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The Legend of Steel Bashaw Paperback – October 1, 2010
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About the Author
Petar Meseldzija career began in 1981, with the comic strip "Krampi," followed by work on Tarzan. In 1991 he illustrated his first book Peter Enkorak. At the end of 1991 he moved to the Netherlands. He did illustrations for King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He held his first solo exhibition of illustrations and paintings in 1998 in Amsterdam. He is the recipient of the "Art Show Judges Choice Award - 59th World Science Fiction Convention, and two Silver Awards and a Gold Award from Spectrum. He painted 10 book covers for books of children's fantasy literature for Scholastic.
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Top Customer Reviews
Peter Meseldzija was previously only seen in a variety of the publisher Underwood's Spectrum art collections released annually. There we were given access to haunting images from this epic, one showcased illustration at a time. Needless to say it was never a completed set.
Once again publisher John Flesk has stepped up to bring the public a fully rendered collection of an artist otherwise a mystery to most of us. Now it's also put to purpose of illustrating this epic tale. There's enough artwork for this book to function as the artist's showcase but the tale is great bonus.
Peter Meseldzija is a masterful painter and designer with a skill level rarely seen today. His rendering skills are on par with the best illustrators of both the past and present with a style that is chimeric in scope. I see both Jose Segrelles and his nephew Vincent Segrelles's influence in some of Peter's work and this is a not an issue of vapid imitation. Both Jose a his nephew are admired artists and illustrators who have influenced the work of a lot of artists over the years. What makes Peter's work stand out are not those influences but where he eventually takes his work.
Peter's style matures into a singular visual juggernaut that has both painterly sensibilities (a richly hued and vibrant palette coupled with detailed, fine, layered brush strokes) as well as bold designs that cover every spectrum from frenzied violence to calming, introspective scenes.
Looking at scenes with trees so well rendered that you feel the warmth of the dappled sunlight working through gaps in the leaves on the tree's trunk as well as on the ground is not a suggested skill but a fully realized feeling you could take for granted. His characters are not ultra muscled human avatars. Even the Steel Bashaw himself, a dragon creature of grand proportions is designed in such fantastic and yet realistic way that he's given weight and essence. Marko, the protagonist, is also rendered large in proportion but not unrealistically so. Then there is the beauty of the woman Milica. This is not an exotic beauty too often used in tales of this nature, but the true beauty of a woman both approachable and attractive, not some distant, fantastic ideal. At his core Peter is almost like a cartoonist. His skill is so thoroughly realized that he can do anything with it. However, that style is put to realistic if fantastic measures because even legends have to be proportioned in a way rooted to our ability to suspend disbelief.
Peter's work stands out in both the patience he takes to get things right, but also in the way he makes the action portrayed feel spontaneous, for the quiet moments to slow down and take a deep pause. The viewers only have to allow themselves to poke their heads and bodies through the windows and doors that frame these images to become a part of them. There is where the basic magic resides, in us. Peter's work is the door.
Like all of John Flesk's publications there is a bonus. This one is a detailed look at the artwork as drawings and studies. I've said it before but in needs to be said again, a good artist starts as a good drawer. These drawings are incredible!
My hope is that people will buy this book and demand more from this incredible and uniquely gifted artist.