Creator of all things snarky and spooky, Roman Dirge is widely known for his comic construction, Lenore — AKA the Cute Little Dead Girl. Although the artist's darkly humorous character faces adventures filled with enough deadpan surreality to satisfy the gothiest of goths, Dirge has a plethora of other work that has rarely been shown. Taxidermied: The Art of Roman Dirge brings together the sometimes magician's previously unpublished artwork for the first time in a full-color, hardback book that Lenore and all of Dirge's other dreary creatures would approve of.
Based on dreams (and nightmares), inspired by found objects, and traded for free booze at his favorite bar, Dirge's paintings, drawings, and random sketches are the grotesques of his morbid and imaginative universe — and Titan Books' handsome, new tome does them justice. "My art reflects me pretty appropriately. My love of 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," the artist writes in his introduction.
Each piece is "narrated" by Dirge with personal anecdotes, including the thought process or technique behind the works' origins. Don't worry, if you spot an octopus or giraffe the Los Angeles-based artist hasn't gone soft — he's just sharing one of several creations that he made for his former beaus, which adds a touch of sweetness to the sinister. Also of note is a gorgeous drawing he made for burlesque superstar Dita Von Teese and one of the original artworks that was used for ohGr's album, Welt (fronted by Nivek Ogre from Skinny Puppy).
Below, check out a few exclusive images from the new book — a monstrous piece called Biheaded and one of Dirge's "scarytales," which was inspired by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The cover image above, Serpenteese, is a creature that eats birds — which Dirge apparently despises. Head to Titan's website for more information and pick up a copy of the book over here.