John Howe (born August 21, 1957 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) is a book illustrator, living in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. One year after graduating from high school, he studied in a college in Strasbourg, France, then at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs. He is best known for his work based on J. R. R. Tolkien's worlds. Howe and Alan Lee were the lead artists of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, Howe also did the illustration for the Lord of the Rings (board game) created by Reiner Knizia. Howe also re-illustrated the maps of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion in 1996–2003. His work is however not limited to this, and includes images of myths such as the Anglo Saxon legend of Beowulf. He also illustrated many other books, amongst which many belong to the fantasy genre (Robin Hobb's books for instance.) Howe also contributed to the film adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. In 2005 a limited edition of George R. R. Martin's novel A Clash of Kings was released by Meisha Merlin, complete with numerous illustrations by Howe. He has a marvelous website which is available in English, French and German!

The Book A Diversity of Dragons was published by Simon & Schuster Ltd. and was co-written by Richard J. Woods, an old friend of Anne's. Richard is a Dominican friar who teaches in Chicago and Blackfriar's Hall, Oxford University. An unusual combination at the least But take a closer look at what interests our friar on his site Dragonthorn and you'll understand a little better. Anne and Richard decided to write a book about dragons. It became sort of a compendium or reader's guide to dragons and dragon books in short story/novel form and if that sounds strange to you I advise you to hunt the book down and read it. If you love dragons you'll love it . So far so good. A special book if only the text was there, but no... that was not enough.

In stepped John Howe, a superb Canadian illustrator and artist, influenced by Celtic and Northern Arthurian myth and legend, who has illustrated many books and is most known for his illustration of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He was the ideal illustrator and his participation made a super book on dragons into a stunning-super book! On his own site John says about this book: It's long been out of print, so snap it up... (the original editor I did the book for went bankrupt ages ago, owing me a truckload of money, so it will never be reprinted.)

And it is not only dragons, although there are an unbelievable number depicted as well as documented when the story evolves (no, I am not giving away story details). I do feel I need to share a drawing by John Howe of Anne as she looked when I first met her in person in 2002.

Nice huh? Dragons, I hear you thinking... So, isn't there stuff in that book about the Pern dragons we need to know? Well, not much as the book is about dragons in general although Pern dragons are mentioned and Ramoth is classified to belong in the group of the "big to huge" dragons A thing that might be special to Pern fans is the drawing John Howe made, undoubtedly with instructions and/or comments from Anne, of Lessa and Ramoth after Hatching, pictures here on the right. Yes, indeed, the book does not fit on the scanner glass, it's that big.

While John has many of the original artwork for this book up in a gallery on his website, the Lessa and Ramoth one is not among them...

© Copyright by John Howe, all rights reserved.


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.