Today starts the first of many entries regarding the artist Ron Cobb. Why back in the seventies, before Star Wars had come out there was a magazine called Starlog (this is where I was first intruduced to my Hero Ron Cobb) that was all about Science fiction films, monsters & Alien motion pictures, Space oriented Television series, space artists, behind the scenes VFX guys, and everything else related. I read this mag as soon as it came out on the stands and back then the topics were far and few between, mostly because Sci fi back then was old stuff from the 50’s and sixties mixed with a scattering of now and then 70’s films. One issue came out that talked about a student film by a new director named John Carpenter. The movie was called Dark Star and was written by John C. and Dan O’Bannon. Along with John, Dan had his hands full of on this film being co-writer, the FX guy, one of the stars and many other duties including finding the talent. Dan had seen Ron Cobb’s album cover for Jefferson Starships album, Deep Space/ Virgin Sky featuring a beautiful spacecraft flying towards an unknown planet. Dan tracked Ron Down and Ron drew a rough on a napkin at a restaurant in Westood CA. The sketch later turned into some more precise drawings, that later became the model project of the Legendary Greg Jein. The Dark Star drawing and model showed up in Starlog and it was the first spaceship that I next to the Trek ships that really caught my fancy. I read all about Cobb, that was only a sentence or two, and when Alien came out a few years later the book of Alien came out with so many unbelievable drawings by Ron. I looked at those illustrations by the hours, examining every detail and angle. I would try and draw my space craft pictures using Ron’s work as my guide. His books were my art school, followed by the styles of Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie after Star Wars came out But I owe it all to Ron. There were many fine and talented people that inspired my paths to Hollywood but Ron Cobb was the one that was the most inspirational to me. With that, here’s some of Ron’s early works and also Greg Jein’s model of the Dark Star. More to come Tomorrow!
All illustrations are from Ron’s book Colorvision
for more on Cobb go to Darens blog at
If you have never been to this page your missing a world of fun!!! We ironically both did posts about Ron today … How fun!