Catching Up With Fantasy Artist, David M. Rabbitte

David Rabbitte at ComicCon

David Rabbitte at ComicCon

Back in January I interviewed fantasy artist David M Rabbitte, known for his Star Wars and Lord of the Rings art, as well as the magnificent background vistas seen in such animated films as Anastasia and Titan A.E.

I caught up with David after his return from ComicCon 2013 in San Diego…

Mark Knight: David, you attended ComicCon in San Diego recently. This has not been your first ComicCon. How many years have you been attending and what is your routine as a guest artist?

David Rabbitte: I have been attending Comic Con since 1996 as an attendee and I have been set up in Artists’ Alley since 2008. I would typically have a table where I would sell my printed art and do on site commissions upon request from attendees.

Mark Knight: Part of your display was the artwork you completed for my upcoming teen novel, Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls. Talk about some of the other book cover commissions you have done and the challenges they presented.

David Rabbitte: I have worked with both independent authors and established publishers. The art direction varies with each publisher. My first professionally published book was for Marvel/Byron Preiss Books around 2001, when I was asked to produce three covers for the X-Men novel trilogy X-Men: The Legacy Quest. They went through a series of changes as instructed by the art director and Marvel, which sometimes included reworking the layout before going to color.

On another occasion I did a cover piece for Muppet Peter Pan published by Boom! Studios, for which the art direction was pretty straight forward with almost no changes. I sent them a few sketches as ideas for the cover, and the picked the one they liked. I went on to color and it was approved.

With independent authors the cover is of characters and a story which is invented by them, so I would ask for any information that would help in bringing their ideas to life. Occasionally they would provide me some photo reference to help me visualize what they are trying to convey.

David Rabbitte Star Wars Art

David Rabbitte Star Wars Art

Mark Knight: You have done sketch cards for both the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises, which have proven very popular with collectors. Why do you think these two fantasies continue to endure?

David Rabbitte: Lord of the Rings is just an amazing story populated with wonderful characters. Tolkien didn’t just write a story – he created the world of Middle Earth in such depth you can almost believe it actually existed.

Star Wars is so unlike other science fiction films because it really isn’t sci-fi at all, it’s a fairy tale set in space. It is a story which contains those ideas which stand the test of time. Up until the release of the original film, we had not seen a movie of this genre done in such a unique way that was also believable.

Mark Knight: Lastly, what is your current project?

David Rabbitte: I just finished working on some sketch cards for Topps for their Star Wars Galactic Files series 2. Right now I am working on another exciting card set for a different company, but I can’t share anything about it yet – keep an eye out for news on my website though, as I will be posting more about that in the coming months!

Solomon Grimm art at ComicCon 2013

Solomon Grimm art at ComicCon 2013

Teen Zombie Blues…

We all know that zombie games and zombie movies are at the height of their popularity. Zombie novels? They are big too. I always wanted to write one, but I knew I had to do it differently.

As well as the ‘Blood Family’ sequel, I am currently preparing my teen adventure novel, ‘Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls‘ for publication.

I wrote this supernatural tale in 2010, having been interested in exploring Irish folk tales and mythology, and setting a story in Galway, Ireland – a magical place where my parents now live and where my father was born.

Popular author and mythologist Dr Bob Curran helped me research this book.

The novel is intended for a slightly younger audience than Blood Family.

Urban Dead

Solomon is a 15-year-old British teen who gets himself cursed – and becomes undead. Now, he has to find a cure.

Just as ‘Blood Family‘ was a new take on vampire lore, this is my own twist on zombie mythology. Plenty of magic, strange creatures, and rollicking adventure here… plus a trip to the Underworld.

‘Solomon Grimm and the Well of Souls’ is due for Amazon release end March 2014.

Here for you is the textless cover artwork by noted fantasy artist David M. Rabbitte along with the back cover blurb, which should set the stage for you!

I hope you will love this book – aimed at teens, but also meant for everyone
~ Mark Knight.

Solomon Grimm supernatural novel

Solomon Grimm by Mark Knight

BLURB

Solomon Grimm is a pretty average teen. He goes to school. He hangs out with friends. He plays guitar in a band. There’s a lot to look forward to—new friends, playing gigs around the country, and hopefully a special girl to become part of his life.

All that is about to change.

While on Easter vacation in Ireland, Solomon falls foul of a gypsy woman. He is cursed and joins the marbh bheo—the living dead. Never to breathe, or grow, or love, and now able to see every supernatural being once invisible to him, his fate is to wander the fog-shrouded hills of Shanvarra for eternity… never to return home.

Solomon tracks down the woman who cursed him. She makes a deal with him. If he will bring her abducted daughter, Tara Danan, back to her, she will reverse the spell and restore Solomon to his old self. Solomon now has a terrifying task ahead of him. For Tara has been taken to the Underworld, a place reachable only through the forbidden Well of Souls.

Along with his new friend, the incurably curious Mungo, Solomon must brave the darkening depths of this hidden world, where the slavering, flesh-eating Savage Dead search endlessly for a way to the surface. If Solomon’s bravery—as well as a whole host of undead powers—holds out, he might just find Tara Danan before becoming trapped in the Underworld forever…

SOLOMON GRIMM AND THE WELL OF SOULS by MARK KNIGHT

FIRST 8 CHAPTERS AVAILABLE TO READ FOR FREE NOW ON WATTPAD!

The Truth About Anti-Matter

Engineer: “Why has the captain ordered self-destruct?”

Scotty: “I would say, lass, because he thinks…he hopes…that when we go up, we’ll take the intruder with us.”

Engineer: “Will we?”

Scotty: “When that much matter and anti-matter come together, oh yes, we will indeed!”

~ Star Trek

We all interact with matter every day of our lives. Indeed, we are all made of matter. But what of anti-matter? How can the opposite of matter even exist? Scientists not only affirm its existence, but experiment with it as well, despite it being a possible trigger to our destruction.

big bang anti matter antimatter

The big bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the early universe.

Does Anti-Matter Exist?

We all remember how, on the original Star Trek television series, engineer Scotty was always pulling his hair out worrying about the starship’s engines. Those fictional engines ran on a ‘matter and anti-matter’ mix, which gave the futuristic craft enough propulsion to whiz it to other star systems without the need for putting the crew into cold storage. But does anti-matter really exist?

Star Trek Warp Core

Star Trek’s Warp Core

Making Anti-Matter

The answer is yes, absolutely. It exists. In fact, scientists create it in their laboratories all the time. But it generally does not last. And that’s the real trick. When you makes anti-matter, you need to do things with it – and quickly. First of all, you need to keep it from touching anything else. If you make an anti-electron, and it touches a regular electron, then it annihilates into a very high-energy photon, so it has to be trapped and kept away from everything else. Fortunately, there are techniques to do exactly that. The particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland – the world’s largest particle physics laboratory – is used to collide protons with other protons.

CERN; antimatter

Antimatter is created at CERN Labs

Frightening Implications

But can we make enough anti-matter to create a power sufficient enough to propel a spacecraft like the Enterprise? Or, of greater concern, an explosion? One might think that all that was needed would be to bring together a large amount of matter and a large amount of anti-matter and boom – the dreaded apocalypse. But that would be a very inefficient way of making an explosion. The amount of energy one would need to make to create that huge amount of anti-matter in the first place might just as well be put to work making an ordinary explosion.

anti matter bomb

Hope for the Future

Work with anti-matter is now decades old. Recent fears that CERN would create a black hole and suck the entire earth into it turned out to be unfounded. These scientists know the risks, and obviously have not blown up our world – and themselves – during their experiments. Humanity’s best interests have to be their priority.