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Spectrum 13: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Paperback – October 10, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 13 of 18 in the Spectrum Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In 1993 Arnie Fenner, along with his wife Cathy, combined both their personal and professional interests in the fantastic arts to form Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art-but that has not been the limit of their celebration of the field. They have written, designed, and edited a series of titles devoted to the works of Frank Frazetta, Jeffrey Jones, Jon Foster, Robert E. McGinnis, John Jude Palencar, Dave Stevens, and many others that have been published by Underwood Books. In addition, Arnie serves as a Senior Art Director for Andrews McMeel Publishing.
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Product Details

  • Series: Spectrum (Book 13)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Underwood Books; First Edition edition (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599290014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599290010
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
C'mon, who doesn't enjoy looking at pretty pictures? SPECTRUM 13, like all the previous SPECTRUM entries, is another great collection of pretty pictures. Once again broken down into various genres (Advertising, Book, Comics, Dimensional, Editiorial, Institutional, and Unpublished), this edition showcases accomplished artistic offerings by old and new reliables Michael Whelan, John Harris, Paul Youll, Kinuko Craft, Donato Giancola, John Palencar, Jon Foster, etc. (whose works many sci-fi/fantasy readers will have seen gracing the covers of their favored novels). We get to see a diverse field of artwork: from the superlative, vibrantly hued renderings of Donato Giancola (whose "Prometheus" lands the cover of SPECTRUM 13), the vigorous surreality of Phil Hale, the technical digital glossiness of David Ho, the comic book pen-and-ink wizardry of Adam Hughes and Michael Wm. Kaluta, the muscular stylings of Justin Sweet, the classicaly-styled oils of Gregory Manchess, to the charming simplicity of inker/watercolorist William Stout. And, of course, many, many more.

This time, the annual Grand Master Award goes to long-time fantasy artist and Frank Frazetta wannabe, Jeffrey Jones. I guess he's deserving. But, compared to the likes of past Grand Master recipients Frazetta, James Bama, Jean Giraud, and H.R. Giger, Jeffrey Jones's selection is dubious. But, certainly, that's just my opinion.

Some of my personal favorites in SPECTRUM 13 are the cute "Worlds Collide" by Eric Joyner, the expressive "Mother Nature" by David Bowers, and the evocative "Empire of Dreams" by Michael Whelan.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
one of the first of a new generation of books that shows modern contemporary fantasy art the 13th annual of a series already getting into its 20s a good investment especially if you could find a box load of the 15th edition which seems to be for some reason a under printed edition that no one can get in very people will sell you for $200 the year after it came out

But it's a good eye-opener and start for somebody who doesn't think they like art I use these books many times in the 90s to open the eyes of the people around me and to the world of fantasy in art that only I saw
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Format: Paperback
There is a reason why every volume of Spectrum seems to garner five star ratings from fans. Each new volume consistently presents the finest in fantastic art but it's more than that. It's not just the quality of the art but the diversity as well. Spectrum presents works from a wide array of genres and artistic styles. From advertising art to comics, from sculpture to institutional, it's a tantalizing feast for the eyes that seems to get better with each new volume.

Spectrum 13 presents its Grandmaster award to Jeffrey Jones, certainly a very deserving recipient. Editor Arnie Fenner does his year in review on all of the different artistic categories and we get a glimpse at the Spectrum exhibition held in New York from Sepetember, 7 to October 1, 2005.

First up in the book is Advertising art as Spectrum hands out its gold and silver awards to Donato Giancola and Andrew Jones respectively. Each piece in the book notes the work's title, artist, medium, and client. My personal favorite was R.K. Post's painting "Lady of Pain" done for Dragon Magazine.

Next up is cover art from books and I was blown away by the gorgeously amusing work of Ragnar and his digital illustrations completed for Baby Tattoo Books. It's old school illustration with a modern flair. Adam Hughes has long been one of my favorite comic artists and Spectrum loves him too it seems as Hughes gets a two page spread of his work including his dynamic cover to Catwoman # 49, and the noir-ish cover to Catwoman #50. Not to be outdone, or missed, is Frank Cho's dazzling cover to Shanna #3 for Marvel Comics. One of my most favorite pieces in the comic section is Hoang Nguyen's cover to Hardboiled to the Max done in the style of an old pulp detective magazine, complete with cover creases.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christmas and don't know what to get your son/daughter? get them one of these Spectrum books. If they Ooo and Ahh over it- you've got yourself a steady birthday/Christmas gift plan for the next 15 years. Just buy one every year.
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Format: Hardcover
This volume continues the Spectrum tradition, collecting the year's most amazing fantasy art. The hundreds of works displayed here cover just about any style, medium, and mood you'd care to name. Royo's pinup babes appear a few times. McKean's otherworldly collages (?) appear too, capturing images that appeared in his brilliant Mirrormask movie. The superhero genre has plenty of representation, but so do gothica, heroic fantasy, space stuff, and more. Orbik gives a conspicuous nod to Norman Rockwell, but styles span a vast range.

Although a few pieces display real humor it tends to be of a dark kind, as in Stahlberg's "Psycho Girlfriend." The exceptions lie largely in the Dimensional (sculpture) category, with Keubler's "Myron Klinefelter's Revenge" and Northey's beautiful "Jim and George" leading the way. Dozens of other works tend toward the thoughtful, or pointed, or moving, ... well, pretty much every direction that art can lead.

You might look to this book for inspiration, for a snapshot of the evolving world of fantasy art, or just for the pure fun of the pictures themselves. Whatever your reason, go ahead and indulge it. Catalogs of fantasy art just don't get better than the Spectrum annual editions.

-- wiredweird
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