The following is an excerpt from The
Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black
by E.B. Hudspeth
Philadelphia, the late 1870s. Doctor Spencer Black, a son of a grave robber and a gifted surgeon, had a revelation: what if mythological creatures like mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs were, in fact, evolutionary ancestors of humankind? The good doctor dedicated his life studying the anatomy of such beasts, until he mysteriously disappeared years later, leaving only a body of work called The Codex Extinct Animalia, detailing the anatomical structures of mythological beasts.
In the first half of the sci-fi/fantasy book The Resurrectionist, author and illustrator E.B. Hudspeth, retold the fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black - beginning from his humble childhood, medical training, travel with the carnivals, and his mysterious disappearance. In the later half, Hudspeth included the meticulous anatomical drawings of mythological creatures.
If you love Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the gorgeous anatomical drawings of Gray's Anatomy, The Resurrectionist is the book for you.
Publisher Quirk Books has graciously supplied a sample of the marvelous illustrations you'll see in book:
Many details regarding the heraldry of the sphinx are still unknown. These creatures varied widely throughout the African continent. In Egypt, there are great statues of this animal - the sphinx sol, the protector and scourge of Ra, the sun god. Sphinxes are shown bearing a ram's head (a criosphinx) or a goat's head. These species are typically depicted without wings; I suspect that, like many flightless birds, the sphinx lost its need for flight because of geographical isolation. This evolution likely occurred before the animal's arrival in Egypt or Africa; however, I cannot determine whence it originated.
The famed sphinx of Thebes appears strikingly similar to the specimen in my record. Though few in number, the species had a developed human mind with an advanced intellect; they were more than likely fierce and successful predators.
Philadelphia. The late 1870s. A city of cobblestone sidewalks and horse-drawn carriages. Home to the famous anatomist and surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a “resurrectionist” (aka grave robber), Dr. Black studied at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs— were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?
The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from his humble beginnings to the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed black-and-white anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story.
E. B. HUDSPETH is an artist and author living in New Jersey. This is his first book.