In High School, Richard won a National Merit Scholarship to the college of his choice and picked The Art Center College of Design with it's well earned reputation as one of the best art schools in the U.S.
After graduation from the Art Center "With Honors" He continued his "education" with a job at the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles learning much about nature and culture that would enrich the illustration career he was beginning to build. Starting with assignments from Marvel Comics, he branched out into many and varied fields of illustration. As a book cover artist He worked for most of the major publishing houses that had Science Fiction or Fantasy lines including Daw, Del Rey, Signet, Baen, Bantam, Tor, Warner and Ace producing over 130 cover paintings. Among these were many covers for the books of Marion Zimmer Bradley and the "Venus" series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. (The latter had been a dream project of his since reading those novels in his youth.) For the Hollywood film studios He created advertising art and production designs for "Swamp Thing", "The Howling", "The Philadelphia Experiment", "E.T.", "The Dark Crystal", "The Fly", "The Never-ending Story", "Halloween 2", and "The Time Bandits" among others. For the computer games industry He has been an art director and conceptual designer for Microsoft Games Division, Sierra On-line, Wild Tangent, Dymanix and Zipper Interactive. In this capacity He Art Directed the game "Rama" based on the novels by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee. Numerous magazine illustrations, videocassette boxes and record albums also felt his touch. Besides his many U.S. clients, publishers throughout Europe and Russia regularly make use of his images on books and magazines.
Richard is a winner of many awards in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy art including The "Jack Gaughan Memorial Award" and the "Chesley" award from the Association of Science Fiction Artists.
With success in his profession Richard has turned in his spare time to creating fine art paintings, emerging directly from his imagination and personal aesthetic. Unhindered by editorial and assignment related limits, these works soar to artistic heights which have elicited enthusiastic admiration from an ever widening field of art lovers. Speaking of these paintings, writer and artist Paul Chadwick remarked: "Richard is now mining a vein that the English romantic realists of the late 1800s - J.W. Waterhouse, Arthur Hacker, Frank Dicksee, Herbert Draper, and others - first worked. Softly painted oils of maidens, sometimes fantastical (sirens, tree nymphs, mermaids) in usually quiet scenes of antiquity, they obviously come out of a deep place in his psyche that yearns for rest, beauty, and mystery. Other sources of his inspiration are the nonpareil American illustrator J.C. Leyendecker and Australian sensualist Norman Lindsay."
The artwork of Richard Hescox has been exhibited at the "Society of Illustrators" in New York City, at the "Delaware Art Museum", at the "Canton Museum of Art" in Canton, Ohio and at The University of Maryland Art Gallery.
Richard now lives In Nevada with his wife and son.From Official Website at http://www.richardhescox.com
In an interview on February 10, 1999, by Phillip R. Burger, Hescox remembered John Norman:
When I did my first Gor book ù (actually, I did a reprint of one, Marauders of Gor) - I just read the published book and created a new cover for it. Then they assigned me the new Gor book coming out, and they said, "The book isn't written yet, so we're going to have the author write you and tell you what the story is about so you can figure out how to do the cover." I got this four-page letter from John Norman.
The first paragraph on the first page told me the story very briefly. Then the next paragraph, which contained the longest unbroken sentence I had ever seen written -- it must have been several hundred words long -- basically laying out his philosophy of the position of men and women in relationship to each other, the absolute antithesis of women's liberation. That was followed by three and a half pages of cover suggestions. Such ideas as: "Girl-bound-at-post"; "Girl-submits-to-warrior"; "Girl-about-to-be-hurled-to-the-furs"; and just on and on, everything about degradation and subjugation of women, idea after idea after idea like that. So that was the help I got from the author.From ERBZine Volume 1972
To be sure, what Richard Hescox remembers are John Norman's cover suggestions for Explorers of Gor, which consisted of seven different possibilities:
Some descriptions are very innocent, like the Canoe scene ("Here we might have a long, ornate, high-prowed canoe, perhaps followed by similar canoes, plying the jungle river. In the canoe might be a white man, a warrior, and others, say, some black paddlers, and black warriors, and some white women, lightly clad, and obviously slaves. Perhaps they are moving between pylons, or structures, a part of the ruined city.") or the Combat scene ("Cabot, the protagonist, armed with a long spear, fights a gigantic forest spider to save a white slave girl, caught in its web. Tiny black pigmies might be about, watching. The spider should be extremely large. It would be about eight feet in thickness, or more."), others, admittedly, were a little more adult in theme. Such is the nature of mature science fiction.
The final cover of Explorers of Gor was created by Chris Achilleos, who used the Canoe scene. Hescox only did three covers (the Marauders re-issue, Fighting Slave and Rogue), and for the latter two, on each occasion, he followed Norman's instructions.
First used in 1980 for the Eighth Printing of the DAW Edition of Marauders of Gor.
First used in 1980 for the First American Printing of the DAW Edition of Fighting Slave of Gor.
First used in 1981 for the First American Printing of the DAW Edition of Rogue of Gor.
Here is a cover gallery showing all the titles and printings created by Richard Hescox. The images are sorted by edition. Click on any cover to see the book.