One can easily see the influences of Jack Kirby or Frank Frazetta but Alex Horley is more versatile than he seems, applying his craft to superheroes from Marvel & DC, Magic the Gathering, World of Warcraft and other projects.
Sketches form the bulk of the book. There are sketchy drafts and compositions of epic fight scenes, beautifully shaded characters portraits and saucy heroines and femme fatales. The cool sketches show his groundwork and preparation. His knowledge of anatomy, just like artists he admires, is masterly and always evident.
Included also are a few pieces of coloured illustrations. Alex Horley still paints in traditional medium and you can even see the textures of his board from these illustrations. The paintings are gorgeous and captivating, but also too few which make me realise that it doesn't, surely, represent all the work he has done. I like his Venom, Hellboy, Vampirella and the very colourful World of Warcraft art.
Nice book for fantasy art lovers and Alex Horley fans....more
Drawing Words and Writing Pictures is more of a course that a book on drawing comics. The authors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, both comic artists and teachers, have designed the book to follow a 15-week semester. It's easy to follow and each lesson builds on the previous.
The course is comprehensive and covers everything from paneling, storytelling, transitions, lettering, inking, character development, etc. Basically every form of education you need to create your own comic.
Each lesson has plenty of illustrated examples from the authors and other artists like Craig Thompson, Osamu Tezuka, Paul Pope, etc. You're exposed to many styles, genre and ways of creating comics. The instructions are so clear it's almost like hand holding, but of course you still have to do all the hard work. And the lessons end with homework so you can actually practice what was taught — practical.
This is a really helpful guide on drawing comics. Highly recommended to aspiring comic artists. Well worth the price.
This is as close as it can get to attending a real comics drawing class....more
The book is a collection of some of his cover works, notably Sam and Twitch, and Spawn, other titles, unpublished works and some personal pieces such as the one on the cover page.
The art is fantastic, especially the Spawn art, which are deadly. The use of blacks and lighting is great. I like the back portion of the book which features more of the comic art drawings, with coloured filled onto the fantastic line art.
Most of the art here are digital with the last 20 pages on black and white sketches. There are strangely no comic book panels featured. For many of the illustrations, which are the covers, they are printed to fill a page, with a smaller version on the opposite page. The smaller version is exactly the same, which is really redundant and could have been replaced with the pre-coloured ink sketches, or even more art.
I've also read that there are some issues with the binding for the paperback, specifically the glue holding the book together. Mine's the hardcover version and doesn't have that problem.
Overall it's still a pretty nice book for the fans....more
This book on Alex Ross comic art is stunning. There are comics where the characters are brought to life by the art and story, but you know that they are still created from imagination. With Alex Ross, it seems like he's drawing a character that really exists. His sense of realism is unparalleled. He blurs the line between fantasy and reality.
He's compared often with Norman Rockwell and it's apt, but Alex Ross is in a class of his own too. He, too, uses photographic references to amazing results.
This book is packed with breathtaking paintings, many of which are full page. It's also filled with his sketches and accompanying commentary talking from anything about his childhood, comic characters and influences like Andrew Loomis and various comic artists. There are lots to read. There's also a section which details his drawing process, from getting a reference, to inking and then colouring.
Although there are no chapters, the content is grouped by the superheroes he drew, namely Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, The Justice Society, The Justice League, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, Green Arrow, Hawkman, The Atom, The Flash, Supergirl, Batgirl and a whole lot more. These superheroes must have felt honored to be drawn by Alex Ross.
This book is really value for money — 320 pages of top quality art and awesome for only US$20. Highly recommended to all artists and comic fans....more
Larry Elmore is a freelance illustrator who has created work for comics, video games, magazines, sci-fi and fantasy books. He's noted for creating the covers for Dungeons & Dragons, AD&D and Dragonlance.
