Category Archive for ‘artwork’

Half the World UK Cover

Posted on November 5th, 2014 in announcements, artwork

Yes indeed, SFX have revealed the UK hardback cover for Half the World…


I said, “Half The World is the story of Thorn, a young woman determined to take a man’s place as a warrior, who finds herself on the crew of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi, undertaking a dangerous voyage up the unmapped rivers of the world to seek allies against the numberless warriors of the High King. There’s love, hate, death, wit, vivid characters, crunching action and, yes, an awful lot of swords…”

It’s coming 12th February 2015, but you could probably preorder via the publisher and a range of other key retailers, if you so desired.  OH LOOK YES YOU CAN.

Half a French King

Posted on September 26th, 2014 in announcements, artwork

Apologies for the limited posting around here of late, it’s many years since I didn’t make at least one post a week on the site, but my nose is to the grindstone after all the events trying to get a decent second draft of Half a War together by year’s end, plus various finishing tasks for Half the World.  Tis a busy time.  But I do love a nice piece of art, so I thought I’d bring to you the recently revealed cover for the French edition of Half a King, from those wonderful folk at Bragelonne, art by my old friend Didier Graffet (who produced the weapons that adorn Best Served Cold, The Heroes, and Red Country):


Nice, huh? Evocative, atmospheric, dramatic. Draws you in.  And it sits very comfortably alongside Jon McCoy’s excellent vision of the same world for Subterranean’s limited editions, I must say.  Some nice clean lettering too.  I particularly like the contrast with the more graphic covers in the US and UK.  The book’s coming out in French translation late October, with the other two books in the trilogy both following in 2015.  Further details over on Bragelonne’s site

Half a King Book Trailer

Posted on June 18th, 2014 in announcements, artwork

So Harper Collins have put up their book trailer for Half a King, and I think it’s really rather excellent…

I’m generally a wee bit ambivalent on Book Trailers – I think reach often exceeds grasp and you end up with slightly embarrassing live action efforts where a lot of resources have clearly been expended to make something that looks like a rubbish version of a scene from Gladiator.  But Ben North and his team have done a brilliant and very canny job here, I think, going for something simple and stark and applying a lot of thought and craftsmanship to achieve a really powerful result.  You might even call it a brand.

Rogues Published, Half a King Soon

Posted on June 17th, 2014 in announcements, artwork, interviews, news

GRRM and Gardner Dozois’ latest cross-genre mega-anthology ROGUES has published in the US today, featuring stories from GRRM himself, Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Pat Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Paul Cornell, Cherie Priest and little old me, among many others.  My contribution is a hefty 12,000 word novelette, as it goes, following an eventful night in the life of a whole series of disreputable inhabitants of Sipani, a few old friends among them…

In other news, Half a King is out in just two and a half weeks in the UK on the 3rd of July (bites nails) and a week and a half later in the US on the 15th of July (bites them again).  I’ve got a piece up on the Waterstones blog about the genesis of the book AND there’s an interview with me at Den of Geek about writing for the (slightly) younger audience.

Hardcover copies of both are now in my possession.  They definitely do exist…


UK in white, US in black, both looking rather beautiful, I would say, with silky, foil, and spot gloss finishes and all and they’re a pair of handsome hardcovers without the dust jackets too…

Half a King UK Cover

Posted on March 21st, 2014 in announcements, artwork, news


Half a King Quotes Staggered

 Final hardcover will include all manner of wondrous textures, foils and finishes.  And now, of course, you are free to tell me just how much you love it

Should you desire to pre-order one, incidentally, you could do it via this page.  A considerable extract will be coming in the not too distant future…

Half a King Extract and US Cover

Posted on January 10th, 2014 in announcements, artwork, news

The US cover for Half a King has been revealed over at io9, along with the book’s first chapter, by all means check it out here…

It’s going to be out in the UK and US in July, you lucky people…

The Importance of Colour

Posted on June 21st, 2013 in artwork, Graphic Novel

Thought I’d show the development of another page from The First Law comic with a very different feel.  This time Jezal and Ardee out for a stroll around the Agriont, and encountering a statue of a certain Magus.  First pencils and inks from Andie Tong:

And finally some amazing work from Pete Pantazis on the colours:
FIRSTLAW_ISS02_PG19_jpegHow about that sky?  Those glorious pinks, golds and purples?  Totally different from the earthy tones of mud you get up in the wide and barren North.  You can see the finished, lettered page, right now over at, with new pages every Monday, Wednesday, Friday…

Lamb, Shy, and Essential Fantasy

Posted on June 10th, 2013 in artwork, reviews

Thought I’d post a few little things which came my way via twitter.  First off, a brilliant piece of what you might call done-for-the-joy-of-it Red Country art from British Comic Book Artist Gary Frank:

00017 copy

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted any reviews, as well, but there’s a particularly insightful (not to mention complimentary) one of The Heroes from the aptly titled Unclekins:

“All the key ingredients that made Abercrombie’s earlier books stand out – the very real feeling characters, the naturalistic dialogue, the genuinely sharp wit … are present and correct. But it’s the story it tells that makes The Heroes an audacious book.”

