Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Carnon had worked for Corgi Book at least as early as 1956, although had earlier worked in advertising (e.g. for Reed Paper Group). Carnon, born 6 July 1911, the son of Frederick Wallace Carnon (a civil servant) and his wife Gertrude Eisdell (nee Lee), had grown up in Isleworth, London, attending art school in Chiswick for a short time. He became an illustrator, working mainly for advertising agencies, and was always to be found sketching in parks, or on buses and trains and always carried a small sketch-book or a pack of plain postcards in case inspiration struck.
During the Second World War, Carnon continued to sketch even when he was working as a fireman during the London Blitz; he subsequently joined the RAF ground crew and then became a navigator on Sunderlands, seeing action in Africa, India and the Far East.
After returning to civilian life, Carnon continued to work in advertising, as well as producing book covers. He was responsible for a number of covers for Edgar Rice Boroughs' science fiction novels published by Four Square Books in 1961-65 and illustrated Famous Fighting Aircraft for the Collins Wonder Colour Books series in 1964.
In 1965, Carnon became one of the team responsible for producing concept drawings, sketches and paintings for Stanley Kubrick, then working with author Arthur C. Clarke on the landmark science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. For this he was responsible for visualising space craft, film sets and the iconic 'wheel' space station.
After this, he worked on many other movies, including the Bond movies, Where Eagles Dare, The Battle of Britain, Frenzy, Superman, The Dogs of War, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reds, The Dark Crystal, Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi, Ladyhawke and Link.
Roy Frederick Carnon was married to Violet Marian Steer in 1935 (died 1971); he re-married, in 1998, to Margaret J. Harrold. He died in August 2002, aged 91.
Examples of Roy Carnon's artwork for sale can be found here.