Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge
written by Roman Dirge
You probably know illustrator Roman Dirge from his work on Lenore: The Cute Little Dead Girl. Most of Dirge’s work is a delightful mixture of eerie and cartoony, so that the chilling stuff isn’t so frightening, yet edgy enough that all the cartoony images have a distinct darkness. Beyond Lenore, Dirge draws a great deal of things, and as the title of Taxidermied would suggest, much of it is of the deathly variety.
The hardcover book handsomely collects Dirge’s sketches and illustrations, along with brief descriptions of what inspired each one (“I dreamed I married a zombie” is one typical explanation of a creepy skeletal bride). There is not a huge amount of exposition here, so you get few insights into Dirge’s real personality, and yet at the same time, you come away knowing him quite well.
It’s worth noting as well that, despite having their ominous overtones, Dirge’s illustrations are filled with powerful beauty. Collected here like this, where you can parse through them one by one, they gain an incredible sense of loveliness, believe it or not. The details and precision he infuses within each line shine through and fuel the imagination. If you’re a fan of Dirge, this book will be a treat. If you’re new to him, enter a darkly comic world if you dare.