Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Ian Miller - publications

Following my last post about the amazing Ian Miller I want to talk more about his published work. As I mentioned, he is immensely prolific and his images have graced hundreds of covers, so rather than attempt the Sisyphean task of cataloging his output I'll concentrate on his monographs. I'll do this in the order of my own preference.

All these books can be picked up from ebay or second hand on Amazon for reasonable prices. Alas I have never read The Luck in the Head, so it does not appear in this list.

Ratspike - This is a join monograph with the awesome dystopian tag-team that is Blanche and Miller. This is my favourite collection of Miller's work for three reasons; he gives an excellent introduction to himself (describing his upbringing and influences), the range of work reproduced is huge and because the print quality is really good. This is a must for any Miller collector.

The City - This is based on a James Herbert story and takes the form of a graphic novel. It follows the journey of a dour infantryman as he returns to the ruins of his home in a search for his family. It is an utterly depressing and unpleasant tale and Miller's work is entirely apt. His Genius is immediately evident when one flicks through the pages - the colour scheme of the story changes as it progresses. A must-have for Miller fans.

Secret Art - I only got a copy of this recently. It was published by Roger Dean's Dragon's Dream company and is an excellent compilation of Miller's work from the 70s. In the manner of the day the pictures are accompanied by a verse by Barry King, which I must confess I have not had the stamina to read. The reason why this is number three is the print quality. Admittedly my copy is nearly 30 years old, but the images are somewhat blurry and this is not kind to Miller's tight, detailed style.

Green Dog Trumpet (and other stories) - This is a weird one. It's another Dragon's Dream publication and was originally intended to have accompanying text. In the end this narrative was stripped out and one is left with the distinct impression one is missing something. Again, the print quality isn't great and the plates are rather small on the pages (no doubt they were reduced to accommodate the story which was pulled). It's beautiful but is somewhat marred.

The Guide to Fantasy Art Techniques - Not a monograph as such but this compilation features interviews with fantasy artists about their techniques and there is a fascinating section on Mr Miller. It was edited by Martyn Dean (Roger's brother) and published by Paper Tiger (the successor to Dragon's Dream). Any fan of Miller will find this invaluable. The fact it covers other artists like Jim Burns, Patrick Woodroffe, Syd Mead and Chris Foss makes it a must-have.