Dismal Incantation– book review

by Herman Inclusus

Available from Herman Inculusus £9.99 Edition of 500

Review by Derek Brazell

“Buried behind neglected sunken gardens, lies the Decrepit Abbey. The abode of the very last disciple of an equally decrepit denomination, whoeth thirst for antediluvian knowledge lies unabated.”


With inspiration from Medieval illuminated manuscripts, Herman Inclusus (the artist name of Stuart Kolakovic) takes the richly detailed imagery generated for religious works of art and uses it to display the darker side of obsessive belief.

This tale of the last monk of a religious sect follows the haggard believer though a quest to collect ingredients for a spell which will resurrect the sect’s original leader. The search for the deliberately repulsive requirements for the spell, including the front teeth of a recently executed convict and the blood of seven crows, climax with the attaining of an ‘untainted virgin maid’ and her horrifying demise.


This compact publication is the antidote to festive trappings, with the gruesome story at odds with the beautifully composed pages. And although you won’t feel like singing carols after following this evil monk’s journey, you may celebrate the fact that illustrators such as Kolakovic are out there forging their own path and producing work which pushes at good taste so vigorously. As the Inclusus tagline says, ‘48 full-colour pages of Pestilence, Putridity and Perversions’.


You may also be interested in these book reviews:

Dear Rikard


8th December 2015

World Illustration Awards 2023 – Longlist Announced!
Be part of #WIA2023 - a global celebration of great illustration. The Longlist will now be announced by category from 16th - 25th May 2023.
Issue 42 and Back issues available!
Contacts (across 3 sectors) for 350+ UK Commissioners... BUY NOW!
Get seen by commissioners with a 20 image Folio.


Join our mailing list to get the latest news.