|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Sunday, January 10, 2010 |
( 1/10/2010 10:35:00 AM ) Bill S.
“BEHIND ANY ILLUSTRATION, THERE’S ONLY A TREMBLING INSECURE HAND.” A handsomely mounted reworked hardcover edition of the Spanish illustrator’s evocative early collection of dark fantasy imagery, Malefic (NBM) contains 90-plus pages of the former Heavy Metal artist’s iconic blend of the exotically erotic and the disturbing. Plenty of acrylic/oil images of full-lipped, shapely femmes either imperiously brandishing weapons or challengingly glaring out at the reader, occasionally revealing a wound on their bod left by some unseen beast’s claw: you either dig this eye candy to the max or coolly appreciate the compositional smarts that’ve gone into it. Me, I’m more inclined toward the latter PoV, but I can still recognize the allure.
Royo has shuffled an earlier edition of this book around for its “remastering,” pulling out a different image for its front cover that is perhaps more suited to the set. The first printing featured a weapon holding beauty with a droplet of blood coming out of her eye; the new ‘un shows a white-haired vamp with bat circling her. From seemingly wounded heroine to sexy monster: Royo knows his fanboy audience, alright.
Attached to each atmospheric image are short comments by Roya on an aspect of composition or theme. These little snippets often read more like haikus than they do clarifications of artist’s intent. (“A shriek of colors. A nearness that invites you to scrape it with your teeth. A silhouette lost in sparkles. . .”) If I was still a dope-smokin’ twenty-something single guy, I might think it was all pretty heavy. But we’ve all gotta sober up sometime. . .