art is life... life is art
art is life... life is art
A Lunch community for lovers of all kinds of art!
Graven Images

Hard cover book compiled by Ron Borst highlighting motion picture posters from the silent era through the 1980s

< read all 1 reviews

This will knock your eyes out

  • Feb 7, 2009
GRAVEN IMAGES is exactly what it claims to be, 235 pages of the best fantasy and science fiction film art you could possibly imagine and-- beyond! It features beautifully reproduced photos of everything from the common one sheet all the way up to six sheets (that were literally plastered on the sides of buildings to be viewed from car or train) and everything in between including half-sheets, inserts, and lobby cards. It also includes a glossary to define these terms for you in case you are unfamiliar with them. Best of all the items represented aren't simply the American publicity materials, oh no, collector Ron Borst who compiled the book has also chosen to add foreign material chiefly British, French, and Belgian though other countries are represented as well, and some of these posters are absoutely breathtaking.

The book starts with a 15 page forward by Borst (everything is always illustrated) aptly called "The Genesis of a Collector". Among other things Borst's hobby lead to establishing one of the best known memorabilia shops in Los Angeles. His forward is followed by the handy-dandy one page glossary, and then by a five page introduction by the ubiquitous Stephen King that sets the tone for the book which of course is how publicity material, specifically theatrical posters sets up the audiences expectations for the film. It also contains 2 lists, one which is King's list of favorite horror movies as of 1992 and the other his list of favorite horror movie posters as of the same date. Looking at the list I'm assuming that he's referring only to American one sheets.

MOVIES (alphabetically)
Burnt Offerings
The Changling
Curse of the Demon
Dawn of the Dead
Dementia 13
Evil Dead
Pet Semetary
Texas Chain saw Massacre

Child's Play 2
Curse of the Demon
Earth vs the Flying Saucers
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein
I Was a Teenage Werewolf
Night of the Living Dead
Paper House
The She Creature

The remainder of the book is divided into eras and each era is introduced by a different science fiction writer; The teens and twenties are handled by the late Robert Block author of PSYCHO, the thirties by Ray Bradybury, the forties by Harlan Ellison, the fifties by Peter Straub, and the sixties by Clive Barker with an afterward entitled "Imagi-Movie Memories 1922--1968" being contributed by the late Forry Ackerman who died of congestive heart failure December 2008. Their anecdotes are all well and good, but the real reason to buy this book is the art, and art it truly is! Many of these images are so beautiful that it hurts to look at them.

The teens and twenties were the high point for this type of poster art in films but all too soon it would end, a victim of mass production. Within a few years circus posters, cigar box labels and all the other forms of beautiful lithography of which these early posters were but a part would be gone forever, and by the 1980's almost all theatrical posters would be photographic in nature. Once you've seen the posters reproduced in this book you'll realise just how big a loss that really was. If you get a chance to take a look at this gorgeous book--grab it! What you find within its pages will open your eyes, especially the work for the silent films that were coming out of Germany such THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI and METROPOLIS for the art chosen to sell these films was every bit as exciting an innovative as the films were themselves.

My only criticism of the book is that I would have liked to have seen mention by name of all the artists who had produced these ephemeral masterpieces. I suspect though that the artists, like their work, were disposable. How very asd.
This will knock your eyes out

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
February 12, 2010
LMAO! Oh, this is weird. I just found out about this book recently and have been looking for it everywhere. They include some of the original "Nosferatu" storyboards too. When did you get your copy, because it looks like it's been out of print since '98?
February 12, 2010
I don't really remember seeing the story boards but then every page was just so dazzling. I've had this book for at least 14 years, probably longer. You should see the German posters for Caligari--there are several different ones represented in the book and they're all gorgeous.
February 13, 2010
Cool. The six images that are all together on the "Nosferatu (film artwork)" data point shows them.
February 13, 2010
Those were all from "Graven Images"?
February 16, 2010
Yeah, as far as I know. According to the web page where I found these, they were said to have been in the personal collection of Ronald V. Borst and were featured in his book "Graven Images".
February 16, 2010
Yeah, the book was compiled by Borst from his collection. I'd love to see what he omitted.
February 08, 2009
I love this kind of stuff, I could look at theatrical promotional art all day long and never get bored. Of course it makes me sin mightily since I covet every poster I see.
February 07, 2009
whoo-hoo! this book sounds awesome!
February 07, 2009
About the reviewer
karen ()
Ranked #3
I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER.   So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why   the chicken … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
Recent reviews by QUEENBFLIX
About this book


Personal reminscences by Forrest J. Ackerman, Clive Barker, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, and Peter Straub.
view wiki


Books, Nonfiction, Nonfiction Books, Movie Posters, Film Posters, Movie Poster History, Fantasy Film Posters, Science Fiction Movie Posters, Horror Film Posters, Horror Film Posters History


ISBN-10: 0802114849 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780802114846 (hbk.)
Editor: Ronald V. Borst , Keith Burns , Leith Adams
Author: Stephen King (Introduction)
Publisher: Grove Press
Date Published: October 1992
Format: compiled by Ronald V. Borst and Margaret A. Borst
First to Review
© 2014, LLC All Rights Reserved - Relevant reviews by real people.
art is life... life is art is part of the Network - Get this on your site
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since