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Old 12-07-16, 01:48 PM   #1
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A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

If it's alright with everybody, I thought this sub forum would be more appropriate for a thread like this, as the book forum seems to only attract prose/novel related discussions and I'm envisioning this thread as something of a catch all that would include many comic art related releases.

Been thinking about starting this for a while as every year around this time, sees the publication of some seriously fancy, deluxe tomes geared towards fans of illustration, visual pop culture, movie or comic art, and any and all of the above.

In years past, in addition to all the BF/November deals on Bds and DVDs, I've made sure to budget for some of these usually pricey books. The B&N gift card deal + their 25% and 30% off coupons can yield amazing bargains- especially on releases that usually retail over $100.

This year, partly because all that buying in the past has left me with as big a backlog of books as it has movies, as well as deciding to make a pricey hardware purchase, I haven't paid much attention to what's been released between hard covers.

One release did catch my eye though- at least it's listing did.



Actually it wasn't as much the book and subject (as much as I've always liked McQuarrie's art) as it was that even though it was only released in September, Amazon already had it as "Temporarily Out of Stock".
That wouldn't be that big a deal if not for the fact that all the Marketplace sellers had already marked it up well past it's original $250 MSRP with Used dealers pricing starting at $935 (?!). Human nature being what it it, that got my attention.
Looking around, Barnes and Noble- my usual go to for something like this due to the coupons available, didn't even offer it apart from it's marketplace sellers. It seemed to me it was out of print already.
Since Amazon was still taking orders and had it priced at 'only' $155, I figured I'd put an order in even if it never went anywhere.
Over the weekend, to my great surprise (and somewhat chagrin), I got an updated delivery estimate, and today it showed up on my doorstep.

Folks, if you love the classic SW years, McQuarries art, looking at artists sketches and prelims, or just a beautifully produced art book- this is one of the best you'll ever see.
One other reason it caught my attention was the 40 unanimous five star reviews.
Flipping through it now, They were absolutely spot on- this thing is massive, chocked full of page after page of stuff I've NEVER seen anywhere, and just a treasure box of nostalgia. This works as the perfect supplement to those superlative Rinzler Making Of series of books.


I'll try to get some photos up later. Just posting this now as a heads up- if you have any interest in this, get an order in with Amazon. It's Out of Stock again, but you never know. This is one release I don't expect to see hit the remainder racks in a year. I could be wrong. It's an Abrams release. I'm not sure how often they over print and this being Star Wars related. OTOH, at the $158 Amazon is currently charging ($250 msrp), it's a very fair price for what is 21 lbs of wall to wall art- smartly annotated and superbly reproduced.

In the days ahead, I'll highlight some other good releases that people may or may not be aware of.
Anyone else too, feel free to post any other releases that have caught your eye- in print or out of print, bargain rack or budget buster.
I'm always on the lookout for a good art book.
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Old 12-20-16, 12:27 AM   #2
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

It looks like a great tome of art. I suspect Amazon is seeing how many orders they can get before placing another order with the distributor. This seems to happen from time to time with certain products on the site.
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Old 12-20-16, 03:44 PM   #3
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

That looks awesome! One of my prized possessions from childhood was the portfolio of McQuarries art that they put out for Jedi. I must have looked at those images hundreds of times.
Was in the bidding for the Star Wars and Empire ones, but it got too rich for my blood rather quick.
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Old 12-21-16, 07:44 PM   #4
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

Sorry guys. I meant to post some pics from it, but I had the resolution setting set too low. I need to take them all over, but I've been busy. I'll try to get some up tonight.

I remember those portfolios well. Never had any of the SW ones, but I had one they put out for Superman: The Movie- which was nothing more than an illustrator hired after the fact to paint up some scenes from the film.
There was however a really sweet image of Supes and Lois taking their interview flight over the city that made me understand it was lighting (from the city below) that helped sell the illusion of flight in the film. It surprised me that it took more than a decade for a professional to come along and incorporate studied, painterly lighting effects into panel art specifically to make this stuff look more realistic. He also worked in conjunction with a writer to tell the story from the POV of the man on the street looking up as these wonders occurred around and above him which was another quality that I took from Donner's film as helping to ground the concept of a superhero and make it wondrous and at the same time relatable and immediate.
Here's the image from that portfolio that set my gears spinning (spolierd for size)
Spoiler:


Getting back to McQuarrie- there was another book that came out in the mid 90's, that was essentially a compendium of most his major art for the first three films along with other spec art for the SW universe that was either done solely for the book or another project that got shelved (I think, could be wrong). I remember leafing through it at the time and it looked like a decent overview. It was arranged by location (Tattoine, Hoth, Bespin, Endor, etc) IIRC there was also a bunch of extended universe themed illos in there. Always figured I would pick that one up but never did, which is another reason I jumped on this one here. It was worth the wait.

