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Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: Limited Edition Hardcover – December 3, 2013
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“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) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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
The Devil’s Backbone
Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
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Top customer reviews
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. Also, del Toro has overseen various Dreamworks Animation projects, like "Rise of the Guardians" and "Kung Fu Panda 2". I'm not sure how hands-on his involvement with those films was, but its hard to imagine he didn't sketch out something for those movies.
There are a number of notable individuals who author pages discussing their friendship/collaboration with Guillermo del Toro:
James Cameron - director of "Titanic" & "Avatar"; writes the book's Foreword.
Alfonso Cuaron - acclaimed director of "Children of Men" & "Gravity", longtime friend of del Toro.
Mike Mignola - artist and writer of Hellboy
Ron Perlman - actor who has appeared in many of del Toro's movies
Tom Cruise - was set to star in del Toro's film "Mountains of Madness"; writes the book's Afterword.
We also get an extensive interview with del Toro, and photographs from his Bleak House (an entire house full of horror artifacts, models, and artwork that inspire him).
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. No all ideas get used, of course, but you'll still see them in the notebook pages. You'll gain much more if you've watched the movies, although that is not totally necessary, but highly recommended. Pacific Rim's coverage is sadly much shorter than the other films.
The numerous scanned notebook pages really provides another dimension to how GDT's mind works. There's quite a lot to read from the notebooks' captions alone. Also included are amazing concept designs from GDT himself.
GDT says the notebooks are for his daughters, but they only draw manga style and find his drawings reprehensible and horrible. That's pretty funny. Author MSZ managed to elicit lots of interesting bits of information with thoughtful questions.
The last part on unfinished projects is quite brief. Five projects are mentioned with each taking two pages.
Interspersed throughout the book are also write-up by prominent guests, such as James Cameron, John Landis, Alfonso Cuaron, Ron Perlman, Mike Mignola and others just to name a few.
What's missing in the book is perhaps his role as a producer on other films. I would love to read about what he does as a producer. It's not mentioned in any way, but that's a small issue.
Overall, this is a truly insightful and incredible book. Highly recommended.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
But those are not complains! It is AMAZING. If you love del Toro's work and you want a peak into his genius, it doesn't get any better than this!
Oh, and it also includes exclusive prints and the book is signed by him on the inside (on a separate numbered paper). So, DON'T THINK TWICE! DO IT!