January 29th, 2010

Family Tree Short Story Art Illustration Michael J. DiMotta

Here's an illustration for my short story "Family Tree" (which will be appearing later this year in the John Joseph Adams anthology The Way of the Wizard):

David Barr Kirtley Family Tree Art Illustration Michael J DiMotta

This was a birthday/Christmas present from my parents. It was done by a staggeringly talented young artist named Michael J. DiMotta, who I picked out after randomly coming across his website. I came up with the basic (triptych) layout, but most of this was all him -- the mammoth, baroque design of the tree, the sunset sky, the pyrotechnic magic. Obviously he put an insane amount of work into this thing, but I guess he's not sick of it yet, because now he's interested in adapting the story into a graphic novel, which we're currently pitching to editors.

Here are some details:

David Barr Kirtley Family Tree Art Illustration Michael J DiMotta
Garrett, Elizabeth, Sebastian (baby), Bernard, Simon

David Barr Kirtley Family Tree Art Illustration Michael J DiMotta
Malcolm, Meredith, Meredith's mother, Nathan

David Barr Kirtley Family Tree Art Illustration Michael J DiMotta
The Tree of Victor Archimagus

From "Family Tree":

    A month later Simon stood and regarded the tree of Victor Archimagus.
    It was gigantic, its trunk as wide around as a castle wall. A good way up, the trunk split into a great V -- the two branches that had grown upon the births of Victor’s sons, Franklin and Atherton. From there the branches continued to climb and divide -- one for each legitimate male heir -- and now over a hundred descendants of the late wizard resided within the tree’s luxurious chambers. (Female children were married off and sent away -- Victor had never been a terribly enlightened sort.) The tree was a virtuoso feat of spellcraft, the first of its kind, and upon its creation Victor had been so impressed with himself that he’d taken the surname Archimagus -- master wizard. Simon was the only one to have successfully replicated the spell. Families that possessed the rare gift of magic seemed always to be afflicted with low fertility, but the fact that Victor’s tree grew larger and grander depending upon the number of offspring had ensured a frenetic effort to proliferate his adopted surname, and had also -- perhaps inevitably -- led to a rivalry between the descendants of Franklin and the descendants of Atherton over who could produce the greatest number of male heirs. At the moment it happened that the two halves of the tree were in perfect balance. Today’s presentation ceremony for Bernard’s infant son would change that.


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