Suntup Editions immortalize I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson with three incredible limited editions and an I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print featuring the same Stanley Meltzoff cover art that was on the Gold Medal Books first edition of the book in 1954.
Oh, the horror! To be the sole survivor of a world-wide vampire and zombie-vampire creating pandemic!
Each of the three Suntup editions are incredible to behold, and we will be reviewing the Suntup Editions Artist Gift Edition of I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson and the accompanying Limited Edition giclee print.
The Suntup editions are as timeless as the book I AM LEGEND itself.
I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson was a first on many levels, as it crafted a post-apocalyptic world where living vampires emerge alongside undead zombie-vampires.
The last man on earth, Robert Neville, is besieged with an incessant danger and terror.
Here is the story synopsis from Suntup Editions, and the review continues below it.
“This may be the most terrifying novel you will ever read.”
This quote from mystery writer William Campbell Gault graced the first edition cover of what would become one of the most influential and adapted works of the 20th century. Originally published in 1954, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend ushered in a different kind of novel, defying and transcending genre to combine elements of horror and science fiction within a post-apocalyptic frame.
I Am Legend is the story of Robert Neville, who appears to be the sole survivor of a pandemic that has turned the human race into a crossbreed of zombies and vampires. Robert must hunt by day, hide by night, and most importantly, survive.
In 2012, the Horror Writers Association gave I Am Legend the special Vampire Novel of the Century Award. The novel and Richard Matheson are often credited for creating the zombie-vampire genre.
The cover art on that edition was painted (1917-2006), and has become one of the most famous book covers of the genre.
IAL Suntup AGE Illustration © 2019 by Allen Williams. Artist Gift edition cover art by Stanley Meltzoff © 2020 Silverfish Press. [Suntup.press]
PLEASE NOTE: The following book review is *SPOILER FREE* and discussion of the plot is tread upon lightly for the sake of readers that have not yet opened the book.
Though many more are familiar with the name ‘I AM LEGEND’ since the movie of the same name (little else resembled the book), starring Will Smith, came out, than the book, that should be true of the name Richard Matheson, who exploded onto the horror, science-fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction scene with his short novel I AM LEGEND in 1954.
It was not ten years after its first publication, only in paperback for 25 cents, that it came out in theaters as The Last Man On Earth, starring Vincent Price (this movie resembled the book), in 1964.
Many great novels had begun to spring from Matheson by this time, but I AM LEGEND truly made an indelible mark on horror tales and fiction itself for that matter.
It is not just the brilliant concepts of the story and the last man, Neville, struggling to make stakes, keep fresh garlic on his home’s door, and cope with the menace that lurks at night that make this book special.
It is the inner workings of the great character, Robert Neville, that moves the reader, again and again.
The man is tortured.
And he continues to torture himself with thoughts of what was and is clearly deeply depressed.
In the beginning he has three passions: killing the vampires, surviving, and drinking away the dread of it all.
Haunted by his family, now years gone, the lack of human contact while undead females taunt his sexual hunger night after night, and his own neighbor repeatedly yelling his name over the sound of the music Robert uses to try and drown out the cries in the night puts him under a cloud of pressure.
The pressure mounts when ideas of the pandemic being curable take hold, but survival becomes no less difficult.
The relationships Neville gets to form will break your heart.
The world-building – the unending menace, impending calamity, and the pits of burning bodies – is so immersive it is scary, the language use is brilliant, the plot is full of gut-strangling twists, and the ending does not disappoint.
Here is Jeff’s infamous unboxing video of this edition:
The AGE Suntup Edition of I AM LEGEND is a Must-Have.
The limited edition of 1000 copies of I AM LEGEND by Paul Suntup and his brilliant team offer a large full cloth smyth-sewn binding with two-hits foil stamping, and printed endsheets featuring the creepy long-nailed arm of one of the undead.
The crimson red emanates the red used on the original first edition Gold Medal Books made and to further that cause the entire front cover of the dust jacket, sans title or verbiage, is the historic painting by Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006) from that same original 1954 paperback edition.
The depiction of Neville holding a stake aloft as he looks down at the pit of burning bodies in the piece is timeless.
It adds so much to the gorgeous AGE book that is signed by the illustrator Allen Williams, whose creepy black and white depictions of the IAL world are haunting equally enthralling.
The book, printed offset, is housed in a printed slipcase with the creepiest vampire hand you will ever see and there is cloth on the upper and lower sections.
The look and feel of the cloth and the gold foil is something truly special in the hand.
And going back to the cover art: Suntup Editions created an I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print of the Stanley Meltzoff painted cover art, and I had to have it as well.
Limited to just 50 copies, the I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print by Suntup is STILL AVAILABLE here (how or why I do not know)!
Be sure to check out the wild numbered and lettered editions of this book from Suntup too!
Between the art, the care for every aspect of the book, and the impactful work put into all of the Suntup Editions of I AM LEGEND, the publisher has helped to further immortalize a grandfather of dark fiction and one of his most prominent works.
The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read ’em and buy ’em)!
Want To Buy The I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print by Suntup Editions (or their last numbered book that is NOT SOLD OUT, somehow, Brother by Ania Ahlborn)? Click away!
“Suntup Editions Immortalize I AM LEGEND By Richard Matheson” was written by R.J. Huneke.
P.S. If You Like The Hand-made Wooden Case For I AM LEGEND…
Check Out Out My Pet Projects, Igor, here.
P.P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .
We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:
- To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release and to bolster small press and fine press publishers that make works of art out of the books we love. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
- We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.
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Another great review.
I Am Legend moved me. It is tucked in my heart along with Farenheit , Lord of The Flies and Slaughterhouse 5.
A fascinating novel. Neville’s struggle felt so real.
Thank you , Anna I feel the same way.
Love this book so much! A monster tale but reversed. Thanks for the great review!
I could not agree more! It is so innovative and I love it. I wish they would use Matheson’s script for a movie adaptation (3 movies did not, and he did write one).