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Sirens Paperback – 23 Oct 2009

2.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd (23 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184856368X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848563681
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 1.2 x 32 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,541,727 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Chris Achilleos ranks with Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo as one of the best-known fantasy artists in the world."

About the Author

Chris Achilleos was born in Cyprus in 1947. In 1960, he moved to London where, after graduating art college, he began illustrating book covers and pin-ups. His subsequent career includes work on a variety of book covers, most notably Doctor Who and Star Trek, role-playing games, erotic pin-ups and movie posters. He is one of the premier science fiction/fantasy artists in the world.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
Having admired this artists work for more years than I care to remember it was a title that was met with bated breath upon its arrival. Partly because I didn't want to taint childhood memories of the fantasy covers staring down at me from my Dad's books but also as I'd hate to think that the artist was dated too much against the type of art coming out now. Whilst he is what you would call a fantasy artist of the ages his work really did reawaken some memories which is what is key about this type of title. Add to the mix a definitive style that means you know an Achilleos piece from a distance alongside some wonderful background and its something special for all fans of the genre
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Format: Hardcover
Simply put Achilleos is a master of his craft and has a unique style that some seem not to have found pleasant to their modern eye. That the style has not changed radically with the new techniques available is not such a bad thing - he's stuck to what he's good at and what he and his fans love (check out the review *s others of his books have ... heck check the reviews of this one in the US ...).
This book actually shows he *has* evolved from his earlier works and become even more accomplished, as well as showing and describing his techniques and approach (though not in detail). He freely 'admits' he works from photographs, though he montages many images to get the composition he desires rather than simply copying and that his technique is different to many others in his field. To me, however, this makes him stand out as an individual talent not one who doesn't match up to other different styles.
This book is full of fantastic artwork, in my opinion most of which is of a higher calibre than his previous work in 'Beauty and the Beast' and even 'Medusa'. His style remains unique however and though it doesn't always lend itself to an emotional impact or communication it perfectly portrays the aloof tendencies of his subjects ... and the cover illustration certainly proves that he can portray emotion when appropriate!
All in all an excellent addition to the bookshelf of any collector of top class fantasy art in all its forms.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading the review posted here I got very angry, because I had been a Chris Achilleos fan for some time because of two images of his that I had seen of his Bruce Lee and Star Trek paintings. So after seeing this review I was determined to see the book for myself. Luckily a friend of mine had purchased the Paper Tiger version of the book a few years ago at a run down comic mart in London. We met and sat down to look at the book, and I am astonished to say that everything previously said was true. The art was dull and lifeless. Women who were supposed to be imbued with a sultry sense of sexuality were instead painted in a dreary one dimensional fashion. I suddenly started to realise that the images that I had loved of Bruce Lee and Capt Kirk were in fact previously famous poses that Achilleos had in fact slavishly copied. Was this then the problem...? Could it be that when asked to just copy a previously well constructed image Achilleos could perform as a copyist...? But when asked to come up with something original, his creative powers clearly did not match up to his obvious technical ability. As a technician he is clearly of his time i.e the 70's but with techniques now available like computer imaging as well as airbrush, it appears that the young inspired talent of today will soon make Achilleos a name that will fade into the past where he obviously belongs. A great shame to see someone who once brought a smile to one's face on seeing his work, now only bringing a wry smile of sadness of what might have been. If like me, you had admired the work of Achilleos, then do yourself a favour and remember him for what you liked of his in the past and do not expose yourself to anything that he has done recently. That way the illusion of what he is can remain alive.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
As a huge fan of fantasy art I like everyone else have always been in awe of the name Achilleos. Not I hasten to add because I have seen great works of his...BUT more because I suspect like so many others I had been TOLD he was great by the people who came before us. The people from the 70's and the 80's who have shaped our opinions through their own preaching at us about the what we should look for in fantasy art. Anyhow, be that as it may I rushed to buy this book in the hope that as both a fantasy art fan and a woman I would find something beautiful to marvel at in the way Achilleos had portrayed his women. Why the very sound of the title had me, a heterosexual woman salivating at the prospect of seeing the "master" display his creations. Imagine then my horror and dismay to find that the paintings in the sirens book were dull, derivative, soul less pieces that looked to all the world as if they had been cranked out factory style just to make a quick buck. I phoned some friends to ask them to come over to look at the book to see if it was me who had lost my sense of appreciation. I do not know if I was happy or sad to find that they shared my point of view. They to felt somehow betrayed by this man whom we had up to this point revered as an icon. Following this we started to re-appraise Achilleos's work andsoon found that if you took his work in the 70's and 80's ....bearing in mind that he had no real competition....presumably because he was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time....( because clearly there were many artists out there equally if not more talented than achilleos who obviously did not get the breaks that he did ) could accept that he was feted as a good artist.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy art 18 Feb. 2008
By wiredweird - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"[Achilleos] was suspicious of Fine Art from the beginning, and still is." I can appreciate that. As an illustrator rather than artist (or Artiste), Achilleos is free to tell an exciting story, capture a dramatic moment, revel in a woman's bare beauty, or even get a little silly - sometimes all at once. These works, largely from the late 70s and early 80s, present a variety of Achilleos's commissions and portfolio pieces, along with comments that narrate his life during this time.

