickstarter closes out, and it looks like it will be the only way to get a hold of the professionally-printed, 150 page art book featuring all the artworks by professional artists.
On this #TargaryenThursday, we’re publishing an exclusive interview with Doug Wheatley, the artist whose work is featured throughout the forthcoming Fire and Blood. A veteran artist long associated with Star Wars comics, Wheatley has a wide portfolio, including having provided illustrations for our own The World of Ice & Fire (a fact we reference in our first remark).
There’s a number of images illustrating the piece, including an exclusive revealing the hapless Aenys I! Here’s the interview:
From the Random House listing, which reveals that this edition of the calendar is themed:
The magical creatures of A Game of Thrones and beyond come to life in a 2020 calendar inspired by George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, featuring illustrations by acclaimed artist John Howe.
Fantastic beasts are not solely the purview of Newt Scamander. Such creatures also abound in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels—one of the most successful and beloved fantasy series ever written. And who better to bring these creatures to life than acclaimed artist John Howe, who has built a huge reputation for his stunning work in Middle-earth? Here are sphinxes and krakens, sea dragons and ice spiders—a thrilling panoply of creatures both real and legendary . . . and some a bit of both. With twelve stunning full-color paintings, plus a bonus fold-out poster, this annual calendar—now in its tenth year!—is a “timely” addition to a franchise that has continued to grow with each passing year.
Howe, most famous for his outstanding art set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth and his contribution to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, is no stranger to Westeros: he illustrated Meisha Merlin’s limited edition of A Clash of Kings, a few samples of which fans can find on his website.
The calendar will be on sale on July 16, 2019.
The good folks at the Shire Post Mint have launched a brand new Kickstarter campaign, this time for one of the most expansive coin sets yet featuring coins of the Seven Kingdoms from before the Targaryen conquest.
The concept art is exciting, and the fact that the top tier Kickstarter reward is a limited edition of 50 wooden-and-resin maps signed by GRRM makes it clear that this is a particularly important entry in the Shire Post’s history with the A Song of Ice and Fire series that stretches back 15 years.
Unseen Westeros is an ambitious project by a group of matte painters and visual effects artists who have all worked on HBO’s Game of Thrones. With the approval and support of George R.R. Martin, German publisher Penhaligon, and Westeros.org, the artists have produced scores of paintings depicting locales from The World of Ice and Fire, many of them first introduced in that book.
Suffice it to say, it’s very flattering to have been a part of something that has inspired so many artists. Linda and/or I are likely to attend one or more of the days of the exhibition, and we may have some more to announce in that regards down the road. We’ve seen quite a bit of the art, and suffice it to say these artists are all extremely talented, and it’s remarkable to see how they bring some of the many fascinating, strange, or epic locales described in the world book to life.
The exhibition is targeting January 23rd to January 27th, with an impressive venue—a former powerplant in Berlin—for the art to be displayed in. Of course, all these things cost, and the project has a Kickstarter to help cover the costs (which they itemize). Supporters to the Kickstarter can get anything from a credit on the backers’ wall at the exhibition to an album from official exhibition music composers Wolf & Moon and on through a limited edition art catalog or even (at the 2500+ euro level—two of those are gone, already!) an original painting.
Keep an eye out on our Youtube channel, as we’ll be making a video or two responding to some as-yet-unseen artwork to give everyone a taste of what’s to come!
Yesterday, the 2019 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar was published, containing art by award-winning artist John Jude Palencar.
Just before the release, Palencar shared a preview of the artwork over at the excellent Muddy Colors blog, including some initial sketches for pieces that you’ll have to get the calendar to see in finished form.
While Linda and I were in Spain for Celsius 232, George R.R. Martin was in New York City for ThrillerFest, where among other things there was an interview and Q&A (we’ve embedded the video!) with editor Anne Groell. Topics discussed include the new Nightflyers TV show from SyFY, the history of The World of Ice and Fire and Fire and Blood, and more.
At the close of the festival, Martin was named that year’s Thriller Master, the lifetime achievement award from the International Thriller Writers association. Here’s a press release, and the video of the awards ceremony below!
A big, but very pleasant, surprise for fans of Dark Sword Miniatures and their GRRM Masterworks line of officially-licensed A Song of Ice and Fire miniatures: DSM and the legendary sculptor Tom Meier have put together a 15th Anniversary package of eighteen new miniatures. There’s an amazing gallery of images of the figures at Dark Sword’s order page that we highly recommend fans checking out.
Among the characters depicted? Maester Aemon, Darkstar, Grey Worm, Jon Snow as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Dunk & Egg, Rhaegar at the Ruby Ford, Syrio Forel, the Blackfish, and ... well, more, including a spectacular Cersei Lannister piece. Plus, on top of that, Dark Sword has thrown in five additional figures to the bundle, also sculpted by Meier, to help fill out the cast of a tavern or inn where some of the most memorable scenes in the novels have taken place.
Supplies are limited, according to Dark Sword, so don’t delay on ordering if you’re a fan of miniatures or a collector of ASoIaF memorabilia—these are really amazing works of art, as Tom Meier is one of the very best miniaure sculptors in the world.
SyFy has released the first look video for their forthcoming Nightflyers science-fiction horror series, based on George R.R. Martin’s novella “Nightflyers”. Watch it below, including comments from GRRM himself about the story:
Certainly seems like the producers have gone for a very cinematic look, and have spared no expense in terms of the sets they’ve built to represent the ship.