Josh Kirby RIP

Fri 26th Oct 2001

Josh Kirby RIPWe shall not see their like again

Artist Roland "Josh" Kirby, best known for his covers of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels passed away at the age of 72 on October 23. Kirby's career dated back to the 1950s. A graduate of the Liverpool City School of Art his first job was with an art studio producing film advertising posters for the London Underground. In the mid-fifties, he began painting covers for books and science fiction magazines and gradually became an established name in the fantasy art scene. In 1989 he was commissioned to do a cover for a reissue of The Colour of Magic (Alan Smith had done the cover for the first edition). He assumed it would be a 'one off' job. How wrong he was. He created the covers for 25 discworld novels, collaborated with Terry Pratchett on Eric and produced the covers for two discworld quizbooks compiled by David Langford. The second of these, The Wyrdest Link, featuring an orang-utan looking remarkably like Anne Robinson, is due out early next year. No wonder Terry Pratchett is quoted as saying "I only invented the Discworld. Josh created it."

- David Stewart

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