Sometimes even writers find themselves at a loss for words. Such was the case when UK artist and Caine reader Marc Atkinson reached out to me on Twitter.
After reading Cold Kill, Marc found himself inspired to create a unique piece of art that reflected the savage villain of that story. Piotr Zasko, known as the Iron Wolf, is a brutal Russian special forces commander, who wants to take a bite out of Thomas Caine… literally! And Marc perfectly captured the Iron Wolf’s savage appeal and chilling allure in his stunning 3D artwork.
When he sent me photographs of the piece, I was blown away. When he told me he was shipping me the actual wolf itself, I thought he was joking! But it was no laughing matter when the Iron Wolf appeared on my doorstep…
To be honest, this post has been long overdue,… frankly, I wasn’t sure there was anything I could say that would do justice to Marc’s generosity, or his incredible talent. I am honored and humbled to have played a part in its inspiration. The Iron Wolf now hangs in a place of honor above my writing desk… reminding me to get back to work, and keep writing!
So without further ado, let’s hear from the master himself… presenting an interview with artist Marc Atkinson:
Tell us about yourself… When did you first know you were an
When I was about 7 years old my grandad would save me the comic strips out of the papers, Garfield, Charlie brown etc and I would copy them until I found I could draw them myself, He also had hand illustrated nature books, so I started trying to draw wildlife, looking at colour and shadow and light, then I didn’t understand what I was trying to replicate, I just did it and learned for myself.
Are you self-taught or did you have a formal education in art?
I did art at school but didn’t do too well, I was more into mechanics and technical illustration then. My dad used to fix cars and I was fascinated by mechanics and I started to look at H R Giger and bio-mechanical stuff, after that I went to art college where a tutor told me that I would never make a living as an artist and should stick to music, this was mainly because I wanted to paint and draw my way, I did find a love of Vincent van Gogh there that has inspired me all my life, Picasso and Dali also clicked with me because they made it up to suit themselves. After college I became a tattoo artist and did that for the next 20 years.
How would you best describe your style of art?
A lot of my stuff is what is known as steampunk, mechanics and antique thinks, neo-Victorian I suppose, my painting is impressionist in style and my drawing lends itself to a Japanese tattoo style, I mix things up and see what happens. My sculpture pieces I call junk art cos I make it out of anything I find.
What is your favorite medium to work in, and why?
Acrylic painting, It dries fast and covers well, I never got the hang of oils, my 3D work starts with anything I can find all glued together and then painted to look like old metal, rust and corrosion. I have tried to reproduce impressionist painting style on skin and it can be done but it is a long process and obviously gets sore for the client, canvas doesn’t swear and jump so it’s a little more relaxing. Pascal Jarrion know as the tattoo artist bugs does this beautifully http://www.bugsartwork.com/ is really worth a look, he such a nice guy too.
What drew you to the character of the ‘Iron Wolf’?
When I read the Thomas Caine books it’s usually at night, and that’s also when I get some great ideas too. So as I was reading Cold Kill, there was this guy called the Iron wolf, he seemed like a man of honour and standards… Proud and strong but you then learn that his standards are his own, his honour is just his pride and he is a ferocious man. A true psychopath with the front of a gentleman. Really a wolf in a military uniform. It makes you think, he hunts humans for sport but then has this pretense of standards, what sort of truly messed up person does that. It’s vivid and chilling.
What other things influence your work? Music, writing, etc?
I played in a few bands, old rock and roll stuff, Elvis, Johnny Cash and the like. I love a lot of different styles, in the gym its new York hardcore like Biohazard, sick of it all, real aggressive stuff, my usual listening is more Social Distortion, rancid to stuff like Jack Johnson and Oasis. Books I like were mostly horror in nature, Stephen King to the classics like Lovecraft and Poe. As a change of pace I found the Thomas Caine books and got hooked on that, so thank you! England holds a lot of influence to my style because there is such old stuff around us, in the north we had mining and shipbuilding, huge scale engineering. That and I love motorbikes and cars and that all feeds into this mechanical style.
What other projects are you working on now?
I’m working an a portrait of Steve Mcqueen, I.ve just finished one of Boba Fett from Star Wars, I’m writing some songs for a new music project ‘Deadwood Rattlesnakes’ think ZZ top and Waylon Jennings. Like most things in life I kinda just make it all up as I go.
Where can readers find more info about you and your work?
I have my page www.facebook.com/inktindustries and I’m on social media sites as my business, Inkt Industries.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Never listen to anyone who says you can’t do something, if anything do it more, never be afraid to do it your own way!
Marc, thank you again! This is truly an amazing piece of art. I love it, and I promise you this: If I can figure out a way to bring back the Iron Wolf in the books, you’ll be the first to know!