26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice selection of Star Wars comic art
Published on October 15, 2011 by Parka
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that impressed.
Not exactly what I thought it would be. I'm very much into art, but there really wasn't that much art in this book.
Published 18 days ago by K. M. Koepke
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice selection of Star Wars comic art,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)
Star Wars: Comics is an art book that collects the original art that have appeared in the comics since 1977.
It's a large hardcover book with 180 pages. Each piece of art is on a page by itself. The artworks are beautiful, big and satisfying to look at. There are pencil works, inked illustration, and full coloured paintings.
Lots of great artists are included, like Dave Dorman (who drew this book's cover), Al Williamson, Howard Chaykin, Adam Hughes, Bill Sienkiewicz, and more.
The selections includes the cover art for the first Star Wars issue that was published by Marvel in 1977, including its special edition. The variety is quite huge, including webcomics pages as well. Besides the pages and covers, there are also new work created just for this book by artists such as Mike Mignola, Paul Pope, Jim Steranko and more.
Reproduction is clear and sharp. Many of the pages and covers are drawn on the Dark Horse comic art boards, complete with bleeding lines, sometimes with blue pencils still visible. Some of the complicated scenes are drawn in higher than usual amount of detail, collected in the book to be admired. I think comic artists can be inspired by the high standard of work. There are a few average pieces, but don't really bring down the quality of the book much.
The book ends with an interview from 1976, with George Lucas, comic book artist Howard Chaykin and Marvel comic book editor Roy Thomas. The Star Wars film was still in production at the time. The interview discusses how they are going to approach creating the comic. They even talk about whether the comic characters should have likeness to the film actors.
Easily recommended to Star Wars fans.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for fans of Star Wars and Comic Book Art,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)As a longtime fan of both the Star Wars films and the Star Wars comic books, I can honestly say that Star Wars Art: Comics is the book I've been waiting and hoping for (even if I didn't know so until I held it in my hands)--a lavishly designed and beautifully printed collection of the "best of the best" artwork from Marvel, Dark Horse, and Tokyopop comics (including a generous sampling of breathtaking pages by the late, great Al Williamson). The variety within the book was unexpected, with each film in the saga being represented, as well as Expanded Universe tales and the Clone Wars webcomics. And if that weren't enough, Star Wars Art: Comics is peppered throughout with what are apparently all-new works by several well-regarded comics artists. Admittedly, a few of these new commissions are hit-or-miss, but the book's well worth its price of admission for the mind-blowing contributions of JH Williams III, Sam Kieth, Paul Pope (apparently riffing on French adventure comics), Frank Quitely, and Amanda Conner (whose stand-out piece is formally inventive and surprisingly moving). The overall sequencing of the book seems to be loosely rooted in a sort-of "wordless" retelling of the Star Wars saga in chronological order--starting with A New Hope and moving through the Prequel Trilogy and beyond--which is a really nice, subtle touch that helps, say, an Al Williamson original page to be paired on a spread with a new, full-color work by Jeff Smith without it seeming odd or random--this quasi-narrative conceit makes for some really pleasing, nostalgic surprises and juxtapositions. Plus, succinct, informative essays in the front of the book help illuminate how classic comic books and comic strips inspired Star Wars, which then went on to influence, reciprocally, the very sorts of comics that George Lucas drew upon for narrative and visual inspiration. In all, a very unexpected treat for this fan--if you are a diehard fan of either the films or the comics, there's definitely a lot in this book to love.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A comic art showcase of the Star Wars Saga,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)Thanks in no small part to the comic book medium, fans of the Star Wars films have had the happy opportunity to further explore the many worlds of the Star Wars galaxy for as long as the movies have enchanted audiences over the past three decades. In fact, it was in comic book form that the mythic adventures of Luke Skywalker and his friends first expanded beyond the threatrical screen (In Marvel Comics' Star Wars #7, to be exact; starring Han Solo and Chewbacca in a story called "New Planets, New Perils!" writen by Roy Thomas, and drawn by Howard Chaykin and Frank Springer, published in 1978, for you Star Wars trivia fans! Star Wars in comic book form has come a long way since Mr. Lucas' first dazzled and delighted moviegoers in the summer of 1997. "Star Wars Art: Comics" offers the reader an introduction to the vast contribution talented artists have created as they envisioned the "galaxy far, far away" of filmmaker George Lucas.
