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Parka (Singapore)
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New Absolute Appeal: Direct Mail Design
New Absolute Appeal: Direct Mail Design
by Ami Miyazaki
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 67.62
11 used & new from CDN$ 67.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good variety, refreshing designs, Oct. 7 2010
Length:: 0:40 Mins

The book features a mixture of English and Japanese examples of direct mail graphics. This book has variety, refreshing designs and interesting ideas. Good resource for graphic designers but it's a bit pricey.

Commentary is written in both English and Japanese.

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

Girl, Illustrated: Japanese Manga, Anime and Video Game Characters
Girl, Illustrated: Japanese Manga, Anime and Video Game Characters
by Kaori Saito
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 35.00
17 used & new from CDN$ 26.41

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bishojo, Oct. 7 2010
Length:: 0:31 Mins

This book is rather similar to another book I reviewed, (100 Masters of Bishojo Painting (English and Japanese Edition)). Both are on Bishojo paintings. Over 80 artists are featured, about 5-7 pieces of illustrations for each artist. All artists come with contact, website and some quotes on their work.

The variety is great and the quality seems pretty good as well. Expect lots of colours and interesting costume designs. I'm not sure if the characters drawn are from any prominent manga or anime series as I can't recognize any of them.

In addition to the art, there are also three case studies on how this form of art is used for promoting youth employment, railway lines and rural areas. There are English and Japanese text.

Nice book to check out if you're into Bishojo art.

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

Sword's Edge: Paintings Inspired by the Works of Robert E. Howard
Sword's Edge: Paintings Inspired by the Works of Robert E. Howard
by Manuel Sanjulian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.96
24 used & new from CDN$ 15.67

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book for fantasy art lovers, Oct. 6 2010
Length:: 0:20 Mins

Sword's Edge is a collection of fantasy art paintings from the Spanish painter Manuel Perez Clemente Sanjulian, as inspired by Robert E Howard, the guy who created Conan.

There are not just beautiful paintings but also sketches. The paintwork is marvelous, and you can see and almost touch the scars on Conan. Sanjulian also has his inspiration from Hal Foster and Frank Frazetta so there's some similarity in style. But make no mistake, Sanjulian is an excellent painter himself, able to create action-filled scenes and composition.

The hardcover book only has 48 pages which is on the light side but it's large format so the art displayed are big. There are also essays for the writer and artist.

Nice art book for fantasy art lovers.

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

Art Of The Darkness
Art Of The Darkness
by Marc Silvestri
Edition: Paperback
16 used & new from CDN$ 32.31

4.0 out of 5 stars The Art of The Darkness, Oct. 4 2010
This review is from: Art Of The Darkness (Paperback)
Length:: 0:31 Mins

This large format paperback art book collects the art for comic series The Darkness.

There are covers, card art, sketches and some concept art for the adapted game. The book has only 96 pages which is a bit thin but the beautiful artwork makes up for it. The cover art are gorgeously reproduced and printed huge.

If you have other art books from Top Cow, such as Art Of Marc Silvestri or The Art Of Top Cow (recommended), you'll find some duplication of artwork here.

The featured artists in this book are Dave Finch, Michael Turner, Whice Portacio, Joe Benitez, Marc Silvestri, Stjepan Sejic, Keu Cha, Eric Basaldua and Dale Keown.

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

Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers
Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers
by Marcos Mateu-Mestre
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.61
40 used & new from CDN$ 17.56

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great how-to book, Oct. 2 2010
Length:: 0:39 Mins

There are probably no other books around that covers composition with emphasis on storytelling as well as Framed Ink. This is a whole book devoted to the subject, as compared to other books (on storyboards) that usually have only one or two chapters.

Although the illustrated examples are mainly movie composition, the techniques can be applied to animation, movies and even graphic novels. Every technique comes with a concise breakdown. You get to understand how and why shots are framed in a certain way, or how to create compositions to create a certain mood. There are also tips on lighting and continuity.

Over 200 beautifully illustrated examples are included. And they are really good examples. Just by looking at the examples alone, without even reading the commentary, you already get a good idea of what's happening.

Marcos Mateu-Mestre has distilled his 20 years of experience and knowledge into an accessible package you shouldn't miss out on.

This is the essential how-to book for storytellers, or for anyone who needs to put images on screen or on paper.

Highly recommended.

-

You can check out more of his work on his website.

-

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

VENT Volume 1
VENT Volume 1
by Udon Entertainment
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 28.97
12 used & new from CDN$ 28.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book of art and tutorials, Sept. 29 2010
This review is from: VENT Volume 1 (Paperback)
Length:: 0:59 Mins

VENT Volume 1 is the 10 year anniversary art book for UDON Entertainment. UDON's an art studio that have been around for a while now. You might know them for their Street Fighter comics and art. They have worked for for Capcom, Marvel, Hasbro, TV studios and many other big clients.

This 248-page paperback anthology that features the comics, illustrations and tutorials from the talented UDON artists.

