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)
Bastien Lecouffe Deharme undoubtedly came to many people’s attention due to some controversial remarks made by Terry Goodkind. This is his first time as a Hugo Finalist.
- 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)
Kathleen Jennings has won several Ditmar Awards, but this is her first time as a Hugo Finalist. She often does cut-paper silhouettes as well as pen and ink drawings.
- 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?