Gauntlet Press will be publishing its first full-color illustrated collection this fall, The Fall of the House of Usher/Usher II, illustrated by Allois. They took on this project after Ray Bradbury (author of Usher II) saw the finished book and expressed his enthusiasm, and also agreed to sign a limited number of signature sheets for two editions of the book.

“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe has become one of the most recognized psychological horror story of all times. The fable of tainted bloodline and madness is as disturbing today as it was at the time of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” The pain of Roderick Usher was retold innumerous times, including musical and visual art forms. The Grand Master of Science Fiction, Ray Bradbury himself, has re-built and re-demolished the House of Usher in his Martian Chronicles with the story “Usher II.”

The Usher legend is given another life in this edition, combining the stories from our past and from our future, united through the art of the present-day artist Allois. As Ray Bradbury broke the barrier between Sci-Fi and mainstream literature, so Allois had made an attempt to combine two art forms into one. The reader is presented by the printed stories and their visual counterpart as found in the depths of the artist’s imagination. The result, a Fine Art Novel, combines the strength of classic literature and the power of fine art.

As to who is Allois? Allois is an American painter and illustrator, best known for the striking and bizarre images of Aliens in her surrealist work. Says art critic Peter Frank, “Allois paints presences. Her figures manifest conditions, sliding away from personality and into mood. A particular character may present itself as a child or adult, man or beast, but its identity gives way almost immediately to its nuance. Personages making their way through a landscape come to embody self-containment, self-absorption. This is real abstraction, a dissolution of the seen into the sensed.”

You can see a number of images from the two stories in the collection, as well as her portrait of Ray Bradbury here: Usher II.

Gauntlet Press expects a Fall 2010 release for this title.

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