Where Have All the Illustrators Gone? A gallery of entries

Published On June 14, 2012 | By Joe Gordon | Animation, Books

Back in April we were debating the notion that modern publishing was using less illustration partly because there simply weren’t enough good illustrators around, with one prominent publisher, Cape’s Dan Franklin, remarking this was especially true of illustrators who could render good human figures and life drawing for books, be it covers or interior illustrations. Our own Kenny Penman, himself a publisher with Blank Slate Books, thought this wasn’t true and offered up a challenge to artists – create your own cover for one of two books, Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger or The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, which would then be put up for examination by all before we select a winner. The selection process will take place in the near future, but for now it is time to let you all see the entries various illustrators sent us in (Salinger’s classic rather dominating, perhaps unsurprisingly), let us know what you think (click for the larger versions).


Catcher in the Rye, Wilbur Dawburn



Catcher in the Rye, Phil Corbett


The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Lee Christien

Catcher in the Rye, Euan Cook

Catcher in the Rye, Guthrie Watson


Catcher in the Rye, Mark Haylock


Reluctant Fundamentalist, Agata Nawrot


Catcher in the Rye, Martin Lye


Reluctant Fundamentalist, Jo Surman


Catcher in the Rye, Christopher Young


Reluctant Fundamentalist, Jaime Huxtable


Catcher in the Rye, Sarah Goodfellow


Catcher in the Rye, Adrian Salmon


Catcher in the Rye, Tom Barwick


Catcher in the Rye, Karl Andy Foster

Catcher in the Rye, Sandra Vilimaite


Catcher in the Rye, Rich Johnson

Catcher in the Rye cover Ben Dorling

Reluctant Fundamentalist, Paul Giles

Catcher in the Rye, Poppy Panter-Whitlock


Reluctant Fundamentalist, Paul Shinn

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About The Author

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon is ForbiddenPlanet.co.uk's chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

12 Responses to Where Have All the Illustrators Gone? A gallery of entries

  1. David says:

    Quite gutted I couldn’t make the deadline. I had a design for Catcher all planned out.

  2. Guthrie says:

    What a brilliant selection, well done everyone and thank you Forbidden Planet people for putting it on.

    Possibly my fault but can I add my illustration blog link here: http://guthriewatson.wordpress.com/

    The link is you’ve posted is for my graphic design portfolio.


  3. Catherine says:

    great illustrations, love it! especially Mark Haylock’s one, great idea!

  4. Chris says:

    I had loads of fun doing mine. It’s really nice to see so many different takes on the same thing and the standard of work is so high.

    Maybe I’ll see some of you all on Twitter. My name on there is @_f1oyd.

  5. Alexia says:

    What brilliant illustrations, some real talent there. I especially love Jo Surman’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, really captures the atmosphere of the book…

  6. Ali says:

    I agree, the red and moody images would catch my eye if it were on a bookshelf.

  7. Ed says:

    These are all bloody awful.

  8. Richard says:

    Just to keep everyone updated – foreign comic fairs and holidays mean we can’t get together (even virtually) until July to decide on a shortlist. But don’t worry, it’s certainly not been forgotten.

  9. Dave Cumner says:

    The illustration by Jo Surman for “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” is for being very dramatic! Not a cover you could ignore in your local bookshop or library.

  10. One of the above says:

    Hey, how’s it going? Do you remember about us? Cheers..

  11. Richard says:

    Yep, we do remember, will sort something in July. Cheers

  12. Richard says:

    Did I say July? Ooops… August already. Sorry to all – will get it sorted very soon!