The world has only started to mourn David Bowie’s death; it seems that everyone has a fond memory relating to the late singer and his longtime artistic career. Bowie also inspired (and will continue to do so, I’m certain) millions of artists, including Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano.
Neil Gaiman is practically a household name, having written numerous well-recognized (and renowned) short stories, comic books, graphics novels, and films. His work includes The Sandman, Coraline, and American Gods. What may have slipped under the radar (until now… or perhaps it was just forgotten?) is his 2004 short story titled Return of The Thin White Duke – a sort of sci-fi origin story for Bowie’s 1976 persona of the same name, featuring Bowie and Iman (his wife) in a futuristic New York. Gaiman and Bowie never met, but Gaiman chose to document his love of the artist through his own work and describes Return of The Thin White Duke as “unabashedly fan fiction.”
Return of The Thin White Duke was split into two parts, with the first being illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano. If that name is familiar, it’s with good reason: Amano was often commissioned to do illustrations for the earlier Final Fantasy games (see below).
Art, music, and fiction all combined into one impressive work? It seems like revisiting Return of The Thin White Duke is such a fitting goodbye to The Thin White Duke himself. Here are a select few of Amano’s illustrations from Gaiman’s short story inspired by Bowie:
To view more illustrations, visit Amano’s website or pick up a copy of Gaiman’s Trigger Warning, containing Return of The Thin White Duke (among other stories).
– Lindsay M.