Friday, November 25, 2011

The Art of Ray Harryhausen by Ray Harryhaussen and Tony Dalton

Half-Priced Books continues to be a gold mine for the imagination. The Art of Ray Harryhausen was $14.99 and I had a coupon so it's overall price was embarrassingly low. On Amazon the sucker goes for $50 but they have a decent discount. The thing is though, the book I have was a stack of 'em so that tells me these are overstock sales.

Anyway, the book is filled to the brim with goodness. There are pictures of the various models Ray created, black and white illustrations, full color paintings, movie panels, and all sorts of awesome within.

This includes images that Ray gained his own inspiration from so you can see and compare and contrast the art styles.

There is so much majestic stuff here, it's hard not to emphasis it.

For example, let's start with the cover. An arabian adventurer fighting a skeleton warrior atop a crumbling stair well admists ruins while the clouds blow behind him. How about a charcoal and pencil illustration of the Hall of Zeus where a massive status of Zeus is surrounded by vast pillars and huge braizers light the temple. All this atop a dias where people walk up and down and look up at their god.

How about something a little more action based as King Kong, in front of a wooded fenced in village, is beating the crap out of a pride of lions, using one of them as a club by the tail, crushing another in his hands, and snarling his defiance at them. No bear baiting here!

There are dozens of great illustrations as well as details about various other bits in the book. It's well worth having on the shelf and well worth doing some internet searching if you're never heard of him before.