Mark Wilkinson
Most readers will know Wilkinson for his work with Marillion, designing every album and single sleeve of the Fish era and continuing to be associated with both Marillion and their former singer with some visually stunning work. Indeed having spent hours copying his first cover for Market Square Heroes onto my geography folder as a schoolboy, it even inspired early forays into music journalism – calling my first fanzine Court Jester!
In Shadowplay Wilkinson’s second tome [his first, 2000’s Masque: The Graphic World Of Mark Wilkinson, Fish and Marillion did exactly what it said on the cover], and this time looks at a long and well-established career of a man whose paintings have had as much impact on the prog world as the likes of Roger Dean and Storm Thorgerson.
Shadowplay is essentially bookended with chapters on Marillion and Fish with insightful tales from Wilkinson himself, but what is perhaps even more interesting are those chapters that display the breadth and depth of his work. Wilkinson has not only worked with metal titans Judas Priest (for whom he deigned the Ram It Down, Painkiller, Angel Of Retribution and Nostradamus covers, to name but four), but has also worked with Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, HIM, Europe and The Darkness. He’s even worked with Kylie! Outside of music there’s been some amazing work for 2000AD comic, Red Dwarf and some intricate work with stamps, and a whole load more.
There’s a special edition of Shadowplay that comes bound in cloth with a silver cover print which is quite mouthwatering. But as you will have undoubtedly noticed from the striking front cover of this issue, it’s Mark’s attention to details that is the most striking thing about his stunning work. And there’s plenty of that to feast your eyes on in this exceptional book.
Jerry Ewing

MARK WILKINSON – “SHADOWPLAY” (Edition Brusen/Fantasmus Art)

One of the things I love is fantasy and science fiction artwork usually on album covers and old Pan paperbacks from the ‘50s and ‘60s. Mark Wilkinson’s book ‘Shadowplay’ is a collection of his artwork from music, books, comics, stamps and rock memorabilia. The book begins with a first person account of Mark’s career prior to becoming a professional artist. Hardback and coffee table-sized, it’s neatly laid-out with single chapters detailing his work for Marillion, Judas Priest, Fish, The Darkness and Iron Maiden as well as the bits he’s done for Monsters Of Rock, various other rock artists (Bon Jovi, Europe and others) and the non-music things he has worked on like Judge Dredd, Red Dwarf and stamp designs. It’s wonderful to look at. Some of my favourite pieces of artwork in the tome include Marillion’s ‘Misplaced Childhood,’ Judas Priest’s ‘Ram It Down’ (shame the album wasn’t quite as good as the cover!), Priest’s ‘Metalworks’ and Iron Maiden’s ‘Eddie’s Archive.’ The Red Dwarf video covers are superb too. Wilkinson is as good as the likes of Rodney Matthews, Derek Riggs, and Roger Dean and ‘Shadowplay’ is a fine celebration of his artwork. Visit www.the-masque.com for information on how to buy the book.
Review by Neil Daniels

Mark Wilkinson is the artist best known for illustrating Marillion’s first four, Fish fronted albums, Shadowplay is a lush visual walk through his career. The accompanying text acknowledges the synergy and trust required between he and the band, and the commercial rewards that the resulting aesthetic identity brought.
(8/10) Review by Jon Hotten


SHADOWPLAY - Mark Wilkinson
Edition Brusen, £30+P&P
ISBN 97887992147300, 178 pages

Plenty more Fish there to see:

This sumptuous hardback book is an overview of artist Mark Wilkinson’s career to date, but it also serves as a memorial to the meticulous sleeve art commissioned during the era of the long player. Despite entering the market at a less-then-promising period – the late 70s/early 80s – Wilkinson had the good fortune to come into contact with the equally unfashionable-seeming Marillion – and a perfect marriage of graphics and music was born.
This series of album covers, with their immediately recognisable iconography, will be familiar to many readers, but Wilkinson has produced similarly accomplished designs for a wide variety of artists. Though primarily a picture book, the text makes for interesting reading, especially given the fact that the album art field seems to have been in chronic decline for the best part of 20 years. Besides album sleeves, Wilkinson has also ventured into comics, movie and TV work, and even postage stamps, making for a varied, interesting output perfectly captured in this beautifully-designed book. A limited number of signed copies of the standard and deluxe versions (in a slipcase with two signed prints) are available at www.the-masque.com.
William Pinfold

Shadowplay review in Metalhammer

Best known for his work with prog rockers Marillion and Fish, cover artist Mark Wilkinson collates a splendid body of work, that also includes his art for Iron Maiden, Europe, The Darkness, HIM, Judas Priest and even Bon Jovi. A vibrantly stunning and enjoyable collection of richly colourful creations and the stories behind them.