Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Art Of Disney

In 1960, several hundred concept paintings and drawings personally selected by Walt Disney were sent to Japan to promote the release of Sleeping Beauty.
The art was shortly there after donated to Tokyo Museum of Modern Art. Not seeing the collection as valuable they sent it to Chiba University of Science and Engineering. Chiba University, being a science school, put the art in cardboard boxes and stored it in a damp janitors closet and there it stayed for 50 years until being re-discovered in 2002. The art, some of which in very poor condition was restored and the collection with 350 more bits of additional art from Disney toured Japan before finally being returned the Disney archives.
This is the catalog from that exhibit-
It's a rare book.
Usually I dont like to post rare books to Parka's site since they dont do much to support his efforts with book retailers - but this one I had to make an exception for and Im sure Parka will agree that its a magnificent collection worth mentioning to the members of the forum. (Especially Kirikou- you need this book for your shelf!)
A few things in it Ive seen in the Disney Design book- but much of it Ive never seen ever before. The catalog seems to be broken into sections according to artist instead of film- so get ready to see real mouth fulls of Tyrus Wong, Eyving Earle, Mary Blair along with all the rest of the Disney greats. Id say if I could only have 1 Disney book, this is definitely the one Id want.

The Art of Disney
245 pgs (SC)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Joseph Urban

Architect Joseph Urban (May 26, 1872 – July 10, 1933) came to the US in 1912 to be the art director for the Boston Opera Company. Although he moved on to design ornate interiors, and entire buildings, hes always focused on framing a scene- I dont know if I've seen anyone continually design such great framing elements into his Scenes. This guy is so bad ass!
If youre into set design and all the things great set design can do for things that are not necessarily sets, definitely check out this book!

Joseph Urban
John Loring
224 pgs (HC)
Abrams Publishers
ISBN 978-0-8109-9026-5

Monday, December 6, 2010

Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles

Its a double feature this week!
I found these great type resources from Taschen, Vol 1 spanning 1628-1900 and Vol 2 1901-1938. Theres so much stuff in these- mostly clip-art looking style sheets for different bits of type and also other graphic details related to books. The real treat of these collections is that they both come with a key card that allows access onto a site which has hi-resoultion scans of nearly all of the pages. So the books then become more than just inspiration but actually really nice catalogs of the contents of the website. Id suspect the entirety of those contents are copy right free. Pretty nice, if not priceless.

Type: A Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles
Volume 1 1628-1900
360 pgs (HC)
ISBN 978-3-8365-1101-8

story of Typefaces and Graphic Styles
Volume 2 1901-1938
360 pgs (HC)
ISBN 978-3-8365-1514-6

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lettering Art in Modern Use

When using text you really need to find the right font. Anyone can by instinct, see when a font works and when it doesnt. Its weird and it baffles the hell out of me, so I hit the books for ideas and inspiration. This old Lettering Art In Modern Use is a really great, *general* book with lots of examples of text and some really nice things that you dont find in books much anymore, like tracing paper overlays and work sheets. Dont underestimate the power of typography, and take advantage of how lucky we are now a days to have such easy access to an infinitely wide variety of text.
Some people, old people like me may remember lettrasets, and some others might remember even before lettrasets, when people actually had to ink their own fonts and font styles- which is just mind boggling.
I digress- this is a great book on lettering.

Lettering In Modern Use (1952)
Raymond Ballinger
246 pgs HC
Reinhold Publishing

Monday, November 22, 2010

Art of District 9

So I'll confide to you that Im already a long time Neill Blomkamp fan so obviously I'm going to beam about this Art of District 9 book. The production design of that film was absolutely tremendous. This book details a lot of what was put into that world. Of course all the alien weaponry and ships are super impressive and dripping with cool, but one thing that this book really highlights is all the fantastic graphic design that was created to sell that world as an actual, believable place. All the Alien and Human graphics, tags, vehicle markings and brand identity of the MNU is just so edgy and bad-ass. They really did a great job on this movie and I cant say enough on of how the art of book puts and explanation point or two behind the statement. Really good job you guys.

The Art of District 9: WETA Workshop
160 pages HC
ISBN 978-1-86950-902-6
Harpers Collins Publishers

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Art of Steamboy

This weeks Peek-a-Book is The Art of Steamboy, Katsuhiro Otomo's 2004 steampunk masterpiece. This book seemingly has all the background paintings and a lot of the preliminary sketches, and I seriously mean, a lot. A shame there aren't many mechanical model sheets or sketches, because the Steamboy film had some really great mechanics. Still if you're a background artist or interested in background art or old Victorian England, this is a book you should definitely check out.

The Art of Steamboy
272 pages HC

Monday, October 25, 2010


Here we are again, Peek-a-book Monday. I've been slightly focused on series or sets of books, and this week well take a look at the first of Pierre Lambert's lovely Disney series, Pinocchio. This is a sibling book to an earlier peek, Blanche Niege. I believe there at at least two others in this series; Mickey Mouse and The Jungle Book.
Pinocchio is filled mostly with concepts and background production paintings. You wont find many animation boards but there definitely are a few and also a few style sheets. Really nice, thick, ultra glossy paper and a couple fold out pans.
Along with Bambi, probably some of the finest background painting work to ever be seen on the screen or off.
Really great book for the background/Layout artist or anyone whos a fan of the movie.

Pierre Lambert
235pg HC
ISBN 0-78686247-5

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hugo-Pratt; Imaginaires Secrets

It's Peek-a-Book Monday again! This week we will take a peek at: Hugo Pratt; Periples Secrets. This is the matching sibling book to an earlier peek, Hugo Pratt; Periples Imaginaires. Theyre both lovely books and look great together on the shelf, but if you only can have one, definitely go for the first one, Periples Imaginaires.

415 pg HC
ISBN 978-2-203-01048-2

Monday, October 11, 2010

Akira Animation Archives

Peek-a-Book Mondays- This week, Akira Animation Archives. Personally I think besides the comics themselves, this is the best of all Akira books. Character Sheets, Mechanical Model Sheets, Layouts, Storyboards, and quite a few Animation Boards, including both Character and Effect Animations. Pretty much a great all around book for animators, visual developers, layout artists, and people like me who love all those motorcycles, psionic battles, and general outrageousness of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira.

194 pages SC

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blanche Neige

This weeks Peek-a-Book is Blanche Neige, 1 of 4 magnificent sibling books available from Pierre Lambert. HC 243pgs Demons & Merveilles. Super glossy pages. 11.3 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches so its of substantial size. Packed full of visual development and production paintings. Id say this series are better for the background painters/layout than for the animator or character designer. But if you love old disney or are a fan of the Snow White Film, youll really like this book as well as the other 3 in the series, Pinocchio, Mickey Mouse, and Le Livre de la jungle.

NOTE ON MICKEY EDITION: I did read that the binding in the Mickey Mouse volume is poorly done so if you prefer your books pristine definitely try and find the French edition, but if you just want the pictures I bet you can find this one for cheap somewhere out there on the internets. The two I have, Blanche Neige and Pinocchio havent given me any problems with the binding and ive had them for a number of years. Highly recommended.