Permian artist Nikolai Gorbunov, book illustrator Maine Reed

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Shortly after the trial, in 1996, Nikolai Pavlovich died of a heart attack before reaching his 60th anniversary. After the death of the book’s artist, Maine Reed continued to be illustrated by Oleg Ivanov, who tried to preserve the artistic style of his predecessor and comrade in several volumes. The only difference was that Gorbunov drew in ink and Ivanov in isography.

“It was difficult with the first book,” Ivanov recalls. – And not because I had to get used to the manner of Nicholas, it was just hard to accept his departure. For the first time in my life, I broke the schedule for a month.

The volume “Land of Fire” by Maine Reed, published after Gorbunov’s death, was dedicated to his memory and preceded by prefaces about him.

“For the first time I meet heroes who are so similar to their creator,” Oleg Ivanov wrote in his introductory speech. – Usually the character imperceptibly for the artist absorbs features that are missing or even directly opposite to his author. Here the artist seems to be trying on the skin of his hero. And looking in the illustration, we see a cowboy hunchback racing on a horse, shooting at a crowd of Indian hunchbacks.

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