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Bēhance

The Last Osama

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  • A commission for sci-fi magazine, Interzone, to accompany a short piece of fiction by well-travelled Israeli author Lavie Tidhar. I agreed to do the picture after googling him and coming across mention of certain of his travel exploits. I'd just returned from South-East Asia myself so it ticked a box for me. The novel that this short story relates to (Osama) was nominated for a World Fantasy Award [update: Osama WON the World Fantasy Award for best novel ahead of George R.R. Martin and Stephen King's offerings]. I couldn't begin to explain the plot—which probably shows in the disjointed illustration—so you'll have to track it down. Keywords: bang, boom, spores, Osama.
    That's me top left, sporting a very different hairstyle, and the evil-looking knife is a leaf from an aloe vera plant. The bullets were decommissioned ones I obtained by mail order. They rattle to show they've been decommissioned. One doesn't, I'm still wondering if my box of collected oddments will go bang on a hot day.

    Lavie's opinion:
    Wow! That's... quite something. ;)
  • Montaged images for the background shot at beautiful Plemont beach on Jersey and a tropical Cuban sky. The image on the right is a watercolour sketch. This was my first illustration for a magazine after a five year absence where I worked solely as a graphic designer. I was unsure whether to paint the thing (which is how my career began) or go the digital route (which I was currently more comfortable with from working long hours daily at a mac where if I spilt my coffee or made some other real world mistake, thinking Cmd-Z would undo the damage). I opted for photoshop in the end, but did overlay some of this sketch for texture (see the bloodied arm above).
  • A few more stages in the evolution. I only had a rough idea in my head what I was going to do with this, so it evolved on the page. 
  • Ebook cover
  • Just completed (pending approval). A slightly modified version to fit within accepted ebook dimensions.
    It will be a free download from wherever free ebooks are available from (piratebay?). Check the author's blog for updates. The beautiful font used for the author's name is 'dyslexia', a winning choice for an author? I do love barely legible fonts ('not caslon' is another) which thankfully seem to mesh well with my barely legible images.