This artbook reproduces a wide canvass of great comic art from such gifted creators as the above mentioned Howard Chaykin (who pencilled the first 6 Star Wars comics which adapted "A New Hope" before it was given that subtitle), Tom Palmer, Ron Frenz, Paul Gulacy, P. Craig Russell, Dave Dorman, Ken Kelly, Hugh Fleming, and other artists of stellar creative caliber. For this reviewer and comic fan, special mention must be given to the late great Al Williamson, who drew some of the greatest Star Wars illustrations for comics, beginning with his classic contribution to Marvel Comics' adaptation of "The Empire Strikes Back" movie (Issues #39-44), along with writer Archie Goodwin, and inker Carlos Garzon.
"Star Wars Art: Comics" contains major gifts for comic art enthusiasts in that within its pages are photographic plates of art taken from the original comic pages. Thus the reader can joyfully gaze at the original cover illustration to the premiere Marvel Star Wars comic cover by Howard Chaykin and Tom Palmer; Dave Cockrum and Rick Hoberg's cover to the first Marvel Special Edition, a treasury-sized reprint version of Star Wars comics #1-3 (showcased on the back and front of the book's hard covers); Princess Leia's "First Impressions" of Coruscant, by Kilian Plunket from Dark Horse Comics' "Star Wars Tales" #15; or some of the beautifully rendered pencilled pages drawn by Doug Wheatley for the comic series "Dark Times."
Another artistic treat of this book is its wealth of "Private commissions:" original artwork done by comic masters such as Amanda Conner, Joe Kubert (!), George Perez(!), Paul Pope, Tim Sale, and more, all exclusive to this special collection.
Still, even with the above mentioned treasures this book displays, there are disappointments as well. With a 30 plus year history of artistry to showcase, there are bound to be creators not represented or only briefly featured. This critc regrets that Carmine Infantino's contribution to the original Marvel comic series (a creative run of over 25 issues) was spotlighted with only one page.
Another very gifted Star Wars artist, Jan Duursema, has been a cherished creator to the "Prequel Era" of Dark Horse Star Wars comics. Ms. Duursema, along with her longtime collaborator, John Ostrander, also took the Star Wars Saga into a future beyond the time of Luke Skywalker with the epic "Legacy" comic series. But unfortunately this book only gives the reader one illustration from this great Star Wars artist.
In this reviewer's opinion, "Star Wars Art: Comics" also falters in the decision to exclude the Star Wars Comic Strip from its pages. Distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, this early version of the "Expanded Universe" ran in newspapers across the country from 1979 through 1984 and featured the work of Archie Goodwin, Alfredo Alcala,and Al Williamson. But most importantly, this unique series of Star Wars comic art also showcased the last work of another comic art master, Russ Manning. Mr. Manning wrote and drew the strip with his clean and elegant style in its debut year but was forced to leave the project due to declinning health. The creator of the classic "Magnus Robot Fighter" comic for Gold Key Comics in 1963, Mr. Manning also contributed highly regarded artistry to Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan of the Apes" in comic strip and comic book form for many years. He died in 1981.
Mr. Manning was my very first favorite comic book artist and creator when I was a child. When I learned that he would be devoting his talent to a comic strip version of my all-time favorite movie, "Star Wars," I couldn't have been happier! But as the years have grown into decades, this great comic artist's work in the Star Wars Saga has nearly been forgotten. While some of Mr. Manning's comic strip work has been reprinted by Dark Horse Comics in 1994-1995 in a 9 issue series called "Star Wars: The Early Adventures," the strips were edited and reformatted to fit the dimensions of a comic book. Mr. Manning's full and complete Star Wars art has never been given a proper exhibition. It would have been an extra special joy for this reviewer to see some of Mr. Manning's work displayed within the pages of this book, along with other of his fellow artists. But it was not to be.
In closing, "Star Wars Art: Comics" opens the pages of Star Wars history to its long interpretation in the comic book world. Because it is a vast and varied history still being revealed, this book's all too few pages offer only glimpses of that history, that myth from "a long time ago." Still, the glimpses are grand! It comes recommended to any who take joy in the art of Star Wars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GORGEOUS!,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)The printing is beautiful, and the artwork is stunning. Like the previous book in the series, an incredible intersection of fine art and pop culture.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing collection and one not to be missed,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)Star Wars and comics have a shared cultural history that not only transcends American popular culture, but also traverses an international stage spanning multiple generations. At the base level of the science fiction genre itself, Star Wars' penultimate achievements require little explanation, discussion, or further exploration. In a tragic twist of fate, however, the two conceptual patriarchs behind the vision and imagery of Star Wars, as well as numerous other science fiction epics, Ralph McQuarrie and Jean Giraud, both passed within a week's span earlier this year. Yet, one can hope that they saw the recent monograph published by Abrams as not only a testament to their influence on the design of the various films and the cross-pollination between cinema and sequential art, but also their impact on the evolving mythology associated with the Star Wars universe.
