Friday, July 11, 2008

Cthulhu Landed On My Porch Yesterday

It sounded like a small bomb exploded outside, so I ran to the door. When I opened it, nothing was there but a large cardboard box. The mailman was sprinting back to his truck down the street. The above photo shows you what shook the house. Not the Jess Nevins extravaganza to the left, but Centipede Press' jaw-dropping magnum opus, A LOVECRAFT RETROSPECTIVE: ARTISTS INSPIRED BY H.P.L., edited by Jerad Walters. Nevins' FANTASTIC VICTORIANA is there for visual reference -- so you can see how bone-crushingly massive the Lovecraftian masterpiece is. I've heard the hype. I've heard the giant pricetags. And quite frankly, I was reserving judgement until I saw the book for myself. But now that I've experienced my comp copy, I'm still numb 24 hours later. Two things to say:

1. When I first heard this book would have three editions and the least-expensive would be $395, I asked myself, "Who's gonna buy this thing?!?" However, now that I've witnessed the gorgeous printing, the who's-who list of artists (Michael Whelan, Bob Eggleton, H.R. Giger, Bernie Wrightson, J.K. Potter, etc., etc.), the humongous size and heft....my revised question is "who can resist this thing?" Granted -- most of us don't have $400 to drop on a book like this, but for anyone who has a personal library and love of Lovecraft and Cthulhu stories and art...here's the skinny: this book is now an essential Holy Grail that has just made your library incomplete unless you have it. Seriously....it's that traffic-stoppingly luscious.

2. For the past several years, I diligently fill out my World Fantasy Awards ballot and try to make intelligent nomination choices in each category. In 2009, this book, A LOVECRAFT RETROSPECTIVE, will be eligible for the World Fantasy Awards, and I'm already looking forward to including it amongst my selections for the category "Special Award/Non-Professional". I won't be voting for it because I'm in it, but because I can't imagine an achievement that could top it in the year 2008. It's that good, and that worthy.

Last item: I noticed the following on the back end flap when I was showing the book to my wife late last night. "Following early Weird Tales art by Lee Brown Coye and Virgil Finlay, Lovecraft's personal favorite, to classic examples of 21st century renderings by modern masters like J.K. Potter and John Picacio, this volume's more than 400 pages comprise the best artwork inspired by the Rhode Island icon of horror." Too cool! :)
Above: my spread in the book
Above: a double gatefold spread of a Michael Whelan classic that literally is so big, it falls off the table

11 Comments:

Blogger Lou Anders said...

wow.

2:52 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Seriously....I wish I could put this book in your hands so you can experience it for yourself. I've never seen anything like it.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

It is on sale until the end of July. Only $300.

3:29 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Good one, Cheryl. Yup, you're right. Looks like 25% off, which means $295 for the cloth in slipcase; $395 for the cloth in slipcase w/ extra prints; and a svelte $2,095 for the signed leather edition in traycase, with extra prints

http://www.centipedepress.com/hplart.html

3:39 PM  
Blogger ces said...

That looks like one gorgeous book.

7:01 PM  
Blogger John D. said...

Suh-weet!

10:51 PM  
Blogger ryan v said...

That looks bloody amazing!

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you skip to the end of this video, you'll see some more pages from it. This thing deserves to win a ton of awards.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=noMNarfqAfE

JeffV

2:56 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Thanks, everyone. I agree!

JV -- nice video. Good stuff...

10:42 PM  
OpenID leemoyer said...

Yup. It's the real deal.
So glad we're both in its pages!

1:28 AM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Me too! :)

1:01 AM  

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