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Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions Hardcover – October 29, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“His creature fascination and his love of the macabre shine through in this book.” (New York Times)

“This lavishly illustrated book is the ultimate coffee table book for fans of the master Mexican filmmaker.” (Fangoria)

From the Back Cover

An intimate look into one of the most imaginative minds of this century, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities reproduces the notes, the drawings, the untold creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks

  • This book will be a visual treasure trove for del Toro fans, as readers get a look at reproductions of his actual journal pages, filled with his handwriting, illustrations, notes in Spanish and English, as well as new annotations that add context and clarity.
  • Sketches, notes, and inspirations for del Toro's movies Cronos, Blade 2, Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Pan's Labyrinth, and even his upcoming 2013 movie Pacific Rim will be included.
  • Co-author Marc Scott Zicree has his own following in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world, with his Magic Time series and The Twilight Zone Companion remaining favorites among sf/f fans.
  • This book includes diary entries and illustrations for the following del Toro movies, both green lit and not: 


At the Mountains of Madness (as yet unmade)

The Count of Monte Cristo

Mephisto’s Bridge


The Devil’s Backbone

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark

Blade 2


Pan’s Labryrinth

Hellboy 2

Pacific Rim

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design; First Edition edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062082841
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062082848
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 12 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Guillermo del Toro is one of the most creative and visionary artists of his generation whose distinctive style is showcased through his work as a filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and author. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, del Toro first gained worldwide recognition for the 1993 Mexican-American co-production "Cronos," a supernatural horror film. In 2004, del Toro directed and co-wrote the action-adventure sci-fi thriller "Hellboy". Del Toro earned international acclaim as the director, writer and producer of the 2006 fantasy drama "Pan's Labyrinth." In all, the film garnered more than 40 international awards and appeared on more than 35 critics' lists of the year's best films. In 2013, del Toro wrote and directed the epic sci-fi action-adventure "Pacific Rim", which has grossed over $400 million worldwide.

Del Toro has also turned his attention to publishing. With novelist Chuck Hogan, he co-authored the vampire horror novel "The Strain," which was published in June 2009 by William Morrow. They have since collaborated on "The Fall" and "The Night Eternal" which make up "The Strain Trilogy." All three books debuted as The New York Times top-ten bestsellers. Dark Horse Comics has also issued a graphic novel series adapted from the trilogy. In October 2013, Harper Design published "Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities," a lavishly illustrated book that contains notes, drawings, and untold creatures from del Toro's private journals.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 0:50 Mins
If you've followed the career of director Guillermo del Toro, you no doubt have an admiration for his films. On the whole, some films are more successful than others - but they all have great design work. In particular, his films are known for their abundance of creatures (some elegant, others terrifying).

We get personal artwork from every film that Mr. del Toro has directed - "Cronos", "Mimic", "The Devil's Backbone", "Blade II", "Hellboy", "Pan's Labyrinth", "Hellboy II: The Golden Army", and "Pacific Rim". Most of these are early drawings, sketches, and storyboards - and some of it differs greatly from what appears in the finished film. There are also full-page scans from del Toro's idea journals, which includes extensive writing in both English and Spanish. I am so glad that this artwork has been made available, it shows how much time and effort goes into the designs of these movies.

Del Toro has been attached to dozens of projects, yet he has only made 8 films. So there's a lot of work that has yet to make it to the screen - fortunately, we also get a few pages of designs from some of these unfinished projects, such as "At the Mountains of Madness" and "Meat Market".

By far the best and most numerous designs come from "Pan's Labyrinth" and the two "Hellboy" movies... a lot of the book's real estate is dedicated to those films. In terms of disappointments, I would have liked to have seen more from "Pacific Rim" - there are about 10 pages or so on that movie, but oddly there are no Jaeger or Kaiju drawings.

What's NOT included in the book: most notably, del Toro spent 2+ years working on pre-production of "The Hobbit" before leaving the project. As a fan, I would have loved to see some of his artwork from Middle-Earth.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So you're a fan of del Toro, otherwise you probably wouldn't even be looking at this page. The thing is, what you get out of this book ISN'T just another art book. It's not a collection of photos, stills, behind the scenes of his films or anything like that. At least, not intentionally though some of that does obviously creep in.

The book is a showcase of what make del Toro tick. Think of it as popping the top of his head off and watching his mind work, like the intricate machines he enjoys depicting in his films. It attempts to make connections inside of del Toro's mind, and show how he comes about his macabre, but brilliant, ideas and works.

There is a section for Bleak House, del Toro's home away from home, where his macabre sense of art meets his love of collections. And think of these collections as the inner workings of a cluttered, always thinking, always flowing, intense mind. And that's del Toro. We've seen some of this already in interviews and so on, but it's nice to see written descriptions by del Toro on the significance of "things."

Ever wanted to look into the mythical notebooks del Toro uses for his films? The ones where he collects all of his ideas and concepts then builds his films from there? We've seen some of this as well, but again, we further jump into the mind of del Toro and how it operates.

Also fascinating is the look at his unfinished works, or rather his as-of-yet-unproduced works. At the Mountains of Madness is something I desperately wish to see him finalize. The other unfinished projects all look like they could be promising as well, so perhaps one day we will see them all come to fruition?

You get a foreword by James Cameron. You get an afterword by Tom Cruise (no, really!).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 2:20 Mins
If you like Guillermo del Toro's films, heard of his Bleak House but have never seen what's inside, or just admire his sense and sensibilities, this is going to be an incredible book for you. It provides wonderful insight into the working mind of a director and eclectic collector.

This is a big and heavy book. The hardcover is nicely embossed to make it feel like a wooden bookshelf. Inside, the book is filled with plenty of pictures and extensive text which makes for a substantial reading.

The book's roughly split into three parts, covering his collections, notebooks and lastly the unfinished projects.

The first part shows off the amazing collection of items found in his man cave, also known as Bleak House. There are photos of the different rooms and the incredible amount of objects he collects. There are movie props, huge piles of books, all sorts of character figures, a few life-size sculptures, one is of H.P. Lovecraft, in the hallway there's the monster Sammael from Hellboy and many more. The whole place feels like an intimate museum. The photos are delightful, and when you look closely you can spot surprises, such as a Totoro or a book you might also have read.

In this section, GDT also talks about his graphic inspirations, on how he read paintings, analyse films, explains his techniques of storytelling and his idea incubating notebooks. Fascinating.

The second part on notebooks actually looks at the eight films he has made so far, namely Cronos, Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy II and Pacific Rim.

In interview style, author Marc Scott Zicree (MSZ) and GDT talks at length and in detail the inspiration behind each film. It's really insightful to read about how the ideas morph and evolve.
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