Joe Coleman is a powerful artist whose paintings in acrylic on Masonite contain within their bizarre decorative borders an astonishing profusion of specific, intensely colorful nightmare images. He does not try to be pretty. He does not flinch from depicting revolting details of body parts and violence. (Click on the cover illustration for a closer look.) Often he places a totemic figure, such as Edgar Allan Poe or Ed Gein in the middle of the canvas, then he explores his fascination with that person by surrounding the figure with vignettes about the individual's life and work. After hours of meticulous labor with tiny brushes, every square millimeter of the canvas is covered with quotations, faces, glyphs, documents, dramatic scenes, and horrifying creatures. His paintings are often compared to illuminated manuscripts. Original Sin contains 48 pages of color plates, many with accompanying detail views, and numerous illustrations in black and white. Essays by filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, art historian John Yau, and writer Harold Schechter offer insights into Coleman's psyche and world-view. Detailed keys explain the allegorical and historical references in 19 of the paintings. Warning: this is strong stuff, both gory and sexual. To view more of Coleman's art, see the cover illustration of Coleman's Cosmic Retribution.