Remembering James Cawthorn


cawthpeakeI learned this week that James Cawthorn, the sf/fantasy artist known for his illustrations of Michael Moorock’s Elric of Melnibone, has died.

Moorcock’s Elric series was one of the works that ushered myself and myriad other readers beyond the relatively safe worlds of Tolkien and Heinlein and into the shadowy realm of dark fantasy. Along with Michael Whelan’s cover paintings of Elric, Cawthorn’s moody black-and-white illustrations of the doomed albino swordsman helped define the image of one of fantasy’s first and most memorable antiheroes.

Both John Picacio and John Coulthart have written pieces eloquently remembering Cawthorn and his contribution to sf/fantasy art. A talent who will be sadly missed.

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