This sketchbook of his was published in 1993. It's a collection of his personal sketches it seems. I don't see any of them listed as commissioned pieces. He draws in pencils before finishing them of in felt-tip pens or markers. The theme is mainly fantasy and most of the sketches are on women....more
Mine's the paperback version and it's really huge and thick. This 320-page volume collects some of the best work from Top Cow. There's art from Witchblade, The Darkness, Cyberforce, Aphrodite, The Magdalena, Hunter-Killer, Universe, Weapon Zero and other smaller titles.
If you read Top Cow comics, you should know of the quality of art. The illustrations are reproduced brilliantly in high resolution showing all sorts of detail down to the minute brush strokes. There's no commentary but every illustration is credited. Some of them also come with the pencil sketches and layout before the inking stage.
The impressive lineup of artists whose work are featured, just to name a few, are Marc Silvestri (who drew the cover), Michael Turner, David Finch, Frank Cho, John Cassaday, Greg Horn, Jim Lee and many more. The work from them are really top notch — the colouring, line art, design, etc.
I think there might be some duplication of work if you have other Top Cow art books, which I don't. The book description says that it combines The Art of The Darkness, The Art of Witchblade, and The Art of Marc Silvestri, together with additional work from other artists. If you don't have the other books, this volume is pretty much the collectors edition.
Recommended to all Top Cow and comic art fans....more
After a visit to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, I realised I'm not a big fan of abstract art. Getting Abstract Comics confirms the fact that I'm not a big fan of abstract art.
This book has a very nice textured cover.
The comics here resemble IQ quizzes that test the ability to recognise patterns. But they are more difficult here — insanely difficult — as they replace simple geometric shapes with abstract comic lines, colours and collage. Solving them will no doubt provide tremendous pleasure but there are no answers given, of course. I've no luck distilling any meaning from most — only had one or two "Eureka!" moments.
If you can appreciate abstract art, this book might be for you. If not, stay away.
This art form probably appeals to those who already appreciate in the first place....more
I've put off the purchase of Comic Book Tattoo for a long time thinking it was a book on tattoo art. It didn't help that it was in shrink wrap at a local bookshop (which I hate and love) and I couldn't peek inside.
This is a very huge and heavy book. I bought it from Amazon and they included an additional surcharge for the bulk, which I didn't notice, making it more expensive if I were to buy it locally -- ouch!
There are both paperback and hardcover edition. Mine's the paperback edition and the binding's not bad for a book this size but spine wrinkles are expected if you open the book wide. This book needs to be opened wide. I should have bought the hardcover but it's really pricey.
Comic Book Tattoo is not a book on tattoo art. It's a comic anthology created by over 80 artists featuring stories inspired by songs of Tori Amos. I can't say I familiar with any of the artists' work but the quality of work in this book is really high, plus the variety of style is incredible. There are plenty of other artistic gems in this volume.
My favourite piece is the silent comic from Kako. The perspective is from a bee flying through a playground, with a silhouetted swinging carousel against the sunset. Everyone is suspended in the air including the bee. The line art and inking is brilliant, even though I can't see how it's related to the song Marianne it's supposed to be inspired from.
I'm not sure what fans of Tori Amos might make of this book. After all, this is a comic book. Compared to the music, it's totally different sense and sensibility. Because of that, I'll recommend it more towards comic lovers....more
Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! is a charming autobiography by Scott Morse. Here, he draws himself as a tiger, putting his thoughts beside his colourful sketches, telling us how he sees the world and himself.
Do adults still pretend to be someone else nowadays? I know kids sure do, pretending to be their favourite superheroes and idols. But an adult? It's interesting to see a story told from a little tiger's point of view.
The story starts with jury duty that was delayed. Using the free time, the little orange tiger takes a walk around the neighbourhood, sketching, visiting the park, animal shelter, scribbling notes on what people are doing. On a separate day, he tells us another story on his day out with his little kid (also a tiger), talking about fatherhood. It's simple but effective storytelling.
