Today I’m looking at the six finalists for Best Professional Artist in the 2018 Hugo Awards. I’ve linked their websites and some examples of their work.
Galen Dara has been a finalist in this category three times. She was also the winner of Best Fan Artist in 2013. I nominated Dara in this category last year, but this year the work I liked best from her appeared in semiprozines which is actually considered fan art under Hugo rules.
- Artwork for Android: Netrunner (Fantasy Flight Games)
- Illustration for “The Faerie Tree” by Kathleen Kayembe (Lightspeed)
- Cover for Diabolical Plots: The First Years edited by David Steffen (Diabolical Plots)
- Cover for Hounded by Kevin Hearne (Subterranean Press)
- Artwork for Magic: The Gathering (Wizards of the Coast)
- Cover for reprint of Delirium’s Mistress by Tanith Lee (DAW)
- Cover for reprint of Anackire by Tanith Lee (DAW)
- Cover for Shroud of Eternity by Terry Goodkind (Tor)
- Artwork for Tremontaine: Season 2 created by Ellen Kushner (Serial Box)
- Cover for Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe (Small Beer Press)
- Illustrations for The River Bank by Kij Johnson (Small Beer Press)
- Cover for Arcanos Unraveled by Jonna Gjevre (Storyador)
Victo Ngai was my only nominee who made the final ballot in this category. This is her second time as a Hugo Finalist.
- Illustration for “Serving Fish” by Christopher Caldwell (FSI)
- Illustration for “Waiting on a Bright Moon” by JY Yang (Tor.com)
- Cover for Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (W. W. Norton)
- Cover for A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller (HarperCollins)
John Picacio has twelve nominations and two previous wins in this category. He was also a finalist for Best Related Book in 2007. He is the Artist Guest of Honor at Worldcon 76 and will host the 2018 Hugo Awards Ceremony.
- Illustration for the “La Valiente” Loteria card (Lone Boy)
- Illustration for the “El Gorrito” Loteria card (Lone Boy)
- Illustration for the “La Araña” Loteria card (Lone Boy)
- Illustration for “When the Devil Drives” by Melinda Snodgrass (Tor.com)
Sana Takeda is the artist for last year’s Hugo Award winning Monstress comic. The second volume is a finalist for Best Graphic Story this year. This is her second time as a finalist in this category as well. I nominated her for pro artist last year, but this year I stuck with just nominating Monstress.
- Cover for Monstress, Issue 11 written by Marjorie Liu (Image)
- Variant cover for Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal #3 (Archaia)
- Variant cover for Jim Henson’s The Power of the Dark Crystal #6 (Archaia)
- Cover for Sherlock: The Great Game #1 written by Steve Thompson (Titan)
We have four repeat artists from last year and two first-time finalists. Ranking them is extremely difficult due to their wonderfully unique styles. My favorites are the ones I’ve nominated previously. Followed by Kathleen Jennings whose classic work I find fascinating. Bastien Lecouffe Deharme’s pieces are stunning, but they’re not really my taste. Finally, as impressive as John Picacio’s art always is, I feel like he’s had enough Hugo recognition already. So here’s how my ballot looks:
- Sana Takeda
- Victo Ngai
- Galen Dara
- Kathleen Jennings
- Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
- John Picacio
What are your thoughts on the pro artist finalists?