The Fantastic Art of Boris Vallejo, introduction by Lester Del Rey ISBN 0345352092
Five out of five stars
If you have ever looked at the covers of fantasy books there is no doubt that you have seen the work of artist Boris Vallejo. He was extremely prolific and very talented, often commissioned to create a “grab and hold your attention” cover image. This book contains a wide variety of his works within the fantasy genre.
Three of the images feature the Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan character, he is depicted as a muscular and powerful fighter. In one he is battling a very large snake and you can see the muscle strain in his left forearm with the veins bulging out due to the effort. This is a demonstration of the anatomical detail that is a signature of Vallejo’s work.
Three of the images demonstrate his versatility as an artist. The images called “The Master and the Maiden” and “The Toast of the Town” that feature a very well-dressed man with a woman wearing a flowing dress, high collar, long sleeves and a hat are right out of the romance novels set in the nineteenth century. The third image of a woman seated in a chair with a smoking gun in one hand and a drink in the other and two dead men on the floor is a great cover for a femme fatal murder novel.
The word “fantastic” in the title is not unsubstantiated hype at all.