Science Fiction/Fantasy Art Book Review

The Art of John Bolton

The Art of John Bolton (2001) John Bolton, Fanfare, 11.99, pbk, 96pp, ISBN 0-86562-047-4

This is a beautiful collection of John's erotic and grotesque vampire art, along with many other images from the worlds of comics, book covers and elsewhere. Some of the pictures also display his playful sense of humour, even if it is somewhat dark and twisted (nothing wrong with that!). Comics fans will have been familiar with John's art from about 1980 onwards and his impact upon that field cannot be underestimated. Over the years John has earned the greatest respect for his work on Hammer film adaptations (including Dracula Prince of Darkness and The Monster Club for the British title Halls of Horror), his fantasy collaborations with Chris Claremont (including Marada the She-Wolf and The Black Dragon), his adaptation of Clive Barker's The Yattering and Jack (with Steve Niles), book one of Neil Gaiman's Books of Magic, the covers of many of Dark Horse Publishing's Aliens titles, and the Eclipse collection Back Down the Line, to name but a few. Included in this collection are many female vampires culled from the covers of sources such as the Heavy Metal/Atomeka collection Bad Blood and the Innovation adaptations of Anne Rice's works. John's work sometimes unashamedly betrays his own love of other artists' work, such as HR Giger (who is, himself, a big fan of John's work), but equally displays those qualities which others have enjoyed and tried to reproduce, for instance Simon Bisley. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to John's fans and, as a good place to start, to those as yet unfamiliar with his work. The production quality is excellent, though (a minor quibble) double page spreads are difficult to do in this format (it's all in the cost of the binding), but it should not detract from your enjoyment too much.

Tony Chester

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