An early Xmas with Leigh Brackett’s Eric John Stark!

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Amidst Inktober inking commotion and regular work hours, the doorbell rang and an eagerly awaited package from Cirsova Publishing was placed in our hands. Just like that, Christmas had come earlier.

As we merrily mentioned previously in other posts, we were approached by Cirsova to work with them in producing illustrations and covers for the 70th anniversary of Leigh Brackett’s pulp hero, Eric John Stark.

And once again, Cirsova was delightfully generous to send us copies of all the editions they published of Stark, from the separate stories (coloured soft covers) to the compilation with all three (white softcover) and last but not least, the special hardcover coffee-table edition!

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From all of them, we have to say the deluxe hardcover is our favourite and the one making us rejoice the most. Besides our illustrations and coloured covers being included at double the size of the other editions, all the concept art we produced as well as the preliminary studies for the chapter illustrations are included, revealing how we went about creating the characters and creatures and which illustrations got picked for the project (Oh, those days of hard decisions…).

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Leigh Brackett was a wonderful creator and we wanted to translate to our style her manly men and strong yet feminine women. (We dream of being able to make a comic book about Stark, honestly.)

It’s with immense gratitude that we thank once again Cirsova Publishing for sending these amazing books over to us and in case you haven’t, check out which edition is for you at:

Cirsova Publishing Books

And you can visit Cirsova’s blog

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Bonus pic with a curious photo bomber

★happy week and stay inspired★

Ciara, the Black Amazon of Mars ~ Lines

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Linesforthe hot blooded reliable beauty

This is the closing of the Heroines Pin Ups for the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary of Leigh Brackett’s space Opera, for which we made the concept art, illustrations and covers while loving every minute of it. The three volumes are published by the sci-fi fan favourite Cirsova Publishing.
Ciara and her lines, the tribute for volume 3, in all her fiery self, keeping an attentive eye on everything, just in case.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3: Ciara and her lines are right on this post!

If you would like to know more check out these links:
Take a look at Cirsova Publishing blog
Check Black Amazon of Mars at Amazon (kindle and paperback)
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★Stay inspired!★

Ciara, the Black Amazon of Mars

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The tall blue eyed bird Ciara, hot blooded and ready to handle whatever needs breaking.

It’s time for the last book’s heroine to come forth. Praise Ciara from the third volume of the Illustrated Stark: Black Amazon of Mars by Leigh Brackett. All illustrations and covers of the three volumes are by us, StarTwo, and it’s published by the sci fi fan favourite, Cirsova Publishing.

Ciara is truly a character full of surprises. Not only is she master of the art of war but also owner of the true meaning of inner strength. It made us feel like she was ready to move mountains, literal or figuratively. And yet, there is also a sweet side, rational but not less giving.

As the passage on the book describes her well, inner fire is a strong part of her.
“The throat he held was white and strong, and his hands around it were buried in a mane of red-gold hair that fell down over the shirt of mail. A red mouth passionate with fury, wonderful curving bone under sculptured flesh, eyes fierce and proud and tameless as the eyes of a young eagle, fire-blue, defying him, hating him…”

She is fuelled by a strength that comes from inside, framed with long free flowing fire coloured hair, roaring and ready to stand until she can fight no more. Even then, she will surely be standing, pulling the best part of you to the battle, pushing you forward, not stopping until you are successful. We all need a Ciara in our lives!

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1, “The Queen of the Martin Catacombs”: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2, “The Enchantress of Venus”: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3, “The Black Amazon of Mars”: Ciara is right here and Ciara’s Lines

Want to know more? Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Give a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Black Amazon of Mars at Amazon (kindle and paperback)
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★See you soon and stay inspired!★

Varra, the Enchantress of Venus ~ Lines

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Lines under the wicked silver fairy of Venus.

Let there be more lines for the pinups of the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary of Leigh Brackett’s characters we did for the volumes published by Cirsova Publishing.
Here are Varra’s lines! The heroine of the second volume and her silver curls.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines:
Volume 1: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3: Ciara and Ciara’s Lines

Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Take a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Echantress of Venus at Amazon (kindle and paperback) and at Barnes & Noble
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★Have a great week and stay inspired!★

Berild, the Queen of the Martian Catacombs ~ Lines

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The lines of the striking beauty from the hot desert land of Mars.

Let’s keep up with the Illustrated Stark, 70th Anniversary tribute to Leigh Brackett’s characters we created for the volumes published by Cirsova Publishing.
This time is Berild’s lines! The heroine of the first volume with locks for days.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1, “The Queen of the Martin Catacombs”: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2, “The Enchantress of Venus”: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3, “The Black Amazon of Mars”: Ciara and Ciara’s Lines

Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Take a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Echantress of Venus at Amazon (kindle and paperback) and at Barnes & Noble
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★Have a great week and stay inspired!★

Varra, the Enchantress of Venus

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Great power in a petite format. The wicked silver fairy of Venus.

Just like in the post dedicated to Berild, this time we bring you Varra, heroine of second volume of the Illustrated Stark: Enchantress of Venus by Leigh Brackett. Just like the first and the third book, illustrations and cover art are by us, StarTwo, and it’s published by the sci fi fan favourite, Cirsova Publishing.

Varra definitely struck an impression with the duality of elfish beauty corrupted by an inner evil that can crush you if you stand in her way -unless you’re Stark, of course. And yet, honest in her daring boldness and ambition.

As for all other characters, we received a description of Varra, who is a Lhari, and we added to her personality aided by reading from the volume as well.
This is from the wonderful information from the pre-production document we got from Cirsova:

The Lhari are described as having “alabaster skin, …eyes that were all colors and none, like the dawn sky, …hair that was pure warm silver”

Very much like an evil elf princess. She’s described as wearing a short red tunic and a leather falconry glove on her left hand (and a falcon to go with it). (…) Stark at one point calls her “witch with the silver curls”, (…) “lovely, like the red fruit of the swamp tree that bears death in its pungent sweetness”.

Her irresistible wickedness is like a red beacon warning you of danger, and yet, there you are, walking right towards it. Lured by the charming hazard dressed in red.

Don’t miss the original finished illustrations and their lines as well:
Volume 1, “The Queen of the Martin Catacombs”: Berild and Berild’s Lines
Volume 2, “The Enchantress of Venus”: Varra and Varra’s Lines
Volume 3, “The Black Amazon of Mars”: Ciara is right here and Ciara’s Lines

Want to know more? Fancy a light novel read? Then check out these links!
Take a look at Cirsova’s publishing blog
Check Echantress of Venus at Amazon (kindle and paperback) and at Barnes & Noble
Get the Illustrated Stark: 70th Anniversary Edition (hardcover)

★See you soon and stay inspired!★

A Shout-Out for Illustrated Stark

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We’re so happy! The third volume is going to be out on June 28th!
We hope you enjoy our cover art and illustrations, published by Cirsova Publishing!

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We recently got a shout-out on Cora Buhlert’s blog for our new edition of Leigh Brackett’s Stark:

Interestingly, the most recent editions by Cirsova Publishing of all companies, are the first to actually portray Eric John Stark as Leigh Brackett described him, namely as a black man.

In her post, Cora talks about how the Golden Age of Science Fiction was more diverse than it’s generally given credit for as she takes a look at the 2019 and the 1944 Retro Hugo Awards nominees (the latter of which includes a couple Brackett stories!).

One of the focuses of our own pulp review series at Castalia House (rerunning here through the end of the year) was to illustrate that the pulps were not what people have thought they were by showing what they actually were. And few if any of the nearly 150 stories we reviewed were anything like…

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