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Newsletter May 2021

Mythical Beasts

We can now show you Neil Packer's exquisite illustrations for Mythical Beasts, a new book produced by The Folio Society. He has produced a cover and some beautiful chapter heads and graphics for inside the book. As always, the production standards are gorgeously high and they perfectly suit Neil's work.

'Written by experts in their fields and edited by former British Museum curator John Cherry, this extensive history illuminates the roles that mythical beasts have played across cultures and reveals why they have retained their appeal from antiquity to the present day.'

'The Book of Bok', (or in the US 'Bok's Giant Leap')

We're delighted to announce the UK publication of the children's book written by Neil Armstrong and illustrated by Grahame Baker Smith. (US publication is in September). It explains how the Earth and the Moon came to be, and the adventure of the first moon landing.

Cleverly adapted by Grahame from a speech Armstrong gave while accepting a NASA award when presented with a piece of moon rock, it has to be one of the most unusual stories of all time. You can read more in this announcement by the Cincinnati Museum, the current home of the rock, where it's proudly on display. More of Grahame's illustration here.

Grahame's longtime interest had always been in space travel so he was perfectly equipped for this book &endash; but his other passion is for early life on this planet so it really was 'the double' for him as he'd just illustrated Life, The First Four Billion Years for Walker Books, a massive tome which takes in exactly the period Armstrong tells us about in his book.

More on that here.
John Harris illustration portfolio

This is John's latest book cover, The Last Shadow, for Tor Books. Much of his current work is for private commissions so there's less time to work on illustration but it remains a vital part of what he does.

Particular authors have come back again and again, and also musicians and book publishers often find that there's something in his back catalogue which is perfect for their use so you'll see his personal work on books and album covers too.

With that in mind, there are stories to tell so we've put together a new 'illustration portfolio' which includes some recent work and some earlier images still in circulation.
Publishers no longer give us printed proofs of the covers but I still have a few left.
For a library of images available for further use we have a folder of 'stock'.
A Magical Year

Bloomsbury have announced the publication of a new book of Jim Kay's Harry Potter illustrations which includes some of his preparatory work for this mega series. They've cleverly selected short passages of text from the original books to accompany the illustrations, month by month.

In other news

Here's the story of the Winchcombe meteorite, which landed on a driveway literally a few miles from here. It's excited geologists the world over and was handed over to the Natural History Museum this very week.

Perhaps it wanted to be a part of the story about that other piece of rock which Armstrong brought back himself.

How's that for a PR stunt?

More on the science here.

All images copyright © the artists.