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(From the book "Heroes & Villains")
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor
This image was xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Berkley Books in New York for a paperback book cover and it made an instant hit. You are really the iconic Hero in this image, sword at the ready: it definitely reminds me of some of the film projects we did which influenced Peter. You are fighting a skeletal Villain intent on making you yet another of the skeletons piled high in the crevasses between the brick bridge and tall pillars. These pillars have fantastical shapes carved into them, perhaps denoting some pagan code. Skeletal heads surmount three of them. Note that you, as the Hero, (for this time Lone Wolf’s face is partially hidden) are always dressed in green, a colour which was a sales no-no at the time because publishers considered it had negative connotations. But Peter made it acceptable through his green alien representation of Larry Niven’s character ‘Phssthpok the Pak’ (a version of which appears in Peter’s Solar Wind anthology), a classic volte-face stance taken during his long career of amending (or breaking!) the rules.
Painted in Oilxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxsonite panel this painting typifies the later period of role-play games art in which an extended area on the right was added, which, although it did not appear on the bookcover due to different format, was originally conceived as an extra facility for publishers to use when releasing promotional posters to promote a published book or series, and this probably became the unconscious root of the Artist's later self-published pursuits, most especially limited edition prints and multimedia paintings.
"After over axxxxxxxxxxxxxxury of placing the composed centre of attention always on the right hand side of pictures my creative soul needed to evolve, so I began offering a "free" service to publishers by creating an extra space they could use for promotional purposes while at the same time it freed me to expand creatively and did, in fact, influence the way I composed the front cover area, even though the right hand side was "'off-screen". My time in TV producing film pans probably also influenced that change in format. Little did I know then that the format would be ideal for later rural landscapes of mine, which at this time were nowhere in my consciousness, and it also came to suit some of my Crux Millennium works, so I guess that's the way my creativity works, I kind of slip from one thing into another via some unconscious creative flow".
I say it was xxxxxxxxxxxxbecause the covers in the USA differ from other territories due to copyright considerations: Berkley wanted to buy rights in the British covers but an exclusivity/copyright clash would have occurred as North American book cover rights overlapped into the UK and Commonwealth rights territories in Canada. So Peter suggested he should paint a second version exclusively for the North American market, and this subsequently proved to be the case in three other instances
Peter had, by this time, made the ‘Lone Wolf’ images his own worldwide. I think it was becauxxxxxxxxd becoming completely immersed in the roleplay market, remaining detached and influenced by outside sources. He is someone who is very particular and detective-like in character, interested in any number of things (and people) so able to evoke an interest in almost anything he takes an interest in, particularly creating a character. Peter enjoyed doing the ‘Lone Wolf’ covers and sold many of the originals to collectors around the world. I really enjoy re-establishing relationships with them and now realise that so many fans around the world have wonderful memories of their youth spent reading the books with Peter’s cover art on them. I hope they bring pleasure here too.
Deborah Susan Jones