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Parka (Singapore)
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Omar Dogan's Girl Seven
Omar Dogan's Girl Seven
by Omar Dogan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 23.42
26 used & new from CDN$ 23.42

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, May 27 2012
Length:: 1:09 Mins

Girl Seven is a beautiful book from Omar Dogan, one of the founding members of Udon.

It's a collection of good-girl pin-up art, or playful girls depending on how you see it. There are seven girls designed by Omar Dogan featured in various themes that have them in different costumes, like uniforms, furry outfits, sports wear, etc.

The illustrations are gorgeous. The are printed large to the edge of the page. It's one girl per page, but towards the back are illustrations of all the girls together. I like the costume designs especially the more elaborate ones from the Gothic theme.

Every coloured illustration comes with the pencil work and commentary. You can see the dramatic difference after colours are added. Most artwork use a smoother colouring style that's unlike the anime cel-shading style you see in the cover art, although there are a few at the back.

Great book recommended to fans of Omar Dogan and pin-up art.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Shigenori Soejima Artworks SC
Shigenori Soejima Artworks SC
by Atlus
Edition: Paperback
11 used & new from CDN$ 184.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice but be careful of duplicated work if you have other art books, May 26 2012
Length:: 1:05 Mins

Shigenori Soejima is the character designer at Atlus, the Japanese video game publisher.

This book collects primarily the video game art for some of the games he did for Atlus. They are Persona 3, Persona 3 FES, Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4, Stella Deus and a small section of his non-video game works. Catherine is not included as it came out in 2011.

This book is actually the translated edition of the original Japanese book (ISBN 4047267473) that was published in 2010. The difference here is there's no translucent dust jacket.

The illustrations are beautiful. I like the manga style, the line work and the colours. The interview actually explains the difference between anime and manga style, such as the use of cast shadows instead of tone shades. The coloured illustrations are all printed full page while the opposite pages are mostly wasted white space by printing the accompanying line art at only quarter page size. There are several two-page artworks that are quite difficult to see because they are printed across the gutter. One rather good piece is split at the character's nose.

The lengthy interview is a good read. Shigenori Soejima talks about how he got started drawing, the influences he has, design concepts, and all the other work he did at Atlus that were not published. He actually contributed to a lot of games but only those that had artwork are included in this book.

Much of the work in the book were actually collected in other Japanese art books dedicated to the games themselves, such as Persona 3: Official Design Works and Persona 4: Official Design Works, both which Udon will also be translating. The duplication is extensive. So, you can either get two of the video game art books, or just this book.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Art of Amanda Conner HC
Art of Amanda Conner HC
by Amanda Conner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.75
16 used & new from CDN$ 19.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and fun art book, May 24 2012
Length:: 1:05 Mins

This book was getting postponed so many times I thought it was never going to get published. So finally it's out and IDW did a great job with the publishing, as usual. It's a 224-page hardcover.

The book presents a retrospective look at the Amanda Conner's illustrious work. You can see from her student work that she has that sense of humor all along.

Every chapter starts with several photos of Amanda Conner. It's usually her in funny situations like being chased by a T-rex, or necked choked by Powergirl. To quote from her facebook description, "Amanda Conner is the first (and hottest) female artist to crack Wizard Magazine's Top Artist list." You'll see just why from the photos.

Her art is beautiful and charming. I like the occasion doses of humor either in the story or the way it was drawn. She can turn bar fights into mud wrestling with just a few panels. There are also down-to-earth humor like Supergirl bringing her dog and cat out for a fly. And her comic The Pro is just hilarious.

The incredible variety of work featured shows that she's a very versatile artist. There are even examples of character designs created for animation. More of her DC comics work will be included in another book coming up later called The DC Comics Art of Amanda Conner.

Her included candid commentary are refreshing to read. She talks about the art pieces got her into trouble - the one with Vampirella on the toilet bowl - and other drawing mistakes, and whenever possible the remedy, like including a cat-washing sequence for Powergirl's cat that was coloured wrongly.

It's an inspiring and enjoyable book. Highly recommended to fans of hers and comic art.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

ABAKAN 2288: kallamity's world of mecha design part one
ABAKAN 2288: kallamity's world of mecha design part one
by Luca Zampriolo
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 30.76
20 used & new from CDN$ 30.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book of mecha model design, May 18 2012
Length:: 1:22 Mins

This is an amazing book featuring the mecha art and models of Luca Zampriolo, aka Kallamity. Great for anyone interested in assembling, building or designing mechas.

