So after yesterday's post rhapsodizing about the glorious publication of the ten volume set The Collected Works of Mervyn Peake being my Holy Grail of books, I received an interesting email asking me if what other Holy Grails remained for me. I love this kind of question and it's easy to get carried away making long lists. Plus, amazingly, many of the books that used to only be fantasies to me have indeed been published, such as Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics, artist Cor Blok's collection of The Lord of the Rings art titled The Tolkien Tapestry and Jack Kirby's (again!) The Eternals Omnibus to name the most notable examples. I mean, those are books I could only dream existed just a few short years ago, in spite of almost feverishly hoping that they would some day be printed. And yet, here they are! That gives me hope!
However, there is still a tiny handful of books that I would give my eye teeth to see and I continue to hold out hope that these may eventually become a reality. The first, by a long way, would be a complete English language, multi-volume, hardcover collection of every single one of French artist Philippe Druillet's comics and illustrations. Some of his work has been translated and published here in the States, such as Yragael Urm and Lone Sloane Delirius but these are long out of print and hard to come by. Here are a few pages from Druillet's comics, to give you a taste.
I have quite a few French language collections of Druillet's work, some thanks to my friend Lizzy G. in France, but my French is very very rusty so I am mostly figuring things out through the art.
The next on my Holy Grail list, and something in a similar vein, would be a complete English language, multi-volume, hardcover collection of every single one of French artist Moebius' comics and illustrations, although this would be a massive undertaking and certainly complicated by rights issues. Here is some of Moebius' work, from his seminal Arzach stories.
The third would be some kind of lushly illustrated version of David Lindsay's wonderful Gnostic science fiction fable A Voyage to Arcturus although, honestly, I hope to make this happen some day myself, with my own illustrations.
On the Road of Knives..., a "battle blog" where artists Shawn Cheng, Matt Wiegle and others draw monsters battling each other in an ongoing and connected series of illustrations. It is really just ferociously good stuff. Below, one of my many favorites, Move 052 of the battle, titled No Lumberer by Shawn Cheng.
Not surprisingly, each of these Holy Grails has a significant artistic element, often related to comics or visual narrative. That's what I am always looking for.
So, what do you think? And what would your Holy Grails be, in anything, whether it's books or art or music or film or cars or wine or whatever?