The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful is a must have for fans of the Showtime Television show. This large coffee table style book is black with silver cover inlays and symbols representing the various characters of the show. Inside, the book delves into the stories of creating the sets, costumes and characters of Penny Dreadful. It also discusses the literary influences of the dark characters.
The book does an excellent job of breaking down individual scenes, such as the elaborate seance scene from episode two of Penny Dreadful. It carefully describes the characters without giving too much away. However, if you sit down and pour through the book without having seen the show be prepared for a wealth of spoilers, some intentional and some accidental. For example, the nature of Ethan Chandler is described in detail towards the end of the book, but the beginning mostly focuses on his Wild West persona and the creation of a traveling gunslinger show.
Many of the images in The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful follow the racy look of the television show. I was delighted to see a half-naked version of Reeve Carney as Dorian Gray, but this is probably not the type of book you want to give Grandma on her 90th birthday (unless she’s awesome). Each page is decorated with glossy beautiful images, some more Victorian and some on the side of the truly creepy.
The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful is available now from Titan Books, just in time for the premiere of Season 2.