Book Review: Taxidermied - The Art of Roman Dirge

PrintE-mail Written by Cara Fielder

Review: Taxidermied - The Art of Roman Dirge / Author: Roman Dirge / Publisher: Titan Books / ISBN: 978-1845769390

My introduction to Roman Dirge and his work was completely accidental. A few years ago I bought a couple of items of clothing from an American seller on eBay and as some people occasionally do, they had dropped a few freebies into the package. Amongst the clothes, sweeties, novelty pen and stickers, was a small comic book called The Cat With The Really Big Head. That single comic by Roman Dirge sparked a love in me for comics and graphic novels.

So obviously, when I found out Titan Books were releasing an art book of Roman Dirge’s work, I was super excited. I even had one of those ‘run to greet the postman’ moments and I can honestly say, this book doesn’t disappoint.

This sumptuous hardback showcases both his earliest and most recent work, some classic and some previously unseen pieces. Although I should probably point out it does not include one of his most famous characters, Lenore. I am presuming this is to keep his art pieces and his comic book work separate.

I think Roman Dirge sums his work up perfectly:

“My love for taxidermy and oddities seeps its way into pretty much everything I do. I can try to draw the simplest, most innocent of things…but I guarantee it’ll end up with blood and a restraining order involved.”

I will warn you now that Roman Dirge’s work is dark, gruesome, creepy and unique, but this is why I love it and find it so captivating. Many of these pieces are the true stuff of nightmares, as he himself admits to in a number of the pieces descriptions. But somehow he also often manages to convey brilliant undertones of black comedy in his work, which I adore. His hatred for birds also comes across as they are involved in a lot of his art. This is shown in the piece that’s emblazoned on the cover of this book. The commentary to this piece states he was trying to conjure up a creature to consume birds.

If you have a love for things a little different or masters of the dark such at Tim Burton or Jhonen Vasquez, then Roman Dirge could be right up your street!

The only thing that I was left wanting after reading and admiring this book was more information on Roman Dirge himself. Hopefully there’s more to come on that front in the future.

'Taxidermied - The Art of Roman Dirge' is out now


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