I think this is probably my favourite Robin Jarvis illustration ever. I like it so much that I have a print of it framed on my wall. Everything about it is so cinematic and evocative, but I don’t need to say that, it’s loudly apparent in every pen-stroke. Every time I see it, it inspires me to improve my own artwork and challenge myself, and maybe talon a few Harans in the name of the Dark Despoiler.
Predictable? Yes. But honestly aren’t Sarpy and His High Priest photogenic together? Look at them and just try to stop your heart melting in a puddle of black goo.
Many of the illustrations in this book are stunning, but I think I’m going to have to spring for the two most ‘spiritual’ characters. First up, Simoon, who I feel is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Javis world. You underestimate him at first, but he has a lot more power up his sleeve than you at first realise. (And also, like Obi-Wan, he was a survivor of a great massacre.) The swirling abstract pattern repeated on the rug and in the background also lends him an extra air of mystery.
And I feel like the loris here is the Yoda of the piece, but that’s not quite fair – he’s never a figure of comedy, and is much more haunted. I’m not even sure why I like this one, but there’s just something about his eyes and his mouth. Also the fact that his only possession is a key. There’s something so minimalist about it, that it makes you realise how much of ordinary life he has given up in order to guard the fragment for Hara.