In 2004 fairy artist Brian Froud, along with folklorist and scholar Ari Berk, unleashed quite a bit of mayhem upon the human world with their book “Brain Froud’s Goblins!” Now Abrams Books has seen fit to release what they describe as “an unfortunate 10 ½ year Anniversary Edition” of the book. The disclaimer at the beginning of the book states: “The publisher can accept no responsibility whatsoever for any problems arising from the purchase or casual perusal of this work.” By all accounts, the authors can be reached care of Shady Pines, “a Complete-Care Asylum/Spa & Fish Mongery” in Padstow, Cornwall, U.K.
“Brian Froud’s Goblins!” exposes the goblin world through photographs of goblins taken with a mysterious magical camera adapted by Brian Froud, along with paintings and drawings of goblins by Mr. Froud. Dr. Berk reveals the secret world of goblins from the Codex Goblinensis, as well as misinformation obtained from interrogations of the goblin scribe called Gargle. This special anniversary edition is expanded, with more artwork and further exploration of the goblins and their world.
The introduction tells the story of how this book came about and a section of photographic portraits of goblins with their stories. Part 1: “Goblins in Their World” contains portraits of various goblins, along with information about each goblin such as name, title, history, habits, indication of their presence, and evidence of infestation by said goblin. Part 2 is “The Goblin Almanack,” featuring information about goblin culture, holidays, and more. Part 3 is “Goblins in Our World” in which Froud and Berk expose the many and varied tricks, schemes, pranks, misfortune, mold, rot, and general yuckiness visited on unsuspecting humans by these unseelie fairies. Part 4 is “A Turn for the Worse, or There Goes the Neighborhood,” in which Berk and Froud realize too late the terrible cost of sticking their noses into goblin business.
“Brian Froud’s Goblins!: 10 ½ Year Anniversary Edition” is a 96 page coffee table book printed on heavy duty coated paper with a padded cover. The book is chock full of artwork by Brian Froud, and clever, witty writing by Ari Berk. “Brian Froud’s Goblins!” is original, laugh-out-loud funny, and just plain fun. Froud’s goblin artwork is quirky, eldritch, and whimsically creepy. The book is published by Abrams Books, and is available Sept. 1, 2015.
Verdict: Buy it, but at the buyer’s own risk. This reviewer is not responsible for any chaos, havoc, or pandemonium that might ensue.