This illustration inspired to the story “Pictures from an Expedition” by Alexander C. Irvine was originally published as a cover art for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (September 2003). The subsequent year the artwork gained a full page in the annual SPECTRUM (11), the Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art and in the same year. You find here the original b&w sketch I sent to the publisher Gordon Van Gelder (together with other proposal and a few notes about details inside the pic and alternative versions).
Below there are the finish for the magazine and the final version with the cover design. Now everything happens via web, but at that time I was used to send a CD-ROM including the image. Everything in the shipment was personalized with the CD-ROM displaying a printed round color label glued to the surface. The story described the first expedition to Mars with an anchorwoman accompanying the NASA crew for some reality show in space, going nuts and trying to sabotage the mission.
In 2004 the Australian magazine DESIGN GRAPHICS dedicated a issue to Yours Truly, with my astronaut on the front cover plus an extended Portfolio and interview inside:
In 2007 the Italian magazine DELOS edited by Silvio Sosio (Delos Books) celebrated its 100th issue and on this occasion I was asked to create a landscape version of the illustration! here is the result:
I’ve been often thinking that I should realize a series of illustrations featuring angels! What do you think? I love this topic linking astronauts to angels and I’ve seen artists I love producing similar strong images (Jeremy Geddes, just for an example)… This has been one of my most acclaimed covers: PARADISES LOST (2013), originally inspired to a wonderful novella by URSULA K. LE GUIN, included in her story collection THE BIRTHDAY OF THE WORLD. The novella explores the isolation brought on by space travel, as well as themes of religion and utopia and got soon its own standalone edition in several languages. You can read more at the following link in order to better understand my stylistic choices: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradises_Lost. The illustration was included in both the prestigious annuals SPECTRUM, the Best in Fantastic Contemporary Art, and INFECTED BY ART. It won the ASIMOV’S READERS’ AWARD (Best Cover Artist) and was selected as BEST DIGITAL ARTWORK IN THE SHOW at the 72nd WorldCon in London (2014).
Everthing started in 2013. Delos Books publisher Silvio Sosio called me with a cover gig for Ursula K. Le Guin, the first Italian edition of Paradises Lost (PARADISI PERDUTI) to be included in the Odissea series. WOW! I accepted immediately and the result is history… the writer published the news in her official website on January 27, 2013 (News Archives 2009-2014). The illustration took about a week of work from the pencil scratch on a restaurant napkin to the finish.
After the initial publication the illustration began to live its autonomous life and was optioned by Penny Publications for ASIMOV’S Science Fiction magazine as a cover art for their June 2014 issue (Art Director Victoria Green). Thanks to this artwork, unrelated to any story in that issue, I won the 2014 Readers’ Award as BEST 2014 COVER ARTIST! Still jumping thinking about this achievement… I’ve been loving the magazine since I was an undergraduate…
Another client falling in love with the illustration was Gardner Dozois, who selected my winged astronaut as a cover art for the prestigious thirty-second annual collection THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION and put me in touch with Macmillan for the transaction.
In December 2015 my Angel became a cover for “I LIKE 3D“, an interactive magazine published by the Italian iMasterArt Academy. The issue, edited by Simona Rossi and the fellow artist Joseph Eon Viglioglia, was dedicated my body of work and included the making-in-progress of the illustration and an extended interview! You can browse the issue in my Youtube Channel!
This was one of the best commissions to date! Fantasy & Science Fiction contacted me saying: “We have a story that seems like it’s meant for a Maurizio Manzieri cover!”: I accepted immediately of course and here you can see the result for the lovely story “Starlight Express” by Michael Swanwick. The author dedicated an entry of his blog to the artwork: http://floggingbabel.blogspot.it/2017/08/starlight-express-by-maurizio-manzieri.html
I’m Guest of Honor for Fantasy Basel 2017, the Swiss Comic Con! You find me in Halle 2.2, Stand #568. Do not miss my panel on April 30, at 12pm, Podium 1, Messe Basel, titled: “Recipes for the Creation of a Fantastic Universe”.
another year spent with the Art in the Heart! Here we go with my annual parade of eligible illustrations for competitions and 2017 international Awards (finished or published in 2016)! Take a glance to all the covers and posters, then sliding down you’ll find the images without the design… Enjoy!
1) Cover Art for ASIMOV’S SF #JULY 2016 (selected in a different version for the volume INFECTED BY ART #4). Link
2) Cover Art for ASIMOV’S SF #JAN/FEB 2017 inspired to the story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” by Sean Monaghan (published in December 2016). Link
3) Cover Art for ANALOG SCIENCE & FACT #JANUARY 2016 (originally inspired to the story “Five Thrillers” by Robert Reed). Link
4) Cover art for The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction #8 edited by Allan Kaster (INFINIVOX/AudioText, 2016). Illustration Title: “Alien Outpost”. Link
5) Official Poster for the Swiss Comic Con FANTASY BASEL 2016. Link
6) “The Sassari Spaceport”
Official Poster for the Italian Convention SARDINIACON 2016. Link Selected for inclusion in the volume INFECTED BY ART #5
7) Official Poster for the Italian Convention STRANIMONDI 2016. Link
8) Illustration inspired to the literary saga MONDO9 by the writer Dario Tonani (unpublished)
9) Cover Art for FIREBOY by Dean Whitlock. Illustration and Design by Maurizio Manzieri. (Boatman Press, ebook). Link
10) Cover art for ALBATROSS by R.A.MacAvoy (ebook). Illustration and design by Maurizio Manzieri.
If you are followers of this blog, you are the first ones to know! A new coveted print “Alpha and Omega” by Patricia Briggs (published in 2009 by Subterranean Press in Usa and in 2010 by Bragelonne in France) has been made available at my INPRNT SHOP. They are all gallery-quality giclée art prints on 100% cotton rag archival paper, printed with archival inks. Click on the illustration to reach the shop:
Here is a selected List of 2013 eligible artwork for 2014 Awards (Chesleys and Hugos). Infinite thanks to John Picacio and John Scalzi for the plug and the kind hospitality inside their dedicated threads.
Another interior b&w illustration for the Italian edition of “The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction”. This one has been realized for the story: “The Man Who Loved Kites” by Dean Whitlock (F&SF, October 2013, Italy). If having read this wonderful gem, you wish to know more about the author, check his official site: http://www.deanwhitlock.com/