This is a very personal piece of work and I really like the traditional medium art, especially the watercolors. Recommended for Scott Morse fans. ...more
Asterios Polyp is a major depart in style compared to the other works David Mazzucchelli is famous for, such his work on Dare Devil and Batman: Year One.
Asterios Polyp is a strange person. Even he's an architect, his designs were never built. He's also a professor, author and husband to an eccentric lady.
The story here is about a phase of his life after his house got burned by a lightning bolt. The storytelling is fluid but the character seems to be a bit distant. Somehow I just can't describe what his personality nor do I know his motivation in life. Is this a case of mid-life crisis? I don't think multiple readings will help.
The visual narrative is very unique here. Colours used are predomintly purple, blue and yellow. Occasionally, it will break into visualisation, like drawing Asterio Polyp using just cylinders and drawing his wife in hatches. The creative use of panels and symbolism is really refreshing and not seen before in other comics.
Readers should approach this book with an open mind. Expect the unexpected, and I mean the visual style....more
Even wonder what it's like to be an immigrant moving to a new place to look for work, to see and experience a whole new world? The Arrival will tell you the story of someone who made this journey.
This beautiful book is designed like a worn out photo album from the past, not sure which past if the photo on the cover is anything of a hint. The book opens to a wall of immigrant photos, just like those you'll see in Ellis Island Museum. Several drawings of immigrant processing, passport pictures, and the "arrival hall" are based on photographs taken at Ellis Island.
The story starts with a man putting a photo of his family carefully into his luggage. It's early morning. His wife and daughter are walking him to the train station. The scene cuts to show the town he's leaving from, one that's inhabited by gigantic black tentacles. At the train station, you can see the sadness in the eyes of her daughter, who only manages to break into a sad smile when her dad pulls a paper crane from under his hat to cheer her up. They hug and bid farewell. The train leaves. The mother and girl then walk back home under the shadows of the tentacles.
You can tell the tremendous amount of research and thought put in the panels. Shaun Tan has put little nuances and details everywhere, enabling readers to fully immerse themselves in the new world feeling the sense of wonder and foreignness as a new immigrant might. When the man is in the arrival hall of the immigration building, he undergoes the health checkups, questioning by officers on the purpose of his visit before he's approved entry.
He finds his job, made new friends and we learn their stories and more of this strange world. The last act ends happily with the man inviting his wife and daughter over. Seeing the joy on their faces as they reunite is so touching. In the last panel, the girl is pointing directions for a newcomer who's lost.
My short review just barely scratches the depth of the book. It's really much deeper.
This is storytelling at its best. Every panel advances the story. No words are used, and none are needed. Shaun Tan seems to have perfected the art of visual narrative with his surrealistic imagery and believable facial expressions. This book is a fascinating eye opener in every literal sense. It's really an enjoyable read and experience.
Apes and Babes should be the first art book of Frank Cho feature more of his action and superhero comic art. It's a 144-page hardcover with a dust jacket.
The book features comic covers he has drawn for Marvel, Jungle Girl, Liberty Meadows and Mars. I'm not sure what Mars is but it's something like Conan, Xena, Frank Frazetta kind of art. For many of the illustrations, he has included the pencil line art version so you can see the before and after. Even though the subject is similar, the feel of the art is very different when colours are added on.
The most impressive part about is art book is probably his knowledge of anatomy. Even though the characters might still be a bit stylised, the anatomy adds a more realistic dimensionality to the character designs. I like the way he uses extremely thin lines to portray muscle contours. The colouring — in this case probably called lighting — is fantastic.
This book is recommended to superhero art collectors and Frank Cho fans....more
First off, I must declare that I'm not really a James Bond fan. This graphic novel didn't change anything.
Silverfin is the first of a series to look into the life of young James Bond. This is where everything's going to start. There are some spoilers in my review.
It seems like James Bond has enemies everywhere he goes. Even on the first day at Eton, he made one very quickly by bumping into him. Guess what? His enemy happens to be the son of the bad guy. How predictable can it get? A string of events eventually lead him to the secret laboratory where evil experiments are carried out. There's a fight, of course, and James Bond wins.
