Published in 1999 A Fall of Stardust portfolio featured 29 full colour plates inspired by author Neil Gaiman’s and artist Charles Vess’ novella Stardust.
The original four-part illustrated story was published by DC Comics’ Vertigo Press imprint and reunited the pair who had previously collaborated on the A Midsummer’s Nights Dream issue of Gaiman’s hugely popular Sandman comic book series. The portfolio was published by Vess’s own Green Man Press and each plate measured 6.5 x 10 inches (the size of a comic book). The set also contained two prose chapbooks and shipped in an unnumbered fold-out cardboard wallet, which sold for $12.95.
Released to help raise money to offset Vess’s wife Karen’s medical bills after she was seriously injured in a car accident, A Fall of Stardust included artwork from some comic book heavy weights – Linda Medley, Terry Moore, Zander Cannon, Dave McKean and Jeff Smith, to name but a few – as well as sculptor Lisa Snellings.
The chapbooks were written by Gaiman and Susanna Clarke, author of the bestselling Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. The Gaiman chapbook, Wall – A Prologue, ran to 12 black and white pages and contained a short prose story prologue to Stardust as well as three poems: Septimus’ Triolet; Song of the Little Hairy Man and The Old Warlock’s Reveries: A Pantoum. The chapbook also featured a cover illustration and vignette drawings by Vess.
To really give this portfolio justice I’ve spread the set out over three posts – here are plates 11 to 20 (plates 1-10 are here). There are some beautiful images in this second batch, Lisa Snellings’ sculpture (plate 11) and Sandman cover artist Dave McKean’s montage (plate 18) being the highlights of this great selection. The last nine plates will appear in a few days time (click here), as well as more details on Susanna Clarke’s chapbook.
Artwork by Robin Mullins
Artwork by Lisa Snellings
Artwork by Terry Moore, colour by Eric Olive
Artwork by Tony Di’Terlizzi
Artwork by Linda Medley
Artwork by Lorenzo Mattotti
Artwork by Zander Cannon, colour by Eric Olive
Artwork by Dave McKean
Artwork by Jeff Smith, colour by Eric Olive
Artwork by Trina Robbins and Steve Leialoha