Art Of Horror by Stephen Jones book review

Explore the history of horror in this glorious art book

Just when you think your bookcase can’t handle anymore Art Of… books, or when you think that you’ve probably got enough heavy tomes on the genre to last your lifetime and some of someone else’s… Well, you’re going to make room on shelf and in your reading schedule for this one.

Edited by Stephen Jones, The Art Of Horror is a glorious, gorgeous hardback packed with essays by experts and a huge amount of wonderful artwork.

The list of contributors is indeed impressive. Kim Newman writes about werewolves and other shape-shifting beasties, Lovecraft expert ST Joshi gives an introduction to his specialist subject, and there are chapters on pretty much every sub-genre you could think of, from vampires to zombies, from monsters to aliens, from psycho killers to the joys of Halloween.

However, as engaging as these essays are, as Neil Gaiman points out in his foreword, it’s the artwork that will keep you coming back to read this book again and again. It’s always a joy to see the fantastic promotional and poster art for classic Universal horrors and beyond, both the striking domestic posters and their often superior international counterparts, and it’s especially exciting to see it presented so beautifully.

They sit alongside the comics covers and classic novel illustrations, as well as work by modern artists inspired by everything and everyone from Edgar Allan Poe and MR James to EC Comics and George A Romero, and you can just imagine the kind of work that Lovecraft inspires.

Whatever your sub-genre of choice, this book is absolutely packed with fantastic images, and if it feels like we’re underselling the writing, that’s not our intention but it’s inevitable. It’s a beautiful piece of work and you absolutely must buy it immediately.