As heirs to both the pulp magazine traditions, Star Wars and comics have a natural kinship that escapes genre confinement. Be it in the realms of science fiction, swashbuckling piracy, old westerns, knight errant fables, or swords and sorcery, Star Wars and comics have shaped and been shaped by the other. Yet, as the original films have been remastered and newer trilogies and animated series have emerged with special effects and visualizations so far beyond George Lucas' capabilities in 1977, so too have comics evolved in the realms of art, page composition and panel geography, and the craft of storytelling. As such, Star Wars Art: Comics, perhaps unintentionally, is a fascinating parallel history of a medium growing and changing alongside the films themselves.
In terms of content, Star Wars Art: Comics is short on textual commentary. Following a brief foreword by writer and former editor Denny O'Neill and a overview of artistic changes within comics by Douglas Wolk, Virginia Mecklenburg, senior curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, provides the most significant and relevant contextual and critical review of the mutual history between comics and the film. Additionally, there is a wonderful transcript of the July 27, 1976, conversation between George Lucas, Charles Lippincott, Howard Chaykin, and Roy Thomas to create the first Marvel comic based on the film. From there, the remainder of the book is a collection of 180 pages of plates and 150 color illustrations all chosen by Lucas himself. If there is one minor criticism in this approach, however, it is that the beauty and value of the plates could only have been improved by short conversations with certain artists involved about the influence of the film on their designs and careers.
The assortment of plates is a veritable Who's Who of comic art. From opening illustrations by Chaykin, Mike Mignola and Dave Stewart, and David Lapham, to others by Amanda Conner, Eduardo Barreto, and Hiromoto-Sin-Ichi, Star Wars Art: Comics runs the gamut of private commissions, pencilled and inked interior pages on company illustration boards, painted published covers, manga, European, and American styles, and a host of digital, acrylic, oil, and other tools. Single entries by Tony DeZuniga, Joe Kubert, Sergio Aragones, Bill Sienkiewicz, Tim Sale, Jeff Smith, and Paul Pope run side-by-side with the numerous examples of Al Williamson, allowing readers to compare and contrast the style differences highlighted by Wolk. Standout color compositions by John Cassaday, Mike Kaluta, Jim Steranko, and Ryan Sook meet black and white commissions from John Romita Sr., Arthur Adams, Adam Hughes, and George Perez. Beyond these, there are numerous pencilled, early-stage pieces by Cully Hamner, Terry Dodson, and Dave Dorman, to mention only a few, of already published illustrations. Double-page spreads by Sam Kieth and Frank Quitely, and the three-page fold-out by J.H. Williams III, however, are some of the most memorable in an already overwhelming and stunning book for their sheer size and originality in theme. Quitely and Williams III fans should purchase this book for these two compositions alone.
Star Wars Art: Comics is an amazing collection and one not to be missed by both diehard fans of the franchise and audiences who appreciate the changing dynamics of sequential art and visual storytelling.
Reviewed by Nathan Wilson
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Star Wars Art,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)I loved last years Art book and was excited to get my hands on this one thinking it would be just as superb. I am a fan of the comics and have collected them for years. So I was excited and curious of which full spreads they would add. When I sat down to enjoy the book and opened it to find that more than half of the chosen art was black and white pencils and not the beautiful full color art I was a little disappointed. I quickly turned the pages to discover that most of the art chosen was from the Marvel era and not the Darkhorse comics. The Marvel era is great but not as crisp as the newer art that has come out in recent years. It would have been a much better collection if the full and finished art was present. I was also surprised at some of the art chosen to fill this volume. I remember pages that stopped my reading and made me examine the beautiful work of the artist in many of the Darkhorse comics. Ships going into hyperspace, great two page space battles, and a few great fight scenes where all missing. Good but not a great collection with lots of black and white pages and lots of Marvel images. This is one of those books I wish I would have been able to preview at a bookstore before purchasing. This is just my preference so if you like Marvel era with pencils with a sprinkling of Darkhorse era then this is your piece of that galaxy far far away.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not that impressed.,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)Not exactly what I thought it would be. I'm very much into art, but there really wasn't that much art in this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect for my collection,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)i love becuase its adifferent and details for all draws and about comic and its perfect for my starwars book collection
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)Fantastic art. If you love comics, Star Wars, or both, you should be happy with what you find inside. Good purchase.
5.0 out of 5 stars Review,
This review is from: Star Wars Art: Comics (Hardcover)Great book. This product is wonderful and just a joy. It has made my life better having it. Will look for other items like this one.
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Star Wars Art: Comics by Douglas Wolk (Hardcover - October 1, 2011)