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American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1980s
American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1980s
by Paul Brian McCoy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $30.47
39 used & new from $21.63

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heaven for those Nostalgic for '80s comics, May 23, 2013
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If you grew up during the heyday of the X-men, the birth of the New Teen Titans, and the endless Crisis on Infinite Earths/Secret Wars events, you'll love this book. Each page tugs at the nostalgia heartstrings with art and behind-the-scenes stories covering not only the changes in the big two publishers, but also those first green shoots of the modern indie comic movement (Comico, First Comics, etc.). Hands down my favorite comic-related book to date.


The Complete Guide to Figure Drawing for Comics and Graphic Novels
The Complete Guide to Figure Drawing for Comics and Graphic Novels
by Daniel Cooney
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.33
46 used & new from $11.51

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, December 12, 2012
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Bought this one sight unseen out of desperation, based solely on the cover and examples of the author's work. This really has it all, and best of all, the book itself boasts an attractive design. So many "how to" art books are appalling to look at...

In this book, you'll find a good mix of photographic references (ie, live models), line art and inked figures. In addition to showing you how to draw figures in various still and action poses (the latter including battle stances, guns blazing, etc.), it also covers the basics: faces, hands, facial expressions, hair, the works, which was a pleasant surprise. Also covers various "camera angles," adding depth, and basic scene composition. Couldn't ask for more.


A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony
A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen, and the Tea Ceremony
by Héctor García
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.63
82 used & new from $9.63

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What I've Been Waiting For, May 26, 2011
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An unabashed Japanophile, I've collected a fair number of books on the country over the years, searching for that one book that would offer both decent photography and meaty content. While that's a lot to ask, I think "A Geek in Japan" comes the closest to fitting the bill.

Die-hard Japanophiles probably won't encounter too much in the way of new information here -- the strength of the book is purely in its presentation. Within the pages of this slim volume, you get hundreds of color photos of every aspect of Japan, every one of them dynamic, without the usual "travelogue" pics so many books have resorted to. I was particularly pleased to see the author has taken the "little bit of everything" approach, which means you can open a page at random and find something interesting to read. This isn't a single narrative, but rather made up of page-long sections covering everything from food to Japanese company dynamics. Bonus points for a two-page spread that demonstrates the evolution of "Densha Otoko" from anonymous forum posting to full-fledged Japanese multimedia phenomenon.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 19, 2012 11:12 AM PDT


Zombie Girl: The Movie
Zombie Girl: The Movie
DVD ~ Emily Hagins
Offered by goodemotions
Price: $21.79
17 used & new from $9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of the Creative Process, October 9, 2010
This review is from: Zombie Girl: The Movie (DVD)
This has remained my favorite documentary, and one of my favorite movies, since I first saw a screener of it about two years ago. I'm so glad that it's finally reaching a wider audience now.

When I was writing "The New Horror Handbook," I not only wanted to cover some of the landmark horror movies of the 21st century, but also to include a section on the effect the genre has had on up-and-coming filmmakers. When I came across then-14-year-old Emily Hagins and her zombie movie "Pathogen," and the documentary about its making, "Zombie Girl: The Movie," I had to include a chapter on both.

"Zombie Girl" does something I've never seen accomplished before -- faithfully and lovingly document the joys and aggravations of the creative process. Sure, there are plenty of "making of" featurettes, some better than others. But this movie has two advantages. The primary one is Emily Hagins herself. This is a young girl brimming with creativity and drive, yet with enough maturity and support from her family to see her vision through to completion. Second, a refreshing lack of the manufactured drama that reality TV has made us all accustomed to. Finally, after watching this movie, chances are good that you will want to make your own movie, or write a novel, or paint a masterpiece -- whatever long-held creative passions you've carried with you suddenly won't seem so out of reach. I can't think of a greater accomplishment for a film.


An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers
An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers
by Danny Gregory
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.01
125 used & new from $4.23

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You're in Need of Inspiration, October 14, 2009
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Every now and then you find just the right book you need to fill a hole in your life. In many ways, An Illustrated Life filled that bill for me.

