JANUARY 2008 UPDATE:
THE WORLD OF ILLUSIONS - 2008
In 2007, a U.S. author commissioned a cover and ten book illustrations for the first in his series of fantasy novels under the title of 'The World of
Illusions'. The author also licensed several existing artworks which had influenced his stories.
The first book, The Wise and the Mighty, is published early 2008.
The Valley of Barcentis
Zeb Battles the Cordalon
YENDOR The Journey of a Junior Adventurer - Rodney Matthews and Graham Smith, published by Big O Publishing, 1978
This is a children's book first conceived in 1973. Matthews, in 'cart before the horse' fashion, produced all the illustrations before inviting Graham
Smith to spin a tale around the pictures and a loosely defined plot that existed in his head! It lay dormant for years before Big O Publishing took it
up in 1978. The technique is watercolour on a medium board.
- - - - -
ELRIC AT THE END OF TIME - Michael Moorcock, published by Paper Tiger, 1987
The book was due to be published by Big O Publishing in 1981; alas, it did not happen. Big O collapsed under its own weight in 1980. Paper Tiger books
(an imprint of Dragon's World) came to the rescue in 1987, publishing the 120 page illustrated short story in hardback and limpback.
- - - - -
TALES OF KING ARTHUR - Retold by Felicity Brooks, published by Usborne Publishing, 1994, 1998
The original book had 84 pages with 11 colour illustrations and 32 pencil drawings. Later in 1997 Usborne asked Matthews for another batch of
illustrations to enhance further chapters which had been written, to increase the size of the volume to 160 pages.
- - - - -
THE SNUGELDORFS - SMILE, GOD LOVES YOU! - Doug King and Rodney Matthews, published by Cepher Publishing Co., USA, 1999
This is a picture book for young children written in rhyming verse by Doug King. The Snugeldorfs are a race of creatures living in a state of sadness,
until one day, along comes the traveller Hap to tell them about God's love for them.
Rodney's technique for this commission is black outline and ink on watercolour board.
For more information about the Snugeldorfs and the land they live in check out
- - - - -
THE MOTH AND THE MOON - Unpublished
This project began for Rodney in about 1973 with a suggestion by a friend that they make a semi-animated film based on his pictures. He rapidly
produced fifty pictures, but the scheme fell into abeyance for various reasons, including the demand for Matthews' posters and book covers. Some of
the pictures were published as cards and posters by Big O but the rest languished for several years until, taken by the style of his friend Nigel
Suckling's novel, Rodney approached him with the suggestion that he try and weave a story around the material.
The story concerns a young prince, heir to the throne of his dying father, whose kingdom is suddenly threatened by an enemy whose very existence has
been forgotten in the land. Before the true scale of the threat dawns on the rest of the country, he is told of a prophecy concerning his time, one
which demands the 'unforgetting' of many things and a mission into the Outer World to heal the wound of an ancient wrong, leaving his kingdom to fend
for itself as best it can. For, it is said, the Kingdom of Talassar can by its own strength do no more than postpone its day of ruin. With little more
than this prophecy to give him confidence, he sets off into the forgotten world beyond Talassar's encircling mountains, a world where the very laws
of possibility are different and humans have long been losing their battle for survival. And there he finds... well, he finds that his prophecy is
often a pretty slender foundation for hope. Let's leave it at that.
Excluding the original fifty or so stylised drawings, Matthews only produced seven colour pieces and a few pencil sketches before pressure of other
work shelved the book project indefinitely.
- - - - -
THE FIELD GUIDE TO NASTIES - Unpublished
This project has its origins in 1977 and must be the longest standing Matthews unfinished book! Shown here is the original rough mock-up for the
cover and a couple of the earliest illustrations. For more information on this please go to the Showreel section.