It’s a hard life when you have to look at a book highlighting a great Canadian artist, edited by one of your good friends, and written by another. Oh, woe is me, however will I manage to get through Ghoulish: The Art of Gary Pullin, written by April Snellings?
Pretty well, I can happily tell you.
First up – clearly I’m working with a bias here. Let me spell it out for you – my good friend and former editor at Rue Morgue Magazine Dave Alexander edited Ghoulish. April Snellings, who served as a Rue Morgue Staff Writer alongside me, is the author. April also happens to be a very close friend of mine who recently edited my upcoming book on Stephen King’s The Stand. I want nothing more to say nice things about what Dave and April have worked so hard on. Luckily, this is a bullshit-free review because Ghoulish is a genuine treasure for horror fans.
For those who may not be familiar with “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin, this Canadian-born artist is known in the horror community for his longstanding relationship with Rue Morgue Magazine, where he served as its Art Director beginning in 2001 until 2012, and his growing number of new and retro movie posters and album art that have become collector’s favourites. Among Pullin’s famous fans are Guillermo Del Toro and members of The Misfits. In Ghoulish, April traces Pullin’s career via prose and extended interviews with the artist himself. Their conversations are as much about the love of horror and growing up enamoured with the genre as it is about Gary’s life and work.
While the story of Gary Pullin and his art is told in conversation, there’s no question that it’s the incredible work contained in Ghoulish that makes it a must have for horror fans. Publisher 1984, April, Dave and company have put together a gorgeous hardcover that does an outstanding job of compiling and highlighting Pullin’s oeuvre. But it’s not just the art itself – it’s the layout, it’s the readable size of the book; for all the images it features, somehow the book doesn’t feel heavy in your hands. Ghoulish is the sort of title you keep out on your coffee table and that you can easily hand to a horror-loving guest and say, “Check this out!”
Like I said off the top, I have good friends who worked on this title and I know what they put into. Not only because I heard about their hard work as I waited anxiously for their creation to be birthed, but because the finished book is so obviously a labor of love and affectation for all involved. For horror fans generally, and Gary Pullin specifically, you can’t go wrong combing through the pages of Ghoulish.
If you’re in Southern Ontario this coming Thursday, May 9th, be sure to head to The Royal for a screening of Teen Wolf and a post-film Q & A and signing with “Ghoulish” Gary Pullin. Tickets available here.
You can purchase a copy of Ghoulish: The Art of Gary Pullin here.