David Thorn Wenzel has been part of the fantasy art movement since the 1970’s when Middle Earth: The World of Tolkien Illustrated was released. He has continued to work on fantasy projects in the children’s book, trade book, and graphic novel markets throughout his career. Illustrations from his 1980s book, Kingdom of the Dwarfs as well as the cover art of The Hobbit, are in the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art Art and The Greisinger Museum, Switzerland as well as numerous private collections worldwide.
His early works reflected his interest in pen and ink combined with watercolor and were inspired by artists like Rackham and Dulac. These mediums and techniques were instrumental in creating the artworks for The Hobbit, a graphic novel first published in the early 90’s which has been revised and continues to be published worldwide under the oversight of J.R.R. Tolkien’s UK publisher. Over the years the ink line has dropped from his work resulting in his current works of highly detailed watercolor and acrylic ink wash paintings.
One aspect of the fantastic that has always intrigued Wenzel is the intersection of elements of fantasy that could coexist within in the “real” world. This has led him to return to a new, highly illustrated, edition of Kingdom of the Dwarfs where he expands the narrative he developed at the beginning of his career. Like many of his painting contemporaries, he believes his best work continues to evolve.
Wenzel began his career working for Marvel and D.C. comics, working on The Avengers and Savage Sword of Conan. Other notable titles include the graphic novel of The Hobbitand The Wizard’s Tale. Over the course of his career he has also illustrated numerous children’s books including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Little Bear, Legend of the North Pole, and The King of Little Things.