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i am 8-bit: Art Inspired by Classic Videogames of the '80s Paperback – April 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811853195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811853194
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jon M. Gibson is a script writer who has worked for the Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and PBS/Scholastic. He lives in Burbank, California.

Chuck Klosterman is a senior writer at Spin and a columnist for Esquire . The author of Killing Yourself to Live and other works, he lives in New York.

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Customer Reviews

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I'd recomend this book for ANYoNE who likes art and/or old-school videogames.
Mike Griffin
This is for fans of old school games from the NES and old atari games. really cool art. takes me back 10 to 20 years.
William Taylor
The nostalgia is thick and sweet smelling; a feeling that few will appreciate to it's fullest.
J. Crocker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mike Griffin on March 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
My local bookstore in Chicago got the book early, so i couldn't help but flipped through it. I pre-ordered it on Amazon, but wanted to see what I was getting - you know, like a kid on christmas searching through mom and dad's closet. What did I get...?

An f'ing AWESOME book! Great art! I mean GREAT! But, okay, so I remember all these games from back in the day. But I left the book in the kitchen by accident, and when I came back home, my mom was sitting at the dinner table flipping through it... and, to my shock, she actually liked it!

I'd recomend this book for ANYoNE who likes art and/or old-school videogames. If you like both - fantastic! But this is just really cool stuff... lots of variety... and if you asked me, I wouldn't be able to even pick my 10 most favorite paintings... i just Liked too many.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
First and foremost, this book makes a wonderful inexpensive gift for anyone who grew up in the '80s playing the 'ole 8-bit video systems and still has a bit of nostalgia for those simpler times. It's also pretty neat as a bound exhibit of how pop culture can be transformed into art that's actually quite captivating. About 70 artists contributed works, and the medium of choice is definitely oil and acrylic paint, with a fair number of mixed media pieces thrown in. The styles vary wildly, with influences ranging from surrealism to manga to skateboard art to graffiti to crafting to abstract to pixelation and on and on. It's actually a pretty decent overview of modern pop art sensibilities.

In terms of subject matter, far and away the most prevalent "inspirations" are from the Donkey Kong/Mario Bros. franchise, with Pac Man coming in next, and Frogger, Zelda, and Dig Dug also getting much play. However, some of the best pieces are from less popular games, like Tim Tomkinson's "Duck Hunter S. Thompson" mashup of a portrait of the gonzo journalist with the Sega "Duck Hunter" graphics, Jim Rugg's faux poster for a pro wrestling event featuring characters from the Nintendo wrestling game, or Jason Sho Green's pen and ink "Tantric Tetris". On the whole it's a very fun, well-designed book, nicely produced, and sure to bring a smile to many 30somethings. It's worth noting that I like Chuck Klosterman too, but his foreword is pretty slim, maybe 500 words, so don't buy it for that!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Fryer on April 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Where do I start? I found this gem listed under books from Chuck Klosterman, who I think speaks for an entire generation of 30-somethings raised on bad rock bands and crappy John Hughes movies. I gave it a shot, and wasn't disappointed!

In typical Chuck fashion, he analyzes video games and why they had an indelible affect on the childhoods of guys like me who spent about $3 million in quarters on Yie Ar Kung Fu (and why, 20 years later, guys i tell this to completely understand). For Klosterman fans, this is worth half the price right here.

But that's just 2% of the book! The rest is filled with totally awesome art that's hard to describe because I've never really seen anything like it--it's not advertising art, or game screenshots, or concept art from games. I guess it's just like the sub-title says, artwork inspired by what the artists played as kids in the 80's, but it's still hard to understand until you actually see it.

And what's really cool are the pieces that have quotes from the artists explaining their inspirations, why they used a particular game, or just random game memories--really funny stuff!

My favorites are:

1) Excitebike: Cool blocky render of a classic. Made me remember how I'd build my own track and line up all those turbo things.

2) Mega Man: I recognize this artist, Tim Biskup, from Juxtapoz and Super 7 magazines. Cool!

3) Don't Be a 2nd Player Hater (Luigi for Sheezy): Luigi pimped out like Snoop. Hilarious, yo!

4) Pac-Man in Hospice: This gives me nightmares. Especially the Frogger frog.

5) Record Dug Digger: Cross between skateboard art (in a good way) and NY graffiti. Trust me, it's awesome!
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott T. Werley on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
"I AM 8-BIT" is a must have for those old school fanatics who long for another golden era... one of the best books ever made. Buy it now!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Crocker on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Coffee table or bookcase, this book is for the most artistic of videogame fans, as well as those that appreciate mixed media with their pop culture. Joust, Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Q-Bert and more are all displayed like you've never seen them by talented artists. The nostalgia is thick and sweet smelling; a feeling that few will appreciate to it's fullest. Highly recommended for artists and nerds alike. Also check out Arcade Fever and Supercade for the history behind our favorite up up down down history.
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