The first thing that struck me about Mezco Press’ The Art of Living Dead Dolls ($20.00) was that the great Basil Gogos is still among the living. The 78-page magazine-sized trade paperback has an energetic intro from the master monster painter himself to kick things off before the parade of awesome pro and fan art to follow. Granted, it would have been really great to see a Gogos version of a Living Dead Doll here. But just knowing the man is still around made me smile and reminisce about some of his stellar horror covers for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine back in the 60’s.
The assorted art ranges from surprisingly cute to genuinely disturbing and you’ll see pieces from illustrators such as Joshua Hoffine, Angus Oblong, Dan Brereton, Yuki Abiko, Emily Yishizawa, Michael Pasquale, Rotten Orange, Stephen Blickenstaff, Shelby Vogal, and others. The different interpretations of dolls from the Guinness Book of World Records-holding lineup shows how they’ve inspired each artist in creating their memorable works. My personal favorite doll is knife-wielding Sadie, with her odd eyes and simple black dress. She’s very well represented here in a number of nice drawings and paintings, but I’m betting fans will find their favorites here among the pages of this coffee table tome. Or is that coffin table? Mua-ha-ha-haaaaa!
After the eyeful that is the pro gallery, there’s a few pages of nice fan art, again in many different styles. The book closes out with some great tattoo work fans have photographed and sent in to be immortalized in print forever like the images on their skin. As this is more of an artistic celebration, the book isn’t exactly text-heavy brain food at all. Those who want an entire history of the doll line will want to also pop on over to the official Living Dead Dolls site to discover more about these creepy collectibles and see how the lineup has changed over the years. Longtime to recent LDD fans will eat this book up and yes, it makes a great gift if you’re giving someone one of the dolls this year (or whenever) and need a nice bonus to add to that horror-themed holiday/birthday/other occassion gift box.