Calling Illustrators a “magazine” is a bit misleading, as it’s a 96 page perfect bound format that feels more like a large trade paperback.
I was delighted to receive a review copy of the current issue, number 11 (the contents for issue 12 have just been announced). Like most of their issues, the format is two lead articles of considerable length showcasing the work of contemporary illustrators followed by an in-depth article on an illustrator from history, and shorter articles on additional contemporary illustrators.
Issue #11 features Donato Giancola, one of the finest contemporary illustrators working in the field of fantastic art. Giancola is one of the foremost illustrators carrying forward the style and techniques of classical art, putting them in service of modern, thought provoking fantasy and speculative fiction themes.
For my money, the issue is worth it’s $29.00 US price for the 30 pages of his work alone, including sketches and in-progress versions of some of his pieces.
As someone who has been perfectly comfortable with both creating and appreciating art on the computer for over 20 years, I still find reproductions of artwork in high-quality print to be a different and very worthwhile experience. Seeing this much of Giancola’s work (scanned from the original artwork) collected in print is a treat.
The second major article in this issue is 25 pages devoted to the wonderfully expressive line-and color style illustrations of Tomer Hanuka.
In addition, there are 17 pages on the classic mid-20th century pulp illustrations of James McConnell, and shorter articles on caricaturist Mike Terry and the illustrations of Freya Hartas, as well as the usual book reviews and letters.
Unfortunately, the Illustrators website does not do justice to the presentation of the publication. For reasons that continue to bewilder me, the pages devoted to individual issues show no images but the cover, and don’t overtly mention that a preview of each issue is available.
Previews actually are available, accessed through tiny icons labeled “See what you are missing!” instead of a big headline of “View a preview of this issue” or something similar.
Once in the preview, however, you can zoom or enlarge to full screen and get a decent glimpse of some of the beautiful artwork in each issue.
You can order individual issues of Illustrators through the website, or purchase a four-issue subscription which includes the online editions as well as the print publication.