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Spectrum 15: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Spectrum (Book 15)
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Underwood Books; First Edition edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599290278
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599290270
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
As an artist myself interested in fantasy art I find this annual absolutely essential.
Jennifer A. Lodde
There is so much here to enjoy, that I will let you buy it and see for yourself, rather than yammer on about the contents.
Mir
Every year, I pre-order the Spectrum annual, and every year I enjoy it from cover to cover.
C. arthur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mir TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the sort of compilation you really do keep on your coffee table so that you can sit on the couch and, over the course of weeks, dip into it and enjoy the offerings.

What's in there? Well, the introduction, naturally, and the Grandmaster Award for the outstanding John Jude Palencar--one of my faves! There's a review of the year in SF art (this is for 2007), which highlights, among others, a nicely urban-infrastructure-architectural work by Michael Whelan and the covers from some of the art books published last year. Artists who have died are given space in an obit list.

Ah, the art comes. First, the Best in Show award went to James Jean (and if you have been reading the terrific and engrossing FABLES series of comics by Bill Willingham, his cover art will be familiar to you). His winning entry is the cover for THE GOOD PRINCE, a wonderful piece full of understated grays (steel, water, stone) with one blazing arc of orange that is the plume of Prince Ambrose's helm. Cool.

The winner of the Gold award makes me giggle every time I look at it--a technicolor bit of zombie-alien silliness with a retro (as in 50's-60's) album cover feel. More silliness by Julie Bell and Boris Vallejo graces page 31--a full page reproduction of the artwork for AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE. As a fan of the cartoon, I got a particular little thrill seeing Frylock, Master Shake, and Meatwad rendered in Vallejo's trademark style--curvy women included.

One of the other reviewers called this the "all digital" issue. Well, on this spread alone--the two pages of 30-31--there is Vallejo's oil painting, one digital, one mixed media, and one acrylics/goache. Jean's best-in-show winner was a mixed media piece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. arthur on November 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every year, I pre-order the Spectrum annual, and every year I enjoy it from cover to cover. Some of the most mind blowing artists work is presented in this book every single year. You will not be disappointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald Hazeltine on November 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can you say at this point? These annuals are an inspiration, a resource, and an accurate read on where the bar is in fantasy, sci-fi, and concept art. A total feast, once again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on April 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Length: 0:21 Mins
Spectrum is a an art annual that sends out invitations to artists for their work to be featured in the book. Only a selected few, the best, have their work chosen.

In Volume 15, the judges are Justin Sweet, Daren Bader, Frank Cho, Tim Bodendistel and Kelly Seda.

The list of winners are on[..]and the full list of artists here.

As for the art, they are gorgeous. The variety is incredible and are created with different mediums. They are grouped into different categories, namely Advertising, Book, Comics, Concept Art, Dimensional (sculptures and models), Editorial, Institional and Unpublished.

Since these are published yearly, the illustrations featured are all recent. I'm an art book collector and I find myself going,"Oh, oh, I hope he/she's going to release an art book!" while going through the pages.

There are actually 264 pages instead of the 248 pages listed on Amazon. Nice.

This is perhaps the best valued art annual around.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Lodde on November 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This series gets better every year. My favorite artists always appear in each issue, and new artists make the cut, too. As an artist myself interested in fantasy art I find this annual absolutely essential. The color quality of the entries is top notch. SPECTRUM is always inspiring! It makes me work harder!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
And the best is very good indeed. The Fenners continue this annual tradition of seeking out and displaying the year's best fantasy art. You might think that, with so many hundreds of works shown here, there would have to be a few clunkers. I admit, I like some less than others, but even those generally rise to very high levels of skill and wit.

Except for the high quality and underlying theme of fantasy, I don't think any one statement would be true of all the works presented. Media cover a wide range, including oils, pen/ink, acrylic, watercolor, and digital - but digital without the computer-y look of past decade, digital with real delicacy and feeling. Styles cover the whole imaginable range, and maybe a bit more. Giancola's "Red Sonja" has a naturalistic style, an almost romantic image of a lethal warrior. Others, like Juan's "Chronomancer," blend elements of Dali's floating surrealism with hints of Sorayama's robo-babes in a unique blend. Others draw on every visual style from the Hudson River landscape artists to comic books and way beyond. Moods of the images include comical, horrific, delicate, monumental, mysterious, brooding, and seemingly every other sense that a picture can convey.

Dimensional (sculptural) work appears too, and includes some my favorites in this collection. Virginie Ropars's charmingly creepy statuettes each stand as a labor of love, but I like the steam-punk visions or humor of Rivamonte, Lambert, and Northey, too.

Whether you like the heroic, humorous, dark, or delightful, this collection has plenty for just about any taste in visual art. I expect to come back to this, like others in this annual series, again and again.

-- wiredweird
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