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Old 01-15-2010   #1
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Reggie Oliver's Art

I thought it would be interesting to hear opinions on Reggie Oliver's artwork. As many know who are lucky enough to hold any of his collections, he provides artwork from his own hand to illustrate each story literally or thematically. These are usually black and white sketches with elaborate detail, one for each story, posted at the opening of each tale.

Personally, I find these drawings very impressive. It's almost a Renaissance Man like aptitude that lets a writer successfully image his own work--stories that are themselves fantastic. Granted, he may not be quite the caliber of the visual artists who regularly get their own threads here. Though these drawings may give better snapshots of his fiction than professionals could. I think they are very much reflective of Oliver's demons and inner conflicts: genteel settings, witty and demented characters, and the Jamesian/Aickmanesque phantoms that contort his dramas into weird fiction.
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Old 01-16-2010   #2
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Re: Reggie Oliver's Art

His artwork, in my opinion, is a perfect accompaniment to his written work, and the way it is integrated into the works is tastefully done to say the very least. It truly enhances the books as a whole. It's beautiful and in many ways as refined visually as his written work is stylistically, and I would say he's a highly underrated artist overall. He is a very talented individual.

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Old 01-16-2010   #3
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Re: Reggie Oliver's Art

I enjoy them very much: They do feel like the perfect accompaniement, as Ascrobius says. I also agree that he is highly underrated as a visual artist. For me it also has to do with the way that it adds another depth to the stories and not just the pictures in themselves.

I do think there is a significant evolution in the quality of his drawings though. The drawings in Madder Mysteries are much better and more accomplished than in The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini.This does not imply that I dislike the illustrations in the latter, more that his style and technical skill seems to have improved very much over the last few years.
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Old 01-16-2010   #4
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Re: Reggie Oliver's Art

Speaking of Oliver and art, some poking around the web I did today turned up this blurb by him on the drawings of an artist named Fanny Christian:

The Art of Art: The Drawings of Fanny by Reggie Oliver

I'm fairly certain this is the right Oliver, since the name on the bottom links to his Wikipedia page.

I also thought I'd mention it because this website contains a little purely coincidental Ligottian content. Off to the left side, you'll see a link to a small gallery with paintings of Mannequins.
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Old 01-19-2010   #5
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Re: Reggie Oliver's Art

What's a thread on Oliver's art without a few examples?

An illustration from Madder Mysteries:



A colored Oliver sketch appears with one of Mark Valentine's stories in The Nightfarers. I didn't know he illustrated the work of other authors until I stumped across this:





A few of my personal favorites are in The Complete Symphonies of Adolf Hitler, but I haven't been able to find any online copies of these images.
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Old 01-20-2010   #6
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Re: Reggie Oliver's Art

I'll confess that if anything I enjoyed the little series of vignettes in Madder Mysteries more than the stories themselves. The Cabinet of Curiosities was a wonderful idea - bizare and witty little sketches.

(I like Oliver very much as a writer too but I'm afraid I find a few of his stories suffer from being overly nebulus. The Aickman and James styles are mismatched sometimes.)

EDIT: I'm pretty sure that illustration is not in the Nightfarers itself - the story it refers to is The Dawn At Tzern.

Quote Originally Posted by MadsPLP View Post
I
I do think there is a significant evolution in the quality of his drawings though. The drawings in Madder Mysteries are much better and more accomplished than in The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini.This does not imply that I dislike the illustrations in the latter, more that his style and technical skill seems to have improved very much over the last few years.
Don't quote me on this but I belive Mr Oliver may be redoing some of the drawings (or at least adding more) for his Centipede Press Omnibus. Perphaps he will touch up some of the earlyer ones.

Amusingly his normal portrait of James from Madder Mysteries looks far more ominus and impressive than the dark mage one from The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini.

Last edited by Evans; 01-20-2010 at 10:56 AM..
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