The concept is set in the future in a world that has run out of resources. The idea is not particular unique but more to provide background. As usual, there will be one powerful entity, in this case the Weingart family, who has the power and technology to build all sorts of stuff of which some are mechas.

The book starts of with concept art for the dystopia future world. It looks like there are mining plants built everywhere, even in cities with skyscrapers there are factories spilling out smoke just beside.

The rest of the book are concept art for mechas and a selected few are being made into actual models. There are only a few featured because each one has an crazy amount of detail. One model took 11 months to finish. They are mainly the walker-type heavy mechas, a spaceship carrier and a crew all suited up. You can see some design influence from Kow Yokoyama which was mentioned in the book.

There are photos of all the created parts either by casting or sculpting. The models are made from Milliput (bicomponent stucco) and plasticard. For one of the human models, Super Sculpey was used.

Every piece created is intricately designed and worked on. For example, you can see all the tiny holes for ventilation grills. All surfaces have details even though some were eventually covered up by other parts. There are also many photos from different angles, and photos at different stages of completion.

Lengthy commentary is provided on how each mecha was designed and built. It's not tutorial style so it's not a beginners book. Some of what's mentioned might make more sense to actual model builders. Towards the end, there are also some guest designers featured, like Michael Fichtenmayer, Ryu Seoung Ho, Matt Tomczek and Jason Stalnaker.

Highly recommended for mecha lovers. Even if you don't build or assemble them, there are plenty of designs to see.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Art of Madagascar 3
The Art of Madagascar 3
by Barbara Robertson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 31.31
21 used & new from CDN$ 31.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great art book, May 13 2012
Length:: 1:13 Mins

This is another good art book from Dreamworks and Insight Editions. I like this more than the first book The Art of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which is pretty good as well.

Designs for the main characters are already in the first book so they aren't repeated here. What's included are designs for new animals they meet from the circus, the villains and the miscellaneous crowd. The character designs from Craig Kellman are quite funny. For the villains, they look like cartoons, as with their 3D models.

Character designs are about one third of the book. The rest are concept art for locations, storyboards and props like trains, planes, automobiles, banana shooting machine guns, etc.

The Zoosters are now trying to find their way back to New York, and they are traveling with the circus to places like Monte Carlo, Monaco, Rome, The Alps and finally back to New York. It's feels very different from the wilderness art of forest in Africa. Beautiful art from Ken Pak, Lindsey Olivares, Erwin Madrid, Goro Fujita, and other artists.

I like that most of the art are printed quite big. Those printed across two pages are fantastic.

Towards the end, there's an interesting section on the more technical aspects of making the film. It covers stuff like rigging, modeling, visual effects and matte painting.

It's a great art book for the movie.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Avengers: The Art of Marvel's The Avengers
Avengers: The Art of Marvel's The Avengers
by Marvel Comics
Edition: Hardcover
7 used & new from CDN$ 184.10

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Avengers art book and movie companion, May 8 2012
Length:: 1:31 Mins

Just like other Marvel movie art books before, this is big and thick. In fact, at 272 pages, it's thicker than The Art of Captain America and The Art of Thor which are both at 240 pages each.

The cover looks great and it's actually a slipcase.

Almost all aspects of the movie are covered. There are the Avengers themselves with their new costume designs, Loki, The Chitauri, flying leviathans and other characters like soldiers, Nick Fury, etc. The art is great and these are all printed big. The characters are mainly drawn by Andy Park and Charlie Wen. Most look very much like the actors. The Iron Man design is, as usual, amazing. There are also a few pages of Hulk art which are new obviously since there are no Hulk movie art books.

Many locations, props and vehicles are featured as concept art. You'll see Bruce Banner's hideout home, Tony Stark's tower a breakdown of the technology that suit him into Iron Man or un-suit him, the warehouse where Black Widow was held, the Helicarrier and its interiors and even the tunnel Loki escaped in. The props are all sort of gadgetry shown in the movie, stuff like Hawkeye's bow, other weaponry, a sequence of Tony Stark suiting up into Man VII in mid-air. There is a lot to see because some pictures are filled with details. The visuals are spectacular.

I think the layout is slightly chaotic because there's a lot going on with so many characters and big set pieces. The content is presented chronologically as they appear in the movie.

The writeup is extensive and there's a lot to read about various part of the movies. This will probably be very interesting to those who want to find out how The Avengers differs in areas as compared to the comics.

