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From myth to manga, an artistic visual history of the human mind through an imaginative collection of fantastical monsters from around the world
• Includes more than 300 color illustrations
• Reveals monsters to be essential companions to the gods and the necessary complement to the perfect human archetype of the hero
Every culture on earth has its own monsters. Their stories, their curious habits and diets, and the ways in which they can be warded off create a picture of imaginations running riot. But what does our creation of monsters say about humankind? Why do we find one-eyed giants both in Japan and ancient Greece, or the same dragons in Europe and China? Hindu legends abound with creatures that are half man, half beast. Pliny described the monstrous races that lurked on the edges of Roman civilization. Even modern imagination is populated by monstrous beings such as the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. This universal fascination with monsters is as old as humanity and continues to grow with each generation. Why? Because monsters respond to a sense of the supernatural that lies deep within us. The battle between order and chaos, good and evil, is made visible through gods and monsters.
Introducing a bestiary of bizarre creatures from the furthest reaches of artists’ imaginations, this book offers a unique visual history of the human mind through a collection of fantastical monsters drawn from all over the world--from the earliest prehistoric depictions to the classical world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, up to the first glimmer of modern science and Romantic horror. From myth to manga, from dreams to nightmares, Christopher Dell’s mythic-religious study of monsters shows them to be essential companions to the gods as well as the necessary complement to the perfect human archetype of the hero.