- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Marvel; Slp edition (August 12, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0785185534
- ISBN-13: 978-0785185536
- Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 1.1 x 11.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #753,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie Hardcover – August 12, 2014
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There are full splash pages of fantastic model work, skin textures, vehicle designs, all with minimal text. The Slipcase is the "A" film poster (pictured above) with Peter Quill, Groot and Rocket on the front, and Drax and Gamora on the back. The actual book cover is a great piece of concept art with more of a matte finish as opposed to the glossy slipcase finish. Both are top notch, the book fits snug in the slipcase but not too tight that it's difficult to get out. Just an overall awesome presentation. Keep in mind, this is an art book, not a behind the scenes book about the making of the film. There aren't pictures of the actors in costume, or a bunch of still shots from the film, it's preliminary art and concept art. It is, after all, an art book.
Foreword by James Gunn
Introduction: A Thief, Two Thugs, An Assassin and A Maniac
Chapter 1: The Legendary Star-Lord
Chapter 2: Dark Alliances
Chapter 3: Galaxy's Most Wanted
Chapter 4: Corps Values
Chapter 5: Prison Break
Chapter 6: Knowhere To Run
Chapter 7: Family Reunion
Chapter 8: Somebody's Gotta Do It
Chapter 9: Marketing Guardians Of The Galaxy
Some people may find issues with the lack of text, or others may complain that there is too much text. There's about a paragraph of text on every page and it's impossible to please everyone. I became a huge Guardians of the Galaxy fan after watching the film opening weekend and have been trying to get my hands on any and everything Guardians related. If you loved the movie (and who didn't, it was freakin' awesome) then this book is a must. It's great to see what Star-Lord could have looked like, the design changes his ship the Milano (named after Pete Quill's childhood crush Alyssa Milano, which is hilarious) went through and what inspired its look. For $40, you get a fantastic art book with an immaculate presentation. This comes FULLY APPROVED.
This is another stunning book from Marvel. The hardcover and slipcase, with wrap-around artwork, are just as beautiful as the previous releases. The pages are thick and high gloss and it is packed with gorgeous art work and designs. The Guardians offer a unique opportunity to introduce an entirely new universe to audiences. So much of the film had to be developed from scratch that there is more concept art and weapon/vehicle design here than in any previous book since Iron Man. And the detail is off the charts! Every major character gets several pages devoted to look and costume, and many of the minor characters also. The Collector's assistant, Carina, even has two pages! I was delighted to see the evolution of each Guardian's look, with the many costume designs and make-ups tests considered. The section on Drax and his scars/tattoos was mind-blowing.
The book is laid out chronologically vis-à-vis the film, just as all the Phase 2 books have been. Since Star Lord is introduced in the film first, his is the first chapter after the introductions. As usual, the text ties back into the comics whenever possible to show how characters/costumes were inspired by or changed from the original works. I also loved how most of the concept art was previously unseen. Lots of images from the previous books were released (or leaked) online ahead of publication, but not here. The section of the Collector and his museum was brilliant. There were lots of Easter eggs for Marvel & comics fans in there and the book explores some of that.
The reason I didn't give this book five stars is that it has two issues that keep it from being amazing. First, there is a noticeable amount of gutter loss throughout, wherein images are obscured or corrupted by going into the spine. After producing nine art books, this is really inexcusable from a design stand point. For large landscape images of the settings, this isn't a problem - if a couple buildings go into the spine, no big loss. However, it is a big deal when it happens with characters. One image of Rocket which spans two pages has him completely "eaten" by the spine but the rest of the image is empty (e.g. there is NOTHING to the right and left of him except background color)! This happens again with Baby Groot. There is no reason these images couldn't be cropped to avoid the problem. And some of the group shots should have been re-sized to prevent characters from disappearing.
The second issue, as others have pointed out, is that the book really needed screen caps and character stills. Though this is an art book, it's really helpful - essential even - to see the final design as used in the film alongside all the concept art that led to it, especially for character costumes and make-up. The prior art books did this, so it's a mystery why it wasn't done so here.
Overall though, this is still an impressive production that truly opens up the universe of the Guardians. Highly recommended.