About the Æther Contest

This year, 2013, we are pleased to announce the opening of a new contest: Æther Illustration Contest. This contest has been developed for artists. Just as with DragonComet Short Story Contest and Odyssey Poetry contest, Æther Illustration Contest has divisions for adults and children.

The Æther Illustration Contest accepts illustration entries both color and black and white. Designed to show the speculative worlds as captured by the artist’s imagination. Complete rules and information is available here.

Æther Contest Celebrity Judges

Steve Keele

Steve KeeleAs long as he can remember he wanted art to be his career.

He painted billboards in Las Vegas, illustrated for BYU’s newspaper, The Daily Universe, and after he moved to California, did 2D cartoon layout for Thundarr the Barbarian and The Smurfs. Eventually, he began working in 3D computer modeling and animation. He have created numerous 3D computer models for big screen movies, including: Antz, Godzilla, Batman and Robin, The Shadow, Dungeons and Dragons; TV commercials and movies: Oldsmobile, The Stand–Stephen King, Johnny Quest; Video Games; Mindscape, Street Fighter, Abe’s Oddysee, Timez Attack, Gauntlet Legends; Multimedia, 3D body adventure; Web, NetSmartz; Realtime live events, Simgraphics, Mario and Luigi (Nintendo), accident reconstruction animation.

Currently he is doing 3D animation for an automotive TV and web company, freelance magazine illustrations, and working with Disney Imagineering.

In addition He’s created storyboards, logos, set design, book illustrations, etc.

He is married, have 6 children, 10 grandchildren and play bass guitar in a couple classic rock bands.

His work can be found at Keele Art.

James A. Owen

James A. OwenJames A. Owen is founder and executive director of Coppervale International, an art and design studio that also published the periodicals International Studio and Argosy, develops television and film projects, and is redesigning an entire town in Arizona, among other ventures. James has written and illustrated two dozen StarChild comics, the award-winning MythWorld series of novels (published in Germany and France), the bestselling series, The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, the inspirational nonfiction book Drawing out the Dragons, and more. More than a million copies of his publications are in print, and are sold all over the world.

James began his career in publishing approximately two years before he was old enough to get a driver’s license, and was the youngest publisher ever to be an exhibitor at the San Diego Comicon. He founded his publishing company, now called Coppervale, in 1992, with the Dickensian comic book titled StarChild.

In both 1994 and 1995, James was named to trade magazine Hero Illustrated’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the Comic Book Industry, and in 1997 and 1998 Image Comics co-published the second StarChild series, Mythopolis. The two dozen StarChild comics James produced remain in print as the six-volume Essential StarChild set, and are being re-released in the as the one-volume Twentieth Anniversary Nearly-Complete Essential StarChild.

Coppervale also secured publication rights to the century-old arts magazine International Studio, which debuted in the spring of 1999. After the turn of the millennium, International Studio was relaunched along with a high-end revival of the periodical Argosy, both of which won many design awards and lost a great deal of money.

The first book in a series of prose novels written by James titled Mythworld won the 2003 AI award for Best Novel, and was nominated alongside books by Stephen King and Michael Crichton for the prestigious Phantastik Prize for Best International Novel. Steve won, but James got more votes than Crichton, so that’s okay. As of June 2011, MythWorld Book One: The Festival Of Bones is available in English as an ebook from Coppervale International, with further editions to follow.

James has written and illustrated six books in the bestselling series The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica: Here, There Be Dragons; The Search For The Red Dragon; The Indigo King; The Shadow Dragons; The Dragon’s Apprentice; and The Dragons of Winter. The first book is in its eighth hardcover printing, it’s tenth paperback printing, and is now being published in more than twenty languages. A seventh volume, The First Dragon, will conclude the series in November 2013.

In 2012, after being advised by several industry professionals that the current publishing environment would make it too difficult to sell a five book series or even a trilogy, James responded by negotiating a new eight book deal with Shadow Mountain Publishing, consisting of a five book fantasy series called Fool’s Hollow and a nonfiction trilogy called The Meditations.

Drawing Out The Dragons, the first volume of The Meditations, was first published by Coppervale as a limited edition in 2011. That book, along with the other two volumes, The Barbizon Diaries, and The Grand Design, are being published in all-new, two-color hardcover editions in February, June, and September of 2013, respectively. The first volume of Fool’s Hollow will be published in Spring of 2014.

James is also working with the executive producer and associate producer of The Lord of the Rings movie franchise, Mark Ordesky and Rick Porras, respectively, to develop Fool’s Hollow as a CGI film and Here, There Be Dragons as a live action film.

All of these projects are being developed at the Coppervale Studio, a 14,000 square foot, century-old restored church in Northeastern Arizona, which is managed and run by James’s brother Jeremy.

More Good Trouble is afoot. Developing.