Spectrum 13: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Underwood Books)


The annual collection of stunning artwork from the best that fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and more have to offer returns once more, and it’s as great as ever.



224 pgs. FC; $29.95

(W/A: various; edited by Arnie & Cathy Fenner)

The new Spectrum is out. Here are some of the juicy highlights:

-A David Hartman piece advertising a Rob Zombie album features a grim reaper walking through snowdrifts; the bloody, wretched arms of his dead victims just poke through the snow’s surface – it’s a triumph of graphic design

-A Conan book cover by Gregory Manchess with broad brushstrokes left as is; the resulting oil is "painterly," and raw like a barbarian

-a life-size (holy mackerel!) silicone sculpture by Thomas Kuebler titled "Myron Klinefelter’s Revenge": a diminutive mad scientist, complete with lab coat and maniacal gleam in the eye, operates a remote control; his oversized Frankenstein, grinning as stupidly as only the undead can, prepares to do his bidding – it’s a knockout (head to http://www.tskuebler.com/ for a look)

-a Yuko Shimizu geisha girl is drawn from the perspective of her outthrust crotch — the smoking Mount Fuji printed on her panties is a definite eye-catcher

The annual anthology of more than 300 reproductions of 2D and 3D SF and fantasy artworks is always worth a look-see. Devoted gawkers from way back will have their favorite years of Spectrum, and for some, the 13th edition may not be their favorite.

Still, the four-by-Adam-Hughes page featuring a flirty Catwoman and Zatanna exemplifies the book at its best: bright, tight, and dy-no-mite. | Byron Kerman

For more information on Spectrum, visit http://www.spectrumfantasticart.com/

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