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Cover by John Bolton.

Human Remains


A 31-page story in Tapping The Vein Book 1, 1989, Eclipse Books.
ISBN: 0-913035-92-0.
This book is out-of-print, but a new edition has been published in 2002.

Category: fantasy.

Author(s): Clive Barker, P. Craig Russell.
Website: http://lurid.com/pcr/.
You can find lots of informations about PCR's work on my fan site.


Craig Russell has unfortunately not adapted a lot of contemporary writers. It's a shame, because his work on Human Remains, a story on identity and the finer points of being human and one of Clive Barker's best Books of Blood stories, is among his most accomplished.

A young handsome prostitute finds himself shadowed by a mysterious creature, a stone-like being from the Roman times who begins to shape himself to look like the hustler. How far will it go? Will the creature become truly human, and at what cost for the young man?
As with all the good Books of Blood stories, the awfulness of the situation the characters find themselves in is instilled in small doses, creating an atmosphere of sensual dread, not unlike a demon whispering sweet things in one's ears. Russell's art is equally seductive, drawing in the reader with its depiction of this most beautiful man, this stuff of fantasies and desire. The horror comes later, with blood and knives. With the feeling the man is losing his humanity... although he doesn't seem to have had much use for it until then. His body might be perfect - and Russell shows him from every angle - but his personality is as cold as the first stare the statue gives him.

With the importance of realistic settings and body language all along the story, Human Remains proves if need be that Craig Russell isn't only a great fantasy artist, but also a master of graphic storytelling in all its variety.


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