Review by C.J. Bunce
If you’re a fan of Charles Vess or Neil Gaiman–or both–chances are you’re familiar with their award-winning series and four-part illustrated book, Stardust. Twenty-two years later Vess has compiled dozens of in-process sketches, paintings, and preliminary creations and along with images of Gaiman’s original notations fans will find them all in the new book, The Art of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s Stardust: An Informal History, available now here at Amazon. It’s not every day fans of fantasy artwork get a chance to look inside the creative process of one of the genre’s favorites. Take a look inside, in our preview below.
Vess not only supplies the portfolio–the treasure chest–of black and white, pencil, pen, and painted works, he walks readers through the end-to-end process of taking a conversation with Gaiman in the desert in the early 1990s and after unreadable notations, listening to recorded notes from Gaiman, and maneuvering each others’ busy schedules. The result has become a favorite among Gaiman and Vess followers.
This isn’t just a book of artwork to marvel, Vess also reveals his own process for worldbuilding and translating words to images.
The reproductions are well achieved here, the content may recall the style of David Wenzel, P. Craig Russell, and Ivan Bilibin, although Vess, through his work on Stardust, achieved his own success and stylistic traits.
The book includes the results of an homage work published later (many of those images are depicted below).
Here’s a look inside The Art of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s Stardust: An Informal History:
Consider it required reading to revisit over and over for fans of Vess and Gaiman. The Art of Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s Stardust: An Informal History is available now here at Amazon. And don’t forget the original itself, Stardust, available here.