Ah, well. I'll leave this placeholder here, to force myself to come back and give a full review when I've finished reading.
The most immediately noticable feature of this issue is the break from the usual cover layout and logo.
This issue resembles the covers of the old 'Astounding Science Fiction' pulp fiction magazine, inspired no doubt, by the groaning shelves full of decades-worth of issues, in Paizo's archives.
Will this mean an revival of interest for the Planet Stories imprint? Who knows, but it would be nice if it did.
It also reminded me of the cover to the Hawkwind album 'Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music', so I flipped it onto shuffle-play, while I gave the issue its first pass. Humming along to the dreamy melodies of 'Chronoglide Skyway', and breaking off for a spot of impromptu desk drumming during 'Steppenwolf'.
A full review is required, once I've fully digested the contents, but for now, I'll let Brock and Calvert have the last word on the striking visual appeal of cover, interior art and layout.
Maybe it was only an hallucination
I'm no stranger to such things
I made a thorough investigation
The image had a power that clings
To my jaded imagination
My brain has found the bells it rings
I've had a copy of this book since I was a teen, in fact I now have two, since I got one for the bookshelf, to replace my original battered copy.
The artist is from my hometown, and a copy of this book used to sit in the school art room, to be perused by the odd kids, who weren't trying to flick paint at each other, but actually liked art.
The first sections are utterly bizarre, being the works he does for his own amusement, and cover some very idiosynchratic subjects, which may not be to everyone's taste. I find the gallery of serene smiling faces, escaping out of picture frames in 3D rather unnerving, but you may disagree.
But even the wierd stuff is still brilliantly executed, and you can take lessons from the technique on display.
Press on, and the second half of the book covers the professional work Patrick has done for book covers and album sleeves.
In my opinion, this is the heart of the collection; having to work to a commission helps tone down some of the insanity, and you get the exquisitely detailed draughtsmanship, married to the publisher's brief, to tell a story, often in the tiny background details.
You may not realise how many of these works you already know, or if not, how many of them you'll remember, when you see them later.
It always gives me a pleasant surprise when I come across one of these covers at the library or the used book store.
There's a whole chapter on Michael Moorcock, for whom Patrick illustrated dozens of titles, plus chapters on many other classics in the science fiction and fantasy genres.
Older rock fans will know the amazing original cover for Judas Priest's "Sad Wings Of Destiny", an iconic album sadly since mired in label contract disputes and rereleased in lacklustre packages, often as a double with the other forgotten album from the Gull era, "Rocka Rolla".
I've given this book four stars, due to the unfocussed first chapters, but even if you consider these works too whimsical, there's plenty in the majority of the book to get you hooked.
This is impressive; the detail on the clothing, a natural pose, and he really does appear to be conversing with Hugin (or is it Munin?).
This could be a great display piece for your shelf or mantlepiece, but also has great gaming applications as well; it could represent not just Odin, but a northern Druid/Ranger with his animal companions.
My only gripes (and this applies to all adverts on this site), is that I rarely see the size of minis stated. This is very important, especially for non-humans, as we need to know if they will mesh with an existing army or collection. If this is a large figure, I could use it as a Frost Giant Ranger, to threaten my players, but it would be nice to know beforehand...
Also, it would be useful to know when a product is a multi-part kit, and how it breaks down. I may wish to replace the giant's head with another victim/chest/barrel; will this require lots of sawing?
Other than that, well done!