I don't know how much overlap there is between that book and what's in here. There are a slew of double page spreads (almost like an 'Artist's Edition' in that the size and quality of the scans are fine enough to show off the brush strokes and surface of the boards) . Also a hell of a lot of pencil sketches (that I'm sure weren't in that other book) plus a bunch of advertising and in-house promos he did (like pre-lims and final art for the original Del Rey paperback cover).

I haven't gone through it page by page yet, but I don't think there is any extended universe content in there. I'll check again when I take the new pics.

Last edited by Paul_SD; 12-21-16 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 12-21-16, 08:31 PM   #5
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

The 90s book you're thinking about is this one:

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Old 12-29-16, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

I like the big books that collect the different versions of movie posters from around the world. I find it so interesting to see how the marketing changes (for good or bad) depending on the region.

Some of my favorites are

Star Wars
https://smile.amazon.com/Star-Wars-A...=movie+posters


Disney
https://smile.amazon.com/Disney-Movi...=movie+posters


007
https://smile.amazon.com/James-Bond-...=movie+posters


Planet of the Apes
https://smile.amazon.com/Planet-Apes...+movie+posters



And then I also have my eye on numerous "the comics art of..." various illustrators
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Old 01-01-17, 08:48 AM   #7
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

Dishpan, that's the spirit!

I've always been a big fan of movie poster art.

That James Bond one just got remaindered I noticed. It's $20 now at B&N in their budget section. It doesn't come with the slipcase. The original also has a poster reproduction IIRC. It's a good book, but if I'd ever thought it would make it to the budget racks I'd have waited to pick it up. It's well worth the $20 though.

For a long time, the only good book showcasing this kind of art was this one



It was an oversized coffee table HC. As a teen trying to piece together a solid resource/reference library, it was a little out of my budget (I think it must have retailed over $50...in the days before Amazon and B&N coupons).

But around 1990, Bruce Hershenson started to offer the Christie's catalogs for their movie auctions for $20 (I must have got mine through Bud Plant).



I would make them an annual purchase. The Reel Art book had production value, but these catalogs had a ton of obscure and seldom seen posters for a wider range of films.

Eventually he started to put out his own 'themed' collections, no doubt repurposing the scans made for the auctions. There are a bunch of these covering just about every genre.



I think my favorite may be the Cowboy themed ones. I'm not familiar with most of the films, and I never saw most of the images before and was bowled over by the use of color and the dynamic compositions. Can't help but think they contributed greatly in making the genre so dominant in those years before TV.
There's also one dedicated to Drive-in movie posters. It's horizontally orientated and each page usually has two posters. This layout affords every image a nice, generous postcard size. In some of the other books, especially the auction catalogs, the images to some great posters can end up little more than thumbnail sized.

I scored a ton of these real cheap one year at a half-price books in Dallas.
They were all remaindered at $3 or $4 each. All total, I have between 20-25 catalogs/themed books of his.

They're a great resource and I'm hesitant to take any off the shelf, even though I'm constantly running out of space for new stuff.

Another very interesting collection dedicated to the subject is this one



It's another weighty, oversized HC- this time covering international marketing of films. It's divided by country, and then within each it highlights the work of one or more prolific artists. Great production values (sharp scans, well reproduced; solid layout and design)- and it's a hoot to see how something like Raiders of The Lost Ark was marketed in Poland.
I highly recommend this one if your a fan of the genre.

I also found this Taschen book from the late 90's to be very stimulating



It's been out of print for a while, but it looks like a re-issue is coming in May.
I'm a fan of Taschens stuff, but I hate to say that the binding on my copy of this is starting to fall apart.

If you are interested in the subject, but don't want to wait for the Taschen (which is expertly annotated and not just an image dump), I noticed there is another book on the subject out there now. I haven't looked through it so I don't know what kind of overlap there is, if any.

This is just skimming the surface of the subject. I have a few more books on the shelf that were a big reason I started the thread in the first place.
I need to set aside an afternoon in a few days and get some pictures together.

