Friday, June 25, 2010

Starrigger

When Berkley books asked me to design the ultimate monster truck, I scaled up a lot of features of trucks that I liked. The book was called “Starrigger” by John DeChancie.

I imagined a giant vehicle that could make long runs across a planet that was basically a huge dry lake bed. When the sequel assignment came along, I was unfortunately too busy to take the job. But I was delighted that one of my heroes, John Berkey, received the commission. His painting, for “Red Limit Freeway” closely followed the design I came up with.

I was able to find time to do another sequel cover called "Paradox Alley," which shows the truck going off a cliff and the driver flying out in an ejection seat. That oil original is in the collection of Art Center College of Design.

See a lot more Berkey's at Jim Pinkoski's website.

12 comments:

JP said...

Just love that truck design!

dragonladych said...

How does this work with copyrights then? I mean it's your design isn't it?

abey said...

How do you do to digitalize an oil painting properly?

Marianne said...

I have also been wondering how to digitalize oil paintings. I tried to take some digital photos, but it didn't work very well, I got some reflected light on the digital photos.

jeff jordan said...

The covers are the best part of those books. I bought them all, based on that......

bill said...

It looks like a dinosaur. Seriously, I love art directors and editors who understand that if you are a really good painter you can paint anything. Very cool design.

Chris Jouan Illustration said...

John Berkey is one of my touchstones artistically. Artistically, I don't wish to paint like him but I enjoy the implied detail and drama in his works.

I was so upset when I heard he had died.

Ben Dale said...

I want a poster of Starrigger. What a great design on that truck!

Jeff Z said...

This series of books is one of my favorites, both for the content and the cover art. It was really cool to learn from this blog that you'd done two of the covers, Mr. G!

I've actually done some concept sketches of other vehicles from the series, a few different takes of the huge trucks, the Roadbugs and other wheeled vehicles from the series. I should dig them out and show them somewhere.

My mom got me the first book for Christmas one year when I was in high school - either 1981 or 1982 - and I really enjoyed it. I didn't even know there were sequels until around 2000, when I happened to Google "John DeChancie" just to see if he'd written anything else. I immediately put in orders with Amazon to find me used copies of the 2nd and 3rd books. It took five years for them to become available and of course I snapped them right up.

I'll have to go on a quest to see the third cover original up at Art Center. Where's the first cover original? Is it viewable anywhere?

I would also buy a poster or large inkjet print of any of these. :)

Irina said...

I wish I could have at least 1/10th part of your fantasy.

sfox said...

I love those books! Had forgotten that you had done some of the covers. May be time for a re-read.

James Gurney said...

Jeff and Ben, thanks for the nice comments, and sorry that there's no poster version. Starrigger does appear in Imaginative Realism.

DragonLady: Different artists lend a hand with a series like this, and it's OK and expected to match up styles and designs, since our job was to get people excited about John DeChancie's books. If John Berkey had wanted to present a different interpretation, that would have been OK, too.

Abey: I usually have the art shot by a professional photographer, or it's shot by the publisher. When I shoot my own artwork, I use a digital single lens reflex camera on a tripod with the art on an easel.