Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge
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.
That being said, 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. Roman is best known for his cult little dead girl comic character Lenore and his writing on the Nickelodeon and Jhonen Vasquez television series Invader Zim so it’s great to see a book that wholly concentrates on his stunning artwork.
Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge is a sumptuous hardback that 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.
Roman Dirge sums his own 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, 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 nightmare, 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 hate 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 on 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 as 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.
Want an insight into Roman Dirge’s work? Check out the animated series based on his much-loved character, Lenore below.
If you loved Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge check out my review of Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo by Chris McDonnell.