The Weird and the Wonderful. A portfolio edited by Jon M Harvey. Spectre Press
Reviewed by Peter Coleborn
In the 1970s, Jon Harvey, one of the mainstays of the British Fantasy Society, before he left the BFS to join the Royal Navy, set up Spectre Press. He published a series of lovingly produced booklets and magazines, such as Cthulhu, Balthus, Ghoul Warnings and The Coming of the Voidal (perhaps my favourite). Contributors included Adrian Cole, Brian Lumley, David Lloyd, Brian Mooney and Jim Pitts. Considering this was pre-desk-top DTP days, the quality of the Press’s work was outstanding.
Then Spectre Press went into hibernation for thirty years.
I am delighted to announce, it’s back with a new portfolio, The Weird and the Wonderful. Here, we have ten plates, printed on good-quality 200g boards, of b&w illustrations by artists Harvey had worked with way back then. The artists are: Stephen E Fabian, Brian Frost, Dallas Goffin, Alan Hunter, David Lloyd, Martin McKenna, Jim Pitts (in fact, Pitts provides the only colour print), SMS and John Stewart. There is also a plate by Jon Harvey himself. This may look a bit like vanity, but Harvey explains why he included one of his own drawings. In fact, he gives a brief account of each piece and what they mean to him.
This is a tremendous portfolio, and if you have any taste for b&w illustrations – and if not, why not – then seek out this. Get some framed; I aim to do so.
The portfolio is available as printed plates at £15.00 or as a CDROM at £12.00. Profits will be donated to charities – another good reason to buy it. At the time of writing, the Spectre Press website is not up and running. However, to order the portfolio (or any of the Spectre Press’ backlog) email Harvey: jon.harvey [at] talktalk.net.