I actually picked up all of the Comic Artist Photo Reference Books on the cheap but this one was the first one to get opened so it gets the review:
Cliffs: Overall a good solid book, cons: photos in the book are not on the CD.
Tight binding and a physically well made book: I've already lugged it around in my gig bag, splashed water on the cover and have yet to crack the spine.
The photos themselves are great. Glossy, full color, well-lighted, dramatically lighted on some, adequatly sized 3 x 4 inches on most with lean and fit models (Yes, I own the Fantasy Artist's Photo reference and ugh). The models have proper action poses unlike some fine art reference manuals where you get the nude in a chair, nude standing listlessly, nude reclining on a chaise. Now you get RAWR, I am EVILY smoking a cigar, Karate chop! and OH crap someone stabbed me!
The how to's are not awesome but they're fun to look at and just a general idea/guidline on how to use the photos, setting up frames, storyboard etc.
The CD doesn't require you to install some crappy proggie on your machine in order to look at the photos. Kudos to them. Extranious software drives me bananas.
Another feature that some people might like is that they use an HTML setup to display the photos in a mouse-click friendly webpage navigator. I happen not to like it but I can see where other poeple could find it very user friendly.
The photos that are in the book are not on the cd! Which I don't like because I like porting the photos into photoshop, tracing over them, cutting off limbs and blacking out the eyes and some of the images in the book would be great for that (hey, it's a hobby) but now in order to do that I have to scan, crop, re-size etc. They just should have put them on the disc. It's my biggest gripe about the book is still having to carry around the book.
The CD has a lot of stuff on it (easter eggs--I hate easter eggs btw) but it is stored oddly--which i will cover under the "irritating section". If you were thinking you were going to pop in a disk and DL the images to your HD and start photoshopping away...
Well, if you're [...] about organizing like me--save some time and go to ROOT_DATA\HTML on the disk and start wading through the extras folders to see if you even want any of that stuff. The extras_amy_gallery has pictures of an toy action figure parachuting, camping, in a tree and was done by the editor of the book and while cute I probably wouldn't waste the HD space.
The models' folders are aptly labeled anthony_37, Rory_18, Jarrett_25 and Mark_44
When you put the disc in your drive and it loads up you'll see some folders come up (_notes, ROOT_DATA, Templates) and another one at the very bottom that says "start_here.html". You click on it and it opens up a webpage from your disk drive to where you can navigate the photos on the disk in a very well laid out webpage style format and click your way around, look at the extras and easter eggs and videos clickity click click click.
This is purely from a personal style choice but I find the disc setup pretty irritating I just want the core images.