Tony DiTerlizzi (born September 6, 1969) is an American fantasy artist, children's book creator, and motion picture producer. DiTerlizzi created The Spiderwick Chronicles series with Holly Black, and was an executive producer on the 2008 film adaptation of the series. He won a Caldecott Honor Medal for his adaptation of The Spider and the Fly. In the gaming industry, he best known for his work in the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering and on the Planescape product line for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Click here to visit Tony DiTerlizzi's Imaginopolis.

This is not actually a piece of cover art nor an illustration but it does appear in a larger form on the cover of a Del Rey trade paperback edition of Dragonflight aimed at the juvenile market. The illustrations below are all taken (scanned) from the same volume and original to that volume.

© Copyright by Tony DiTerlizzi, all rights reserved.

In 2001 Del Rey asked illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi to illustrate a new Dragonflight edition, and also for a new cover, and the (trade) paperback was duly published in 2002. When I first saw the cover and the illustrations, online as I have never even seen this book stocked in Dutch bookstores, I almost laughed my ass out of my pants (colloquial Dutch). Yes, Anne had once said her dragons were more equine than anything else but this was taking things to extremes.

And how about the sheer size of the dragons depicted, the funny starstones, the castle like Ruatha with romantic waterfall... above all the drawings made my humour gland go wild with the cartoonesk quality of especially F'lar and Masterharper Robinton, who seems to have studied with the Borg for a while, looking at his eyepiece and who obviously has been in the Greek national guard service at one time because he clearly wears an Evzone skirt.
Any which way, despite my interpretation being a world apart from DiTerlizzi's interpretation of Pern persons and dragons I did recognise that, as illustrations go, this was quality work and if it did what Del Rey hoped it would, who was I to object? Besides, the book had a good old fashioned frontispiece, a practice I applaud heartily and a very nicely executed Pern map. So not at all bad, no sir.

I'll let Tony tell about this "project" himself for a bit first [source: Tony's blog, entry October 2007]:

"I first read Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight in late middle (or early high) school. It was after I had read The Hobbit, and before I plunged into Piers Anthony's many Xanth novels. And, even though it had a female protagonist (and her dragon), I really enjoyed it. Since it took place on another planet, it reminded me of Princess Leia and Star Wars a bit…of course, I loved the cover by Michael Whelan (the real reason I read it).

Imagine my surprise when I received a call from Del Rey books in 2001 to do a “new” version of Pern - fully illustrated and aimed for younger readers. Wow! Needless to say, I was giddy to be walking in the tracks of Whelan to bring my own view of Pern to life…but alas, it never really happened to the full extent of my vision.

You see, a book like this has a loooong history with a lot of people attached. Bringing in some new, “unknown artist” who wanted to tear the place apart and redesign everything, ruffled feathers. And so, many of my early space dragon designs were abandoned. I am posting some of these images here for the first time. The rest will have to wait for my Art of Tony D book…

Here, for once, I did not feel the constraints I had felt when I designed the terrestrial dragons found in D&D. I was thinking less-dragon-more-space-creature, and had great fun exploring shapes and forms. I looked at a lot animals for the head design: antelope, hippo, and fledgling birds. Finally we settled on a horse-like form - not my first pick, but it certainly appeared gallant on the final cover.

Like Dinosaur Summer, I am pretty sure my version of Dragonflight is out of print [Ed.: not true, it is still widely available but probably reprinted]. However, the labor that went into this book was not a loss to me. Projects where I can explore ideas and flesh out concepts are always rewarding - even if it all doesn’t make it to the final product…which often happens with me. I do a lot of sketches before I even think of preparing for a final image. So, the dragon-design knowledge (as well as the world-building designs: people, clothing, architecture, etc) I gained here became very useful when I began laying the groundwork for a new series of books I had created with my good friend Holly Black…"

Left: the frontispiece of the book Dragonflight.

below: nicely excuted chapter headings.


Original cover art is shown here with no intention to violate the copyright, or any other right, of the original artist and in recompense we try to promote the artist and link back to his or her webpages and webshops if possible. Should anyone whose work is depicted on these Pern Museum Pages have any objection to seeing his works of art promoted here, a simple email will suffice to make your wishes known and we will act accordingly.