Yes, there's some character development. You can gradually see James Bond growing up, turning tough. But it doesn't really save the simple story that lacks the thrill or mystery. I thought James Bond is about spies? The only spying here is him with his friend looking at the facility through binoculars and sneaking into the premises. I'll give him a break here since he's not really a spy yet.
The more important thing is at the end, I still don't know the motivation for James Bond to become a spy. Granted this might be the first book of the series, but still it doesn't say much of anything. It certainly doesn't entice me to read the second. I'm pretty glad that this book was lent to me by a colleague.
I won't recommend this book but I'm not a James Bond fan.
You can check out what other reviewers have to say on Amazon....more
I must say that the gags here aren't really my type. Probably because they are a bit dated and almost impossible to relate to. That's not to say that they are bad, it's just that they probably would appeal readers who used to read these comics. After a while, the jokes start to get monotonous.
Gags aside, the drawings of these glamor girls are fantastic. I love fluid lines that create the curvaceous, highly stylised, yet elegant ladies. If you study the cartoons closely, you'll realised that these girls are proud too. Most of the time, they are looking up — jawline horizontal — and standing taut. Sometimes, no outlines are drawn with form only suggested through the clever use of black.
Tekkon Kinkreet was originally published as a Japanese manga in 1993. The title is a pun on "Tekkin" and "Concrete", the Japanese term for reinforced concrete.
Just four years before creating Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Matsumoto had traveled to France for artistic research. The style of art in this book was heavily the French comics he studied there. It's a mixture of French line art with Japanese manga paneling.
The story is about two orphans, Black and White, who live in the fictional Treasure Town as they take on the yakuzas trying to take over the city. They are street kids, known as the Cats. Black is violent and sees it his responsibility to take care of his seemingly innocent brother White. Oh, and these boys can fly, literally.
Just as the names of the kids suggest, this theme is on the light and darkness. It's about how the kids relationship with people around them, having to find the way in their own lives on the streets, most oftentimes ending with violence. It is a gritty tale about friendship and change. There are no heroes in this book.
I actually bought the book after viewing the Blu-ray version of the anime. The adaptation is quite faithful. In fact, I was underwhelmed by the comic since the anime featured some pretty spectacular background paintings. The manga is a distilled version of that in terms of art and style. You should read the book first before watching the anime.
The story is simple, really, narrative absorbing. Overall recommended....more
Never before have I seen a nonfiction book as beautifully and compellingly written and illustrated as The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation. I cannot recommend it too highly. It will surely set the standard for all future works of contemporary history, graphic or otherwise, and should be required reading in every home, school and library. - Stan Lee
I'm equally as impressed as Stan Lee. This graphic novel is fantastic work. It's also a brilliant way to present the original 9/11commission report in a way accessible to everyone. Reviews for this book is even better than the original report! Amazing.
The book covers the plane crashes, the pilots, anti-terrorism activities in US, terrorism activities in other countries, the aftermath and lessons learnt.
Most compelling to read about is how political red trap has hindered anti-terrorism activities -- the inability for people to work together. There are so many instances where plans are not carried out because nobody could see it through and be the responsibilities for them. The way how the US government works is contrasted strongly by how the terrorist work, which is to disregard everything except to reach the goal.
At the end of the book, I'm not sure if anything has changed. I know some who rated the original commission report badly share my sentiments.
This is really a compelling read and recommended to anyone who wants to learn a bit more on the events that led up to that dreadful day....more
Jack Kirby, King of Comics. It's a prestigious title certainly befitting for someone who created or co-created some of the most popular comic characters like Captain America, The X-Men, Fantastic Four and many others whose stories are still running in the comics today.
This book is the biography of Jack Kirby's career in comics, written by Mark Evanier who had worked as his assistant in 1969.
Kirby learned his drawings from newspaper comic strips and movies, doodling incessantly whenever possible. Kirby started poor and was constantly worried about his family's finance. Dropped out of school at 12th grade, he tried to get a job selling his art. Times were really tough, which makes us appreciate his work even more after reading.
The book details his career, from drawing newspaper comic strips, moving on to work with Will Eisner, then Joe Simon, Marvel, DC and other people. Along the way, he created lots of great characters but unfortunately didn't translate to good money for him. Sometimes he would have nightmares of running out of money to support his family. The story of his struggle is very humbling.
Included are many illustrations collected by the author from the many fans. This includes personal sketches, photos and comics, some drawn under different names. All these from a talented hardworking man who puts in 60-hour weeks.
Kirby's story is one of dedication and passion. This book is highly recommended to all fans of his work....more
You probably know Prince of Persia as the video game. I've not played the game before so I can't say if this graphic novel follows the game plot.
I find the story a bit confusing as there are two stories that cuts into each other frequently. These stories happen in different time periods and the main character looks roughly the same. The use of different colour tones to differentiate the stories aren't good enough. Each story on its own seems alright but when they are weaved together, it becomes hard to follow.
There's some violence so it's probably not suitable for kids.
The art by Alex Puvilland is pretty alright except that the main characters are drawn too much alike.
I probably won't recommend it unless you can browse through it before buying. That way you'll immediately know if you like it. The photos I have below don't tell the story, unfortunately....more
Blueberry's is Jean Giraud's take on the wild west. There are a lot of cool cowboy art, many created with ink and watercolour, some painted with acrylic. His line art here ranges from the sketchy quick portraits to the highly detailed hatching of backgrounds for towns and country side. Each piece looks like tremendous thought has been put to it. I love the textures he creates on the board with the brush strokes and line hatches.
This book is for the cowboy fans and Moebius art collectors. It's published in 1997 and might be hard to find....more
French Milk is a sketchbook travelogue on the author Lucy Knisley and her mother. They spent 6 weeks together travelling in Paris. It seems pretty lonFrench Milk is a sketchbook travelogue on the author Lucy Knisley and her mother. They spent 6 weeks together travelling in Paris. It seems pretty long for a holiday but hey, it's Paris!
Using her brush pen, she records her adventure in the new city, visiting museums, dining, shopping and taking pictures. Through the single panel cartoons and writeup, we're let how she sees the world as a young adult. She's 21 when she drew all these.
While there are few days where she gripes about stuff, the charm of the book is really her relationship with her mother. There are funny moments like her mom being an early riser, talking and annoying the hell out of her. It's really an interesting look at how close they are. Even though her mom is divorced, her dad still went over to Paris to celebrate her birthday. Through her thoughts and flashbacks, we also know how she feels about her friends, and more about what kind of person she is.
It's strange but during these six weeks, there's not much mentioned about the interactions with the locals. It's just mainly sightseeing like any other tourists.
If you're wondering why the title is French Milk, it's because the author Lucy Knisley prefers the milk in France compared to milk in US.
French Milk is a predictable but charming travelogue. Ultimately it might be hard to relate to if you're not in her age group or have travelled to Paris....more
The Will Eisner Sketchbook is positively amazing! I'm saying that because I read his comics and do a bit of cartooning myself.
The book is a clothed hardcover, perfect bind with 200 pages. The paper is thick and mildly yellow.
On these pages are the best reproduction of pencil drawings I've even seen. As I rub my thumb across the textured cross hatches, I thought I would smudge the paper and pick up graphite on my thumb. It's almost like holding Will Eisner's original sketches in hand! Brilliant.
Inside, the sketches are grouped accordingly to the titles he has created. It includes The Spirit, A Contract with God, A Life Force, The Dreamer, To The Heart of Storm, The Neighborhood Dropsie Avenue, The Last Hero, A Family Matter, The Princess and the Frog, Last Day in Vietnam and Minor Miracles.
