Today: May 27, 2024

I Am Legend: New Edition

Richard Matheson was rightly regarded as one of the three speculative fiction greats, alongside Bradbury and Asimov. Over a career that spanned 50 years, Matheson’s quiet wit and inimitable prose inspired both authors and filmmakers. While he made his name as penning short stories and novels, his work was frequently adapted for the big and small screen. Film credits include The Incredible Shrinking Man, Stir Of Echoes, Comedy Of Terrors, The Legend Of Hell House, Somewhere In Time, What Dreams May Come, alongside iconic TV such as the Twilight Zone’s Nightmare At 20,000 Feet, The Night Stalker movie and Star Trek’s The Enemy Within.

However one novel has proved to be a genuine evergreen: I Am Legend. Filmed four times, horror masters Stephen King and George A. Romero both cite the book as a significant influence on their own work. The book was named the ‘Vampire Novel of the Century’ in 2012.

This month, the Folio Society launch what is sure to be an award-winning edition of I Am Legend, featuring seven searing colour images (including three double-page spreads) from renowned illustrator Dave McKean. Famous for his collaborations on The Sandman with Neil Gaiman, and the best-selling Batman: Arkham Asylum, McKean’s illustrations perfectly capture the washed-out desperation of Matheson’s post-apocalyptic world. Splashes of vibrant red hint at the violence happening just off page and the special die-cut slipcase offers frightening glimpses of a world turned on its head – where monsters really aren’t who you think they are.  Each section opening spread is illustrated with stunning black and white artwork.

Above: Illustration by Dave McKean from The Folio Society edition of I Am Legend ©2018 Dave McKean.

Horror novelist Joe Hill has provided a perceptive introduction examining the impact this novel has had on science fiction, horror and the wider landscape of our nightmares. In his The Folio Society introduction, Joe Hill says:  “I Am Legend is a novel of unrelenting menace, the story of one man against the entire world, vastly outnumbered by an enemy that wants to tear him apart and wring the rags of his flesh for every last drop of blood.”

Joe Hill also says “Matheson’s grind-house apocalypse has been reprinted again and again, in ever more lovely editions.” As book-lovers and collectors, we all know the joy of finding a beautiful edition of a seminal book. By teaming Matheson with McKean, Folio have created an edition for the ages. 

Also available is a special edition limited to just 295 copies. Bound in black leather and blocked in red with an additional design by the artist, it features red page edges and a cloth slipcase printed with Dave McKean’s harrowing artwork. The interior features a black and red foil-blocked ‘red blood cell’ endpaper design. It is accompanied by an exclusive print signed by the artist.

Above: Illustration by Dave McKean from The Folio Society edition of I Am Legend ©2018 Dave McKean.

I Am Legend By Richard Matheson
Introduced by Joe Hill and illustrated by Dave McKean. Bound in printed and blocked cloth with a design by the artist, the book is set in Aldus.  Each edition is 208 pages, with seven colour and 4four black & white illustrations plus illustrated headings. A die-cut slipcase completes the design.
Price: UK £39.95 | US $59.95 | Can $79.95 | Aus $79.95

I Am Legend (Limited Edition) is priced UK £275.00 | US $395.00 | Can $550.00 | Aus $550.00

The Folio society edition of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, introduced by Joe Hill and Illustrated by Dave McKean, is available exclusively



Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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