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Newsletter August 2022

From Dante, to J K Rowling, to Homer

It's been quite a year for Neil Packer. After the success and immediate sell-out of the anniversary edition of The Divine Comedy last year, the Folio Society have commissioned him to work on an equally important set of work – which we'll be able to tell you about in a few months' time. For now though, here is Dante's hell, as imagined by Neil.

He's also squeezed in big chunk of work for the latest illustrated Harry Potter book. (More on that coming soon, and in last February's newsletter.)

Almost more significant for Neil though, is the tenth anniversary this month of the publication of The Odyssey, as told by Gillian Cross, and published by Walker Books and Candlewick. Neil sees this as one of the most important books in his long career, and the other good news is that the work was produced traditionally so there are some original paintings for sale, along with some from The Iliad. We may also offer prints from those and we already have a superb range of his work for other books.

Neil Packer originals        Neil Packer prints

As a past participant in the Bratislava Biennale he's now been invited to submit a piece for the associated exhibition in Tehran, Peace Should be Learned in Childhood. He's chosen to illustrate a Russian Lubok – a rather clever take on 'The Mice are Burying the Cat'.

Sedris, The Traitor King

Ian Miller has illustrated Sedris for Magic, the Gathering, and we're now offering superb prints. Many of you will already have seen just the amazing detail in his image for Relentless Crowd, and this one will be the same size as that and the perfect companion to it.

The Curse of the Chosen

Chris Riddell of The Guardian has described Alexis Deacon's graphic novels as some of the best he's ever read. 'The pace of the narrating is deft but the frames take my breath away . . . a book you can go back to and find new wonders each time.'

Paul Gravett, (editor of 1001 Graphic Novels You Must Read Before You Die) says 'Prepare to be swept away by the wonders, terrors and truths within this enthralling power-play.'

First published as Geis, Books 1 and 2, those two books have now been brought together in a new volume, Curse of the Chosen, Volume 1. A further volume is now published and is even more spectacular, Curse of the Chosen Volume II. There's a treat in store there for all graphic novel readers.

Alexis is a masterful storyteller for people of all ages. Beegu has been in print in many languages since 2004, and the review of Ergo in the Big Issue suggested that Alexis was introducing children to the ideas of Plato, Descartes, Freud and Lacan. If you want to introduce your children to philosophy, perhaps this is your chance . . .

More on Alexis here

Voyage to the Edge of Imagination

The Science Museum in London is preparing an exhibition of science fiction, to be opened on 6th October 2022. With Artemis 1 launching this week, it's good timing for them to interest more people in space exploration. Of course, they already have a magnificent collection of space objects but I look forward to seeing how they relate to the science fiction that we know.

And tickets are already on sale.

I wonder if their imagination will stretch to the kind of work we're used to seeing by John Harris . . .

And on that note, the print we had made recently of John's painting, Climbing to the Light, was so fabulous that it was indistinguishable from the original painting. Seen at that size, it is quite a showstopper.

All images copyright © the artists.