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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much to see, September 11, 2012
This review is from: Comics Sketchbooks: The Private Worlds of Today's Most Creative Talents (Paperback)
Length:: 1:28 Mins

This large 352-page paperback reminded me instantly of an earlier book called Graphic: Inside the Sketchbooks of the World's Great Graphic Designers. It's also not a coincident that the author is the same Steven Heller.

Comics Sketchbooks features the sketchbook pages of 82 artists. There are comic artists like Jim Steranko, animator Bill Plympton, illustrator Peter de Seve, political cartoonist Ann Telnaes, underground comic artist Robert Crumb and more.

Those are some of the artists I recognise so it's fun to discover a new bunch of them, each with a short profile provided.

A peek at their private sketches reveals the other side of these artists. The sketches show us what they think of and draw while they are unguarded. There are sketches of people on subways, comic ideas, doodles, some literally from dreams and a lot of other weird things. The sketches are rough, some are unfinished, and they all represent some random thought. The artists' hands are like mind seismographs.

The artists' websites are included at the back of the book.

It's a nice visual book for the adventurous reader to dive into.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tad sketchy, October 26, 2012
This review is from: Comics Sketchbooks: The Private Worlds of Today's Most Creative Talents (Paperback)
Steven Heller's previous book went 'inside the sketchbooks of the world's great graphic designers' and this is really more of the same, with more faces. This substantial book (in bulk, sheer numbers, if not always in quality) an edition of which surfaced in Italian back in January, is certainly what you might term eclectic, indeed somewhat random as to content, which can feel like scrapings off the artists' floors. How good, actually, are an artist's sketchbooks, even Crumb's or Spiegelman's? We're not talking Leonardo here - or even Picasso, some of whose paintings were little better than doodles. And the term comics is used a little loosely; of course in America it includes what we would call cartoonists, whose name is, still, legion, and animators ditto, but some of these guys seem mere illustrators

Chronologically and even (a bit) geographically* stretched, from Marvel Comics' Jim Steranko to underground stalwarts (not Gilbert Shelton, sadly) to mid-careerists like Peter Kuper to young guns like Mark Madden and a self-confessed neophyte like Kaye Blegvad, who may or may not be related to Peter, also present. But don't go looking for narrative - it's more the Kleeian 'line going for a walk'; a cartoonist's sketchbook is not that dissimilar to an artist's sketchbook, after all. I'm afraid I liked Carol Tyler's and Lauren Weinstein's the best, because they had **words**, possibly also Jakob Klemencic, if it hadn't been in Slovenian - but, hey, these are sketchbooks, right? Of 80-plus contributors, some more costive than others (Tracy White? Signe Wilkinson? Ben *Katchor*? blink and you'll miss 'em), I totted up the women and found 15. Not bad - maybe

You'd need to have quite an extensive library (see my amazon.co.uk review of The Penguin Book of Comics) before this became a must purchase (mine's a review copy) but as a gift this would make the right person purr; it's Christmas eye candy! You'd have to sift thru the fine print to see that it was Ashley Olsson who was responsible for the sumptuous design - choice of his own pic for gatefold cover and title page, the look of the contents and website pages, the red/ brown/green palette (the brown, spookily, faintly sticky to the touch, as if laid on too thick) and the varied font size on the rear - nice touch! Would it honestly appeal to a budding graphic artist/novelist, though? I'm guessing they'd prefer to read, like, comics?

So - 5ish as artifact (let's hear it for Ashley), 3ish for content - is that really a ****? Oh well, it's Christmas, unless Armageddon gets us first

* ie various francophones, including the enigmatic Colonel Moutarde, a hispanophone or three, the stellar Israeli Rutu Modan, a German, a Slovenian and someone from 'Kent, England' (wow)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A visual treat!, December 17, 2012
By 
Raucous Rain (Pasadena, CA, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Comics Sketchbooks: The Private Worlds of Today's Most Creative Talents (Paperback)
I found this book to be a really fun journey through the artful thoughts and creative ramblings of a wide assortment of comic artists. Some of these artists are well-known while others are coming into their own. A wonderful compilation!
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Comics Sketchbooks: The Private Worlds of Today's Most Creative Talents
Comics Sketchbooks: The Private Worlds of Today's Most Creative Talents by Steven Heller (Paperback - September 7, 2012)
$44.95 $32.47
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