Mark Zug

Mark ZugEarly in his career illustrator Mark Zug got what he considered a dream job, illustrating Harlan Ellison’s I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay (out of print but can still be found). Since then he has illustrated numerous science fiction and fantasy novels, done editorial illustration for magazines like Popular Science, Amazing Stories, TSR’s Dragon and Dungeon and other gaming magazines.

Beyond that he has focused on paintings for fantasy game products, creating memorable illustrations for Magic: The Gathering in particular. He received the Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist in 2001, and a Chesley Award for Best Gaming Related Illustration in 2005.

His paintings have a muscular feeling to them, both in the physical characteristics of the heroes, demons monsters and mages he portrays, and in the handling of the paint. His combination of tactile textures and color contrasts give his images a bold physical presence that makes them pop and seems particularly suited to the subject matter.

You’ll find both newer and older work in his online galleries, including his interpretation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune. My favorites are in the Magic and Zbooks sections (image at left Claidi’s Journal).