Friday, October 3, 2014

Free Amazons of Darkover

Here's more early professional work. I was still using the very thin European technical pen point and my decorative efforts were still heavily influenced by European ornaments and architecture. This is a frontispiece interior illustration for the Gregg Press collector's item reprinting of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Darkover" books. The one here is for "The Shattered Chain," a tale of women who defy their medieval social rules to band together as "Free Amazons" doing guerrilla warfare and social welfare. 

The border for this piece repeats for all the borders in the series. I drew it once and then multiplied as many copies as I needed by photostat (explained earlier). Then I added the original work for each book in the left hand arch. The right archway space had the title, author, and publication information text. The spine of the book, between the pages, is the column in the middle.

The group in my frontispiece illustration were characters from the book. For a while, female Darkover fans (most Darkover fans were female, which was unusual for the science fiction/fantasy world back then) started their own "Free Amazon" groups which met at conventions, but it didn't last as a movement, which I think is kind of a shame.

"The Shattered Chain" is black technical pen ink on illustration board with photostat border, 12" x 8", October 1978. Click for a somewhat larger view.


Tristan Alexander said...

Free Amazon with every purchase! LOL. Nice black and white work.

Robby Baby Dark Poet of Amour said...

I'm glad I zoomed up to the closer view, so that I could view the details. This era of characters is a very refined sort, and I think the precise, contained European pen point work brings that out in the characters. They are not static, by any means, but they are contained in the portraiture...just like the penwork is :)