A Lovecraft Retrospective: Artists Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft


Published by:

ISBN: 1-933618-34-5 or 978-1-933618-34-0 (all editions)

Edition size:
150 cloth non-slipcased / 1,200 cloth slipcased
150 cloth slipcased w/extra prints
50 leather traycased signed with extra prints

MSRPs:
$225.00 / $395.00
$495.00
$2,495.00

Another page reviewing this tome can be found HERE.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft. The man and his dark and cynical literature evokes terror, repulsion, creatures that can cause insanity simply with their gaze, and other terrible monstrosities. Lovecraft's influence since his death in 1937 hasn't waned over the years. Instead, he's become an icon of twentieth century horror. Even Hollywood has taken notice, from B-films such as From Beyond and Re-Animator to A-list entries like In the Mouth of Madness. His influence has even extended to mainstream comic books, such as the infamous psychiatric hospital Arkham Asylum, featured prominently in Batman and other DC Comics' properties.

Lovecraft's most lasting legacy has arguably been the Cthulhu Mythos, and it is to this body of work that Centipede Press' A Lovecraft Retrospective (ALR) is primarily focused. ALR is a book unlike any other I've seen from a small press, especially at the base retail price of $225.00 for the non-slipcased edition. It is MASSIVE, clocking in at 400 pages at an incredible 15.5" H x 12" W trim (book only). It utilizes heavy matte stock throughout and is almost entirely in full process color. The list of limitation book signers included with the deluxe edition is astounding. The italicized people provided wonderful remarques along with their respective signatures:

PAGE 1
Bob Eggleton
H.R. Giger
John Jude Palencar
J.K. Potter
Michael Whelan

PAGE 2
Mike Mignola
Harry O. Morris
Don Punchatz (died in 2009)
Rowena (Morrill)
Bernie Wrightson
PAGE 3
John Coulthart
John Howe
Ian Miller
Helmut Wenske
Gwabryel
PAGE 4
Dave Carson
John Holmes
Stephen Jones
Bruce Pennington
Tim White
PAGE 5
Jill Bauman
Randy Broecker
Patrick Byers
Les Edwards
Stephen Fabian
PAGE 6
Tim Kirk
Allen Koszowski
Rick Lieder
Lee Moyer
Jeff Remmer
PAGE 7
Cyril Van Der Haegen
George Kuchar
Kevin Evans
Allan Servoss
Paul Komoda (MySpace)
PAGE 8
Simon Deitch
Pooch
Derek Riggs
John Picacio
Gahan Wilson
PAGE 9
Denis Tiani (facebook)
Jason Van Hollander
Fran├žois Launet
Bill Hand
Giorgi Comolo
PAGE 10
Shaun Gentry
Travis Anthony Soumis
Tom Sullivan
Murray Tinkelman
Joel Harlow
PAGE 11
Stefan Dziemianowicz (isfdb)
Harlan Ellison
Stuart Gordon
Thomas Ligotti
Robert M. Price
Joseph Wrzos

The following contributors did not sign the limitation book, as most of them were deceased at the time of publication:

Virgil Finlay (died in 1971)
Lee Brown Coye (died in 1981)
Hannes Bok (died in 1964)
Frank Utpatel (died in 1980)
Richard Taylor
Raymond Bayless (died in 2004)
John Stewart


Here is a comparison of the differences between each edition. The base book already comes with a laundry list of features, including:

$225 EDITION $395 EDITION $495 EDITION $2,495 UBER DELUXE EDITION
All the above features. All the above features PLUS...
  • Cloth slipcase.
All the above features PLUS...
  • Cloth slipcase.
  • Extra prints.
All the above features EXCEPT...
  • Dustjacket.
  • Face & spine stamping.

PLUS...

  • Clamshell-style traycase manufactured using a really bizarre and unique material.
  • Lenticular onlays for all three books.
  • A signature book that goes on forever and contains some really nice remarques.
  • Tissue between each signature page to protect from ink bleed.
  • An additional book of 30 high-quality prints, with separating pages.
  • All books quarter-bound in leather.
  • Limitation book is "hard" serialized (which I don't think I've ever seen before - see below pic).
  • EVEN MORE MASSIVE AND HEAVY!

However, I was a bit disappointed that the deluxe edition lacked the following features:

Are these deal breakers? Not at all, but they would've made the deluxe edition almost perfect.


Now, I realize $2,495 is a VERY steep premium over the $225 base edition. However, I paid MUCH less than the MSRP, and that was directly through Centipede, not from a reseller. I also received a copy of the $395 slipcased edition. When a book of this caliber is announced from Centipede, if you contact Jerad early enough he will often provide a substantial discount off the retail price. In my case, it was over 50% when the slipcased copy was figured into the final bill. So, while Centipede's prices for their deluxe editions are hardly inexpensive, it is very possible to negotiate a far lower cost. Hey, it certainly can't hurt to ask.

When I initially received the book, I took a battery of pics using my trusty Canon SD700IS camera. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. It was late, I didn't make the proper preparations, and I really needed a second pair of hands to open the book just far enough to shoot, but not enough to break the spine. The first set of pics represent those images.

Not being happy with the results, I contacted a friend who had recently purchased a Nikon D90 and, after agreeing to buy him lunch, he assisted me in doing a complete reshoot, which comprise the second set of images. These pics also include shots of the slipcased edition. Unfortunately, the majority of the D90-based images have a mysterious yellow tint to them that neither of us caught until after the images were transferred to my computer. Ohwell, it didn't hurt to try.

I don't think either set really conveys the true impact of a book of this size, containing such stratospheric production values. You really have to witness it first-hand to truly understand just what a monumental undertaking this must've been.

CANON SD700IS IMAGES

- U L T R A -

The shipping box. The Top Gun DVD is used for size reference. This thing is HUGE!

25 pounds! Wow!

Opening the box reveals the front of the traycase.

The traycase spine. I was a little disappointed that a simple paste-on label was used instead of stamping.

The traycase open. Again, somewhat disappointing that the traycase itself doesn't have an onlay or inlay given the art-themed nature of this production.

The spines of the three books. No stamping again, unfortunately.

The main book showcasing the first lenticular onlay. My friend, who works professionally in stereoscopic imaging, said this was one of the best lenticular lens holograms he's ever seen. It's quarter-bound in leather with green cloth boards.

Opening the book to reveal the illustrated endpapers. I would like for these to've been in color to distinguish it from the lesser-tier editions.

The title page.

The Table of Contents. The lack of page numbering is a bit irritating, but understandable, as you don't want a bunch of numbers interfering with full-bleed art.

One of the many fold-outs. The colors are incredibly vivid.

Another fold-out.

The face of the second book, which contains the limitation serial and signatures. It, too, has a lenticular onlay and is quarter-bound in leather.

Now this is pretty unique. A "hard" serialized limitation page, where the serial itself is part of the typography, not simply filled in by hand. Very cool.

A shot of the first limitation page. Eggleton! Giger! Potter! Whelan! W O W!

Page 2 of the limitation book.

And page 5. This is where the remarque fun begins. Most books can only swing one remarque, but it doesn't stop at this page.

Page 6, sporting even color remarques! Fantastic!

The third and final book, which consists of 30 pages of high-quality prints from the main book. It also has a lenticular onlay and is leather quarterbound.

Iron Maiden rulez!

A classic Giger painting.

Another page from the third book.

     

NIKON D90 IMAGES

(Note - there are so many of these that I can't comment on each one, but I think they speak for themselves.)

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