(1955- ) US illustrator who has published also as Thomas Kidd, Newell Convers (a tribute to N C Wyeth, whose first two names these are) and Gnemo, the latter pseudonym acknowledging his fascination with the work of Winsor McCay. His cover illustrations are usually done in oils; the other media he uses in published work include watercolours and pencil.
Born in Tampa, Florida, Kidd decided at a fairly early age that he wanted to be a fantasy illustrator. In the mid-1970s he won a scholarship to Syracuse University to study art and Illustration, but he dropped out after two years and moved to New York City. In 1979 he received, from Berkley Books, his first cover commission, for A Judgment of Dragons (1980) by Phyllis Gotlieb. Since then he has painted the covers of hundreds of books published by all the major US sf houses as well as Marvel Comics, and has illustrated editions of two classic novels, Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers (1844) and H G Wells's The War of the Worlds (1898); for edition details see checklist below. The latter won him a 2002 Chesley Award for Best Interior Illustration. He was one of the contributing artists to the Collectible Card Game Heresy: Kingdom Come (1995), has created conceptual art for several movie projects, and has done commercial art and figurines for companies such as Franklin Mint and Danbury Mint. He has done some work in collaboration with John Pierard and Cortney Skinner.
For many years Kidd has been working on a Winsor McCay-influenced book called (provisionally) «Gnemo: Airships, Adventure, Exploration», depicting the adventures of a little boy called Gnemo (echoing the name of McCay's character Little Nemo) who is stranded on an alien planet whose inhabitants construct McCay-esque architectures and create McCay-esque machines, notably including Airships. Much of the art that Kidd has produced for this work-in-progress has been published and/or exhibited, and very favourably received; like almost all of Kidd's work, it has about it a sense of warmth and affection, and a richness of imagination.
Kidd has won seven Chesley Awards, including the Artistic Achievement Award for 2003; in that same year he received the World Fantasy Award as Best Artist. He has been nominated for a Hugo four times, in 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990, but, surprisingly for an artist of such evident if quirky talent, has never won the award – nor, for over two decades now, even been nominated. [JGr]
born Tampa, Florida: 10 August 1955
Previous versions of this entry