More Mortal Engines from Jaguar Lee

As promised in my previous post, here are a couple more pieces of Mortal Engines concept art by Jaekyung Jaguar Lee; Miss Fang’s duel with Valentine at Batmunkh Gompa, and the Guild of Engineers deploying MEDUSA.

One of the things I like about these pictures is that they aren’t illustrations of the book – they take the basic ideas and images but change them in all sorts of ways. Jaguar’s Anna Fang is nothing at all like my idea of her (where’s her big red coat? She’ll catch her death…) and the sword fight which, in the book, happens on a quiet and snowy balcony, now takes place in front of a wall of burning airships.

That’s exactly the sort of change you could expect to see if anyone ever made an actual movie of the books, and you’d think it would be irritating for an author to have their stuff altered in that way. But it’s such a long time since I wrote Mortal Engines that it doesn’t really bother me – I’m very pleased that my stuff has inspired Jaguar to create these paintings (I just wish I’d had them to refer to when I was writing the book, because it would have been much better!)

Jaguar has been studying at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, where his graduation show opens today.  I think my favourite of the images he has sent me is his spectacular painting of Airhaven, but in an attempt to generate a bit of bloggery tension, I’m going to hold that over till tomorrow…

Jaguar Lee’s Mortal Engines

Every now and again, when I start to think that everyone has forgotten Mortal Engines, the internet throws up something wonderful to prove that a few people are still reading it, and that it’s inspiring them to create fantastic artwork. That happened this week, when Dave De Gobbi got in touch on the Facebook page to tell me about this amazing series of pictures by design student Jaguar Lee.  

What I like about them is the way they re-imagine the book; completely ignoring a lot of the description  to create something which is completely individual, but which somehow captures the feeling I was after – huge machines in dusty landscapes, and people dwarfed by the scale of their technology.

I’ve reproduced a couple of samples here, with Jaguar Lee’s permission – be sure to have a look at his blog for more. He tells me that he’ll be updating it with further Mortal Engines images soon, and it’s also full of lots of other cool landscape, costume and creature designs.

There’s one (non Mortal Engines) image in particular which could almost be an illustration for a scene I just wrote in the story I’m working on at the moment – but I’m not going to tell you which one it is!