The Jewel in the Skull

The Jewel in the Skull, 1978

James Cawthorn, born 21 December 1929, was a fantasy illustrator, comics artist and writer who worked extensively with writer Michael Moorcock. He met Moorcock through his involvement in science fiction and fantasy fandom. When Moorcock moved into commercial publishing, Cawthorn followed, illustrating his prose serials, and the comic strip "Planet Peril" (1958), and writing the three-part serial "Handar the Red", in Tarzan Adventures, and illustrating for the Sexton Blake Library (1959-61). He drew covers and interior illustrations for the science fiction magazine New Worlds from 1964, and worked with Moorcock on a variety of magazines in the 70s, drawing "The Sonic Assassins", a comic strip based on the band Hawkwind, in Frendz (1971), and they began a collaboration on an Elric comic strip, but the magazine folded before this could be published.

He and Moorcock co-wrote the 1974 film The Land that Time Forgot, and the 1975 Jerry Cornelius novel The Distant Suns, which Cawthorn finished, under the pseudonym Philip James, when Moorcock fell ill. He drew graphic novels adaptations of Moorcock stories for Savoy Books, including Strombringer (1976), The Jewel in the Skull (1979) and The Crystal and the Amulet (1986), and illustrated editions of Henry Treece's novels for the same publisher. He illustrated numerous fantasy novels, in in 1988 collaborated with Moorcock on Fantasy: The 100 Best Books, published by Xanadu. He died on 2 December 2008.


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