BrooksBlog: Darrell K. Sweet

Dear Readers,

Got some sad news a few days back. Darrell K. Sweet, who did the cover and interior art on Elfstones of Shannara, Wishsong of Shannara and Magic Kingdom for Sale passed away. He was a fine and talented artist, and I loved the work he did on my books. I only met him for the first time about a year and a half ago. Hard to believe. We just never crossed paths in all the time between 1982 and 2009. You would think that wouldn’t be possible, but that’s what life does to you sometimes. He was ill when I met him that one time, but we spent an evening in his room at a convention in Chattenooga with Ben Bova, talking shop, book and art, politics and life. He told me he very much liked my books, which I was so pleased to hear. Of course, I told him the cover of Wishsong was perhaps the best one ever done for one of my books.

So now we’ve lost him, and I won’t be getting another chance. It’s almost a cliche, but it points up again that old saw about missed chances. You don’t want to put off until tomorrow what you can do today because sometimes tomorrow doesn’t come around. That happened with Darrell and me, but Darrell leaves a legacy of wonderful art for our enjoyment. Go on his website and check it out. He had the touch.

Gotta go, Terry

10 responses to “BrooksBlog: Darrell K. Sweet”

  1. I met Darrell myself for the first time in the Chattanooga, TN last year and saw him again in Phoenix, AZ (my hometown). He was a classy and wonderfully complicated man. He was a class act and took the time to speak with everyone who approached him.
    During those two visits, I got alot of things signed by him and for me, more importantly, I got to hear the story behind his works.
    A great artist and even greater man!
    He will be missed!

  2. Not to troll or anything, I really admire Sweet’s art. In fact, he’s done more work that Boris and Julie, I believe. But wasn’t the cover of the Wishsong inaccurate? It was an awesome cover, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t remember the Druid’s Keep being destroyed by fire. I was pretty sure it just vanished from the world of men.

  3. The fantasy art world has been dealt a terrible blow in the loss of D.K. Sweet! He will surely be missed. But as the good book says, “When one door closes another will open.” Check out the artistic works of Ted Nasmith, best known for his Tolkien callendar illustrations. I recently met his at a Studio Tour in my home town of Bradford, Ontario, Canada. What a gentleman. He acknowledge me as a fan, signed everything I put in front of him gladly, and arranged a deal for one of his best known prints where a poor boy like me could pay in installments. I was surprised to learned that Ted had never done any works for Terry Brooks, who I consider to be the best fantasy writer in modern times. Nasmith and Brooks …. sounds like a winning combination to me!!

  4. Sadly, I didn’t realize until after his death that my bookshelf is full of his artwork. I have a number of Xanth novels, as well as Wheel of Time, Shannara and even a copy of The Hobbit all with his artwork. I never made the connection. I will pay more attention to artwork from here on out.

    • je ne l’ai pas connu mais sa mort me peine parce qu’il semble avoir été important dans la réalisation des œuvres d’un des mes auteurs préférés (Terry brooks).
      courage donc à la communauté des lecteurs Terry Brooks.

  5. It’s really sad to hear that this beloved artist is gone from this world. I also didn’t realize that he’s responsible for some of the Shannara artwork until now…I should pay more attention to who does what! May he RIP!

  6. God rest his Soul… He justified the quote “Judging A Book By Its Cover” on a positive note. Had it not for him, I wouldn’t be reading Fantasy.

    “The Elfstones Of Shannara” was the second Fantasy book I’ve read and the second book I’ve read graced by Darrell’s artwork. I can still remember the atmosphere it provided when reading it. I’ve experienced the full impact of “Elfstones” & “Wishsong” because of Mr. Sweet. We are indebted to him. He will be greatly missed.

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