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Cayea, John

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(?   -    ) US illustrator, seemingly active only from around 1970 to around 1981, his first cover being for Eando Binder's The Night of the Saucers (1971) from Belmont Books. Almost all of his following work was for Doubleday and Company, beginning with Jacqueline Lichtenberg's House of Zeor (1974). A Cayea cover soon became easy to recognize, often featuring a cleanly-executed, sometimes grotesque human or humanoid face or figure, usually centrally focused, with the entire work heavily weighted to the bottom of the page, all conveyed with eidetic intensity: once seen, a Cayea cover could haunt the visual memory. Notable examples include John Brunner's Total Eclipse (1974), John Morressy's Under a Calculating Star (1975), John Crowley's Beasts (1976), the 1977 American edition of Bob Shaw's A Wreath of Stars (1976), A E van Vogt's Cosmic Encounter (1980) and Octavia E Butler's Wild Seed (1980). Probably the best known of his covers – for Stephen King's The Stand (1978) – memorably departs from his usual strategy, featuring two antic quarrelling figures transfigured into sub specie aeternitatis emblems as modeled from the work of Jacques Callot (1592-1635). It is unfortunate that Cayea departed the field. [JC]

John Cayea



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