And finally a few of my favourite blogger/critic/genre-commentator type people have been simultaneously posting their lists of 50 Essential Epic Fantasy works, and what do you know, the works of Joe Abercrombie appear on three of the four.  Liz Bourke was the first to unleash her life-changing praise upon me:

“I read the first book. I didn’t really like it. But Abercrombie’s success – and, consequently, his influence on the features of epic fantasy – can’t be denied.”

My books are poor, but my success cannot be ignored!  Better than the other way around, I guess.  Justin Landon was more enthusiastic:

“George R.R. Martin started the modern grim fantasy, but Abercrombie perfected it. His work is biting, and harsh, and riddled with black humor. Essential.”

And Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch had a little more to say:

“Like any other trend, a couple people (Martin, Abercrombie) did something really, really interesting – they explored the idea that ‘actually a fantasy world would be really brutal/disease-ridden/awful on a day-by-day basis’. Their commercial success was immediately followed by dozens of pale imitations, all based on the false assumption that readers love them some diseased brutality. It is always easy to poach an aesthetic. The actual underlying insight? Harder to copy.”

I’m off up to London for more meetings tomorrow, and there may well be quite an exciting announcement coming soon, definitely for me, and possibly even for YOU.  Until then…

The Blade Itself in Taiwan

Posted on May 27th, 2013 in artwork, news

Fantasy Foundation Publications are putting out The First Law in Taiwan:

The First Law1_the blade itself_cover.jpg

Always fascinating how different publishers with different markets choose to present the same book.  I believe this is the 26th translation deal for The Blade Itself, if you can credit that.  It’s rather wonderful to think of such diverse people thrilling, thrilling I say, to stuff that I basically dreamed up in the middle of the night for my own amusement.  So my thanks to the wonderful editors and rights agents at Orion who’ve put all these deals together over the last seven or eight years, and my thanks to all the far-flung publishers who’ve taken a chance on the books.  I won’t thank the readers.  MY FANTASTIC WORK IS THANKS ENOUGH.

Thanks, readers.

Should you have considerably better command of traditional Chinese than I, you can order a copy at one of these online retailers.

And while we’re about it, here’s their forthcoming Before They are Hanged:

The First Law2_Before They Are Hanged_cover

From Script to Coloured Page 4

Posted on May 19th, 2013 in artwork, Graphic Novel

Andie Tong’s finished inks are coloured by Pete Pantazis and end up like this:


I guess before starting on this project I was vaguely aware that you usually had a guy who drew the pages and a guy who coloured them, but if I’d thought about it at all I’d supposed that colouring was a pretty mechanical process, yeah, you decide a jacket’s red and you make it red, APPLY.  Seeing what Pete does with Andie’s pages has been quite a revelation.  He gives every scene a very different treatment, he thinks a hell of a lot about the lighting, the weather, the time of day, the mood.  He gets great variety into each issue that sets a tone for each character.  The atmosphere he creates is astounding, and actually the much greater clarity he gives the action too.  So the time of day wasn’t entirely clear before, but here we have a fire lit, shadowy night.  The officers are ruddy in the glow of welcoming lamplight from inside the inn.  The Practicals are sinister in the long shadows.  Details like the candle glow around the doorframe in the first panel, or shining down the steps and across the cobbles, there are even stars in the night sky in the third panel, all add a sense of realism and atmosphere.

I’ll check over the coloured pages, usually in scene batches.  The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed that on this first run, West’s hair is the wrong colour in panels three and four.  Lettering is usually done on the black and white pages first by unsung hero of the whole process Bill Tortolini, checked by me, amended, then married up with the coloured pages for a final result.  The final result for this page, you’ll be able to see at tomorrow (Monday 20th), with further pages posted free every monday, wednesday and friday.  Should you wish to get ahead, and read whole issues at a time, you can pay us actual cash money for the privilege over at ComiXology, for which you also receive guided view and some of the inks and pencils.  You can download their software for nothing and it’s a cool way to view this and a vast amount of other material (a fair bit of that free).  I recommend it…