Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Matthews, Rodney

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(1945-    ) UK fantasy and sf illustrator, with a distinctively bizarre drawing style, often featuring gourd-like and insectile forms liberally embellished with thorny decorations and excrescences. His early interest in nature study is always evident: even his cities and spaceships have shapes reminiscent of insect and plant life. He favours soft "pastel" hues, with violet and turquoise often predominating. He makes liberal use of airbrush, tightened with line, plus coloured pencil and gouache. His early work was drawn mainly with a technical pen laid over with coloured ink washes, or painted in acrylic gouache on canvas. He has also built a considerable reputation as a designer of alphabets and logos.

RM worked in advertising before accepting freelance commissions for record sleeves. Since then his output has included posters, prints, calendars and covers and internal illustrations for fantasy and sf books. He worked on a series of posters featuring themes from the writings of Michael Moorcock in the mid-1970s, also designing the author's logo for Legends from the End of Time (coll 1976 US); this led to a lavishly illustrated story, Elric at the End of Time (graph 1980). Other RM-illustrated books have included volumes of Greek myths and, somewhat disappointingly, Felicity Brooks's Tales of King Arthur (1994). He has done much work for the manufacturers of role-playing Games, including packaging design and books.

Collections of RM's work include In Search of Forever (graph 1985) with text by Nigel Suckling – from which was extracted R.M. (graph 1994 chap) – Last Ship Home (graph 1989) with text by Suckling, The Rodney Matthews Portfolio (graph 1991) and The Second Rodney Matthews Portfolio (graph 1993). [RT]

Rodney Matthews


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.