The illustrations mainly character based, and beautiful, of course. It's very refreshing compared to their commercial work, as many are published for the first time. The art feels very different as there are lots of new characters, designs and stories. There are 28 artists featured so the variety is very varied.

About a third of the book is on tutorials detailing the creation process. That is a lot of tutorials and they are filled with step by step screens and commentary loaded with tips on digital and traditional drawing. It's all interesting to read and they are really useful for artists. You can learn how their achieve their manga-like colours, conceptualize designs, composite layouts, among many other art creation ideas.

This is a wonderful book of art and tutorials, recommended to fans and artists.

The list of artists included are:

- Omar Dogan
- Saejin Oh
- Jay Axer
- Christine Choi
- Gonzalo Ordonez
- Greg Boychuk
- Joe Ng
- Crystal Reid
- Jeffrey Cruz
- Ryan Odagawa
- Matt Moylan
- Steven Cummings
- Leo Lingas
- Eric Vedder
- Emily Warren
- Alvin Lee
- Eric Kim
- Long Vo
- Attila Adorjany
- Jim Zubkavich
- Joe Vriens
- Andrew Hou
- Dax Gordine
- Arnold Tsang

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

Experimental Pattern Sourcebook: 300 Inspired Designs from Around the World
Experimental Pattern Sourcebook: 300 Inspired Designs from Around the World
by Jackie Herald
Edition: Paperback
17 used & new from CDN$ 7.94

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wildly and creatively experimental, Sept. 25 2010
Length:: 0:40 Mins

The title is really apt, the patterns featured in this book are really experimental, wildly experimental in some cases.

The patterns come from graphic design, illustration, textiles, ceramics, landscape, architecture and fine art. The variety is great, and not all are the repeatable tiling type. Every pattern is unique, and the collection is a convenient resource for creative motifs, styles and materials. The textural feel to the designs are very good. There are not just illustrations, but also collages created from photos as well, or from a mixture of medium.

It's a very helpful book for artists and designers looking for new ways to create patterns and designs. This book will give you lots of ideas and open up some possibilities you've never thought of.

Also included is a DVD which has 50 copyright-free patterns in vector format.

Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s
Lifestyle Illustration of the 60s
by Rian Hughes
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 190.88

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous collection, Sept. 25 2010
Length:: 1:01 Mins

Kudos to the author for putting together this amazing collection of illustrations from the 60s. I can't imagine the amount of effort required to source and credit the thousand over pieces of art. There's a total of 576 pages so this paperback book is rather thick.

The style, well, is 60s and the variety comes from the different human subjects featured and the colours. The reproduction of the paintings are good. There's a very nice textural look to them. What strikes me immediately besides the style is the use of masterful composition. The examples on composition are good enough for me to recommend this book even to lifestyle photographers who haven't any interest in paintings -- there's plenty to learn from seeing.

This book should be very nostalgic for anyone working in the design industry during those times. It provides a very interesting glimpse into the the 60s pop culture.

UDONs Art of Capcom 2
UDONs Art of Capcom 2
by Matt Moylan
Edition: Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 74.86

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packs as much punch as volume 1, Sept. 20 2010
This review is from: UDONs Art of Capcom 2 (Paperback)
Length:: 1:03 Mins

This book packs as much punch as the first volume. It's actually 20 pages less than volume 1, Udon's Art of Capcom, but thicker overall as the paper stock is thicker.

The main bulk of art is on Street Fighter, and in lesser pages they feature Darkstalkers, Rival Schools, Marvel VS Capcom and some other stuff.

The art is fantastic, of course, with works from top UDON artists like Jeffrey Cruz, Joe Ng, Omar Dogan, Arnold Tsang, Alvin Lee, Long Vo and others. Many of these are beautiful full page art from book covers, pin-ups and other promotional material.

There's a very cool section on Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix which has the background stage art. The old SF2 stages updated to HD resolution is really nostalgic. There are even game sprite graphics of the different poses for all the characters.

The last chapter is on the versus series. You can see lots of fun art with the crossovers and all. You can see Megaman, Wolverine, Iron Man and the many other characters.

Wonderful book for fans of UDON and Street Fighter.

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

Composing Pictures
Composing Pictures
by Donald W. Graham
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 25.04
29 used & new from CDN$ 25.04

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well deserved reprint, Sept. 19 2010
This review is from: Composing Pictures (Paperback)
Length:: 0:36 Mins

This is one of those books artists and animators should really check out. This 418-page book collects the art theories and teachings of Don Graham, who was the art instructor for Disney. The book has been out of print for a long time so it's great that it's being reprinted.

There are 35 chapters talking about principles and approaches to creating art. The text is concise, and the principles taught are timeless. Each chapter covers from the basics and complex inner workings of great pictures.

These lessons are accompanied by hundreds of illustrated examples and paintings of great artists from different cultures and styles. Through these examples, you can see the principles as applied by various artists, and the common graphic elements and techniques used.

Basically, with this book, you understand why some pictures work, and why some don't. While watching animation on TV, you'll probably begin to see the reasons why scenes and characters are staged in a particular way.

This is an invaluable book for reference. Highly recommended to artists and animators.

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