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Drop Dead Cute Paperback – March 24, 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ivan Vartanian is an author and editor specializing in drawing, photography, and design. He has been based in Tokyo since 1997.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (March 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081184708X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811847087
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Drop Dead Cute: The New Generation of Women Artists in Japan" is quite simply a book that is drop-dead gorgeous. Ten artists--most in their early thirties--are profiled, and I would, figuratively speaking of course, kill to have the work of any hanging on my walls. As Ivan Vartanian, who has put this book together, notes in his introduction, most of the art reflects the so-called "super-flat" style that is all the rage among Japan's cutting-edge artists. This two-dimensional graphic style is associated with Japanese manga (adult comics) and anime (animated films), and in a number of cases the renderings of female faces here owe a great deal to the childlike, wide-eyed models of manga and anime. Another recurring theme in this art is the emphasis on animals. One artist, for example, repeatedly uses elephants as her theme with a style that resembles a cross between Hello Kitty and Babar. In large part it is this prevalence of lovable animals, child-like faces, and various dream-like themes that has led Vartanian and others to label the work of these artists "kawaii," the Japanese word for cute.

Personally I would be more inclined to apply the word "kowai," which means "frightening" in Japanese, to the work presented in "Drop Dead Cute." There is an overwhelming sense of loneliness and alienation in this graphic work, a general absence of men and of family life, all sorts of female grotesqueries, and juxtapositions of the horrific and the idyllic. Take, for example, the graphically-stunning work of Chiho Aoshima. In one print she has what is perhaps the most beautiful rendering of a Japanese plum tree that I have ever seen, and this tree in blossom is mixed with images of the mythical paradise of Mount Horai.
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Format: Paperback
Full color pics and well-written artist bios make "Drop Dead Cute" a terrific coffee table book or gift for any art lover. You dont have
to be a fan of kawaii to enjoy this book
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Format: Paperback
There is very little text in this book.. it is mainly a coffee table book. The essay is by Ivan Vartanian, who I've never heard of and is not really an academic author or scholar. I found it to be a somewhat shallow and somewhat stereotypical discussion of the artists included. The entries for each artist were also very brief. The images, however speak for themselves, and there are quite a few in this slender book. They included several full-color full-page comics by Aya Takano for example. The images are not really "definitive" and they should be supplemental to other reproductions of the artists' works.
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By Cj on August 2, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great Pictures
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So beautiful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the diversity of styles presented. High quality images. Well done.
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