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It’s live!

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Today is the day!

Drawing Down the Moon is officially out and in the stores. It’s a hefty 200 pages, mostly full color and a whole lot of fun to look at.

Almost as if you can could hold my life (at least so far) in your hands.


Here’s my first review:

BOOKLIST Magazine, Jan. 1, 2010 issue
*Starred Review*
Drawing down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess (Dark Horse Books)

One of contemporary comics’ classiest acts, fantasy artist Vess is even more stunning as a book illustrator. It ‘s altogether fitting, then, that book (and poster) illustration looms large in this gorgeously produced retrospective album (the heavy, translucent section frontispieces are especially impressive).
Vess provides his own, very economical notes, which downplay technique in favor of autobiographical and art-appreciative remarks, the latter about his beloved influences, beginning with Arthur Rackham and Aubrey Beardsley, both of whose fluidly slender figures have their ilk in Vess creations. He also lauds the premier Victorian painter of fairies, Richard Dadd , whose mastery of crowded compositions Vess thoroughly learned; comics artists Hal Foster and Russ Manning, renowned for the ornate and graceful vigor of their work on Tarzan and Prince Valiant; and all manner of literary fantasists, starting with the Scots and English ballad makers and the Shakespeare of A Midsummer Night‘s Dream, which Vess has rendered in both comics and an illustrated edition of the full text. He doesn’t mention, but we see, the Pre-Raphaelites, Tenniel, Klimt, the Brandywine School illustrators, Maxfield Parrish indeed, the entire folkloristic, romantic tradition of opulent, musical, balletic illustrative art in his work. No wonder he’s the preferred artist of premier modern literary fantasists Neil Gaiman, Charles de Lint, and Susanna Clarke, the last of whom contributes an aptly breathless, yet not giddy, introduction.
- Ray Olson

It is available now at your local book or comic book store and on Amazon or B& (at 25% off). If you would like a signed book right away you can order a copy from Malaprops (a fabulous independent bookstore) in Asheville NC. Call this 800 number to place an order: 1-800-441-9829. When I was there last Friday I signed as many of their stock as I could. Say hello from me if you do give them a call, okay?



Moon Link

Thursday, October 8th, 2009


My big, fat art book: Drawing Down the Moon, The Art of Charles Vess has taken a
loooooooong while to wind its way from the completion of my initial layouts to actually
seeing print this December. And along the way there have been multiple false alarms as to its publication date.

The folks at Dark Horse and I want to apologize for any confusion that these solicitations may have caused.

So, in an effort to make certain that you know that the book will indeed be available this December we are providing you with a sneak preview of the entire 200 pages.

“Within it’s pages you’ll journey through my high school and college age adventures in art and then follow me as I struggle throughout the years to put on paper what’s inside my head, up to the present day.

See what springs off of my drawing board as I move to NYC and try to geta job, any job at all, as long as it’s by drawing…

See me slide in through the back door at Marvel Comics and draw The
Warriors Three and Spider-man. Then watch as I skip across town to DC
and draw Swamp Thing, Books of Magic, Sandman and Stardust.

See me strike out on my own and self-publish an odd ball collection of
graphic narratives based on old English and Scottish ballads with a bunch of my all-time favorite writers. Then collaborate with Jeff Smith of Cartoon Books on the prequel to his splendid series Bone with our own 130-page adventure called Rose.

Along the way, see me bestowed with multiple Will Eisner, World Fantasy and Chesley awards!

Peruse the perceptive things that award-winning and international
bestselling author Susanna Clarke has to say about my art. I’ve  also commented prolifically on the art and process.

Above all, there’s the unique opportunity to view all the projects that you’d never have a chance to see except in a book like this: a 16′ bronze sculpture, event posters for local organizations, private commissions and previously unpublished paintings done just for the pure pleasure of doing them.

Here’s the link to my previous, image heavy, post on this blog about the book which includes various methods of ordering it: