In 1919, everyone wanted a copy of the deluxe edition of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination, but not because it was bound in vellum with real gold lettering. It was because of these grim and gorgeous illustrations by Harry Clarke, which added an extra dose of horror to Poe's already terrifying tales. Tales of Mystery and Imagination, which collects many of Poe's most enduring horror stories, including "The Masque Of The Red Death," "The Pit And The Pendulum," "The Telltale Heart," and "The Fall Of The House Of Usher," was actually first collected and published in 1908, nearly 60 years after Poe's death. This edition was published by George Harrap & Co., and included 24-full page illustrations by Clarke. Even though the volume cost five guineas (somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 US), it was much in demand and made Clarke's reputation as an illustrator. It's easy to see why, with these gorgeous renditions of often gruesome subjects. See all 24 illustrations here.
If you have kids, you almost certainly have at least one of the 'I Spy' books, or something from the 'Can You See What I See?' series on your home bookshelf. Created by artist/photographer Walter Wick, the books have page after page of images filled with astonishing amounts of detail, including any number of objects for the kids to find. Wick's website has dozens of pages taking us behind the scenes, showing us how many of these wonderful photos were created, many involving the construction of incredibly detailed models that are used for just a single shot. The Impossible Columns is perhaps my favourite.
Alasdair Gray is best known as a novelist but his illustrations of his own books have long fascinated and delighted. Here you can see hundreds of artworks by Alasdair Gray, including some book illustrations, from 1950 through 2009. Here are a few of his works that I like: unfinished Scottish Society of Playwrights poster, Nina Watching the Simpsons, Erics Watching Television, Ice Age and Babylonian Science, theatre poster for A Clockwork Orange and the Scots Hippo series. Also on the website there are a lot of articles about and by Alasdair Gray reposted from various publications. And finally, here's a podcast of a talk Alasdair Gray gave called The First Pictures I Enjoyed.