Last edited by Paul_SD; 01-01-17 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 01-03-17, 08:45 AM   #8
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

I didn't know about any of those collections you listed. If there is one of like classic b-movie Sci Fi posters I will have to check it out!
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Old 01-03-17, 10:10 AM   #9
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

The "Attack Of The B's" has a good share of 50's/60's/70's sci-fi and horror titles.

There are also these two collections



both of those are Bruce Hershenson paperbacks. The "60 great..." is mostly the more common images and titles you'll find in the other books, but they are reproduced one per 9 x 11 page, so very large and clear- suitable for (smaller) framing. They range from 30's stuff like Murder By Television and the Flash Gordon chapters thru a nice advance for Iron Giant.
The other one has 280 posters, typically 5 per page (3 smaller, two larger), though there are also a few full page in there as well.

There's also this one, which is a nicely produced HC.



Mine's packed away atm, because it's just redundant at this point. I doubt there is anything in there that can't be found in one of the Hershenson books, which take up a bit less space.

If there are any specific images you are looking for let me know and check to see if they are in any of the books.

I just realized I have a lot more books on this subject that I realized when I made the other post.

I'll try to cover them all soon.
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Old 01-03-17, 12:57 PM   #10
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

thanks for that info!

slight tangent but asgard press puts out these big wall calendars each year with large \ clear images of old sci-fi book and magazines cover art. i love them. if you want to see some examples --

https://smile.amazon.com/Asgard-Pres...+calendar+2017


they also have some for comics that ive gotten before and you may like

https://smile.amazon.com/2017-Vintag...RV22KREK5H27P0

https://smile.amazon.com/2017-Vintag...RV22KREK5H27P0

i save them at the end of the year
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Old 01-04-17, 05:01 PM   #11
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

I have several of the volumes that have (small) reproductions of all the covers to all the comics released by Marvel from their beginnings to... whenever the books came out. But I can't remember the title at the moment...
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Old 01-04-17, 05:46 PM   #12
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

That Ralph McQuarrie C-3PO in the OP really takes me back. I found this comparison on YT:

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Old 01-04-17, 09:01 PM   #13
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

Quote:
Originally Posted by ntnon View Post
I have several of the volumes that have (small) reproductions of all the covers to all the comics released by Marvel from their beginnings to... whenever the books came out. But I can't remember the title at the moment...
Would they by any chance be the Gerber Photo Journal Guides?



I never had the ones dedicated to Marvel, but I did have the two volume Golden Age set. I think they came out at the end of the 80's and the price was something like $150 for the two A-Z set. At the time, and a good number of years afterward, they were an amazing resource and were a constant fixture on my shelves up until just a few years ago.

For anyone not familiar with them, they reprinted every cover to every comic book ever published to an arbitrary cut off date (for the Golden age set I think it was up until the late 40's or early 50's). Pre internet it was just mind blowing to able to see all this stuff- and they were a killer ready made swipe file for poses, compositions, color combinations, and display fonts, etc.
Just a fantastic source of inspiration/kick-starter for any time I had to come up with a design for something.

I always thought these things would be like gold in the future when the went OoP considering the scope of the project and its esoteric appeal. But now that you can look up the most obscure stuff on your phone anytime you want, as well as save your own collection of covers from ebay or other auction houses, nobody wants to schlep around 15 lbs worth of books. You can find these now for well under $20 without too much trouble.
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Old 03-15-17, 02:24 AM   #14
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

Had big plans for this thread originally- lots of great art books have been released over the last few years (just got in the latest from Illustrated Press on Jon Whitcomb, and it's another winner- especially if you enjoy illustrated girl watching from the prime age of illustration).

Got distracted and let it slide- but hope to get back to my original plan shortly now that I'm back off the road again for a bit.

In the mean-time, the real purpose of this post is just a heads up that the McQuarrie book in the first post is now priced at $135.99 on Amazon. That's $20 bucks less than the price I paid.

It may just get remaindered after all at some point if you want to gamble.
Even if it does though, I'm still thrilled to have it and considered the price I paid very fair given the quality of the package.
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Old 03-15-17, 02:32 AM   #15
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Re: A few choice Monographs, Art Of..., and Illustration centric Books

That's a good price for the McQuarrie book.

Got mine direct from the publisher for $150 using a 40% off Christmas code, so once Amazon charges tax, I came out even.

It's pricey, but well worth the price if you're a fan of Star Wars and Ralph McQuarrie.
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