John Coulthart, Artist, Designer, and Illustrator

While prowling about the internet in search of a suitable cover artist for the Dark Lantern Tales book series, I was frustrated that nearly every example of work I could find looked like a warmed-over movie poster. Professional, well crafted, and so very much alike that a web page full of them just turns into wallpaper.

No disrespect to the artists intended, but I wanted to have images that stood out from the crowd. I also wanted to work with a designer and artist who had some understanding of the artwork from the time period in which the Dark Lantern Tales stories were originally published.

Reading some blogs and looking over some Steampunk novel covers, I kept seeing references to the British artist, John Coulthart. I located his web site and was immediately struck by the conceptual depth of his work, and by his consummate skills. Further, Coulthart clearly is an advanced student of the wood and steel engravings of the nineteenth century. Wandering the galleries of his web site will reveal both breathtaking and disturbing visions; fantasy, horror, Steampunk, psychedelia, and especially his realization of visions from HP Lovecraft.

I had nothing to lose by asking, so I sent him a note and described the direction of my publishing and my need for cover art that really spoke to the content and historical context of these stories. To my delight, he was interested in the project and is illustrating covers for each of three series I am publishing, beginning with The Joe Phenix Detective Series.

John Coulthart maintains his feuilleton page, essentially blogs, and described in interesting detail his development of this cover art:

Joe Phenix's Master Search

Joel Friedlander ( is kind enough to review eBook covers, and among the many posted in January 2019, the Dark Lantern Tales covers came in for some good comments.

The Book Designer Awards, Jan 2019_2

The Book Designer Awards, Jan 2019_3.png

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