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Barlowe, Wayne Douglas

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1958-    ) US illustrator whose successful Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials (graph 1979), in collaboration with Ian Summers and Beth Meacham (who wrote the text), was published when he was twenty-one, only two years after he had made his first sale, a cover for Cosmos. The book featured Barlowe's excellent paintings of many of sf's best-known attempts to depict Aliens. The son of natural-history artists Sy and Dorothea Barlowe, he has a talent for creating believable surface textures, important in creating aliens – his attention to detail is reminiscent of Howard Pyle (1853-1911) and N C Wyeth (1882-1945). He works in acrylics and has done, in addition to book covers, covers for magazines including Astounding and Asimov's, to whose ex-editor, Shawna McCarthy, he was married for many years from 1983, remarrying in 2013.

Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV (graph 1990), written and illustrated by Barlowe, is an interesting work of speculative Xenobiology, illustrating and describing the physiology of lifeforms on an imaginary planet; it was filmed as Alien Planet (2004) directed by Pierre de Lespinois, a computer-animation presented as a documentary. Other film-related work includes the early Tie Star Wars: A Pop-Up Book (1978), Monster/character design for Galaxy Quest (1999), Titan A.E. (2000), Avatar (2009), and others, and concept art/visual design for some of the Harry Potter movies, the two Hellboy movies, and others.

The Alien Life of Wayne Barlowe (graph 1995) has something of the air of a career retrospective, certainly as far as his sf work is concerned; Barlowe's later books incline increasingly towards fantasy. The Hell series starting with God's Demon (2007) comprises fantasies. [JG/PN/DRL/JGr]

Wayne Douglas Barlowe

born Glen Cove, New York: 6 January 1958




  • God's Demon (New York: Tor, 2007) [Hell: hb/Wayne Douglas Barlowe]
  • The Heart of Hell (New York: Tor, 2019) [Hell: hb/Wayne Douglas Barlowe]

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