The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History is a guided tour through the beautiful and grim annals of the genre. The hefty coffee-table book, edited by Stephen Jones, contains hundreds of images, “from the shockingly lurid to the hauntingly beautiful,” from the iconic to the rare and obscure — including engravings, book illustrations, pulp magazine covers, movie posters, comic books, and paintings. Featured artists include Margaret Brundage, Brom, Dave McKean, Mike Mignola, Virgil Finlay, H.R. Giger, and Clive Barker. It’s all there in beautiful glossy color.
But it’s not just about the art. Jones organizes the tome in 10 sections, each introduced by an expert in the field. Lisa Morton writes about Halloween; S.T. Joshi handles “H.P. Lovecraft and other cosmic horrors”; Kim Newman takes on “werewolves and other shape-changers”; and Robert Weinberg gives us “alien Horrors and other invaders.” Other sections spotlight vampires, zombies, Frankenstein’s monster, serial killers, and ghosts. The essays are insightful and entertaining and the needed context for newbies and hardcore fans alike. There’s even a foreword by Neil Gaiman, who writes about the hidden joy and beauty found in the horror genre.
And a beautiful book it is.
The 10-by-11-inch, 260-page volume is cloth bound and features heavy gloss pages, each of which is gorgeously laid out. (It also weighs three and a half pounds; take that ebooks!)
Beautifully designed, intelligently written, The Art of Horror: An Illustrated History makes the perfect gift for any horror or art fan. It’s also a steal at only $25.
I’d put it on my wish list, if I didn’t already have a copy!