These are the concept drawings and panel layouts for his comics. There are even character designs. While some of the sequences are long with dialogue included, they are not complete so you'll still have to get his original books for the stories. You can see how Will Eisner designs his panels and writes his stories. It's all very inspiring to see the work-in-progress of the master comic artist. Since this is a sketchbook, there are many that never made it to the final art.
This book is highly recommended, more so if you draw comics....more
I bought the book because a caption on the back cover caught my attention. "I take out one of my cameras. I choose a 20mm lens, a very wide angle, and shoot from the ground. To let people know where I died."
Well, that and because the book was selling for only £6 on Amazon UK.
In July 1986, French photojournalist Didier Lefèvre took on an assignment to document the efforts of Doctors Without Borders in war-torn Afghanistan. The story is told with photographs comic-book style, with the illustrations of Emmanuel Guibert filling in the blanks and dialogues throughout, based off the notes taken.
What we have here is a story that's incredibly absorbing and powerful. Through the photos and narration, we're immediately transported to Afghanistan, just right beside Didier Lefèvre. The feeling is no different when you're in a different country, experiencing a different culture and way of life. We get to see what he sees, hear what he hears. We walk along the same hazardous mountain paths, always on the lookout for Russian helicopters. And we try to find meaning into the work done by Doctors Without Borders, be it bandaging a poor boy's burnt foot or cutting out the dead cornea of a soldier.
This is a difficult book to read, in the sense that you're confronted with the realities of war. Just behind the front line of war, we're with the doctors, looking at how these people cope with the war and their lives. There will be many moments to set you thinking about what these people are fighting for. Many times you'll want to leave Afghanistan, something we can just do by putting down the book, but not easily too as we're drawn to find out how the journey ends.
In the year that followed the mission, Didier suffered from chronic furunculosis and lost 14 teeth. Of the 4000 photos he took, only 6 were published by the newspaper. Thankfully, the rest are reproduced in this book or his efforts would be sorely wasted.
The Photographer is a very raw and powerful account of the journey Didier Lefèvre went through, as well as the work of Doctors Without Borders. The story is as absorbing as it is harsh at the same time. This book will transport you to a place you don't want to go....more
I actually did a preview last year when the book came out, so I'll save some writing by using the earlier content.
If you love sketchbooks or watercolors, you'll love The Venice Chronicles. It's a sketchbook, travelogue, comic thrown into a sturdy hardcover book with a love story at its core.
The artist is Enrico Casarosa, a story artist at Pixar. He has a blog where he post lots of artwork and thoughts so be sure to check it out!
The sketches in the book are wonderful and watercolor beautiful. The characters are appealing and, well, real. I can't remember if I've seen water colour comics before but there it is in this unique book.
The story is about his travel with his girl. Included also is a section on how they met, and how he used his drawings to attract her attention, of course! There are lots of great interaction and funny dialogue to draw smiles.
Enrico has created a Flickr set for the book where you can read the pages, best viewed in slideshow mode. The resolution isn't great so you'll still want to buy the book and support the artist. It's a lovely book. My copy is actually bought at San Diego Comic Con 2009 and signed by him.
You can also check out the creative process of the book on Enrico's Flickr photoset titled The making of The Venice Chronicles, also best viewed in slideshow mode to you can read the captions. I love the photo of him painting and carrying the baby at the same time — multitasking creative talent....more
The hippo in a coat on the cover looks interesting enough for me to get the book. I've no idea what Elephantmen is. Well, according to wikipedia, The Elephantmen series is a spin-off from the series Hip Flask, set in the same universe and expanding on details of various minor characters from that series.
This book is the concept art book for the comic series drawn by José Ladrönn. Since the story is character based, there are tons of character designs for the unhumans as well as the humans. These are sketches, lineart, paintings and character profiles. There are lots of iterations included and you can see what works and not, and they are all explained.
Particularly impressive are the ridiculously detailed paintings which took months to draw. There are several pieces and each are shown with the work-in-progress shots from sketch to the colouring stage.
