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First look: Artists, filmmakers pay tribute to 40 years of Alien in Titan Books' latest

By Jeff Spry
Alien Hero

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of perhaps the greatest fusion of science fiction and horror ever conceived with director Ridley Scott's original Alien. The shocking 1979 film that spawned the infamous tagline, "In Space No One Can Hear You Scream," has gone on to birth numerous sequels, prequels, spinoffs, comics, graphic novels, video games, and prose novels from across the entire Alien galaxy.

To honor the celebratory occasion, London-based Titan Books is unleashing a gorgeous new coffee table book on August 11 titled, Alien: 40 Years 40 Artists, as a vivid artistic tribute to the cinematic gem that still haunts our dreams.

Here in this oversized, 112-page love letter to the allure of Alien, an international posse of artists, filmmakers, illustrators, and fans were invited to contribute a piece of original art to commemorate Alien's lasting influence — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive peek at four of the brilliant renditions to share.

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This hardcover birthday edition (sans candles and cake) is flooded with inspired artwork ranging from comic book-style pieces, heavy metal album covers, and alternative movie posters, to frightening interpretations of key scenes, nightmarish Weyland-Yutani propaganda statements, and even a Mesoamerican wall mural. Rough sketches, process glimpses, and illuminating interview text accompany each new mind-shuddering nightmare.

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In addition to the chilling, blood-red main cover by Alien: Covenant concept artist Dane Hallett, the contributors include Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve with Sam Hudecki and Tanya Lapointe; Star Wars concept artist and creature designer Terryl Whitlatch; Dark Horse Comics' artist Tristan Jones; Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts with Jon Wilcox; Star Trek: The Original Series poster designer Juan Ortiz; and Eisner Award-winning Alien: Tribes artist Dave Dorman.

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A foreword by Alien concept artist Chris Foss is packed with early spaceship paintings and developmental designs for the Refinery, the Nostromo, and eerie interior/exterior ideas for the Derelict. Then after you've ingested all the incredible art, Alien: 40 Years 40 Artists also contains appendix galleries of rare Alien theatrical poster art that are not to be missed.

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"It's such an honour (and childhood dream) to be connected, in some small way, to this most esteemed, deepspace misadventure," Hallett tells SYFY WIRE. "I can't even begin to describe the incredible thrill it is for me to be invited to once again collaborate with my friends at Titan, let alone present my work in the company of so many profoundly talented artists. 

"It's too easy to heap praise on Alien, so I'll save that for our unending conversations out there in the digital world of fandom and instead focus on just how special it is that we (you, the reader), me and all others who have fallen hopelessly in love with these stories can unite and worship at the altar of acid blood, forever bound together by our affection for this brutal, elegant, visceral, timeless cultural phenomenon."

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All images taken from Alien: 40 Years 40 Artists, docking at book stores August 11 and published by Titan Books. Alien™ & © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.