|Father Brown moonlighting at Balintore Castle|
|cover of Father Brown comic|
Surfing around, I spotted another version of Balintore Castle, by the same artist.
|Balintore Castle by Werner Maresta|
By an amazing coincidence, illustration is one of my favourite art forms. This is for several reasons. Firstly, most illustrations are not intended to be "art" in the rarefied sense. They tell a story or serve an illustrative purpose. In short they are functional, so the pressure to have any of the high-bar attributes of art is off.
However, in the execution art can sometimes be injected, and there's no doubt these images are graphic art of the highest order showing a confidence and boldness of handling, as well as a conciseness of expression. The book cover is handled in just four colours. As well as black and white, there is a blue to conjure up a gothic night, and a warmer yellow to introduce character: our eponymous hero Father Brown.
The second reason I like such graphic art is to be a bit of a maverick. The more people call it "not proper art", the more I will like it. :-)
The third reason I like illustration is its ability to concisely conjure-up mood, which is often useful in the fantasy genre. Could any oil painting do better? Book illustrations should not dominate the text, so it is often important that illustrations hint and suggest rather than fully tell.
By another amazing coincidence, Werner is involved in his own architectural reconstruction project using authentic materials to build a mediaeval Genoese palace at a scale of 1:50.