It's wonderful and varied work, including Star Trek, Dr. Who, Bladerunner, and other well-known cultural icons. The best work melds Achilleos's strong pinup style with fantasy and science fiction elements, in varying proportions. I was especially interested in Achilleos's notes on technique. He trained as a commercial illustrator with deadlines to meet, so feels free to use anything that does the job and does it on time: gouache, oils, airbrush, ink, even fabric dye. Well, a picture done for reproduction has different goals that one meant as an end product in itself - if it looks good in print, it must have been right.

Although Achilleos might not be well known to most people, he commands respect within the world of fantasy imagery. A glowing intro by Ray Harryhausen compares Achilleos to Boris and Frazetta - I might not elevate Achilleos to those ranks, but his art is easy to enjoy anyway. This book fits comfortably into any collection of fantasy art.

-- wiredweird
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superlative collection of fantasy art 7 Jan. 1999
By Michael S. Hopkins - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My favorite collection of Chris Achilleos' work borrows the title from the painting on the cover titled "A siren's remorse". This image of a siren (mythological creature similar to a mermaid that uses it's voice to lure sailors to their death) cradling the bloated body of dead sailor depicts the agony and frustration of this beautiful creature as it struggles to fight back the tears. This book depicts fantastic struggles and quiet moments of beauty with such artistry and flair, that it leaves the viewer spellbound. I heartily recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Inspiration 16 Nov. 2005
By k - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have a few favorite artists who do amazing illustrations and Achilleos is one of them.

This book is a huge collection, most of beautiful women, and its their costumes and surroundings that make them exotic. Achilleos is one of those kind and fatastic people who inspire other people do follow up with their art. I have written him a fan letter and he personally wrote back. It makes it so much more wonderful to appreciate his art when he is so warm and gracious.

This album covers many genres and interests. There are dragons, warriors, horses, mermaids, zombies, superheros, lizards, animals, robots, evil creatures and just about everything else you can think of, captured on a glossy page.

This book gives me tons of pleasure simply by sitting on my shelf. I know I have a piece of his art, and at hands reach I am transported to his insanely beautiful world.

Tremendous collectible for ANYONE!
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 31 Dec. 2009
By Tim Lasiuta - Published on
Format: Paperback
Art books are always a challenge to both produce, and write about. Having produced a volume on Joe Sinnott, I am keenly aware of the fine line between bragging and biography, hopefully having biographed instead. Fine art books can either be a collection of standout art pieces with a little narrative, or more narrative, and less art. "Sirens" walks the fine line and is well balanced.

If you want insight into Mr Achilleos, there is insight. If you want to see the beautiful pieces of work that his pencil, pen and brush have created, there is that too. Many pieces stand out as you peruse the high quality production. This book highlights his science fiction/fantasy pieces with particular focus on Dr Who, and his Star Trek renditions (for me at least). There are many excellent Viking pieces too for the Norse art lover in all of us. He really shines, where his sister states he could not draw well at all, in his renditions of female figures. Boadicia adorns the cover spectacularly, while Elric completes the dust jacket. Inside, his commission pieces depict stunningly beautiful women in a variety of genres. Two of his pieces top my list as favourites, Miss America, and Cheyenne. Just so we are clear, the rest of the book is packed with amazing art no matter where you look.

Chapterwise, the book covers the following: A Biographical Introduction, Dr Who and Star Trek, Fantasy and Science Fiction, Amazons, film work, fighting fantasy and pin ups. The text by Nigel Suckling is intriguing, like a tour guide taking you through a montage of Achilleos artwork. Just to nitpick a little, Startrek, should be Star Trek.

Wander a while through the Imaginative worlds of Chris Achilleos, and marvel at the 2nd edition of Titan Books landmark presentation. Hold your applause.

Tim Lasiuta
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greats of Fantasy Art 11 Jun. 2010
By Tim Janson - Published on
Format: Paperback
From a past master of fantasy we turn our attentions to one of the modern masters, Chris Achilleos. Originally published in 1986, Sirens is back in print courtesy of Titan Books and features 128 pages in full-color. Achilleos has produced work for many different venues over the years from covers to books and gaming materials to film posters and album covers.
As the title suggests, Sirens includes many examples of Achilleos' ladies, including Miss America, Birth of a Vampire, and the warrior-queen Boadicea. It was Achilleos' who provided the legendary painting of Taarna for the animated film, Heavy Metal. He also did posters for Grease Two, Supergirl, and Blade Runner. He also is a noted pin-up artist and many examples of his sexy and erotic art are included as well.

I always like when an art collection book provides the medium in which the artist worked for each piece of art included and thankfully, Titan doesn't disappoint with details provided for each illustration. About the only negative I can find is that it would have been nice to include some revised and current info rather than a straight re-printing of Sirens, but it's still a great collection and great to have in print again.
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