These are scary uncertain times, that’s for sure. If I had my druthers, I’d experience my scariness in ninety-minute cinematic chunks, i.e. with monster movies, rather than with a real life pandemic.
One of my favorite parts about monster movies has always been the posters. In fact, during my Screams & Screens movie series, where we celebrate both the best and worst in horror movies, sometimes the best part of the whole thing is the movie poster.
So, you can imagine how much I’m enjoying social distancing as I curl up with another fantastic book from Korero Press, Hung, Drawn and Executed – the Horror Art of Graham Humphreys . This is the perfect coffee table book …if you live in Castle Dracula, but it’s a real treat for those of us who live in less spooky homes too.
Graham Humphries is an incredibly talented artist who’s been doing this for decades. This book focuses on his work since 2015. However, because he is often been asked to do book covers and DVD art for classic movies, there is quite a bit of the art that celebrates old favorites.
So many of the posters and painting surpass the originals too. Horror Express, for example, is an underappreciated Hammer classic, starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Telly Savalas, but the posters originally created don’t really sell the movie to today’s audiences. Given the opportunity, Graham Humphreys delivers a grand slam/hat trick/touchdown that makes movies fans say, “I should go back and watch that one again!”
I have never met the artist, but after reading this, I feel like I have visited his home and had tea and/or cocktails with him a couple of times. That is because he provides fascinating commentary for each piece of artwork. Visually, Humphreys is a strong storyteller, but his anecdotes really make it. Somehow, he straddles the line between fan and professional. On one hand, he’ll reveal that a movie I really like is one of his favorites too, and on the other hand, he’ll frequently pull back the curtain, and talk about stumbling blocks he faced in creating certain projects. For example, he will talk about the constrained budget a client had and how he had to develop a creative solution to make it all work.
Before the artwork and commentary starts, though, Humphreys offered a sneak peek at his work style. I found this to be both fantastic and surprisingly eye-opening. This artist has a natural talent for composition and for likenesses, but also a wonderful eye for color. His approach to color and the journey he takes for each painting, and where he ends ups, is worth the price of admission.
If you are a bargain hunter like me, I should tell you what I read in Korero’s newsletter earlier this week. They are offering a discount code, and here’s what they said:
I hope you are staying safe during these unpredictable times. If you’ve got the binge-watching blues and/or keeping breaking out in an anxious sweat every time you scroll through social media you could always read a book – how ol’ skool is that? To that end, we are offering a 15% discount on all our products. The code is LOCKDOWN.
Hung, Drawn and Executed is available on the Korero website, although you know by now that I’d always suggest you first try to support your local bookstore or comic shop.
And during these tough times, let me reiterate that I hope you all keep safe, be upbeat and cut a little slack for everyone, including yourselves.
Hung, Drawn and Executed- the Horror Art of Graham Humphreys
$45.00 (US) $60.95 (CAN) £ 26.99 (UK) 176 pp. • Large Hardcover • ISBN: 978-1-91274-006-2