Edwards, Les

Tagged: Art

(1949-    ) UK illustrator, primarily of Fantasy subjects although he has worked in many genres, sf included; in the late 1990s he began producing artworks in a different, far more painterly vein, and for these he adopted the alter ego Edward Miller.

Edwards received his formal art education at Hornsey College of Art, and soon after graduating became a client of John Spencer's art agency Young Artists; since then he has been a full-time illustrator. His first cover commission appears to have been for the 1974 Sphere reprint of Theodore Sturgeon's Caviar (coll 1955). During the 1980s a major customer for his art was Games Workshop; he produced paintings and drawings for player manuals, the company's Games Magazine White Dwarf, etc., and also for the associated Fighting Fantasy series of gamebooks by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson and for Jackson's BattleCards; this association led to publication by Games Workshop's imprint GW Books of his collection Blood & Iron (1989). He painted posters for John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), Ralph S Singleton's Graveyard Shift (1990) and Clive Barker's Nightbreed (1990), as well as two graphic novels based on stories by Barker: Son of Celluloid (graph 1991) and Rawhead Rex (graph 1993), the latter with Hector Gomez.

Edwards initially worked primarily in gouache but soon turned to oils, painting on board; he does not use an airbrush. His portraiture is especially strong, but he is also good at hardware. Edward Miller, by contrast, paints in acrylics and places the accent on landscapes. Among his influences he lists Frank Bellamy and Bruce Pennington.

As Les Edwards the artist has won the British Fantasy Award seven times as Best Artist (1991, 1994, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006), once (2003) as joint winner with Edward Miller. He has been nominated five times for the World Fantasy Award as Best Artist; in 2008 he won it – as Miller. He is married to, and agented by, Val Edwards (1948-    ). [JGr]

Leslie James Edwards

born Walthamstow: 7 September 1949

died

works

  • Blood & Iron (Brighton: GW Books, 1989) [chap: graph: hb/Les Edwards]

works illustrated

  • Son of Celluloid (Forestville, California: Eclipse, 1991) based on "Son of Celluloid" (1984) by Clive Barker [graph: pb/Les Edwards]
  • Rawhead Rex (Forestville, California: Eclipse, 1993) with Hector Gomez, based on "Rawhead Rex" (1984) by Clive Barker [graph: pb/Les Edwards]
  • Michael Marshall Smith. This is Now (Northborough, Massachusetts: Earthling Publications, 2007) [coll: chap: pb/Les Edwards as Edward Miller]

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