Monday, May 6, 2013

a welcome addition to any library of dark fantasy.

The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black by E. B. Hudspeth is broken into two sections. The first is the fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, which might as well have been put together by compiling excerpts from his personal journal as well as his brother's. It starts with his childhood and quickly moves to adulthood, summarizing his career and his obsessions. Hudspeth has done a great job making the book both fantastic and believable. It’s heavy on the art, but I was especially taken with Hudspeth’s writing ability. Had it not said fiction in the description, I would've thought Dr. Black was an actual person and this was a real biography. The book is paced well, at about 80 pages there isn't much room for every detail, but since Dr. Black is a fictional character, I am surprised that Hudspeth didn’t add a little more detail to his life.

The second half of this volume consists of The Codex Extinct Animalia. I’m thinking it’s a crowd please as this section is filled with anatomical renderings of mythical creatures and beasts. There are both skeletal and muscular/connective tissue plates, each annotated. Details are provided as well as footnotes about Black's process of constructing and displaying each creation. The novel is dark for sure, and based on the images, you can assume that Black quite mad. Oh wait, I forgot that Dr. Black isn’t a real person, again.

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