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November 6, 2010

Last Sunday afternoon my friend Ellen Kushner (who WAS attending the 2010 World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, OH) called me from the banquet saying that she’d just been informed that I’d won the award for “Best Artist.” Did I want to write an acceptance speech which she would then read when she went up on stage to accept the honor in my place? I had an hour. Panic mode quickly set in as I frantically tried to type out some coherent thoughts. 45 minutes later I e-mailed her with these words:

“If I were standing here right now you would see a look of dumb founded
surprise written large across my face.

I mean, really!

You just heard the list of other nominated artists, and all of them do
nothing less than brilliant work. Anyway, those on that list and many more
besides, both the living and the dead, are always right beside me in my
studio, whispering in my ear, coaxing me to put that bit of extra effort
into a painting, or a drawing, or a sculpture that will make it tell its
story with clarity and with truth. I enjoy doing so and appreciate your
acknowledgment.

So I feel very lucky today to be honored by the judges and my peers of this
community with this award.

Thank you. “

This is the list of nominated artists:

* John Jude Palencar
* John Picacio
* Charles Vess
* Jason Zerrillo
* Sam Weber

Moments later she e-mailed me this from her phone:

The original sculpt of the award (a portrait bust of H.P. Lovecraft in the manner of an Easter Island statue) was done by cartoonist, Gahan Wilson. It is sublime in it’s ugliness don’t you think?

Cool beans I say!

Best,

Charles

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