Thursday, 1 November 2012

He's Undead--Wrapped in Plastic

Varney the Vampyre, probably by James Malcolm Rymer, is one of those books that is more significant than it is readable: a Nineteenth-Century gothic horror novel, two-thirds of a million words long, confused in its plot, setting and era; the quintessential penny dreadful, but very important in its influence on Dracula and other genuinely good books. Here are a few of the original illustrations:





So how best to republish this book in the modern era? Well, if you're an outfit called Borgo Press, you break it up into four expensive print-on-demand volumes, and give each one a cover that makes inexplicable use of Photoshop's 'plastic wrap' filter.





I wonder who the poor bugger is who played Varney for these covers.

Anyway, these covers made me feel like this:


7 comments:

Tororo said...

Breathe! Please.

Richard Grove said...

The poor bugger on the cover is non other than Del Howison, owner of the Dark Delicacies Bookshop, a store that specializes in horror.

http://darkdel.com/

JRSM said...

Tototo, I will, thank you.

Richard--that's amazing. How did you..? The odds of someone identifying him..! Blimey!

Kelly Robinson said...

I'm one of the 300 writers who are each rewriting a page of Varney the Vampire in our own style as a project for Galleycat. Unlike the above monstrosity, it will be available as an e-book for FREE.

JRSM said...

Hey, Kelly, thank you for that--I didn't know about that. Is there a link to the project?

Kelly Robinson said...

Here's a link to the original call. http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/help-write-the-worlds-longest-literary-vampire-remix_b58317

I'd keep an eye on Galleycat to find out when the book is ready.

JRSM said...

Cheers--that could be very interesting!