This is an awesome art book and informative movie companion. Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Art of Carbon Grey HC
The Art of Carbon Grey HC
by Various
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.58
22 used & new from CDN$ 19.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular art, May 1 2012
Length:: 1:08 Mins

Carbon Grey is a project started by Hoang Nguyen in 2002. It's only in 2011 that the first comic book book got published. Since then, three issues have been published, and subsequently a trade paperback Carbon Grey Volume 1: Sisters at War TP. This art book collects some of the art from those three issues.

The art is spectacular. They come in the form of comic pages, together with the layout sketches, and inked line art just before colouring.

The comic panels are all hand painted, and the result looks amazing. The colours, textures, composition and action all work wonderfully together. There are three artists working together, the other two are Khari Evans and Kinsun Loh.

If you already have the comic books, then you would have seen the comic art already, except they are printed slightly larger in this book. The extras you're getting with this book are the layout sketches, additional character designs. a tutorial of an illustration, and interviews regarding the creation of Carbon Grey. The extras make up for more than half the book so it's still a good deal.

Hoang Nguyen has a Carbon Grey Kickstarter campaign which has just ended on 14 April 2012 successfully. That means there's going to be a Volume 2 trade paperback. He has actually posted the first issue of his comic up as a PDF download, and you must definitely download that to check out more of his art. You must also watch the video he posted as a download on one of his updates - it's awesome and it's in HD.

Great book. Recommended to fans and comic artists.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt Wenner
Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt Wenner
by B Hansen
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 18.77
35 used & new from CDN$ 4.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and inspiring read, April 30 2012
Length:: 1:24 Mins

This is an inspiring book. It covers the history of street art dating back to the renaissance period, and provides lots of references to how street art are adopted by people all over the world. There are lots of great photos of his trips and work from the 80s to today.

Kurt Wenner's journey in art and street painting is fascinating. He has been painting for more than 25 years, and the book collects the many interesting stories that are a joy to read. He started out as a struggling artist. His art professors claimed he had no talent. He thought otherwise and traveled to Rome to spend his days drawing in museums, to the point that the guards know him so well and became his fans. He became real good at art, and the book features some of his amazing sketches.

After that, the stories are about how he traveled across European countries trying to make a living off street paintings. He talks about the different things he learned in each country, people's preference for art, the laws governing street art, his interaction with the locals, making his own chalk and more. He even hired homeless people to look over his street paintings. Some had memorized Wenner's usual lines that they were able to give talks on art history themselves.

Street painting is not easy, and that's a constant underlying theme throughout the book. He had to draw with unpredictable weather, or draw onto burning asphalt during a competition. Once, he had to sleep in open air beside a gas station because he had no money. All these just make the stories more inspiring.

Kurt Wenner's story is a truly absorbing and uplifting read.

Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Hazel Soans African Watercolours
Hazel Soans African Watercolours
by Hazel Soan
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 16.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful travelogue with watercolour tips, April 22 2012
Length:: 1:05 Mins

This book has been on my shopping list for a while, but it's not a high priority. When I saw it selling on Amazon UK for far less than Amazon USA, I knew I had to buy it.

Hazel Soan's African Watercolours is essentially a watercolour travelogue. The paintings by Hazel Soan are beautiful. I love the colours.

The commentary talks about Africa, the animals, landscape, the people and tips on using watercolours to capture what you see. It's an interesting and insightful read about the place and watercolours.

Recommended to watercolour lovers.

(More pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Voyage au Japon - Tome 1 : Tokyo
Voyage au Japon - Tome 1 : Tokyo
by Rémi Maynègre
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely art travelogue, April 9 2012
Length:: 1:20 Mins

I love travel sketchbooks because I like seeing reading and seeing new places. It's probably the next best thing to traveling itself.

Voyage au Japon: Tome 1: Tokyo is a 160-page hardcover published by CFSL Ink. It's a lovely book authored by Sandrine Garcia and Rémi Maynègre with content inspired by their 2008 trip to Tokyo.

The huge drawings in the wide format book just wonderful to look at. It makes you feel like you're really standing there on the streets. They really capture the vibrancy and life of the places they went to. There are illustrations of parks, traditional Japanese houses, shopping streets, the people and tourist areas.

All drawings are accompanied by interesting writeup of their adventure. I like that every story starts with a sketch of their heads with amusing expressions. The text is in Japanese and French though. However, you don't have know the language to enjoy the book.

I hope one day I can go to Japan and draw up a sketchbook like this. So inspiring.

Highly recommended to sketchbook and travel lovers. This would be one of my favourite books for 2012.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

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