A review of The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History edited by Stephen Jones and Art that Creeps edited Yasha Young
Art books are amazing. I love them. I love flipping through their crisp, glossy pages and studying the artwork of people who (like myself) share the drive to create and bring their fantasy’s, dreams or in this case-nightmares into form.
This article came to be after I glanced at Amazon and saw that Stephen Jones, who edited the first art book reviewed in this article, was coming out with another art book this October 2nd titled: The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History. Upon seeing this, I decided to review his previously released treasure The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History, and pair it with a short review of another ghoulish art book close to my dark heart: Art that Creeps edited by Yasha Young.
I hope all you dear readers enjoy. And I hope you go out and buy or borrow not only these two books but Stephen Jones’ next book, that I have no doubt (even without seeing it) will be just as good as his previous bound collection of horror artwork. With that said, you can look for a review of it right here when it’s released (or as soon as I get my hands on a copy).
The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History edited by Stephen Jones
Some of the artists included:
- Basil Gogos (of Famous Monster of Filmland fame)
- Margaret Brundage (of weird tales fame)
- Alan Lee (who I previously covered in my review of The Moon’s Revenge)
This art book opens with a tight and tasty forward from one of horror and fantasy’s leading luminaries: Neil Gaiman (also known as the man who I wish with all my heart will write a forward for one of my books someday). From there, the editor of the volume treats the reader/viewer to a lengthy and informative introduction, before plunging them head first into the art which make it an art book.
The art in this art book is divided by chapters focusing on specific types of monsters. One such example is the opening chapter titled “The Blood is the Life,” who’s subject of focus I am sure you can figure out. Other chapters focus on Frankenstein’s monster, his kith and kin, as well as beings from other planets (with otherworldly and unsavory intentions), spectral entities, and mentally unsound individuals wielding big knifes.
What’s more, each individual chapter is introduced and curated by a specialist and or highly knowledgeable person on any given subject of the chapters focus. One example of this being the aforementioned first chapter, which features horror historian and vampire expert David J. Skal as its curator. David J. Skal is the author of, among many other wonderful books, V Is for Vampire: The A-Z Guide to Everything Undead and the Rondo award winning biography Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula.
Other chapters are curated by such experts as H. P. Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi author of I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft, and zombie scholar Jamie Russell author of Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema. All of this makes this an expertly written, researched and illustrated volume that you need!
Click here to purchase “The Art of Horror” on Amazon.
Art that Creeps edited Yasha Young
Some of the artists included:
- Chet Zar (who’s creepy work is featured on the books cover)
- Richard Kirk (who illustrated the 25th Anniversary Edition of Clive Barkers Weaveworld)
- Nicoletta Ceccoli (who’s illustrated numerous children’s books including The Boo! Book)
This art book opens with a sparse introduction by the editor, before swiftly jumping into the artwork and the artists featured in its pages. The artists are given a single page intro before opening up into their work.
The strength of this art book lies in the selection. There is an astounding array of styles, approaches and mediums present in this book, giving the reader/viewer a very satisfying overview of the ways different contemporary artists are approaching the subject matter at hand.
In closing, get this book. You will inevitably catch a glimpse of a few new artists you may never have heard about, but now want to know everything about. Just don’t expect the little introductions provided for each artist to offer much in the way of a biography.