Cartoon - Historieta: Michael Whelan - Part 1 - Bio in English - Links to more Cartoon - Historieta

Posted by Ricardo Marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 13:13

Michael Whelan 
2010 Odyssey two

Michael Whelan  
A fighting man of mars

Michael Whelan  
A princess of mars

Michael Whelan 

Michael Whelan 
Amazing dragon

Michael Whelan 

Michael Whelan 

Michael Whelan 

Michael Whelan 

Michael Whelan (born June 29, 1950) is an American artist of imaginative realism. For more than 30 years he worked as an illustrator specializing in science fiction and fantasy cover art.[1] Since the mid-1990s he has pursued a fine art career, selling non-commissioned paintings through galleries in the United States and through his website.

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Whelan in June 2009, the first living artist so honored.[2][3] According to his Hall of Fame citation,[4]

    Michael Whelan is one of the most important contemporary science fiction and fantasy artists, and certainly the most popular. His work was a dominant force in the transition of genre book covers away from the surrealism introduced in the 1950s and 1960s back to realism.

His paintings have appeared on the covers of more than 350 books and magazines, including many Stephen King novels, most of the Del Rey editions of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, the Del Rey edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars series, Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince and Dragon Star series, the Del Rey editions of H.P. Lovecraft's short story collections, the DAW editions of Michael Moorcock's Elric books, numerous DAW editions of C. J. Cherryh's work, many of Robert A. Heinlein's novels including Friday and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, the Ace editions of H. Beam Piper's Fuzzy novels, and Tad Williams's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Otherland, and Shadowmarch series. Whelan provided covers and interior illustrations for Stephen King's The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower, the first and last of his Dark Tower books.[1]

Cover art by Michael Whelan has graced many music record albums including Demolition Hammer's Epidemic of Violence, The Jacksons' Victory; Sepultura's Beneath the Remains, Arise, Chaos A.D., and Roots; Soulfly's Dark Ages; Obituary's Cause of Death; and every album by the Elric-influenced metal band Cirith Ungol. He painted original works for the covers of Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell and The Very Best of Meat Loaf albums and several of his older paintings illustrate the liner notes of the former. Recently he painted the cover art for thrash metal band Evile's album Infected Nations.


Michael Whelan was born in Culver City, California, the son of William and Nancy Whelan. As a child, he had a nomadic existence, moving nearly every other year, as the family followed his father's career in the aerospace industry. So he attended eight elementary schools, three junior high schools and four high schools, and often lived for a summer in other locations. He grew up in Colorado, several cities along the California coast, and in New Mexico, near the White Sands Proving Ground. Whelan's time near White Sands and Vandenberg Air Force Base proved a lasting influence; in a 2000 interview, he noted that "living near to missile launching sites and Air Force bases had an impact. It was always thrilling to watch them go up ... and sometimes blow up."[5]

By the time he was a sophomore in high school, his family had moved to Denver, Colorado. There he began formal training in art, taking summer classes at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. By his final year of high school, his family had moved again, to San Jose, California where he graduated from Oak Grove High School in 1968.

Whelan continued school as a pre-medical biology major at San Jose State University, initially. There he worked in the Anatomy and Physiology Department, gaining a first-hand knowledge of human anatomy. He says that his job "involved all sorts of tasks related to the anatomy department, such as preparing cadavers for the classes, stringing bones together to make complete skeletons, making models of body parts, some medical illustration, etc."[6] Some of his collegiate medical drawings appeared in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. However, he became disenchanted by the limited creative opportunities in medical illustration and changed his major to Art during the middle of his junior year.

After graduating from SJSU in 1973 with a BA in Painting (as a "President's Scholar"), Whelan studied briefly at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California for nine months from 1973–1974. In 1974 Whelan exhibited his work at the World Science Fiction Convention in Washington, D.C., where it was seen by Thomas Schlück, who first discovered his work and contracted to use it in European publications shortly afterwards. Donald A. Wollheim of DAW Books gave him his first American professional assignment—the cover painting and frontispiece drawing for Lin Carter's fantasy novel, The Enchantress of World's End (May 1975),[1]—after seeing his artwork in a set of slides Whelan submitted in August 1974.

Because he was already receiving offers for commissions, Whelan left the Art Center College of Design to pursue illustration full-time. In 1975, he moved to Connecticut to be near the New York City hub of the publishing industry. There he met Audrey Price, whom he later married. Shortly after arriving on the East Coast he exhibited some of his student work in the Lunacon convention art show in New York, where it was seen by Harlan Ellison. Ellison kindly obtained the first magazine assignment for him, illustrating Ellison's story "Croatoan" which appeared in Gallery magazine.[when?] At Lunacon Michael also met Rick Bryant, who subsequently introduced him to Neal Adams. Mr. Adams graciously called the art director of Ace Books and paved the way for his first assignment at Ace. He painted the cover illustrations for ten books published during 1975, eight from DAW and two Ace reprints of early Darkover novels by Marion Zimmer Bradley.[1]

Quick to take advantage of these opportunities, Whelan soon gained a reputation as a talented, imaginative, and dependable cover artist, working for science fiction and fantasy publishers such as DAW, Del Rey, and Ace. Whelan credits the 1978 publication of Anne McCaffrey's best-selling The White Dragon featuring his cover art as a turning point in his career.[7] The SF Hall of Fame agrees.[4]

Whelan first won the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist in 1980 at the World Science Fiction Convention in Boston, won the next six annual renditions, and at the 50th Worldcon in 1992 was voted the best professional artist of the last 50 years. As of 2010 he has won fifteen Hugos.[8]

When commissioned, Whelan made a practice of reading the entire book that he sought to illustrate, usually twice. "I try to let the book I'm illustrating determine the approach and subject matter," he stated.[6] Fantasist Michael Moorcock wrote of Whelan, "I am more than usually grateful for an artist who not only depicts him [Elric] as I imagine (and describe him) but who also manages to capture some of the appropriate atmosphere" (Wonderworks, p. 36). Science fiction writer Anne McCaffrey praised him, declaring, "Fortunate indeed is the author who has Michael Whelan for an illustrator" (Wonderworks, p. 55).

Whelan illustrated the cover for Meat Loaf's 1993 album Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell. He also provided several illustrations for the insert booklet, which were also used for the single releases such as "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)". Larger versions of his artwork were featured in the album's 2002 special edition release. He has since gone on to paint album cover artwork for many other recording artists, from Michael Jackson to Sepultura to Jonn Serrie.

Since 1996 Whelan does not accept commissions, devoting his efforts to his gallery pieces and "self-commissioned" works. He has mounted several one-man and group shows at galleries in the U.S., but his imaginative and engaging work still finds its way onto published projects such as the SPECTRUM annuals.[clarification needed]

Whelan currently lives in Danbury, Connecticut. He and Audrey Price have two children, Alexa and Adrian. His hobbies include electronic music, travel, and the martial arts — he has a second degree black belt in Chinese-Okinawan Kempo. Whelan was successfully treated for Lyme disease in 1999 and prostate cancer in 2000.[citation needed]

Michael Whelan 
At the end of all things

Michael Whelan 

Michael Whelan Bat out of hell

Michael Whelan 
Bearing an hourglass

Michael Whelan 
Being a green mother

Michael Whelan 
Brother assassin


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