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