A few days ago we celebrated national dark poetry day, which is also the anniversary of the day of Edgar Allan Poe’s death. I posted about Poe and my trip to Baltimore to see his home and grave. He’s been such an inspiration to me as a writer. But he’s been an inspiration to so many hasn’t he? Writers, authors, screenwriters for film and tv, artists… they all are inspired by his storytelling.
One of his most famous works, “The Masque of the Red Death,” is a short story about a kingdom and the plague, and how the rich folly during times of great distress and the poverty caused. It sounds parallel in some ways to today and the world, and leaders, we are living with as the Coronovirus rages on.
Because of that, and this announcement I’m about to tell you about coinciding with it, I’m writing this post to inform all book and art fans and collectors of something very exciting!
Raw Dog Screaming Press announced yesterday that they will be releasing an e-book and print version of an illustrated “The Masque of the Red Death” created by Steven Archer.
Artist Steven Archer, who studied art at the Cochran School of Art in Washington D.C., has his own sense of style when it comes to his work. His work is becoming so iconic, I can usually look at a piece and suggest it might be his. It’s hauntingly fluid and rich in color.
From their announcement:
“Edgar Allan Poe wrote “The Masque of the Red Death” nearly 180 years ago, yet its narrative and characters continue to mystify and captivate. The short story is driven by Prince Prospero’s attempt to evade the “Red Death” a fatal plague infecting his kingdom, by hiding in his abbey, where he indulges in pleasures and delights with other nobles. He soon finds out that no one can escape their end.
Steven Archer has recast the characters of The Masque and illuminated the narrative in a novel and perhaps more visceral light, that remains true to the raw darkness and decadence of the tale. His modern take on the classic story brings it into our new infected world. Perhaps it was prescience that drove him to create the illustrations in 2018 only to have them see the plague-filled light of day in 2020. Even now in our enlightened and modern world, “Darkness and Decay and the Red Death holds illimitable dominion over all.”
With a foreword by John Langan (The Wide Carnivorous Sky), this is an immersive visual feast that breathes new life into this classic memento mori tale of disease, decadence, and inevitable mortality.”
RDSP bring such unique publications to the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi genres, and are always looking for the inspired and unique. They breathe life into the ideas of artists and authors alike. Huge kudos for Jennifer Barnes, the editor and co-owner of RDSP, for working with Archer to bring his beautiful representation of Poe’s work to light.
Order Info –
ebook coming December 9 • paperback January 13
Pre-order price includes a $2 discount, all copies shipped in the US will come SIGNED! Pre-order HERE direct from RDSP.
“Steven Archer is an aspiring artist of great talent and skill.”—Neil Gaiman, New York Times Best Selling Author of American Gods
“Ravishing illustrations, seductive and scarlet; a hideous bit of morbidity: exactly what I look for every time I look. Archer is on fire here. A classic reborn.”—Josh Malerman, New York Times Best Selling Author of Bird Box and Malorie
“Beautiful horrors! Archer’s expressionist ironies breath new life into Poe’s schoolbook tale. It’s like experiencing a plague for the very first time!”—Nick Mamatas, author of Move Under Ground and Sabbath
“I can think of no better combination than Poe and Archer. A vibrant, temporal, visceral re-imagining. To die for.” —Lee Murray, author of Grotesque: Monster Stories
“This is The Masque of the Red Death for our times. Faithful to Poe’s vision, Archer’s artwork expands and enriches the text with surreal elements of lust and debauchery only hinted at in the original. Thanks to Archer, ‘Darkness and Decay and the Red Death will continue to hold illimitable dominion over all.’”— Chris Semtner, Curator Edgar Allan Poe Museum
“Steven Archer’s style has the perfect sense of dreamlike chaos for The Masque of the Red Death. A refreshing take on a tale that in many ways is very relevant for the world today.”—Abigail Larson, Artist, DC/ Dark Horse
About Artist Steven Archer –
Steven Archer is an artist and musician living in Baltimore, MD. When not recording, DJing, or producing art, he and his wife, author Donna Lynch, tour with their dark electronic rock band Ego Likeness. He has a BFA from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC and has shown his work at galleries and other venues throughout the east coast. His work has also been shown internationally in the form of album art and magazine illustrations. Luna Maris is his first book. He has also collaborated as illustrator on two books of poems by Donna Lynch; Witches and Daughters of Lilith.
To learn more about this title or other RDSP titles, visit their website. Often, ordering direct from RDSP will ensure you get the books much faster. As always please consider also shopping through your local indie bookstores, ask them to carry, and also don’t forget to tell your librarians about it too!