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The Devil's Sinkhole
posted: October 2, 2016
A year or so ago I was contacted by The University of Texas Press to illustrate the 2nd book in a trilogy by writer Bill Wittliff. It was a difficult assignment for me to accept considering that the 1st book in the series (The Devil's Backbone) was beautifully illustrated by the late, great Jack Unruh. Needless to say, it was a daunting prospect to follow in his footsteps. However, after much consideration (and with generous support from Jack), I decided to jump into the Sinkhole.
The novel is set in Central Texas in the 1880's. It's a tale that combines a kind of Mark Twain quality with magic realism. I did a total of 21 drawings, here are some.











20 comments
Jing October 2, 2016
Beautiful work Joe, love all your illustrations, congratulations!!!
Scott Wilson October 2, 2016
Masterful! But hey, what's new!
Leslie Ross Stephens October 2, 2016
Your work is pure dynamite, Joe -- absolutely wondrous!
Chris Spollen October 3, 2016
Joe,These are amazing great work!!!!
Joe Ciardiello October 3, 2016
Thanks folks, it was a good project to dig into.
Stephen Kroninger October 3, 2016
Brilliant, beautiful work.
Judy Whalen (Unruh's Judy) October 3, 2016
I cannot wait to see your incredible images and read my second book in the series up close and personal. Jack would be so pleased. No doubt he is sending you the world's biggest hug!
Joe Ciardiello October 3, 2016
Oh Judy, how kind of you to say. Thank you so much. And thank you Stephen.
jesse branham October 3, 2016
Amazing!!
Bono October 3, 2016
Not often do we get to see your illustrations tell a linear tale. A true treat. Will look for the first in the trio with Unruh's vision also. Bravo Joe! Who's next?
PjbFlynn October 4, 2016
Love this Joe, have missed your black and white drawings, an ample fix, this.
Richard Downs October 4, 2016
Great drawings Joe. Love the woman running through the forest with the baby.
Mark Fisher October 7, 2016
Great work, strong and fluid.
Bill Mayer October 7, 2016
Man these are just brilliant! Need to find that book!
Bill Mayer October 7, 2016
Man these are just brilliant! Need to find that book!
Joe Ciardiello October 7, 2016
Thanks for the comments folks, much appreciated.
tom labaff October 11, 2016
You make the act of drawing people, look like fun! Well done dude.
Robert Neubecker October 17, 2016
Classic great B&W! almost a lost art.
Charles Blankenship October 25, 2016
You draw like a Texan! The illustrations tell a story in and of themselves.
Tom Byrd November 23, 2016
Authentique! (If that's a word). Speaking as a Caver and a Texan I would hope to honor your work by including it with the works of old time caver/artists Bill Helmer, Charlie Loving and Norman Kristoferson. Hope to see you in San Marcos next month!
Joe Ciardiello ph: 908-996-4392 email: joe@joeciardiello.com all images copyright Joe Ciardiello 2017