by Chris Moore
Reviewed by Steven H Silver
Chris Moore is, perhaps, one of the least well-known major artists working in the science fiction and fantasy field today. One cause for this relative obscurity is that fact that the vast majority of his work is not published in the United States. With any luck, the appearance of Journeyman: The Art of Chris Moore will boost awareness of Moore's work outside the United Kingdom.
The myriad paintings by Moore are accompanied by a lengthy interview conducted by author Stephen Gallagher. In this text, Gallagher and Moore explore Moore's history in the field as well as his techniques and theories about art. This interview also gives Moore the chance to discuss the included art in greater detail than a simple caption would have allowed.
Of course, the main focus of Journeyman is Moore's art, which tends towards the realistic with vibrant colors. Gallagher's text describes Moore as a commercial artist rather than an SF artist, and there are numerous examples of his non-SF art scattered through the collection, for instance his series of automobile marques commissioned by Octopus Books.
In addition to the main text and captions, Moore has provided brief comments about specific paintings in the book. These explain what he was trying to do in the painting as well as discussing some of the changes which were required before the work would be published. This provides an insight into the requirements of commercial art and how it differs from art for its own sake.
The collection includes a useful index of the titles of the paintings included. In many cases, these titles are the same as the book the painting wound up illustrating. US readers may find this a little strange, since the pictures appeared on the British editions of the book and don't match the US editions' covers.
If Journeyman succeeds in promoting Moore's talents both in the UK and the US, it will have done a great service to the field of fantastic art. Despite the title, Journeyman proves that Chris Moore is a master artist, well deserving of recognition beyond that which he has achieved.