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The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History by…
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The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History

by Stephen Jones

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This is a thoroughly enjoyable stroll through horror (and horrific science fiction) and fantasy art, mostly from the past century. Most of the writing that accompanies the illustrations is pretty good, although some essays lack focus, such as the one on science fiction art that goes on and on about the lack of good alien invasion art. Lots of these illustrations are magazine covers or movie posters, often in a language different from the original movie or publication, but that widens the breadth of artists included. It is great to see how some ideas translate across cultures by seeing multiple renditions on the same subject. There are also a lot of contemporary artists represented, although it is often with their takes on horrors of 50 years ago (the 1953 film of War of the Worlds) or much longer ago (Frankenstein). Throughout, the captions tend to provide a little more detail than is really necessary, and a small number of them call movies or books by names different from that shown in the illustration. All in all, however, it's a lot of fun flipping the pages, but I don't see myself returning to this book very often. ( )
  datrappert | Jan 26, 2016 |
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While acknowledging the beginnings of horror-related art in legends and folk tales, the focus of the book is on how the genre has presented itself to the world since the creations of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley first became part of the public consciousness in the 19th century. It's all here: from early engravings via dust jackets, book illustrations, pulp magazines, movie posters, comic books, and paintings to today's artists working entirely in the digital realm. Editor Stephen Jones and his stellar team of contributors have sourced visuals from archives and private collections (including their own) worldwide, ensuring an unprecedented selection that is accessible to those discovering the genre, while also including many images that will be rare and unfamiliar to even the most committed fan. From the shockingly lurid to the hauntingly beautiful including images of vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, demons, serial killers, alien invaders, and more every aspect of the genre is represented in ten themed chapters.… (more)

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