In September of 2017, I posted a fancy lady vampire painting to my various social medias. opining that surely my friends had it in their hearts to pool their resources and purchase it for me to hang in my boudoir for all eternity, to the tune of a cool 14K. As it happened, no one loved me enough for that! Regardless, I never forgot her lovely, spoiled little face, and I continued the tradition of posting the painting every now and again over the ensuing years. I loved her so much that I wanted to include her in The Art of Darkness, but alas, Richard Bober, the artist, never answered even one of my approximate 90 billion emails. it was not to be.
Sometime in the year 2021, Handsome Devils Puppets and I started plotting and scheming on the idea of coaxing her off the canvas and transferring her soul into the floopy-limbed, fabulously attired vessel of a custom marionette, as a sister puppet for Sei Shōnagon and Maria Germaova.
The project began in earnest in June of 2023, a month after I had written a blog post that blew up everywhere and got a lot of attention, inquiring about the mysteriously unknown artist of an iconic book cover for a certain edition of a much-beloved book. I was privy to a lot of speculation and chatted quite frequently with the podcaster who was eventually to report on it; I’d pass along more guesses and suggestions that I was receiving from blog commenters and emails, and she’d share industry tidbits and whispers that she was amassing in her detective work. A name eventually emerged that one or two people seemed quite certain about, and though it was a bit of a wild ride getting there–it was eventually revealed that those eagle-eyed individuals were correct. Y’ALL. Richard freaking Bober –the artist responsible for my favorite gorgeous goldilocked vampire mean girl– was the artist who created THAT cover art for Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time!!
That cover was something I wanted to include in The Art of Fantasy, but I thought, “Why bother? no one knows who the artist is; who would I even ask for permission?” But isn’t it funny that both these pieces of art caught my eye for various reasons, and without even realizing they were the same artist, I was hoping to have them in the pages of separate books?
I later learned through interviews with Richard Bober’s family and nephews that he was a bit of a recluse, and I don’t think he emailed much, so chances are, I was never going to receive a response to my inquiries anyway! And sadly, he died in late 2022, so he never lived to get proper credit for that book cover. From everything I’ve heard, though, I’m not sure he would have even cared!
So in a very roundabout way, this feels like it has come round full circle. Or looped around several times and tangled confusingly because I do tell a rambling story.
Anyway, isn’t she beautiful? She’s totally gonna steal my soul tonight. Worth it.
If you enjoy these peeks at the artists I love, or if you have ever enjoyed or been inspired by something I have written, and you would like to support this blog, consider buying the author a coffee? Maybe next time I can afford the 14K painting.