In some of the drawings, 3D models were created to help in painting the environments and vehicles. These 3D screenshots, with wireframes, are also included. The amount of effort and work is just staggering. Many of these are just going to appear small in the final art anyway but still...
Dedication screams out in this book. This Ladronn guy really works hard for his money....more
This book actually comes in a fabric covered box with a magnetic latch. On the box cover is a very cool key with the words "IDW" as the teeth. Inside, there are three books, two resting on the soft cushion padding of the box.
The main book is IDW: The First Decade. The second is IDW: The Covers, which has 148 pages of cover art from 2001 to 2008. The final book is a comic book with sampling of some titles. The book cover is different from the one shown on Amazon. Here, it's navy blue with a print sticker on it.
It's a pleasant surprise that the book includes a tip-in plate signed by the founders and some artists! They are Ted Adams, Alex Garner, Kris Oprisko, Robbie Robbins, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, Steve Niles, Chris Ryall, Ben Templesmith, JK Woodward and Ashley Wood. You can still see the marker residue off the page.
The whole book is presented interview-style. We follow the four founders of Idea and Design Works (IDW) as they recall from starting the company, moving to different offices, designing for game companies to becoming a comic publisher and working with great artists and many more. It's a nice look behind the scenes at how creative work is done, how they manage to push out popular comic titles, work for TV series and even take part in making movies, such as the case for 30 Days of Night.
The chapters of the book are roughly group by the type of work IDW does and the major comic titles published. There are interviews with the artists of the various titles. Ashley Wood talks about his inspiration for the line of Sparrow art books. Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith talk about their experience pitching 30 Days of Night to movie studios. Chris Ryall on the hesitation of taking on Transformers. There are lots to read, plenty of pictures to look at and a few (un-detachable) multi-fold posters.
IDW: The Covers features every single cover published by IDW through December 2008. Over 2000 covers by some of the biggest names in comics including Clive Barker, Tim Bradstreet, John Byrne, J. Scott Campbell, John Cassaday, Richard Corben, Kieron Dwyer, Tommy Lee Edwards, Don Figueroa, Alex Garner, Mike Grell, Tony Harris, Dave Johnson, Sam Kieth, Igor Kordey, Ted McKeever, David Messina, Alex Milne, Scott Morse, Paul Pope, Gabriel Rodriguez, Richard Sala, Eric Shanower, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ken Steacy, Ben Templesmith, Billy Tucci, Ashley Wood, JK Woodward, Bernie Wrightson, and many more. - IDW
The small comic book includes four 5-page stories, namely Fallen Angel by Peter David and JK Woodward, Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriquez, Popbot by Ashley Wood and Wormwood by Ben Templesmith.
To preview the whole book (except the covers and comic book), just check out http://idwpublishing.com/idwx/. IDW has actually made the every page available for preview.
This is a great book for anyone who likes the artists, IDW and their work....more
Robot is a Japanese manga anthology. This English version is translated by Udon.
Basically, this is sort of a portfolio books for the artists. They are Range Murata, Neovision, Hyung-Tae Kim, Mani Itou, Suzuhito Yasuda, Shigeki Maeshima, Yusuke Kozaki, Hirotaka Maeda, Sabe, Miggy, Yoshitoshi Abe, Micho Murakawa, Imperial Boy, Shin Nagasawa, Fujijun, Hiroyuki Asada, Yumi Tada, Shuzilow.Ha and Nick Stick Robot-kun.
Some of the stories are continuation from previous volumes, others are just standalone. As with continuation, if you don't have the previous volume, the stories won't make a lot of sense. Besides, Japanese comic plots are a little hard to grasp in the first place. Storytelling is definitely not the reason you'll want to buy this book for. With so many artists, the variety of art is great. Some are very beautifully illustrated, while others go for the more comical line art.
