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Spectrum 22: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art Hardcover – November 10, 2015
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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-Softcover, but good quality pages and prints. Standards are high.
- Largish size (big as any previous), 300 pages packed with prints.
Artwork Balance: overall very good, with worries
- Artists are given 2 page spreads, often in theme, as well as being mixed together. I like this!
- Gold &Silver winners get a full page with photo and commentary. This is nice, but borderline. More would be intrusive.
- Humor is sparse, but there are enough lighter moments. (Little old witch & kitten is delightful)
- Dimensional art is good this year, and the other various categories are generally well represented.
- Magical Realism. Do I detect a whiff of snobery against genre? (I am admittedly hypersensitive in this regard) This issue's judges skewed toward toward magical realism/mythology/symbolic. I like a good mix, but I buy my genre art book for the genre art. I would prefer a bit more high fantasy and the like.
I am happy with my Spectrum 22 purchase.
The collection, the printing, and the sheer variety earn this highest marks - even if digital media increasingly dominate hard media of the traditional kinds. So, why not that fifth star? Earlier volumes in this series lightened the mood with a rich mix of more whimsical, humorous works. Humor seems in short supply this time. Light works can be just as serious as darker ones, but the general feel of this assembly has a grim edge to it.Still, it's a worthy successor, whether you look for inspiration in your own work or just want to wallow in imagation made real.
My favorite is titled, "Nightmares Unhinged" by artist, Aaron Lovett, art direction by Josh Viola. - Spectacularly creepy and hauntingly beautiful.