Science Fiction/Fantasy Art Book Review

A Full Colour Gallery: Steve Fastner & Rich Larson

A Full Colour Gallery (2002) Steve Fastner & Rich Larson, Fanfare, 11.99, pbk, 96pp, ISBN 0-86562-057-1

Fastner & Larson have a long comics history, stretching back some 25 years, not least from their own subversive title Demon Baby, but also including Leather & Lace, various portfolios of Marvel comics characters (eg. Spider-Man and the Hulk) as well as Lady Rawhide and Judge Dredd! Those of us with long memories can even remember Larson's ghost stories for Charlton Comics way back when. Not surprisingly then Fastner & Larson don't go in for the photo-realistic style, prefering the exagerrated and stylised comic book representations. Their influences are evident throughout this collection, including Mike Kaluta and the other guys from 'The Studio' (Jeff Jones, Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson and Barry Windsor Smith) and Richard Corben (from whom, I'd say, they get their colour sense), to name but a few. The real key to their work, however, is a wicked sense of humour and an absolute devotion to the genre. The sight of a lurking demon derailed from its evil intent by having panties thrown on its head or a demonic Rudolph gutting Hell's Elves with his claws should bring a smile to anyone's face! (It can't be just me, surely?). The work presented here is drawn from many sources including Haunted House of Lingerie and 666, and portfolios such as Barbarian Babes and Naked Steel, not to mention various trading cards, posters and promo items. This beautiful book is highly recommended to comics and fantasy fans alike, but should also have a wider appeal to fans of 'good girl' art with a sense of humour. This is lovely stuff.

Tony Chester

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