EXCLUSIVE: Cover art reveal for Grimdark Magazine Issue #36

Last Updated on September 25, 2023

We are mere days away from the release of Grimdark Magazine Issue #36 and I’ve decided I cannot sit on this magnificent piece of artwork by Carlos Diaz for a single moment more. The artwork for Grimdark Magazine Issue #36 is based on T.R. Napper’s brilliant and brutal dark fantasy novella A Marked Man, where a tattooed swordsman meets with variety of assassins.  You’ll also know Napper from his cyberpunk romp 36 Streets and his short story collection Neon Leviathan and if you’ve read his stuff, I’m sure you’ll be chomping at the bit to get your hands on this story.

The issue is also going to feature two Michael R. Fletcher short stories (he’s releasing two amazing novels this yearA War to End All and Sin and Sorrow–so why not?), We also have a variety of interviews including Thaigo Abdalla, Stephen Graham Jones and much, much more. And while I’m sure you’re excited for that, let’s not dally any further–to the art!

Cover art by Carlos Diaz for Grimdark Magazine Issue #36

When I approached Carlos about this story, I had a very clear image in my mind of the style I wanted that would best help the story pop on the cover. A Marked Man has very strong Japanese samurai and western themes with a magic system based around tattoos, because tattoos play a large part in the magic system as well as the overall aesthetic of the story, I wanted to incorporate a tattoo style into the cover that both encapsulated the feel of the story as well as being highly illustrative and immediately I knew that the Trash Polka style would suit it to a tee.

You can pop in Trash Polka style into Google and I can all but guarantee you’ll immediately know the kind of art I’m talking about. You’ve seen it on your friends and family, that random person across the street, and perhaps also on your own body.

And so, without any further ado, I give you Carlos Diaz’s A Marked Man for Grimdark Magazine #36.

This also isn’t the first time Carlos has interpreted one of Napper’s brilliant works onto a Grimdark Magazine cover, check out his cover of the cyberpunk The Shapes of our Fever in Grimdark Magazine Issue #29 here.

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Elizabeth Tabler

Elizabeth Tabler

Elizabeth Tabler runs Beforewegoblog and is constantly immersed in fantasy stories. She was at one time an architect but divides her time now between her family in Portland, Oregon, and as many book worlds as she can get her hands on. She is also a huge fan of Self Published fantasy and is on Team Qwillery as a judge for SPFBO5. You will find her with a coffee in one hand and her iPad in the other. Find her on: instagram.com/elizabethtabler https://beforewegoblog.com/ https://www.pinterest.com/scottveg3/ https://www.goodreads.com/Scottveg3 https://twitter.com/BethTabler