Barlowe, Wayne Douglas 1958- (Wayne Barlowe)

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Barlowe, Wayne Douglas 1958- (Wayne Barlowe)


Born January 6, 1958, in Glen Cove, NY; son of Sy (an illustrator) and Dorothea (an illustrator) Barlowe; married Shawna McCarthy (an editor), June 26, 1983; children: Cayley, Hillary. Education: Attended Cooper Union, 1976-77; served apprenticeship at American Museum of Natural History, 1977.


Home—Rumson, NJ. Agent—Merrilee Heifetz, Writer's House, Inc., 21 West 26th St., New York, NY 10010. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, artist, illustrator. Parson's School of Design, Los Angeles, CA, teacher of science fiction courses, 1979-80. Paintings exhibited at galleries, including Society of Illustrators, Olympia and York Atrium, New Britain Museum, and Brooklyn Museum. Has illustrated over 300 magazine and book covers. Developed line of science fiction toys, Powerlords, manufactured by Revell; created line of art playing cards; has provided artwork for calendars. Cofounder, Xenophiles, 1996, development company for imaginative multimedia properties. Designer of animated personalities for games and movies, including Thirdspace, TNT Network; Titan AE, Twentieth Century-Fox; Galaxy Quest, Stan Winston Studios; and various adaptations for the Harry Potter movies and Hellboy, Hellboy II, The Priest, The Golden Army, and Paradise Lost.


Science Fiction Writers of America, Society of Illustrators, Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists.


Best Illustrated Book, 1979 Locus Poll, Best Book for Young People, American Library Association, nominations for American Book Award and Hugo Award, all 1980, all for Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials; Best Book for Teenagers, New York Public Library, 1991, for Expedition.


(And illustrator) Star Wars: A Pop-up Book, Random House (New York, NY), 1978.

Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 1979, 2nd edition (with Ian Summers and Beth Meacham), 1987.

(And illustrator) Star Wars, the Empire Strikes Back Mix or Match Storybook: More than 200,000 Combinations, Random House (New York, NY), 1980.

(And illustrator) Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the A.D. 2358 Voyage to Darwin IV, Workman Publishing (New York, NY), 1990.

(Illustrator) An Alphabet of Dinosaurs, text by Peter Dodson, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1995.

(And illustrator) The Alien Life of Wayne Barlowe, Morpheus (Beverly Hills, CA), 1995.

(And illustrator) Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy, Harper-Prism (New York, NY), 1996.

(As Wayne Barlowe; and illustrator) Barlowe's Inferno, Morpheus (Beverly Hills, CA), 1998.

(As Wayne Barlowe; and illustrator) Brushfire: Illuminations from the Inferno, Morpheus (Beverly Hills, CA), 2001.

(As Wayne Barlowe) God's Demon (novel), Tor (New York, NY), 2007.


Expedition was adapted for a two-hour broadcast on the Discovery Channel; Barlowe's Inferno was adapted for a screenplay by the author for Fox Feature Animation.


Wayne Douglas Barlowe is a multi-talented writer, artist, and illustrator. Born in 1958, in Glen Cove, New York, he is the son of well-known natural-history artists. Barlowe attended the Art Students League and the Cooper Union in New York City, and then was an apprentice at the American Museum of Natural History before starting off in a career of professional artwork. He was just twenty-one when his first solo work, Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, appeared. It was filled with 150 full-color paintings depicting fifty of the most famous aliens of science fiction literature. Nominated for both an American Book Award and a Hugo, Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials also includes a field guide to explain the movement, diet, respiration, and reproduction habits of these characters. The book has remained in print since 1979, selling over a quarter million copies.

It took a decade for his next work, Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the A.D. 2358 Voyage to Darwin IV, to be published. Meanwhile, Barlowe was also busy making a career as a book and magazine cover artist. Here the author-illustrator supplies forty paintings, one hundred black and white illustrations, and over two hundred pages of text to describe this voyage to another world. Barlowe is sent along as the mission's artist to help record the flight to Darwin IV, and he supplies all sorts of creatures that live on the icy planet. Writing in Publishers Weekly, Peggy Kaganoff felt that despite the "abundance of lavish full-color illustrations, … Barlowe's visualization of an alien world falls short imaginatively and is naturalistically unconvincing." Numerous other reviewers, however, had a higher assessment of this work, which was nominated for the Association of SF Artists' 1991 Chesley Award.

Other illustrated guides from Barlowe include Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy, Barlowe's Inferno, and Brushfire: Illuminations from the Inferno. He also illustrated the 1995 work An Alphabet of Dinosaurs, with text by renowned paleontologist Peter Dodson. Among the chorus of critical praise for this title was Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan, who commended the "dramatic paintings of dinosaur days," and a Publishers Weekly contributor who termed the book a "handsome and useful work," and further lauded Barlowe for his "intricately detailed, vibrantly colored paintings [that] possess an almost photographic clarity."

In 2007 Barlowe turned novelist for God's Demon, a novel inspired by his own artwork in Barlowe's Inferno. Here he constructs a hell created by the fallen angels who have now become demons. Major Sargatanas, one such demon, wishes to retain some of the nobility of his former life but finds it impossible to do so in a Hell under the reign of the horrid Beelzebub. Sargatanas decides to risk all in an attempt to return to heaven by fomenting an uprising against Beelzebub. Barlowe's debut novel received a warm critical reception. A Kirkus Reviews critic termed it "a vivid travelogue of a place we'd all like to avoid," as well as an "evocative epic fantasy." Similarly, a Publishers Weekly reviewer found God's Demon "a compelling view of Hell and of a demon who seeks redemption," while Booklist writer Krista Hutley called it "a fascinating novel that will ring true to anyone who has ever hoped for forgiveness."



Booklist, January 15, 1995, Carolyn Phelan, review of An Alphabet of Dinosaurs, p. 931; October 15, 2007, Krista Hutley, review of God's Demon, p. 39.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2007, review of God's Demon.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June, 2008, Michelle West, review of God's Demon, p. 32.

Publishers Weekly, November 23, 1990, Penny Kaganoff, review of Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the A.D. 2358 Voyage to Darwin IV, p. 59; January 2, 1995, review of An Alphabet of Dinosaurs, p. 77; August 20, 2007, review of God's Demon, p. 53.


Wayne Douglas Barlowe Home Page, (August 15, 2008).