FORGOTTEN BOOK: HANNES BOK: A Life in illustration by JOSEPH WRZOS, 2012
This is the 123rd in my series of Forgotten Books.
Before we get started with this week’s book, I will warn you. It is BEAUTIFUL! It is GORGEOUS! It is EXPENSIVE. OK, that is out of the way.
I first became aware of the work of Hannes Bok (1914 – 1964) through his work at Arkham House, most particularly his covers for SKULLFACE and Others by Robert E. Howard and THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND and Other Novels by William Hope Hodgson. There was a combination of form, color and light that was amazing. Then I saw what is perhaps my favorite SF cover of all time – Bok’s cover for the issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction featuring Roger Zelazny’s “A Rose For Ecclesiastes”, perhaps my favorite all time SF short story. I was a Bok fan. I have seen a couple of Bok originals in my life but never been able to afford even a small one.
So, Joseph Wrzos has put together an amazing book. 450 pages many in color with a life story of the man and a depiction of his art. The paperback weighs in at 5 pounds. And retails through Amazon for $125 (though the publisher Centipede Press currently has it for $75. That is what I paid and as much as I hate to pay big money, I spent it fast and have enjoyed the book.
Hannes Bok was the pseudonym of Wayne Woodard, an artist and writer. He wrote two novels THE SORCEROR’S SHIP and BEYOND THE GOLDEN STAIR both published as part of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series as well as two novellas based on the work of A Merritt – The Bleu Pagoda and The Black Wheel. He also did some poetry that has been collected.
For me, it was the art. And there is tons of it here, much never before reprinted. Just look at the pictures and go online. You know you will love it.
Centipede Press does some amazing work in creating books as works of art as well as literary products. I met Jerad Walters at the World Horror Convention in Austin in 2011 and promptly bought some big beautiful volumes of Frank Belknap Long, Algernon Blackwood, Henry Kuttner, and William Hope Hodgson. Again, beautiful. Again expensive. But so worth it! What can I say? I am a book and art junkie.
Check out the pictures and try to get the books.
Series organizer Patti Abbott hosts more Friday Forgotten Book reviews at her own blog, and posts a complete list of participating blogs.