The Flights Of Icarus by Donald Lehmkuhl (book review)

Now here’s an interesting thing. I saw ‘The Flights Of Icarus’ on the internet auction site recently, recognised the Roger Dean cover and a book of his I hadn’t had and won at a cheap price. Imagine my surprise when I opened the book and a long list of artists and the realisation that they were all here. Looking at the bios now, all said artists are now in their 70s or 80s. No one is getting younger but art lasts forever.

OK, a list of the artists first: Robert Beer, David Bergen, John Blanche, Jim Burns, Gordon Crabb, Roger Dean, Peter Elson, Jim Fitzpatrick, Chris Foss, Dick French, Peter Goodfellow, Melvyn Grant, Colin Hay, Terry Ilott, Jeffrey Jones, Peter Jones, Michael Kuluta, Josh Kirby, Alan Lee,  Angus McKee, Syd Mead, Ian Miller, Chris Moore, Bruce Pennington, John Ridgewell, Tony Roberts, Patrick Woodroffe, Tim White, Barry Windor-Smith, Una Woodruff and Berni Wrightson. 31 artists and only one of these is female back in 1977. You’ll also note some of them are also American. The number of pieces varies from artist to artist. Barry Windsor-Smith only has one piece where may others have several. Of course, the likes of Chris Foss and Jim Burns will have pieces that you’ve seen elsewhere but a lot of it is some I’ve rarely seen on book covers. The occasional double-page spread has the common problem of art lost in the centrefold enforces the argument that it is better to shrink the art than let it happen again.

My second-hand copy has minimal creases on the cover and a little foxing on the opening blank page but in good condition for a book 46 years old. If you’re an SF/fantasy art fan and this book pops up, this is a good investment for your artbook collection.

GF Willmetts

May 2023

(pub: Paper Tiger/Dragon’s World, 1977. 159 page large squarish illustrated softcover. Price: varies. ISBN: 0-905895-16-9)

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