This book is a mixed bag for me. I'll probably give it 3 stars out of 5. Well, a good comics anthology should have more better stories. Or it could have been a better art book if they scrap storytelling altogether....more
The Art of Grendel celebrates twenty-five years of Grendel with a selection of artwork. There are layouts, splash pages and sketches. The paintings done on Bristol board looks really great with all the texture and paint. I thought there was a certain manga element to the Matt Wagner's style in some of the character portraits and backgrounds.
The book doesn't just feature art from Matt Wagner but other artists as well. We get to see interesting stuff like Ashley Wood's ink splatter style as well as Clint Langley's nitty gritty muscle bulging Grendel.
Right at the end is a guest gallery with artists like Frank Miller, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope among others providing their own style of Grendel. Same character, different sensibilities.
There are plenty to reminisce in this nice tribute, but recommended more for Grendel fans....more
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are two popular names in the comics industry for good reason. Their partnership has created enduring heroes, like Captain America and gave comic book readers a reason to be excited. They are also the first to create the double-page spread.
The Best of Simon and Kirby is a selection of stories restored from scans of the original comics. The restoration is great and brings us back to the days where background colours are rendered in halftone dots. The few genres in this book includes superheroes (of course), sci-fi, war, romance, crime, western, horror and humour. There are 26 stories.
Within these panels, the greats show us how comics are done in the past, why they became American popular culture. Readers who grew up reading these comics should find them nostalgic.
This is a large hardcover book with dust jacket. It seems, from what I've read, that this is the beginning of a planned collection of the entire Simon and Kirby Collection.
This book is for those into classic comics....more
Secret Identities is one of the few comic anthologies I enjoy tremendously. There are 48 chapters, all drawn by Asian Americans — of course — but a few are 1-page superhero profiles and stories. So really, there are only 40 longer stories.
For most of the 1-page stories, it's an artist talking about the concept of superheroes, Asian Americans and the influence of Asia on western comics. The longer stories are really fun, bizarre and creative.
The book starts off with a comic book cover art of "The Y-Men", featuring super lame superheroes with quotes like "Feel the suicidal wrath of KamiKazei", "Sweaty Feet of Coolie are express ticket to hell", "The myopic blasts of Four Eyes" and "Special delivery from Riceman pork-fried pain". This pretty much sets the satiric tone for the book, although there are more serious stories as well.
My favourite story is "James", written by Michael Kang and drawn by Erwin Haya. James's power is super-agility and super-strength. His partner has the ability to emit light, like a light bulb. Somehow amazingly, James began to lose the limelight (pun intended) to his partner and his career crashed. In the end, he had to start over going to like N.O.A.S.S* and A.S.S.H.O* networking events. *Which translate to National Organization of Supers and Sidekicks, and Asian Student Super Hero Organization.
My second favourite "A day at Customeco". This family is shopping at a groceries supermarket dedicated to superhero shoppers and suddenly a how-dumb-can-you-get villain strikes! Now imagine every superhero rushing in for the kill.
The story concept and creativity are really commendable. The superheroes are shown in many different aspect of life, in different communities, going about their daily chores. It's mix and match everywhere, littered it with funny quotes.
This book is highly amusing and should appeal to more than just Asian Americans.
Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew present a different take on Alice's Wonderland with a story told from the point of Mary Ann, housemaid of White Rabbit.
The adventure starts when Mary Ann goes on the run after hitting the Queen of Spades (accidentally) for dirtying her apron. We then follow the adventures of Mary Ann and White Rabbit as they journey through the magical world, interacting with the very other amusing characters.
The story is light-hearted and reads fast. Sonny Liew's sketchy and colourful style work very well here. Wonderland is always changing, nothing is certain, just as implied by the sketchy hurried lines, spotted backgrounds. There's also a certain manga element into Mary Ann's character, such as using multiple dots to simulate running and the nose-less portrait. The set and other characters are also very well designed. There's a good sense of personality in all the characters.
Overall, it's a very nice comic worth checking out, especially so when all the single issues are now collected in one volume....more