I'm a writer and editor (my latest book, The New Horror Handbook, came out a few months ago), and spend most of my time editing other people's work, with little time left to actually enjoy the process of creation myself.

When I stumbled upon this book, I had something of an epiphany. Here were people every bit as busy as the rest of us, yet they had found another way of saving their thoughts and documenting the world around them.

So many different styles are represented in this book, from astonishing water colors to simple cartoons to the strange illustrations of Robert Crumb.

But these full color illustrations are only half the story. The accompanying essays by the sketchbook artists themselves really spoke to me. I found it extremely inspiring to read about how these talented artists work, how they manage to snatch the time to sketch their thoughts, and perhaps most importantly, how making a sketch or watercolor of a scene in front of them actually allows them to better remember what they saw than simply taking a photo. If you've taken hundreds of digital photos of places you wanted to remember, only to barely remember them at all, you can see what a revelation this can be.

Enough of my blatherings. This book is best summed up this way: A fascinating look into the creative process, and a good way to jump-start your own.


Japanese Cinema
Japanese Cinema
by Paul Duncan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.48
24 used & new from $6.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last -- a Japanese film coffee table book!, September 4, 2009
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This review is from: Japanese Cinema (Hardcover)
Those who love Japanese movies also know how frustrating it can be trying to find wide-ranging books on the subject in English. With the single exception of Jasper Sharp and Tom Mes' "The Midnight Eye Guide to New Japanese Film" (one of the best film books I've ever come across in any genre, by the way), we've lacked a multi-genre compendium on the subject. Japanese film lovers ccould pick up separate books about Japanese Horror, early films, Godzilla-type monster movies, etc., all of varying degrees of quality.

Which is why I was so excited to see that Taschen was putting out a book touching upon most of Japanese cinema. I finally received my copy this week, and I was blown away. First off, it's packed with photos, many of them full page, rather than the business-card size pics and smaller that you usually find in film books today.

Movies and directors covered range from early (1920s-30s) all the way up through 21st century J-horror and beyond, hitting everything from Takeshi Kitano and anime flicks to the work of Miike and Tsukamoto.

Anyone who's picked up a Taschen book or two knows what to expect from this one: great photos. The author also does an admirable job of introducing readers to all the major trends in Japanese film from the last 50 years or so. While I've been reading about and watching Japanese movies for some 6 or 7 years now, I still came away from this book with a few titles jotted down for my DVD wish list.

My only complaint with "Japanese Cinema" is that I would have preferred something with twice the number of pages, similar to Taschen's "Cinema Now." But that's just me being greedy.


At Home in Tokyo
At Home in Tokyo
by Gwen G. Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.26
29 used & new from $10.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant firsthand account of life in Tokyo, September 24, 2008
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This review is from: At Home in Tokyo (Paperback)
As a great lover of Japan, and Tokyo especially, I'm always looking for a book that goes beyond the usual touristy prose to describe what it's like to actually live there. In my experience these are pretty hard to come by once you venture beyond Donald Richie's contributions. However, this book really gives you a detailed look and feel for what it's like to be plopped down in Tokyo, all from a gaijin's perspective. I can't recommend this book highly enough.


The Tokyo Look Book: Stylish To Spectacular, Goth To Gyaru, Sidewalk To Catwalk
The Tokyo Look Book: Stylish To Spectacular, Goth To Gyaru, Sidewalk To Catwalk
by Philomena Keet
Edition: Paperback
62 used & new from $1.99

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The big picture, October 23, 2007
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While the wild DIY fashions of Shibuya and Harajuku are well represented in this volume, The Tokyo Look Book casts a wider net, including both everyday street attire and cutting-edge fashion. The author manages to reveal a great deal about those her photographer has snapped in short captions, as well as in her interviews with some leading Japanese clothing designers. Overall more insightful than the "FRUiTS" collections, and the fashions are more interesting, too. Would've liked more text about the people wearing the clothes, but one can't have everything. The photos are superb!


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