Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hemocyte Test Footage for Ridley Scott's I Am Legend

Regular followers of the blog will recall the video I posted last year of Steve Johnson's unused practical effects tests from I Am Legend.

Now making the rounds on the web is footage from Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff who provided practical concept work for Ridley Scott when he was developing the project.

The following video is from the StudioADI YouTube channel, where you can check out the entire collection of Feature Film and Non-Feature Film Work from Amalgamated Dynamics Incorporated


The Last Man On Earth Soundtrack CD Now Available

Our friends over at Monstrous Movie Music have just released a new batch of soundtrack CDs including a long-awaited, fully authorized stereo recording of Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter's score to The Last Man on Earth.


I picked up my copies when it debuted at the Son of Monsterpalooza show a few weeks back, and now you can order yours online. Time to discard the bootleg mono release sourced from the isolated score track on the Image LaserDisc. This is the real deal, and it's limited to just 1000 copies, so don't delay or you may find yourself paying an outrageous price on the secondary market.

Richard Matheson's Censored and Unproduced I Am Legend Screenplay

As previously reported, Gauntlet Press will be releasing an updated version of Richard Matheson's original screenplay adaptation of I Am Legend (aka "The Night Creatures") later this month, featuring another beautiful cover by Harry O. Morris, a new forward by Richard Matheson, and with a newly updated introduction by Mark Dawidziak.

I was happy to provide book covers and stills from the archive to help illustrate this new volume. It's definitely worth reading if you're interested in how Matheson would have adapted his book for the screen, and his forward is enlightening. You can pre-order your copy now on Amazon using the link below.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Am Legend named Vampire Novel of the Century by Horror Writer's Association

In the "we expected no less" department...

HWA, in conjunction with the Bram Stoker Family Estate and the Rosenbach Museum & Library, also presented the special one-time only Vampire Novel of the Century Award to:
    Richard Matheson for his modern classic I Am Legend

This award was voted on by a jury chaired by Dracula expert Leslie S. Klinger and was sponsored by Jeremy Wagner.

Click here for more information

Friday, February 3, 2012

Richard Matheson's I Am Legend - A Field Guide to the Science Fiction Book Club Editions

One of the most common questions I get through The I Am Legend Archive is, "How can I tell if my hardcover book club edition of I Am Legend is a first edition."

The Science Fiction Book Club edition has been the source of much confusion throughout the years. First off, it's dated 1954, the year the Gold Medal paperback original was released, and the publisher is listed as Nelson Doubleday. The first world hardcover edition of I Am Legend was published in 1970 by Walker & Company. The book club edition didn't debut until March 1980 as part of a series of science-fiction classics with matching designs and cover illustrations by Tony Gleeson.

After 25 years of collecting more than 100 editions of I Am Legend from around the world, I think I have solved the riddle of how to identify a 'first edition' of the book club edition.

I have three distinct binding variations of the book in the archive. If you have or are aware of any others, please contact me so I can incorporate that information on the site. 


The Black and Gold Edition 
  • 1/4 bound in black faux-leather with black paper boards. 
  • Gold lettering on the spine (I Am Legend - MATHESON - the only version that matches the lettering on the dust jacket spine).
  • Evenly cut pages. 
  • Pages 75 and 77 have no markings on the lower page gutter. 

The black and gold edition on the right is the only one with evenly cut page edges.

Due to the elaborate binding, and in the absence of the printing artifacts present on the other editions, my opinion is that the black and gold edition is the first book club edition.


The Red Edition
  • Bound in red faux-leather boards. 
  • Orange lettering on the spine (I Am Legend - RICHARD MATHESON). 
  • Deckled edge page cut. 
  • Page 75 and 77 have a black bar on the lower page gutter that would remain in subsequent editions. 
  • This edition has no number on the back of the dust jacket—it has 3684 on the inner back flap.


The Blue Edition
  • Bound in blue paper boards.
  • Black lettering on the spine (I Am Legend - RICHARD MATHESON).  
  • Deckled edge page cut. 
  • Page 75 and 77 have a black bar on the lower page gutter. 
My copy was purchased directly from the SFBC when offered late in the 90s, so I know that this represents the final run that they offered.

Thanks to reader William Thompson, you can check the date of your edition using the SFBC gutter codes. The first (black) edition and last few years of the blue editions don't have a gutter code, but if you check in the gutter of page 150, you can cross reference against the list on this page to determine the year of your printing. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year - New Books!

I Am Legend aficionados are well aware of the publications from Gauntlet Press (including the 40th Anniversary limited edition of I Am Legend, Bloodlines, and Visions Deferred).

Gauntlet has announced their publication slate for 2012, which includes a new autobiographical novel (Generations) and a new edition of Matheson's I Am Legend screenplay, titled Richard Matheson's Censored and Unproduced I Am Legend Screenplay, to be released this summer.

I confirmed with publisher Barry Hoffman that the book will include material previously published in Bloodlines and Visions Deferred. As soon as the cover art is available I will post it here.