Time for another piece of tribute art. This one is of the very lovely (and very naked) Dejah Thoris, the titular heroine from A Princess of Mars.
A Princess of Mars was one of several stories written a century ago by Edgar Rice Burroughs about the adventures of John Carter, an earthman on the red planet. Dejah is Carter’s love interest and is a perennial favourite amongst pin-up artists. I myself have been dying to draw her ever since I first read A Princess of Mars, a few years ago.😁
As no doubt many will realise, this illustration is a tribute to Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s story Alice in Wonderland (which, incidentally, I read for the very first time this year!). The title comes from the second chapter of the book, The Pool of Tears, in which a weeping Alice creates an impossibly large pool solely with her tears. In my illustration, Alice has only just started weeping, so that’s why the pool is still quite shallow.😋
I drew this illustration to honour the memory of Elena Mukhina. Elena was a Soviet gymnast who was active and very successful internationally during the latter half of the 1970s. Unfortunately, however, pressure from Soviet authorities caused her to suffer a number of serious injuries, the worst of which left her a quadriplegic at just twenty years of age. After that, she sadly seems to have been largely forgotten and she passed away in 2006.
Elena’s tragic story reminds me a lot of the Soviet film “Куколка” (Dolly or A Little Doll in English). I’m a big fan of “Куколка”, which is the fictional story of a gymnast that suffers a life-changing injury, so I’m rather surprised that I only found out about Elena Mukhina a couple of weeks ago, during the Tokyo Olympics. But I certainly hope my drawing helps to make more people aware of her. Incidentally, I used footage I found on YouTube from the 1977 European Women’s Gymnastics Championships for reference.
If you are interested in finding out more about Elena Mukhina, you can read her Wikipedia article by clicking HERE. And if you want to find out more about the film “Куколка”, you can read my post on it by clicking HERE.😊
One of my recent pastime activities is reading vintage novels, particularly sci-fi and fantasy novels, and when I find one I want to read, I try to get an edition with a cover that I really like. (Side note: I think one of the great things about speculative fiction is its covers, which not only serve to draw you in, but are also able to get your imagination going). However, there are times when the covers I come across are not particularly appealing. And then there are covers which do the story a disservice by not being truly representative of the work (which, of course, you can only find out by reading the whole book). In either of these cases, I tend to find myself imagining what a good cover would be, but I don’t normally go ahead and make one. In fact, the only time I recall actually making a mock cover was last year, when I made one for Terry Brook’s Running with the Demon (one of my favourite books of all time). Now I’ve done a second mock cover, only this time I have taken things a step further and made that mock cover appear as if it was an actual book.
This is a piece of art I drew as a tribute to one of my favourite books of all time: Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks. Running with the Demon, which was first published in 1997, centres on Nest Freemark, a young girl in 90s America, who finds herself in the middle of a supernatural battle between good and evil. I guess it can be best described as a dark urban fantasy, as it has elements of both magic and horror. The story can get bogged down in overly-meticulous detail once in a while, but I think its great strength (which I believe is true for all of Mr Brooks‘ books) is its wonderfully fleshed-out characters, in particular Nest herself.
I’ve seen several covers for Running with the Demon, but as far as I’m aware, only one (from the Japanese edition) actually features a prominent illustration of Nest. I guess that is what initially inspired me to draw this mock cover. I did the rough sketch a few months ago, but I only finished it last week so that I could submit it to Shannara Con, an online event for Mr Brooks that took place last week, The organizers of Shannara Con asked people to send in fan art that would potentially be used during the con itself, but since I was unable to watch the livestream, I don’t know if my artwork was used or not.